Revolution Trains was recently invited by the 5637 Steam Loco Group to the East Somerset Railway so the forthcoming Sonic Models N-gauge 56xx could be introduced to one of the surviving prototypes.
5637 is 94-years-old, and keeping her going involves a combination of hard work, skill, and TLC. But members of the group were keen to see how well the Sonic Models 56xx captures the look of the real thing…
Sonic Models’ 56xx captures every detail of the locomotive as she is now, even down to the tiny plate commemorating the life of Brian Hankins, one of the group’s founder members.
Once the model had passed muster, Revolution’s Ben was given the opportunity to fulfil a long held ambition and drive the locomotive… at times reaching the giddy speed of 15mph…
The Sonic Models 5637 includes a small premium on the price which will be donated to the 5637 SLG to help them fund a major overhaul of the locomotive which is due by 2021.
As well as 5637 in BR lined green with late crest, the models are available to pre-order in BR Black with early crest, BR plain green, GW green with GWR lettering and GW green with Great Western lettering. You can pre-order from Revolution here for an earlybird price saving approximately £20 on the sale price once the models are delivered.
The VEA vans produced in conjunction with Sonic Models are due to be unloaded anytime now and we expect to receive them by the end of next week. We’ll get them shipped out to our retailers and customers as soon as possible – if you have ordered direct from us and would like to save a bit of postage by collecting at TINGS then please drop us an email by 31 August (so that we know not to send your order out!) and we will confirm if it is possible. If you place an order between now and TINGS and would like to collect at TINGS then please put a note in your order in the delivery notes and we’ll bring them along for collection and refund your P&P.
In the meantime we thought it would be helpful to show some sample consists for anyone yet to decide on which VEAs they would like. Loosely speaking the late 70s and early 80s the majority of VEAs would have been Maroon, then early 80s started to see the introduction of Railfreight red/grey with the Railfreight Distribution grey with yellow ends introduced in 1990.
If you would still like to purchase some VEAs they are available from some of our retailers or direct from our web shop here.
Sonic models, working with Revolution Trains, has confirmed the first six versions of its forthcoming GWR/BR(W) 56xx 0-6-2 locomotive.
This locomotive is Sonic’s first powered model, and is also the first 0-6-2 model offered ready-to-run in British N gauge. It will feature NEM couplers and 6-pin decoder socket.
S2101-01 – 5637 in lined BR Green with late crest*, short top feed and heavy wheel weights. This represents the locomotive as preserved, with 82H shed code, and includes a small plaque on the fireman’s side that reads “John Hankins – 1928-2013” in honour of one of the key members of the restoration team that worked to bring 5637 back to operational order from the mid 1980s. This model includes a small premium to enable Revolution to make a donation in due course to the 5637 Steam Locomotive Group to support their work.
S2101-02 – 6681 in lined BR Green with late crest*, short top feed and original wheel weights. This locomotive features the smaller sized BR crest carried by some tank locomotives and will be lightly weathered. It carries 84E (Tyseley) shed code.
S2101-03 – 5633 in unlined BR Green with late crest*, tall top feed and heavy wheel weights. This locomotive features the standard sized BR crest carried but is unlined and carries for 88A (Cardiff Cathays) its last allocated shed.
S2101-04 – 6639 in unlined BR Black with early emblem, short top feed and heavy wheel weights. A significant number of the 56xx class were repainted into BR Black following nationalisation, and in most cases the top feed was also painted. It carries shed code 86E (Severn Tunnel Junction) which was its 1948 shed.
S2101-05 – 5616 in GWR green with Egyptienne lettering, tall top feed and heavy wheel weights. A number of locomotives retained their GWR branding after nationalisation for a short period, including 5616.
S2101-06 – 6623 in GREAT WESTERN green with Egyptienne lettering, tall top feed and original wheel weights. This locomotive was built in January 1928. It has been preserved and is currently being overhauled.
Revolution Trains will be attending the DEMU Showcase exhibition at Swadlincote this weekend, June 1st and 2nd 2019.
Avalaible to buy will be our two new 40′ hi-cube containers, produced in association with C-Rail, in the striking pink of ONE (Ocean Network Express) and orange of Hapag Lloyd.
If you wish to order see here or buy from the stand.
Also on display will be deco samples of our upcoming HOA hopper wagons on N. So far we have received two versions – Cemex and Ermewa/Tarmac – and the others are not far behind. If all can be approved at the first pass then we will be ready to close the order books and being production within the next few weeks.
We will also have the EP1 sample of our forthcoming N gauge 56XX GWR 0-6-2 tank locomotive from new entrant Sonic Models.
Although hardly a model aimed at the DEMU membership, one of the versions on offer will depict a preserved locomotive that is still active.
