Way back in the 1980s I made one of these from a John Boyle etch ( it is labelled Decent Models No 74 ). I used standard CR parts and it made up into a nice van, but back then I lacked information so a lot of the basics were just wrong. It has been stored a long time but I was having a sort out, rediscovered it and decided to have a go at bringing it up to standard. A day in the brake fluid followed by an attack with the flame torch and I had a new kit to make.
So what exactly is it ? I wasn’t sure for a long while, but discussions on the CRA forums led me to discover that there is a drawing for the first body style of the D2 vans with the panelling style of the Drummond coaches, built 1885. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a photo, the later builds had planked sides. What I do know is that these were effectively npcs built to run with passenger trains.
This is what I have ended up with now fitted with oil boxes, the correct brake gear, safety chains, air pipes and screw couplings. Trumpet vents are shown on the diagram drawing so I have added those. There doesn’t seem to be a casting available for them so I made them up from laminated styrene.
Being fully panelled I think that would be in the npc livery. Possibly they would be lettered “Fresh Meat Traffic” but without a photo I don’t know where or what size, so I have left that off for now.
This is how I think they would generally be used, running at the head of a passenger service, shunted off en route as required.