Class 37 Update And New Announcement - June 2023
We've published some delicious decorated samples of our forthcoming Class 37s on social media in recent weeks. In the meantime, we have been working hard behind the scenes to progress the project and we can now give you a full update on where we are at.
Firstly, for those of you who have missed the decorated pictures; just drink this awesomeness in. Don't they look pretty?
Apart from some fit and finish issues which always occurs with pre-production samples, and naturally will be remedied on the model that enters traffic on your layout, our EE Type 3s are looking very tasty indeed. Samples of the four main types we are producing in the first run (The first 5 built, 37/0 with Scottish 'car' headlamp, 37/6 and modern Class 37/4) as well as Accurascale Exclusive 97301 have all arrived, been tested and feedback was sent to the factory for subtle tweaks and improvements.
Some areas we have identified for improvement are on the roof, which requires better fit and finish to accurately represent this crucial area. We are also tweaking the horn grilles as they just don't quite cut the mustard. We have also further enhanced the fan grille and other areas since these decorated samples were made.
Thanks to the eagle eyed viewers and feedback gained from RMWeb regarding the position of the Scottish car headlamp, and further work with the factory to reduce its size, we are making improvements in this area too. The printing and paint in general will receive enhancements too, as evidenced on the sector Class 37s with their poorer paint coverage in some areas. Again, the models you receive will be spot on.
On our original batch of EE Type 3's, D6700-6705, require some additional work around the connecting doors on the front of the locomotives, as we are not happy with the fit and finish here, and other small areas that require improvement. However, once implemented, they will form a cracking model of one of the nations most favourite diesel locomotives.
We knew our Class 37s would be very popular when we first announced them at Warley in 2019. However, we did not know just how popular they would be. It seems our attempts at producing the definitive model of these icons have proven to be a massive success among modellers. So much so, that to avoid swamping the factory and to ensure delivery in a timely fashion, we will now have to batch produce them and deliver the entire first run over three deliveries.
The delivery schedule is as follows:
- Batch 1 is the Scottish Headlamp 37/0s and modern 37/4s. These are now in production and scheduled to ship at the end of August from China, arriving in stock in mid-October.
- Batch 2 is the 37/6s and the Yellow 97/3. Planned shipment end of October, arriving in stock in mid December.
- Batch 3 is the Blue/Green 37/0s. Planned shipment end of December, arriving in stock in February 2023.
Naturally, we would've loved to deliver these in chronological order of when they were first announced, but the tweaks required per sub class dictate the delivery schedule now, with the first batch the easiest to progress into production while further tooling work continues on the Class 37/6 and the blue and green Type 3s.
The good news is that production is now underway, with injection moulding of batch 1 complete and painting is about to start.
Of course, with complete sell out on pre-order, you may have a feeling of missing out. However, we have some good news!
A previous modern Class 37/4 was ear-marked for a special commission that was not proceeded with. So, we have added it to our "Accurascale Exclusives" range instead, and now offer it for sale to you direct. Welcome to 37402 in the retro classic livery of BR Blue Large Logo livery.
Outshopped by Loram in February 2016, 37402 was the second member of the Direct Rail Services Class 37/4 fleet to be returned to the BR large logo scheme, after 37401 Mary Queen of Scots, which had led the way after being repaired and repainted into this iconic paint scheme by the SRPS at Bo’ness in late 2013. 37402 was released from Derby wearing non-standard numbers and with its Stephen Middlemore nameplates still in their ‘Compass’ livery position below the radiator, although these were fortunately both fixed at Kingmoor before the locomotive entered traffic a few weeks later, going straight into action on the Cumbrian Coast loco-hauled services between Preston, Barrow and Carlisle.
37402 became a regular on these popular workings and while they ended in May 2018, DRS had plenty of employment for its expanding fleet of heritage liveried Class 37/4s. This included Network Rail test, saloon and railhead treatment trains, the Greater Anglia ‘short set’ passenger services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, nuclear flask, engineers, railtours, stock moves, ‘thunderbird’, route learning and other duties. By the end of 2018 the sight of pairs of large logo 37/4s either top and tailed or working together became almost commonplace all over the network.
The detail configuration of this locomotive is identical to our other large logo ETH-fitted ‘tractor’, 37409, with the main spotting features of these DRS era machines being the revised LED tail lights, multiple working socket on the nose, toughened windscreens, cab step and door kickplates, and – for those machines that previously wore Compass branding – the plated central window on both sides of the body. Notably though, 37402 was provided with a large Eastfield ‘westie’ logo in the classic position, an embellishment never given to 37409.
This locomotive will arrive in batch 1 in October, so make sure you pre-order yours to avoid disappointment. Considering how the rest of the Class 37 range has sold this will not hang around for long. Order here!