For various reasons, it's been a while since we last received any samples of our forthcoming OO gauge Gresley 'O2' 2-8-0. However, we're happy to report that the latest improved sample has now arrived for review.
As always with pre-production samples, there are a number of issues to be addressed and the hand-assembled sample does not reflect the quality of the final product. However, we can report that the sample performed superbly on test. It also features several improvements over earlier releases, introduced in response to feedback about the first batch, including a redesigned steel loco/tender coupling with two positions, metal handrail knobs, blackened wire handrails and more robust valve gear/motion.
Other standard features, such as the 21-pin DCC decoder interface and speaker housing in the tender, the powerful 5-pole motor, NEM couplings and fine cab detail have been retained.
This new batch of models expands the family with a huge range of variants covering the LNER/BR 'O2/1', 'O2/2' and 'O2/4' sub-classes with Great Northern Railway (GNR) cabs and tenders, low running plates and either original Diagram 2 or LNER Diagram 100 boilers. The attention to detail variations doesn't end there either, with tooling including original GNR full height, GNR/LNER reduced height and LNER side-window cabs, two designs of smokebox door, original or short chimneys, two style of buffers, GNR and LNER Group Standard tenders (flush-sided and stepped).
All these variations can be seen across no fewer than 13 models now in development, grouped into three main versions. See the list below for the specific details on each model.
Version 3 - Gresley LNER/BR 'O2/2'
3900: LNER lined black No. 3501 (GN cab/tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3901: BR late crest black No. 63937 (GN cab/LNER flush-sided tender/Dia 2 boiler) WEATHERED
3902: BR early emblem black No. 63933 (GN cab/tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3903: BR late crest black No. 63940 (GN cab/tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3904: BRITISH RAILWAYS black No. 63938 (GN cab/tender/Dia 2 boiler)
Version 4 - Gresley GNR/LNER/BR 'O2/1'
3930: GNR lined grey No. 477 (GN high cab/tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3931: LNER black No. 3481 (GN high cab/tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3932: LNER post-war black No. 3481 (LNER cab/GN tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3934: BR late crest black No. 63923 (LNER cab/stepped tender/Dia 2 boiler)
Version 5 - Gresley LNER/BR 'O2/4'
3940: LNER wartime black No. 3479 (LNER cab/GN tender/Dia 2 boiler)
3941: BR early emblem black No. 63924 (LNER cab/GN tender/Dia 100 boiler) WEATHERED
3942: BR early emblem black No. 63945 (LNER cab/GN tender/Dia 100 boiler)
3943: BR late crest black No. 63932 (LNER cab/GN tender/Dia 100 boiler)