Well, here goes with what should be the biggest and most important Adam’s Corner thus far. So let’s see how well I can stuff it up.
Wuiske Models in partnership with Haskell Co are proud to announce THE RELEASE of the first EVER mass produced RTR locomotive for the Queensland market…
The 1550 class locomotive.
This moment marks a point we have been dreaming of reaching for over a decade now, and it is purely due to the support from all of you that we have been able to do any of the things we have done.
The last eleven and a half months have been very hectic in trying to ensure that this locomotive not only gets completed in a timely fashion but also that it is completed with a level of quality comparable with our already popular wagons.
As many of you know, the 1550 class was officially started on February 14th 2014 (how’s that for a Valentine’s Day Present?) when we paid the first part of money for the design work to be commenced.
I am happy to say that on all fronts, the factory has excelled themselves and we thank them for all their hard work and efforts on this front as the results are (in my opinion) spectacular! With any luck, the arrival of the 1550s on Thursday as well as the upcoming products from SRM, will herald a new era for QR modelling. If nothing else, it will do so on the Wuiske Layout.
As we said would happen earlier and at the Ipswich show, the 1550s have not been placed on the site for general sale as yet due to the fact that we are honouring our commitment to those who have filled in the expression of interest forms. We are going through the list and phoning or emailing these people first to give them first right of refusal for which running numbers they would like.
We anticipate that we will start uploading the locomotives to the site for general sale by the end of the weekend but please bear with us as we have moved from a heavy to industrial level of insanity within the Wuiske Asylum within the last 24 hours.
Many people have asked us questions about the 1550 class locos through our Faceplant page and forums that I thought I would take the opportunity to answer here as well as I’m sure there are others wondering, so here goes…
What price are the 1550s?
They are $295.00. For as long as the sun shines, the dog barks, the Aussie Dollar allows and my bum points towards the ground we will do EVERYTHING we can to keep the prices below the magical $300 threshold! If that causes issues with future projects then so be it, that’s for us to sort out and is not the responsibility of your wallet to resolve.
How much is postage for the 1550s?
We are charging a flat rate of $15.00 for postage regardless of the quantity of models ordered. Yes this is still $15.00 even if you buy one 1550 and a bucket load of additional RTR wagons to compliment it. All models posted are tracked and require a signature on delivery to ensure YOU receive YOUR model and that it does not get left on your doorstep by a nameless Aussie Post Contractor.
Are the 1550s DCC ready?
Short answer… Of Course they are. These locos are fitted with a standard 8 pin decoder socket. There is no need for the vast majority of QR locos to have 21 pin plugs as Queensland locos simply don’t have that many functions. Also, I refuse to have anything with more pins than I have fingers to count them.
Can they be fitted with sound?
YES. We have designed the 1550s to be fitted with a Loksound V3.5 or V4.0 decoder and speaker. The standard Loksound oval speakers fit within the long hood including the baffle box and sit behind the motor. This should allow the sound to emit from the grills on the side of the long hood. Other brands will fit as well. We are currently working with others to arrange the correct sound files to enable us to have sound decoders available off the shelf.
What sort of decoder should I use?
Whichever decoder you are most comfortable with. There is enough space inside the shell to allow for pretty much any decoder to fit comfortably. So long as they are the standard 8 pin plug, they will work with these models. The one thing we should point out is that we suggest using a 3 or 4 function decoder to enable the number boards to be illuminated separately as on the prototype.
What is the minimum radius for operating?
The models have been designed to run around an 18 inch (454mm) radius as is standard throughout the world of model railways as a minimum radius. The pre-production samples were tested for eleven days straight on a 17 inch radius without problem (that’s over 260 hours of continual running without issue!).
What coupler height comes fitted to the locomotives?
The narrow gauge locomotives come fitted with the correct lowered coupler height for 12mm gauge whilst the standard gauge models come fitted with the standard gauge coupler height. This can be changed on either model if required by simply swapping the coupler pocket for the spare pocket within the pack.
If your model arrives without the spare coupler pockets and you require them, please phone us and we will happily send them out straight away.
Please note, that as with the wagons, the trip pins on the narrow gauge models may need to be bent up slightly to ensure they do not foul on your points.
Are there any fiddly parts to watch out for?
Yes. The only real part to keep an eye out for is the sand pipes. These have been made just as close to the rail as the prototype and may snag on small items close to the rail. This may cause them to bend down and hit the track. If this occurs, simply push them back up.
They are made from a high quality and highly flexible plastic and are certainly strong enough to withstand any punishment from people pushing them around. In short, I have tried to break them and haven’t succeeded. Should the sand pipes ever fall out or need to be removed for any reason, they are simply pressed into the hole in the underside of the sand boxes. They are a tight fit, but will hold rather well.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
We are sorry to say that we are not sure. We at Wuiske Models believe that with care, compassion and understanding, together we CAN create a world where the motives of those in the poultry world are not questioned on a daily basis. Come on guys, together we can end this form of motivational questioning.
How many versions are available?
There are eight different running numbers available in three different versions. There are three numbers of Original High Nose Blue 1550s, these are 1559, 1565 and 1573. There are two numbers of Driver Only (low nose) in blue, 1558D and 1570D. Lastly there are three numbers offered for the Driver Only (low nose) in the Corporate (broncos) livery, 1557D, 1572H and 1574H.
What is the H for on 1572H and 1574H?
The H suffix after the number on these locos indicates that these locomotives were still fitted with two driving stations inside the cab despite being fitted with a driver only nose. This was primarily for the Home Hill sugar traffic as locomotives on this run could not be turned. These locomotives however ended up all over the state.
What’s with the named loco?
1565 was the only member of the 1550 class to be named. The model comes with two pairs of etched brass name plates that can easily be fitted by the modeller depending on which name they would like. When originally fitted with its name plates 1565 was named A.G.Lee, this was fairly quickly changed to ALVA G. LEE as the retiring commissioner for railways hated his name being abbreviated.
How do I pull this model apart?
Um… Don’t. But if you absolutely must, then simply undo the screw located at each end of the fuel tank to remove the shell. This will enable you all the access required to fit the decoder or sound decoder of your choice.
I think that should about cover the main questions we have received thus far. If you have any others, please feel free to phone us or email us and we will respond as soon as we can. Emails tend to take a little longer due to the actual volume of emails received though.
On behalf of Jade, Kieren and Anita, Rob and Coral and I…. yadda, yadda, yadda, you know how this bit goes. So…
On behalf of ME! I, Adam Wuiske would like to thank each and every one of you who have supported us over the last 12 years and allowed us to achieve what has been a personal dream of mine since I was a teenager.
Together we have grown the Queensland market to a point where people from around the world are modelling that quirky narrow gauge railway that is (let’s face it) just better and more interesting than pretty much any other system on the planet.
My personal dream for nearly 30 years has been to be able to model the railway system I see around me and have grown up watching. And now I am one BIG step closer to being able to achieve this. My Personal dream/passion/drive (any of those really) over the last decade and a bit has been to do my bit to help make modelling the railways of Queensland affordable and available to EVERYONE.
I am VERY proud to say that we are now one BIG step closer to achieving this also.
As a result I would like to thank you all for making this happen and pushing us to achieving the biggest task we have ever undertaken.
As I have said from the beginning, Wuiske Models is one big experiment and we will keep going with our experiment until we either sink or swim, but either way, we’ll have some fun and make some friends along the way. With any luck, there will be many, many more things on the horizon from us over the next little while also.
But as ever, we shall see how we go.