Heljan reveals three
new ‘O’ gauge projects
A brace of Scottish Region Type 2s and the Southern Region Class 73 have been revealed as Heljan’s new ready-to-run ‘O’ gauge locomotive projects for release across 2021 and 2022.
Above: First engineering samples for Heljan's new 'O' gauge Class 26.
The Scottish Region Type 2s are led by a brand-new model of the BRCW Class 26 for the scale which is due for release in late 2021 priced at £599 per locomotive. The new tooling will cater for four decades of the classes history from the 1960s to the 1990s incorporating detail variations to enhance it over the original Heljan Class 26 for 7mm scale which was produced 10 years ago.
The new Class 26 will have three different bodyshells to model locomotives with and without tablet catcher recesses and locomotives which were refurbished without headcode discs. It will also be the first offering of the Class 26 with Inverness ‘car headlights’ as used in the Far North of Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s.
Underframe variants will cater for original boiler water tanks or late style air tank equipment with the distinctive cradle between the bogies while detail options will include plated over cabdoors, three-piece miniature snowploughs, boiler vent grilles and Inverness or NRN radio pods. Models will also be supplied with a set of open or folded headcode discs, etched metal horn cowl covers and a set of optional Class 26/0 tapered bogie steps.
Standard features on all Class 26s include sprung buffers, wire handrails, etched metal grilles, separately fitted windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details. The mechanism will be a twin-motor type with all-wheel drive and there will also be separately switchable cab tail and engine room lights.
Heljan has also stated that this will be the first British outline ‘O’ gauge model to offer plug-and-play DCC and sound capability using ESU’s LokSound 5 XL decoder. Nine versions are planned (see table) covering BR green, BR blue and sector era schemes.
Also due for release in late 2021 is the first ‘O’ gauge ready-to-run model of the Class 27 which will follow the same specification as the new Class 26 mechanically and electrically.
The body will incorporate options for boiler and non-boiler locomotives, two different bogie footsteps, boiler roof grilles or plates, air tanks for dual-braked engines and more. Eight versions are planned for release covering a range of liveries including 1960s era BR green through to their withdrawal in 1980s period BR blue. The price per model is £599.
The final announcement is the Southern Region Class 73/1 Bo-Bo electro-diesel for ‘O’ gauge. It is expected to be released in 2022 priced at £625 per model.
The Class 73 is Heljan’s first electric locomotive and is set to follow the Class 26/27 in featuring a plug-and-play DCC interface as well as new lighting features and detail variations.
The model will replicate the 1965-1967 built production batch throughout their careers with options for high intensity headlights, NRN radio aerials, radio pods, arc shields and more. Standard items will including sprung buffers, metal handrails, etched grilles, buffing plates, multiple working cables and windscreen wipers.
Above: The Class 73 is being produced for 'O' gauge by Heljan. Release is expected in 2022. Brian Daniels/Heljan.
The chassis will follow Heljan’s tried and tested ‘O’ gauge format of twin motors with flywheels together with switchable cab, headcode and engine roof lights. In total ten livery versions are planned for the first release covering BR blue, InterCity, ‘Dutch’, Network SouthEast and more (see below).
|Heljan 'O' gauge announcements|
|Class 26 Bo-Bo diesel|
|BR green, unnumbered with table catcher recess||2675|
|BR green with small yellow warning panels, unnumbered with tablet catcher recess||2676|
|5338, early BR blue||2677|
|BR blue, unnumbered with Inverness headlights||2678|
|26027, BR blue, weathered||2679|
|BR blue, unnumbered with dual brakes||2680|
|BR Railfreight red stripe, unnumbered with white cantrail stripe||2681|
|BR 'Dutch' grey and yellow, unnumbered||2682|
|26025, BR Railfreight red stripe with Eastfield logo, orange cantrail stripe and weathering||2683|
|Class 27 Bo-Bo diesel|
|BR green, unnumbered with small yellow panels||2770|
|5370, BR green with full yellow ends, weathered||2771|
|BR green, unnumbered with cream lining and full yellow ends||2772|
|BR blue, unnumbered non-boiler fitted locomotive||2773|
|BR blue, unnumbered boiler fitted locomotive||2774|
|D5382, BR two tone green with small yellow panels||2775|
|D5389, early BR blue with small yellow panels||2776|
|27032, BR blue with Highland Rail stag emblems, weathered||2777|
|Class 73 Bo-Bo electro-diesel|
|E6008, BR blue with small yellow panels and grey solebar, weathered||7300|
|E6020, BR blue with small yellow panels||7301|
|73137, BR blue with full yellow ends||7302|
|73114, BR 'large logo' blue||7303|
|73102 Airtour Suisse, InterCity Executive||7304|
|73108, BR 'Dutch' grey and yellow||7305|
|73126 Kent & East Sussex Railway, revised Network SouthEast||7306|
|73128, EW&S maroon and gold||7308|
|73212, Network Rail yellow||7309|
|73107 Tracy, GB Railfreight blue and orange||7310|