Accurascale Has A Breakdown - Mark 1 BR BTU Tool Vans Joins The Exclusives Range
Our 56ft 11' Mark 1 Suburban coaches have now progressed to decoration stage, so look out for some tasty images showing them off in BR Blue and Carmine in the coming weeks.
However, in the meantime we have a special treat; a look at our new Accurascale Exclusives model from the Mark 1 Sub range.
Welcome to BR BTU Tool Vans ADB 963952!
The introduction of Diesel Multiple Units gathered pace during the 1960s, meaning much of the Mk1 non-gangway stock was phased out of traffic, but for some of the vehicles new uses were found, especially in freight flows and, later, as Departmental vehicles.
With the introduction of Freightliner trains, British Rail and the Train Drivers’ Union, ASLEF (The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen), were unable to come to an agreement over where Guards should be housed in these new fully fitted trains.
Initially, containers were converted into ‘Caboose’ style accommodation but with the ride and safety severely compromised, it was decided to convert a number of redundant Mk1 Brake vehicles into Freightliner Guards’ Vans as a temporary measure until a more permanent solution could be found. The majority of these vehicles were converted from Mk1 non-gangway Brake Seconds, with 43 ex-Midland, Eastern and Scottish coaches being converted at Derby and Swindon works between June 1966 and October 1967, entering service on Freightliner flows in a plain grey livery.
Once BR and ASLEF had reached an agreement for Guards to ride in the rear cab of the hauling locomotives, the Brake vans were once again surplus to requirements, with just seven vehicles being pressed into service as Departmental vans: DB 963904, 963906, 963925 and 963947 as Crane Runners and ADB 963943, 963952 and 963953 as BTU Tool Vans.
ADB 963952 started life as Sc43326, one of the 1955 York built Brake Thirds built to Lot 30057 and once retired from the Scottish Region, was converted into a Freightliner Brake Van at Swindon in September 1967. Conversion to a BTU Tool Van took place at Doncaster in 1980 and the vehicle stayed in service until June 1988, when fire damage rendered the coach unusable and it was eventually cut up at Temple Mill Yard in June 1992.
Using photographs of the real ADB 963952 we have captured the eye-catching and distinctive departmental yellow livery synonymous with breakdown trains of the 1980s. We have also modelled the roof in "distressed" condition, capturing the patchy and marked condition Mark 1 coaches tended to accumulate in later life, particularly when removed from squadron service into departmental duties.
Corrections on this first decorated sample are required, especially around the finish of the plated over windows, which will be executed more convincingly on the production models modellers will receive. The running boards will also be straight as an arrow, and not wavy like this sample!
As with all our models, the specification list is extensive:
- Scale length of 227.67mm over headstocks, width of 36mm across body at waist.
- Minimum Radius 438mm (2nd radius set-track).
- No visible moulding ejection marks or pips.
- Die-cast metal chassis with plastic body.
- Accurate BREL BR1 bogies, with separate detailing where appropriate.
- Wheels RP25-110 profile for 00 gauge, set into blackened brass bearings.
- NEM standard coupling sockets, with mini-tension lock couplers with a kinematic close-coupling system.
- Body, interior and underframe are handed, therefore CAD should account for this with fitting being only possible in one axis.
- Scale width wire handrails, water pipes, passenger communication gear.
- Separately fitted door handles and lamp brackets.
- Headstock pipes and cabling included in accessory polybag for customer fitting.
- Fully detailed die-cast underframe with vacuum cylinders, battery boxes, dynamo and piping applied separately.
- To feature accurate ‘L’ shaped bracing struts on underframe.
- Easily removable roof, to allow access to interior for customer detailing.
- Accurate interior layouts, with detailed seating and luggage racks. (Decorated where appropriate)
- Interior bulkheads to feature picture frames, an important interior feature of this stock.
- Full guard’s compartment area detailing where appropriate, including use of etched metal detailing.
- Prism free flush glazing.
- Interior coach lighting with stay-alive capacitor, pick up from one bogie and a reed switch to control on/off via magnetic wand.
- Separately fitted roof vent types, set in correct locations.
Delivery is slated for late Q3 2023 with the rest of the Mark 1 suburban range. Priced at £64.95, this converted coach is part of our "Accurascale Exclusives" range and will come in special presentation packaging.