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.