Wednesday, 18 December 2013

EDM's Sound-Equipped Fowler

RMWeb correspondent 'Warspite' has posted a personal review of his Ixion Fowler which has been equipped with a remarkably authentic and accurate DCC sound system by Paul Martin at EDM Models. 
Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:42

My sound-fitted Fowler arrived this week from Paul Martin at NG Trains/EDM Models and I've now had the chance to run it although I haven't been able to try all the functions yet.

This is a beautiful model and the sound project developed by Paul Chetter is very good. The sound is really convincing and just what you would expect from a small diesel mechanical loco. The start-up sound is well done and the loco revs up and down realistically on the move. For such a small loco, it has a surprisingly loud engine sound (which can be reduced if necessary) and good tone. Included with the locomotive is a very helpful guide that Paul Chetter has provided to explain the Fowler's prototypical operations and how these translate to the model. This is particularly helpful in using the clutch, changing gears and even whether the loco is under load or light engine.

There are 28 function key operations covering all sort of sounds although the loco is still easily drivable with 8 functions if that is all you have - me included until I upgrade my rather old DCC controller.

It is a smooth runner anyway but Paul Martin's 'Keep Alive' installation means that it will trundle along any variation in track and pointwork without hesitation. I don't attempt to understand the technology behind this but it works really well and any concerns I had about running a short wheelbase 0-4-0 were quickly dispelled as it ran flawlessly at a crawl. Be warned though. Don't count on running it into a dead siding and expect it to stop because it won't!

The combined efforts of Ixion and the two Pauls have produced a remarkably good little loco with a great personality. I love it! Usual disclaimers apply - I'm just a very satisfied customer.

A couple of pictures attached. I asked Paul Martin to paint the wheels and rods on mine but I'll weather it myself. 

(The original RMWEb post can be seen here.)
See the details of the Fowler sound conversion on the EDM Models website (

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Hudswell Clarke Accessory Packs

As promised, I have included here scans of the accessories included with our Hudswell Clarke locomotive, as some correspondents have been asking what is included.

Firstly, the etched brass fret. Those with eagle eyes can find the plates for the sole representative of this class that came to Australia. Maker's number 1530, it worked the Bunnerong Power Station in Sydney before being sold to a contractor, who later sold it on to the Wallarah Colliery, where it ended its life much modified, hauling the coal trains from the colliery to the jetty at Catherine Hill Bay, south of Newcastle. 
Those readers who know the three Ixion Directors will also recognise that we have honoured our treasured and supportive wives by including their names in the fret.

Secondly, the injection-moulded fire irons and accessories pack. The small sprue contains two oil bottles and a bucket with a separate wire handle. The main sprue of fire irons contains shovels, prickers, clinker hammers and a rake. Being moulded, these are beautifully three-dimensional.

We would be most interested in hearing from customers about the usefulness of these accessory packs.
  • Have any of you used the sets included with the locomotives in your loco or layout detailing, 
  • Has anyone purchased them as separate packs? 
  • Have you used any of the etched plates anywhere else, on other locos?
  • And, are there any other accessories you'd like to see us include in future model releases?

Looking forward to your feedback,


Fowler Reviews

Well, the reviews of the Fowler have hit the newsagents in the UK. Railway Modeller, British Railway Modelling and Hornby Magazine have hailed it a triumph.

Mike Wild's Hornby review, headlined Fabulous Fowler!, states: 

Ixion has done an excellent job... On the track we found our sample to be both smooth and quiet [and] ...the result is a fantastic and unusual locomotive. If you have been contemplating O gauge for your next project this is a great entry level model.

BRM's reviewer Howard Smith concluded: 
Quite honestly, so good is this model that I am hard pushed to find something wrong worthy of note.

High praise indeed, which we humbly accept. Thanks to the magazines, and too our customers who have given us such positive feedback. 

I should also add that, for those of you reading this who are contemplating fitting DCC, the same issue of Hornby Magazine contains Paul Chetter's 4 page article about fitting DCC sound to the Fowler, complete with illustrations and a written guide outlining two separate methods of achieving this. 
Well done, Paul.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Fowler Accessories pictures

As promised, here are some pictures of the accessories that come with our 7mm scale Fowler diesel-mechanical loco.

Firstly, the etched fret:

As you can see, a range of prototypical names (e.g. the first five) are mixed up with freelance ones. There actually was an industrial loco in Australia named Bunyip (a water-dwelling creature from Aboriginal myth) but it was a steam engine. Henry Lawson was a famous Australian poet. There are a range of prototypically correct maker's plates (also called builder's plates). The correct ones for the GWR-liveried loco are the pair in the top right-hand corner, one above the other.

