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A different class…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of the 35t Class A fuel tankers and MTV/ZKA Zander box wagons which are scheduled to go into production shortly.

Class B tank (left) and new Class A tank in original Esso silver. The Class B tank has the top details that are absent from the Class A. Note that the solebar of the Class A tanker will be painted red for production.

The Class As are designed to partner our award winning Class B tankers from 2017, as following their introduction from the late 1950s the two types often worked together, with the Class A tankers having a longer barrel as they carried lighter, more volatile fuel.

Class B and Class A tanks at Thameshaven in 1960. Photo Robin Webster used under Creative Commons.

The barrels sent for checking have been posted on Class B sanple chassis for photography; the production models will have the correct red solebars as shown in the painting diagrams.

Artwork for Esso revised livery with grey barrel

You may also notice the sample models are missing the photo-etched catwalks and ladders, and moulded manlids and vents (of two different types), that will be featured on production models. As with the original Class B models the chassis will feature either the original or revised suspension as appropriate.

As well as the original silver and revised grey Esso versions, these are still available to pre-order in Staveley Chemicals, Esso de-branded and weedkilling green or black variants.

Staveley Chemicals and Esso debranded.
Chipman’s weedkilling train water tanks in green and black variations .

In the British Railways modernisation plan of 1955 a need was identified for new, faster power-braked wagons and with the rapid growth in requirements for petrochemicals Esso and Charles Roberts Ltd jointly developed a new design of 35t tank wagons. The Class A tankers were used for lighter, more volatile fuels, and the barrels were therefore longer than the Class Bs designed for heavier fuel oils.

BR 2-10-0 92019 at Hartford in 1965 with a mixed rake of Esso Class A & Class B tankers. Photo Ben Brooksbank/Creative Commons.

The addition of Class A tankers to our range enables the accurate depiction of fuel trains from the late 1950s and 1960s which often ran with a mix of both types. If a Class A tank was marshalled at the front then planked open wagons were included to act as barriers to protect the traincrew in the event of an accident. If the train was double headed the barrier wagons were not necessary as the second locomotive provided the required separation.

BRCW type 3s D6527 + D6505, at Oxford with a mixed train destined for Fawley in 1964. Photo Ben Brooksbank/Creative Commons.

In the mid-1970s, as higher capacity tank wagons entered service, 150 redundant tank wagons were converted to box opens to carry stone and sand, and given the TOPS code MTV.

Original MTV conversions

In the late 1980s many were transferred to the engineer’s fleet, recoded ZKV and given the fishkind name Zander.

Revolution is offering these box wagons in original brown, engineer’s revised versions with yellow top rail and fully repainted Dutch variants. Various individual wagons are being offered, with numerous subtle differences including patch painting and varied labelling.

ZKV Zander in early engineers livery
ZKV Zanders in later CE ‘Dutch’ livery, one with ‘Mainline’ branding

The full listing of liveries on offer can be found on our shop page, and these wagons can be still be reserved with Revolution for a short period at the pre-order price of £19.95 each, or for some versions in triple sets with different numbers at £59.85.

In addition, a further run of Class B tankers will be produced to accompany these models, however the Class Bs will be on sale via retailers in the usual way.

We anticipate that Class A and MTV/ZKV models will be available from retailers too after production, but at a higher price.

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Any more for any more…Class B tanks?

We’re delighted to announce as part of the NGF Virtual Exhibition 2021 that we will be re-running our award-winning Class B 35t tanks. These popular Class B 35t tanks were introduced in the mid-1950s and lasted until the early 1990s.

35t Class B tanks

In a change to our normal practice we will not be accepting direct pre-orders and all orders to go through a normal retail channel.  We will still only produce according to pre-orders so if you want to guarantee your order please place it before the order deadline (to be confirmed in due course but likely to be September/October 2021) with your preferred retailer. Our MSRP is kept the same as the first run at £26.95.

We are offering the same livery selection as the first run but all versions will have different numbers to the original run. NB there are 4 number versions of the Esso livery to reflect the popularity of that livery in the first run. All other versions we are offering 2 number versions with prototypical livery and labelling variations. 

For the second run we will offer the following versions:

Esso livery: 3300, 3305, 3546 and 3705 (Era 5-7)

Mobil Charringtons: 202 (with black Charringtons label as shown) and 249 (with white Charringtons label) (Era 5-6)

Unbranded black with ZRW TOPS code for depot waste fuel oil: ADB999065 and ADB999073 (Era 7-8)

Regent: 375 and 404 (Era 5-6)

Texaco: TEX47878 and TEX47859 (Era 6-7)

United Molasses: UM204 (with brown barrel ends) and UM258 (with blue barrel ends) (Era 6-8)

The models will go into production alongside our forthcoming Class A tanks and MTV/ZKV Zander wagons and we estimate delivery will be Q1 2022.

