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Kit-bashed GWR light dray


Mikkel

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I've been finalising a batch of horse-drawn vehicles for Farthing. First one done is a light one-horse dray – or trolley, as the GWR called them. It's of a type that some GWR drawings refer to as the “Birmingham pattern”. There was a variety of designs of this type from the 1890s onwards, but the main distinguishing feature was the front-mounted protective tarp, and a carter’s box seat beneath it. The name shouldn't be taken too literally. Photos and drawings show that they were widely distributed around the system, including at e.g. Slough and Ilfracombe.

 

I’ve previously scratchbuilt another Birmingham pattern vehicle, but that took ages so this time I decided to modify a generic Dart Castings kit (ref L45). I found a drawing in 'GWR Horsepower' which is a reasonable fit, give or take a mm here and there. The following photos show the main steps.

 

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I initially fitted bolections to the sides, but later dispensed with them (see below). Probably shouldn't have.

 

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The carter was composed of a Langley body and head from the Andrew Stadden range.

 

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The horse is from Dart Castings. The subtle colouring of our equine friends is hard to capture, I find. Here I tried dry brushing lighter colours on a dark base, i.e. white from below and light brown from above. Works OK in close-up, but once on the layout you can’t really tell the difference!

 

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The tarp on these vehicles could be pulled back and draped over the load in case of rain. I folded it from a spare Smiths tarp, cut to size.

 

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A central box seat was made for the carter. It's a bit lower than it should be, to accommodate his short legs.

 

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Lettering is always a problem for company vehicles. I first used coach lettering off the HMRS sheet as per my earlier model of this type, but wasn’t happy with the result - and the font isn’t right anyway.

 

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After much back and forth I had a "modeller's fit", ripped off the bolections, and fitted a simple printed side. It’s not ideal, next time I’ll make my own transfers. Fortunately, photos show much variety in lettering style in the 1900s. The fine chain is from Cambrian, great stuff and still available from H&A Models.

 

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The new trolley posed next to my earlier model on the left, which shews a different type of headboard (and no box for the driver, must get roundtuit). The scratchbuilt one has more character I think – but the kitbashed one was a lot quicker!

 

I'll leave it there for now, these entries are becoming too long and unwieldy! More on the other vehicles shortly.

 

 

Edited by Mikkel

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Mikkel, as one has come to expect from you another lovely model, exquisitely finished.  I look forward to further installations as I for one can't get enough of your equine exploits :-)

 

Ian

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Mikkel,

Another lovely build.  I like the horse with his bucket at the back.  Would they have had a nosebag hung underneath the cart or would the journeys been too short?  If I ever get that far I intend to model at least one horse with a nosebag.

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Mikkel, i am shocked :O  "give or take a mm here and there" - do you realise that's 3 inches in full size!!! No wonder the carter is looking grumpy, especially as he's a bit sensitive about his short legs.

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Lovely Mikkel! Good to see “Horse Drawn Weekly” is still in publication!:-)

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I like your approach on this horse drawn cart, especially the driver. Gives me some ideas about the Hansom Cab of Langley I have to model.

The result is very good. Love to see them on one of your Farthing scenes.

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Agree with Dave - the horses look so natural in pose and colour. But it is the carter that steals it for me - the detail of his face is incredible. I quite liked the first lot of lettering by the way. Brilliant craftsmanship as usual. Can we have another Farthing episode soon - you must have quite a cast of characters by now.

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Mikkel, as one has come to expect from you another lovely model, exquisitely finished.  I look forward to further installations as I for one can't get enough of your equine exploits :-)

 

Ian

 

Thanks Ian, I see you've got a 2 wheel parcels vehicle (?) in the Modbury forecourt. Incidentally my interest in GWR vehicles was triggered many years ago by Jerry Clifford's exquisite 2mm models, great stuff. 

 

Mikkel,

Another lovely build.  I like the horse with his bucket at the back.  Would they have had a nosebag hung underneath the cart or would the journeys been too short?  If I ever get that far I intend to model at least one horse with a nosebag.

 

Thanks Chris, I have fitted a nosebag to a horse (will post later) - but not a vehicle. Now that you mention it I remember there was a discussion about that. I can't recall seeing a photo from the GWR but must check! 

 

Mikkel, i am shocked :O  "give or take a mm here and there" - do you realise that's 3 inches in full size!!! No wonder the carter is looking grumpy, especially as he's a bit sensitive about his short legs.

 

Hi Mike - that made me laugh out loud :-)  The exact dimensions would matter more to me if it was a railway wagon, which of course is completely hypocritical!

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Lovely Mikkel! Good to see “Horse Drawn Weekly” is still in publication!:-)

 

Thanks Dave, yes between us I think we can get that esteemed journal going for a while! In fact there ought to be an RMweb thread on the topic...

 

I like your approach on this horse drawn cart, especially the driver. Gives me some ideas about the Hansom Cab of Langley I have to model.

The result is very good. Love to see them on one of your Farthing scenes.

 

Thank you Job, the Hansom cab sounds interesting. Did it come with one of the Langley carter figures? The body of those are among the best I have seen for carters, but the head looks a bit too much like a bulldog I think!  

 

Very good, I do like the natural look of the horses too. 

 

Thanks Dave, the pose of those horses are quite nicely done by Dart Castings, although I did file the hooves down on the new one as it had that high-heeled tap-dancing look that some model horses have :-)

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Agree with Dave - the horses look so natural in pose and colour. But it is the carter that steals it for me - the detail of his face is incredible. I quite liked the first lot of lettering by the way. Brilliant craftsmanship as usual. Can we have another Farthing episode soon - you must have quite a cast of characters by now.

