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mikesndbs

Were banana vans every yellow?

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It's a question that has been asked in many ways but this is the simplest.

There seems to be on-line agreement that they were at least for Fyffes promotional use but this all comes from one anecdotal comment and nothing more.

 

So, can we have a think about this one please?

 

 

tempvan.jpg

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Never seen evidence (photos or text) of Banana Vans being in anything apart from BR Bauxite in BR days. All were BR-owned. The closest they came to 'advertising' were posters with either 'Fyffes' or 'Geest', stuck on with wallpaper paste. These were meant to be removed after unloading, but often weren't, so vans might carry labels for both.

Sadly, I think this is one of those cases where model firms use their imagination in coming up with more 'colourful' liveries; something that has probably been done since the earliest days of model railways.

I have seen photos of banana vans in a 'private-owner' livery, but they were in Germany, not the UK; DB was still carrying the traffic until fairly recently.

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As I thought and to be honest my research on banana vans, while yielding some hugely interesting facts has left me very fed up with the model manufacturers out there, honestly they have not bothered to turn out anything different from the Wrenn offering, i.e 1959 built non steam, non piped plywood vans.

And one of the companies actually says this on their website, "This Great Western Banana van is one of the later 1959 built ones" Really? come on.

 

Poor old Grafa made a good try with their one with vertical planking, which was right but then proceeded to b***er it up by adding vents on the end and painting it yellow!

Hornby's actually says 'Banana VENT van' again, come on.

 

I need to calm down......

Edited by mikesndbs
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1 minute ago, mikesndbs said:

As I thought and to be honest my research on banana vans, while yielding some hugely interesting facts has led me very fed up with the model manufacturers out there, honestly they have no bothered to turn out anything different from the Wrenn offering, i.e 1959 built non steam, no piped plywood vans.

And one of the companies actually says this on their website, "This Great Western Banana van is one of the later 1959 built ones" Really? come on.

 

I need to calm down......

Ratio do a reasonable kit for an LMS-designed, BR-built Banana Van, to be found on the Peco site.

I've bought several of the unpainted Dapol bodies, which represents the final BR-built type, and put them on 'Red Panda'  underframes. For 50+ year old Hornby-Dublo mouldings, they scrub up quite nicely.

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18 minutes ago, Fat Controller said:

Ratio do a reasonable kit for an LMS-designed, BR-built Banana Van, to be found on the Peco site.

I've bought several of the unpainted Dapol bodies, which represents the final BR-built type, and put them on 'Red Panda'  underframes. For 50+ year old Hornby-Dublo mouldings, they scrub up quite nicely.

 

I've looked at the Ratio ones and may well try some, thing is I have never used a spray gun and am not sure how I'd get on.

 

It does bug me however that in this day and age, they are not even trying and worse still palm off the same old same old as something it just could not be.

Next thing you know we will be having a Deltic in George Stephenson yellow!

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3 minutes ago, mikesndbs said:

I've looked at the Ratio ones and may well try some, thing is I have never used a spray gun and am not sure how I'd get on.

 

You don't need a spray gun, just a paintbrush. The Ratio kit is nice, but fit metal wheels and brass bearings rather then the plastic ones in the kit.

 

3 minutes ago, mikesndbs said:

It does bug me however that in this day and age, they are not even trying

 

"Trying" would involve dropping tens of thousands of pounds tooling up for a new model. They probably feel there are more lucrative things to make at the moment.

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Just now, mikesndbs said:

 

I've looked at the Ratio ones and may well try some, thing is I have never used a spray gun and am not sure how I'd get on.

 

It does bug me however that in this day and age, they are not even trying and worse still palm off the same old same old as something it just could not be.

Next thing you know we will be having a Deltic in George Stephenson yellow!

For plank-built wagons, brush-painting is more than adequate. After painting the body in bauxite, and applying the transfers, apply a 'wash' of thinned down black, wiping it off straight away, leaving the planks picked out.

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7 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

You don't need a spray gun, just a paintbrush. The Ratio kit is nice, but fit metal wheels and brass bearings rather then the plastic ones in the kit.

