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New GWR iron mink


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44 minutes ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

The other information on the site would infer that they were built between 1891 and 1906. There were just over 30 with the first 20 from Metropolitan and the rest from Birmingham.

This page shows one in Greaves livery which would have been applied pre-1927.

 https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrlave4062b.htm

 

On the subject of RTR pre-Grouping wagons, on the full version of that May 1925 photo:

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrlave4062.htm

the first vehicle behind the G is a GE van which is, I think, of the type Oxford are doing.

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23 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

...... the first vehicle behind the G is a GE van which is, I think, of the type Oxford are doing.

The sides appear to be very light colour with dark lettering - which would suggest a 'perishables' variant ...................... the end might throw doubt on that as it's sort of half & half !

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

 

On the subject of RTR pre-Grouping wagons, on the full version of that May 1925 photo:

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwrlave4062.htm

the first vehicle behind the G is a GE van which is, I think, of the type Oxford are doing.

The picture also answers the earlier question about them being seen on other lines. The GW Iron Mink is on an LMS freight on the Rugby to Coventry via Leamington line, ex-LNWR.

.

Edited by TheSignalEngineer
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17 minutes ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

The picture also answers the earlier question about them being seen on other lines. The GW Iron Mink is on an LMS freight on the Rugby to Coventry via Leamington line, ex-LNWR.

 

Yes, absolutely nothing surprising there. The vehicle on the other side of the Greaves van is an LNER van - ex-NER I think. But if the Greaves van is based at Harbury, it must have come up the Great Western to Leamington, perhaps along with the GW V6. Looking at the OS 25" maps for the area around Harbury on the NLS website (1904-5 edition), I find Greave's works a little to the south of Harbury station. I wonder if being on GW territory was a major factor in the company adopting a clone of a GW vehicle - and how did they avoid getting bogged down in the legal complications that beset Spillers?

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11 hours ago, 2750Papyrus said:

Not being a GW modeller but interested in improving the authenticity of my goods stock, please could someone advise whether iron minks were common user or not?

Another one. At Five Ways heading for Central Goods or Granville Street from Church Road. This was after the APCM takeover. Greaves had a depot at Worcester Wharf, Birmingham.

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrf23.htm

 

This PO one is at Stratford on Avon in 1934. The number on the end doesn't match the Greaves list, but it appears that their wagons were renumbered after the takeovers.  

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/gwrsa499a.htm

 

An APCM van in Ferrocrete livery.

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/misc/misc_hcw174.htm

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On 22/07/2021 at 18:25, Compound2632 said:

There was a discussion within the last few hours on the Rapido SECR wagons thread about the difficulty of finding pre-Grouping wagon prototypes that lasted in quantity until the 1950s - a period modelled by many, and therefore seen as essential for a viable model. The conclusion drawn was that manufacturers were forced by this criterion to select prototypes that are "late pre-Grouping" - post Great War for the Rapido SECR wagons; the Rails SECR van goes back to 1909.

 

Rails are offering the Iron Mink in three liveries: with the 16" G W initials introduced in 1920 (which they describe as "late condition"); with the RCH 1936 standard small lettering; and in BR grey with black number panel. 

 

There were 4,901 Iron Minks built (including a handful of non-standard vehicles) between 1886 and 1901. The normal life in service of a 19th century goods wagon would be about a third of a century; one would on that basis expect Iron Minks to be more-or-less extinct before the 1936 livery was adopted. 

 

I have questioned the BR livery before in the thread on the Minerva 7 mm version, without getting a straight answer. I'll ask straight out here: can anyone actually say how many Iron Minks were still in ordinary revenue service in, say, 1939 and 1952? I'm willing to bet a Rails Mink to a Ratio one that the answer is, very few.

 

I did infact open a thread on GWR Iron Mink Vans and the BR era back in November of last year and after much searching @watfordtmc found me a perfect image of GWR W69121 photographed in 1951 still bearing it's post 1936 livery bar the fact GW had been removed and W had put infront of the number.

 

The image is dated 1951 and is in British Railways Illustrated June 2019.