The models incorporate a variety of detail variations to allow different locomotives to be depicted; these include short and tall top feeds and alterations to the wheelweights.
Once development and tooling is completed these models will be available via our network of selected partner retailers.
And in all this excitement 00 modellers have not been forgotten – on Saturday morning we will be announcing another 4mm scale model now our TEA tankers have been delivered.
To see what it is, visit this site at 1030 or come and see us at Swadlincote on stand W12!
The Sonic Models/Revolution Trains 56XX steam locomotive is now in tooling with EP1 samples expected soon. To whet the appetite, here are a couple of images showing the variations that are being catered for.
When built the locomotives had short safety valve covers and original style balance weights.
Later, the locomotives were fitted with revised wheels and a longer safety valve cover. The tooling has been designed to cater for both types.
Once the EP1 sample has been thoroughly tested then liveries will be confirmed and deco samples prepared; once these are approved the model will be ready for production.
These models are not crowdfunded and are not expected to be available for order from Revolution Trains but instead from our selected partner retailers.
Four models delivered, three new manufacturers identified and two new powered models offered has made for one amazing year!
As ever we should acknowledge that we could not do any of this without those who have supported us – with time, with expertise, with generosity but most of all with orders. It is only because modellers are prepared to pre-order on trust that we can make all this happen.
And we’d like to say thanks to Rapido Trains for their amazing work, our new manufacturing partner Sonic Models, two other factories we have been using and those traders who’ve supported us including C&M, Cheltenham Model Centre, Collett’s Models, Kernow Model Rail Centre, Plus Daughters, Rails of Sheffield, Osborn’s and Trains4U.
In February our first model aimed at transition era enthusiasts – the Class B tanker – arrived. The wagon had struggled to generate enough interest and came close to being cancelled, but when we saw the quality the factory had achieved we were delighted it had made it – and judging from the comments from so were those who’d supported the project!
Recently we were sent a photo by Ian at Mercig studios of a superb Esso class B he’d weathered. In the accompanying note he wrote: “..this is the best N Gauge wagon I’ve ever worked on!”
Esso Class B weathered by Mercig Studio
Then, in March, the main event – the arrival of the Pendolinos.
This was the culmination of the dream that we and our supporters had bought into back in 2015 when we began the project – and boy did Rapido Trains deliver. Everything about these models was stunning – from the trains themselves to the manual and the book-case packaging.
Pallets full of Pendos…
But we had little time to admire the models when there were hundreds of fellow modellers waiting for them – and we’d like to thank our friends Paul Churchill and Gareth Atkinson who came up that first weekend and helped pick, pack and post the first hundred and fifty or so. We also owe a large debt of gratitude to Allen Pearson – inventor of the amazing Nelevation vertical fiddle yard – for kindly allowing us to use his storage unit to keep the Pendos safe.
At the York show some customers were able to collect their Pendolinos (thanks Abbie) but the majority were posted. This was a massive task, especially as the majority of the work was done just by the two of us in our spare time. They were dispatched as best we could in chronological order of purchase and we would like to thank all our supporters for their patience waiting for their models.
However, seeing an 11-car set tackling the graceful, sweeping curves of Heworth Sidings, by the Yorkshire Area Group of the N Gauge Society, made it all worthwhile!
Poppy Pendo on Heworth Sidings at the York show
Even as we celebrated the success of the Pendolinos the IZA Cargowaggon twins were en route and they arrived just in time for The International N Gauge Show at Leamington – arguably the premier show of the N Gauge year.
Revolution IZA Cargowaggons in single and triple packs
At just over a year from announcement to delivery these were our fastest model yet. With the innovative factory-fitted flashing tail lamp option they have proved hugely popular and prompted Kernow to join us in offering a 4mm version which is currently under development.
4mm IZA CAD
It did mean that our planned TINGS display was slightly obscured by the piles of wagons being collected by customers, but we were able to show painted samples of another new model; the VEA munitions van, which is our first non-crowdfunded model and is being produced in association with Sonic models.
Sonic/Revolution VEA vans – painted samples.
The man behind Sonic is a former Kader engineer who designed some of Graham Farish’s best N gauge models, and this is the first time a Chinese manufacturer has sought to market their own brand British outline models directly in the UK.
We also offered three new models including a second powered model – the Class 128 Parcels diesel railcar in N. The other two were both wagons: the IPA car carrying twin flats – in plain, side-staked and covered versions, and the Cemflo cement wagon in association with Accurascale, the Dublin based manufacturer making a big splash in 00. Both of these are now at the CAD stage, but we have not yet opened the order books.
M55990 at Manchester Victoria. Photo courtesy Mark Carter.
IPA CAD image – this is the flat version with stakes.
Cemflo CAD courtesy Accurascale.