The following retailers have already agreed to start taking pre-orders: C&M Models, Derails, East Somerset Models, Hattons, Kernow MRC, KMS Railtech, Rails of Sheffield, Rainbow Railways, TMC. If your preferred retailer is not on the list please ask them to send us an email to ask about stocking the Class B tanks.

Please remember to place your pre-order with your retailer if you would like to guarantee your order!

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Revolution Round-up 2018

Four models delivered, three new manufacturers identified and two new powered models offered has made for one amazing year!

As ever we should acknowledge that we could not do any of this without those who have supported us – with time, with expertise, with generosity but most of all with orders.  It is only because modellers are prepared to pre-order on trust that we can make all this happen.

And we’d like to say thanks to Rapido Trains for their amazing work, our new manufacturing partner Sonic Models, two other factories we have been using and those traders who’ve supported us including C&M, Cheltenham Model Centre, Collett’s Models, Kernow Model Rail Centre, Plus Daughters, Rails of Sheffield, Osborn’s and Trains4U.

In February our first model aimed at transition era enthusiasts – the Class B tanker – arrived.  The wagon had struggled to generate enough interest and came close to being cancelled, but when we saw the quality the factory had achieved we were delighted it had made it – and judging from the comments from so were those who’d supported the project!

Recently we were sent a photo by Ian at Mercig studios of a superb Esso class B he’d weathered. In the accompanying note he wrote:  “..this is the best N Gauge wagon I’ve ever worked on!”

Esso Class B weathered by Mercig Studio

Then, in March, the main event – the arrival of the Pendolinos.

This was the culmination of the dream that we and our supporters had bought into back in 2015 when we began the project – and boy did Rapido Trains deliver.  Everything about these models was stunning – from the trains themselves to the manual and the book-case packaging.

Pallets full of Pendos…

But we had little time to admire the models when there were hundreds of fellow modellers waiting for them – and we’d like to thank our friends Paul Churchill and Gareth Atkinson who came up that first weekend and helped pick, pack and post the first hundred and fifty or so.  We also owe a large debt of gratitude to Allen Pearson – inventor of the amazing Nelevation vertical fiddle yard – for kindly allowing us to use his storage unit to keep the Pendos safe.

At the York show some customers were able to collect their Pendolinos (thanks Abbie) but the majority were posted.  This was a massive task, especially as the majority of the work was done just by the two of us in our spare time.  They were dispatched as best we could in chronological order of purchase and we would like to thank all our supporters for their patience waiting for their models.

However, seeing an 11-car set tackling the graceful, sweeping curves of Heworth Sidings, by the Yorkshire Area Group of the N Gauge Society, made it all worthwhile!

Poppy Pendo on Heworth Sidings at the York show

Even as we celebrated the success of the Pendolinos the IZA Cargowaggon twins were en route and they arrived just in time for The International N Gauge Show at Leamington – arguably the premier show of the N Gauge year.

Revolution IZA Cargowaggons in single and triple packs


At just over a year from announcement to delivery these were our fastest model yet.  With the innovative factory-fitted flashing tail lamp option they have proved hugely popular and prompted Kernow to join us in offering a 4mm version which is currently under development.


It did mean that our planned TINGS display was slightly obscured by the piles of wagons being collected by customers, but we were able to show painted samples of another new model; the VEA munitions van, which is our first non-crowdfunded model and is being produced in association with Sonic models.

Sonic/Revolution VEA vans – painted samples.

The man behind Sonic is a former Kader engineer who designed some of Graham Farish’s best N gauge models, and this is the first time a Chinese manufacturer has sought to market their own brand British outline models directly in the UK.

We also offered three new models including a second powered model – the Class 128 Parcels diesel railcar in N.  The other two were both wagons: the IPA car carrying twin flats – in plain, side-staked and covered versions, and the Cemflo cement wagon in association with Accurascale, the Dublin based manufacturer making a big splash in 00.  Both of these are now at the CAD stage, but we have not yet opened the order books.

M55990 at Manchester Victoria. Photo courtesy Mark Carter.


IPA CAD image – this is the flat version with stakes.


Cemflo CAD courtesy Accurascale.

By the middle of November we were preparing for the arrival of our first 00 models, the TEA tankers by Rapido Trains, and once again we prevailed on our friend Allen as five large pallets were airfreighted in.

