A Tale of two Heljan VAA (O gauge)

Some of you may have seen my Brown VAA disguised as a ZYA Stores Van on my O gauge layout Morlock Heath, it is a small engineers depot based in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

Having purchased a Railfreight Grey/Red VAA when they first came out, and with it not now fitting easily into my current plans. I decided to convert it to a Civil Link liveried version.

The research part of the project was a disappointment – I could not find a VAA in Civil Link that was repainted and converted to a ZYA or for that matter a ZRA. I did consider shelving the project or converting the van to a VDA that did get converted. In the end I decided to proceed with the project although it was in theory – fictitious.

As it was fictitious I did not want to spend a lot of money on the project and so some compromises were used. Civil Link branding is in Black – it  should be Railfreight Grey and twice the size. The buffer beams should be black not red. And the ZYA should be white on Black. How about some graffiti to distract rivet counters?

I have now put the brown VAA back to a ‘COV AB’ as one built-in 1969, just in my main era.

The Old




The New




Forgive me my  lapse in reality!!!


One thought on “A Tale of two Heljan VAA (O gauge)

  1. Theres always things we would have like to have seen but never made it to reality. It didn’t stop a certain RTR manufacturer for a while…

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