Monthly Archives: October 2016

Wills Modern Level Crossing


The modern level crossing, with its familiar barriers and suspended metal curtains, and associated equipment, is now available in model form, and will be welcomed by modellers of the contemporary railway scene. This detailed plastic kit contains a wealth of parts:
  • Roadbed, complete with anti-trespass boards.
  • Four curtained barriers in the lowered position, and four raised barriers (giving a choice as to how the level crossing should be modelled).
  • Barrier supports, warning lights and road signs.
  • Relocatable Equipment Building (R.E.B.).
  • CCTV & Lighting Posts x 2.
  • Approx. 580mm palisade fencing.
The roadbed has been designed to be used in conjunction with PECO Streamline Code 100 & 75 flexible track for single or double track lines, and additional roadbed can be added for multiple tracks. It should be noted that it is not compatible with Setrack track geometry, so modellers will have to contemplate some modifications to the roadbed to make it fit. On a single track section it would be fine.
Although intended as a static model, provision has been made to enable operation using the Pecolectrics SmartSwitch servo motor control system, the barrier pedestal being hollow and parts included to facilitate a connection with the servo link wire. The effect will be quite impressive.

The attention to detail is fantastic. In fact, one Network Rail engineer has even commented on how accurate our model is – praise indeed! Of course, the crisply moulded plastic parts will benefit from additional painting.


EFE – Bachmann take over

From Bachmann:

Bachmann Europe Plc is delighted to announce their acquisition of the Exclusive First Editions range of 1/76th scale die-cast vehicles including buses, coaches, lorries and London Underground tube trains.

The company began trading as part of the ERA Group in 1989 and was originally located in Great Yarmouth before moving to Milton Keynes. In 1996 the company moved to Hemel Hempstead and in 2001, Frank Joyce, the only remaining founder member of the EFE team bought the company with his wife Brenda, relocating to Enfield the following year.

Bachmann Europe Plc began distributing EFE products to the model trade in July 2013.

David Haarhaus, Managing Director of Bachmann Europe Plc said today “We are delighted to incorporate another high quality addition to our existing model and hobby portfolio. The Exclusive First Editions range of collectable vehicles has enjoyed a good reputation for developing highly detailed and well researched models. EFE has been a corner stone of Die-Cast Model collecting for many years, while other ranges may have come and gone with varying interpretations of the original vehicles.

We are looking forward to further developing the existing items, and delivering new models to the many EFE collectors and discerning enthusiasts around the world.

Frank Joyce’s ethos was always to set out to produce the most accurate model possible. This matches the Bachmann ideals entirely, never trying to be the cheapest, but working hard to try and be the best”.

Thanks to JC for the “heads up”

Heljan Hymek

We have today received news from Heljan that the following 4 OO Hymeks are due in the next week or so. We will have limited quantities available so please let us know should any (or all!) be of interest…

3522 – D7012 in BR green with NO yellow panels

3523 – D7054 in BR green with small yellow panels

3524 – D7076 in BR green with full yellows ends (preserved)

3525 – 7011 in BR blue with full yellow ends

All are fitted with 8-pin DCC interface and have a suggested SRP of £129.95*

*our price will be approx £110 exc P&P

Oxford car transporter

We have been sent this photo by SR with the following comments…


“Thought you might enjoy this photograph.
After two hours I have finally loaded the car transporter! Not suited to top of the range cars, would have fared better with ten Mini Coopers!
Yes, I know it won’t go round corners, and the Jaguar at the rear may be delivered with a flattened bonnet, but there you go !”

Heljan 05 update


Proposed liveries are as follows with a suggested SRP of £395.00

2590 – BR plain green livery

2591 – BR green livery with ‘wasp’ stripes (later style of stripes)

2592 – BR green livery with ‘wasp’ stripes (early style of stripes)

2593 – BR blue livery with ‘wasp’ stripes (later style of stripes)

There were two types of ‘wasp’ stripes depending on when the loco was built and so these revised liveries reflect that

2594 – Industrial livery – CEGB in all over yellow with ‘wasp’ stripes

2595 – Industrial livery – NCB green with red detailing and ‘wasp’ stripes

2596 – Industrial livery – maroon with ‘wasp’ stripes on bufferbeams only


Exclusive Last Editions?

Last week we heard a rumour regarding the future of EFE.

