Today Heljan are announcing their all new Derby/Sulzer Type 4 in ‘OO’. This model is currently being tooled and featuring a large number of authentic detail variations – including the first-ever accurate models of ETH-fitted Class 45/1s. The first examples due in 2020. I’m very interested in this release as it shows manufacturer’s aren’t afraid to revisit ‘exisiting’ models.
Clearly there’s no significant blocks to producing a prototype in model form, that’s been previously released by a third party. Being an enduring and popular class, there’s likely to be sufficient space in the market for both products, the Heljan release being higher priced, but not significantly so. The Cads shown here indicate more detailing particularly around the chassis and bogie, so perhaps we’ll see a market split along the lines of those that want more detail, and those that prefer a more ‘basic’ model. With Heljan’s 25/3 going into decoration samples, and Bachmann’s 117 DMU and class 24 well advanced, recent Mk2 and Mk3 releases in BR blue, are we seeing the ‘Blue Wave’ coming ashore? We’re now well into the time line that many feel the hobby represents, the thirty to forty year gap for the alleged sweet spot in the market for manufacturers, where us geeks recall the heady days before wine, women, song, and all those other distractions capture our attention for a few years!
HELJAN’s next ‘OO’ gauge BR diesel locomotive project will be an all-new Class 45, celebrating the 60th anniversary of this popular class in 2020.
No fewer than four versions are being prepared initially, depicting vacuum-braked and steam-heated locomotives in split-centre headcode condition, dual-braked, steam heat Class 45/0s with rebuilt ‘sealed beam’ nose ends and, for the first time, accurate models of Class 45/1s with or without the high-intensity headlight fitted in their final years.
With a good selection of ‘OO’ gauge air-conditioned Mk2 coaches now available, we are seeing increasing demand for an accurate ETH-fitted ‘Peak’ suitable to haul them. Class 45/1 is believed to be the largest sub-class of BR diesel locomotives never to have been available in RTR form. Our models will fill that important gap in the BR first generation diesel fleet.
The Class 45s are well known for the myriad detail variations across the class and our models will reflect that with a wide range of authentic differences according period, livery, sub-class and individual locomotives.
Variations will include open or plated boiler steps and roof hatches, bodyside grilles or plated panels (or a combination of both), original or modernised underframe tanks with air cylinders, optional inner sandboxes and boiler hatch covers and more.
The models build on the research and development that went into our well-received ‘O’ gauge Class 45 and many of the fine details seen on that model have been incorporated into its little sisters. Other features include a 21-pin DCC interface, NEM coupler pockets neatly designed as part of the bufferbeams, ample provision for DCC sound installation, LED lighting appropriate to each version and separately switched cab and tail lights.
The first batch will cover a broad cross-section of BR green, BR blue and special liveries from the early-1960s to the late-1980s. Production of each version will be strictly limited and early ordering is recommended to avoid disappointment.
Detailed design work was completed earlier this year and tooling is in progress and first releases planned in the third quarter of 2020. Suggested Retail Price (SRP) is £169, or £179 for factory-weathered editions.
We’re also delighted to be working with Rails of Sheffield and Kernow Model Rail Centre to offer a trio of exclusive editions. Rails has selected D65 Grenadier Guardsman in 1960s BR green with small yellow panels and 45060 Sherwood Forester in 1980s BR blue with sealed beam nose ends. KMRC has looked to the final years of the Class 45/1s with 45110 Medusa in weathered BR blue with high intensity headlight and ‘unofficial’ Tinsley decoration. Further details are available on the Rails and KMRC websites.
All the above information about this project is subject to alteration. Look out for updates on the HELJAN Facebook page and in the model railway press.
HELJAN CLASS 45 MODELS
45100 – BR green D31
45101 – BR green D57 with small yellow panels
45104 – BR blue 64 Coldstream Guardsman with full yellow ends
45106 – BR green D65 Grenadier Guardsman with small yellow panels (Rails of Sheffield exclusive)
45300 – BR blue 45003 with full yellow ends
45304 – BR blue 45033 ‘Sirius’ with full yellow ends and Tinsley names WEATHERED
45305 – BR blue 45060 Sherwood Forester with full yellow ends (Rails of Sheffield exclusive)
45402 – BR blue 45133 with full yellow ends
45500 – BR blue 45110 ‘Medusa’ with full yellow ends and Tinsley names WEATHERED (Kernow Model Rail Centre exclusive)
45501 – BR ‘railtour’ green 45106 with full yellow ends, Tinsley diamond plaques and square headlight
45502 – BR blue 45118 with full yellow ends, orange cantrail stripes and square headlight