• Ben Jones

HELJAN Progress Report - June 2021

It's hard to believe we're now into the second half of 2021 and already planning our production schedule for 2022 and 2023!

While we might have been relatively quiet over the last few weeks, there's a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to deliver exciting new HELJAN British outline models in OO9, OO and O gauge.

Next to arrive will be our eagerly anticipated centre headcode Class 40s and refurbished Class 31s in O gauge. These superb models are currently en route to Europe and are expected to reach our UK retailers in August.

With five liveries on the Class 40 and no fewer than nine across the '31/1' and '31/4' sub-classes for the Brush Type 2, there's something for everyone, whether you model the BR green, BR blue, Sectorisation or Privatised era.

The '31s' and '40s' are due to be followed a couple of months later (shipping issues permitting) by a new batch of O gauge Class 60s in a wide range of colourful liveries, from original Railfreight grey to contemporary DB Cargo, GB Railfreight and DCRail liveries.

Contact your local HELJAN stockist to reserve your favourite versions now. As ever, all of these models have been produced in limited quantities and some are close to being sold out already.

Also now in production is the second batch of O gauge Class 50s. These hugely popular EE Type 4s sold very quickly first time out, especially those in the classic BR large logo blue. Despite producing extra versions and increasing quantities to cater for demand, pre-orders for Batch 2 have been so strong that all large logo versions are already sold out at the warehouse. Any customers wishing to obtain these models are strongly recommended to contact their local HELJAN stockist now to secure them before they disappear.

Six versions are being produced, covering BR blue, large logo with grey or black roof, Large Logo 50036 Victorious, Revised Network SouthEast light blue and 'Laira blue' 50019 Ramillies in typically weathered DCWA sub-sector condition (pictured).


Speaking of sell-out successes, the second batch of our ever-popular O gauge Class 37/4 was snapped up in record time and a third batch is now in preparation. Featuring a mix of existing liveries and new versions, Batch 3 includes several fully decorated numbered and named favourites joining the range. All are being produced in limited quantities, so pre-order yours now!

NEW! Class 37/4 O gauge - Batch 3

#3741 BR Large Logo Blue unnumbered

#3745 Trainload Freight 3T grey unbranded/unnumbered

#3753 Railfreight Petroleum 3T grey 37418 Pectinidae

#3754 BR Large Logo 37426 Y Lein Fach/Vale of Rheidol

#3755 BR Large Logo 37404 Ben Cruachan*

#3756 Railfreight Construction 3T grey 37425 Sir Robert McAlpine/Concrete Bob*

#3757 Railfreight Distribution 3T grey 37413 Loch Eil Outward Bound

*Loco with factory weathered finish

Also now in transit from our factory (at last!) is our latest OO9 steam locomotive, Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Baldwin 2-4-2T 'LYN'. These beautiful little machines complement our existing L&B fleet and will be available in six versions from July. Covering L&BR, transition and Southern Railway liveries, as well as a plain black version for freelance layouts, 'LYN' featuring a 6-pin DCC interface, working LED headlamp and a range of authentic detail variations. Reserve yours now!

Above: Production 'LYN' models being tested prior to shipment.


In other news, the first sample of the ubiquitous BR Mk1 CCT van in O gauge has arrived for review. As always with a first sample, a number of issues have been identified and will be resolved before the models go into production. However, overall, the model looks very promising and we look forward to making rapid progress towards a release in the first half of 2022. Standard features include compensated axles, sprung buffers and couplings, fine wire handrails and extensive underframe detail. All versions of the CCT are now available to pre-order via your local HELJAN stockist.

Also on a coaching stock theme, our family of O gauge Mk2 coaches is progressing well. Tooling is now approved and deco artwork is in progress. Further updates on these superb models will follow soon, but for the moment here's a sample of the TSO version, hand-painted by Brian Daniels.

On a less positive note, we have taken the decision to halt our O gauge GWR '2251'/Collett Goods 0-6-0 project in order to focus on other products that are currently in greater demand. It's not a decision we take lightly but with demand for O gauge diesel & electric era subjects increasing and only a small team working across many new products, we have prioritised the completion and delivery of projects such as the new Class 47, 56, 26/27 and 73, plus other exciting O gauge D&E projects to be revealed soon.

However, this doesn't mean that HELJAN is not interested in steam era subjects - we are constantly reviewing ideas for new products and we're always open to ideas from our retailers and customers.


As you'll see from the summary below, we have more than 20 projects in progress, plus exclusive models for the National Railway Museum, Rails of Sheffield, Model Rail Magazine, Kernow Model Rail Centre and others yet to be announced. Unfortunately, the global pandemic continues to disrupt production, causing delays. Certain projects have been more affected than others, with the OO gauge Class 45 and O gauge Class 117/121/122 particularly suffering, despite being frustratingly close to completion.


Look out for more updates soon, including some exciting announcements on all-new products, new versions of existing products and reruns of popular models that are not currently available.


Other Projects

OO Gauge

LNER 'O2' 2-8-0 (new versions) - awaiting improved samples. Due 2022

Class 02 diesel shunter - in tooling. 2022 release

Ruston 165DE - deco samples in preparation. Late-2021/early-2022 release

Class 25 - Batch 2 deco samples in preparation. Late-2021/early-2022 release

Class 33/0 - new batch deco samples approved. Q4 2021 release

Class 45 - awaiting improved deco samples. Q4 2021 release

Class 47 - tooling approved. Deco samples in preparation. Full update soon.

Class 86/4 - Tooling approved. Deco samples in preparation. Q2 2022 release

GWR Diesel Railcar - In production. Due July/August

Class 104 DMU - Design in progress. 2022 release


O Gauge

GWR '2251' 0-6-0 - project halted.

Class 02 diesel shunter - in tooling. 2022 release

Class 26/1 - tooling approved. Awaiting deco samples. 2022 release

Class 27 - tooling approved. Awaiting deco samples. 2022 release

Refurbished Class 31/1 & 31/4 - due August 2021

Centre headcode Class 40 - due August 2021

Class 47 - awaiting final deco samples. Late-2021 release

Class 50 - Batch 2 in production. Due late-2021

Class 56 - awaiting deco samples. Late-2021/early-2022 release

Class 60 - Batch 2 deco samples under review. Due Sept/Oct 2021

Class 73/1 - First EP sample due shortly. 2022 release

Class 117/121/122 DMUs - awaiting final deco samples. 2022 release

Mk1 CCT - First EP received (see photo). 2022 release

Mk2 Coaches - Tooling approved/deco artwork in progress. 2022 release

LMS Inspection Saloon - Design work in progress.


---ENDS-----







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