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David Holman
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 Was going to add this to my workbench thread, but decided it might be interesting to open it out, not least because there have been so many interesting contributions during Lockdown. Essentially, I need at least a couple of new brake vans for Belmullet, mainly because I mostly have SLNCR types from Arigna Town. That said, I was fortunate to acquire three goods brakes from Castle Rackrent and these will form the start of my 1900s period. However, for my 1950s scene, I could do with something non-SLNCR as well, especially as Belmullet is deemed to be a blend of the latter, plus WL&W, MGW and GSR/CIE.

 So, what have I got? Well, as you can see from the photos, it is a slightly eclectic collection. First, there are examples of all the SLNCR types - two of the drovers' vans [2 & 3], plus road van number 5 and the more conventional double balconied No 6 - the latter with a badly warped roof you will no doubt see... I will probably split these so that two get used in the 1950s and two back dated to the early 1900s. One of Richard Chown's vans is a GS&WR 12 tonner. Its a bit battered, with pieces missing from the roof and balcony, plus a couple of broken steps. It is also rather dirty, so needs a fair bit of TLC. It is interesting though, in being mostly made from wood.

The other two vans are decidedly exotic in their maroon livery and salmon pink ends. As far as I can tell, they are ex Dublin & Meath. This railway was leased to the MGW in 1869 & absorbed in 1888, according to my Railway Atlas of Ireland by S. Maxwell Hajducki. Richard seems to have used both vans on Castle Rackrent as part of the 'mail goods', often with WL&W 0-6-0 Shannon in charge, so this is something I'd like to perpetuate. 

 Quite how he saw the two D&M brakes getting to Castle Rackrent is another matter and would certainly be interested to know a little more about them, both the models and the prototype. They are certainly broad of beam, being a scale 9'4" wide over the body.

 As for my own latest effort, this is an ex GS&WR ten ton brake. Had been hoping to do a MGW one, but don't currently have a drawing of any, apart from the 20 ton version and the curious drovers' types, which seem to be an enlarged version of the Sligo ones - or vice versa perhaps? Anyway, my 10 tonner comes from the old Model Railways article by Tim Cramer. This shows the 12 ton version, which Tim suggests is easily converted to the lighter type simply by reducing the wheelbase from 11' to 9'6.However, as Leslie's 4mm scale kit shows in our Irish Models section, the 10 tonner is substantially wood panelled, rather than the metal T section framing of its heavier sibling. You can see progress thus far in the final picture. However, and more questions yet,  what livery should it be for the 1950s? Photos of the model show it as clean, pale grey, with both GSWR and CIE insignia, which can't be right, can it?

 As for other types of goods brake, while the GNRI ones seem fairly well documented, it seems to me that information is a bit thin on the ground for the rest. For example, I have photo of one on the Courtmacsherry tramway, while as for WL&W types or indeed MGW, Ernie Shepherd's books aren't terribly forthcoming - just two paragraphs for the latter is all we get. 

 So, will await replies with interest and especially the D&Ms and my GSWR ten tonner!

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Some GSWR 12T brake van continued in service mainly on branch line duties into the 1970s, the older dark grey and GS(GSWR) lettering bled through on some wagons as the CIE grey weathered away.

The majority of Midland goods brakes were of the drovers caboose type with raised cupola up to the introduction of more modern 20T brakes in the early 1920s. 

The 1874 type (complete with wooden brake blocks) appears to have remained in service up to the late 1930s, there is also an 1890 type similar in general styling to the horsebox and fish/meat van with the framing hidden by exterior planking and cover slips I am not aware of a drawing of photo of this type in the public domain. There was a later 1912 6w 20T type with the drovers compartment sandwitched between a guards compartment at each end.

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I don't know too much about Dublin & Meath rolling stock, its possible some of the locos and stock were sold to the Ennis & Athenry when the Midland took over working of the Meath Line, or Richard may simply have liked the look of the van.  A Cork Macroom Direct Railway wagon operated on Castlerackrent although that railway operated in splendid isolation from the Irish railway network for most of its existence. The availability of original builders drawings from UK museums and libraries seems to have influenced Richard Chown's decision to model the WLWR rather than the Midland, despite a lot of prompting from Padraic O'Cuimin.

