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Powered Pendolino debuts at Model Rail Scotland

 

The first working sample of our N Gauge Pendolino model has arrived and made its debut working on Arran Aird’s well known Law Junction layout at Model Rail Scotland at the SECC in Glasgow.

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Law Junction depicts the well known location where the Wishaw branch joins the West Coast Mainline south of Glasgow and is therefore a fitting place for the Pendolino to undergo line testing.

As this video shows, the complete 9-car train is performing well, however we have identified some small issues with the couplers we would like to improve.

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This test unit has been handpainted to check that the major colour borders and livery elements fall correctly on the model; it is missing small details such as cantrail markings and numbers.  The factory finished models will, of course, feature all of these.

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Latest Pendolino sample shows improved glazing

We have been sent images of the latest samples of the forthcoming Pendolino by Rapido.

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The glazing has now been improved to remove the “prismatic” effect on the first samples.

This image shows the PTSRMB (shop) car.

The pantograph is a plastic moulding that is unsprung so it can be posed at any height to suit layouts with or without catenary wires or masts.  The pantographs on the finished models will also feature etched heads.

This close-up shows the pantograph head with its stabiliser fins and the pantograph well, with various insulator pots and other details.  The crooked pot is an assembly error, which will be corrected on the finished models.

PTSRMB 2

These are the interiors of the five different coaches.  From top:  Shop, Standard, First, First with disabled toilet and standard with disabled toilets.

Interiors

Next we are expecting to receive working power cars so we can begin debugging the chassis, couplers and detailing.

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Stockists from North to South back Revolution

We are delighted to announce that C&M Models of Carlisle and Colletts Models of Exmouth will be stocking our forthcoming N gauge TEA tank wagons.

C&M and Colletts will be the only retailers in the country where you will be able to purchase our tank wagons after they arrive.

We are aware that the all-or-nothing approach of crowd-funding does not suit everyone; some people will have missed the deadline; others may not have been able to afford a complete rake in one go.

We feel the forward-thinking approach of these retailers will help to compensate.

Mike Parsons of C&M Models said: “As a trader, I know not all my customers are necessarily aware of these models, so I wanted to be able to give those who missed out a second chance, as well as offering existing customers the chance to add to their fleet over a longer period.”

Leigh Collett of Colletts Models said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to stock Revolution Trains’ tankers – these models are exactly what our customers want”.

The recommended retail price is £30 (£31 for the EWS livery) – this is higher than the price paid by our customers who ordered in advance but still represents very good value for money.

We are very grateful to C&M Models and Colletts Models for the faith that they have shown in us and for helping to reach our production run targets

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2016 deadline day results – class 320/321/456 and class 21/29 projects

As promised we have been totting up the results and initial results are as follows:

Class 320/321/456 project: the levels of interest in this project are very promising and we are 99% certain that the project can begin design.  The only area that we are still finalising is the cost for the units – until we have a confirmed price we will not open orders. As soon as we have a price we will open orders for the 320/321 with a deposit option and with incentives for people who back us early.

Ordering for the 320 and 321 will ask for livery choices.  There will definitely be 321/4s in NSE and London Midland livery (possibly two numbers for each livery).  After that livery choices become more complicated as there is no overwhelming favourites so we will narrow down some of the livery choices and ask people to specify a second choice if they pick one of the non-guaranteed liveries – we will include both an undecorated option and a white primed option. Where we have listed livery A or livery B we have to make a decision as to which livery to offer as none of the livery choices were clear winners so we will try to narrow things down slightly. We will almost certainly have to drop certain liveries (including the attractive One livery!) as there was insufficient interest.  The non-guaranteed liveries are not set in stone yet so please don’t send us lots of emails complaining that we haven’t included your personal favourite!

Guaranteed liveries: NSE and London Midland

Non-guaranteed liveries: Great Eastern; Silverlink County; WYPTE Metro or Northern; First; one of the 320 liveries: Strathclyde PTE orange, SPT Carmine/Cream or Scotrail

Liveries likely to be dropped (to be confirmed): One; Abellio, National Express

We haven’t forgotten the 456 – the news on this was more mixed. Whilst there was interest in a 456 there was insufficient interest (by a reasonably convincing margin) to justify tooling the differences between a 321 and 456 (most notably the window differences in the 456 driving car that had a toilet (later removed but no window put in)). Please leave that with us for the time being as we consider the options.  It may be that we come back to people who expressed interest in a 456 to ask their views on various options.

