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21 Ton Diamond Shine - Decorated MDO/MDVs Are Here!

Time for yet another project update! Today we bring you the decorated samples of our forthcoming 21ton mineral wagon family, namely the MDO and MDV wagons. 


We revealed these beauties at the Festival of Railways Virtual Show back in November, showcasing tooled samples of both the diagram 1/107 (later classed as MDO under the TOPS system) and the British Railways vacuum braked 21 Ton mineral wagon diagram 1/120 (later classed as MDV under the TOPS system). This announcement went down very well indeed with modellers, as finally a ready-to-run model of these humdrum but essential wagons for much of the BR era was on its way. 

These are rough decorated samples which we received from the factory during Chinese New Year. While we are happy with many parts of the decorated samples, there are still some areas that will need attention before production can commence. This includes the wagon plate area, the white on the handbrake handles and general paint coverage. However, overall they show great promise, with some beautiful printing of panels in particular. Improvements will also be made in the brake shoe area of the MDOs and general fit and finish to areas such as the handles and brake gear.

The unfitted 21 Ton mineral wagons (later MDO) were introduced in 1950 building on from previous GWR wagon designs. A total of 1,500 wagons were built to diagram 1/107 and featured oil axle boxes, two doors either side with another at one end only for end tipping. These wagons remained in service until 1987, running in block trains and mixed with other coal wagons such as 16 Ton minerals, 21 Ton hoppers, 24.5 Ton hoppers and others. The last outpost for MDOs was on workings between Llanelli and Swansea Docks as the unloading facility could not end-tip vacuum-fitted wagons at the time.

Meanwhile the vacuum braked 21 Ton mineral wagon (later MDV) began service in 1961 as a development of diagram 1/107 platform, featuring additional flap doors over the side doors, roller bearings and vacuum braking. A total of 3,950 wagons were built to the 1.120 that our model represents. Once again these wagons ran both in block trains and mixed with other coal wagons such as 16 Ton minerals, 24.5 Ton minerals (later MEO) and hopper wagons like the 21 Ton BR hoppers. The MDVs soldiered on in service until 1992, representing an interesting traditional wagon throwback in the exciting railfreight sectorisation era.

Price per three wagon pack is £74.95 with bundle deals available as always, giving you further savings. Delivery is slated for Q3 2021 with production about to get under way. They are available to pre-order direct right here or via one of over 100 local stockists! 

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