And now for the moulded tools:

As you can see, the sprue of tools includes (L to R) two hammers, a wrench, an oil can, and three spanners. The eagle-eyed will spot the two types of dummy loco marker lamps, three each of both GWR and LMS pattern. The lamps are hollow to enable them to be fitted to a lamp iron. There are tiny clear lenses for each, plus a slide-in rectangular piece should you wish to use the lamps as stand-alone scenic items. To finish them off, you can see the fine wire handles, again of two different patterns. As an Australian modeller, I can't identify which is which. So I asked the members of the UK 7mm Yahoo Group, and this was Andrew Young's response:

LMS lamps are square, with a handle going across from front to rear and a rear mounted bracket. Such as: 

GW lamps, larger, square with a handle going across from side to side and a side mounted bracket. Such as: 

So, from your photo, I'd say the left hand lamps which are smaller must be the LMS ones. Not sure about the handles, whichever are the smaller ones, so probably the right hand ones, though not sure about the kink in them. Hopefully the photos will help!  

Thanks, Andrew. No matter which ones you might use, you'll need a steady hand, fine pliers, superglue and maybe a magnifier to put these together!

There are also a pair of dummy electric lamps, also supplied with clear glass lenses. Chris Klein has fitted these to his resprayed black loco - look at the post before this one.

We like to think you get excellent value for money when you buy an Ixion loco, and the feedback from our O gauge customers indicates that they love the extras that we include. 

Next, I'll post a picture of the etched brass fret and the moulded tools that comes with our Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST loco. Note that both the steam and diesel moulded tool sets are also available for separate sale - ask at your Ixion stockist.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Chris' Black Fowler

Ixion's UK Director Chris Klein has resprayed a plain green Fowler in an overall black livery. This will be his own loco, and it shows how easy it is to modify the stock model.

Chris has repainted the coupling rods, cranks, buffer stocks and jack in red. He has added etched maker's plates and nameplates (included with the loco), and swapped out the working lamps for the dummy electric headlights that are included in the Fowler's accessory pack. (I am scanning the etched brass fret, and the injection moulded accessories pack, and will post those pictures soon, as we've had a few queries as to what is included.)

The Kitchener brass name plate has been painted with red enamel and then lightly rubbed, face down, on fine emery paper to produce the appearance of brass letters on a red background. Simple, and effective.

Finally, Chris has picked out the 'Fowler Leeds' maker's name on the bonnet radiator in white paint. Light weathering has yet to be applied, and I'll post those images when I have them. Enjoy his handiwork!

Australian Fowler stocks low

Stocks of the Fowler loco in Australia are now very low, as the take-up by shops has been greater than we had anticipated. 

If you are in Australia, and would like one, with guaranteed before-Christmas delivery (if you order within a week) use the sales buttons on our website.

Once local stocks are exhausted, we won't be able to supply Aussie shops but can still supply to all online purchasers, as we will send their locos direct from the UK. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Fowler Video

One of our customers has posted a short video clip of his Ixion Fowler running on the Reely Grate layout. This layout will be at the Warley exhibition (in England) next Saturday, November 23. 
You can read and see more about this terrific little layout layout on RMWeb here.  

Australian Fowler shipment delay

Dear Customers and stockists,
I regret to advise that Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger received news late yesterday from the shipping agents that the Australian shipment of Fowlers is not due off the docks and into our hands now until Wednesday next week, Nov 27, not yesterday as originally expected.

This is as frustrating for us as it is for you, and we do apologise, but this is a circumstance beyond our control. Phil will go personally to pick them up, rather than wait for a courier delivery, in order to get them as quickly as possible.

We will despatch all loco orders as soon as we have them in our possession.

Lindsay O'Reilly

Weathered Fowler

Dave Hall, one of the correspondents on the UK website RM Web, under the user name 'Ruston',  has been DCC chipping and weathering his Fowler. Ixion has received his permission to reproduce his photos and description here, so I append them below, for your viewing pleasure.

If you'd like to follow the discussion about our newest model, the thread is here.


Here's Dave's RMWeb post:

So, after running it for 15mins in forward and 15mins in reverse on the rollers with straight DC I had the body off and fitted a decoder.
Then I had a go at painting and weathering.
I removed the oil lamp by easing it out with a pair of snipe-nosed pliers and filled the hole with plastic rod, shaped to fit exactly into the square hole.
I gave the bodyork a coat of matt varnish to take the shine off and painted the wheels and rods. The rods have been given a touch of weathering where the driver has spilt oil when lubricating them. This was done using a mix of red-brown, gunmetal and satin black.

The running plate has been painted with matt black that has a touch of white added and a touch of weathering powders brushed onto the running plate. The shiny silver hand rails and bonnet handles have been painted over with rust.
The buffers have been painted with a rust-coloured mix and the same mix of as on the rods has been applied to them.
I am currently painting a driver figure and will add the oil can that came with the loco as soon as that too is painted.

I also painted the jack but I feel this ought to have been a seperate item with the toolkit, rather than being moulded on to the running plate.

Friday, 8 November 2013

UK Fowlers in shops now

The UK shipment of new 7mm scale Fowlers has landed, cleared customs, arrived at the warehouse and most shop orders are now at, or on their way to Ixion's stockists.

The models look fantastic, and all have been test-run at the factory. The supplied accessories pack of injection moulded diesel loco tools and etched name and works plates is included, but is missing the dummy electric lamps. These are being produced at the factory, and will be available soon.

