- Reviews Index
- Bachmann 2EPB
- Bachmann 4Cep
- Bachmann MLV
- Bachmann Class 450 Desiro
- Dapol Class 73
- D J Models Class 71
- EFE Isle of Wight Underground Stock
- Halling Croydon Tramlink Tram
- Heljan Class 07 Dock Shunter
- Heljan new Class 33/0s
- Hornby 2Bil
- Hornby 2Hal
- Hornby 4Vep
- Hornby Brighton Belle
- Hornby Class 71
- Hornby Class 395
- Hornby Refurbished Eurostar
- Kernow 2H
- Kernow 4TC
- Kernow Bulleid Diesel Locomotives
- Replica Motorised Chassis
Heljan Re-Tooled Class 33/0
Originally commenced as a project with Rail Exclusive of Peterborough but then later taken "in house", the first batch of Heljan's newly re-tooled Class 33/0 models appeared all at once during March 2014.
These new models are a significant improvement on Heljan's original 33/0s and feature etched brass mesh grilles to the cooler group, a correct profile to the roof and lots of fine detail.
Anyone who knows their "Cromptons" will see from these photos that this new model certainly looks right. Placing new and old models alongside, the improvement is clearly visible. Too be more precise, using the template, that I derived from a scale drawing, to demonstrate that the roof profile of the original models was incorrect, I find the roof profile on this version is indeed correct.
Models from the launch batch are:
Apart from separately applied handrails and a few other parts Heljan's original 33/0s largely featured moulded on detail. These new versions have etched brass grilles both sides and on the roof to the cooler group. I have to admit that when I first saw this model I thought the side grilles were still moulded due to the lack of depth, but on looking closely these are very finely etched grilles set into a shallow recess in the body sides. In comparison, the detail of these etches is actually coarser than on the older versions.
All other grilles are still moulded on, but finely done, as the roof grilles in this picture illustrate.
|Another weakness of the earlier versions was that Heljan only produced the later - modified - version of the roof with clips and revised exhaust port. This left Heljan and their UK Agents scrabbling to find the very few specific Cromptons in green livery with a modified roof. As can be seen above and below, both original (above) and modified (below) pattern roofs are available for the re-tooled models. Note the cooling fan, which does not rotate, can be seen through the circular grille on the roof. The detail on the modified pattern roofs is more accurate than on the previous versions.|
|From this picture you can see how that with the body recess painted black the grille looks moulded on first sight from a distance, but closer inspection reveals a fine piece of etching. It is a shame there is not slightly more depth behind the grille to show off its quality.|
For the BR Green livery the regular small yellow warning panel version is only available as a Model Rail magazine subscribers' offer. Heljan offer D6538 BR with a small yellow warning panel with experimental rounded top corners as a standard part of their range.
As BR Green livery with a small yellow warning panel is how I fondly remember these locomotives I hope that once the Model Rail offer is sold out eventually there will be more versions in the standard "late green" livery.
Damn those white rectangles on the headcode blinds! Heljan's affectation with atypical white rectangles for the headcode blinds on green livery versions perversely continues - where did this idea come from?
The cab front of a BR Blue livery version, with better looking headcode panels.
My six models ran smoothly and responsively straight out of the box. The headcode panel and two small marker lights illuminate when the locomotive is running in the forward direction.
Other to comment that the detail on the bogies is better than on the previous versions the only other thing I have noticed is that the wheels on this new version are silvered but the flange is fractionally deeper.