Their arrival just in time for the Warley National Model Railway show at the NEC meant that as well as supplying those ordered by Kernow models and Trains4U once again we had to enlist help once again from our friends Paul, Gareth and Abbie to hand out those that customers had arranged to collect.

Kernow Model Rail Centre’s Chris Trerise with a small fraction of his TEAs!

The remainder are being sent out by us but twice the scale means eight times the volume, and the sheer size of the 00 models in comparison to the N gauge products we are used to has meant new packaging solutions and dispatching all the models has taken much longer.

Those who visited us at Warley may remember that we were right next to a double decker bus brought in by our friends at Rapido Trains to publicise their latest new model – this gave us an excellent location for a meeting where we were able to examine the final version of the Class 92 locomotive ahead of production and confirm production of another run of Class 390 Pendolinos in Virgin’s latest “flowing silk” livery, as we as more TEAs in N.  These will be available to pre-order early in the new year.


Class 92 final test sample by Rapido Trains.

At Warley were were also able to unveil our first steam locomotive – the GWR 56XX in N produced with Sonic models – along with the latest CADs for the HOA hopper and an all-new 4mm model – the MMA/JNA box wagon.  These are again not crowdfunded but being produced after we were approached by an investor.  We are offering three variants in DB red and Ermewa and Tarmac grey liveries, while models in VTG/Mendip Rail silver and GBRf blue will be available exclusively from Kernow.

Handpainted sample of MMA wagon in DB red.

First CAD of 56XX steam locomotive.

We also took delivery of the 20′ Tank Containers in N that we produced in conjunction with C-Rail.  These, along with the 40′ hi-cube containers last year, have been very well received and we will be producing another new RTR container next year.  This came, coincidentally, shortly before we closed the order book for the KFA container flats accompanying them which are in production now.

Revolution/C-Rail tank containers in Stolt, Nichicon, Bulkhaul and Hoyer liveries

To conclude, here is a quick reference progress chart summarising 2018.  We anticipate that the next models to be delivered will be the 00 MMA/JNA, N KFA and N 92.

Amazingly, 2019 will mark Revolution’s 5th anniversary (we can’t believe it either!) and we are looking forward to next year being our biggest and best year yet!  But as ever, we couldn’t do any of this without our fellow enthusiasts, so once again we’d like to thank you for your support.


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Class B tanks – delivery status

Contrary to the latest NGS Journal, not all the Class B tanks have been sent out yet. We’ve sent out approximately 90% of the orders as of 29 August (including all the orders made on our website paid in full (provided all Class B orders from the same customer were paid in full)). We have sent out all the invoices for balance payments (though I’m sure that I’ll have missed one or two) so if you haven’t received a balance invoice and you were expecting one then please check your spam box (or any old email address) and if you can’t find an invoice then please send us an email.

Once we send your balance invoice then we would be grateful if you could pay your balance promptly so that we can get your order sent out to you. If you placed more than one order we will try to combine the orders into one invoice and one package (if possible).

What happens next?

Once you’ve paid your balance we will mark your original order as fully paid (“Processing”).
Once we’ve posted your order we will change the status to “Completed” (please allow 7-10 days or longer outside the UK!).

Change of address?

If you need to update your delivery address please login to your account on our website and update your shipping address – we will update your order if necessary when we mark it as paid.

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Class B tankers – what about the bits??

With 95% of the Pendolinos dispatched (though we still have a few stragglers to send out – mainly those who have not yet settled their balance and who weren’t in to receive original deliveries!) we are now dispatching the Class B tankers. We are sending them out in date order of the original order. If you have a balance to pay then we will contact you when we are ready to process your order.

These wagons are provided with a small bag containing a cosmetic coupler hook with “instanter” loop and vacuum brake pipe/hose to be fitted to the outer end of a rake.

To fit the replacement coupler hook the cosmetic hook supplied and the Rapido N gauge coupler will need to be removed.  The brake hose/pipe fits to the left of the coupler, below the bufferbeam, with the horizontal pipe running beneath the frame out from the centre and the curved hose angled up slightly, as these CAD images show:

We will work through the Class B dispatching as quickly as we can.

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First Class B tanks MOBIL-ized!

Revolution has received the first batch of its Class B tankers in the attractive red colours of Mobil Charrington.

These models were sent by the factory just before it closed down for the Chinese New Year; the remainder (Esso, Unbranded, Regent, Texaco, United Molasses) are expected in the next few weeks.

The models are packaged in a similar style to our multi-award winning TEA tankers, Britain’s first crowdfunded model.

All are secured in protective vac-formed cradles inside clear plastic stackable boxes in Revolution’s distinctive branded single or triple glossy card sleeves.

