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GWR horse-drawn trolley

Mikkel

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blog-0059966001391358834.jpgHere’s another horse-drawn vehicle for my goods depot, this time a scratchbuilt light trolley in the GWR’s “Birmingham” style. The model was built from styrene and bits in my spares box, with wheels bought in from Langley.

 

Drawings and photos suggest that there was a bewildering amount of detail variation within this basic type. I based my model on a drawing on page 241 of P. Kelley's "Great Western Road Vehicles", which was built in several lots. Another almost identical version can be seen on page 243 of the same volume. Various photos of the trolleys in action at Hockley can be seen here, although my particular version is closer to one depicted at Slough on page 38 of "GWR Goods Services" Part 2A.

 

 

 

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The vehicles had a protective canvas cover over the driver which could be extended backwards over the load in wet weather. The canvas was held by hoops over the seat, which – unlike many other goods delivery vehicles – seem to have been permanently fitted. In typical old-world fashion, these otherwise mundane vehicles had moulded panels along the sides. I fashioned the latter from strips of Evergreen - could've done with a Silhouette cutter there!

 

 

 

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The wheels were a bit of a problem. The closest I could find were Langley’s 12mm wheels. These are 0.9 mm too small and have 11 spokes where they should have 12. In the end I compromised and used them. If I find better wheels I'll replace them. The springs are modified leftovers from Coopercraft wagon kits.

 

 

 

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The fore carriage and shafts were a nice little puzzle to build. The drawing does not clearly show the type of shafts used. The GWR used several varieties, with designs becoming simpler over the years. To cut a long story short, I chose the graceful “curvy” style of the earlier types.

 

 

 

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Main parts assembled and ready for painting.

 

 

 

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Lettering presented the usual problem when you need non-standard sizes. Photos of trolleys from the 1900s show some with serif lettering, some with sans serifs. Some have numbers at the front, others at the rear. I eventually used HMRS Hawksworth coach lettering (!), which is a compromise but not too far off for sans serif lettering. I've only just noticed the broken spoke - a fault in the casting it seems.

 

 

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The weather sheet fitted. Again there was variety on the prototypes. On some vehicles the sheet extended all the way down over the sides, on others it stopped short above the deck. The sheet was fashioned from a wagon tarpaulin from the Smiths range, turned over to hide the lettering.

 

 

 

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Final detailing included adding a few bits of this fine chain which I've only recently discovered. It is imported by Cambrian Models and has the great advantage of being pre-blackened. It is 33 links per inch, and can be obtained from Cambrian themselves or by internet order from H&A Models (I have no connection to either).

 

 

 

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For horse power, I chose the recently introduced "feathered" Vanner from Dart, seen here on the left together with a mate from Shirescenes for comparison. As always with figures, I prefer relaxed/calm poses - and I liked the way the Vanner was bending its head down. The bucket was fashioned from bits in the spares box. Keeping draught horses in good shape was taken very seriously, and photos show them both feeding and drinking while waiting at goods depots (eg here).

 

 

 

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So that's about it. It's been interesting to scratchbuild this vehicle and thereby learn about the design of these vehicles. Sometimes doing a small project like this can bring as much satisfaction (and challenge!) as a whole layout, I think.

 

 

 

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For a couple of other scratchbuilt GWR horse-drawn vehicles, see Jerry Clifford's lovely little vehicles, and Beachcomber Bob's dray here on RMweb.

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Very atmospheric views, Mikkel.

 

I particularly like the horse, with its head down in the bucket, and the way you have fashioned the weather sheet.  On the subject of lettering, did you look if there was anything in 2mm scale ranges?.

 

I feel that scratch-building is the way to go for these vehicles.  The construction is generally fairly simple and plastic card and rod provide very good representation of the wooden construction of the real thing.  Somehow, white metal or brass don't seem 'right'.

 

Now you just need to build another dozen or so, to create the type of scene shown in your recent video posts!

 

Mike

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I love it Mikkel.

 

I have loads of photographs I took when at Tiverton museum when I visited last year as I would like to build several different types sometime, one in particular is a preachers wagon based in that area with a variant spelling of my family name.

 

This again is inspirational for me to have a go later, it is also one of the reasons for that little wheelbarrow I made.