The toolkits packaged for separate sale (with a card header) DO contain the lamps, and will also be available at your local stockist (or ask them to order some in). The etched plates, however, are not available for separate sale; you'll have to buy a loco to get those!

The limited Australian shipment of 50 locos, 25 of each livery, is clearing customs, and should be available for purchase and delivery late next week.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Ixion Manning Wardle in two scales

1.  All Gone - 7mm Manning Wardles

Ixion has received word from Chris Basten at Dragon Models, Wales to say that he has sold  his last remaining finescale 7mm brass 'H' Class Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST. This means that the loco has now sold out worldwide.

Ixion is prepared to consider a re-run of this loco in 7mm scale if there is sufficient interest. If you missed out, and would like to obtain one, please email to register your interest. We would also be interested in hearing what livery you would like; possibilities are unlined apple green, unlined black, and lined blue.

2.  Gauge 3 (1:22.5) Manning Wardle

Ixion has also been approached to ask whether we would consider manufacturing our Manning Wardle in Gauge 3 (13.5mm/foot, 1:22.5 scale, 63.5mm gauge). We are canvassing the membership of the Gauge 3 Society via their Journal to gauge the level of interest. We would like to know what kind of power (track or battery) and control (DC controller or RC) purchasers would prefer.
Because of our commitment to our current program of mass-produced models, this loco would be manufactured to order, and only for pre-paid customers. The factory has indicated a minimum run of 50 locos is desirable. Once we have the specifications settled, we can ask for a quote which will then give us a price. We have no idea what that would be at the moment!
To register interest in this project, see the G3 Journal (if you're a member) or email if you aren't.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger has returned from China, having travelled there to oversee the production run of the 7mm scale Fowler 0-4-0DM. This loco is due to arrive from the mainland factory at the Hong Kong shipping point on Wednesday October 30.

All being well with the airfreighting and customs, the loco will be in Ixion's hands in both the UK and Australia in mid-November, and in-store with our stockists by the end of that month. The loco is supplied in fully lined and lettered GWR green, and plain unlined GWR green. We have made 500 of each variation. Fully one-fifth of the production run has already been pre-ordered in the UK, so don't delay in getting your order in. This is especially important for Australian customers, as we are only importing 50 models; 20 GWR and 30 plain green.

As always, Ixion gives you more for your money, and this loco is supplied with a range of etched brass Fowler maker's plates and suitable name plates. Also included is a brand-new set of injection moulded diesel loco tools - dummy oil and electric lamps, spanners, wrenches, hammers etc. Photos of these items will be posted soon, when I return from being away from home on business.

Ixion is delighted to have received an award from the USA's Model Rail Radio for 'Best Ready-To-Run Product O Scale 2012'. This for our 7mm scale Hudswell Clarke locomotive.

 Ixion Director Chris Klein is pictured here with the award.

Welcome to the Ixion Models blog

Dear friends and customers,
Welcome to the blog of Ixion Model Railways Ltd. We have created this blog to make it easier to keep you updated on the progress of our model manufacturing and marketing projects. 

Ixion was founded in 2007 by three renowned modellers; Chris Klein in the UK, and Phil Badger and Lindsay O'Reilly from Australia, in order to create finescale locomotives that reflect the interests of the owners. These diverse interests have been reflected in our products. Ixion has already released four models:

  • The GWR/BR 'Manor' Class 4-6-0 in British N scale (1:148). This loco sold out quickly, a second run was delivered, and then the tooling was sold. This loco is still available in its third production run, from Dapol Model Railways (and their dealers) in the United Kingdom.

The South Australian Railways' "Coffee Pots" Nos 1 and 2 in On30 (1:48 O scale, running on HO scale 16.5mm gauge track). These models have sold out form Ixion, but at the time of writing (late October 2013) a handful remain available from EDM Models in the UK.

The third model from Ixion was a limited run hand-built brass model of a standard 'H' Class Manning Wardle 0-4-0 saddle tank, modelled on the New South Wales Government Railways' loco number 1021. This model, in British 7mm/ft O Scale (1:43.5) was made in China and supplied in unlined black and lined blue liveries, with a small number of unpainted locos produced specially for Dragon Models of Wales. The photo below shows Ixion director Chris Klein's own loco, which he has weathered and fitted with a brass nameplate (not supplied). This model has sold out.

Ixion's fourth loco was the 7mm O scale Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST. This model of a popular standard contractor's loco was the first mass-produced finescale injection-moulded ready-to-run steam loco released to the UK and NSW 7mm markets. Enthusiastically received, the loco won "Steam Locomotive of the Year" in the Model Rail magazine, RMweb and MREmag 2012 Model of the Year awards. It was produced in the three liveries shown below. The loco came with a range of etched brass name and number plates plus Hudswell Clarke maker's plates. Also supplied was a set of injection moulded loco tools which have proven very popular, and are available separately from Ixion stockists.

Ixion's fifth model is the 7mm scale Fowler 0-4-0 Diesel Mechanical, representing the Great Western Railway's sole example, which they designated No.1. This loco is due in late November, 2013.