VEA

Revolution Round-up 2018

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.

 

Leamington reflectIons, VEA views and Cargowaggon arrivals

It’s been a tiring but rewarding weekend at The International N Gauge Show at Leamington.

As many will know our IZA Cargowaggon twin vans arrived with seconds to spare on Friday evening, meaning that our normally tidy stand became a scene of model mayhem – at least for the first few hours – with a combination of those keen to see our new offerings and those who’d come to collect their wagons.

Fortunately on both Saturday and Sunday things calmed down a little after lunch and we were able to see something of the show.

Cargowaggon vans waiting to be unloaded in the yard on Annston, a wonderfully atmospheric layout depicting a secondary line in the Midlands.

Most rewarding was seeing our Pendolinos, TEA tankers, Class B tankers and now Cargowaggon vans giving pleasure on so many of the layouts.

Back on the Revolution stand many came to see the factory painted samples of the new VEA vans.  Once we have received and checked painted samples of all the variations in BR Maroon, BR Railfreight Red/Grey and RfD dark grey and yellow these models will go into production, and are expected by Q1 2019.

VEA van in the colour officially known as BR Maroon that really looks like brown.

The door handles are stamped metal to make them the correct profile, rather than the usual wire.

Many visitors commented on the exquisite underframe detail – such a distinctive feature of the prototype.

Those who were not admiring the VEAs or collecting Cargowaggons came to pick up our first “catalogue” – or rather, 4-page leaflet – showing all our plans for the next few months.

Below are all four pages so those who did not attend the show can see what we are offering:

P1

 

P2

 

P3

 

P4

In terms of timings, we are expecting to close the order book for the KFA container flats at the end of this month, and the Class 92s probably 4-6 weeks later.

We’ll most likely open the order book for the Sturgeon and HOA in a couple of weeks or so, followed by the Class 128, Cemflo and IPA toward the end of the year.

As well as offering what we hope our fellow enthusiasts will want, we are also trying to stagger our products to give supporters a chance to budget!

The Class 320/321 is expected to go to tooling very soon.  Unfortunately Rapido trains are no longer able to produce this model for us, so we have decided to switch production to another manufacturer.  Although we are sad Rapido will no longer be involved we would like to publicly thank them for their superb work so far which will help to ensure the finished model is of high quality.

VEA makes an explosive entrance!

Revolution Trains is offering the VEA airbraked van in N gauge as its first non-crowdfunded model.

Instead, this model will be available to buy through retailers in the usual way.

The models have already been tooled and painted samples were unveiled at The International N Gauge Show. Images will appear here in due course.

First EP sample

These vans feature NEM couplers in kinematic sockets, high levels of detailing on the underframe and separate brass buffers and metal door handles.

The model offers our usual high levels of underframe detailing.

The VEA vans were converted from BR Vanwides from 1978-1983 and designed to offer an airbraked wagon for MoD munitions and supplies that could negotiate the tight curves at some Army bases.

As well as running in short block trains on their own, they also operated in short cuts with a wide mix of other wagons in BR Speedlink mixed freight trains.

They were in widespread use until the mid 1990s and after that still saw service in MoD sidings or depots – in this scenario making them the ideal accompaniment to the N Gauge Society’s forthcoming Hunslet industrial shunter.

The models are being produced in the following liveries:

BR Railfreight maroon as applied to the first 50:

 

BR Railfreight red/grey as applied to most of the rest:

 

RfD dark grey/yellow:

 

For each variant several different numbers will be offered, with correct variations in the style and location of BR symbols, warning patches etc.

 

by Sonic Models, a new Chinese manufacturer looking to increase their profile in the British market.

 

Weathered models are also set to join the range.  We will be giving more information about where to obtain these models shortly.

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