Author Topic: A roof vent, is a roof vent, is a roof vent?....Not quite!  (Read 1843 times)

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Offline John Candy

The roof vents on wagons and carriages may seem a mundane and trivial topic but the variations between different eras and companies are considerable.
The whole "look" of a model can appear not quite right if the incorrect type is fitted.

The one item of my rolling stock which has been worrying me for sometime is the GWR Y11 FruitD (from a GRS kit).

The GWR used "shell" vents for most, if not the whole, of its existence during 20th century and the GRS type are most unconvincing (look more like torpedo vents with the pointy ends cropped off).
Having seen an example of the new G3 GWR van kits from Walsall Model Industries, I was immediately struck by the more realistic appearance of their shell vents, so I ordered some.
I now have to retro-fit them to my fruit van but a couple of photos are attached for comparison purposes.

Similarly, torpedo vents came in several sizes and profiles.
Wagon & Carriage Works sell the LNER "squat" type as fitted to Gresley and Thompson vehicles (I fitted them to my diagram 5 horsebox which for some inexplicable reason GRS supplied with shell vents).

Williams Models supply some extremely nice "tall" type torpedo vents (you can actually see daylight through the outer ring) which I am fitting to my GNR and CLC vans.

The GRS torpedo type could, I suppose, be termed "generic" and will suit many modern (by that I mean 1930s to 1950s) vehicles.

Anybody care to add to this list of suppliers with details of other types?
Perhaps the BR "dome" types or the quirky "scoops" used by the Caledonian?


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Offline MikeWilliams

Brandbright also make torpedo vents of two types.  Whitemetal are probably for 16mm scale and too large and too tall for us.  Their brass ones are better but have square bases which may exist in real life, but I've never seen one.

As it happens, I researched torpedo vents a few years ago when restoring a carriage from c1893.  I believe most railways used the same type when they came out and certainly LNWR, GNR and LSWR did.  These were to a Truss patent of 1885, but other makers produced one which look identical to me.  These are the ones I produce.

In the 1890s a shorter type was introduced because roofs were getting taller.  They were exactly the same as the early type, but cut down from the bottom so the outer ring merged into the base, saving maybe 1.5in overall.  I have only seen one in real life.

A miniature version was introduced for lavatories and carriages with high roofs.

Then most railways went over to the shell type and that is when the designs sem to multiply, maybe as each made their own.


Offline Traininvain

Walsall do accurate LMS pattern shell vents in w/metal
There will soon be some v nice BR hemi-dome vents available, prob l/w brass
I can supply to order accurate l/w brass LMS/LNER squashed torpedo vents (cast by Slaters from a pattern I had made by Tony Hunter)

Offline MikeWilliams

Any photos Ian?