Friday, 25 December 2015

Another Factory Photo

While we wait for the decoration samples to arrive, here's another of the factory photos. Nice crisp details from the tooling; and this clearly shows the detail of the tender top. We have eschewed a moulded coal load as we find them to be invariably unconvincing. This way the purchaser can model a large or small coal load, representing a loco at the start or end of a country trip, or lightly coaled during a suburban trip working.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Painted 32s are coming

We have had notice from the factory that the first decoration samples are on their way. This will take a couple of days, but here's a taster, in the form of a photo taken by the factory.
Yes, we know the buffers aren't painted; that's why we go through this process!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

32 Class Decoration Samples on Their Way

32 Class Decoration Samples on Their Way

We have received news tonight that the 32 Class decoration samples have left the factory in mainland China for the company offices in Hong Kong. They should arrive there on Monday night or Tuesday morning, and will immediately be sent on to us using the EMS courier service.

So, all being well, we will have them before Christmas, as promised. We'll post photos ASAP then, remembering that Christmas will interrupt that; as much as we love them, our families come before trains!


Sunday, 22 November 2015

32 Class Update

It's been some time since I posted an update on our HO scale 32 Class, but lots has been happening behind the scenes. Frustratingly, mostly what's been happening has been a series of hold-ups in the process!

The factory has had us in a production schedule which has been seriously affected by delays to projects which were ahead of us in the schedule. Some of these share components like axles, motors and metal castings, and we have been stalled waiting for those issues to resolve. Eventually, we got fed up with waiting, and have negotiated a reshuffle of the schedule to move the C32 up the list. Our factory are GREAT guys to work with.

The factory is now in the process of building the final running samples in each of the designated liveries and tender combinations. However, random things can still spike the guns; for example, e have just discovered that the sample of the maroon paint which Phil Badger sent to Hong Kong after the Liverpool exhibition has still not arrived! So it is being re-sent this week, by a different carrier (obviously). This, of course, has held up the production of the sample of 3265. <Sigh> There are so many ways for loco projects to be affected by things outside our control.

Nevertheless, the factory has promised we'll have the decoration samples before Christmas - now only 38 days away. As soon as we have them, we'll post the photos here and on the Facebook page. Assuming the locos are right, and we approve them quickly, we are then at the mercy of Chinese New Year, when factories close and there is a high staff turnover. Having already failed to meet two hoped-for delivery times (Liverpool, and Christmas) I am loath to make another prediction. However, with the factory on our side, I can say "early in the New Year" with confidence. Thank you all for your patience, especially those of you who have pre-paid, and hoped to have their locos as Christmas gifts. You have our sincere apologies. Please know we are doing everything we can to have your loco/s here as soon as is humanly possible.

Lindsay O'Reilly, Chris Klein and Phil Badger,
Ixion Model Railways Australia Pty Ltd.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Exhibition Report

Back home after 2 days at the AMRA Sydney Model Railway Exhibition. First order of business was to get feedback on the colour to be applied to our models of 3265. The consensus from representatives of the Rail Transport Museum, eminent historians and modellers was that the actual colour of the loco - Claret - should be the one used. (See photo). The stand was shared with Phil Badger's Gopher Models. Thanks go to Phil, Jamie, Leon and Steve for making me so welcome.
Thanks too, to everyone who called in to check progress on the 32, check out the Hudswell Clarke and just generally chat. It was nice to meet you all!
The decoration samples of the C32 are now being produced, and we should have these (and photos of them for you) in about a month. Once we are happy, and sign off on these, then the production run can start.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ixion at AMRA Liverpool Exhibition

If you are going to the AMRA model railway exhibition this coming long weekend, call in and see Ixion on the Gopher Models table, Stand 75. Look for the big red ochre Ixion pull-up banner. Phil Badger will be there all three days, and Lindsay O'Reilly will be there Saturday and Sunday. We'll have Ixion O gauge locos for sale, we can organise your purchase (pre-release) of the HO scale 32, and Phil will happily fill all your N scale needs from his Gopher Models and Badgerbits ranges. Lindsay will even answer questions about the proposed crowd funded Pioneer Models brass O Scale 32 Class. 
No matter what your scale interest, we'll have something for you!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Next Running Samples

