The checking is done; the CADs are approved. Now we just have to wait for the tooling to take place and the first Pendolino test shots to arrive.
If, like us, you’re struggling to contain your excitement then here are some calming images to help you relax. We like to think of them as a little zen-gauge…
And for those that asked on Saturday and Sunday, checking against the 3 sample cars we estimate that when coupled up on the track the 9-car trains will be 1492mm in length, and the 11-car trains 1820mm.
The Class 390 Pendolino CADs for the intermediate cars have now been approved for tooling.
The cab cars have also been improved on condition of one very minor correction.
This is the arrangement for light clusters on the driving car:
This image shows working the table lamps in first class vehicles:
At the International N Gauge Show at Leamington Spa this weekend we displayed stereolithographs produced for us by the Jewellery Department at Birmingham City University. These enabled us – and the many visitors to the show who admired them – to visually check that the models looked “right” in terms of detail and presence, and that they are the correct scale dimensions.
Once Rapido have sent us sampled produced from the toolings we will be sure to post images.
The production cycle will now see us approve mouldings, test and debug a working train and check livery samples.
Once that is done Rapido will ask us to specify the number of models we wish to produce. At this point we will close the order book and that will be the number produced.
There will be no additional models available post production, so please make sure you keep an eye on this site to ensure you don’t miss the deadline!
The Revolution Trains – Rapido Class 390 Pendolino in N will be the first RTR mass-market model to be provided with a DCC Sound option.
This has proved popular with customers, and last night we were invited to Alstom’s Longsight traincare depot in Manchester – the home of Virgin’s Pendolino fleet – to record the sounds of the real thing.
Longsight handles 15 Pendolinos each night. From 2208 the units begin to arrive in the depot and are first sent through the carriage washer and a laser scanner that can register anything from the thickness of the brake pads to the state of the pantograph’s carbon contact heads to check whether they need changing. From there they are sent into one of 15 reception sidings for overnight work to begin. An initial one hour exam is followed by a thorough clean. On-train diagnostics will have communicated ahead with the depot control room and fitters will already know what, if any, specific repair work is required.
Inside the workshops longer term maintenance is underway – at the moment the fleet is undergoing a programme of 800,000 mile “H4” examinations which involve full bogie changes and replacement of the emergency couplers – so the entire nose assembly has to come off!
One of those undergoing its H4 exam was 390103 – the Poppy pendolino and one of the ten models we are offering. With the trains in this conditions we were able to record some sounds not otherwise possible, though we had to be careful not to get in the way as the work is very tightly rostered.
Most of the recording was done outside; this is generally preferred by our sound recordist Legomanbiffo as there is no chance of any unwanted echoes, or the clang of a dropped spanner, that can mar the recording. He tends to take at least 3-4 captures of any given sound to be sure of a good “take.”
Strict depot rules meant that the sounds of the horn had to be recorded before 2300 to avoid incurring the wrath of local residents. Alstom likes to be a good neighbour!
Even though this was Manchester we got lucky with the weather – the only precipitation was from the water washers – just one of over 20 separate sounds we recorded. Who knew a Pendolino made so many different sounds?
Huge thanks to Dave Jones and everyone at Alstom Longsight depot for helping us to ensure our N Gauge Pendolino with DCC Sound will have the best quality and most accurate sounds possible.
Just a quick update to show that the front hatch has now been rendered removable, to allow our Pendolino model to be “dragged” prototypically by a diesel locomotive across non-electrified lines. For clearance reasons a coupler cannot be permanently fitted; removing the hatch will expose a pivoting NEM socket to which the modeller can fit a standard coupler or another of their choice. Also a couple of smaller details around the nose and end have been incorporated.
The prominent seams adjacent to the cab side windows – that mark the join between the aerodynamic nose and the standard profile of the body – are also present now. In the image below I have highlighted the construction lines in black to make them easier to see.
We are close to approving these drawings now – just a couple of very small issues to sort out..
We have received revised versions of the interior mouldings. This is standard class with standard seating, for coaches E, F and U.
Following feedback, the designers have now changed the profile of the seats to more accurately reflect the distinctive curved seating used by Virgin in the Pendolino trains. This moulding is for Coach J – first class with disabled toilet.
This comparison of the Shop area (Coach C) plan with the same section as depicted shows the attention to detail being offered. Even the seat in the small guard’s cabin is, correctly, of a different type.
The designers have even depicted the two types of table – single and twin-leaf – that Pendolinos carry.
The CADs previously seen of the trailer vehicles are now ready for approval, once the driving cabs are approved the model will move to tooling.
Revolution Trains will be at The N Gauge International Show at Leamington Spa this September – and we plan to have prototyped samples on show. Come and ask us more about our projects.
We are now close to approving the various CAD drawings for the Pendolino. All the interior cars are pretty much there – we are just waiting for the all-important driving cabs before we can move to tooling.
This is an overview of Coach U – vehicles in the 653XX number range. These vehicles have pantograph wells but no pantographs and with coach F form the pair of additional cars in 11-car sets, and are part of the add-on sets for those wishing to depict delivery trains.