 

I think I might copy your one above though, it's superb.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

Jim

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Magnificent work Mikkel - Lovely project and the folded tarpaulin sheets looks brilliant :good:

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Very atmospheric views, Mikkel.

 

I particularly like the horse, with its head down in the bucket, and the way you have fashioned the weather sheet.  On the subject of lettering, did you look if there was anything in 2mm scale ranges?.

 

I feel that scratch-building is the way to go for these vehicles.  The construction is generally fairly simple and plastic card and rod provide very good representation of the wooden construction of the real thing.  Somehow, white metal or brass don't seem 'right'.

 

Now you just need to build another dozen or so, to create the type of scene shown in your recent video posts!

 

Mike

 

Hi Mike, yes good point about the 2mm lettering - I actually ordered some a while ago but the seller was out of stock so I got impatient and just went ahead! But I do need some, also for a couple of my good wagons which need smaller italics.

 

I swear I'm not building a dozen of these!

 

I've only just seen your latest post on the Scale Link kit, will read it later today. Looks intricate!

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  • Superb. Now if you can market it as a kit, I would have several.  

 

 

Thanks Steve, actually I think you have a point. There aren't really any state of the art kits for horse-drawn company vehicles, are there? Well, the Scale Link passenger ones that Mike is trying out, but nothing for goods delivery I think? Plenty of coal drays but few company ones. Maybe a way to go for one of the small manufacturers?  

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I love it Mikkel.

 

I have loads of photographs I took when at Tiverton museum when I visited last year as I would like to build several different types sometime, one in particular is a preachers wagon based in that area with a variant spelling of my family name.

 

This again is inspirational for me to have a go later, it is also one of the reasons for that little wheelbarrow I made.

 

I think I might copy your one above though, it's superb.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

Jim

 

Hi Jim, thanks, I would love to see you having a go at one of these. You could make use of your new wheel-building technique. Just remember to keep it away from the vacuum cleaner though! :-) 

 

One problem with this vehicle was the lack of a good close-up shot (well at least I couldn't find any), and the multiple detail variations seen in photos. But the drawing I referred to is OK, and I do like the design.

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Magnificent work Mikkel - Lovely project and the folded tarpaulin sheets looks brilliant :good:

 

Thanks Pete :-)  I also like how the tarpaulin turned out, although anyone building a similar vehicle should choose a particular prototype pic to work from, as the tarps seem to have differed in length and width. Maybe it was just ad hoc which ones were fitted to which vehicles.

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Just wonderful. An other little jewel from your hand.

Your depot will be amazing when all your excellent wagons are in place.

Looking forward to picture of the wagon in your depot. 

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What a lovely model! So much better than the standard offerings from proprietary manufacturers. I also really like the muted, subdued colours that you've used to paint it in. Those pictures of Hockley are wonderful, so much period detail to inspire a modeller!

 

I'm really enjoying these recent horse drawn projects of yours, keep them coming!

 

Dave

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Mikkel,

 

What a lovely little model!!  Completely agree with everything Dave said.  Funnily enough I've been looking at the WarwickshireRailways site over the last couple of days - not for horse drawn vehicles though, I've been looking for images showing 4 wheel coaching stock, and that site has so many good period photos that show a wealth of interesting detail that it seemed a good place to look.

 

Ian

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Just wonderful. An other little jewel from your hand.

Your depot will be amazing when all your excellent wagons are in place.

Looking forward to picture of the wagon in your depot. 

 

Thanks Job. This afternoon I have placed the new vehicle in the little yard behind the goods depot. I'd like to show a photo but I can't seem to get good photos of the layout at the moment. Something to do with the lighting, I think. I have changed to energy-saving bulbs and they give too much contrast and strange colours in photos. Changing the white balance doesn't help much. Must sort that out.

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Most of it has been said you have modelled it beautifully. I do like the horse bending to eat . I remember as a boy horses would have a nosebag with food but would have to lower it to the ground to eat the bottom part.

Don

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What a lovely model! So much better than the standard offerings from proprietary manufacturers. I also really like the muted, subdued colours that you've used to paint it in. Those pictures of Hockley are wonderful, so much period detail to inspire a modeller!

 

I'm really enjoying these recent horse drawn projects of yours, keep them coming!

