10 May 2023
We've had access to a decorated sample of Heljan's forthcoming LNER Class O2 2-8-0 for 'OO'. Time for a look?
If it's large LNER freight locomotives that 'float your boat', Heljan's somewhat long-awaited arrival for 4mm:1ft scale 'OO' should be on your radar. Now revised to better reflect the Class, Tony Wright obtained a sample from the manufacturer's Ben Jones for an initial look at its fit, finish and features.
We saw first EPs of the manufacturer's Class O2/1, O2/2 and O2/4 locomotives in autumn, 2021, but now, decorated samples are here – an indication that the project is back on track.
Photographs shown are pre-production samples and are subject to alteration/amendment before going on sale. Below are his findings...
A low central footplate section, denotes that these locomotives had short-travel valves, different from the O2/3 variants, which had a higher central footplate section because (being later prototype builds) they had long-travel valves.
These examples didn't even have motors, so we were unable to test them, though all the chassis run very freely.
The O2/2 variant with GN-style cab and GN-style tender is sure to be popular, but the O2/1 with later side-window cab is also of great interest, both types never having been offered RTR before.
When the first batches of the celebrated three-cylinder Gresley 2-8-0s first appeared from Heljan, there were issues components' robustness, and quality control. Heljan tells us that these have been addressed in the forthcoming models.
See more of these new models in the July 2023 issue of BRM, on-sale in print from June 15. Subscribe today so you don't miss out.