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sherpas-batch-2Long time followers of my efforts might recall a batch of 4 Sherpa vans I did from the kingfisher Miniatures kit. I said at the time that I wanted to do more and after a long wait the kit is back in stock so a second batch has been started.

Sherpa’s were a common sight in my childhood as they were produced locally at Washwood Heath. While my travels didn’t take me over there often I tended to see rows of brand new ones parked up between Tysley and Small Heath waiting for shipment by rail. Public bodies were urged to buy British and BR, the Post Office, BT and schools used them extensively over the (better) Ford Transit. The suggestion was that Ford couldn’t make Transits fast enough to meet demand anyway!

Unlike the last batch which was relatively simple (the conversion of 2 to sliding door variants was about as adventurous as I got) this batch is a bit more involved.  On the left a BT version with swappable body/ The body being a simple plasticard box. Second along what will become a minibus in the livery of my secondary school. This is a bit of a best guess as I cant find a picture of one. We definitely had them and I am pretty sure they were long wheelbase ones. The back of the BT one was used to stretch the body but minibuses were wider than vans so the whole model was cut in half (2 cuts down the bonnet on the panel lines and spread with microstrip before gluing back together.The wheels are from Paragon models.

Third along is how the kit was intended, this one is destined for British Gas livery. Lastly another port office one, this time long wheelbase and high roof. I remember PO vans being slung round the streets of the midlands with the driver’s door wide open. Careful consideration of where you cut the van bodies mean you can get 2 long wheelbase vans from a single spare shell.

This is the basic surgery stage. The detailing stage starts next.

Kingfisher Miniatures

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Alan B
Alan B
5 years ago

Hi Jim, nice to see more Shepra’s being built, they seemed to get everywhere! As a kid I remember Home Express (Littlewoods catalogue delivery arm) Sherpas with the three ducks on the side screeching to a stop outside our house, sliding door permanently open and the driver leaping out and running down the path with a parcel from the catalogue. I went on to work for them in later life when they became Business Express and remember driving round with the door open, great in summer, but horrendously cold wet and draughty in the winter even with the door shut! I seem to recall some of our sliding door vans had bits of cardboard sellotaped round the door to cut down on draughts/rain ingress!

The larger vans, I.e. The wider ones where called the Convoy.