Plow Vans

Almost ready to head for the paint shop (and an excuse to christen the new air compressor from Runway 13 !) are NZBF 1041F and BBP 1049X. These two wagons represent the same plow van at different stages of its life. Pretty much the same under frame with revised body arrangements. They were an integral part of most ballast trains and ran to every corner of the state, so would be at home on just about any layout with only the type being era specific.

I've had a temporary secondment from the Large Erecting Shop over to the Wagon Works and two wagons that are way past their contracted delivery date have been brought to my attention.

These fellows are both Hanovale kits, which are currently 'off line' at the moment and not producing, whilst these are not, in my opinion, high quality castings, Hanovale produce a line of products which fill a market segment which is, generally, not served by another producer in terms of individual models. I hope Hanovale comes to a point where production can commence again in the near future.

These kits both require a fair amount of patience and a light touch as the chosen material is quite brittle and does not respond well to a 'blacksmiths' approach. Whilst excess flash on the resin castings is not a problem there is some on the small white metal/pewter castings (steps) which must be removed with great care with a fine file. The resin body castings required some filler but not a great deal which was pleasing for this type of casting material as well as a fair amount of sanding with some fine wet and dry to remove molding imperfections and blemishes. A better model would have resulted from some more under floor detail (brake gear) cast separately in another material rather than 'half casting' as part of the floor.
Some skill with the soldering iron is required in both cases, particularly in the case of the hand rails for the NZBF. Hanovale has included a jig for these hand rails and it works quite well despite looking a touch confusing initially. I used Zap CA for assembly which resulted in almost permanently connected fingers a couple of times but it bonds the material well. The roof on the BBP was over length and required a 'cut and shut' to bring it into size with the body. I used my recently acquired Proxxon 58mm table saw which did a near perfect job. When it came time to join the two roof halves together again, the joint required almost no filler. Proxxon makes some great gear. Check them out.
These are definately 'modellers models' and not for the beginner, careful reading of the instructions in required, but these also include a fair bit of prototype info as well. Whilst they do require a fair amount of work, this, in my my view, is a plus. The finished product will reflect the amount of time, care and effort you put in and refine (or wake up!) your modelling skills and that has to be a good thing.
If you have some of these kits in storage they may become 'collectable' if Hanovale does not start up again, which I hope they do. Dig 'em out, dust 'em off and get modelling!


  1. G'day mate,

    Are these plough kits still available anywhere? of do you know of anyone wanting to get rid of one?



  2. Kyle
    Not that Im aware of. As far as I know the Hanovale masters are "in storage". The is a buy, swap sell page on facebook, you could try there.