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LNER early goods brake van

I like plastic kits for their versatility and the subject here is a 1920s LNER goods brake van based on the kit from Parkside Dundas. No stage-by-stage constructional pictures I'm afraid, just a pair of ready for the paint shop views with notes on the areas that I tweaked, which is more than may meet the eye. The prototype originated in 1927 and was based on the NER design with its boarded ducket. The line of development eventually led to the BR standard GBV. This version was coded "Toad B".


Built in 1927 at Dukinfield, the body of No 151752 employed narrow planks. Buffer housings are the long RCH type with prominent ribs.Note the sanding box on the back of the verandah, and piping down to the wheels. This was removed later.


No 153571 was built at Doncaster in 1928 with wider planks to the body, the version covered by the kit. The buffer housings are a long but plainer type. This is the version I modelled.


A side view of the finished model awaiting the paint shop shows the areas that I tweaked, working down from the top:

Roof - I replaced the vents with castings from ABS. The rain strips were Mictrostrip.

Ducket - the top had moulded unevenly so I replaced it with Plastikard.

Solebar steps - a tricky part to mould cleanly and much tidier if you replace using Evergreen strip, actually the solebar-size channel section trimmed to an "L" shape.

Running gear - I would have used the MJT etched W-irons but the springs are hard to replicate so I cleaned them up and added cast MJT axleboxes, the RCH pattern that was fitted in the early years of the LNER. The brake rigging was souped up a little - you can see the brass wire between the brake shoes: it looks better, helps for even assembly, and adds strength, of course.


An enlargement of the end to show details there:

Buffers - the moulded buffers look like the long RCH type but I wanted sprung buffers and the long, rather plain type, for which there is a near equivalent from MJT via a GWR carriage type, married with 13" buffer heads. It needs a little fettling when setting up or it will droop.

Lamp irons - made from scratch using thing brass strip, multiple-folded with pliers to get a likeness, then drilled and a brass pin soldered through. This gives the semblance of the mounting bolts AND it serves as an anchor when attaching to the plastic body. You really don't want your lamp irons falling off.

Guard's "gate" - which shows better on the painted model. I used Plastikard and brass wire. It's a fiddle - you just have to accept that goods brake vans aren't the simplest animals!

Handrails - the hardest part I've saved till last: I used 0.4mm brass wire with long split pins in the middle, and soldered the T-joints. It's VERY fiddly and requires patience. Most people cop out by making lap-joints which, if you paint the handrails a dark colour, won't be so obvious. But if you choose a lighter shade, whether fresh white or a mucky version, the time spent getting the joints looking prototypical is really worth it. Note from the prototype pictures that the handrails weren't always painted white, they could be black, and in service, roofs soon became a dark shade of grey.


The end as finished. A grey livery is unforgiving (which is why I use grey primer to find faults before finishing a model) but the lovely detail and all your efforts during construction will be oh-so visible and enjoyable - and add a wonderful air of workmanlike realism to the model.


A side view of the finished model in BR grey livery, faded and weathered so gently that you can hardly tell. It's at this stage that the extra effort on the fittings really shows its worth. Transfers for tare weight were HMRS/PC Methfix (because they're easy to lay dead straight!) and for the running number on black, waterslide from Modelmaster Decals.


A picture to close with for now, taken c1938, showing 140535, a narrow plank version with RCH buffers and axleboxes. No sanding gear. The end shows quite well with the short steel T-section stanchions. I actually made some ends like this as a variant out of curiosity, before realising that it only seemed to apply to the narrow-plank version. It wasn't urgent so I put the project aside, hoping that more info would emerge in time. Peter Tatlow's "LNER Wagons 4B" should do the job. :)

LNER Toad E is here.

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