Yesterday we received the following email:-

“EFE was declared insolvent on Thursday 6th Oct and has gone into administration.

Frank Joyce no longer owns the brand and the administrator with his help is now running the company which has been put up for sale.  Many of the staff have left the company.

Very sad news but not entirely surprising – EFE seemed to have run out of steam choosing to rely on re-issuing existing models at increasing prices. It could never be sustained – new models needed to be brought forward.

The only glimmer of good news from this is that Bachmann have taken delivery of their commissioned model of the Leyland Titan prototype and is awaiting despatch from their warehouse in the next few weeks.”

Scouring online we have found websites mentioning a “reliable source” backing up this information…

This is indeed sad news in the diecast model industry with EFE having come into existence shortly after we first opened our doors. Hopefully a potential buyer will be found soon…

Thanks to AT and AW for the information

Peco OO scale Bullhead track

…and from Peco

“OO scale bullhead track

Coming soon from

We have just run the first test of our new tooling for the forthcoming OO scale bullhead track so we thought we would like to share this image with you. Our designers and tool room guys have worked extremely hard to bring the most detailed and convincing OO scale bullhead track to the market, and we are confident that modellers will be very happy with the results. Featuring a sleeper design that replicates as closely as possible the correct scale for 4mm (OO) scale, and accurate representation of rail chair detail, we anticipate that this track will meet the needs of modellers looking for extra realism. This track will be fully compatible with existing Code 75 track, and indeed with the Code 100 range using the Transition Track SL-113.

Look out for more news on this new product shortly, due for release in November.”

Airfix announcement for 2017

New Supermarine tooling in 1/48th scale


Welcome to the latest edition of Workbench and your regular update from the fascinating world of Airfix modelling. You will all be pleased to hear that we have some big news for you this week. Following on from the news of the new 1/72nd scale Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe announced in our previous blog, we have more new tooling information for you this week. As the title above suggests, we will be announcing a new model tooling in 1/48th scale and one which features an aircraft from the drawing boards of the famous Supermarine company. With much to tell you about, we will be devoting the majority of this latest blog to our new model announcement, before ending with a look at a selection of the latest submissions from the Customer Images section of the Airfix website. Without wanting to delay the announcement any further, let’s take a closer look at our latest exciting new tooling announcement.

Supermarine – a famous name in British Aviation

If you were to ask most people what the word Supermarine meant to them, the vast majority would reply ‘Spitfire’ without any hesitation. There is no doubting that the Spitfire is the most famous aircraft designed by Reginald J Mitchell and his team, but the heritage of the Supermarine company was actually built around the construction of effective marine aircraft. Again, this would immediately lead most to think of the Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine S.6B, which was itself a development of the company’s earlier racing seaplane designs and the ultimate aircraft in Mitchell’s quest to design the perfect racing seaplane. Again, although the S.6B is a fast, enigmatic aircraft, it is not the type of craft that the Supermarine company were most proficient in building.



The famous Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine S.6B


The heritage of the Supermarine company was in their ability to design and produce effective and reliable marine aircraft, both for individual buyers and for military applications. With a number of extremely successful marine and amphibious aircraft designs to their name, the years prior to the outbreak of the Second World War were very much about marine aeroplanes.


A classic Mitchell design in 1/48th scale

It would be difficult to think of an aircraft design so markedly different to the sleek and elegant Spitfire, but the Supermarine Walrus amphibious biplane was from the hand of the same designer. Despite its somewhat ungainly appearance, the Walrus proved to be an incredibly effective aircraft and flexible enough to take on a number of roles in some of the most demanding operating environments. Coming at the end of a long line of capable single-engined flying boats and amphibians, the Walrus was actually the product of a Royal Australian Air Force requirement for an updated and more robust version of their existing Supermarine amphibian, the Seagull III, which had proved so successful. The new aircraft, which would become known as the Seagull V, would need to have the capability to be catapult launched from Royal Australian Navy cruisers, so the wooden hull of the earlier version was replaced with a strong metal design, with additional stainless steel forgings for the catapult spools and mountings.



