Revolution Trains is offering another run of its highly acclaimed TEA tanker wagons, which were Britain’s first ever successfully crowdfunded RTR model and voted N Gauge Rolling Stock Model of the Year 2016 when they were launched.
We are not only offering the existing versions, albeit with new running numbers, but also the possibility of some other variants including the latest versions introduced for aviation fuel to Heathrow airport.
These models will be available to order soon; as ever only those reaching minimum order numbers will be produced.
Once again these models will be produced by Rapido Trains, whose reputation for quality is now well established.
Revolution Trains is proud and honoured that our TEA tanker wagon has been voted “Model of the Year” in the N Gauge Rolling Stock category in the 2016 British Railway Modelling/RM Web annual poll.
We would like to thank all the readers and supporters who voted for us, and acknowledge the enormous amount of skill, dedication and hard work that our partners at Rapido Trains showed to earn this award.
We would also like to thank VTG, and Paul Lugg in particular, for their support and encouragement, and of course we are hugely grateful to all our fellow modellers who stepped up and enabled us to make this, the first of what we hope will be many new models, happen.
Revolution Trains was also surprised and thrilled to have come second in the prestigious “Manufacturer of the Year” category, which seems quite remarkable for such a new company.
The winners in this category were Graham Farish, and we would like to offer our warmest congratulations to all those at Bachmann for their well-deserved success.
2016 has been a landmark year for Revolution, and as it draws to a close it seemed appropriate to look back and thank everyone who has suppported us.
In February, at Model Rail Scotland, we unveiled the first working sample of our Class 390 in N. The model had been handpainted – partly for marketing purposes, but mainly to confirm that the laser-scanned body-shape was correct as all the colours “sit” correctly.
However we did find that in their efforts to make them as unobtrusive as possible Rapido’s engineers had made the inter-car couplers too flimsy, and we asked for a redesign.
In March, to assist with our proposed Class 321 EMU, we were invited by Eversholt and Wabtec to their workshops at Doncaster where the prototypes are being rebuilt under Project Renatus.
This enabled us to compile a detailed collection of photographs and measurements of the many underframe components; though in turn this has created quite a headache for Rapido as it means the drawings of this model have proved to be significantly more complex than originally expected – and Rapido are renowned sticklers for underframe detailing!
At Easter at the York Model Railway Show we announced plans for a KFA container flat in N. This wagon represents one of the “missing links” in N, and with a good quality model already available in OO from Hornby there seemed little prospect of it appearing from Farish or Dapol.
Like the well-received TEA tankers our model is being produced by Rapido and will feature a plastic deck with metal longitudinals to maximise weight and ensure good running, even when unloaded.
Going one further than the 4mm model, we are offering both build types – with the VNH-1 bogies and Gloucester GPS types. These wagons will be useful for anyone depicting the late 80s to the present day.
With months the CAD designs were approved, the model sent for tooling and we have just been sent images of the first moulded shots – see news item immediately preceding this one.
In June we heard from Rapido that the TEA tanker was going into production. However, the models took significantly longer to actually produce than expected – because the many markings on the tanker barrel could not be tampo printed in a single pass, due to the its curved shape.
In the end, and depending on the livery, each barrel took at least three passes per colour per side – for some model that made a total of more than a dozen separate applications. Add to that the many different detail parts – up to 70, for some configurations – and it is not surprising that the factory later informed us that these models were among the most intricate they had ever been tasked to produce.
By the DEMU Showcase exhibition in July we had received a second Pendolino sample with modified couplers. This was immediately tested and while the robustness of the new couplers was immediately apparent, there were still some issues with the performance on tight “train set” curves. After a couple of weeks of ongoing testing to establish where corrections were needed, the another redesign began.
The first sample of the OO TEA – announced after many requests from 4mm modellers – were also on show for the first time. These models are now being rest run and we are expecting production in the New Year.
At TINGS in September we unveiled plans for another 1960s era model – the Class B tanker. We had tried to offer a model previously to enthusiasts favouring this era but the Class 21/29 did not earn adequate support to proceed. Following a well argued campaign from enthusiasts on the web we decided to offer the Class B tanker.
These distinctive wagons were seen across the network from the late 1950s to the 1990s in both block trains and cut into mixed freights in smaller numbers. Many modellers will remember them with nostalgia as the subject of the popular Airfix 4mm kit.
We have already had CAD drawings produced in an effort to encourage interest, however so far the response has been disappointing. We will give this model until February 2017 to gather enough support, otherwise it will be cancelled.