Class 21/29 project

Unfortunately the results of the 21/29 project were not so promising with neither the class 21 or class 29 getting sufficient support to justify production as things stand.  To be frank both locos were significantly below production minimums.  Even in the situation where we only produced one of the classes (and customers had agreed to swap their interest to that class (it would have been a class 29 as it was approximately 50% more popular than a 21) we would still have been significantly below the minimum production run.

We will continue discussions with Dapol to encourage them to produce this missing loco and we will let our supporters if there is any progress.

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Closing for TEA – last chance and combining orders

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!

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Pendolino Progress

With the deadline now approaching for ordering our TEA tankers, Rapido have sent us some images from the factory in China showing ongoing work as they prepare running samples of our upcoming Pendolino.

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The tooled bodyshells have to be checked against the corresponding CAD images, and the factory will need to be careful to ensure they assemble the right combination of roof details, skirts and interiors for each of the various cars.

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Here various unpainted bodyshells and interior power car weight blocks are waiting to be test assembled.

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First, Shop and Standard interiors can be seen in this shot, along with floors, coupler pockets and on the left two of the cab car bodyshells.

We are expecting a complete running sample fairly soon, and we will give it a thorough de-bugging before approving for production.

 

 

 

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TEA – which brew for you?

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.

TEA - sample consists 1

 

 

TEA – sample consists

 

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!

 

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Our 62-piece TEA set…

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.

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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.

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TEA painted samples

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.

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Pendolino – First EP samples

During the week we received the first EP samples of two of the Pendolino vehicles – the DMSO and a TS – airfreighted in from China for the Warley National Model Railway Show at the NEC.

Pendo sample

Considering they are the first shots from the mould, and were assembled in a hurry to reach us in time for the show, we are very happy with them, and reaction over the weekend has been very positive.

During the exhibition the samples were examined by a customer who is also a Pendolino driver – and given full approval.

There are clearly some areas where we are expecting to slightly improve the fit – such as the lower front air dam – but in general terms the samples are very fine.

Portal 1 Portal 2

Although this model contained a chassis block there is no motor – though on the underside the traction motors and various other details are present!

The next step will be a fully working sample for testing, and once we have approved this, and painted samples, we will be moving to production.

Alongside the DMSO at Warley we had one of the TS vehicles.  This one is actually Coach U, one of the two added to the nine-car sets to strengthen them to 11 cars and that was supplied with a Pantograph well but with no pantograph present.  This is one of the two coaches that will be available in the twin pack, as well as supplied of course as part of the full 11-car train packs.

Pendo Warley

We are now expecting to close the order book at the end of March.  At that time we will only produce those models ordered by then.

 

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Revolution at the Warley National Model Railway Show at the NEC

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We have received the first painted samples of the TEA tankers in VTG red, EWS, Freightliner and Greenergy “Efficient” liveries.  Barring a couple of very minor livery amendments we think these look sensational!

We have also been sent first tooling shots of the Pendolino DMSO and PTF.

These will all be on display on stand C12 which we are sharing with Rapido Trains and you can order yours at the show.

You can also find out more information about progress on our proposed Class 320/321 Electric Multiple Unit and 21/29 diesel locomotive models, or talk to us about any other ideas you might have.

Come and find us on stand C12!

Warley floorplan

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TEA samples

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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First samples of the TEA tanks!

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.

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Pendolino Tooling Progress

Rapido have sent us some images showing progress on the tooling for the Pendolino.

This is one of the copper electrodes used to spark erode the DMRF bodyshell:

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Here is a moulded glazing sprue for the DMSO.  The glazing strip has five windows on this vehicle.  Also visible are the cab windscreen and side windows, the light cluster covers and the moulded guides for the working lights at each end.

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Customers will be able to see more tooling images on the Pendolino Development page.

