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The following ‘guide’ is for adapting a GWR Toad Brake Van into a permanent grounded one either

as a crew room or store, etc. The model that was used had a badly damaged chassis, which was

beyond repair, and this idea came from an old photograph of one at the GWR Stratford Shed being

used as a crew ‘mess room’. The principle of this adaptation could easily be applied to some other

vans and, of course, to other railway companies.

Remove wheels and couplings, and then separate the van body from the chassis and set aside.

The chassis will need all buffers and handbrake removed. Cut off the sandboxes, axle boxes, brakes,

lower step and coupling mountings. This will create a flat underside to the floor. Cut five pieces of

3mm x 3mm styrene (or similar) and glue crossways to the underside to represent timber supports

to this grounded van.

Now take the van body and remove the internal partition, which will need the lower part cut away,

so as to fit into the end of the open verandah and glue into place. The open sides of the verandah

will now need infilling with horizontal 2mm wide styrene strips (to represent boarding), and some

backing pieces (to hold these in position). A small strip will need to be placed vertically above the

original ‘entry gate’ to create the effect of a door into the van.

The end windows will need either glazing or blanked out. On the model illustrated, I decided to

only glaze the original end windows, as the verandah end ones were blanked off with support angles

to the side infilling.

For added realism, add four shell ventilators along the centre line of the roof.

Other possible options could be the creation of an extra window and/or partial removal of some of

the handrails, the odd ‘repair’ to the upper boarding, etc.

Before painting the body, glue it onto the floor base and then clean all surfaces with methelated

spirit using a cotton wool bud and leave to dry for about 5 minutes, before applying paint.

Depending on the location for this model, it may be necessary to apply some ‘weathering’.

For added realism, some notices, fire buckets, staff (seated and/or in various poses), etc. could all

add to the ‘scene’ created. (Images)