It's time for more model reviews, starting with something very unique...
KR Models English Electric GT3.
Designed by J. O. P. Hughes of EE, the GT3 or Gas Turbine 3, was built at EE's Vulcan Foundry in 1961 to test the viability of a turbine locomotive
Weighing around 89 tons, producing 2,750 HP with an EE EM27L kerosene burning engine, and rated for 90 MPH, the GT3 was built during the transition away from steam on British Railways to replace mainline steam locos.
Outwardly similar to the steam locos it would possibly replace, riding on a 4-6-0 (or 2'C) wheel arrangement, and having a "tender" which carried the fuel, a setup that would later contribute to its demise.
The locomotive was tested and was considered successful, performing reliably, and being easy and comfortable for crews to operate.
Unfortunately, diesel-electrics were also on the rise at the time, and it became apparent that turbine tech wasn't suitable in a locomotive application. Also, as alluded to above, the cab, engine. and tender configuration was deemed unsuitable, as the double ended diesel setup was proving increasingly popular, as this negated the need to turn locomotives. The double ended diesel is still very common in the UK today.
The GT3 (of which only 1 was built) was returned to EE, and scrapped in 1966.
But now, through KR Models, we can see this wonderfully unique loco operate again!
I took these photos before I acquired additional lighting, so excuse any subpar brightness.
Painted Beech Leaf Brown, with Brunswick Green accents, and Orange lettering and striping.
-Looks more red to me...
Also, it was nicknamed the "Chocolate Zephyr" by railfans of the time.
This is a "corridor tender" meaning that the loco crew could access the train via a narrow corridor through the tender, hence the windows.
And a full complement of lights.
And nice booklet.
And now, my thoughts.
First, the good:
Very smooth operation*
Sounds are very impressive, especially considering the loco has been gone for 56 years!
Lights are really nice*
The paint and details are perfect
And the bad:
To start and move the engine, you press function key 1 on your controller, which initiates a startup sequence with very impressive sounds. However, this takes a bit of time to get through, and you can't move the loco without doing that first, which is a little annoying in my opinion.
*It cuts out. On regular track it's fine, but over switches and on dead-end sidings/turntable tracks, it'll cut out somewhat often. Just yesterday it cut out on a switch, and I couldn't be bothered with going and pushing it, so I sent a rescue engine in the from of my Southern 2-8-0 630 to get it going. With a little speed it usually handles switches ok, but still staggers on dead-ends. Again, yesterday, it cut out coming from a turntable whisker track onto the table itself, and I had to nudge it forward. If the dead-ends are perfectly connected, it's ok, but perfect isn't really attainable, and as a recreational hobby, it shouldn't be necessary, at least on the consumer side.
*Also, with the cutting out, the lights have a tendency to flicker.
In conclusion, I absolutely recommend it, but be wary of switches, and especially dead-ends.
And a trio of passenger cars.
I'll put the info and pictures together, but review them as a whole, which is what I bought them for.
I'm not really a passenger train guy, but I wanted a small one, as I think it's a essential addition, and it'll work well with my planned scenery projects.
My thoughts on the trio:
The diner has a badly molded truck, the rear truck, that allows the axle to move around and not track correctly, and it scrapes, hindering movement and producing an unpleasant noise
They have plastic axles, several of which had nubs remaining from the molding process. These nubs were in the middle of the axles, which brought them in contact with the coupler setup, causing jumping, derailments, and even causing the axle to stop and drag for a time.I filed at these a little, which improved things.
Terrible over switches, in both directions
Claim to operate over 18" radius curves - that's debatable. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. I only use 18" curves on sidings, btw.
Verdict - I do not recommend them. They look okay, but actual operation is not acceptable.
They're currently buried on one of my sidings, but will likely end up on the "Shelf of Shame", where poorly performing equipment is sent to languish as parts donors or scrapyard scenery/loads.
Thanks for checking out these reviews, and have a great upcoming week!