Read on for news about the Locomotionmodels Stirling Single, Rails Limited LNER/BR Dynomometer Car, N Pendolino, Gareth and Jason's brilliant UK trip in July and our brand new Brummie bus model.

Rapido UK News Vol. 13
©2017 Rapido Trains Inc.
Welcome to the August 2017 issue of Rapido News UK, your irregularly scheduled slice of Rapido product launches, project updates and general silliness brought to you by your friends from across the ocean.

We've got lots of stuff to tell you about this time, including news of the very first British model to be released under our own name. We're super excited about it. Well, Jason is anyway!

Without any further ado, in this issue of Rapido News UK:
This is our fifth UK newsletter this year. We're hoping to produce at least a couple more before they switch the lights out on 2017 and these promise more big news. If you're not a subscriber you might miss out, and we'd hate to see that. It's really easy to sign up and the link can be found at the bottom of this message. Please tell your friends about us too. Ta!
All aboard the Brummie bus
July 16th was a very special day for Rapido and for Jason. Judging by the near constant smile on Jason's face, I would rate his happiness level at just below birth of a child.

The reason for this extreme level of endorphin release was the launch of our 1:76 scale Birmingham City Transport (BCT) "New Look" Bus at the Transport Museum, Wythall, the first British model to be unveiled under our own name. It's a pretty big deal for us!
Our new bus in the form of JOJ 976 and MOF 9 at Wythall.
Both numbers will be reproduced in 1:76 scale.
The Birmingham "New Looks", not to be confused with the North American "New Looks" that we're making in HO scale, were ubiquitous in Britain's second most populous city, providing sterling service for an entire generation of Brummies.

The "New Looks" were constructed by several different builder combinations and the Rapido version is based on the later version Guy Arab IV chassis with Metro Cammell Weymann (MCW) coachwork providing seating for 55 people (30 upper and 25 lower). These were delivered between 1952-4 and outlasted most other "New Looks", with the final examples eventually being withdrawn well into the West Midlands PTE (WMPTE) era in 1977.
Forward... to a high quality 1:76.2 scale model!
Some 200 of these particular Guy Arab IVs were built for BCT and their stylish one-piece body construction, enclosed radiator and tough Gardner 8.4 litre six-cylinder 6Lw engine made them very popular with enthusiasts, leading to several being saved for posterity.

Of course, we didn't just announce the bus, that would be too easy. With no luck finding accurate drawings and and the presence of former BCT Guy Arab IV JOJ 976 at Wythall meant that very early in the planning for this model we knew it was time to arrange our third British 3D Scan Party.
Nick Godfrey of Central Scanning explains the day's scanning action.
We weren't sure what to expect when the big day arrived. Past events at Locomotion Shildon to kick off the APT-E and Stirling Single had been very successful and there was always a little worry at the back of our mind that no-one would turn up.
Getting access to the underside of a vehicle is a rare luxury!
Bromsgrove-based imaging firm, Central Scanning, performed the 3D scan, and they were even able to access the underside for a scan thanks to Wythall's recently acquired Somers column-style vehicle jacks.
JOJ 976 being moved ready for its lift while scan party visitors look on.
Many other people were behind us while others were out for a ride on MOF 9.
Happily the launch of the bus was well-attended. Around 150 enthusiasts came to Wythall to see how a 3D scan is performed and enjoyed rides in sister BCT Guy Arab IV/MCW  "New Look" MOF 9. Also on site was Daimler CVD6-chassied MCW "New Look" JOJ 707, which showed off its many subtle differences from the Guy versions - very frustrating from a manufacturer's point of view!

The 3D scan data will mean that we will be able to accurately capture the proportions of the real thing, especially the complex curves at the front and rear domes and the "New Look" enclosed radiator itself (apparently nicknamed after Christian Dior's famed dress designs of the 1940s).
The 3D scan data.
In a first for British bus modelling, we'll be making the Brummie bus available in STANDARD and DELUXE versions. The latter will feature more extensive interior decoration as well as working headlamps, interior lighting and illuminated destination blinds (these require a 12V 500mA DC power supply - not included).

We will be releasing two paint schemes in the first release: BCT Blue/Cream with Khaki Roof (with gold or black numbers) and WMPTE Oxford Blue/Cream with Khaki Roof. Similar Guy Arab IV buses with Met-Camm bodies were operated by other transport operators around the UK so we will also be producing an undecorated kit for modellers that wish to build and paint their own.
Birmingham City Transport (left) and West Midlands PTE (right) paint schemes.
These are just mockups. We know the bulkhead window is the wrong shape!
All versions of the 1:76 BCT 'New Look' Bus will feature:
  • 100% accurate proportions based on a 3D scan of the real thing
  • Injection-moulded plastic and metal construction
  • All body weld lines, extrusions and rivets accurately rendered
  • Full, multi-coloured interior with no large posts blocking aisles
  • Separate metal wire handrails and rear platform grab pole
  • Separate etched-metal interior grab poles
  • Steerable front wheels with rubber tyres
  • Flush-fitting windows
  • Accurate, even paint finish that does not obscure the details
  • Several routes/destinations available plus blank destination with transfers included
The RRP is £39.95 (standard) or £49.95 (deluxe).

