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BR ‘Shark’ Ballast Plough Brake

  • Kit 22: BR ‘Shark’ Ballast Plough Brake
  • NGSK0220
  • era 4-9
  • decals=NGST0220
  • difficulty intermediate



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BR built over 200 of these brake vans between 1951 and 1960. Vital to any permanent way ballast train, in addition to acting as a brake van it could spread the ballast discharged from the wagons by the use of special ploughs mounted underneath the veranda ends. It was common to have a Shark on each end of a train of ballast hoppers. While no longer needed as brake vans, some are still in use in 2020 as ploughs, and in the intervening years have received an enormous variety of liveries, reflected in the number of different markings provided on the associated sheet of decals. The main kit parts for the body are produced in plastic with white metal castings for the ploughs and brass etches for the plough shields and operating handwheels. Assembly is therefore relatively straightforward though some quite extensive modification is required to the Peco guards van chassis provided. This kit must therefore be considered only suitable for those with some experience in wagon kit construction.

Sharks have been in service for 70 years (and counting). They were rarely fully repainted, often repainted in a local style, and have had many owners over the years. The result is a particularly large and complex decals sheet which caters for many livery variations. It only has one copy of each allocation, so you may need a sheet per van if you want two with the same allocation, otherwise, you might manage two vans from one sheet. A guide to the different liveries and markings is available here.

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