Revolution Trains will be at Model Rail Scotland this weekend (February 23-25) and if you have ordered these models you can collect them at the show, and we will refund P&P.

You can find Revolution on stand B47, as shown on the map:

Please note that these models are available to pre-order customers ONLY, however our partner retailers who may have some in stock can be found here.

Also on show at Glasgow will be the second test sample of the Class 92, with tooling tightened up and more balanced mechanism, factory painted samples of our Cargowaggon twin vans, hand-painted samples of our KFA container flats and all versions of the Class B tanker.

And with the Class B tankers now arriving we will keep our promise to offer another model for transition era modellers – this will be unveiled at the show on Friday morning, and here on our website.

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Class B 35T tanks deliveries – the good, the bad and the balances!

The good news is that the first batch of our forthcoming Class B tanks is due to leave the factory in the next few days, unfortunately this batch will only be the attractive Mobil Charringtons Class B tanks and the bad news is that the remaining liveries narrowly missed completion before the factory scales down for Chinese New Year (16 February).  The main batch will follow in March – April (we’re waiting for final confirmation from the factory).

Class B Mobil Charrington tanks
Pre-production sample of the Mobil Charringtons Class B tank

We have decided to airfreight in the first batch of Class B tanks and subject to them arriving and clearing customs in time then they will be available for collection from Model Rail Scotland in Glasgow on 23-25 February.

The split delivery gives us a few challenges in terms of delivery:

  • if you wish to collect from Glasgow then no action is necessary (you don’t need to tell us and we will refund any P&P charges after you have collected them)
  • if you placed an order only for the Mobil Charringtons livery then no action is necessary – we will send them out once we are back from Model Rail Scotland
  • if you placed an order for a mixture of Class B liveries then you can:
    • either wait for the main batch to be delivered and we will send them all out together – no action necessary
    • or if you are desperate to get them as they arrive we can send them out after Model Rail Scotland but we will have to charge you a small additional P&P fee (as we will have to send two parcels – first and main batches) – if you would like us to do this then please get in contact with us after we have confirmed on our website that they have arrived

If you paid in full no action is required, but if you paid a deposit then we will generate invoices for the balance payments which are due now – please check your account if you do not receive an email. The balance payments will generate a new invoice (with a new invoice number) for each line of your deposit invoice and unfortunately not a combined invoice – this is a pain for you and us but outside our control.  Please note: on testing the balance payments invoices we noticed an error with the software – this has been notified to the software developers but at the present time we are unable to send out invoices for balances.  Customers collecting at MR Scotland will be able to pay any balance at the show, we will then make a decision after MR Scotland about how to proceed for other balances.

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Tanks on parade…

For the last update for 2017 (apart from our round-up of the year later) we  have just received some images showing production of the Class B tankers now well underway.

Rows of moulded tank barrels


Unpainted barrel ends


Barrels sprayed black, and ready for tampo printing and assembly.


Black painted chassis – the copper brown barrel supports reveal that these will be United Molasses models.

We expect these models to be ready for shipping just before Chinese New Year in February in all liveries – Esso, Mobil/Charrington, unbranded, Regent, Texaco and United Molasses.

Anyone who missed out on ordering from us can still obtain these models from our retail partners C&M of Carlisle, Collett’s Models, East Somerset Models, Kernow, Rails of Sheffield, Trains4U, Plus Daughters and Osborn’s.


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Revolution Warley Washdown Part 1: Pendolinos and Polo Mints

It was great to see so many of our friends and supporters at the Warley National Model Railway exhibtion at the NEC last weekend.

This was our stand on Friday – before the show opened – and the only time it was quiet until the show ended on Sunday evening!

Revolution Pendolino

The big news is that our stunning Class 390 Pendolino model – made by our friends (and show neighbours) Rapido Trains of Canada – should be leaving the factory within the next 7-10 days.  Allowing 4-6 weeks for shipping, and some extra time for customs clearance, the models should be here by Jan/Feb.

Rapido did bring three models to the show – airfreighted to Canada a few days beforehand – and two were loaned to the layouts Kinlet Wharf and Horseley Fields.

Pendolino gliding through Kinlet Wharf…


…and hurrying through Horseley Fields. Apologies for shaky camera!

The third – in Alstom livery – spent the weekend on our display layout and can be seen whizzing behind the packaging which was also on  show and follows the style we created with the TEA tankers last year.

The 9- and 11-car versions will be in book-case style packs with two trays with opening lids surrounded by a card sheath.  The top tray contains shaped apertures for the two power cars, the two pantograph cars and the named car, with the remaining four or six cars in the lower tray.

