Monday, 25 July 2016

009 (Small) Break Van

I remember standing on the balcony of a standard gauge break van as a small boy of 6 or 7 and it seemed huge, high up, and the kind of place to survey the world from. That thought remained when I had an idea for a small brake van for a narrow gauge layout. I wanted to have one with an outside balcony which to me makes it look the part.

On the smaller railways these vans sometimes doubled up as goods van, stock wagon and even mobile post boxes.

So it was with a utilitarian feel I worked on some ideas for a break van with a rear balcony, enclosed by small gates, a door would allow access to the main body of the van for the guards, it would have sliding side doors as I though it may be interesting in some cases to show the inside of the van. I decided to make it possible to remove the side doors and refit them in an open position to show something going on inside.

To keep the guards happy with some warmth in winter or just for making the odd pot of tea a small oil stove was added to one corner.

Like most of my first prototypes I used a Peco 9’ wagon chassis and changed the couplings to the Greenwich type, this works well when Frosted Ultra-Detail is used to 3D print the body of the van.

On later prototypes I added a chassis directly to the van and printed it in Strong White & Flexible polished, allow not giving as much clarity in the detail, looks good enough when painted and aged to pass relatively close inspection. This works well with 6.2mm metal spoked wheels from Parkside Dundas.

A small amount of lead ballast was also added to the van between the wheels, this helps to balance the van making it less top heavy.

I made the rear lamp in bulk some time ago, using white 1 mm thick plasticard rectangles to form a 3 x 2 x 2mm block and then added a 2mm diameter disk on top, for the lenses I used a small 2mm red rhinestone. These are available from bead and jewellery suppliers on eBay.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the 3D print it is available at.


  1. Sorry to be negative as I like the look of this, but the finish puts me off.

  2. I am happy to be positive and let you know that the print is also available in Frosted Ultra Detailed plastic, this does give a crisper finish, which I think you would appreciate, thank you for your thoughts RoyP.
    Best regards
    D Hurst