Saturday, 28 March 2015

Thornycroft No.1 Van

The No.1 van was the first vehicle to be made by Thornycroft in 1896 and still exists today in The British Commercial Vehicle Museum collection. It was steam driven and heralded the start of commercial vehicle design and manufacture by J.I. Thornycroft.

The model has been on the agenda for some time because I was not sure what material to make it from. There were a number of concerns from an N gauge modelling aspect for something so small, like the thin window frames for the large open windows, body planking and cart wheels.

In the end the bodywork was made quite quickly by using actual photographs of the prototype. These were opened in a photo editing Application and scaled to an assumed cabin entrance height of 6 feet. The panels were then inkjet printed onto photo paper, cut out carefully to preserve the thin window frames and glued to make up the rectangular body. The cross braced bars in the side windows are thin wire glued in place.

Inside is the oil fired steam boiler made from FIMO clay.

The cart wheels were initially a problem. I could have bought some from P&D Marsh but as I did not know the dimensions of their units and only needed 4 not 20 I could not justify the purchase. The solution was FIMO clay again and after several failed attempts acceptable wheels were achieved.

In the photo below is No.1 van and a J class lorry in 1916 war department livery, which by the 1930s (our model period) was a museum piece itself. They are on display outside the Museum Garage at the Thornycroft factory. The odd angle is because the roadway slopes away from the garage doors.


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