Class 55 Deltic Update September 2021
We've long been overdue an update on our Class 55 Deltic, and since we revealed our decorated samples earlier this year there has been a huge effort to ensure all variants are correct before releasing them for production.
We published an email and social media update in early summer confirming that the Deltics were envisaged as arriving in later Q3 of 2021 rather than early Q3 as originally hoped.
The decorated samples were signed off and we sanctioned production just as Chinese new year was about to get underway. This involves a mass movement of people back from the large industrial centres back to their regional homelands. Once Chinese New Year ended, many of these workers did not return back to the cities and factories due to the pandemic restrictions. This has lead to a labour shortage across all manufacturing activities, coupled with a large amount of social distancing regulations which has further slowed production progress.
Another curveball that was hurled our way is the global shortage of microchips, which are required for our PCBs. This has hit all facets of manufacturing, from game consoles to cars. Thankfully, we were able to secure a source for our locomotives, including the Deltic and Class 92 which are both in the manufacturing process currently.
Undeterred by this blip, we pushed hard for production to get under way post Chinese New Year which we have achieved. However, production pace has been hampered by the lack of labour force and the pandemic restrictions.
As you can see from these images of what looks like a massive pile of kit parts, the injection moulding part of production is now complete. These parts are currently being snapped from many, many thousands of sprues, cleaned up and then some basic assembly before the painting, pad printing and tampo printing processes begin. This will take into account some changes we made to the decorated samples to ensure they are accurate to the prototypes.
With the injection moulding now finished the first major and time-consuming hurdle has been cleared. The factory is now confident that the rest of the production process will be turned around in a timely manner, with the printing and painting taking place by November before final assembly and testing being completed and in time for shipping from China by Chinese New Year 2022. This leaves us with a revised delivery date of Q1 2022, allowing for shipping times from the Far East to our warehouse for onward distribution. We apologise for this further delay, but the pandemic fallout has lead to delays across the entire model train industry and wider manufacturing world.
The Deltic has been a massive learning curve for our young company, and mistakes were certainly made along the way, but in our quest for it "having to be right" we feel that we have made the right decisions to ensure a superb locomotive to enter the market and stay there for the next number of years. We have taken the experience and put it into our other locos to ensure that they fare differently, and with our Metrovick A Class locomotives arriving in stock with our sister brand IRM our locomotives are finally appearing on layouts and in collections. The pandemic was a painful addition to the delay we all could've really done without, but we're now in the final stage of the Deltic development and production programme. The end is now in sight!
With four of our Deltics already sold out and others close to selling out they are certainly proving popular. Don't miss out, pre-order yours with a £30 deposit today by clicking here.