The 5-car pack will simply comprise the top tray in a thinner card sheath.

For those who missed out Rapido have advised us that a small number of surplus models are available and these will be put up for sale via our website once we have an indication of liveries and numbers.

Class B tankers

The Class B tankers are now in production with our alternate factory and are sheduled to be  leaving the factory before Chinese New Year in February, with delivery to customers likely in March/April depending on shipping and customs times.

For those who missed out several retailers have taken an allocation – the list can be found elsewhere on our website.

00 tankers

These are also in production by Rapido now, and timings are likely to be similar as the Class B tankers. As with the Class B tankers, some of our partner retailers have pre-ordered an allocation so those who missed the deadline can still obtain models.

Class 92 locomotive

This model is also being produced by Rapido and we are expecting the next sample with finalised motor/drivetrain, PCB and lighting.  Once this is approved we will be ready to check liveries and close the order book ready for production.  It’s likely this will be in late Spring 2018.

For the show we  assembled one of the earlier samples Rapido had sent, and this was put on Kinlet Wharf with their superb – and appropriate – Caledonian Sleeper rake.

92018 carries slumbering passengers south as a narrow boat passes below the line on Kinlet Wharf

Please note this model was handpainted and is not factory-finished.  It also lacks some of the metal parts such as the cab door handrails and photo-etched pantograph heads.

In our next post we will update the latest news on our other projects, including first samples of our exciting new IZA Cargowaggon twin vans, the KFA container flat, HOA hopper wagons and Class 321 EMU.

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D-day for Class B tanks.

It’s deadline day for anyone who wants to order our Class B fuel tankers!

Class Bs – the full line up.

All versions can be ordered – in single and triple packs – until midnight tonight.

United Molasses triple packs feature two wagons with blue ends, and one with plain ends.

After that we will finalise the full order numbers for each livery and they will go into production.

We believe our Class B model is the most accurate in any scale.

Delivery is expected in the first quarter of the New Year.

Thanks again to all who supported us in this and have enabled us to produce our first “transition era” model.  This has given us the confidence to offer another transition era model in 2018.

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No tricks – treat yourself to Class Bs by Hallowe’en!

Now the painted samples of Revolution Trains’ forthcoming Class B tankers have all been checked and approved, we are ready to move to production and will be closing the order book at midnight on Tuesday October 31st.

All versions are available, but we will only produce enough models to satisfy pre-orders and we would urge customers to select their models before October 31st to avoid missing out.

If you know anyone who might be interested in these models please let them know about the deadline.

Some selected retailers will be carrying limited stocks, however these are aimed at ensuring those who did miss out can still obtain models and will be at a higher price to allow for retailer margins.

All the painted samples will be available for customers to view on the Revolution Trains stand at the 2017 Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in November.

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Class B tanker samples received

Revolution Trains has now received painted samples of all Class B tanker livery variants.

The Esso version arrived just in time for the N Gauge International Show at the start of the September; now  samples of the remaining liveries are here.

The options are:

Mobil Charrington red:

We know these wagons were operated to depots in Neasden and Cambridge and between Ellesmere Port and Spen, though other flows may well have been commonplace


Unbranded “Fuel Oil” black:

After the original Esso wagons were debranded some were used by the CEGB for Fuel Oil. Note the rivets marking the former location of the Esso plate, and the new number patch-painted over the old.


Regent black:

These wagons were introduced in 1961 and had the modified suspension brackets from new.


Texaco black:

In the late 1960s the Regent brand was replaced by Texaco and the wagons were renumbered. On this model the red border on the main logo needs to be more even.



United Molasses brown:

The wagons received new 5-digit numbers in the 1970s, but some retained the original 3-digit number on the ends.

These wagons were bought from other users and were a mix of those with original and revised suspension. Most featured blue ends, but some did not. Our triple pack will include one without blue ends, for variety.


These models will be examined closely and easy modification, corrections or amendments will be fed back to the factory before they go into production.

The checking process will last a few weeks and these models will be on display on our stand at the Warley National Model Railway Show at the NEC in November, after which we will close the order book.

We only produce models to order, and have received numerous emails from customers wishing they had ordered our TEA tankers or Pendolinos, so if you are interested in these models please order by then to avoid missing out.

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Class B samples approved

Revolution Trains has received second EP samples of the forthcoming Class B tanker, and these have been tested and approved.

Set of EP2 samples includes both chassis types; original on the left, revised with auxiliary spring dampers on right.

The samples have been assessed by design engineer Colin Allbright and by us and some minor issues around the fit of some parts and the couplers have been addressed.

