Dapol O Gauge 7F-053-003 BR diagram 1/039 13-Ton open merchandise wagon unpainted wood.
This wagon is completed in the natural or unpainted wood economy scheme from the WW2 to early British Railways period, with the metalwork being painted. Wagons ran with unpainted wood sides for several years, but deterioration of the unprotected wood saw this particular economy measure being dropped. This model will be quite noticably different in a goods train.
Open wagons had long been a principal merchandise wagons on Britains' railways, even though the percentage of covered vans had increased steadily British Railways still found a need for new open merchandise wagons in the 1950s.
Dapol are producing a range of BR standard design wagons using the standard 10-foot wheelbase 17ft6in length underframe. Many thousands of wagons were built using this frame in the 1950s and 60s, these wagons serving British Rail into the 1980s and still a familiar sight on heritage railways today.
A diecast chassis has been produced, providing plenty of weight for open wagons and any flat wagons which might be produced and are fitted with spring buffers and coupling hook with 3-link couplings. The chassis also incoporates a positionable brake lever.
British Railways Ideal Stocks Committee favoured the LNER all-steel design wagons as the standard high sided open merchandise wagons, but recognised that the all-steel wagons proved unsuitable for some traffic and wooden bodied wagons would also be required. Wood body wagons noticeably suffered from damage to the end planking as loads shifted, often during shunting. The LMS had addressed this issue with robust corrugated steel end panels and as BR sorted out the left-over pre-nationalisation building programmes diagrams 1/039 and 1/044 appeared as the first of the BR design 5-plank wagons to be built in large numbers.
5,650 wagons were built to diagram 1/039 with vacuum train brakes and sheet support rails, typically lettered 'HIGH-BAR' to indicate the fitting of the sheet rail.
Initially many wagons were completed with ironwork painted but with the wood planks remaining unpainted except for black background patches for the lettering. Although intended to save work, paint and therefore money the unprotected planks were found to deteriorate more rapidly in service. Full painting was resumed as the wagons were repaired.