At home on the water – the heritage of the Supermarine Company


Despite the enthusiasm of the Australian Air Force for their new amphibian aircraft, the RAF were much less impressed, deciding that they had no need for such a craft – they soon changed their minds. Successful trials of the new aircraft at Felixstowe showed how effective the new aircraft was and with a large expansion of naval forces underway, the Seagull V offered the Admiralty an effective aircraft for reconnaissance spotting and gun targeting for their cruisers and battleships. After using some of the Australian machines for trials, they decided to place their own order for the latest Supermarine amphibian, with the British machines being called the Walrus, even though they were almost identical to the Seagull Vs of the RAAF.

One interesting fact that demonstrates how robust the Supermarine Walrus (Seagull V) design actually was came during the 1933 Hendon Air Pageant. Even though the prototype Seagull V had only flown days earlier in the hands of famous Supermarine test pilot Joseph ‘Mutt’ Summers, the aircraft attended and was demonstrated at the huge Hendon Airshow. Belying its rather ungainly appearance, Summers stunned the huge crowds by proceeding to loop his new aircraft, a feat that was only possible due to the strength of the design and how it had been stressed for catapult launching – now that really is how to announce your arrival. Without doubt, the Supermarine Walrus went on to become one of the finest amphibious aircraft ever produced and was responsible for saving the lives of a great many downed airmen.


A significant new Airfix tooling in 1/48th scale – The Supermarine Walrus Mk.I

Despite the undoubted success of the Supermarine Walrus during its illustrious service career, it could certainly not claim to be held in the same regard as its famous fighter stablemate, which went on to become one of the most significant aircraft ever to take to the skies. It does, however, remain as one of the more interesting aircraft of the Second World War and deserving of much more affection. With this new model being produced in the larger 1/48th scale, it has allowed the Airfix research and design team to incorporate a superb level of detail and innovation into their new tooling, which will surely bring this impressive aircraft to the attention of many more people.



The unmistakable shape of the Supermarine Walrus amphibian


Workbench readers are now becoming well versed in the processes the Airfix development teams have to go through in order to bring a new model kit to market, so for this latest announcement we will simply provide an overview of these details and concentrate on showing images from this exciting new project. As all the previous editions of Workbench are still available on the Airfix website, please do look at some of the earlier publications if you would like to re-visit any of the processes involved.

Looking at the design of the Supermarine Walrus, it is clear that this particular project was going to be a challenge for the Airfix team. The distinctive and relatively complex design of the aircraft was to be reproduced in 1/48th scale, which dictated that much more of the finer details would have to be incorporated. The research team had access to original Supermarine plans and technical drawings, which would form the critical basis of the project. This would be augmented with the opportunity to inspect, measure and photograph three examples of the Supermarine amphibian at separate locations around the UK.


Supermarine Seagull V (A2-4) at RAF Hendon



This particular aircraft is the oldest surviving example of the Walrus series of aircraft and has been displayed in the Battle of Britain Hall of the RAF Museum Hendon for many years. Following the end of its RAAF military career, this particular machine passed into civilian hands and was used successfully as a small seven-seater airliner until 1970, when it was involved in a take-off accident. In 1973, the aircraft was traded for a Spitfire and came into the possession of the RAF Museum, who began a painstaking restoration. Using many parts from their own collection, the aircraft was eventually put on display in 1979, wearing an attractive early war camouflage scheme.


Supermarine Walrus Mk.I L2301 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton

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Walrus L2301 saw continuous service throughout WWII with the Irish Air Corps as N18, undertaking maritime reconnaissance, surveillance and rescue flights. It was also involved in a failed defection attempt, as a small number of airmen attempted to transfer to the Germans in January 1942. Following a brief stint as a civilian airliner after WWII, the hulk of the aircraft ended up lying in an open scrapyard by 1947. Rescued by the Historical Aircraft Preservation Society, the Walrus eventually came into the hands of the Fleet Air Arm Museum in 1964 where it underwent restoration. Since the end of 1966, the aircraft has been on public display.




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The third Supermarine example visited by the Airfix team, where they were assisted by the team at Vintage Fabrics


The Airfix research team were allowed special access to all three of these magnificent aircraft and we would like to place on record our grateful thanks to the fantastic people at the RAF Museum Hendon, the Fleet Air Arm Museum and at Vintage Fabrics Limited for their kind assistance.