We also announced 40’hi-cube containers – the world’s most numerous type – in N in conjunction with C-Rail and first samples were unveiled before Christmas. Six liveries will be available – Maersk, MSC, Hamburg Sud, Hanjin, Evergreen, and UASC.
Shortly after TINGS – in October – we received word from Rapido that the production TEA tankers had landed, and so it was that we spent three weekend packing and dispatching Britain’s first ever crowdfunded RTR models – to universal acclaim.
One magazine wrote that the models were a “benchmark for quality, fidelity and value” while another reviewer felt that they were “exquisite, in terms of prototype fidelity, decoration and performance.”
Included with the TEA tankers were a flyer announcing our next powered model in N – the Class 92 electric.
These much-requested locomotives fit in well with our West Coast theme, and we have secured the full co-operation of Brush Traction, enabling a research visit to be arranged shortly after.
The response to this model has been excellent, and with the assistance of Brush engineers and others progress has been rapid, with CADs now complete with tooling expected to begin in January.
Our last major date in 2016 was the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in late November, where once again we were able to meet many of our supporters – and others – and announce another new model: the HOA hopper.
Response to this model has been exceptionally good and already the design work has begun, with 3D CADs expected early in 2017.
So as 2016 draws to a close we look back on a year in which we have delivered our first model, tooled two more, completed or continued design work on three more and announced a fourth and fifth.
Next year – with the continued help of all our supporters – we look forward to delivering more models and offering more choices.
To sum up, we would like to thank everyone who has ordered from us, the model railway press, RM Web and the N Gauge Forum and exhibition organisers for enabling us to communicate with and meet our supporters, and our Rapido Trains colleagues in Canada and China who have delivered such fabulous models.
Or, in the words of one respected magazine assessing our TEA tankers: “Revolution has definitely delivered a quality product and there is much more to come…”
The reviews are in for the UK’s first crowd-funded RTR model and the critics are impressed!
“Their record of delivering quality models has helped them overcome the fears of potential customers. Our sample ran faultlessly…the decoration is simply outstanding.” – Ben Jones, British Railway Modelling.
“These models are exquisite, in terms of prototype fidelity, decoration and performance.” – George Dent, Model Rail.
“…has a ‘European’ finesse. Revolution has definitely delivered a quality product and there is much more to come.” – Mike Wild, Hornby Magazine.
And this is a tiny fraction of the emails our customers have been kind enough to send:
“…the detail has left me in awe, speechless.” – KM
“…fantastic!” – DP
“…if I am due a postage refund please put it in the pot. I will be ordering some 92s!” – GL
“Congratulations on an excellent product..” – SM
“…even the boxes are fantastic!” – JB
“All…are perfect in every detail.” – TL
These messages – perhaps even more than the magazine reviews – make all the hard work worthwhile, so thanks to everyone who has contacted us to say how much they’re enjoying their models.
We are glad – and a little relieved! – to have justified everyone’s faith in us, and would like to thank our customers, the various model railway publications and the forums for their ongoing support.
We are sorry if you missed out on our TEA tankers in N, but you can still pre-order our Class 390 Pendolino, KFA container flats, Class B tanks, hi-cube containers, Class 320/321 Electric Multiple Unit and very soon our Class 92 locomotive.
Our TEA tankers in 00 are also still available to pre-order. We anticipate the book closing for these shortly after the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC, where we are sharing a stand with Rapido.
Today, thanks to everyone who supported us, Revolution Trains was able to make a little bit of model railway history.
Our TEA tankers started dropping through letterboxes – or rather, arriving in signed-for parcels with Royal Mail – and in doing so became the first crowd-funded RTR models to be delivered to the UK market.
Announced in March last year, these models have taken just over a year and a half to go from dream to reality and we could not have done it without all the supporters who looked carefully at our plans, assessed our credibility and then took the huge step to trust us with their money.
We would also like to thank Rapido Trains for all their hard work, often going beyond the call of duty to deliver stunning models with prototypical detail differences around catwalks, discharge chutes and brake gear.
From prototypes to packaging, they have not skimped or spared any effort to make these models as good as they could be.
In the future there will undoubtedly be more crowdfunded models – from us and perhaps from others – but there will never be another first. So if you’re in for some of these TEAs just enjoy that thought!
Revolution Trains had a busy weekend on stand 34 at The International N Gauge Show at Leamington.
TINGS, as it’s known, is arguably the most important show of the year for the N Gauge community, and it’s the place to meet our supporters and and update them on progress.
As well as announcing our two new models (see news items below) we had the latest sample of our upcoming Pendolino on show.
In full 11-car mode we were able to play with the DCC Sound functions and demonstrate the approved couplers with working electrical connections and the customer-fit light bars.
