Color variations of some Big Big Train wagons

posted in: Rolling Stock, Wagons | 2

Apparently during the production process of Big Big Train rolling stock it was sometimes necessary or desired to change the color of the plastic used.

The Side Tipping Wagon (RV273) is an example because it can be found in at least two shades of green.

There is a dark and a light green version and I think even the dark version can vary so there might be more shades of green.

Look at the picture and see for yourself. How many shades of green do you distinguish?


Big Big Train green tippers


I wonder why this was done. Maybe it was just because of practical reasons for instance because a color was not available any more.

Sometimes a wagon shows up in a very rare color.
I was able to add two items to my collection that are examples of rare colors. A gondola wagon and a separate container as part of a change-a-truck wagon or an open wagon.

Let’s look at the gondola wagon first:

Big Big Train caramel gondola 1

Big Big Train caramel gondola 4Big Big Train caramel gondola 2


The gondola wagon is in an odd sort of caramel color. It reminded me of the color of another sixties classic: the Caramac candy bar.



The gondola wagon is not painted although when I found it the inside was painted black. I removed that paint using some Blue Wonder and underneath was the same caramel color. In my opinion this caramel color is not a discoloring but a genuine color produced by Rovex / Tri-ang.


Now let’s look at the open wagon container, the one on the right in the next picture:

Big Big Train faint red container 1

Big Big Train faint red container 2Big Big Train faint red container 3Big Big Train faint red container 4Big Big Train faint red container 5


The change-a-truck or open wagon container is in a sort of faint red. When i first saw this container I thought it was a discoloring of the red version.

I think It might be just that but then the color is too even to be a discoloring by sunlight in my opinion. Could it be a discoloring by chemicals or just age? Who knows.

Could it be that when something went wrong during the the production process some unusual colors were produced? If anyone can give more insight on this then please let me know. I am also interested in other odd colors that may exist.

For now I am happy to have these mysterious strangely colored wagons in my collection.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar photo

    Awesome – great to see you have the rare “Caramel colored Gondola!!!”

    It was so funny,,, when I first went to a Model Fair in Melbourne Australia to re-start my collection, I actually came across this! But because I had never heard or seen of this version, I mistakenly thought that it had been re-painted!!! (But I purchased my 1st green tipper wagon from this meet!).

    Years later, (after much research and cursing after I let this one slip through my hands), I am happy to say that I have this in my collection!!! 🙂


    Steve W

    • Avatar photo

      I can tell that you know your Big Big Train stuff!
      The caramel gondola is a rare one indeed. I found it on Ebay if I remember well and could not believe it either.
      I will look it up in Pat Hammond’s book come to think of it. I cannot remember him mentioning this one.

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