 

 

"Trying" would involve dropping tens of thousands of pounds tooling up for a new model. They probably feel there are more lucrative things to make at the moment.

 

Hmm, thanks, might be worth a shot then.

 

Regards 'trying' I get that, but why not use one of the other vans from the range minus vent, far more suitable than selling a BR 1959 built as GWR.NE etc.

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I’m sure that somewhere I’ve seen an old advertising poster for bananas showing a train of yellow vans, and my assumption was that either a few got so painted in Edwardian times, or that the poster artist thought they should be.

 

Dont knock the Hornby Dublo one BTW, the quality of the tool-making and moulding is exceedingly good given when it was first catalogued, and that it was meant as a reasonably robust toy for older boys.

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Hello Mikesndbs

 

Banana Vans seem to do fairly well in The 00 Wishlist Poll. In 2019, they fared as below:

 

High Polling

SR Banana Van (this was only a few votes outside The Top 50)

GWR Banana Van Y4 

BR Banana Van (Diags. 1/242, 1/243 & 1/244)

 

Middle Polling

LMS Banana Van (Diag.1660)

BR Banana Van (Diag.1/246)

 

The 00 Poll Team is hoping that Oxford Rail will produce the recently announced GER Van in its 'banana form' in due course.

 

Brian (on behalf of The 00 Poll Team)

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I am not sure if banana vans were painted yellow but the LSWR and Southern Railway may have painted them cream.

 

HMRS Livery Register LSWR & Southern on page 45 suggests that refrigerator vans were painted pink or stone: the shade is a matter of dispute but their colour chart shows pink or light tan.  It does not mention banana vans. Precision Paints have adopted the pink shade for wagon stone.

 

The model manufacturers have adopted a pale cream shade for banana vans.  These include Hornby's 1937 0 gauge model which was contemporary with the real SR wagons, Hornby Dublo's SR refrigerated van, Hornby's 00 gauge banana van and Peco's N gauge van.  I presume they all did some research to arrive at the same colour.

 

The picture shows a Peco banana van. I hope you find this useful,

P1090649.JPG

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Some of Hornby’s earlier versions tended to the roseate.

 

Less credible, or did the SR really have a pink period?

9D70BDB3-5755-4EE4-A1D9-EF1711ED35D3.jpeg

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According to page 46 of the HMRS Livery Register the insulated and ventilated vans had a light coloured finish as they did in LSWR days and this colour was probably moderate yellowish pink so perhaps it was more subdued than the Hornby 0 gauge van.

 

Hornby also made a  yellow Fyffes Banana van from 1931 - 1939. As some had red roofs and a green or red chassis this may have been a fictitious livery.  

 

A lot of Hornby 0 gauge locomotives and rolling stock were painted in authentic liveries

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Unfortunately I have little information about SR banana vans except the following:

"More substantial alterations in the livery of both meat and banana vans took place in April/March 1941 res­pectively. Their former light colouring was re­placed by a body colour of Red oxide (No 46 of BS 381C: 1930) with lettering in Lemon (No 55 of BS 381C: 1930) but the solebars remained brown "

and later "pink, without any ‘yellowish’ tone"

But LNER ones were definitely "red", including those loaned to the SR.

As referenced on the next HMRS book, "Southern Style - Southern Railway" by John Harvey due for publication in May.

It seems to imply that the SR ones were the same colour as meat vans.

Jonathan

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Improbable.

 

Possible?

 

The colour is almost certainly not at all yellow but LSWR carriage salmon pink. According to G. Bixley et al.Southern Wagons Vol. 1 (OPC, 1984), LSWR insulated and refrigerated vans were originally the standard brown livery with white lettering "but from about 1907 this was replaced by salmon pink with venetian red lettering, in an attempt to cut down the amount of heat absorbed by the bodywork." They gloss venetian red as "vermilion?" although it is usually considered to be a darker shade. The only illustration they provide of a LSWR banana van is from the 1948 Ashford works series of specially-prepared vehicles in SR livery but with BR markings; the livery is described as "stone".

 

The LNWR (and many other companies following suit) had been painting refrigerated vans white since their introduction in the 1880s, presumably also reduce heat absorption, but banana vans were in the standard grey livery. 