We will have them on our stand at The International N Gauge Show at Leamington on September 9th and 10th, and anticipate closing the order book soon after that.

Watch this video for more information and to see them in action:


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Class B tanker – first samples received

Revolution Trains has received first samples of the forthcoming Class B tanker in N.

There is still work to be done on the components but for first EP mouldings we are very happy.

The models will have photo-etched catwalks and ladders for added finesse, as well as lots of separately fitted detail parts and a realistically “skeletal” chassis, with much of the brake gear visible below the barrel as on the real thing.

The owners plates – oval for Esso, round for Regent – have not been fitted as they are livery specific, though they have been supplied for checking.  The Regent version has very fine “bolts” around the edge.

The next step is to fit couplers and test the running characteristics of the models.  The NEM pockets, which are in “kinematic” body-mounted fixings, along with some of the brake gear, are moulded in black ABS plastic for strength.


We have also posted a short video of the samples on our Facebook page here:

We will be shortly finalising the livery diagrams, and once painted samples have been supplied and approved we will be ready to move to production.

The order book will close at this time, and as ever we will only produce enough models to fulfil orders, so please don’t miss out.

If you aren’t ready to commit you can still register without obligation and receive newsletters with reminders of impending order deadlines.

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Class B tanker – first sample

The first sample of the forthcoming Revolution Trains N-gauge Class B fuel tanker has been assembled in China and sent to us.  This image was taken before dispatch.

There is a slim chance it may arrive before the York Model Railway Show over the Easter weekend in which case our supporters will be able to see it for themselves on our stand.

Once we have received the model we will assess it with design engineer Colin Allbright before sending our feedback to China, and any amendments can be made before the model moves to painted sampling and production.

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Class B tankers are go…!

The Class B tankers have now reached the minimum number of orders to justify tooling, and this has been authorised.

To recap, these models are aimed at modellers depicting the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s.   The first were built for Esso in 1956 and used in large numbers through the 60s and 70s, though by the 1980s and 1990s they were relegated to more occasional traffic.

As well as block trains from refineries – hauled by steam and diesel locomotives – they were often found in smaller numbers delivering fuel in mixed trains to depots or more remote locations.

The wagons may be familiar to many as the subject of the vintage Airfix kit, and the shorter-barrelled Class B tankers were used for heavier oils while the longer Class A tanks (which we intend to offer if this model is proves popular) were used for lighter fuels.

We are offering two types – three with the original suspension, three with revised suspension, and the models will feature photo-etched catwalks, lots of separately fitted details, NEM couplers and separate owner’s plates.

The model CADs are complete and tooling is underway.  We are hoping to have first samples to show soon.

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A Revolution Review of 2016

2016 has been a landmark year for Revolution, and as it draws to a close it seemed appropriate to look back and thank everyone who has suppported us.

Quarter 1

In February, at Model Rail Scotland, we unveiled the first working sample of our Class 390 in N. The model had been handpainted – partly for marketing purposes, but mainly to confirm that the laser-scanned body-shape was correct as all the colours “sit” correctly.

However we did find that in their efforts to make them as unobtrusive as possible Rapido’s engineers had made the inter-car couplers too flimsy, and we asked for a redesign.

In March, to assist with our proposed Class 321 EMU, we were invited by Eversholt and Wabtec to their workshops at Doncaster where the prototypes are being rebuilt under Project Renatus.

This enabled us to compile a detailed collection of photographs and measurements of the many underframe components; though in turn this has created quite a headache for Rapido as it means the drawings of this model have proved to be significantly more complex than originally expected – and Rapido are renowned sticklers for underframe detailing!


Quarter 2

At Easter at the York Model Railway Show we announced plans for a KFA container flat in N. This wagon represents one of the “missing links” in N, and with a good quality model already available in OO from Hornby there seemed little prospect of it appearing from Farish or Dapol.

Like the well-received TEA tankers our model is being produced by Rapido and will feature a plastic deck with metal longitudinals to maximise weight and ensure good running, even when unloaded.

Going one further than the 4mm model, we are offering both build types – with the VNH-1 bogies and Gloucester GPS types. These wagons will be useful for anyone depicting the late 80s to the present day.

With months the CAD designs were approved, the model sent for tooling and we have just been sent images of the first moulded shots – see news item immediately preceding this one.


In June we heard from Rapido that the TEA tanker was going into production. However, the models took significantly longer to actually produce than expected – because the many markings on the tanker barrel could not be tampo printed in a single pass, due to the its curved shape.