We received confirmation today from the factory that they are working on our painted, running samples of the C32 from the corrected tooling. They are doing four, in these numbers and liveries:
1. 3265 (lined maroon, curved footplate, bogie tender)
2. 3258 (curved footplate, red edge, bogie tender)
3. 3333 (angled footplate, plain black, bogie tender)
4. 3298 (angled footplate, plain black, 6-wheel tender).
More news about these, and photos, when they arrive.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Loco artwork received

Last Friday we received the artwork for our 32 Class livery variations. These need to be approved by Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger, but these images give a good indication of the amount of work that goes into designing the spray painting and pad printing. We are especially thrilled with the 'NSWR' emblem on 3265.
Note that the colours are representative only: the artwork shows which colour goes where, not exactly what the colour is. Thus the black locos appear grey, for example.

As always, click on the pictures for a larger version.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Right Colour

One of the locos we are modelling is 3265 "Hunter" as preserved. This is a beautiful loco, in an accurate re-creation of the 1930s lined maroon livery.

We have been challenged by the issue of matching the colour; we have used photos, and observed the real thing. We made up a range of colours, and compared them to the real thing. In the sunlight, 3265 appears to be a purple shade of maroon; but even parked in the sunlight, it's one colour on the sunny side, and another on the shades side. And it's a completely different colour inside, under artificial lights. 

So, what to do?

By a small miracle, completely by chance, our Technical Director Phil Badger met the man who painted the loco at the end of its restoration. He identified the colour as as shade called 'Claret', from a well-known commercial paint manufacturer. Phil obtained the paint... but, despite being EXACTLY the correct, real colour, it looks wrong on the model! 

So Phil has experimented, adding white and black in tiny increments to try and represent the colour of the loco, seen at a distance. Well, we've settled on the shade of the paint to be applied to the HO scale 3265. I don't doubt that people will debate whether we've got it right; just don't let it be said that we were lazy or sloppy in the process used to select it!

Monday, 17 August 2015

The perils of fitting tiny bits to little locomotives...

The two Australian partners of Ixion Models were together this weekend, as Phil Badger stayed at my place whilst he was running his modelling clinic table at the Newcastle Model Show.
The main discussions out of hours centred around the etched "Hunter" nameplate on lined maroon 3265; how and when to fit it.

Essentially, we have two choices; one is to supply it as an accessory, for fitting by the purchaser. One solution is to have two dimples on the underside of the sandbox, which is cast as part of the metal chassis. Undo two screws, and the body and chassis can be separated; drill the two holes in each sandbox, from underneath, with a 0.5mm drill. Fit the extended legs of the etched plate into the holes, bend them over inside and superglue. Voila!
Sounds easy? Well, yes and no.
The problem is that this solution requires modellers to have the confidence to dismantle and reassemble a brand new loco, and have access to and the skills to use a mini drill, and at least one 0.5mm drill. It can't be done as part of the factory assembly process because the loco can't be disassembled after painting because of the extra time, and cost, this would require.

Alternatively, the loco could include the fitting holes in the design and manufacturing process. Then the nameplate can be installed during factory assembly. The problem with this solution is that the holes would be on every loco, not just 3265. Would tiny holes in the top of the sandbox be visible on the rest of the locos, which are all going to be painted black? We don't know, but we've asked the factory to really step up and see if they can help us find a solution. In HO scale, the legs of the nameplate are just 0.4mm wide, so there's not enough surface area to glue it on. This is all part of the fun of trying to make the most accurate model of the 32 the market has yet seen. We'll keep you posted...

