02 August 2021
Six months since the manufacturer previewed the first tooling samples of its coaching stock, first samples in Caledonian sleeper livery are reviewed.
Accurascale has unveiled decorated samples of its Mk. 5 coaches for OO gauge, in Caledonian Sleeper livery, offering a progress report on the project.
The manufacturer has insisted that fit and finish on these pre-production coaches and will be improved further on production models, with further refinements and improvements to the paint finish expected. The deceptively complex Caledonian Sleeper livery is said to be "coming together nicely with an excellent colour match for the tricky Caledonian Sleeper Midnight teal colour".
Detail on the coaches covers separate boxes, grilles, cylinders and conduits replicated as per the prototypes. Much printing and full lighting is fitted to each coach. Accurascale has said that models are devoid of light bleed.
Another area the manufacturer is keen to highlight concerns its new magnetic Dellner couplings, which permit close coupling on up to third radius curves. Accurascale plans to retail these separately too, designed to fit into NEM sockets. Each coach pack is expected to be supplied with a set of tension-lock couplings for each coach to help negotiate second radius and couple to other items of stock. Despite many positive points with these samples, Accuracsale’s designers and engineers have a list of minor improvements following assessment of the samples. This will include glazing, some printing such as the warning labels and smaller signs, and overspray in some areas.
With a similar amount of warning labels, interesting angles, shades and fades, the models in Trans-Pennine Express livery push model production techniques to the limit. The factory has reportedly tried a few techniques to replicate the livery faithfully, but without success. Accurascale commented, "As all the layers to the livery are added, it begins to damage it elsewhere. It has proven very frustrating for our factory engineers! The visible paint lines through the doors were also unacceptable."
Accurascale is currently working on a new batch, mixing techniques to get the desired finish. As such, we haven't seen photographs of finished TPE sets. The sleepers have been assessed and feedback is on its way to the factory. The factory has assured Accurascale that it will have finished TPE samples for assessment in eight weeks’ time. Production of models is expected in 2022. Accurascale had hoped it would be further on in the project, but the livery challenge wasn't fully foreseen.
Further information, including pricing and availability can be found on the Accurascale website.