Hollar Models

In the 1950s and 1960s some heavy users of rail freight services would stick posters on the sides or doors of vans or containers carrying their products. These were a everyday sight on British Railways in the steam and early diesel periods, and almost every main line and pick-up goods train of the period showed at least one example.  They gave a splash of colour and authenticity on otherwise drab bauxite vans and provided a touch of colour in a drab, industrial environment. Their characteristic period design will add authenticity and variety to your models.

Sample  Sample Sample

Hollar Models posters represent the originals as accurately as the imperfect photographic record allows.  Many of them are based on dimensioned sketches done at the time. Others have been produced by research using photographs, and by using other resources for evidence on the tricky subject of colours. The whole 4mm range is available to all here and can be downloaded free of charge using the links below. The 7mm range can be found on the Gauge O Guild’s site, also free to all-comers.


Bananas & Textiles (PDF )Sample
Foodstuffs & Cement (PDF)Sample
Fertiliser & Everything Else (PDF)Sample



To turn your downloaded PDF into labels on your vans, all you need it a colour printer and something to print them on. You can get by with ordinary paper, the thinner the better, but getting them flat and secure onto your van without a trace of visible glue isn’t straightforward. Better by far is to use ordinary self-adhesive address labels which are easy to source. These are available in full A4 size, but in practice you can use any size of label and just write off those posters which don’t print properly. The perfectionist can always take the PDFs to a print shop with a top quality colour printing service.


Some of the posters come in pristine and weathered versions. The photographic evidence is that they usually fell off, or were torn off, before they got very dirty, though a little drybrushed streaking does no harm.

Carr’s Biscuits – a Warning

These should be a darker blue throughout and these should print in this form. For unfathomable reasons some printers show the script panel in a paler blue even though the RGB colour values are identical.