Friday, 14 August 2015

Newcastle Model Show 2015

For folk who are heading to the Our Town Model Show in Newcastle this weekend (August 15 & 16), Ixion director Phil Badger will be up the stairs (and escalator, if it's running) at his modelling clinic desk. He will have the first EP of the 32 Class for viewing, though don't expect it to be in the pristine condition seen in the photos below. 

Having been dismantled multiple times, and in multiple ways, it's now missing the funnel, and lots of the fine etched details on the tender. It is worth seeing though, if only for the absolutely brilliant sprung buffers. At various times on the Saturday, I'll be up there too, so do call in and say hello if you're in the neighbourhood.

Lindsay O'Reilly.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

32 Class Box Art

I have finished the artwork for the 32 Class box. This will be printed on high quality card and folded up into the box lid. Click on the picture for a larger image.

If the quality is high enough to allow the viewer to read the text on the end, the eagle-eyed will note the details there are for the new company, Ixion Model Railways Australia Pty Ltd. 

This company has now been established and registered, and the bank account will be operating next week. This will allow for a much wider range of ways for customers in Australia to purchase from us, including cheques and direct deposit.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Decorating 3265

Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger has just sent the factory this artwork for our model of 3265, which is preserved in the beautiful 1930s lined maroon express passenger livery.

Phil drew the New South Wales Railways (NSWR) crest from scratch in Corel Draw; I'm not an expert in the software, but this looks like a creative tour de force to me. Bravo, Phil!

He has also completed the artwork for the etched "Hunter" nameplate, seen in the photo below.

As always, click on the pictures for a larger version.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

As promised in tonight's earlier post below (read it for other news too), here are some images of the finalised 32 Class CAD. It's looking good!

As always, click on the pictures to see a larger version.

C32 CAD finalised

Three important announcements tonight:

1. Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger has signed off on the CAD drawings for the 32 Class, which is a major step in the production process. The tooling now has to be modified to match the drawings, and a new prototype sample manufactured and assembled - the second Engineering Prototype (EP). I am currently working on the box artwork, and then we'll have to create the instructions for the decoration samples for our chosen liveries.
I'll post images of the new CAD in a few minutes (I need a different computer, as the Blog software can't access them on my iPad! Unless I'm doing something wrong...)

2. Internet pre-release sales of the 32 are strong, with the $50 saving on the release price proving very attractive. 3265 in its preserved lined maroon livery is the runaway winner at present, so if you're thinking you'd like one, maybe don't delay too much longer. Sales are available on our website at

3. I have got the Ixion Facebook page up and running, about three or four years after I created it! I just couldn't make sense of it, and had to wait 'til my eldest son returned from Canada with his wife and moved in temporarily with us. This gave me a captive Technical Advice Bureau, and so Ixion has properly entered the Social Network.
Search for "Ixion Model Railways" and Like the page to stay up to date with us on a different news platform.

Friday, 3 July 2015

32 Class - Production Update

If you have looked at the wonderful photos of the 32 Class first EP below, you'll see how far we've come in a short time! Thanks also the people who responded to our request for a 'once-over' of the model, looking for corrections There are surprisingly few, reflecting the quality of the feedback we received when we asked you to evaluate the CAD drawings for the 32.

Regrettably, though, correcting these errors means we are going to miss our hoped-for deadline of the Liverpool AMRA Exhibition on the October long weekend (3-5 October). We are now aiming for a Christmas release. Special thanks to all those customers who have placed their faith in us and pre-purchased online - we really appreciate your support.

In load trials yesterday, the EP pulled eight Austrains FO coaches up a variable 1:100/1:50 grade. This is very satisfactory performance at this point of its development, with regard to the prototype's capability. We may be able to post a video soon (this is dependent on my technical capability).

In company news, Ixion has decided to open an Australian arm (Ixion Model Railways Ltd is a company registered in the UK). 
Named Ixion Model Railways Australia Pty Ltd, this will mean a whole lot more payment options open up to our customers, both online and at exhibitions, including EFTPOS machines and direct internet transfers. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Photos - Low Frame 32 Class First EP!