The coupler problem has taken three iterations, each taking several weeks of redesign, head scratching and testing.
We are now finalising some of the chassis performance issues around the interface between the DCC Sound chip and the motor performance, and then it’ll be time for final painted samples and production.
The most common question all weekend was “when will the model be here?”
The honest answer is we don’t know exactly how long it will take the factory to manufacture 10,000 separate vehicles. Our best guess is that customers will start receiving models in Q1 next year, meaning that from when we first laser scanned the train to delivery will be a fraction under two years.
Compared to others, and not withstanding some of the development issues, we feel Rapido have done a pretty amazing job to get this far so quickly, and we are very happy with the quality they have achieved.
The models are still available to order (that was the second most popular question asked all weekend!) but the order book will probably be closing in the next 6 weeks or so.
Production versions of all our TEA tankers – plucked from the production line and air-freighted in from China for the show – were also on display as the main batch was preparing to leave the factory for the journey to Britain – and then on to the layouts of our supporters.
Indeed, on Sunday Rapido emailed us an image showing the entire production leaving the factory ready for the journey west:
It feels like we didn’t stop talking all weekend (and by Sunday evening we all had sore throats) but it was great to meet so many existing customers – and hopefully draw in a few new ones.
Our next show will be the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC on Saturday November 26th and Sunday November 27th.
Come and see us when we will be offering at least two new items including our next powered model.
Please come along to our stand 34 at the International N Gauge Show (TINGS) this weekend (10 and 11 September) to see and hear about our latest product developments (production samples of the TEA tank wagons and the final development sample of the Pendolino) along with a couple of new announcements.
We’ve focussed our energy recently on finishing development and production for our earlier projects so our announcements are not perhaps the major announcement that we have been holding back on until we had started to deliver products to our customers. Nevertheless we continue to work on new ideas so that we have a rolling development cycle and we think that our two new announcements will have widespread appeal to modellers (and we will have an exciting announcement at Warley)!
Rapido have sent us a short video showing some of the assembly and quality control work being done on our tankers. The models featured are those in VTG red livery. We are hoping that these are not too far away now from being shipped.
Rapido have sent through images of the packaging that will be used for the single and triple set TEA tanker wagons.
Each wagon will be in its own clear plastic (not card) box for protection. (Ignore the white label on the wagon, this is just a factory sticker as the model is a sample.)
The observant may have spotted that we’ll have our own “Revolution” branded lid….
The triple packs will feature three individual boxes packed together in a dedicated sheath. The example below is for the VTG grey models; the other types follow the same house style but with different artwork.
The reverse side has information about the prototype, a photograph and carries Rapido branding as well as our own.
Progress on the models themselves has taken longer than expected due to the many markings and safety warnings carried on the prototype.
Some can be tampo printed in a single pass, others require multiple passes. And the curved body of the wagon means that, to avoid distortion, the lettering on the side cannot be applied in the same pass as that on the lower body even if it is the same colour.
We understand that you, our customers, are as keen to get the models as we are and once we know they are ready for shipping we will have a better idea of when they are likely to be here and ready for delivery.
Tooling is now well underway on the TEA tanker in OO, our first crowd-funded model in 4mm scale.
The photo below sent by the factory shows the main tool for the tank barrel. The detail slides shown here are, confusingly, the bottom (top) and the top (bottom.) Or you could think of it as uppermost is the lower section, while the top section is below!!
This photo shows the same tool, but this time with the bottom at the bottom and the side slide above.
The barrel end caps are different to each other, as one has the ladder mounting plugs and the other does not. The top shows the inner part of the tool, with the large holes in the centre for the ejector plugs, while the lower photograph shows the outer face.
Sadly we won’t be getting test mouldings in time for the DEMU Showcase on the weekend of June 4th/5th, but we do expect something fairly soon afterward and will post images here as soon as we receive the components. Don’t forget the EarlyBird price deadline of June 30th.
TEA 2 – N
Away from the toolroom, the N Gauge models are now at the painting and lettering stage. Many of the parts are painted before assembly, as can be seen here with the Greenergy green barrels, the first pass of lettering on the EWS version, and some ends ready for final assembly of the VTG red models.
The multitude of different logos, warning panels and numbers on these wagons mean each needs numerous passes through the tampo print machine, and each pass has to be aligned to within fractions of a millimetre.
We are hoping that, while there is clearly work still to do, these models will be ready for shipping within the next few weeks.
The production of our N-gauge 100 TEA tanker wagons is well underway, and the factory have sent us a couple of photos to show a sense of the scale.
