Miniature Railway Specialists in 5 inch gauge and 7.25 inch gauge

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5 inch gauge GWR Gunpowder Van


Great Western built a number of different variants of the Gunpowder Van, from 1874 onwards. Not surpisingly, the body construction methods - and indeed the regulations covering their use - differed significantly from that of other similar vans. In particular, great care was taken to prevent the occurence of sparks when opening and closing doors, by ensuring there could be no steel on steel contact. Hinges, screws, bolts etc were all brass. The wood encased interior was lined with lead sheet up to a height of several feet, and the vans were completely dust proof. 

Gunpowder Vans were in service through to the Second World War and well beyond and during wartime the strict regulations were relaxed somewhat. For example the usual maximum number of coupled GPV's was five carrying a maximum of 10,000lb of explosives, yet during wartime a train of up to sixty vans, carrying up to 16,000lb each, was possible for government explosives traffic!

We have based our van on the 9ft wheelbase "Cone" type of wagon, (not to be confused with the round cornered, converted "Minks", which were also known as Improvised Gunpowder Vans).


Our model, although reproduced to 1.0625”- 1’ is more of a representation than a like for like scale replica, allowing us to produce a reliable and useable model that still looks just the part. All steel construction and modern engineering techniques allow this model to be used on a garden railway or club track alike whether it is used in a rake behind a loco or shunted in a yard, without sacrificing detail.


TIG welded and rivetted body and chassis assemblies
Profile Channel section for chassis
Rivet detail (400 rivets!)
Sprung suspension
Sprung CNC turned Buffers
Sprung draw Hooks
Laser cut underframe gear, brake & spring detail
Detailed cast axle boxes & LWC brass buffer stocks
Finished in GWR grey.
Choice of wagon numbers allowing you to build up rakes of wagons
Full 12 month warranty

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