Often, interesting bits of rolling stock get over-looked because they don't fit in with what is conventionally thought of as a "passenger" train or a "freight" train. I personally dislike the plethora of RTR model freight wagons because whereas they might be accurate models, they are usually in garish and often fictional liveries. In my experience, I have never seen a bright clean uniform train of "Colemans" vans. Even PO coal wagons used to have odd planks still in "wood" colour where the works didn't have the luxury of time to give them a lick of paint before returning them to service. In the same manner, we have all seen them tailed with a guards van or two, but how many rememebr the Diesel Brake Tenders that disappeared in the 80's? They were always turning up and it seems that my two just add a touch of "oh, I remember those" realism to unbraked or partially braked freights.

The DBTs where created to add braking ballast to unfitted trains - just simply a heavy weight with brakes. They were designed to be drawn as part of the consist, or propelled at upto 45 mph (see piccy at the end). Often they were in pairs and the LMR had a habit of coupling one either side of the locomotive. I have a photo somewhere of a 25 at Cricklwood in just such a formation. They were fitted with lamp brackets to display the standard locomotive "disc" headcode for when being propelled (the front of the locomotive is obscured). They were essentially two coach bogies fitted to a custom chassis, the body being a metal case filled with scrap steel to a weight of 37.5 tons. There is a rumour that the roof on the case was from scrapped coach roofs but I don't know so much. There was an ealier, more square version (35.5tons) which I have not modelled but both can be seen in the consist in the B&W photo at the bottom of this page.

I have two of these... the one photed here, is blue with full yellow ends and although fresh from a Toton repaint (My layout is 1968) it is already showing signs of the general day-to-day grime of being un-loved... did any of these EVER get washed? The second is in green with upper and lower half yellow panels and very much dirtyier, almost to the point of being unrecognisable as green. The weathering here is a light dusting on the sides (especially bogies) of Ford Tuscan - a beige colour that mimics brake dust quite effectively and although a gloss finish, a spray of matt lacquer and then a liberal dusting with Precision Paint's "Roof Grime" makes done. I have yet to finish with lettering and this will provide clean patches on the sides where the grime has been (prototypically) washed off to reveal the lettering beneath. Even in unfinished state, this addition looks great dragging along behind (or propelled) on a van or mineral train.

It was constructed from a kit (can't remember the name but they are on Ian Stoate's site) and are a single piece in moulded plastic. You have to supply your own bogies, buffers (large OLEO from BHE) etc. The moulding is OK, some filing and filling had to be done. Overall I am very happy with the kit and have just one minor gripe: Being plastic, they are very light and tend to derail when propelled. I filed a gap underneath and superglued some 2mm lead flashing which has helped greatly but I wonder why they couldn't be cast in whitemetal? Ne' mind... all round a good model and a welcome addition. The pictures below don't really do it justice... the brake dust is much more prevalent and the grime doesn't appear so "blobby" as it does in the close-ups... need a new spraygun. Also, got to shorten the shanks on the BHE couplings to get a tighter fit.

   

   

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