 

Dave

 

Hi Dave, thanks - yes the Hockley photos on the Warwickshire site are very inspiring. Many of them were printed in a series of articles in GWRJ some years ago. Most are from the 20s and 30s but there are a few earlier ones.

 

Might try another scratchbuilt vehicle, but don't hold your breath as I find it pretty time consuming! 

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Absolutely first class

 

Thanks John. I can't show as much progress as you can on Worseter, but am taking one small step at the time! 

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Mikkel,

 

What a lovely little model!!  Completely agree with everything Dave said.  Funnily enough I've been looking at the WarwickshireRailways site over the last couple of days - not for horse drawn vehicles though, I've been looking for images showing 4 wheel coaching stock, and that site has so many good period photos that show a wealth of interesting detail that it seemed a good place to look.

 

Ian

 

Hi Ian, glad you like it. I agree, the Warwickshire site always has something to offer - also on pregrouping. It must be a huge job to build up that site. Where you looking for 4-wheelers to build maybe? 

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"Sometimes doing a small project like this can bring as much satisfaction (and challenge!) as a whole layout ... "

 

I couldn't agree more:

I often find myself getting lost for days at a time on unplanned treks into the internet discovering worlds within worlds around obscure subjects I'd never realised could be so absorbing.

 

But that aside: Your time researching has certainly paid-off - what a sublime model. It certainly has an authenticity about it. Very impressive.

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Most of it has been said you have modelled it beautifully. I do like the horse bending to eat . I remember as a boy horses would have a nosebag with food but would have to lower it to the ground to eat the bottom part.

Don

 

Hello Don, yes I have seen some nice photos of horses doing just that. I did consider modelling a nosebag, but was considered it would look strange in model form! So I went for the safe option of a bucket this time. It seems GWR carters were instructed to have buckets on the goods delivery vehicles to make sure there was always water for the horses. They seemed to hang off a hook on the front of the vehicles.

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"Sometimes doing a small project like this can bring as much satisfaction (and challenge!) as a whole layout ... "

 

I couldn't agree more:

I often find myself getting lost for days at a time on unplanned treks into the internet discovering worlds within worlds around obscure subjects I'd never realised could be so absorbing.

 

But that aside: Your time researching has certainly paid-off - what a sublime model. It certainly has an authenticity about it. Very impressive.

 

Hi Southernboy, thanks. Yes it's amazing how much there is to explore in railway modelling (and on the internet in general!). Even the same single photo can reveal different things depending on what you're looking for.

 

I find it can also be a bit frustrating though, because often the depth of knowledge we can find isn't quite enough. These horsedrawn vehicles, for example, there are hundreds of photos and a couple of specialist books, but no detailed and systematic description going through the historical development of horse-drawn vehicle designs. I suppose the detailed info must exist though, in the GWR's archives.

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Hi Ian, glad you like it. I agree, the Warwickshire site always has something to offer - also on pregrouping. It must be a huge job to build up that site. Where you looking for 4-wheelers to build maybe? 

Mikkel,

 

I have a set of 2mm scale Worsley Works coaches - diagrams T51, S9, U4 & T47 (just body kits), for which I have taken delivery of a set of 19'0" and 18'0" wheelbase under frames that will suit produced by a 2mm Scale Association member.  I have been trying to find some suitable photographs (especially of the brake thirds - a U4 (compo) and S9 (all third) have both been preserved at Didcot).  I have also begun scouring my library ;-)

 

Ian

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Brilliant perhaps you should convert to N gauge and manufacture a few of these marvellous models and perhaps a few spares might end up on a layout quite close to me

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I can't add much to what's already been said but it's a real credit to you.Your modelling skills are outstanding.

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Mikkel,

 

I have a set of 2mm scale Worsley Works coaches - diagrams T51, S9, U4 & T47 (just body kits), for which I have taken delivery of a set of 19'0" and 18'0" wheelbase under frames that will suit produced by a 2mm Scale Association member.  I have been trying to find some suitable photographs (especially of the brake thirds - a U4 (compo) and S9 (all third) have both been preserved at Didcot).  I have also begun scouring my library ;-)

 

Ian

 

Hi Ian, that sounds good about the 4 wheelers. I don't think I've seen anyone build those on here before.

 

And yes with the internet it's sometimes it's easy to forget the good old library :-)

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