Monday, April 02, 2018

Accucraft E-Van

From the Accucraft website: 
The ‘E’ vans were four-wheeled brake and luggage vans fitted with lookout duckets, but otherwise entirely sealed with only two drop-sash windows at the guard’s door. None of these vans survive today, and they were effectively made redundant when later passenger coaches had their own braking systems. 

The primary purpose of the ‘E’ van was to provide luggage accommodation and braking for the original ‘A’ – ‘D’ class most of which did not have their own brakes when supplied in 1873/4. One surviving member of the class sat at the end of the Port Erin arrival platform at Douglas for many years and retained its pre-war two-tone brown livery. The Manx Northern Railway owned a pair of similar vans for use with the ‘N’ class carriages, but these seem to have been replaced in the 1890s and then used for goods traffic until they were scrapped in the 1920. 

The latest Isle of Man model from Accucraft was always going to be an essential purchase for me. Just right to coupling on the back of a short set of 4-wheel coaches. Unsurprisingly, the model matches these perfectly. It's very nicely made in plastic with high-quality paint decoration.

The model shown is straight from the box. I haven't fitted the supplied number transfers or lamp tops. 45mm gauge wheels are fitted, but as usual, 32mm versions are included. I'd be interested to see a van fitted with these as it must look a bit top-heavy, but each to his own. In G scale, this represents 3-foot track, so I assume 32mm is sort of 2 foot.

Those lamps would benefit from LEDs inside, but the roof comes off to allow this. Keen types will fit interior detail too - Brandbright make wooden kits for the coaches and may well do one for this. 

A popular model, this was number 19 sold from a stand at the Large Scale Show, and they weren't the only supplier with the model. 


Anonymous said...

I could almost imagine the 32mm version being propelled around some sharp bends - going up and down steep inclines - by some Roundhouse kettle going at full tilt.

It would be just the sort of thing one TV production company might be tempted to try - especially using plastic track, roughly laid across Scotland by a group of exhausted volunteers, coaxed along by a retired Army type.

Seriously though, Channel 4's Caledonian yomp was very watchable - but I suspect the people behind the series were actively looking to highlight as many as possible of the lessons that real railways learnt the painful way.

Just a thought - I could be wrong … .

James Finister said...

I got in big trouble with some of the big names in the "16mm" (sic) world when I complained about big RH locos pulling the IoM 4whl coaches.Fortunately in the last few years, we've seen scale taken more seriously, not only in the garden but also in 4mm tram modelling and in OO9, though in the former there is still a tendency to think finescale trams can't be made to work, and in the oo9 world an unwillingness to separate the joys of freelance modelling from building models to a reasonable standard. I wonder if it is a generational thing? Whilst old modellers are always keen to castigate the younger generation for not making things it seems to be younger (relatively) generation who want to make finer standards available to a wider audience.

Phil Parker said...

I always feel model trams are about 20 years behind model railways. There's a lot of layouts full of random di-cast models or prototypes that wouldn't be seen together in real life. The presentation is also lacking with no curtains or lights. Suggest that things could be improved though and wait for the moans.

009 is improving, but for a lot of people, it's where they get to freelance and do anything they like. Some of the proponents of better modelling in the past have approached the subject with a lack of subtlety too. This will change when there is an influx of modellers attracted by RTR locos who have a different approach.