The Finishing Touches

With a great deal of time off during the Summer, I’ve thrown myself in to more goods stock for Cwm Prysor. The LMS vans I built several months ago, are now in Bauxite and two of them are now finished. I focussed on D1978 first, which was built from a Ratio body, Parkside under frame, with Lanarkshire Buffers, Vents and Vac Pipes. Screwlinks were made up from the Masokits etch.

As well as this van, another 16T has been through the works this week. I wanted to take it a little further than the last one, working from a photo from Trawsfynydd in 1959.


The more I have been looking through prototype photographs, the more I have felt my Van stock has been lacking that final little detail…. chalk markings. Just looking through the superb prototype section of Geoff Kent’s 4mm Wagon Volume 2, you can see a variety of scribbles all over the vans.

I’ve seen various methods for producing chalk markings, some more successful than others. It was on a google search I came across some convincing scribblings, and to my (not so much) surprise, it was the work of Ian Fleming. Ian had used a mapping pen with white ink which gave a rather nice result. A mapping pen and white ink were duly ordered via Amazon and arrived this morning. I practiced on some spare Van sides, before trying it out on D1978. I tried to pick locations local….and not so local seen as Vans are common user.



This older LMS van (D1676) you may remember from a previous blog post. I had worked from a photo in Geoff’s Book (Vol 2 again) and have based one side on the chalk markings (page 38). The other side I went for something a bit more local to the branch… 😉



Finally, and the latest van off the workbench is this, a BR Dia 1/204. The design of this is very much the last of LMS family, but was produced by BRITISH RAILWAYS. The model was produced from the old airfix body (now available by Dapol), a Parkside under frame, and again Lanarkshire Models for the detailing bits.

I wanted it to look different than D1976, so went for a far lighter approach. In my mind as a new build in 1950, it had been overhauled around 1956…so my model is probably 6 months-12 months after overhaul. Again I tried to give the chalk markings a local flavour as well as touch more distant.



So what is next? Well I would like to add the odd poster to some of these… not on everyone of them, but just enough to give a touch of variety and individualism. Overall this as been an enjoyable process once again, and hopefully will just add that little bit extra realism to the layout when it’s done. 🙂



The LMS Brigade


Like many things, variety is the spice of life as they say. I find that I go through phases of what I enjoy modelling. Occasionally I fancy working on a Pannier, other times rolling stock and currently, it’s vans that have my attention. I find Vans in particular interesting (I blame that Pennine chap!), in particular those of the former London Midland and Scottish Railway.

I think it’s the distinctive high sides and shallow roof profile that appeals. It’s just over a year since I built my first wagon kit, a Ratio LMS Van. It was a rewarding experience since the current RTR version is wrong (ex Mainline and currently in the Bachmann range).


Next up is something a bit different. The body is the old airfix model (now available from Dapol). It depicts a BR Dia 1/204 which although built by BR, is very much an LMS design. The under frame is Parkside Dundas’s PA16 chassis kit, buffer beam fabricated from Plasistruct channel, with Lanarkshire Models Buffers/Vac pipes and masokit screw links to finish. For more information on the subject of this conversion, check out Ian’s blog post on the LMS van varieties.


Next up is a Van I built just under a year ago (I think it was my second wagon build) and is a Cambrian Models kit. It represents  D1664, a modified Midland design. I only got around to painting this a month ago (during a batch session I painted a V16 Mink and Bachmann Toad). I intend to get this Van numbered up and weathered in the coming weeks. Construction wise it didn’t go together as easily as the Ratio van, although in some ways a challenging kit becomes that little bit more rewarding.


Finally, another Cambrian kit. and in this case it was the first corrugated ended van the LMS built I believe, a D1663. I have literally built this today and have the under frame detail to work on next. I’m going to build this as a fitted example, to be finished in Bauxite. Buffers are from Lanarkshire Models once again.


I’ve put a further order in for some more LMS vans from the Cambrian range, generally of the older diagrams. Meanwhile, I am also working on another Ratio Van with Parkside under frame. It’s a case of now is the time for getting the bulk of the goods stock underway, because once the Spring arrives and Cwm Prysor moves to it’s new home, layout work will be taking priority.

Van Vactory

An enjoyable time was had at the Thirsk Show last Sunday (even with some slight ribbing regarding my move to all things Western). In between demoing, I finished off some detailed work on this below, a Bachmann (ex Mainline) Mink.


Since I returned from the show, and after some enjoyable chats with David Scott regarding Wagons, I have thrown myself into a couple of Parkside kits. First up, a post war 12 ton LNER all ply van (dia 195).


An enjoyable and straightforward kit to go together. I will add Vac pipes shortly, couplings shall be added after painting.


Another Parkside kit, a earlier style Mink (built as a V16). I shall be weathering it similar to the prototype photographs depicted in Geoff Kent’s 4mm Wagons Book 2.

It’s a shame that nobody has produced a kit for V36, the plywood post war Mink. It is a van which I have photos of working on the Blaenau – Bala  Branch. It’s not urgently required, but I certainly would like to have a representation of this van at some point.

Finally, you will have noted a touch of tweaking to the blog. Special thanks to Tony Wright for initially taking the photo of my two 74s, and then the thanks has to go to Alan Buttler for converting it into a BR style banner. As far as I’m concerned, it looks the part 🙂