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  • Writer's pictureBen Jones

O Gauge Class 26 Artwork Revealed!

Announced last autumn in response to strong public demand, our new O gauge Class 26/1s are making excellent progress. Following customer feedback on the first samples, several modifications are being made to the tooling to improve what was already an impressive model. Sandboxes, bufferbeams, water tanks and snowploughs are all receiving attention to make them more accurate or (in the case of the 'ploughs), easier to fit.

We've also now completed the artwork for the decoration of the models, reproduced here for you to study and enjoy. Thanks to Brian Daniels, Martyn Sanders and Class 26 expert Andrew Donnelly for their invaluable assistance with these models!

No fewer than nine versions are in preparation, covering early BR green and BR blue variants with tablet catcher recesses, 1970s/1980s Inverness locomotives with twin headlights and weathered BR blue 26037 in 1980s condition. Also included are 1980s/90s air-braked locomotives with the distinctive air tank cradle replacing the boiler water tanks between the bogies. These are being offered in classic BR blue, Railfreight Red Stripe and Civil Engineers' grey/yellow. The full list is as follows...

#2675 BR green unnumbered

#2676 BR green with small yellow panels unnumbered

#2677 BR Blue (early) unnumbered

#2678 BR Blue with twin headlights unnumbered

#2679 BR Blue 26037 WEATHERED

#2680 BR Blue unnumbered (air tanks)

#2681 Railfreight 'Red Stripe' unnumbered

#2682 BR Civil Engineers grey/yellow unnumbered

#2863 Railfreight 'Red Stripe' 26025 WEATHERED

These models will feature plug-and-play DCC capability, switchable lighting functions (with microswitches for DC users and separate lighting functions in DCC mode), engine room, cab and tail lights and a host of optional detail parts, allowing you to tailor your model to specific locomotives and time periods.

Detail variations include original or plated cab doors, Inverness and NRN cab radio pods, a removable engine room window on each side as per the prototype, etched brass horn covers, a full set of headcode discs, miniature snowploughs, tablet catcher arms and a set of tapered bogie footsteps to give you the option of modelling locos which received steps from Class 26/0s.

HELJAN UK stockists report very strong advance orders for all versions of this impressive new model, especially #2678 BR Blue with twin headlights. To cater for demand, we have already increased the quantity to be produced, but we expect this version to sell out very quickly. Reserve yours now to avoid disappointment!

At current rate of progress we expect the Class 26/1s to be available in Q1 2022, but look out for further updates as development progresses. And stay tuned for an update on our O gauge Class 27 project here very soon!

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