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Non-EU orders – TEA fuel tank wagon

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.

Apologies for any inconvenience this causes!

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TEA length

We were recently asked the length over couplers of the TEA model on a forum by a customer fabricating a stock box for the models.

It seemed this information might be useful to others, so here are the CAD drawings with the length over couplers and over buffers indicated.

TEA length couplers TEA length buffers

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Inter car couplers

A lot of work has gone into the design of the inter-vehicle couplers.

Our aims with this component were to find a solution that was simple to use, unobtrusive and robust, but that also provided close-coupling while at the same time transferring power between vehicles.

We considered a magnetic solution but had some concerns about the effect of current on magnetised parts over time.  We also wanted to avoid any large electrical power connectors, and anything that is too fiddly or awkward to easily couple up on the track.  Some products require the model to be placed on its side, then rotated into place, and while this might be OK for a 4-car of 5-car train, for an 11-car Pendolino we felt it would be asking for trouble!

The solution the designer came up with looks, in CAD form, to be simple and elegant.  However, a CAD design is one thing; an actual working model is something else, and once we receive samples we will test and re-test the couplers in all conditions to ensure they are suitably robust and functional.

697XX MS coupler B

One car has a pin, the other a socket.697XX MS coupler A

Both the couplers are on self-centering expanding CAM mountings.

One other advantage of this system is that it ensures the cars can only be put together the right way round, and the vehicles will also be labelled to ensure assembling the train prototypically is a snap.

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Pendolino livery elements

On a model railway forum we were asked whether we had checked the livery will look “right” on our Pendolino.

The answer is that we have compared photographs to the CADs and we believe all is good.

In this head on image we traced the curves of the livery in green; then duplicated them onto the CAD scaled to be the same size.

CAD livery check DMRF front

We feel they match almost perfectly!

The Pendolino is now in tooling and we should have moulded samples to show soon.  Once this happens we will be close to the deadline for ordering – and remember, only customers who pre-order will receive models.

We give at least a fortnight’s notice on the order deadline here, and send an email reminder to all who’ve registered to receive newsletters, so even if you’re not ready to order we suggest you register to be sure you don’t miss out!

 

 

 

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Couplers and Lights

Hello all,

At the N Gauge International Show recently a few supporters were asking about the Pendolino front lights and couplers.

We have always intended to make the front coupler accessible, so that our model can be prototypically “dragged” either away from the wires or in the event of a failure.  For a while Pendolinos were routinely towed by Virgin Class 57 locomotives along the Cambrian coast to Holyhead, while failed Pendolinos are now usually seen in the company of DRS Class 57s.

This view shows how the front cover simply pops out.  On the real thing it automatically folds up inside the nose; this proved impossible in this small scale.  Our top tip is make sure you don’t lose it!

691XX DMRF nose door

This clip taken during our trip to Longsight depot in Manchester shows it in action.  The coupler deploying in the dark reminded me, for some reason, of the Alien films!

Coupler deploys

In this exploded diagram I have pulled the lighting components down from their position behind the nose.  The red tail lights are illluminated in direction of travel, as are the main headlight (far side) and on the nearside the smaller marker light – coloured green on the CAD.   As the image below shows, this is prototypical.  The top headlight above the windscreen is also illuminated.

691XX DMRF exploded 3

Thanks to Martyn Read for this image showing the lights on:

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Finally, this exploded drawing shows the arrangement of the power car.  Items such as the PCB board, motor and soundspeaker that are common components are shown simply as indicative shapes; it is not necessary to draw them out in detail.

691XX DMRF exploded 1

This image also shows the separate windscreen wipers, roof detail parts and underfloor skirts.

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Time to wait… with a little zen-gauge

The checking is done; the CADs are approved.  Now we just have to wait for the tooling to take place and the first Pendolino test shots to arrive.

If, like us, you’re struggling to contain your excitement then here are some calming images to help you relax.  We like to think of them as a little zen-gauge…

Zen 5

Zen 4

Zen 2

And for those that asked on Saturday and Sunday, checking against the 3 sample cars we estimate that when coupled up on the track the 9-car trains will be 1492mm in length, and the 11-car trains 1820mm.