The Ennis and Athenry was  a bit like a more successful Bishops Castle Railway, forced to work its own line with second hand equipment after negotiations with the Midland fell through, then taking on the operation of the Athenry and Tuam line ultimately to be rescued by the Waterford & Limerick with Great Western support.

Edited by Mayner
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The Bishops Castle Railway always has me salivating, not least because it was SO decrepit, while the track plan at Lydham Heath is another favourite and superbly done by Barry Norman in S, of course. As for the beautiful Carlisle, was there a prettier 0-6-0? Shannon comes close for me, but then I'm somewhat biased.

 Meanwhile, those MGW vans were quite something. Shame there are not many photos of them.

Edited by David Holman
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Here's a threo

Left to right: Provincial Wagons kit CIE ex-GSWR 10 ton, IFM RTR 3D CIE 30 ton modern'ish era brake van, kit bashed tri-ang into a sort of CIE flying snail era ex-GSWR brake van. I have three chassis for the final wagon, the one in the pic, one with step boards, and one with a plough. I'm a fan of brake vans and the era they were employed. A goods train without a punctuating brake van at the end seems like a sentence without a full stop at the end, or a broken pencil - pointless. :) Fun doodling with these during CV-19

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Edited by Noel
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GSWR 10 ton brake

 After many months of layout building - scenics, electrics, buildings, back scenes and the like - I finally decided to turn my hand to some rolling stock. In an ideal world, I should be making some signals, but parts are not available at the moment. However, in the world of model railways, there is always something else to do.

 It must be months since I last made any broad gauge rolling stock, so a brake van seemed a good place to start. Having spent so long doing other stuff, perhaps unsurprisingly the hardest bit was knowing where to start. A simple box van would have been easier - a floor, two sides, two ends and some strapping - but the GSWR 10 ton brake also has a veranda each end, so working out how to incorporate these led to a fair bit of head scratching. Salvation came in the posts covering Leslie's 4mm scale resin kits and I largely followed the way the parts are arranged.

 Construction was fairly conventional:

  • a base of 80thou Plastikard, with sides of 40 thou sheet, scribed for 7" planks
  • Strapping is all 80thou square strip
  • W irons are white metal castings, but with the springs filed away and replaced with longer plastic ones - though they are still probably a bit too short.
  • Buffers also white metal, while brakes are Slater's plastic blocks on nickel silver wire.
  • Roof is 20thou plastic sheet

 The model was initially sprayed in Halford's grey primer, then hand lettered in white ink using a fine nibbed dipping pen. Once this was dry, the GSWR lettering was scrubbed away with a fibreglass brush. After weathering was applied, first with a dilute wash of Humbrol gunmetal, matt black and bauxite, followed by judicious use of weathering powders. Wheels and brakes got an undiluted weathering mix, while the roof is 'roof dirt' from Precision. 

 Guess the whole project has taken about 15 - 20 hours over the last week. Have included pics of a GSWR 12 ton van from Castle Rackrent for comparison.

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Edited by David Holman
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Lovely model David, what did you base the plans on if you don't mind me asking?

Is this another Alphagraphix card base converted into plastic or do you have the source drawing?

Edited by Angus
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1 hour ago, David Holman said:

GSWR 10 ton brake

 After many months of layout building - scenics, electrics, buildings, back scenes and the like - I finally decided to turn my hand to some rolling stock. In an ideal world, I should be making some signals, but parts are not available at the moment. However, in the world of model railways, there is always something else to do.

 It must be months since I last made any broad gauge rolling stock, so a brake van seemed a good place to start. Having spent so long doing other stuff, perhaps unsurprisingly the hardest bit was knowing where to start. A simple box van would have been easier - a floor, two sides, two ends and some strapping - but the GSWR 10 ton brake also has a veranda each end, so working out how to incorporate these led to a fair bit of head scratching. Salvation came in the posts covering Leslie's 4mm scale resin kits and I largely followed the way the parts are arranged.

