There are two basic designs on the same chassis; an open coach and a closed carriage, which Presier got massive mileage out of through the simple use of colour. White was wedding, black was for Taxis (Hansom-cabs . . . No - wrong layout!) and various colours for other issues, the 'group' culminated in this, the VIP coach, now listed with the Circus, it was such a late addition to the range it's not in the original list of 4xx numbered wagons.
What sets this apart from the others is a 'special' (not 'budget', 'standard' or 'exclusive') paint-job and the inclusion of reins. To be honest the paint is pretty standard, but the reins make all the difference - visually.
I imagine Wellingtonian officers being 'delivered to their regiment' in a repainted one of these, even if it's a postal-specific, late 19thC vehicle, it 'looks the part' . . . Harry Flashman: "I say, Driver? We've got awfully close to the fighting?"
Designed for an early steam layout - various European model railway companies issued models of Der Adler or similar early perambulating boilers - with gold VR's (or RM's?) over a gloss-red re-spray it would look equally good next to Stevenson's Rocket.
Although lots have been listed over the years:
Exclusive Series (now 30xxx when issued)450 - Weiβe Hochzeitskutsche, geschlossen - White Wedding Coach, Closed
451 - Weiβe Hochzeitskutsche, offen - White Wedding Coach, Open
452 - Droschke geschlossen - Closed Coach/Taxi (black)
453 - Droschke, offen - Open Coach/Taxi (black)
454 - Kutsche offen, grün. Mit Figurengruppe um 1900 - 1900 Open Coach, Green (other issues are blue or black)
Standard/Value-for-money Series (now 30xxx when issued)
484 - Kutsche weiβ - White Wedding Coach, Closed
485 - Kutsche offen, weiβ - White Wedding Coach, Open
486 - Kutsche schwarz - Closed Coach/Taxi (black)
487 - Kutsche offen schwarz - Open Coach/Taxi (black)
24606 - Prominenz in der Kutsche - Prominent personages in the carriage ( a version may have been listed as 486?)
There are currently only four available, with two budget, one standard and the VIP coach, still for the era, that’s a busy high-street's worth!
Donated by Gary Worsfold (like the other two in this post) my 454 looks like a Taxi (453), but lacks the red wheels and plumes on the hoses. Prior to the more recent issue of 24606, there was a blue issue of 454 as well.
A single runner provides most of the figures for these many versions, however it's been a while since the separate horse-whip armed driver has been employed, possibly a case of "Political correctness gone mad!"
A wide-brimmed hat, two veils and a bunch of flowers allowing the females to be 'converted' into brides, VIP's or happy tourists, with the men as grooms, VIP's, partners or (sometimes) driver's-mates. The figures for 24606 are a set of new sculpts, with one having the chains of 'office', and you'll notice a third set of sculpts (one of the seated 1900 sets) provide the well-fed historical-looking couple with parasol/umbrella in the 454
Yes - that was a Roscopf logo back in the forth image, which takes us back to the water/milk-tanker a few days ago, and the Hong Kong horses; yesterday, which I otherwise skirted-round as there was already enough going-on in that post! There was a lot of cross-pollination between those early plastic railway accessory firms, with buildings, figures and vehicles being begged, leant, borrowed and stolen about the place, so it's not too surprising!
It seems that Preiser either inherited their fledgling wagon range from Roscopf (and added to it), or contract-manufactured some wagons for Roskopf, leaving the logo on home-issued versions, I suspect the former explanation (because of the horse difference), but have no idea, and having only noticed it in the last couple of weeks- will have to wait until everything comes out of storage to compare catalogues, can anyone else help?
The common horse for these coaches/carriages is a standing pony with a plume which is sometimes retained, sometimes clipped-off, further adding to the variation between all the versions, as does using the heavier horses occasionally.
Here compared with the Circus horse set; as they also have plumes - it's how my brain works!
The TT range gets four versions scaled-down, the horses being new sculpts with better manes and tails. In N-gauge there are versions of the open coach in white (wedding) and black (taxi) but they don't seem to have got the closed version yet?
Apparently TT is still quite popular in Eastern Europe, so that may have something to do with their getting four to N's two? N-gauge having lots of accessory suppliers about the place, while the East is a 'new' customer-base, eager for after-market stuff to enhance their old Soviet-era layouts? Pure guesswork - don't quote me!