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North Staffordshire Railway 4 wheel early 1880s Hounds Van in 4mm scale. The Hounds Van was to transport hunting dogs to fox-hunts, and would have been accompanied by horseboxes for the hunting horses and a carriage or saloons for the huntsmen and their party. A fascinating piece of Victorian social history that can be recreated in model form. All the detail is scaled precisely from drawings, photographs, and the remains of a similar Brake Third carriage recovered in 2014 for restoration as the Accessible Brake Coach project, part of the Knotty Heritage Train (http://www.knottycoachtrust.org.uk/).
It is a clip fit to a GWR Toad Brake Van chassis (not supplied) manufactured by Airfix, Dapol and latterly Hornby, of which examples are widely available secondhand or the underframe moulding can be purchased as a spare. This proprietary chassis has the correct wheelbase, buffers and lower steps. Upper steps will need to be added. Although the wheel diameter, W irons and springs will not look NSR, it does make a very quick and easy unusual carriage. Alternatively a scale 15ft wheelbase underframe could be constructed, and it is hoped to make a 3D printed one available shortly.
To finish the model will require a cleaning and degrease (ultrasonic cleaner recommended) a light sanding of the roof on very flat, very fine wet-and-dry paper, and the fitting of glazing after painting. The body will need door handles, grab handles and curved end handrails adding as these are not moulded on. The end steps could be thinned down slightly with a file.
Livery was originally the very attractive NSR Victoria Brown with white panels, later changed to NSR Madder Lake (similar to MR/LMS crimson lake). There was only one Hounds Van on the “Knotty”, number 138, of which a good partial photograph survives. Number 138 which was built at Stoke Works in 1884 and later became NSR 0138 and then LMS 06009 from 1923 (duplicate list numbers prefixed 0). There is no record of whether it was painted in LMS livery or when it was withdrawn from service.
NB No foxes or hounds were harmed in the making of this model… :-)
Modelling the “Knotty”? I recommend joining the NSR Study Group: http://www.nsrsg.org.uk/