Reservations may be placed now with your local model bus stockist, Rails of Sheffield or direct from Rapido.
DAVideoUK put this excellent video together covering our launch event at Wythall.
Click here to watch the video or click on the image above.
We heartily recommend a day out at the Transport Museum, Wythall. Their collection is amazing and you can ride on many of the buses too! You can see more details here.
Just a tiny selection of the other classic buses that can be found at Wythall.
A great day out!
Rails of Sheffield. It's in Sheffield.
Lost in Rails of Sheffield - New Video!
Jason and I visited Rails of Sheffield in January and we had so much fun that on our return to the UK to launch the Brummie Bus we just had to go back and film a video.

Rails of Sheffield is not just a model train shop. It's not just a shop that can cater to nearly all your modelmaking needs, whether you're into buses, ships, aircraft or cars. It's more of a small village that is completely dedicated to modelling.

As Rails has grown, they haven't moved to a big industrial unit on the outskirts like most companies. Instead, they just kept buying more shopfronts, storage space and apartments around their shopfront. So their stuff is spread all over the place. In storerooms, bedrooms, kitchens, even in the bathrooms!
Rails is a real treasure trove.
We even found these ancient Tri-ang Canadian models that date from around 1970.
That's even older than the guy with glasses (he dates from 1975).
Their secondhand collection is second to none. It really is incredible. We wouldn't be surprised if they told us that they had an example of every British outline model ever made in their collection. There were certainly a few items that caught my eye that got me all misty eyed and nostalgic for my early days saving up for the latest Lima relivery or whatever!

Click here or on the image below to take a tour of the premises. Jason was seriously injured while filming this, but he made up for it by stealing nearly all the bus models he could stuff under his " I'd rather be on British Rail" t-shirt (still available from our Swag Store).
By the way, Rails has now taken delivery of many of our recent N and HO scale North American models and they will also be stocking our forthcoming range of British products, starting with the 1:76 scale Brummie bus.

You'll be able to reserve any of our future models from them and pay in British Pounds when they arrive. They'll also be purchasing additional stock for their shelves and you'll be able to visit them and try before you buy.
Rails now stocks Rapido.
An Edmonton (as in Alberta, Canada, not North London) New Look Trolleybus at Sandtoft
You can't escape GM's iconic 'fishbowl' design!
Jason & Gareth's brilliant UK trip
We didn't just launch the Brummie bus and film a video at Rails of Sheffield during our trip to the UK, we did other stuff too.

Highlights include finding a Canadian trolleybus in Lincolnshire that's a dead ringer for the Rapido GM 'New Look' bus. This is just one member of the fantastically eclectic collection of classic trolleybuses at Sandtoft, between Doncaster and Scunthorpe.
Ben Ando (Revolution Trains) politely asks for an update on the Pendolino delivery.
We also met with Ben Ando and Mike Hale from Revolution Trains to talk N gauge present and future projects, the former of which includes the Pendolino, Class 92, KFA, HOA and Class 320/321, as well as the OO gauge TEA. As for the future, well...

In a welcome upgrade from past meetings where we've rushed through the agenda and looked at samples in a noisy and crowded restaurant, this time we decided to spend the day at the Nene Valley Railway in the company of Southern Railway "Battle of Britain" Class 4-6-2 No. 34081 92 Squadron.
Jason and Gareth meet the esteemed editor of Railway Modeller Steve Flint.
Our final day in the UK involved around nine hours in the car together as we headed South West to the seaside to meet Peco, manufacturer of the world famous track and publisher of Railway Modeller and Continental Modeller magazines, at their headquarters in Beer, Devon.

The purpose of our trip was to be interviewed by Editor Steve Flint and Features Editor/Writer Craig Tiley for an article on Rapido to be published later this year, but they also treated us to a trip on the one-mile Peco Heights Light Railway behind "diesel" power!

Amazingly we didn't kill each other on the journey, even when I sent us "off the grid" and down numerous ridiculously tiny farm tracks for one third of the journey back.