 Construction was fairly conventional:

  • a base of 80thou Plastikard, with sides of 40 thou sheet, scribed for 7" planks
  • Strapping is all 80thou square strip
  • W irons are white metal castings, but with the springs filed away and replaced with longer plastic ones - though they are still probably a bit too short.
  • Buffers also white metal, while brakes are Slater's plastic blocks on nickel silver wire.
  • Roof is 20thou plastic sheet

 The model was initially sprayed in Halford's grey primer, then hand lettered in white ink using a fine nibbed dipping pen. Once this was dry, the GSWR lettering was scrubbed away with a fibreglass brush. After weathering was applied, first with a dilute wash of Humbrol gunmetal, matt black and bauxite, followed by judicious use of weathering powders. Wheels and brakes got an undiluted weathering mix, while the roof is 'roof dirt' from Precision. 

 Guess the whole project has taken about 15 - 20 hours over the last week. Have included pics of a GSWR 12 ton van from Castle Rackrent for comparison.

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Fantastic results, David, this should certainly get you back into the rolling stock groove! Lookingforward to seeing your next build.

Kind regards,

Mark

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10 hours ago, Angus said:

Lovely model David, what did you base the plans on if you don't mind me asking?

Is this another Alphagraphix card base converted into plastic or do you have the source drawing?

It's a bit of a hybrid, Angus. A Tim Cramer drawing, given to me by Andy Cundick, was the basis. Changed the wheel base to 9'6 then used a combination of Richard Chown's model, photos and the posts about Leslie's kit to make a drawing. Hence can't vouch for total fidelity, but hopefully it captures the look of the prototype. Will post my drawing later.

 Next project is an H van, using a Tyrconnel chassis to get the soldering skills (such as they are), up and running, prior to making a start on my new J18/19 kit. Managed to source wheels and axles from Slaters without any problems, plus one of Premier Models excellent motor gear boxes too. However, now waiting for a new tip for my 100 watt iron. Come on Eileen's!

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  • 1 month later...

MGWR 12 ton Glasshouse Brake

 Another new project already! I seem to have got into a bit of a groove at the moment, while the downturn in the weather has made the workshop more habitable of late. Many thanks to those who have offered advice on the prototype & I've managed to produce a basic line drawing from photos and sketches. The model is being built from plastic sheet and strip, with white metal fittings, following ideas in the late David Jenkinson's book, 'Carriage Modelling Made Easy'. Basically, you make an inner shell from 40 thou plastic sheet [with larger holes for glazing], then overlay the detail with 20 thou, which is much easier to work with. 

 A couple of pictures show initial progress.

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David

Really lovely to see the two GSWR brakes together and what super models.

When I sought out a CIE brake to do which no-one else had done, I saw Andy's Valentia Harbour and just loved the antiquity of his 10ton brake on the layout, hence the kit Provincial Wagons did for the "little boys" (ie 4mm to foot)!

As Richie had kindly helped with drawings of both the 12ton and 10ton jobs, Michael and I had a dilemma as to which one to do - the channelling on the 12ton version made it look a bit harder, so we opted for the 10 ton version. But hasn't the revered Richard done a lovely job on his van? Yours compliments it in every way. Congratulations!

A super pair to have - can't wait to see them in operation!

(Oh, by the way, the PROVINCIAL WAGONS kit just happens to be still available from me!).

Leslie

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Progress with the 'Glasshouse' has been far from smooth too - literally in fact: I was was way too liberal with the solvent when adding the outer side to the  core. The former is only 20thou, so hands up those of you who have plastic sheet warped and melted from the inside - I really ought to know better! Needless to say, an order for some Limonene is well overdue...

 So, a new side had to be made and then it was a case of getting busy with the microstrip. I've used 40 x 20 thou for the main beading on the sides and 20x20 round the windows. Internally, the partitions should help support the roof, while the seats are very basic benches - I'm assuming that comfort was in short supply in these vehicles.

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For a major company, details of MGWR liveries for vans and goods vehicles are surprisingly scarce. 

Some sources suggest guards vans as being standard wagon grey, albeit a much darker shade than in GSR times. It is likely that this WAS the case in later years. 

However, other sources suggest a “sand” colour. From what I gather, this may be either plain wrong, or possibly confined to maintenance vehicles like plough vans (not used in normal traffic).

Many sources suggest green for goods brakes, or brake vans which contain some passenger accommodation. It occurred to me last night that Cyril Fry might be a source of info on this, and here it is.

Not everything that Fry did is correct livery-wise, though most is. I am inclined to believe, however, that there’s no reason to think this is inaccurate - a very dark green, darker even than the UTA shade:

 

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The plain brown interior, much like loco cab interior, will be noted.

