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Heljan Baby Deltic

Paul Johnson.
Heljan original condition (disc headcode) Baby Deltic or EE type 1, items 2321, 2322
The very neat looking English Electric type 1 or Baby Deltic in the condition they first entered traffic: as an OO model it looks pretty much bang on compared to photos. I have an old drawing with dimensions, source unknown; and these all come up right against the model, so it is probably correct. You’d have to be very confident to say the shape isn’t quite right in any respect, Heljan have really triumphe don this one. The bogies, which have in the past been a weak point for Heljan, look singularly good on this model, very solid and weighty in appearance, and the finer than usual flanges that is used on Heljan wheelsets just add to the effect. There you go, not a lot to say really. Looks right so probably is right!
Well detailed all over, the bufferbeams and lighting very pleasing, glazing, grilles and panels / access points neatly executed. There is a small error in the otherwise good paintwork on the front end, the red of the bufferbeam doesn’t wrap around onto the side quite far enough, but that’s about it. The BR emblem a little dull. Some detail may have to come off the bufferbeams to accommodate couplers against layout curves. The NEM coupler pocket is a solid box too, much better than the usual Heljan arrangement.
Lovely mechanism, just the ticket. Silent, smooth, tons of weight. Glides about and the loudest noise is the wheels on the rails. Will pull anything you hang on the hook, the usual six to eight carriages they worked on suburban services on the Kings Cross lines no challenge at all. This is all wrong of course, they were breakdown specials in their original form, not very reliable in service at all.
Sweaty job trying to move the bodysides out enough to release the mechanism, some slips of thick card helped keep it apart until it separated. Usually find it is easier if the body has to come off again after the first time. Good layout inside, the lighting better than the few previous arrangements I have seen on Heljan – don’t have a lot of their product to compare with. Working parts grease lubricated, likely to need no attention art all for years. These got Lenz standard decoders, very refined running.
Don’t think you will ever see a better Baby Deltic model in OO. There were only ever ten real examples after all. The ultra good and quiet performance is a contrast to the real little idiot machines which were bloody noisy when they were working, and sadly unreliable. Tempted to get a sound decoder for at least one to replicate the unbelievable racket they made.
Overall ranking
10. Bought first one, saw how good it was, immediately bought the second.

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