In the end, and depending on the livery, each barrel took at least three passes per colour per side – for some model that made a total of more than a dozen separate applications. Add to that the many different detail parts – up to 70, for some configurations – and it is not surprising that the factory later informed us that these models were among the most intricate they had ever been tasked to produce.

Quarter 3

By the DEMU Showcase exhibition in July we had received a second Pendolino sample with modified couplers. This was immediately tested and while the robustness of the new couplers was immediately apparent, there were still some issues with the performance on tight “train set” curves. After a couple of weeks of ongoing testing to establish where corrections were needed, the another redesign began.

The first sample of the OO TEA – announced after many requests from 4mm modellers – were also on show for the first time.  These models are now being rest run and we are expecting production in the New Year.

Revolution 00 TEA tankers under test on Guy Molyneux’s “Whatley” layout

At TINGS in September we unveiled plans for another 1960s era model – the Class B tanker.  We had tried to offer a model previously to enthusiasts favouring this era but the Class 21/29 did not earn adequate support to proceed.  Following a well argued campaign from enthusiasts on the web we decided to offer the Class B tanker.

These distinctive wagons were seen across the network from the late 1950s to the 1990s in both block trains and cut into mixed freights in smaller numbers.  Many modellers will remember them with nostalgia as the subject of the popular Airfix 4mm kit.

We have already had CAD drawings produced in an effort to encourage interest, however so far the response has been disappointing.  We will give this model until February 2017 to gather enough support, otherwise it will be cancelled.

We also announced 40’hi-cube containers – the world’s most numerous type – in N in conjunction with C-Rail and first samples were unveiled before Christmas.  Six liveries will be available – Maersk, MSC, Hamburg Sud, Hanjin, Evergreen, and UASC.

Quarter 4

Shortly after TINGS – in October – we received word from Rapido that the production TEA tankers had landed, and so it was that we spent three weekend packing and dispatching Britain’s first ever crowdfunded RTR models – to universal acclaim.

One magazine wrote that the models were a “benchmark for quality, fidelity and value” while another reviewer felt that they were “exquisite, in terms of prototype fidelity, decoration and performance.”

Photo: Andy York

Included with the TEA tankers were a flyer announcing our next powered model in N – the Class 92 electric.

These much-requested locomotives fit in well with our West Coast theme, and we have secured the full co-operation of Brush Traction, enabling a research visit to be arranged shortly after.

The response to this model has been excellent, and with the assistance of Brush engineers and others progress has been rapid, with CADs now complete with tooling expected to begin in January.

Our last major date in 2016 was the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in late November, where once again we were able to meet many of our supporters – and others – and announce another new model:  the HOA hopper.

Original EWS Construction is one of five liveries on offer

Response to this model has been exceptionally good and already the design work has begun, with 3D CADs expected early in 2017.

So as 2016 draws to a close we look back on a year in which we have delivered our first model, tooled two more, completed or continued design work on three more and announced a fourth and fifth.

Next year – with the continued help of all our supporters – we look forward to delivering more models and offering more choices.

To sum up, we would like to thank everyone who has ordered from us, the model railway press, RM Web and the N Gauge Forum and exhibition organisers for enabling us to communicate with and meet our supporters, and our Rapido Trains colleagues in Canada and China who have delivered such fabulous models.

Or, in the words of one respected magazine assessing our TEA tankers:  “Revolution has definitely delivered a quality product and there is much more to come…”

See you in 2017!


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Class B tanker takes shape… but there’s a catch.

CAD drawings for the first version of the 35t class B tank wagon – with the both the original and revised suspension – are now ready for approval.


The model will feature etched ladders and catwalks, lots of separately fitted underframe detail and very fine etches to represent the various  operator panels.

This is the version with the original suspension units and oval ESSO branding panels.



Included among the separately fitted parts are the much of the brake and discharge gear, levers and end taps.

The couplers are in NEM close coupling sockets.

The Regent (round panel)  Total and United Molasses tanks have the later suspension:


We think these CAD designs are very good, and are now ready to go for tooling.

If sent straightaway we would expect to see samples just before Christmas.



But here is the bad news…

Despite an early rush the sales are not yet at the level that would justify further expenditure.   The CADS are a relatively small part of the cost, and we can absorb them, but to get to tooling we need more 1950s/60s/70s/80s modellers to step forward and sign up for these models.

Our previous attempt to offer something for the transition era (the Class 29 locomotive) failed and we felt that perhaps modellers focussed on older prototypes are not ready for crowdfunding as a methodology.

We have been persuaded to look at these tankers, and believe they will be a useful, interesting and attractive model and will be every bit as good as our very well received modern TEA tankers.