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  • 1 month later...

After a month or so, have been able to get back to the MGWR 'Glasshouse' brake van. With a 12'6 chassis, it seemed appropriate to make it compensated on the model. Digging through my spares boxes, I was pleased to find what appeared to be several units, though one of them turned out to be for a 6w coach: I think they came from Richard Chown's estate. Either way, it was a simple job to set them up, though the 3'1 wagon wheels seem rather small, albeit correct.

 The rest of the chassis proved quite challenging:

  • My spares box proved fruitless in terms of W-irons with suitably sized springs, so I had to cobble them together by chopping off the springs from some standard white metal castings and substituting springs made from plastic. Sadly, they don't have individual leaves on them, but hopefully this will eventually not notice under a coat of grime.
  • I also needed to make up 8 spring hangers from wire and plastic rod/strip. A bit  crude, but the previous comments apply here too.
  • Then there was the brake gear! No problem re brake shoes, which I fixed to some 60 thou square strip, but the linkage proved interesting and it took a while to work it out from the drawing I had. Once again, it is mostly representational and certainly more chunky than the prototype, but will be partially hidden behind the footboards, so hopefully passes muster with the obligatory heavy weathering.

 Buffers are white metal castings and then it was time for the paint shop. Halfords rattle can primer is the base colour, then hand lettered using a dipping pen and white ink. However, whether the prototype ever wore GSR livery is debatable. Mr jhbachill thinks these vans would not have survived for long after the closure of the western branch lines they were built for. However, my Belmullet branch is assumed to have lasted into the 1950s, so at least one might have been kept for this line. Hence, the dark MGWR livery has been replaced with grey, though is now at least 15-20 years since a repaint, so will get a fair bit of weathering.

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The glasshouse brake is almost finished now. Over the last couple of days have added the glazing & then the main & lookout roofs, followed by a coat of grime for the underframe.  The latter is the usual mix of matt black, bauxite [133] and gunmetal [53]. This was also used as part of the weathering process for the body.

 Martyn Welch's bible on the the subject gives a highly detailed stage by stage approach, but takes several days and is best used if you have several vehicles to weather. When I'm doing just a single van, I use the following:

  • apply a thinned coat of the weathering mix, starting at the sole bars and thinned even more going up the body
  • After, while the paint is still wet, use a new, dry brush and stipple the paint until it is pretty much dry, wiping the brush on paper towel front time to time.
  • This helps to avoid the staining marks you get from just using 'dirty thinners'
  • The ends were dry brushes with weathering mix to simulate the spray marks from the wheels
  • Leave for an hour and then get to work with weathering powders. I use a bauxite powder for the chassis, particularly around the springs and brake shoes, with various shades of grey elsewhere
  • The roof was given two coats of Precision 'roof dirt' and then dusted with more weathering powders to soften it a little

 So, there we are, another brake added to the roster. Will post some pictures of how it fits in the overall scene on the Belmullet thread.

 

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Thanks Ken, and everyone. Have done hand lettering for a while now . Started with a white gel pen, but soon graduated to an old fashioned dipping pen and white acrylic ink. Looks ok, provided you don't get too close, though recent use of transfers has shown I am not as neat as I'd like! At least most lettering on Irish railways is fairly simple - just a shame you can't get Letraset anymore. Used it in my first Sligo vans and it was ideal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi David

Is that one of the brake van ? coach? called drovers vans.

That looks great

For a minute there I thought you where building something akin to the Hornby Dublo caboose basicaly a UK / Irish brake van with a cupola on it

and nearly made the silly suggestion of painting it red

regards John

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 14/9/2020 at 8:02 AM, David Holman said:

MGWR John. Scroll up to see origins, but yes, 'tis a drover's van. The Sligo had a couple too.

The GNR had a few also, some with quite a long wheelbase. CIE had an old long-wheelbase crew van of some sort on lifting trains in the late 1950s, which was of GSWR origin. While elusive photograph-wise, such images as I have seen of it suggest that it might originally have been built as a drovers van, although other sources suggest it was purpose-built as a crew van. If I can find a suitable pic I will post.

Brake vans, like cattle wagons, are a much-ignored subject, worthy of a book of their own. (Any takers?)

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