The component on the far right is just the coupler mech from the adjoining vehicle that the CAD designer has added to “virtually” check clearances etc.
The Pantographs have been improved and are now accurate depictions of the unique Brecknell Willis pantographs fitted to Pendolino trains. These differ slightly from the standard high speed pantograph because they are designed to operate on tilting trains.
There is some work still to do on the main coach interiors, however the cab interior is looking ready:
A couple more images from the CAD. The bogies are pretty much there now. The dampers are separate parts to allow the bogie frames to be correctly recessed…
The PTF and PTSRMB vehicles have now had the pantographs added. These are plastic mouldings, and poseable, rather than sprung, since we felt that more people operate their models without contact wires than with!! We’d like to thank Brecknell Willis who sent us excellent drawings of the real thing to help us get this right. There are still a couple of mods to the collector needed – the ends should be less angular – but we think we are definitely getting there.
Here are some preview images of the almost ready CAD drawings of the Pendolino. Very soon we are expecting the designers to have completed the first stage of the design, and once we are happy we will post some images of the complete model to allow our customers to offer their feedback.
Once the CADs are approved we will move to the next stage of the project, converting the 3D images into steel tools that will mould the actual parts of the model. We are very happy with the overall shape and look of the model – the hard work is in making sure all the smaller details are right!
We’d like to thank all those that voted for their preferred Pendolinos. The majority of our customers did register their votes, so the counting process has taken a little longer than we’d anticipated, but here are the results. However, there are a couple of caveats which are explained below.
390001 Virgin Pioneer
390005 City of Wolverhampton
390006 Tate Liverpool
390045 101 Squadron
390104 Alstom Pendolino (Alstom livery)
390114 City of Manchester
390122 Penny the Pendolino
390138 City of London
390151 Virgin Ambassador (Business is Great Britain livery)
Plus, of course, 390103 Virgin Hero (Poppy Pendolino)
We had originally expected to offer 5 9-car and 5-11-car, however not only do we have more orders for 11-car trains, but also the 9-car selections are heavily skewed towards 390001 and 390045, while the 11-car voting was more evenly spread out. This means that the 5th choice 9-car set had far far fewer votes than the 6th choice 11-car set. The split is also complicated by the fact that the Poppy Pendolino could almost be considered a separate item on its own, meaning we could argue the split is more like a 5 for 11 and 4 for 9 car.
There were also a couple of almost-ties, in which case we have tried to select variety (eg offering City of London instead of City of Liverpool, as Tate Liverpool had already made the cut).
We are sure that the selections will not please everyone, but hopefully they offer a reasonable spread of interesting colour schemes, geographically diverse cities and notable identities. And, of course, they were selected by our customers, which as far as we are aware is a first for any mass market range of new models.
Over the next few weeks we will update the website to add set choices. If you voted for one of the selected sets and have paid in full then we will update your order. If you voted for one of the selected sets but paid a deposit or if you didn’t vote for one of selected sets then we will ask you to make your order choice via our website.
We’ve just received the first draft CAD of the Pendolino driving car. Purchasers can log in to their account and get a sneak preview of the CAD and some of the point cloud data images (on the Pendolino Developments page – only accessible by Pendolino purchasers).
There is still a lot of detail to be added, but the basic shape is starting to get there.
The first 3D scan images are now in – you can see a teaser below!
We’ve also received some more CAD from Virgin – again a sample here:
If you’ve placed an order for a Pendolino then you can view all the images (and latest updates) here (please note you must be logged in to your account – the user name / email and password are the ones you supplied when you placed your order).
We’ve now laser scanned a Pendolino power car at the Virgin Talent Academy at Crewe. The weather was cold, dull and overcast – but not rainy – apparently ideal scanning conditions! If it’s too bright, or the surface is wet and shiny – reflections can make it a lot harder for the laser to get a clean fix.
The laser scanner is made by Leica and costs around £70,000. It’s known as a “time of flight” scanner – that is, it measures the time it takes the light to travel out and be reflected back, and from that calculates the precise distance to the point. It generates a million data points per second, and at the range the scan was carried out is accurate to +/- 0.3mm. When this is scaled down for N gauge the error margin is around 2 micrometers!
The whole process took around 3 hours and involved the two operators – David and Jonathan McCrory of Scantech International – postitioning the scanner at various points and allowing the laser to make a sweep. They first scanned around the train at low level, to ensure bogie and underframe detail was captured, before using a tripod and the platforms present to scan further up and eventually along the roof to ensure the entire body was scanned.
The resulting “point clouds” from each pass will be stitched together, cleaned up and extraneous items such as the track and any fencing/shrubbery removed to give Rapido’s CAD designers a clean outline to begin designing the model. Look out for more updates soon!
After an abortive first attempt to laser scan a Pendolino on January 29th that had to be abandoned due to snow we will be trying again on Monday Feb 2nd. Our schedule was that the scan would be completed “late Jan/early Feb” so the delay should not set us back appreciably.