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Still off-Mink, here's a couple of Iron Minks in storage prior to withdrawal at Bearley in 1947; except that they aren't. The one in 1920 livery with the 16" initials is ex-Spillers, built by Harrison & Camm in 1906 while the one in 1936 livery is ex-Taff Vale, built 1905. So these are both younger than the genuine V6 and are in fact more-or-less contemporary with the wood minks built between 1903 and 1907 in whose company they are found.

 

I continue to suspect strongly that the genuine Iron Mink had disappeared from revenue service before the Second World War.

Edited by Compound2632
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3 minutes ago, Garethp8873 said:

 

I did infact open a thread on GWR Iron Mink Vans and the BR era back in November of last year and after much searching @watfordtmc found me a perfect image of GWR W69121 photographed in 1951 still bearing it's post 1936 livery bar the fact GW had been removed and W had put infront of the number.

 

The image is dated 1951 and is in British Railways Illustrated June 2019.

 

Ah yes, and I see I quickly responded with my scepticism. Apologies for forgetting. That thread also quickly got bogged down in South Walian clones and vans used as stores. As to the 1951 photo, all I can say is, one cuckoo does not a summer make. It's not evidence for the general survival of Iron Minks to that date; rather, that it was photographed is perhaps evidence of its rarity. It certainly does not justify an outbreak of Iron Minks on layouts set in the 1950s. 

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4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

The Ratio kit can be very greatly improved by cutting about 1 mm off the top of the sides and ends, so that there is no space between the top of the door frame and the roof. It's a simple modification to make to a new kit; a bit trickier when renovating a well-stuck-together one one built as a teenager!

Adding the Model Railway Developments brass roof also makes a massive difference (and would also hugely improve the Rails one)

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Posted (edited)

Continuing the cement theme there is an aerial shot of the Southam works on the Leamington to Weedon line (ex-LNWR) from 1932 with at least two iron minks or clones present. It's not possible to see any ownership on them.

Edited by TheSignalEngineer
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Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and fresh from being beaten up over my views on the Somerset & Dorset, I plunge once more into the maelstrom of things I don’t really know a lot about.

 

However, after a lot of effort, coughing and sneezing I managed to extricate my copy of ‘All about GWR Iron Minks’ from its dusty hidey hole.

 

I will not deceive you – it’s not very helpful.

 

As far as revenue earning service life is concerned the booklet has this to say: The majority were condemned in the period 1933 to 1939 but an appreciable number survived World War 2 and passed into British Railways ownership (Ref 1).

 

Of the circa 4,800 Iron Minks built, a table lists, very briefly, the lives of 16 vehicles.  The earliest ‘Date condemned’ quoted is 1934, but others listed include:

 

47305, built 1889, condemned 1945 (the notorious ‘Salvage’ van)

47120, built 1889, condemned 1950 (although Rails are producing this in full BR unfitted livery…)

58331, built 1895, condemned 1948 (including service as a Gunpowder Van between 1938 & 1945)

59620, built 1897, condemned 1946

59621, built 1898, condemned 1947

69303, built 1897, condemned 1950 (including service as a Gunpowder Van between 1938 & 1944)

11307, built 1901, condemned 1953.

 

A caption to one of the images notes that 58147 was built in 1894 and condemned in 1947.

 

The booklet does not give a view on when the last example might have been in revenue earning as opposed to departmental/service use.  Nor does it give a view on what a “…appreciable number…” might be.

 

Although not relevant to the model, three of the Lot 398 predecessor vans to the standard Iron Minks (with 9’6” wheelbase; 16’6” over headstocks), built 1887 survived to be nationalised, of which 22563 was condemned in 1949, having been converted to Cordite Paste van in World War 1 and fitted with vacuum brakes as a consequence and then used in the Lyons tea traffic from Greenford between the wars, whilst 3294 was condemned in 1954.  Or at least, that was the date entered into the Wagon Register.

 

As to backdating the model to 1902, or thereabouts, I suppose the print file could be tweaked to eliminate the second brake lever and block easily enough, but converting the OK oil axle boxes to the grease type might be more of a challenge.

