Witten by Gwion Rhys Davies.
In the past few years we've seen some major changes in the world of O Gauge. With the introduction of ready to run stock, modellers and enthusiasts have easier access to models without building kits or breaking the bank for a commissioned build. Because of companies like Dapol, Ixion and Skytrex, O Gauge is now becoming a more feasible scale to model.
In this review we will be looking at Minerva’s E-class Peckett 0-4-0 Saddle Tank with an RRP of £255. The loco reviewed has a ‘GWR Green (unlettered)’ livery but the model is also available in ‘BR Black’ and ‘Industrial Green’
The loco’s packaging differs little from Ixion’s Packaging. A hard cardboard box with the loco suspended in soft foam will absorb any shock that the loco may experience during transportation. Removing and replacing the loco is a trivial task with little hassle, unlike other manufacturers who use the “Block of ice” packaging which I find awkward to unwrap when there isn’t much space. In the packaging, along with the loco, you will find an etched brass fret (containing a selection of prototypically correct cabsides, and engine number plates) and a set of domes and a bell.
The only issue I had occurred after fitting a dome and bell as the loco would not then fit properly into the box due to the abundance of packaging. This is a rather minor issue, being quickly resolved by simply trimming some of the foam with a craft knife.
Detail hasn’t been forgotten with this model, rivet detail is well pronounced, and all external pipework looks great. Cab detail lacks some pipework but its rather difficult to see inside and so is not a real issue in my books. I did however notice some areas where a tiny bit of excess glue was visible, again in my case not much of a problem as I plan to weather it.
One interesting feature of the model is that it comes supplied with different domes, toolbox, cab numbers, etc to allow you to decorate the loco to your desired prototype. The only problem is the amount of work needed to model particular prototypes, in some cases drilling holes into the model is required to mount the bell and one of the domes. I did need to do some extra research as the info on paperwork was rather lacking and I was not sure which work's plate went with which engine number. You can find that information here .
The Peckett includes the majority of features you would expect of a loco of this standard. Although not an option from purchase, the loco can be easily fitted with a decoder and sound with no need to modify the body/chassis.
The list of features provided by Minerva is as follows:-
- Diecast chassis
- Fine scale wheels
- Four-wheel electrical pickup
- High-torque flywheel-equipped motor, driving the rear axle
- 40:1 precision gearbox for slow, smooth running
- DCC and sound ready, with provision for easy speaker installation
- Good cab detail
- Sprung buffers
- Hook drawgear, with three-link couplings
The Flywheel equipped motor and 40:1 precision gearbox allows for some extremely smooth running. Being an 0-4-0, the flywheel is essential for continuous running through points/dirty track whilst also providing smoother running. Also with the 40:1 precision gearbox, this loco can really crawl, brilliant for layouts where speed limits of 5-10mph were enforced. I can't get over how well this loco runs, it's one of the best mechanisms I have experienced in O.
As I said before the peckett is a great solution for modellers wanting to get into O Gauge at a low price point. It is superb in the way of mechanics but I was a little disappointed with the excess glue and bit of extra work needed to complete the model depending on the prototype. However it is nice that you have the ability to modify the model to fit the prototype you want. I will probably be decorating it to the prototype of no.968 with build plate 1105. This belonged to the Swansea Harbour Trust that will fit perfectly into our Swansea South Dock project at the club.
- Extras for prototype customisation
- 40:1 gearbox and flywheel for smooth slow running
- Hassle free packaging
- Good detail
- DCC Sound ready
- Sprung buffers/couplings
- Good value for money
- Visible excess glue in places
- Packaging needs modifying to fit dome and bell
- Drilling required to fit some parts
With this I give an overall score of 8/10.