Here, a small number of the moulded barrels are in a tray awaiting checking.
We estimate there are between 120 and 140 barrels – so the total production run will run to well over twenty such trayfulls!
Here, the barrels are being stacked on their ends; we presume ready for painting.
Each model has many more moulded parts, as this picture shows – though only one barrel end sprue is needed per model, and some of the parts are either/or depending on the variant.
Once the models have been painted and assembled, they will be ready for packing and shipping to us and then on to our customers, and once again we would like to thank everyone who has joined us to make this happen.
Thank you to all of our customers who have placed orders for TEA bogie tank wagons. The response has been fantastic. We are aware that at times some of you have struggled to place an order on our website – if you have already contacted us we will sort your order out early next week, if you haven’t contacted us but still wish to place an order please contact us immediately as we are working through the orders and finalising the production run early this week (1-7 February).
For those of you that have placed multiple orders we will dispatch the orders in the same package and refund you any excess post and packing charges that we can. Please give us a few days to process P&P refunds as we have hundreds of orders to process and check!
As we approach the order deadline of the end of next month, we have prepared a schematic illustrating various prototypical tanker trains to assist customers choosing their models. These indicate the locomotive type and livery, the liveries of the various wagons in the complete train and their position, and the date. We have not attempted to record individual vehicle numbers!
These cover trains from just a single wagon up to 32! The flows shown cover the major refineries and terminals, and include examples of all the wagons we are producing.
The image below is a preview; below it is the complete, downloadable PDF.
If you wish to find further consists to individualise your trains, a top tip is to search for the train reporting code (eg 6D79) on You Tube – there are lots of videos showing dates and complete trains to represent!
The TEA tankers have been assessed and a few small areas are being tweaked to be a neater fit, slightly less flash-prone or refined in other ways.
While we wait for the final approval samples to be sent, we thought supporters may like to see just how much goes into a single wagon.
Not including wheelsets, there are 63 parts in our Freightliner TEA. Each bogie has a pair of brake calipers and either two handbrakewheels (ladder end) or a ride sensor; the underframe has plastic discharge nozzles, actuators, air tanks and brackets and wire pipe runs, while each end has an outer frame, close coupler mechanism, separate buffers and cosmetic coupler hook, along with two Rapido couplers as standard.
The barrel itself comprises a central cylinder with two parabolic ends, ladders, four barrel cradles and three manlids which are combined differently to suit the correct production batch.
And the roof etches themselves are not a single component but actually seven different parts – the centre section, six narrow outer sections and the small end platform.
For those unable to make it to the Warley National Model Railway Show at the NEC here is an image of the first four painted samples of the TEA fuel tanker.
The liveries we have so far are VTG red, EWS and Greenergy green, on he turntable, and Freightliner alongside. These models and the Pendolino samples were photographed by the mainstream magazines and we are hoping they’ll be featured in the next issues.
We have been checking the TEA samples for any problems and other than a little tightening of some of the tooling and a couple of tiny niggles there seems to be little at fault.
Apoloigies for the indifferent quality of these images – they were snapped on an iPad. To make some of the details clearer I have converted them to black and white.
This image shows the underside. The brake pipes and discharge links are fine wire. The circular witness marks are left by the ejector pins on the tool and are not visible when the model is on the track.
The handbrakewheel on the bogie can be seen in this shot, along with the detailing at the ladder end. We are particularly pleased with the strengthening ribs on the rear faces of the buffers. These are prototypical but rarely depicted! The etched catwalk is slightly distorted due to clumsy handling. Although fairly robust, the fine detailing does mean these models will need to be handled with care.
We are now awaiting painted samples to check the liveries. Once this is done we will be ready to start full production, and at this time the order book will be closed. Don’t worry if you haven’t ordered yet though – all registered subscribers will receive an email reminder.
We are delighted to have received the first samples from the tooling. There are a few minor tweaks that we need to make but we are pretty pleased and hope that people will like it!
Rapido have done a great job with all the detail variations and the finesse of the details (both etched and moulded – I am particularly impressed with the panel lines on the tank barrel).
Ben has put together a short video on the TEA samples and some of the work that has gone into getting us to this point. We hope you enjoy it. Please don’t forget that you can still order your TEAs from our webshop here.
We have been looking for a solution to our e-shop’s inability to take non-EU orders, or more specifically so that it deducts VAT correctly for non-EU orders.
Despite the system in theory being capable of adding VAT only to EU orders at the moment we seem to have a choice of VAT or no VAT for all orders! So customers from the EU should continue to use our online shop, but customers from outside the EU should use this “manual” order form and follow the instructions for payment.