Class 31 Production Update June 2023
With our Class 37s arriving, our Manors on the way and Deltics and Class 92s already delivered, attention now turns to our fifth Accurascale locomotives, the wonderful Class 31/Brush Type 2s.
Announced in February 2022 ahead of Model Rail Scotland, our 'Peds' have been quietly rumbling away in the background and progressing nicely indeed. Today we can give you a full update, reveal further deco samples including our Accurascale Exclusives, and let you hear our sound project for these beasts for the first time.
Vast Tooling Suite
A Skinhead dressed as a royal! As you may know from our previous blogs about our Brush Type 2, our tooling suite for these long lived locomotives is extensive, covering everything from the original Toffee Apple pilot scheme locomotives, right up to the current day as they covered their final years on the National Network. With body arrangements for the original Class 30, and re-engined, not to mention refurbished Class 31s, we have created the most comprehensive tooling suite for the class. This allows us to tell the full story of the Brush Type 2s!
The Class represents a further step up in our specifications too, with an independently powered operating roof fan included in an Accurascale model for the very first time.
This feature is powered by a separate coreless motor. Our operating fan is on top of our already unbeatable specification of our Powerbank of capacitors, ESU Loksound 5 with custom sound recording, hall sensors for automatic triggering of flange squeal when entering curves, twin speaker set up on all sound models featuring an all new second generation "Accurathrash" large bass speaker which has received subtle tweaks to further enhance our sound fitted models.
Feast your ears and eyes below!
Body Tooling Refinements
Despite the first samples of the Class 31 tooling being quite good, we still required some fettling to the final model. These include improving curvature of lower cab sides, rivets, bodyside band and other strapping, grille in bodyside door, window surrounds, body-roof transition, poor definition of certain roof panels, c parting lines (especially on roof, corner of body and at rear of cab rainstrip), base of bodyside door, removing tooling marks, correcting position of fire pull, deformed areas around grille and other injection issues such as warped bottom of body / flash, missing roof tread detail, nose end footsteps on certain versions and cancelled separate parts for cab door footstep (now molded to body).
Other part refinements
Further improvements to the tooling and part refinements have been made since the first EPs have been in hand including; Improvements to tooling marks on bogie sides, parting lines on top of bogie frame / fuel tank and battery box, removing incorrect cutouts from rear of fuel tank, removing flash from grilles, definition of panel lines on cab control desk, missing bodyside band on various door parts, ensuring that all textures on doors match those on body, extending banding on nose doors, making sure that steps on nose doors match steps on body, missing textures on tablet catcher door, missing raised lip around edge of bufferbeam cowl, poor injection of certain parts, missing rivets, injection release marks, rough edges, faint textures, tooling damage / scratches, flash on ABS and POM parts, especially pipes / grabs, missing textures on bufferbeam cowling, improving definition of NEM snowplough part, removing injection marks from boiler exhaust panel / Mirrlees exhaust surrounds, improving etched fan grille / improve alignment, alignment of buffer holes, scratches on window parts and revising injection of certain pipes to improve flexibility.
Corrections to EP Samples
Revisions to bodyside grilles to improve fit between parts, modifications to boiler panel and nose doors for tighter fit, additional supports on bufferbeam cowling to improve fit to make almost "seamless" join with body (this was worst feature of EP samples), modifications to separate bufferbeam part on all versions to improve join to body, buffer mods so they do not rotate, fit of all handrails, body / chassis connection to make more secure, removing light bleed, modifications to bogie / bufferbeam interface to avoid interference issues, improvements to Hall sensor mount, strengthening bogie baseplate clips, tweaks to centre wheel on bogie to improve roadholding, working fan improvements, tweaks to make fitting headcodes easier, changed lamp iron method of installation, reduce size of grab holes.
This is typical of the development process of any new locomotive model, but it gives an idea the sheer amount of work we undertake from sample level to final production to ensure you get the best possible rendition of a locomotive we can deliver!
Accurascale Exclusives Reveal
We recently received our first decorated samples of our "Accurascale Exclusives" pairing of 31407 in Mainline Freight aircraft blue and 31466 in EWS maroon. Poor application of the yellow panel aside (which will of course be corrected on the production samples that you press into service on your layout!) they are shaping up rather well indeed.
So, that's all the good stuff, but where are we at? Well, we did confirm some weeks ago that production for these beauties has commenced and we can report that is is progressing well. Like our Class 89, progress of the project had been hit by the COVID shutdown in China earlier this year, but the impact has been smaller than initially feared, which is great news.
Due to the sheer popularity of our 31s, demand has been extensive and the production run as a result requires being split in two for delivery. Therefore they will now arrive in two batches consisting of the following:
These will arrive in stock at our warehouse in late Q3 2023.
Batch two will consist of the following, along with our Accurascale Exclusives 31407, 31466 and limited edition models for Hornby Magazine, Model Rail Magazine and Rails of Sheffield:
These models are due late Q4 2023.
We apologise for this slight delay but with the COVID shutdowns now becoming a thing of the past in China we envisage a smooth road ahead of us between now and delivery which bodes well for our standard setting Class 31s and other future announcements.
We are sold out of the main range first run, but our retailers may still have stock, so make sure you check out your local stockist for availability. We do still have limited stock of Accurascale Exclusives 31407 and 31466 available to order, only available direct via our website. If you fancy one of them, then click on the link below and place your pre-order for late Q4 delivery today!