In conversations with customers and retailers over the last couple of years, one project keeps cropping up above all others - our new O gauge Class 56. Although we've not been able to meet face-to-face at shows since Glasgow in February 2020, messages and emails continue to roll in asking when our big 'Grids' are going to be ready. Well, as the photos here show, that day is getting closer all the time.
Just received for review are the first factory decorated samples of the Class 56s. As always, a few tweaks and improvements are required before they go into production (not least the printed aircon grilles on the cab sides, these will be an optional etched part on the production models) but they look very promising!
Packed with fine detail and desirable features, our '56' depicts the later Doncaster and Crewe-built locomotives (56056-135). It is being produced in no fewer than 10 different versions, ranging from original BR blue to mid-1990s Loadhaul black/orange. An 11th version, in Transrail grey, is exclusive to Tower Models.
Standard features include LED lighting, powered roof fans, heavy duty chassis with twin motors and brass flywheels, DCC Friendly PCB with screw terminals, etched grilles, a choice of cab door handrail designs, optional cab ventilation grilles and AWS protection grids for mounting under the bufferbeams, sprung buffers and couplings and a wealth of separately fitted detail parts.
CLASS 56 BATCH 1 LIVERIES
#5600 BR Blue unnumbered
#5601 BR Large Logo Blue unnumbered
#5602 Railfreight Large Logo Grey unnumbered
#5603 Railfreight Red Stripe Grey unnumbered
#5604 Railfreight 3-tone Grey unbranded/unnumbered
#5605 Railfreight Coal 56101 Mutual Improvement WEATHERED
#5606 Railfreight Construction 56110 Croft
#5607 Loadhaul black/orange unnumbered
#5608 BR Large Logo Blue 56099 (Tinsley embellishments)
#5609 BR Blue 56071
#5610 Transrail Grey unnumbered TOWER MODELS EXCLUSIVE
Pre-orders for all versions are reported to be very strong, with the BR blue and Large Logo versions especially popular. Contact your local HELJAN stockist to reserve yours now and avoid disappointment!