As promised yesterday, here are the first photos of the first EP of Ixion's NSWGR low frame 32 Class. 
REMEMBER - the EP is a first trial build of the components to assess fit, accuracy, compatibility and running qualities at this stage of the production process.

This model has been pulled apart to examine wiring, connections, and mechanism. Some parts are not glued in, and some details are not yet present. A number of mould surfaces have not yet been polished, so the tell-tale "spiral" patterns of the toolmaking machines are  present on the surface.

Before each photo, I have made comments about some of the issues already identified with the EP. However, (as indicated yesterday) I am posting this from my hospital bed, so if I forget some of what Phil has told me please allow me some leeway!

As with the CAD drawings posted earlier in the year, Ixion invites your email feedback to In particular, we are looking for what could be designated 'obvious errors', remembering that all models contain necessary production compromises. Even if you are just as excited as we are that the model has reached this stage, and would like to share your enthusiasm, we'd love to hear from you. And if you'd like to save $50 by purchasing a loco at the pre-release price of $545 (post free), visit our website here to see the available variations, or scroll further down this page.

Click on the photos to see a larger image.

Curved running board, original P Class 6 wheel tender. 
Note the beautifully fine RP88 wheels, and the PCB for the operating LED inside the headlight. The removable piece in the front buffer beam for fitting a front end Kadee can be clearly seen; the buffers are sprung. The join in the chimney is commendably flush, and the cutout in the front of the cylinder to permit traversing of 18" (45cm) radius curves is unobtrusive. The loco will be supplied with a piece to glue into this space to correct the compromise for modellers with larger radius curves.

The loco boiler is a bit crooked - it was not quite re-seated properly after being disassembled. The running plate also slightly bowed - it came from the factory thus, and is not a production model feature! Some of the pipework is loose on the boiler and is not seated in the appropriate brackets. The generator on the firebox should have a vertical exhaust pipe - shouldn't it? We are checking the angle of the cylinders - it looks slightly off.
The P Class tender has been shared with Ixion by Shrike Models, from their 30T loco. (In return, a modified version of our C32 bogie tender is the one which will be available on the Shrike loco.) Note that the fitting of a Kadee No.5 coupler is the Shrike specification - all Ixion locos will be supplied with the Kadee No.58 'scale' coupler as seen fitted to the bogie tender below. The bow in the running plate is evident in this shot, as is the 'lean' of the boiler. Sorry about that.
Curved running board, 3650 gallon T Class tender. 
Even as an EP, I love this picture. It looks like a low-frame 32 to me! This is the same loco body as above, now with the bogie tender, so all the comments above apply. We are delighted with the fine vertical handrail on the far side of the front buffer beam.
The rear view showing the scale #58 coupler. Again, we are very pleased with the fineness of the detail additions, in this case the brass fire iron brackets on the far side of the tender top.

The cab interior., showing the mechanical and electrical connections. This not my area of expertise, but I think the copper fall plate should be wider than that! The water glass looks a little to the left of where it should be, one of the wheels on the left Phil described as "an impression" - please email if you can see the issue. The circular moulding 'sink hole' to the left of the RH cab window will not be on the finished model, and nor will all those spiral grooves where the mould surface has not yet been polished.

An etched brass piece was supplied which will be fitted to the back edge of the cab roof which will complete the prototypical appearance, but we didn't want to glue it on, and thought it would have looked poor if we just blu-tacked it in place!

At this point, we expect the cab interior on all locos will be painted light green from the floor to point halfway up, as it is on the preserved 3265 (which, incidentally, is the loco that this variation represents). We would be glad of photographic evidence which would support any other scheme in the regular "in service" black C32s represented by our other models.

Thanks all, for looking. I'd be pleased to hear your feedback.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Stop Press - first 32 Class EP arrives

We are delighted to announce that we have this morning received the first EP* of Ixion's HO scale NSWGR 32 Class. 