The huge amount of photographs, measurements and drawings were then collated to assist the designer in creating a CAD Base Model of the aircraft in the necessary scale. After much reviewing of the shape and accuracy of this model within the team, the designer then begins the painstaking work of creating the model’s individual parts, all referenced from the base model. The parts must be split in such a way that they can be tooled for injection moulding. Once the model is divided into parts, each part can have details applied to give the final kit more realism. All this is carried out in Hornby Hobbies’ parametric CAD modelling software which allows the designers to see the model in wireframe, cross-sections, or even exploded views. Importantly, this software allows the designers to visualise how each part will locate to others, all in order to make the kit a pleasurable build for the modeller. Taking its place in an ever expanding line up of 1/48th scale aircraft models, the Supermarine Walrus will surely be a much loved addition to the Airfix range.


Computer rendered 3D images – The Walrus lives!

Without doubt, the most significant stage in the production of a new model tooling is the release of the computer rendered 3D images that modellers love to see so much. When these attractive images are published, it indicates that the project is real and gives modellers a good indication of how the new model will look when it is eventually under construction on their own workbench. For some time now, these images have been used in Airfix catalogues, within Workbench and in modelling magazines and have become some of the most popular future tooling imagery with our readers. With the Walrus being a particularly impressive new model, we are including quite a number of these appealing images, just to whet your appetite a little for what you can expect in 2017 – enjoy!


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The magnificent new 1/48th scale Supermarine Walrus Mk.I is very much something to look forward to. The impressive size and detail of this new model will ensure that another Supermarine design will be amongst the most popular releases in the Airfix range and serve to mark the aviation heritage of one of Britain’s most famous aircraft designers. Although they look so completely different, the Walrus would look great displayed next to a 1/48th scale Spitfire. We are very much looking forward to bringing you regular updates from this magnificent project over the coming months.

A09183 Supermarine Walrus Mk.I 1:48 is due for release in July 2017 – be sure to sign up for the Airfix email newsletter to be the first to hear when this model is available for pre-order.

Heljan Mogul announcement

Following from yesterday’s announcement by Dapol we have received this today from Heljan…

“Dear HELJAN retailer

HELJAN ‘O’ GWR/BR Churchward 43xx 2-6-0 Mogul

Projected release 4Q 2017

Projected SRP £779.00


Projected model release are;

Version 1 – early version


4301 – GWR monogram

4302 – G W R


Version 2 – later BR version

4310 – BR black with early crest

4311 – BR green lined with early crest

4312 – BR green lined with late crest

4313 – BR green unlined with late crest


The numbers represent the proposed catalogue numbers.

The model will be based on the prototype locomotives 4321 – 4399 and 5300 – 5383.

Our plan is to include a small selection of suitable numberplates with these models.


Best regards,


Dapol O gauge “Jinty”

From Dapol…

“Our customers asked us for one and we have listened …..
Dapol are proud to announce the development of the O Gauge Fowler 3F Jinty

Proposed Liveries
 1 x Early LMS — 7S-026-001
 1 x Late LMS — 7S-026-002
 1 x S&D Blue — 7S-026-003
 1 x Late BR — 7S-026-004
 1 x ‘British Railways’ — 7S-026-005
 A limited run of un-numbered locomotives will be produced in each livery

 For the DCC & sound fitted option add a ‘D’, for un-numbered example add a ‘U’ for an un-numbered DCC sound fitted example add ‘UD’ to the end of each code.

Expected to reach the market third quarter of 2017

Proposed Manufacture Recommended Retail Price
DC/DCC Ready £225.00 DCC Sound Fitted: £400.00

Dapol reserve the right to change the MRP, Liveries Running numbers and specifications at any time without prior notice

untitled3D print first shown at the Dapol Collectors club Open Day 2016
Model Specifications and Features
 Die-cast running plate
 Compensated die-cast chassis
 Die-cast and profiled wheels
 High level of separately applied detail
 Flickering fire light effect
 Removable cab roof for ease of posing your locomotive crew
 Sprung metal buffers
 Articulated screw coupling
 Push Pull fitted variants will be available
 Dapol’s proven motor and gearbox offering exceptional smooth performance and slow running capabilities
 DCC Ready (21 Pin)
 DCC Fitted with sound options available
 Un-numbered versions of each livery will be available so that you can model your local locomotive

Now being tooled. These CAD CAM Views highlight the exquisite detail that using the same level of production standards as out award winning Terrior and Class 08 we are offering a level of running quality, detail and operation that is unprecedented at this price point.”


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