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  1. Hi folks, Well, since the cat is out of the bag in one of the magazines, we've decided to bring the first Accurascale announcement forward to, err, now! Our first model for the British market will be the 24.5-ton coal hopper wagon, which later received the TOPs code ‘HUO’. A total of 5,263 wagons were built by BR from 1954 for transporting coal and coke throughout Britain until their withdrawal in the 1980s, with many entering private use at collieries upon retirement by British Rail. The model, which is of the 1/148, lot 2069 pattern, has just finished tooling and an engineering sample is currently en route from our factory in China. The surviving prototypes were surveyed at the Tanfield Railway, near Stanley, County Durham in mid-October 2017. Following the survey, highly detailed CAD was produced locally and reviewed by wagon experts who had first-hand operational and survey experience of the prototypes when in service. We would like to thank the Tanfield Railway for the assistance we received and have made a donation to the railway to help with preservation of railway heritage for future generations. Flows which utilised HUOs include coke from East London to Wellingborough, Kirkby- Staythorpe, Killingworth to Stella, Kincardine, Stella North / Stella South / Dunston / Blyth, Thorpe Marsh Tunstead Works - Smaledale Works and Hessle Quarry to Hull Wilmington. They were also synonymous with coke flows from South Wales coking plants to Barry Docks. Our rendition of the HUO will feature the correct offset brake hanger arrangement and the following high level of specification, enjoyed by the customers of sister company IRM, whose Irish outline models are the most highly detailed on the market: · Sprung buffers with spindle, self contained and Oleo types all being catered for, depending on prototype · NEM coupling housing · RP25.110 darkened profile wheel sets · Factory-fitted wire handrails · Extra fine factory-fitted detail plastic parts · Individual lettering and markings from real wagons for authenticity · Built to scale tolerances to allow easy conversion to EM and P4 standards The HUO will go on sale in Q2 2018 in packs of three, with pre-TOPs, TOPs and private owner packs arriving on a staggered release basis throughout 2018 in a variety of liveries, such as BR freight grey and private owner wagons. They will also feature individual markings and detail faithful to research of the real wagons. The first release will see four different packs of three individually numbered wagons in BR grey with pre-TOPs markings so the modeller can build a 12-wagon train without duplication. Prices will be £59.95 for each pack of three wagons. In addition to the HUO, the various buffers used by the wagons throughout their lives will also be offered as separate detail parts for the detail-minded modeller. This will be sold in packs of eight for £2.95. This will be the first in a series of detail part packs offered by Accurascale for modellers. Both the HUO and the buffer detail packs are available to buy exclusively on the Accurascale website direct or from the Accurascale stand at various UK exhibitions from the second half of 2018. Orders will commence on February 1st.
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