First look: Heljan Newton Chambers car transporters

29 November 2022
Just announced, the manufacturer's car transporters were on display at the Warley show in decorated sample stage. We photographed them – here's what we thought...

Heljan displayed decorated samples of its newly-announced Newton Chambers car transporters for OO gauge at the Warley show last weekend.

With models expected early 2023, and the promise of a high specification and fine detail throughout, we had the opportunity to see these models at close quarters when photographing them, with vehicles to be offered in matching triple packs in BR lined maroon and BR ‘Motorail’ blue/grey covering their entire 25-year career.

Related: Read the specification of these vehicles here 

Samples of blue/grey and BR maroon liveries were on display, and appeared 'well-fettled'. Here's what we liked:

Newton Chambers car transporter

1. Bogies are very detailed, but their rivets are more obvious on the vehicles in blue/grey livery. In fact, the depth of the bogie frame detail, springs and axleboxes looks 'spot on'. The small label clip with a an excellent impression of the mesh didn't go unnoticed, either!


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2. The complexity to the ends of the vehicles through their drop-down (over buffers) and side-hinged doors contrasts with the largely flat-sides, though even these have the prototypical panel seams. Though it's hard to see – but I do believe they're present – there appears to be an indication of the small chains to the corners of the vehicles, located halfway up the sides.

Related: Read the specification of these vehicles here 

3. The originally vacuum-braked vehicles (later converted to dual brake) were UIC registered. The anchor adjacent to the British Rail lettering, with yellow chain eyes for securing to ships indicates that Newton Chambers had specified the vehicles for 'greater things'. 

4. Drawgear and bufferbeam detail wasn't fitted to the samples photographed, and this should be noted as the vehicle ends will be further improved with these fitted. End steps are delicate, but correct in scale.

Heljan Newton Chambers car transporter

5. Offset and centrally-located roof window types are offered, providing modellers with accurate representations of the prototypes. This change of tooling on what was a batch of 14 vehicles to operate on – mostly, though not exclusively – the Eastern region is impressive.

Though not necessarily indicative of how the production batch of models will appear from the manufacturer, our initial impression of these models is very favourable.

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