Ixion's Technical Director Phil Badger and some other keen-eyed modellers have been poring over it today, and as soon as the loco is back together he will send me some photos which I will post as soon as possible. I am currently still in hospital, recovering from three major bowel surgeries in a fortnight and, whilst I am on the mend, I do tend to glaze over mid-sentence and forget what I'm saying; or so my family tell me. So some things like adding images may be more of a challenge than normal, and if there's a delay in posting them, I ask your forgiveness in advance.

After this check over, running trials will be conducted on a layout on Thursday and we would expect to post video of those as well. We have both a bogie tender and a six-wheel tender, so you'll be able to see how both variations look. 

More soon!

*EP = Engineering Prototype. This is a fully built-up, running sample of the model, but missing a range of things like some rivets etc which are added when all else is correct. There are often also areas of the tooling which have not yet been polished, so the final surface is not yet apparent.

Friday, 17 April 2015

More Test Shot Photos

Here are three extra photos of the first test shots from the C32 tooling. Hopefully, they show the level of detail already evident in the moulds for the footplate and the superstructure of the loco. The tender is looking especially convincing.

Click on the photos to see a bigger version.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

First C32 photos!

Ixion is delighted to be able to post these pictures, received from the factory just last night, of the very first test shots from the 32 Class tooling.  

All being well, we hope to have a first EP (Engineering Prototype) for checking within the next fortnight. And the answer to the oft-asked question is "Yes"; our factory does deliver on time and on schedule. We know that other Australian models have been promised, in some cases for years, before delivery, but we hope that will never be the experience of Ixion customers. And so far, so good.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

3265 Photos, courtesy of David Potter

As soon as I published the last post, I knew I should have added more pictures! 
As I said there, 32 Class sales are exciting and encouraging. In fact, our first sale came within minutes of the "Buy It Now" buttons going live on Sunday March 22, and I'm pleased to record that Ixion 32 Class Customer Number 1 was David Potter of Sydney, and his choice was the model of 3265 as preserved - the only low-frame 32 to have survived the scrapper's torch. Over a period of years, David recorded the revival of this classic loco. He sent us some of his photos, which chronicle just how painstakingly and lovingly it has been restored. 
All these photos are © David Potter, and are published online here with his permission. 


Back in steam; 3265 in grey primer, during restoration. ©David Potter

Out in the sunshine! 3265 in grey primer, during restoration. ©David Potter

Inside the cab of 3265. Note the typical NSWGR green colour, starting half-way up the cab sides. ©David Potter

3265 in all her glory, after restoration. ©David Potter

©David Potter

The complex and elegant NSWR monogram applied to the sandboxes. ©David Potter

First Fortnight Brings Brisk Sales

First fortnight brings brisk sales...
Headline writing is hard! I have always admired those sub-editors at newspapers who can come up with classic corny headlines at a moment's notice, under the weight of the pressure of the waiting presses. This is my attempt, going after alliteration as the motif. I doubt I should give up my day job!

What I wanted to say is that sales of the 32 Class are off and running, and we are thrilled by the number of modellers who are prepared to trust our reputation, and invest sight unseen in our first HO loco. Interestingly, sales are covering all version of the loco available - the red edge ones are proving popular, as are the six-wheel tender version, which has never - to my knowledge - been commercially available RTR before. I've only seen bogie-tendered locos in the original brass low-framers.

Unsurprisingly, however, it has been the model of the beautifully preserved, lined maroon 3265 which has attracted the most attention. So, if you want one, don't delay. It seems certain that this loco will be the first to sell out.

3265 fresh out of the restoration paint shops. Photo ©David Potter

Sunday, 22 March 2015

32 Class pre-release sales are now open


The HO scale NSWGR C32 Class 4-6-0 is now open for pre-release purchase at $545.00 AUD.
NOTE: this model is not yet available.
This special pre-release price is only available online, and until release of the model. After release, the price will rise to $595.00.
Clicking this "Buy It Now" button completes and guarantees your purchase and reservation of this chosen livery and loco variation.
Postage within Australia (if required) is free with this price.