 

Hi Mike, yes I agree that this face is one of Andrew Stadden's best. It comes on a sprue in one of his footplate crew packets. Funny you should mention the original lettering - looking at the photos now I actually prefer that too. D'oh!

 

Yes I have enough figures now! The stories will be a while though, as we are packing the house and moving to a flat.  Hopefully the current layout will be up and running in a month or two (optimistic, me?) when we're settled in.

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Mikkel

 

As ever your work is just stunning, all I need to do now, it to get you to convert to N gauge and just make stuff for me :)

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Hi Mike - that made me laugh out loud :-)  The exact dimensions would matter more to me if it was a railway wagon, which of course is completely hypocritical!

I'm relieved you saw my sense of humour.  In case of any doubt, I agree with all the other comments that it is a beautiful model.  I confess, also, that I'm struggling with tolerances on my Broad Gauge models and hoping that some filler will disguise some yawning gaps :)

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Mikkel

 As ever your work is just stunning, all I need to do now, it to get you to convert to N gauge and just make stuff for me :)

 

Thanks Paul, we have a  deal provided you build me some GWR saddle tank locos in N :-)  

 

There are lots of omissions on this wagon though, reins and chains being the most noticeable. I have done it previously but the models become very difficult to move, which I want to do when cleaning/moving the layout. So for the time being I have left such things off. Kevin's superb model here shows what can be done:  http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/130779-not-another-one/

 

I'm relieved you saw my sense of humour.  In case of any doubt, I agree with all the other comments that it is a beautiful model.  I confess, also, that I'm struggling with tolerances on my Broad Gauge models and hoping that some filler will disguise some yawning gaps :)

Thank you Mike, there's nothing like a bit of filler to help set the world straight. I hope we get to see some more of your BG work soon? Doesn't have to be major progress, I think.

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Thanks Ian, I see you've got a 2 wheel parcels vehicle (?) in the Modbury forecourt. Incidentally my interest in GWR vehicles was triggered many years ago by Jerry Clifford's exquisite 2mm models, great stuff. 

 

I have indeed got a Shire Scenes Delivery Van for Modbury, I don't think it is actually a GWR vehicle so I painted it up to (hopefully) look like it's being run by a local - a look in any of the old trade directories of the 19th/early 20th Centuries shows that there were a few hauliers/carters in most towns.  It's a lovely (but delicate) little kit, and I have a couple of other kits in the range to make up at some time.  The problem with 2mm scale is that the castings for horses and people generally leave an awful lot to be desired.  

Being suitably inspired by your work, I have just ordered a copy of Janet Russell's "Great Western Horse Power", and hope to provide Modbury with one or two scratch built GWR vans/trolleys/drays soon.

 

Ian

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Hi Ian, that's good to hear. I look forward to seeing the models. Perhaps Modelu can help with 2mm horses and carters?

 

I'm sure you'll enjoy "GW Horse Power", it is well worth the money I think. A little muddled perhaps, but lots of delightful details. 

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What a useful short thread this is. I am just assembling the Dart casting so it’s really helpful.

My wife drives such things and notes that the carts are not pulled by the two shafts but rather by traces attached to the chest strap on the horse. These are modelled on the castings of the horse but rarely do we see the two chains continue behind the horse to the cart itself.

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Hi Andy, your wife is fortunate, it must be very satisfying to have the skills to drive them. 

 

On my first model of a horse-drawn vehicle I did add the chains (rather heavy ones, see below), but it soon became clear that it just isn't practical for me to have them - or even reins - as I have to disassemble my layouts after use (often several times a week). 

 

I look forward to seeing your horsedrawn wagon, we can never get enough of them!

 

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There's more about that build here:

 

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
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1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

Hi Andy, your wife is fortunate, it must be very satisfying to have the skills to drive them. 

 

On my first model of a horse-drawn vehicle I did add the chains (rather heavy ones, see below), but it soon became clear that it just isn't practical for me to have them - or even reins - as I have to disassemble my layouts after use (often several times a week). 

 

I look forward to seeing your horsedrawn wagon, we can never get enough of them!

 

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There's more about that build here:

 

 

 

Those chains look very good (my local expert much approves!) - how did you fix the mounting loop to the horse? Is it on a pin, or soldered perhaps?

I plan to fix my horse and cart down permanently so will see if I can manage the chains but agree the reigns are impossible in 4mm.

Currently painting the castings up - I have decided to go for a farmer's cart rather than a GWR variant and to load it with old fashioned conical milk churns.

I am also waiting on parts for my stable block so will post about that in due course.

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The management and I have been doing further research on traces for horses and carts. It seems some rigs with a single horse have very short traces that DO pull via the shafts:

https://shop.wadworth.co.uk/page/what-is-a-dray
Not that the rigs she drives are like that. On this photo there is an large staple in the top of the shaft that the chains fix to. This looks to be what the Dart casting shafts are modelled on and this will be simpler to represent so I shall attempt that solution!

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Thanks Andy and management. That's a lovely dray in the photo.

 

IIRC I fixed the chains by cutting the end link so that it formed a U, and then inserting that in drilled holes in the horse. The chain in the photo is a little overscale though, finer versions can now be had - e.g. from Cambrian, although it is not cheap: https://www.cambrianmodelrail.co.uk/store/C307-Fine-Chain-p95203817

 

For reins, I have seen some good results on here using fuse wire. If the model is fixed in place that would look good, I think.

 

Edited by Mikkel
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Very nice. Nice touch with the "chest"/box used by drivers to sit on - can't remember if it has a name?

 

Speaking of driver positions - one of my favourite period videos is a good study in those, it deserves being shown again:

 

 

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