Due to popular demand we have released our ZIMO Class 47 sound project as a range of ready-to-fit kits, enabling modellers to install sound in almost any Class 47 model.
Imagine the scene: Having avoided the Foreman's office, you're wandering quietly around the shed recording the identities of the machines undergoing maintenance whilst trying to make yourself as inconspicuous as possible. You pause to frame a couple of locos in the camera viewfinder when, amid the fug, a Brush Type 4 bursts into life, its distinctive Sulzer engine sending out a beat that echoes around the walls. There's muffled voices, a slam of a cab door and a headlight pierces through the exhaust smoke. Then, the unmistakable 'spoon' warning horn sounds as the big diesel starts to rumble forward, the rails squealing in protest...
Due to demand, we are now offering our acclaimed Class 47 sounds to everyone! We have been bombarded by modellers wanting to retro-fit sound in our previous products and also eager to try them in other ready-to-run items such as those from Bachmann and Heljan. As a direct result, this exclusive sound project, as employed in our ViTrains 'Special Edition' models, is now available for purchase ONLY from us on ZIMO decoders – widely acknowledged for their quality and functionality. And we've made life easier by selecting the correct chip for fitting into any type of Class 47 model, irrespective of scale or manufacturer. We truly believe we've produced the best Brush Type 4 sounds to date, reproducing the instantly recognisable Sulzer exhaust beat and distinctive off-key warning horn note. Match this with new ZIMO driving techniques and you have a winning combination!
Following on from the incredible success of our quartet of Railfreight Distribution Class 47s we are delighted to reveal that we will be offering two further ViTrains models in the coming months, as a direct result of repeated customer requests.
WE TAKE GREAT PLEASURE in announcing our first 'OO' gauge model locomotive commissions for 2013: A pair of Scottish Region Class 47/4s in 'large logo' livery, complete with Highland Rail Stag and West Highland Terrier motifs! Yes, we've decided to recreate one of the most widespread liveries on the passenger Class 47s in the form that enthusiasts regard as the most enduring - that of named Inverness and Eastfield machines wearing their iconic depot emblems. They are both available to pre-order now.
Although the completion of the RfD 'Double Diamonds' project means that all the major liveries have now been covered by the Italian manufacturer, we have bowed to pressure and have placed an order for a further duo of Class 47s. This time, passenger operations north of the border are the theme and the locos will feature the popular 'large logo' paint scheme carried during the 1980s. Demand appears to be strong since ViTrains has produced this livery just once before - several years ago - as No. 47401 and only then in its preserved guise. That model has long sold out and is hard to find even on the second-hand market. Additionally, other manufacturers have only recently made one similar issue selecting a locomotive with non-standard features.
When you discuss Class 47/4s for long enough, sooner or later the subject of Scottish-based locomotives comes up and it appears almost everyone has fond memories of the machines allocated to Glasgow's Eastfield depot or those that worked from Inverness shed. Somehow, these locos had much more appeal than the plain 'vanilla' ETH Class 47s from Crewe. This, of course, could be down to the fact that they worked scenic routes and carried some of the best known depot emblems. Eastfield had its 'Westie' dog, whilst Inverness applied the outline of a stag as part of its 'Highland Rail' branding.
The Railfreight Distribution Class 47 special editions have been slightly delayed whilst ViTrains incorporate a few minor livery improvements. We've approved the changes and the samples look stunning. Production is now underway in Italy with delivery expected in the next four to six weeks.
UPDATE 12.02.13: Due to slight under-supply from ViTrains before Christmas, you will notice that all but one of the four RfD Class 47s have reverted to 'pre-order' status. Don't worry if you still want to purchase any of these popular models since the outstanding balance is being made up and will be dispatched to us from Italy in March. All original orders were fulfilled but it was a tight run thing so we have created a reservation list for customers since the start of the year. At the time of writing there are good numbers of all models available but the fresh delivery is quickly being pre-sold, leaving less than a couple of dozen of each variant free. All these RfD models have been extremely well received (especially those with free transfers and nameplates) and will never be produced again so this really is the last chance to obtain them. Pre-order through the online shop or give us a buzz now.
VITRAIN'S VICENZA FACTORY is now in full swing manufacturing our four Railfreight Distribution Class 47s after receiving final approval of new livery samples. The models look tremendous and all will feature pre-fitted metal handrails and black painted wheel faces, not to mention a selection of etched nameplates where appropriate. Delivery is expected in the UK at the end of November or very early December.
Hornby has advised retailers that a large number of new models due this year have been delayed and pushed back into 2013.
MANY OF OUR REGULAR customers took advantage of our pre-ordering arrangement for the pick of Hornby's 2012 diesel and electric range. We are sorry to report that a communication has been received from the Margate-based manufacturer indicating a significant number of these expected new releases (and numerous other steam-era items) have been severely delayed and will not be available until next year!
Hornby will not confirm these new delivery dates for next summer, other than to say they are 'provisional' at this stage. All orders will be held on our system and dispatched as soon as the stock arrives with us in 2013.
RAIL EXCLUSIVE is disappointed to report major problems with the new Class 67 model from Hornby. Despite obvious quality control issues and plenty of feedback to the manufacturer, the Margate company seems to think the faults illustrated and described here are 'acceptable'. What do you think?
LIKE MANY diesel and electric modellers, we welcomed the recent arrival of Hornby's brand new 'OO' gauge model of the GM Alstom Class 67 diesel locomotive, having waited eagerly in anticipation since it was first hinted at over two years ago. However, our joy has quickly turned to disappointment for the reasons given below, especially so because many customers had placed pre-orders with us. If you had to wait a little longer than normal for delivery from us, then read on. If you bought your model elsewhere, we suggest a close inspection is in order...
The first delivery, R3038 in Wrexham & Shropshire livery as No. 67012, looked promising enough, and you will have already seen our mini-review elsewhere on this website. One of the first surprises was the new packaging format and size, almost identical to that used by Bachmann and, in our view, a retrograde step compared with the half-split yellow expanded polystyrene used on the Class 60.
We noted a few issues on the sample model we selected to photograph, particularly relating to the fit of the plastic body on the die-cast metal chassis but we put this down to production variation within the production process. As despatch progressed we recorded a higher than normal number of scratched, dented, deformed or torn boxes – something that didn't bode well.
A first look at the all-new Hornby Class 67 featuring a heavy die-cast chassis and etched grilles.
A NUMBER OF HORNBY 2012 products have seen significant delay but we are pleased to report that the brand new 'OO' gauge Class 67 is not one of them, possibly due to its long gestation period having been mooted many moons ago. The first to arrive in our hands is this Wrexham & Shropshire example - R.3038 No. 67012 A Shropshire Lad. Pre-orders for this particularly locomotive have been despatched but we are still taking orders for the R.3040 EWS maroon and gold & R.3039 DB 'Maple Leaf' red examples at £95.99 plus £3.95 P&P (DCC/sound options also available) - please visit our online shop or call 01780 470086.
The model is a clear improvement over the previous Lima offering, featuring a heavy die-cast chassis and some lovely etched grille detail. The distinctive angular shape of the 'Skips' has been well captured and we were particularly impressed by the see-through effect at the cooler group end and the small but chunky silencer. The W&S silver and grey livery is well reproduced although the grey does appear to be a little darker than it should - perhaps a deliberate move to match Hornby's WSMR Mk. 3 DVT.