Tool Van: Body Building

My O9 (On18) version of the tool van on the Kirklees Light Railway is progressing well.

Before I assembled the components I checked to see if the bogies fitted correctly. I designed the van to use Peco GR104 bogies. These bogies are quite long, but the van is rather short. The rear of the bogies touched one another when they ran around sharp curves.

Peco GR106 bogies are slightly shorter and didn’t foul one another on tight curves. However I needed to move the retaining holes for the bogies closer to the ends of the van body to ensure the couplings were accessible.

I designed and printed a new floor for the van and it was straightforward to assemble the four sides and the floor. It was beginning to look like a van 🙂

Next I created a false chassis from some plastic ‘C’ section and four rectangles of plasticard. At this stage I added some small brackets to guide the bottom of the sliding door, like those on the prototype.

The KLR van has some small benches at one end and a shelf at the other end. I made these from scraps of plasticard. I will glue the shelf in place after I’ve painted the interior.

The interior of the van needs some tools and clutter. I brought these whitemetal tools from Scale Link who are still operating in ‘lockdown’ (Thank you for that!)

The figure is a cheap model from ebay. I don’t like the way he’s painted and I tried to remove the paint with ‘Strip Magic’ but this paint is very strong stuff….. I’ve given the figure a light sanding – hopefully the new paint will stick!

The next job is to spray everything with primer. I do all my spraying outside, so I’m waiting for a day when it is not too cold and not raining. It’s winter in England – I may have a long wait 🙂


  1. Interesting and inspirational. Also a bit informative, as I was told a while ago the Scale Link were no longer in business. Thank you for letting me know they are still around.


  2. Hello Steve, Impressed with the van and it should look really good once finished. With regard to paint stripping , it may sound a bit odd but Mr Muscle oven cleaner in aerosol form is a good!stripper. The formula changed a few years ago and not as potent as it was but stick the item in a sealable box, spray some oven cleaner on it and put the lid on the box and leave for a few hours. Wash the item under the tap. Depending on how good the paint is it will either all be gone or need another dosing. Have used this for years on plastics with no ill effects but always best to test first if unsure. If you try this method let me one he w younger on.



    • Hi Woody, Thanks, that’s a good piece of advice. But who’d have thought of that? How do people discover these things?? I will definitely give it a go. It will have to be a different model, this figure has been coated in primer. The rest of the packet of figures still need stripping though 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes. All the best


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