Class 55 Deltic in 4mm; our first locomotive!
Today is a huge milestone in the Accurascale story; the announcement of our very first locomotive. After dipping our toes into the British market with our HUO hoppers, we felt like we needed to make a big statement. They do not come much bigger or louder than this; the BR Class 55 Deltic!
A total of 22 of these twin-engine Napier beasts were built by English Electric at their Vulcan Foundry works between 1961 and 1962. They were designed to operate high speed express passenger workings on the East Coast Main Line between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh, a service they dominated until the introduction of the HST from 1978.
They continued working East Coast semi-fast passenger services and parcel workings as well as cross country trains until they were finally withdrawn between January 1980 and December 1981, with three retained for a much heralded ‘farewell special’ on January 2nd, 1982. This was supposed to be the end of these iconic locomotives on the mainline, but the quirks of railway privatisation and the efforts of preservationists such as the Deltic Preservation Society has seen these twin-engine beasts return to the mainline, on scheduled passenger, freight and railtour duties.
As this is our first locomotive, we are keen to push the boundaries as far as possible and finally do these locomotives, beloved by enthusiasts, the justice they deserve in 4mm scale.
However, while we can pack the model with features, the most important element was to get the shape right. There was several months' exhaustive CAD work to ensure that we get it looking like a Deltic. We were very kindly facilitated by the DPS at their facility in Barrow Hill, where D9009 Alycidon and D9015 Tulyar were extensively surveyed in May this year, providing all the detail we required to create them in CAD.
Another area that we wanted to get right with our model was digital sound. Deltic’s chuck out some amazing thrash, and we have decided to push the boundaries of DCC sound in 4mm to ensure our model replicates this in miniature. So, in association with ESU and the DPS, we conducted a whole new sound recording for the release, utilising 55019 ‘Royal Highland Fusilier’ on the Spa Valley Railway in August 2018 to ensure the best replication of the distinctive Deltic drone in 4mm scale. We have been working closely with ESU to incorporate the best speakers which will replicate the sound and we are designing our chassis to optimise the sound installation. With our tungsten alloy chassis, we can maintain the heft to provide excellent traction while also making space for our speaker system.
We are also actively investigating offering EM and P4 wheelsets as an additional option for customers who model those respective gauges. We will provide updates on that as the project progresses for our finescale friends.
The models will also reflect the whole lifetime of the real locomotives to date, featuring detail differences from their introduction into BR service, in-service modifications as well as modifications during their return to the mainline. These include:
- Differing headcode panel arrangements
- Windscreen wiper arrangements
- Multiple steam heat boiler port modifications
- Introduction of ETS with correct placing of connections
- Filling in of cabside windows
- Sandbox Hatches variations
- Cab air vents
- Different placing of horns
- Cast and fabricated bogies
- Fully functional high intensity and wipac lights as seen in mainline runs in the privatisation era
The technical specification of the locomotive will be industry leading, with:
- Separately applied metal detail parts, including grab handles, steps, wipers and more
- Correct height mini-tension-lock couplers with correct height NEM socket as well as a fully detailed bufferbeam
- High Performance traction, to include;
- Five-Pole motor with two flywheels
- Metal Helical Gear box for maximum performance and slow speed running
- Gearing arranged so locomotive can achieve a scale top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h)
- DCC ready with 21pin interface
- Fully detailed Lighting Pack, including:
- Directional lighting, DC and DCC
- Marker lights can be turned off when train is coupled to loco
- Separately switched cab lighting and illuminated, detailed driver’s console, auto off on movement
- RP25-110 wheels OO wheels with provision for re-gauging to p4 and EM gauge
- Two quality speakers with large sound capsules for best possible sound in DCC sound versions
- Fully sprung metal buffers
- Extra fine factory-fitted pipework
- Minimum Radius 438mm (2nd Radius Set-track)
The locomotives for our initial release are listed below, and yes, we are doing the purple Porterbrook beast, complete with fully functioning WIPAC headlights!
Our factory will begin tooling in the coming weeks ahead of a Q4 2019 release, with 17 different models initially offered across several liveries and guises. Prices for the Deltic begin at £160 for the DCC Ready version and £250 for the digital sound fitted version.
They are available to preorder here. You can either pay up front today, or we accept £30 deposit per locomotive, with the rest to be paid by installments between now and delivery next year, making it as manageable as you like. To avail of this, click on ‘bank deposit’ at the checkout on our site, and we will email you an invoice where you can pay your deposit in the coming days. We can also take orders at our stand at shows, so feel free to ask!
Finally we would like to extend its sincere thanks to the Deltic Preservation Society, Brian Hanson, The Spa Valley Railway and ESU for their invaluable assistance in this project.