Class 37 Project Update
Time for another project update! Over the next couple of weeks we will be bringing you updates on all our current projects to keep you up to speed with where they're at.
We have already published recent updates on the Mark 5 and we will have updates on the JSAs, KUA, Deltic and Class 92 shortly.
Today it is the turn of the Class 37!
Last November we launched our most ambitious project to date; the Class 37. Our brief was simple; to fill in the blanks for variations of this iconic class that were yet to be modelled in OO/4mm gauge and do these beasts justice in miniature.
Of course, there is no better place to start than the beginning, right? Well, maybe starting at the current point, and working back? We couldn't decide which was better, so we launched with two variants which bookend the Class 37 story nicely!
The original first five locomotives built (with their subtle detail differences as per above, never previously provided for in ready-to-run format) and the Class 37/6, a modern rebuild of these trusty steeds for DRS.
As you can see above, (and what you have come to expect from us) we have gone down to minute detail to capture the character of these locomotives. With the 37/6, there is a wealth of subtle differences between these locomotives, with the four locos in the render above all containing intricate nose differences between each other which we need to include on our models. Just like the prototypes, it's very rare that any two are the same, and we are reflecting that in our production run. All seven of our Class 37/6 models consist of completely different body and under frame configurations - no two are identical!
Following our first Class 37 announcement ahead of Warley 2019, we followed it up with the announcement of 97301 in Network Rail livery as our first "Accurascale Exclusive" model, only available direct from us. This model features the Hitachi ERTMS equipment which is a first from a manufacturer on a RTR Class 37!
Following the 97 announcement we turned our attentions to a truly iconic era for the class; 1980s Scotland! The steam heat Class 37/0 with quirky car headlight was another missing link in ready-to-run Class 37s that we had to fill. What better place to announce it than at the 2020 Model Rail Scotland? Sadly, it was our last show before lockdown, and we hope to get back on the exhibition circuit and see you all again in 2021!
This variant of the Class 37 has been some of our most popular to date, justifying our decision to take this model on and help recreate those memorable 80s Scottish scenes. These beauties also managed to escape south from time to time and could pop up pretty much anywhere in later years offering a wide spectrum of operation for anyone with a 1980s/early 1990s layout.
Our final announcement for our first Class 37 programme of announcements was another modern day variation which has yet to be covered in ready-to-run format; the modern Class 37/4.
The 37/4s were of course another milestone in the Class 37 story, being rebuilt with 'Electric Train Supply' in the mid 1980s and have been done extensively before. However, after DB retired the last of the class in the late 2000s, DRS came to the rescue once again, rebuilding a number of the sub-class.
The first upgraded DRS Class 37/4 was No. 37423, which was outshopped by Brush, Loughborough, in 2008. The most involved conversion, this included WIPAC light clusters and top headlight, toughened windscreens, plated headcode box, cab kickplates and the fitment of nose multiple working sockets. Later rebuilds, by HNRC at Barrow Hill and RVEL/Loram Derby, were just as involved, although the locomotives kept more of their original appearance. The main differences were new, larger, LED tail lights instead of WIPACs, while many also gained plated bodyside windows. Both these variants are covered by our model, featuring modern DRS and heritage liveres as per the prototypes. These bring a splash of heritage colour and operational interest to present day layouts.
So, the Class 37 range is diverse, with something for everyone, from 1960 to 2020 covered in our first run. But how is it getting on? Well, pretty good actually, considering the current pandemic world of 2020.
Tooling has been an extensive job to cover the sheer variation of the class, and it's safe to say a normal company would've likely balked at the very prospect of going into this level of detail variation. However, we like to do things properly, so it just had to be done. Our factory couldn't believe the amount of tooling required, and required extra time to complete the job. That, coupled to COVID19, has lead to a slight delay, but it really is not too bad, we promise!
We are due our first tooling sample in November 2020, and should they cut the mustard (and we're confident that they will!) we will receive decorated samples for assessment before Chinese New Year in early 2021. While this area seems faster than the Deltic and 92, we have learnt a great deal from these experiences to help speed us up for the Class 37. Production will then commence after Chinese New Year and delivery will be Q2, 2021.
We understand delays are frustrating, and we are frustrated ourselves, but with the COVID19 situation halting all factories earlier this year there was always going to be this knock on affect from delivery of Q1 2021 to Q2 2021. With the complexity of the project and the issues the world has faced this year we're taking it as a win!
Remember, we will have updates on the Class 55, Class 92, JSAs and KUAs in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, keep subscribed to our newsletter and an eye on our blog here for the latest updates including our first Class 37 EP and more project updates and announcements.
If you wish to pre-order a Class 37, you can do so by clicking here or visiting your local 'Accurascale Approved' stockists!