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Shipping of the Minerva 0 gauge RTR GWR OPEN A 5-plank open wagon starts next week. Sadly, they will not arrive in time for Christmas and Chris B and Chris K apologise most profusely for the five-week delay in delivery. The model represents Diagram 11 with Dean-Churchward Mark 3 brake gear. It will be available in four liveries: 1903 GW 25", 1923 GW 16", 1936 GW6” and British Railways unfitted grey. Three different numbers for each livery will be offered and parts for fitting an optional sheet rail are included. The photos show decorated samples, which will be on display on the Minerva stand at the Reading trade show on Saturday 7th December 2019. Minerva will be announcing another new model at Reading for delivery in Spring 2020. Regards, Chris Basten and Chris Klein
To all our friends, We are pleased to report that the Minerva Blue Circle and Ferrocrete cement vans are on the high seas and scheduled to dock in the UK in the second week of April. Subject to the postal service being available, we expect to be able to dispatch the models after Easter, and we will take orders at this time. This is a limited edition production run. Three different running numbers are available for both vans. The price per van is £47.50 with a flat postal charge of £4 per order irrespective of the quantity. Owing to cancellations, the next shows we expect to attend are RailWells in August and STEAM 12-13 September 2020 at Swindon. The full range of Minerva products is available through our internet webshop, the telephone and email. A normal dispatch service will continue subject to any restrictions imposed during the current pandemic crisis. We will keep you advised Minerva as news is received. Meanwhile, keep well and happy modelling. Chris B and Chris K
No, this not a new thread about an oriental restaurant or take-away. Instead, it is the first bulletin in a series of periodic reports describing the adaptation of my Tonfanau Camp layout from a 1950s/60s British Railways station on the Cambrian Coast line with a private siding serving an army camp to a small wayside station in East Anglia serving an RAF airbase in the same period. I intend the the layout to be easily switchable between the two scenes. The buildings and signals will plug-in replacements and the ER station is inspired by Pulham Market on the erstwhile Waveney Valley line. First off the workbench is this little LNER platelayer’s hut. It is built from the Roxey Mouldings resin kit, which is a robust model of just five parts. I carved away part of one of the corner posts and inserted a small length of wire to represent an exposed portion of the steel reinforcing rod. Pre-cast concrete can be quite difficult to simulate convincingly. For this model, I used Woodland Scenics Road System Top Coat Concrete paint (ST1454). This is a thick acrylic paint that looks like newly laid concrete and can be stippled to provide a little texture if desired. The colour was too bright for my taste so I added some drops of Vajello black and dark earth to tone down the rawness. I then applied a thin black wash and finished with some matt black enamel mixed with a smidgeon dark brown brushed into the corners and then manipulated the paint with a cotton bud. It’s probably best only to tune in occasionally as there will be long periods of radio silence between bulletins. Chris K
Having some minutes to wait for the bus, I popped into Reading Museum and Art Gallery, to find that there is currently an exhibition “On Track: Reading’s Railways, Past, Present and Future” http://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/events/details/679/. This includes several magnificent photos of Reading goods yards in the early 20th century, including one of Reading Central goods yard in the 1910s. The shot is looking along the yard, so most wagons are nearly end on. There are numerous iron minks and opens, the latter mostly with the large G W lettering as far as one can tell. There are at least two Midland vans, but what really caught my eye, nearest the camera, is a 5 plank open with sheet bar, with the number 77445 on a cast plate on the bottom end plank. This supports the way I’ve turned out my Coopercraft O4, with number and “G.W.R” plates and “red” livery – see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/113035-more-pre-grouping-wagons-in-4mm-latest-great-western-o4-in-red/. Other photos in the exhibition include one of Kings Meadow Goods Yard in the 1900s, with iron minks and 4-plank opens predominating, the latter with a mix of large G W lettering and small G.W.R. on the right-hand end of the bottom plank. There is the obligatory Midland D299 5-plank open and immediately behind it a little cameo scene of an iron mink being unloaded into a C & G Ayres covered cart hauled by a rather dinky-looking traction engine. Two behind this, there’s possibly a Midland D305 3-plank dropside wagon. There’s also a splendid interior shot of the Kings Meadow goods shed, with wagons loaded with barrels, platforms with piles of crates, bales, etc. and porters with sack barrows going about their business. It looks like one of Mikkel’s scenes! Another photo shows Vastern Road low level yard in 1904. This seems to be principally a coal yard, with wagons from various Reading coal merchants – S. M. Sandy & Son, Abbey Mills, No. 2; George West Nos. 2, 3; T. Simmons & Son, No. 99; What [ ] Bros – two wagons, Nos. 61 & 73, both with the side door open so what bros they are is hidden from view; also wagons from further afield – a couple from W. Fardon of Rugby, Nos. 6 & 10, two from Cwmbran Colliery, and three from Wyken Colliery, Coventry, Nos. 322, 30?, and 441 – the latter is dumb-buffered. There’s a second rather decrepit-looking dumb-buffered wagon, with only visible writing being the number, 4064. Also visible is a C & G Ayres container, whilst in the background, on lines parallel to Vastern Road, are many sheeted opens, with again a mix of large G W and small G.W.R lettering. The chimneys of the first house we bought, in Lynmouth Road, are just visible – Mothercare now occupies part of the site of this goods yard now; very convenient when our first child was born! I don’t know if these photos are from Reading Museum’s own collection or whether they are just the tip of some archival iceberg – there could be something to keep the dedicated wagon enthusiast busy for months! The moral of all this is that old liveries and old wagons hang around – if the average life expectancy of a wagon in traffic is, say, 30 years, then the majority of one’s wagons should date from at least 10 years before the date one is modelling. Certainly circa 1910 the Great Western covered vans are mostly iron minks, wooden vans being the rarities, and there are still plenty of wagons with the pre-25” letter livery – i.e. red wagons – around. Sorry this is largely cut-and-paste from my wagon building topic but I though it might be of interest to followers of the Great Western who might be put off by the Midland wagons at the start of that!