I was just going through some Photo's on my PC from back in 2018 and come across this file I had made up of my modelling efforts to create this VLDX Model. I can't even remember why I chose not to share it on my blog at the time. Anyway here it is.
This model is a serious kit bash. AFAIK there has only been one model kit available of this wagon produced and that was from Broad Gauge Bodies. On Track Models had produced real nice models Ready to Run of the VLCX, VBBX and VLEX. They had also produced both versions of the VLCX. Auscison have also done both versions of the VLCX RTR.
I only have the On Track Models representations of these Victorian Vans, so when looking at options to make up one of the VLDX vans, I chose to use parts from On Track Models 2nd version of the VLCX to kit Bash a VLDX. I see this van as the most closely related in Construction.
I am no expert on Victorian Vans but from what I can work out, The Victorian Railways constructed 20 of these 52 foot long VLDX Lourved Vans. I believe they were made for a pacific haulage contract at the time. This is why they have an unusual length. Up till this time they had only built Vans in this series as 40 footers and 56 footers.
I have noticed these vans as part of consist on trains passing Taree in the early 90's, but never got up close and personal with a VLDX. So I have had to make a number of guesses on how these are constructed. I am very thankful of people like Norm Bray for his Flickr Site Norm Bray | Flickr that has many photographs of rolling stock for those that really missed out on getting photo's of wagons while they were running. He has given permission for me to use his photo's to explain my modelling process.
My aim for this project is to make the model as closely as OTM's have produced their Victorian Vans. So it looks like it may of come out of one of their boxes originally.
What makes these vans unusual is the length and the doors which only roll to the right on each side. This in a way makes it relate more to the VLCX Van rather than the VLEX Van. I also lacks the extra pressing on the side panels that the VLEX has.
The second version of the VLCX is what I can see as being the mostly closely related Van in it's general construction. I have used the On Track Models version of this van to construct my VLDX. The side panels on the 3 panel end are the same (H beams between the panels) The Ends are the same, the roof has the same profile and panel size. Going off the fact that these have a steel floor and not timber like the first version of the VLCX, I have used a steel floor on the VLDX.
When you look at the first version VLCX, it is quite a bit different. The ends are different at the base around the coupler area. The side bracing is very different and the top door runner is different. This also has a timber flooring. It is well presented by the OTM's version of this.