Rapido Trains UK is proud to announce brand-new N Gauge Iron Minks and Not-Quite-Minks.
Our range of Iron Minks was an absolute blast in OO and loads of you have asked us to shrink them down to N Gauge. We have been mulling it over, and we think that now is a good time to follow up on the popularity of the recently released Not-Quite-minks, and iron out the designs for our N Gauge fans.
The Great Western Railway’s V6 ‘Iron Mink’ is one of the most recognisable designs that came out of the Swindon wagon drawing office. What made these wagons so recognisable was the fact that they shunned traditional wooden construction and were made from metal instead. Shortages of timber forced the GWR to investigate building vans from metal but it wasn’t until 1888 that what could be called the ‘Standard Iron Mink’ appeared. This boasted a 16ft 6in underframe and a capacity of 8 tons. Over 4,000 were built up to 1901 when the GWR reverted to wood bodies.
With war looming, the ‘Iron Mink’s’ metal construction made it an ideal gunpowder van. Wooden doors were replaced with thick metal ones and the end ventilators were covered with a plain panel. After the First World War, these ‘Iron Minks’ were converted back to goods traffic.
The ‘Iron Minks’ were long lived with examples surviving through until British Railways days in revenue and Departmental service. They could be found all over the UK railway network and some were recorded as far north as Inverness.
Though the GWR pioneered the ‘Iron Mink’, the basic design was adopted by not only private wagon builders but other railway companies. Other railways and builders would use what was essentially the ‘Iron Mink’ body but use underframes and fittings to their own design. Whilst not quite right we thought we would offer ready-to-run ‘Not-Quite-Minks’ that represent railway companies and private owner organisations where the pickings of RTR models are quite slim – we trust that modellers will overlook any slight prototypical inaccuracies in order to enjoy highly authentic and well-researched liveries on a beautiful looking and refined model.
Amongst the range is a nice selection of tooling variants to cover some of the different guises the ‘Iron Mink’ had throughout its existence. These include plated or vented ends, wooden or gunpowder van metal doors, and numerous brake configurations.
The models are currently in the design stage, and we are hoping to have samples in Q2 of 2024.
These items are now available for pre-order.