 

Reference:

1.    All about GWR Iron Minks, Lewis J, Lloyd M, Metcalf R, Miller N, Historical Model Railway Society 1980, pp 11-19 (Standard Iron Minks), pp 17 for table of selected examples, pp 13 for image of 58147 and pp 7-10 for the first iron mink design.

 

Regards

TMc

24/07/2021

 

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@watfordtmc, that is very interesting. I believe that condemnation dates for all Iron Minks could be found, as the GWR wagon registers survive at the NRM and TNA; that is presumably where the authors got their information [as you say]. I do suspect some bias in their reporting; it seems to me that they are likely to have selected more interesting (i.e. longer-lived) examples. I note that two of their late survivors were gunpowder van conversions; I can see that with an increased demand for such vehicles, renovation of Iron Minks would be an attractive and economical proposition. Was there only the one "Salvage" van? Again, I can see that using an old van no longer really suitable for revenue service for this travelling exhibit would be economical. I'm not entirely convinced that the condemnation dates are to be interpreted as "was in traffic until" dates!

 

My knowledge of Iron Minks is based on Atkins et al., GWR Goods Wagons, from which I gathered that oil axlexboxes were introduce part-way through Lots 172 and 193, in December 1897, so are perfectly legitimate for my c. 1902 modelling date, on the right wagon. So my models of 69354 (Lot 201) and 11070 (Lot 207) have them (the latter also has cast plates for the number and G.W.R, using plates from the Coopercraft O5 kit). But it's an easy matter to modify the plastic moulding to represent a grease axlebox, cutting off the detail and adding a new plain front and lid from plasticard, which gave me 37856 of old series Lot 488. This would be harder to do on a 3D-printed model, from my experience of the material. But if you're up to making such a modification, you're undoubtedly up to making the Ratio kit!

 

However I'm not sure if I've got the ventilator hood length right for all these.

Edited by Compound2632
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Posted (edited)
On 22/07/2021 at 23:42, Il Grifone said:

The vans would have first appeared in the red livery, but how long it lasted in still unknown AFAIK. I side with the theory of the introduction of the 25" G W lettering, but could well be wrong?

 

I'm one of those who agree with you on that.

 

Although that hasn't stopped me from playing around with one particular van - on the right below -  based on speculative interpretation of one particular photo  :) (details in this post).

 image.png.092b9dfcc9bf56944861b4f7778528a3.png

 

Edited by Mikkel
Links seem to be sorted
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I got all excited when I saw the thread title, think I'll stick with the available kits for now though.

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Common user started during a WWI, and continued afterwards as it was to everyone's interest. Before this 'foreign' vehicles had to be returned to their own metals as soon as possible to avoid charges. They could not even be backloaded initially, but this was the first concession. (Again WWI IIRC.)

 

There is no way SWMBO would allow me to spend around 40 quid on a wagon, however good. It is however true that if one were to price one's time in building and painting/lettering a kit (or scratch build) it would actually cost more, (but then it is a hobby and supposed to pass time).

 

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13 hours ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

Continuing the cement theme there is an aerial shot of.............

And at the New Bilton works there appears to be one in Rugby Cement livery in the late 1920s.

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2 hours ago, Gordon A said:

How much better (or worse) is the Rails offering compared to those already available in either rtr or kit form?

 

Gordon A

 

There has never been an RTR GWR Iron Mink prior to this one.

 

There has been two kits of the V6 diagram; a white metal one by ABS kits (no longer available), and a plastic one by Ratio (now via Peco) and still available. I've never seen an ABS kit but I seem to understand that it was quite well regarded in terms of dimensions and detail, but happy to be proven wrong.

 

The Ratio kit is too narrow in the body, and as the sides are too high the roof doesn't sit flush against the sides and ends, leaving a minor air gap, but is otherwise quite serviceable and can be tinkered with to suit the modeler's prerogative. 

