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!”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.