It may be customers are reluctant to sign up for a model without a deadline, however the message is clearly that the sooner we reach the minimum, the sooner we can progress this model to the next stage.

And that won’t happen unless sales pick up.

If you are keen on these models, please tell friends that you think might like them so that we can be sure we have exhausted every possibility.

We hope that the evidence of these CAD designs will persuade transition era modellers to sign up, but if we have not reached minimum levels by the middle of December we will need to, reluctantly, cancel this model so we can focus on the modern image models that are selling.

In the event of this happening anyone who has put down money for the Class B tankers will of course be refunded.


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Revolution at The International N Gauge Show

Revolution Trains had a busy weekend on stand 34 at The International N Gauge Show at Leamington.

Rail Revolutionaries: L to R Paul Churchill, Mike Hale, Gareth Atkinson (Project Railway Honour)

TINGS, as it’s known, is arguably the most important show of the year for the N Gauge community, and it’s the place to meet our supporters and and update them on progress.

As well as announcing our two new models (see news items below) we had the latest sample of our upcoming Pendolino on show.

In full 11-car mode we were able to play with the DCC Sound functions and demonstrate the approved couplers with working electrical connections and the customer-fit light bars.

The coupler problem has taken three iterations, each taking several weeks of redesign, head scratching and testing.

We are now finalising some of the chassis performance issues around the interface between the DCC Sound chip and the motor performance, and then it’ll be time for final painted samples and production.

The most common question all weekend was “when will the model be here?”

The honest answer is we don’t know exactly how long it will take the factory to manufacture 10,000 separate vehicles. Our best guess is that customers will start receiving models in Q1 next year, meaning that from when we first laser scanned the train to delivery will be a fraction under two years.

Compared to others, and not withstanding some of the development issues, we feel Rapido have done a pretty amazing job to get this far so quickly, and we are very happy with the quality they have achieved.

The models are still available to order (that was the second most popular question asked all weekend!) but the order book will probably be closing in the next 6 weeks or so.

The Dalston tanks by Revolution – pulled reliably all weekend by a Graham Farish Colas Class 60

Production versions of all our TEA tankers – plucked from the production line and air-freighted in from China for the show – were also on display as the main batch was preparing to leave the factory for the journey to Britain – and then on to the layouts of our supporters.

Indeed, on Sunday Rapido emailed us an image showing the entire production leaving the factory ready for the journey west:


It feels like we didn’t stop talking all weekend (and by Sunday evening we all had sore throats) but it was great to meet so many existing customers – and hopefully draw in a few new ones.

Our next show will be the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC on Saturday November 26th and Sunday November 27th.

Come and see us when we will be offering at least two new items including our next powered model.

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1950s-1990s Class B fuel tanker from Revolution

Revolution Trains is proposing the Class B 35t fuel tanker as its next wagon model.

These were designed in the mid 1950s in response to a huge increase in petroleum traffic and hundreds were built, with examples remaining in use through to the 1990s.

They operated in long block trains and also as smaller cuts in mixed freight trains, and were hauled by anything from 9Fs, 8Fs or Black 5s to pairs of BRCW Type 3s, Sulzer Type 4s or EE Type 3s.

The model will feature NEM couplers in kinematic close-coupling mounts, numerous separately fitted detail parts and photo-etched catwalks.  The distinctive owners’ plates fitted to the barrels will be in fine metal, to create an accurate depth.

We are also offering versions with both the original suspension and the 1960s upgraded type:

Esso black with original suspension:

35T v1 Esso

Mobil Charrington red with original suspension:

35T v2 Mobil

Unbranded black with original suspension:

35T v3 black

Regent black with revised suspension:

35T v5 Regent

Texaco black with revised suspension:

35T v4 Texaco

United Molasses brown with revised suspension:

35T v6 UM

Our model is being designed by former Graham Farish/Bachmann engineer Colin Allbright, who has considerable experience in model production and also created the Ultima range.

Until now we have focused on modern era enthusiasts, however we are hoping that a modellers of the transition era will find this crowd-funding proposal attractive and if we receive sufficient support we will go ahead with the models.

If the Class B is successful we also have plans for the similar Class A tanker, which had the same tonnage but a longer barrel as it was designed for lighter benzene fuels and were predominantly coloured grey.

This model has come about as the direct result of a campaign by modellers on the N Gauge Forum and we are keen to show that our crowd-funding methodology can allow anyone to create the model of their choice, provided there is enough support,

As ever, only models ordered by the deadline will be produced.  We will send out email reminders before the order book closes so please register on our website, without obligation, to avoid missing out.