 

This new Rails version has attracted much comment as to its quality and finesse. Straight away I would say the roof sheet looks too thick and therefore crude, the brake gear looks overscale, the coupling hook looks a bit flimsy and done in plastic which would make fitting 3-links a challenge (and it doesn't seem like 3-links are included, despite Oxford Rail now including them with their wagons at 1/2 the price of this), and the wheels are Dapol's standard crude type that are overscale in most dimensions (spokes, wheel rims etc). Others have mentioned that the holes on the solebar are too large, but I cannot comment on that.

 

The livery on some versions is suspect too. It would have been very unlikely for the late GWR and BR versions to have a brilliant white roof such as that shown - certainly by the start of WW2 all van roofs went into a dark grey colour. Furthermore, the late-GWR livery is dodgy as the font style does not look right - the lettering is too narrow. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

CoY

Edited by County of Yorkshire
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17 minutes ago, County of Yorkshire said:

the wheels are Dapol's standard crude type that are overscale in most dimensions (spokes, wheel rims etc).

 

Whereas the SECR van used Alan Gibson wheels. One wonders what has happened there.

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2 hours ago, County of Yorkshire said:

 

There has never been an RTR GWR Iron Mink prior to this one.

 

There has been two kits of the V6 diagram; a white metal one by ABS kits (no longer available), and a plastic one by Ratio (now via Peco) and still available. I've never seen an ABS kit but I seem to understand that it was quite well regarded in terms of dimensions and detail, but happy to be proven wrong.

 

The Ratio kit is too narrow in the body, and as the sides are too high the roof doesn't sit flush against the sides and ends, leaving a minor air gap, but is otherwise quite serviceable and can be tinkered with to suit the modeler's prerogative. 

 

This new Rails version has attracted much comment as to its quality and finesse. Straight away I would say the roof sheet looks too thick and therefore crude, the brake gear looks overscale, the coupling hook looks a bit flimsy and done in plastic which would make fitting 3-links a challenge (and it doesn't seem like 3-links are included, despite Oxford Rail now including them with their wagons at 1/2 the price of this), and the wheels are Dapol's standard crude type that are overscale in most dimensions (spokes, wheel rims etc). Others have mentioned that the holes on the solebar are too large, but I cannot comment on that.

 

The livery on some versions is suspect too. It would have been very unlikely for the late GWR and BR versions to have a brilliant white roof such as that shown - certainly by the start of WW2 all van roofs went into a dark grey colour. Furthermore, the late-GWR livery is dodgy as the font style does not look right - the lettering is too narrow. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

CoY

 

Thank you. As I suspected poorly researched and executed, a bit like Bachman's 14 ton tanker wagon.

I do not mind paying higher prices for an accurate and well executed model, but not in this case.

When will the likes of Bachman and Rails of Sheffield learn to do the job properly?

 

Gordon A

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On 22/07/2021 at 21:44, The Stationmaster said:

I can't give the exact numbers (I wonder if the original HMRS booklet quotes any 0 can't lay hands on my copy at the moment) but in BR days there were very few in traffic use and I doubt they lasted beyond the mid '50s (if that late) although i have seen a secondary source stating 1956.

 

However they were around in goods yards being used for storage of paperwork much later and still carrying traffic numbers  - I saw them at various places in the late 1960s including at least one painted in faded departmental black livery.  But any around that late probably had turned a wheel for quite a long tme.

I photographed one in Kidderminster yard - approximately where the SVR ticket hall now is - in 1966 or 1967. From memory it had no markings on it and obviously hadn't moved for a very long time. If I can find the photo, I'll scan it. I wouldn't have done this as a limited production. Should sell like hot cakes and a much better bet than the (similar) gunpowder van, in my view. (CJL)

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9 minutes ago, dibber25 said:

I wouldn't have done this as a limited production. Should sell like hot cakes and a much better bet than the (similar) gunpowder van, in my view. (CJL)

 

What quantity would you have done, by what production method, and at what price? And how would you raise the capital? As you've been involved in a number of magazine commissions, you probably have a more authoritative insight into the economics than the vast majority of other commenters here.

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Thanks, I have an unpainted kit-built GPV of the Iron Mink style made by a late friend in my cabinet of treasures. Now identified as of ABS origin. High time I finished it off, so I'll be after one of the brass roofs as the plastic one isn't attached.  

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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