Review of 4mm Scale Luggage / Parcels Vans

4 Wheel stock
Passenger Luggage Van, 'PLV' (Parcels / Miscellaneous Van, PMV)
Parkside Dundas Kit PC36
Developed by the SECR in 1919 the design formed the base for numerous luggage produced subsequently by the Southern. The Parkside kit is based on the pre 1939 batches of vans with even planking on the body side. The original SECR built versions did not have the side vents (the Parkside kit can be built as either version, with or without side vents) and number of the ex SECR PLVs were through piped in the 1930s for Pull Push work.
The general notes relating to the Parkside kits can be seen on page 3.
PLV A 'PLV' awaiting lettering and numbering.
The ex_SECR version of the 'PLV'. SECR PLV
Passenger Luggage Van, 'PLV' (Parcels / Miscellaneous Van, PMV)
From the 1939 built batch the PLVs were built with mixed 6½" / 3½" planking on the body side. I am not aware at the time of writing of a kit for this version.

For pictures of the passenger Luggage vans click here.

Utility Van, 'Van U' (Covered Carriage Truck, CCT)
Parkside Dundas Kit PC39 or Dapol ex Wrenn Ready-to-Run
First introduced in 1925 the Utility vans were similar to the PLV but with end loading doors also like the PLVs up until 1938 even thickness body side planking was employed and those from 1938 were built with mixed 6½" / 3½" planking as modelled by both Dapol and Parkside. The Dapol ex Wrenn utility van considering the age of the original tooling it is not a bad model although a few minor dimensional compromises have been made, mainly around the doors which like the Tri-ang bogie luggage van have been made to open. Also the under frame detail is a little over scale. I have repainted mine and in amongst the Parkside kits can be difficult to spot. The general notes relating to the Parkside kits can be seen on page 3.
Wrenn The repainted Wrenn 'Van U'.
The Parkside 'Van U'. 1737
Utility Van (CCT) Built in 1955 with Plywood sides
Parkside Dundas Kit PC47
As I model the period from 1946 to 1949 I have not added this version to my collection although the general notes on the Parkside kits on page 3 are still applicable.

For pictures of the utility vans click here.

Passenger Guards Vans 'Van C'(BY)
Parkside Dundas Kit PC34
First introduced in 1936 the Van Cs were effectively a stretched version of the standard 32ft Passenger luggage vans to 36ft to include a central guards compartment. Mixed 6½" / 3½" planking on the body side was used for all batches. The kits can be made as stove or non stove fitted (only real obvious difference being the chimney, and in southern days the livery as the stove fitted versions were not for working off the SR and were identified by orange painted squares at the top of the sides at each end and the lower part of the Guard's door.
The general notes relating to the Parkside kits can be seen below.
In 1950, 111 were built with Plywood sides, I am not aware of a kit being available for this version.

Van C with stove The 'Van C' with stove installed.
The 'Van C' without a stove. Van C without stove
Safe Fitted Passenger Guard's Vans 'Van C'(BY)
Modified from Parkside Dundas Kit PC34
Four of the Van Cs were fitted with safes and were identifiable due to the safe doors next to the Guards door on each side and had red painted squares at the top sides at each end and large white numerals. The safes were effectively a steel box across the middle of the vans next to the guards compartment which were only accessible via the doors on the outside of the van.
The Parkside kit was modified by drilling, cutting and filing openings for the safe door on each side and plasticard used to represent the steel door and its hinges.
The general notes relating to the Parkside kits can be seen below. For pictures of the Passenger Guards brake vans click here.
Van C with safe The 'Van C' fitted with a safe - note that red panels are used for this version which are different from the orange panels on the stove-fitted version and are not applied to the Guard's door.
General notes on the Parkside Dundas Kits
The Parkside kits mentioned above all follow the same basic design / assembly pattern, they are nicely moulded and relatively simple to build. Dimensionally I have found little to fault them. Like most plastic kits they benefit from the addition of some extra weight so that despite the relatively long fixed wheelbase it results in a nice running model.
A single sided A4 sheet of instructions, line diagram and brief historical notes is included with the kit.
The turned brass buffers are supplied in the kit, whilst nice turnings are not prototypical and I will soon to replace them with the more accurate sprung versions purchased from the Southern Railways Group Phoenix range (see their web site at:
Etched window grills are available to suit these kits from Roxey Mouldings.

Southern Railway Passenger Vans; Gould, David; The Oakwood Press; 1992; 0-85361-428-8
Illustrated History of Southern Coaches, An; King, Mike; Oxford Publishing Co; 2003; 0-86093-570-1

Useful links
Roxey Mouldings
Parkside Dundas
Southern Railways Group Phoenix range

All photographs are copyright Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt

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This page was created 22 June 2004

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