7mm GWR wagons - help in identification

Discussion in 'WR Action' started by David Hall, 17 July 2021.

  1. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    Morning all.

    As an ignorant fella, I'm hoping from some assistance from the much more learned folks who inhabit these parts please.....

    I've a couple of GWR wagons which I could do with a hand identifying. Firstly a one-plank (Parkside kit I think) and then a six plank open wagon (I'm lead to believe this is from the Coopercraft stable). See photos below.

    Basically, my query is to whether either type of wagon survived into BR days? If so, what kind of livery would they have carried? I'm presuming freight grey for the latter. I am not sure on the parentage or type of wagons apart from the fact they are of GWR origin.

    Apologies for asking such a basic question. As always, I'm completely embarrassed by my lack of prototype knowkedge.

    Many thanks in anticipation for any help which can be provided.

    All the best,

    Attached Files:

  2. Tim Giles

    Tim Giles Member

    They both look like ex Coopercraft models to me, the one plank is a good match for a Diagram L22 Match Truck, the other is a 5 plank to Diagram 04.
    As for livery, post nationalization is outside my area of interest.
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  3. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    Thanks very much Tim.

    That's very helpful. I'll need to check if examples of each they made it into nationalised days - fingers crossed. If so, I'm sure Google will provide some assistance on the livery front now I know what type/diagram they are.

    Very much appreciate your assistance on this matter, it is very kind.

  4. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    Mind, even if they didn't get past 1948, I won't be too concerned. I'm not exactly a finescale modeller or stickler to the prototype in these issues. I'm sure I can just use some representative transfers for the BR period. Heavy weathering may even negate the need for any lettering at all.

    I know my whimsical approach will not able to many (any!?), particularly in such esteemed company as WT, but hey ho, it's my trainset.... ;)
  5. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    A few of the 5 plank diagram O4 wagons could have made it past 1948, some of the 4 plank diagram O5 wagons did, but I doubt they were repainted. There is a photo of a diagram O5 in one of Russell’s wagon books with W added to the number but still in weathered GW grey livery, with unpainted replacement planks. The most new paint they would have had was BR pale grey daubed on the steelwork only. The diag O4 and O5 wagons were much shorter than the slightly later open goods wagons so would have been less flexible in traffic.

    The match wagons were never numerous. They probably spent more time standing in sidings so could have lasted longer. They were also converted to specialist uses such as steel roll carriers which could extend the service life.
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  6. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    Thank you very much to both of you. That is really interesting and very helpful for me.

    That prototype information is great Mr Overseer. With both wagons I have removed the 1920s/'30s era lettering, but it is still vaguely visible if you look hard enough! Maybe I shouldn't have done that in hindsight, but I didn't want to repaint them fully, and based on Overseer's comment there is no need to.

    Maybe I'll have to reapply the GWR lettering even for post 1948 (what a complete muppet I am :headbang:) but, I might get away as they are now with, just with just heavier weathering. Could represent wagons little used at end of life.

    Does that sound feasible, or pie in the sky?

    Thanks again folks, I'm really grateful for your help.
  7. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I wasn't going to post the photo from A Pictorial Record of Great Western Wagons by JH Russell (1971) but it is useful evidence and I think the caption needs to be discussed.

    This is a four plank wagon similar to a Diag 05. I think it is probably an earlier, pre Diag 05, wagon based on its number. Note the remnant W, the top plank has a thin plank at the left hand side at least and is either unpainted or probably painted a lighter grey. The door bottom plank is either unpainted or painted light grey. The lettering is a mix, the original GW number but with the 10T larger than the GW would usually paint it and a W added. No sign of a GW on the plank above. Bottom right plank reused from another wagon with diagonal braces.
    GW 05 14076.jpg
    The book caption is "Fig 10 shows a fairly modern four-planker, with self contained parallel buffers. The two holes in the solebar were I'm told for use when lifting the vehicle by crane. The old painted letter "W" can still be seen. A diagram of this 4 planker, with sheet support is illustrated." [Dia. 1 Open wagon diagram] I think this is a much earlier wagon built in the 1870s or 1880s and possibly originally built as broad gauge. Note the similarity with the four plank wagons in this well known photo of the wagon sidings at Swindon circa 1892 following closure of the last broad gauge lines. I think the holes in GW solebars were for horse shunting rope hooks rather than crane lifting.
    GW Swindon wagons.jpg

    This makes it more interesting and it is tempting to buy one of the former Coopercraft Diag 05 kits from Slaters to build in the condition shown in Russell's photo.

    To illustrate a wagon similar to the Diag 04 with BR grey painted ironwork is this extract from the background of photo 72 in Russell.
    GW 04poss.jpg
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  8. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    Thank you so much Mr Overseer.

    That is fascinating and invaluable knowledge for which I'm incredibly grateful. I will do a proper response - which your reply deserves - when I get time (damn this thing called 'work'), but in the meantime I just wanted to say a big thank you, so you know it's appreciated.

  9. Phil O

    Phil O Western Thunderer

    Whatever you do, don't attempt to buy anything from Kits of Somerset, unless it's at a show and you have what you want in your hand, before stumping up. There are several locked threads on Rmweb, that got quite vitriolic on the subject of kits paid for and have never been seen. I have also been within earshot of some very heated discussions between the owner and disgruntled customers.
  10. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    No need for a “proper” reply, just post photos of the wagons as you work on them and finish them.
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  11. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    Morning (where I am at least!) Mr Overseer.

    I am very grateful for your help.

    I love the first photograph you posted above. I think what this really highlights is how wagons were adapted/changed/updated/repaired over a working lifetime. New planking, re-lettering, repainting in whole or part; these are all things that make wagons unique. It is a good reminder to me that there is no 'standard' model as time goes on, and that the subtle changes can be, or rather should be, reflected in our modelling.

    Whilst I'm not one for towing the prototype line that closely, I do like to have an element of reality in my modelling, and don't want to do anything that is completely unbelievable or would never have been possible. What your photographs and really helpful discussion exemplify is that there is scope for a lot of customisation and help provide comfort that my eclectic approach can be justified (to an extent).

    I'm thinking that adapting them as 'internal user' wagons is also an option. Remnants of GWR livery but marked with an 'X' to signify they were not allowed onto the national network. I think that is right, but apologies if I'm wrong on what the 'X' signifies?

    Gives lots of food for thought. Particularly the top photograph. I'll post some photos of my work in due course but thanks again for your valued input.

  12. David Hall

    David Hall Western Thunderer

    And finally, if anyone is interested (I cannot imagine you are though!) here the said wagon is with the motley collection of stock for my emerging light railway project.

    I've been working on these on and off I recent months but still quite a bit to do.

    Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. This keen but bodging amateur really appreciates it.