You can follow Jason & Gareth's Brilliant British Adventure from start to finish on our blog:
Not bad for the first parts out of the mould!
Rail's Dynomometer car impresses
Bill Schneider writes: Last week the first samples of the 4mm Scale/OO gauge LNER/BR Dynamometer Car arrived both here in my office (in Connecticut) and at Rails of Sheffield
Once we recovered from our initial shock of seeing just how good it was (such a problem to have!) we have collectively come up with a few small adjustments to the tooling, mostly to help with assembly and durability. These will be implemented over the next few weeks. 
The underframe detail is up to the usual Rapido standard.
If we could, we'd have made that dynomometer wheel work!
You will be able to accurately position it for OO, EM or 18.83mm/P4 gauges though.
The Dynamometer Car will be produced in two versions, in LNER teak livery as No. 23591, as it was at July 3rd, 1938, for Mallard's world speed record breaking run, and as No. 902502, as it was for the 1948 British Railways locomotive exchange trials. Look for an update in the next newsletter.
You can purchase this car exclusively from Rails Limited. Click here or on the logo below for details.
GNR No.1 in all its die-cast and plastic glory!
Stirling Single second sample
Bill continues:  We have received the second EP sample of the Stirling Single, the first truly complete sample that we could test thoroughly.
We have been very pleased with its operation. The locomotive has performed extremely well over some complex and demanding track-work and both forward and reverse running are very smooth. It pulls well (six full-length bogie coaches on a test layout) and has a level of detail that we think will amaze all those who have ordered it.
However, being a test sample we have gone back with a list of corrections that we felt still needed to be done, and those corrections are underway now. We expect to see the next sample shortly and production will start shortly after that.
We still expect to have completed production models on display at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition during the last weekend of November and we are doing our best to ensure that pre-order customers will receive their models before Christmas.
There is still time to pre-order your model at Avoid disappointment and order soon as demand is expected to be very high for the first delivery.

Thanks, Bill!
The first review of the Rapido/Realtrack Class 156 - and it's five stars!
You can read it yourself in the September issue of Rail Express Modeller.
Realtrack Class 156 wows
The first review is in for the 4mm Scale/OO Rapido/ Realtrack Models Class 156 DMU and its a good'un. The new issue of Rail Express Modeller covers the attractive First-branded ScotRail Saltire-liveried unit (otherwise known as "SpotRail") and they loved it.

In fact, the model scored the full five out of five in the review, quite the achievement for the notoriously difficult to please team at REM. I should know (full disclosure), I used to edit it!
Tampo printing the 'Barbie' liveried ScotRail Class 156s.
Each car requires hundreds of tampo impressions to complete this complex scheme.
So far, around a quarter of the production run has been delivered to Charlie Petty and Arran Aird at their Stanningley headquarters in West Yorkshire. This comprised both the Abellio-branded and First-branded Saltire units (Ref 156-111 No. 156445 and Ref. 156-112 No. 156497 respectively).

The balance of the Saltire units along with the First "Barbie" liveried sets are due to depart by ocean in a few weeks' time.
Checking to make sure it meets our standards.
The entire production run was original supposed to have been completed in May, so we're running some way behind on these models. For that we apologise. The reason is simple: both liveries are incredibly complex.

The Barbie paint scheme in particular placed an exceptionally high demand on our tampo printing facilities. Normally used to simple North American paint jobs (our RDC for example) with only a limited amount of printing (and usually one or two colours only), the 156s have really tested them.

The results have to be seen to be believed. "Barbie' in particular has been the bane of many a manufacturer in the past and we're confident that these will be considered the very best representations of these two liveries in 4mm scale.

Realtrack Models have a small number of most schemes still in stock. You can order yours here.
Pendolino Power Cars under production at the Rapido factory.
Revolution projects update
If you follow our North American product range then you may have noticed that our factories (plural) have been a bit slow on deliveries lately. We certainly have. The LRC factory is still finding its feet and the Rapido factory, which is currently making the Virgin Pendolino in N gauge for us and Revolution Trains, has moved to a new and improved location.

The old Rapido factory address was near a bunch of ceramics factories so the air was quite dusty, requiring us to redo a lot of shells that got dust in the paint. The new location is in a much cleaner part of Dongguan and should save us a lot of time in the long run.

It's frustrating to have to make a move of this magnitude mid-project but the conditions were becoming intolerable. The Rapido factory is now ramping back up to full production but this has put us quite some way behind schedule on the Pendolino and this is now not expected to be completed until mid to late November.
We recently received the final pre-production samples of the OO TEA.
The fit and finish has been improved, ready for production, and we've changed the thickness of the walkway from 0.2mm to 0.3mm etched metal to reduce warping. 
We think it'll be worth the wait!
The fledgling LRC factory has been doing some good work. You only have to look at the Realtrack Models multiple unit above to see that. However, we fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia". Only slightly less well-known is this: Never produce two insanely complicated British liveries on an insanely complicated model at the same time!

Yes, the Class 156 project has well and truly jammed up our painting and printing facilities for a good chunk of the spring and summer and this has delayed another Revolution Trains project due to commence production soon, the OO TEA. This is now scheduled to start in November and will be delivered in the first and second quarter of 2018.

We apologise for the delays on both these models. We're working overtime at both factories to catch up.
Our next newsletter should be out in a couple of months. Probably a few weeks before the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition in November.

Until then, all the best!


Gareth Bayer
Project Manager
Rapido Trains Inc.
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