‘You Dirty Old Van!!’

It’s been an enjoyable past few weeks, going off on the work bench and modelling. I currently have a BR 20T unfitted Brake Van on the go (repainted and a few extra details) which I hope to have finished soon. Later today, I will be weathering a repainted BR exSR unfitted 12T van. Ian Fleming’s recommendation of Revell 76 has certainly brought out a better representation of unfitted grey. Before I talk about the V23 Van I have been working on, some layout news. I had decided I didn’t want to build a layout at home, that I couldn’t operate. If you have only one show a year…..it’s going to be a long year. I had been looking into a shed for Trawsfynydd to be built and operated, however at this moment in time, finances just aren’t going to stretch to it. The plan is if I can get another school to teach at (CVs at the ready) then it will be something I will see about next year. Don’t get me wrong, Trawsfynydd is still happening, and I’m writing a planning article for Railway Modellers shortly about it. In the meantime, realistically I have about 10 foot to play with, which is an ok size for an exhibition layout. For some reason I had always been drawn to one of the halts, about 8 miles from Trawsfynydd, nearer to Bala. Cwm Prysor was a halt, which had a crossing keepers cottage, as well as a level crossing. Up to 1951 there had been a signal cabin, with a loop designed for Military Traffic. Now my interested modelling period is 1955-1959, however for operational purposes I intend to keep the loop and signals in place, to allow more operational interest. The boards for Cwm Prysor will be ordered in a few months, and hopefully wired over the summer. Nice managable layout, which will live in the shed alongside Trawsfynydd. 1280px-Cwm_Prysor_station_(remains)_geograph-3117922-by-Ben-Brooksbank

Standing on the trackbed looking towards Bala at the former halt of Cwm Prysor (Ben Brooksbank used through creative commons act)

Back to rolling stock, I have been working on a ‘Mink A’ V23 12T Van. I had rushed and added screw links to the model (because it was in bauxite). It was then I found out through Ian Fleming and Nick Davies, that the first batch with shorter buffers (which my model was a depiction of) had instanter couplings. The second batch which had screw links, also had longer buffers. In for a penny in for a pound….why not! New buffers from Lanarkshire Models, new transfers from Cambridge Custom Transfers (bachmann’s were rather oversize) and some weathering later….here are the results.

_MG_7975 _MG_7976

One down….several to go!



4 thoughts on “‘You Dirty Old Van!!’

  1. Hi Tom,

    I think you are making a very wise decision in modelling something a little smaller prior to tackling Trawsfynydd as it means you will be able to get something up and running relatively quickly which does help maintain interest. On top of that those simple buildings and structures set in such a delightful setting, together with the small amount of track will provide plenty of interest and a chance to try new modelling techniques and ideas.

    The van looks very nice indeed and even more so coupled up to your Pannier so I’m looking forward to seeing the 20T brake completed. I must make a note of the Revell 76 for my own unfitted stock, that Mr Fleming certainly has the knack when it comes to painting and detailing goods stock 🙂


    • Thanks Geoff.
      I will admit, there are bits on Trawsfynydd that I’m not comfortable to do yet. I had been drawn to Cwm Prysor. It’s not so much the case now that the A4212 runs over this part of the track bed, but back in the days of the railway, it must have been a very lonely place….wild and bleak with that one the cottage the only house for miles.

      Our friend Andy Jones is kindly helping with plans for a lever frame, and 4mm cottage plan. 🙂

  2. Sounds like a really good idea Tom and I’m sure Trawsfynydd will be better for it! It looks like a nice little location to model which captures a lot of the lines bleak charm in a small setting. I can see those slates on the side of the crossing house rattling when your double headed Panniers stomp past 😉

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