GWR Iron Mink vans

I've built another Iron Mink van to keep the existing one company, using the ABS whitemetal kit with a replacement roof.

This is an old-school kit and there is no floor, roof or wheels included, but the castings aren’t bad considering the age of the kit.

When I built my other Iron Mink I modified it  to carry grease axleboxes. On this one I decided to retain the oil axleboxes provided for in the kit, as both types could be seen during my period.

I rolled a roof like this, and thinned it at the edges.

The new iron mink in its base coat, ready for toning down and weathering. Not everyone will agree with the grey colour beneath the sole bars, as some believe the red livery was an all-over job.  I admit I could be fighting a loosing battle on that one, but I haven't given up yet. My latest line of defence is to look at what other companies did, eg the Barry Railway.

At this point it all went a bit awry. I took a last look at the prototype photos and realized that the roof should be full of rivets! I felt a bit foolish for never noticing that before - although it's easily missed in photos. None of the 7 drawings in the GWR wagon bible show it, nor do many photos due to light reflecting off the roofs. Eventually I found these replacement roofs made by MRD.

The rivets along the edges are done for you, but there should also be two rows of rivets across each roof band. These are supposed to be pressed out from the underside, by way of very small pre-made indentations.

As you can see, that did not go very well: The pressed out rivets missed the roof band. I can't quite understand why, but I must have botched it somehow, as George Dent produced an excellent result with the kit.

After several failed attempts and much swearing I decided to use Archer's rivet transfers instead. At that point I just wanted to move on and so only applied a single row of rivets on each band, although there should be two. I regret that now.

The existing plain roof was then replaced with the new one. Not a perfect result but at least it indicates the presence of rivets.

My other Iron Mink was then similarly treated, and here they are side by side. One with grease axle boxes and a 9 ton rating, and one with oil axle boxes and a 10 ton rating.