Click on the 'Buy Online' link on our website's Home page at or click here.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Ixion's 32 Class loco variations - pictures

These images represent the four variations of the 32 Class, available in twelve numbers in this production run from Ixion. They are, in order:

Curved running plate, 3650 gallon bogie tender (3265; 3223, 3258, 3273, unnumbered)

Curved running plate, P Class six-wheel tender (3208)

Angled running plate, 3650 gallon bogie tender (3333, 3361, 3375)

Angled running plate, P Class 6-wheel tender (3298, 3307, 3372) 

These images will soon appear on the Ixion website, accompanying the 'Buy It Now' buttons for pre-release purchases at the special discount price of $545, post free. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

List of C32 Production Loco Numbers

This is the list of loco numbers for the first run of the 32 Class. 

Most numbers will be limited to 100 models, except for the two 'specials', preserved 3265, and 3333, famous because it was one of only two NSW locos with a number made up of the same digit; 5555 was the other. We have tried to select locos which will give some variety to the loco fleets which modellers already own, thus the decision to include the 'P' Class 6-wheel tendered locos. All of these locos and liveries have been selected from prototype photographic evidence. 

If the sales support a second run of this loco, we will be looking at the famous 1930's lined green livery as a likely inclusion.

By the end of this week (Sun 22 March) there will be "Buy It Now" buttons for all these locos on our website at 

There will be a special pre-release price of $545, a saving of $50 on the post-release price of $595. The special price will also include postage to your designated address, where required. Payment can be made by PayPal or credit card.

Pre-purchasing through the website is also the only way to guarantee that you will receive your choice of number, livery and tender, so don't delay, once the purchase buttons are uploaded. The announcement of their availability will be made here first.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

C32 CADs finalised; tooling commences. Running numbers needed.

Dear friends,
First of all, following an outstanding level of input from a significant number of renowned modellers and rail historians, we have signed off on the Computer Aided Design (CAD) 3D drawings for the low-frame 32 Class in HO scale. We want to thank all those contributors for their time and interest, especially those who spent hours researching and sending us photos and annotated drawings. This model is now as accurate as we can make it in the time available, and we have paid the bill for the tooling to commence.

We will be producing both major variations of the superheated 32 - the angled and curved footplate versions. Images of these from the final CAD drawings are included below.

Note that there are still compromises evident. This has to be a robust, electrically powered scale model, fit for years of service, and the limitations of plastic as a material, and whole injection moulding process, have meant some requests from modellers could not be accommodated. 

You can see, however in the images our solution to the major issue raised with us: that of the curved cutouts in the cylinder fronts, necessary to permit the loco to traverse 18"/450mm radius curves. The solution is to provide on the accessories sprue a glue-in piece perfectly fitted to the cutout - shown in red in the drawing. If your curves are greater than about  2 feet/600mm radius, simply superglue this into place to complete the cylinder front, and weather to taste.

We now need our second round of help from modellers.
Looking at the loco closely in the images, we want to know which loco numbers and liveries can be confirmed as accurate for the locos depicted. Pleased email us at info@ixionmodels with your selections, accompanied - PLEASE - by photographic evidence. If you have no way of reproducing a photo, please let us know where it can be found. We have access to virtually all of the known NSWGR photo publications, so can go looking, but you can save us hours of time by sending us images to support your selections.

We also plan to produce a number of locos with the original 'P' Class six-wheel tender. We have just a couple of photos of suitable locos from the Maitland and Campbelltown lines, and are desperate for more. Remember, they have to be low-framed locos, identifiable by the curved smokebox support saddle. Locos with the taller straight, angled smokebox saddle are high framed locos and their numbers are not correct for our model.

In the first run of locos, we are planning to run the liveries of plain 'service' black, black with red running plate valances and fully lined maroon as found on preserved 3265. Colour photos of these liveries would be most welcome.

If sales warrant a second run, we would be looking at the lined green livery and any others that can be confirmed with evidence.

Thanks, in anticipation, for your help,