By the middle of November we were preparing for the arrival of our first 00 models, the TEA tankers by Rapido Trains, and once again we prevailed on our friend Allen as five large pallets were airfreighted in.
Their arrival just in time for the Warley National Model Railway show at the NEC meant that as well as supplying those ordered by Kernow models and Trains4U once again we had to enlist help once again from our friends Paul, Gareth and Abbie to hand out those that customers had arranged to collect.
Kernow Model Rail Centre’s Chris Trerise with a small fraction of his TEAs!
The remainder are being sent out by us but twice the scale means eight times the volume, and the sheer size of the 00 models in comparison to the N gauge products we are used to has meant new packaging solutions and dispatching all the models has taken much longer.
Those who visited us at Warley may remember that we were right next to a double decker bus brought in by our friends at Rapido Trains to publicise their latest new model – this gave us an excellent location for a meeting where we were able to examine the final version of the Class 92 locomotive ahead of production and confirm production of another run of Class 390 Pendolinos in Virgin’s latest “flowing silk” livery, as we as more TEAs in N. These will be available to pre-order early in the new year.
Class 92 final test sample by Rapido Trains.
At Warley were were also able to unveil our first steam locomotive – the GWR 56XX in N produced with Sonic models – along with the latest CADs for the HOA hopper and an all-new 4mm model – the MMA/JNA box wagon. These are again not crowdfunded but being produced after we were approached by an investor. We are offering three variants in DB red and Ermewa and Tarmac grey liveries, while models in VTG/Mendip Rail silver and GBRf blue will be available exclusively from Kernow.
Handpainted sample of MMA wagon in DB red.
First CAD of 56XX steam locomotive.
We also took delivery of the 20′ Tank Containers in N that we produced in conjunction with C-Rail. These, along with the 40′ hi-cube containers last year, have been very well received and we will be producing another new RTR container next year. This came, coincidentally, shortly before we closed the order book for the KFA container flats accompanying them which are in production now.
Revolution/C-Rail tank containers in Stolt, Nichicon, Bulkhaul and Hoyer liveries
To conclude, here is a quick reference progress chart summarising 2018. We anticipate that the next models to be delivered will be the 00 MMA/JNA, N KFA and N 92.
Amazingly, 2019 will mark Revolution’s 5th anniversary (we can’t believe it either!) and we are looking forward to next year being our biggest and best year yet! But as ever, we couldn’t do any of this without our fellow enthusiasts, so once again we’d like to thank you for your support.
Revolution Trains has now received painted samples of all three versions of its forthcoming VEA van, produced in association with Sonic Models.
L to R: BR Maroon, BR Railfreight red/grey, BR Railfreight Distribution grey/yellow.
Of the 550 built, the vast majority were outshopped in the popular BR Railfreight red/grey livery.
There were numerous variations in the positions of TOPS panels and maintenance labels, and in their use for MoD explosives or munitions many received diamond warning panels – their presence (and the traces where they were torn off) are a distinctive feature.
Revolution and Sonic are offering 5 different versions of this livery, each reproduced from photographs on Paul Bartlett’s excellent site – see here
Also available will be the attractive dark grey and yellow colours of Railfreight Distribution (RfD) with small RfD squadron marking and Carlisle Currock depot sticker.
Because significantly fewer VEAs appeared in these colours we will only be offering three different numbers.
BR Maroon was applied to the first 50 VEAs and while this sample was shown previously at the N Gauge International Show, here it is again:
Weathered versions are also planned, and the masters for these are now being prepared. Once all liveries are approved production will begin, and details of where and how you can order these models will appear.
Revolution Trains is offering the attractive GWR/BR(W) 56XX 0-6-2 tank engine as its first steam locomotive.
This model is being produced in conjunction with new entrant Sonic Models, and will feature high levels of detailing and a smooth reliable running.
Though the engineer behind the model has a track record of producing highly regarded steam locomotive models in N, the 56XX has been selected in part because it does not feature complex outside valve gear.
200 of the attractive 56XX locomotives were built at Swindon (with a small number built in the North East due to capacity issues) and designer C B Collett borrowed heavily from the proven south Wales valleys engines inherited by the GWR.
The locomotives were reliable and sturdy and while originally intended for traffic in south Wales they rapidly saw service across the GWR, and subsequently the western region of British Railways, from the South West to the Midlands.
All were withdrawn by the end of 1965, and nine are now preserved.
The models will be available in GWR green, BR green and BR black, and will feature coreless motors, NEM 6 pin decoder socket, NEM couplers, original or later style driving wheel balance weights, Swindon or Armstrong (NE) safety valves, detailed cab interior and accessory detail pack.
Delivery is expected Q4 2019.
CAD for this model has now been approved and an image is attached. Like the VEA van produced by Sonic models, this product is not being crowdfunded but sold via retailers in the traditional way.