First revealed at the 2023 GETS show last October, Accurascale’s first O gauge locomotive has been progressing on schedule. As well as first decorated samples arriving for assessment, one complete model for further testing has also arrived and to give a more complete feel for what finished models will look like.
As with any product development process, there is a lot of positive and pleasing aspects to the samples, but they also highlight some changes that are required too.
Overall, the tampo printing and overall body paint colours across all liveries are very pleasing, with some of the highlights including W.M.J.E.A No.1 with its lining and Ruston crest on the cab sides. The BR Green, and two tone Rowntree Mackintosh lined green and shadowed lettering are also excellently executed by the factory.
Sticking with the green theme, the Bowaters Northfleet 88DS in its Opaline Green and running gear in red really stands out and looks very striking.
The cab interiors are also very pleasing, with nice, detailed cab desks. Accurascale is also delighted with the weight, with the large amounts of diecasting used in the construction of the model paying dividends. They are very, very solid and have a real quality feel to them, with excellent haulage capacity for a locomotive of their size.
Naturally, there are areas Accurascale can further improve on and correct too. For instance, the yellow that has been applied across the Wasp Stripes and Warning panels is a bit ‘thin’ on these samples, so the density needs to be increased. Masking also needs to be improved, but both these issues are normal at this stage and something Accurascale have encountered on their OO locomotives at this stage of the process, being fully corrected on the production models customers receive.
In places, the excellent fit of the parts has led to that fit being adversely affected by the paint layers; notably on the removable engine panel that covers the PCB which is now too tight and the Donkey Engine panels, which do not sit as flush as they should. Again, this is easily remedied and will be on the final production models customers will receive.
The glazing panels also suffer from not being cleaned up diligently, which is a common problem on EPs/Deco Samples. Again, this will be corrected for production models. Buffers, Drawhooks and Wheels have not received their chemical blackening, which is normal for this stage, but which does look odd even so. The Panhard Red used on the Tottenham Gas Works 88DS is wrong, but a definitive colour swatch has now been sent, and the red will be adjusted accordingly.
With this milestone now reached, Accurascale can now confirm that these models are progressing very well indeed through the design process and are bang on schedule. Sound recording for the digital sound fitted models will commence in the coming weeks.
Delivery of the finished models is anticipated for Q1 2025 as per the initial announcement in October 2023.
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