Heljan's 'OO' ETHEL on the horizon
Heljan's eagerly-awaited newly-tooled 'OO' gauge Class 25 Bo-Bo diesels are expected to arrive during February.
Amongst the raft of releases are two examples of the former Class 25 mobile electric train heating units converted by BR's Scottish Region, known as ETHELs (Electric Train Heating, Ex Loco), for use with BR's new Mk 3 sleeping carriages on the West Highland Line in the 1980s. They later went on to appear on charter trains hauled by steam locomotives, too. Three prototypes were converted and Heljan is releasing two models as 97250 ETHEL 1 in BR blue and grey (Cat No. 2540) and 97252 ETHEL 3 in InterCity Mainline livery (2541).
As with the prototypes, Heljan's 'OO' ETHELs will be ready-to-haul, as they will be supplied without motors, but will still feature pick-ups, lighting and a Digital Command Control (DCC) decoder socket for digital sound installations.
In total, ten Class 25 models are planned as D7647 in BR two-tone green with small yellow panels (Cat No. 2530), D5244 in weathered BR two-tone green with small yellow panels (2531), D7550 in BR two-tone green with full yellow ends and BR blue data panel (2532), D7661 in BR early blue with small yellow panels (2533), D7667 in BR blue with full yellow ends (2534), 25252 in BR blue (LMR) with full yellow ends (2535), 25155 in weathered BR blue (WR) with full yellow ends (2536), 25093 in BR blue (LMR/ScR) with domino headcodes (2537), 25912 Tamworth Castle in 'Ice Cream Van' livery (2538) and D7672 Tamworth Castle in BR two-tone green railtour livery (2539), plus the two previously-mentioned ETHELs.
Prices are set at £179.95 for pristine models and £189.95 for factory-weathered examples.
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In addition, retailer TMC (The Model Centre) has commissioned a limited edition 'OO' gauge model of 25102 in mid-1970s BR two-tone green with full yellow ends, priced at £179.95. Weathering options are also available.