German VTG bromine ferrytanks scratchbuild

German VTG bromine ferrytanks scratchbuild

Postby Dave Millward » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:32 pm

Even'in' all,

The gathering of images , drawings, parts and materials is sufficiently advanced to allow a start to be made on 2 of these distinctive tanks once the unfitted batch of ex-ironstone hoppers has made its debut on Mostyn. We have a good variety of pictures of them, the collecting of which was made easier by the identification of the traffic flow for which they were produced and their likely route to the train ferry at Harwich. They were built in Germany in the early 70s using old underframes and new barrels. Their use was the transport of bromine from North Wales to Germany for use as a fuel additive. The singularly most significant image for our period is the only pre-1977 image that we have, this is from the Kaminski Photo-galerie ... 55kp5m2wb5))/Gallery/index.htm note this doesn't seem to work as a link but gives the web address for the picture, courtesy of the Franz Kaminski website and appears to be the works image dating from the conversion/rebuilding of the tanks around 1974.
Our first evidence of the presence of these tanks along the North Wales coast during our period came from a 1979 picture at Penmaenmawr on the 2D53 website. The tank took a little detective work to identify but my curiosity was piqued. Knowing that we would struggle for detailed drawings and information on the domestic AO fleet the sheer improbability of ever having enough information to attempt a decent scratchbuild of the German built visitors made them ever more desirable. An appeal via the Wagon Research and UIC wagon sites resulted in works drawings for the original underframe, dating from around 1940, as well as those produced for the actual conversion/rebarrelling for their forthcoming continental/trainferry use in the 70s.
The next issue was sourcing the basic parts such as buffers, axleboxes and wheels as the continental HO components available from German model engineering sources were unsuitable for P4. Further exchanges on the UIC site have suggested that our beloved Ultrascale 3 hole disc sets are suitable for the build but the appearance of the discs will have to be changed to replicate the German outline. Axleboxes and probably leaf springs have now been sourced from a newly released Heljan ferryvan and Dave Franks of Lanarkshire model supplies is producing the buffers. Eileens Emporium has provided the brass barrel tube and curved sections for the barrel support as well as brass U sections for the framing. Having the ALPS printer will make the large amount of German text on the wagons much easier to reproduce.

The production of these chemical tanks will naturally lead into a large build of the Associated Octel fleet. We need to reproduce 7F12 the afternoon Amlwch to Ellesmere Port block working as well as having sufficient vehicles for trip 30 from Mold jcn to Bangor for forwarding to Amlwch on trip 46. Not forgetting that trip 47 revenue from Llandudno jcn to Mold jcn regularly included Octel traffic, as well as the golden opportunity for 1 or 2 silver anti-knock tanks (normally seen at Plumley at that time) featuring in trip 37 Chester to Point of Ayr/Connahs quay for maintenance at Crumps wagon repair shops.

We have two of the most knowledgeable people in the UK on the subject of Associated Octel supplying us with information/motivation for this build and we won't be allowed to miss out the rarities in the fleet or get the balance of numbers wrong.

As the ex ironstone hoppers take to the rails so work will start on the 2 models and I'll detail their progress in this column.

The bespoke buffers from Dave Franks arrived this morning, very distinctive and superbly reproduced. Many thanks Dave!


Last edited by Dave Millward on Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Dave Millward
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Re: German VTG bromine ferrytanks scratchbuild

Postby Davef » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:54 am

Hi Dave, you asked in a phone message how the Bromine buffers were coming on so I'm posting this pic of the master just waiting for the bolts to be added and the mounting flange thinned and shaped, I think I've captured the subtle taper from the flange to halfway along the buffer guide.
I've, (we've) been very busy getting the website ready for publishing and last night it went live at so everyone can see our products in technicolour, it's a simple website, no fancy gimmicks just easy to navigate and understand with, as requested decent sized pictures of buffers etc. It's still being fine tuned so please point out any problems as you find them.
Bromine buffer.jpg

Bromine tanker buffer master.
I'm doing a couple more masters to go in the hand mould so the Bromine ones should be with you sometime next week, okay.

All the best.
Dave F.
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Re: German VTG bromine ferrytanks scratchbuild

Postby iak » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:05 am

Hallo Dave
Just had a look at the new website - nice...
Mind it does look a bit odd on Firefox, its all a bit squished into the middle :

Index Page & Products page
Text on left of page is obscured by blue box
Menu buttons drift off of the blue box on the left.

I sense a Barrowmore block order soon :lol:
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Re: German VTG bromine ferrytanks scratchbuild

Postby Richard Oldfield » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:07 am

Hi Dave,

Congratulations on getting your new website up and running - I'll have a good look at it later today.

Dave Millward might not see your posting until midweek as he is away working but I'm sure he'll be delighted with the bromine tank buffer masters.


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Re: German VTG bromine ferrytanks scratchbuild

Postby Dave Millward » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:35 am

Mornin' Dave,

Many thanks for the update and progress on the VTG tank buffers. It was actually the expected date for the Oleo buffers for the ex ironstone hoppers that I'd forgotten, just trying to get the build order into sequence.


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