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New Announcement! Welcome To The Accurascale Siphon G in 00/4mm...

From the transportation of milk, to mail and newspapers for over 50 years, the GWR designed diagram 0.33 Siphon G was a widely travelled stalwart of the network. A high quality model in 00/4mm scale covering the detail differences and long lives of these characterful vans is long overdue. Welcome to the Accurascale Siphon G, featuring the 0.33 diagram, (our variants begin at Lot 1578, starting with 2751, introduced from October 1936) the BR(W) 0.62, the O.59 and M.34 conversions, as well as the BR Newspaper Van conversions of the O.62 (NNV) in 00/4mm scale. 


The history of these vans is varied and very interesting, venturing from providing transport for milk for the GWR, to serving as ambulance coaches during World War II, to nationalisation and parcels workings, and into the BR blue era on parcels and newspaper trains as well as departmental duties into the mid 1980s.

Our Project Manager Paul Isles has written a comprehensive history on these vans, which you can read in a dedicated blog by clicking here.

The Model

As is the Accurascale way, we have produced a wide ranging, comprehensive tooling suite to cover 15 different versions of these ubiquitous vans, once again leading the way in detail and prototypical variation in the model railway market. 

With 15 different versions available, the first run of our Siphon G models covers examples from the entire operational period of the prototypes; from July 1930 through to the early 1980s and feature a selection of liveries carried by these versatile and distinctive vans.

Liveries modelled in the first production run include:

  • GWR Brown with ‘shirt button’ monogram
  • US Army Deep Bronze Green with Red Cross
  • Transitional British Railways mix of GWR livery with BR lettering
  • BR Carmine Red
  • BR Maroon
  • BR Rail Blue

Even within these livery styles, there were several variations, and we have sought to replicate these differences where we can, to provide a comprehensive study of how the Siphon Gs appeared during their service life.

Extensive use has been made of metal parts to add to the detail levels throughout, the footsteps even carrying diamond tread pattern and the quality of the running hasn’t been forgotten either, with the 26mm axles running in brass bearings to enable a smooth ride. Extensive areas of piping and rodding have been added to the underframe to improve the appearance of the models and the various cabinets even feature separately fitted wire handles.

As a rough guide, the O.33 can be recognised by bodyside top vents, plain roofs and plain ends, with the wartime Casualty Evacuation Train/US Ambulance Train Ward Car conversions adding roof mounted water tanks, end steps and handrails, plated over vents and the addition of small windows.

Upon conversion back into service stock as O.59 and M.34 diagrams, the O.59 is broadly identical to the O.33 pattern, but with roof mounted ventilators, whereas the M.34 retained an appearance broadly similar to the wartime Ward Cars, but with the roof mounted water tanks being removed.

The BR built O.62 diagram retained the look of the O.33 diagram but added eight sliding vents to the lower bodysides and the later conversion of these vehicles as NNVs saw various vents being plated over on an ad-hoc basis, and the addition of Electric Train Heating apparatus and external emergency lighting points. Across all diagrams, the positions of underframe cabinets varied in size and position, as well as two types of vacuum brake cylinder positioning and two styles of handbrake lever being fitted, depending on that layout – there was even the fitting of Westinghouse brakes to the US Ward Cars! At the van ends, gangways varied slightly in style, with some vehicles being fitted with passenger communication leads, often in varying positions.

With so many diagrams, and variations between prototypes, careful reference to photographs was required to bring out the details, as well as visiting existing examples where possible, or relying on heritage railway volunteers to aid us in our research, and as ever there are several people we must thank for their input, especially John Lewis and Mike Romans.

Our thanks also extend to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway at Toddington, as well as the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton; both of whom hosted survey visits and also to Hugh McQuade at the Severn Valley Railway, who provided some valuable measurements at the eleventh hour!

As ever, the arrival of the engineering samples highlights areas for improvement, and the Siphon Gs are no different, as there are some minor fit issues that need to be resolved, as well as erroneously fitted (or not fitted) parts for some of the builds (hardly surprising with 15 different versions of the Siphon G).

We are also looking at options for the provision of close coupling, as the positioning of the bogies did not allow for the fitting of kinetic couplings, or to bring the NEM pocket deeper and the traditional tension locks are a little ‘leggy’ for our liking (although they will still be provided as standard fitting), so watch out for further updates on this in the New Year, along with the provision of decoration samples.

Check them out in action on Hornby Magazine's "Topley Dale", and learn about all the different variations we are doing in our first run as Paul chats to Mike Wild.

The Siphons are now available to pre-order via your local stockist or direct via our website with a price of £54.95 each and 10% off when you buy two or more. Delivery will be in Q1 2023. Browse the full range by clicking here.

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