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The bauxite coloured vans with, I'd guess approx A4 sized notice about midway up on the side door, with either the Fyffes or Geest symbol on a white background seemed to be a relatively common sight in freight trains in the late 60s in the Birmingham area. 

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1 hour ago, MidlandRed said:

The bauxite coloured vans with, I'd guess approx A4 sized notice about midway up on the side door, with either the Fyffes or Geest symbol on a white background seemed to be a relatively common sight in freight trains in the late 60s in the Birmingham area. 

There was a banana ripeners in the underground part of Moor St goods yard, I believe.

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No, they weren't yellow.  They didn't have a bend in them either.

 

Wagons in general seem to be a bit of a poor relation in modern RTR terms.  Recent toolings are very good indeed, but older toolings persist, often with major dimensional issues and in completely spurious liveries.  Hornby and Dapol persist in knocking out 16ton steel minerals on the wrong underframe and of the wrong dimensions altogether; this is the most essential freight vehicle for any layout based between nationalisation and the late 80s.  Luckily a correct version is available from Bachmann to a very good standard of detail, but it's £23 a pop.  Bachmann have their own embarrassments in the form of LMS ventilated vans and cattle wagons, and unashamedly try to pass off LMS cattle wagons as LNER ones, which they are nothing like; these are apparently Mainline in origin though the chassis have been improved, though they are priced as if they are newly tooled hi fi items!  Oxford's LNER cattle wagon is also incorrectly mirror imaged but this shouldn't matter as you can only see one side at once (!), and that's quite a recent introduction.  

 

I mention steam/transition era wagons because these are what I know about, but there are probably more up to date prototypes that have similar issues.  I get angsty when RTR models are dimensionally fundamentally incorrect, as there is little you can do to correct or improve matters.  A poorly detailed model that is dimensionally reasonably accurate can be at least worked up and improved!  Dapol's Hornby Dublo vanfits mentioned above are an example; new chassis and decent buffers, and you've got a tidy little van for less than the cost of a new Bachmann, a consideration if you're building up a 60 van rake...

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Wagon modellers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your tension locks.

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The lack of RTR wagons does serves as a gateway drug to kit building! I personally would never have started if it wasn't for realising I wanted more variation in my freight rolling stock and frankly I'd recommend anyone gives it a try!

 

Now I just need to summon up the courage to tackle passenger stock :help:

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Transfer question, if I wanted to have a go at converting some vans to 1952 banana vans, where would I get transfers to do this please?

 

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18 hours ago, Robin Brasher said:

I am not sure if banana vans were painted yellow but the LSWR and Southern Railway may have painted them cream.

 

Could this have been white with layers of  not quite clear varnish of the era? 

Will

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48 minutes ago, WillCav said:

 

Could this have been white with layers of  not quite clear varnish of the era? 

Will

It was apparently called 'Light Stone'; at that time, the only white pigments available were lead-derived, and were not 'fast'. Brilliant whites came only with the introduction of titanium-oxide pigments.

 

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57 minutes ago, WillCav said:

 

Could this have been white with layers of  not quite clear varnish of the era? 

 

 

That does seem to have been the case with the upper panels of LNWR carriages and may be the origin of the cream-coloured upper panels used by some other railways but I think in the case of the LSWR by the late 19th century there was a clear intention to produce a salmon colour; as I posted before, Bixley et al. think this carriage colour was the colour used for refrigerator etc. vans. I don't have the HMRS Southern Style which might give a different story.

 

5 minutes ago, Fat Controller said:

It was apparently called 'Light Stone'; at that time, the only white pigments available were lead-derived, and were not 'fast'. Brilliant whites came only with the introduction of titanium-oxide pigments.

 

 

Re. "light stone" - at which time do you mean? (Is this what Southern Style says?)

 

Pigments based on white lead were prone to darkening in the presence of sulfur dioxide - a common atmospheric pollutant in coal-fired days - by a chemical reaction producing black lead sulfide. Other whites were available by the late 19th century, such as the oxalic white used for the lettering on Midland (and I suppose other) wagons but white lead was widely used not only as it was cheap but also because it forms an effective water-repellent coating for woodwork.

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