Hattons rolls out its Warwells

REVIEWS: Now available from the Liverpudlian retailer are no less than 20 ‘OO’ gauge wagons spanning decades of operation.

ORIGINALLY due to be released towards the end of the year, June saw Hattons spring something of a surprise by announcing the imminent arrival of its exclusive 4mm scale Warwell wagons. Faced with competition from Oxford Rail’s version of the military well wagons, the retailer quietly accelerated the production schedule with its Chinese factory in an effort to get its model to the market first.

The present day look of the Warwells is largely represented by No. MODA95582 (H4-WW-019), this sporting the green and yellow livery introduced around 2000.

This was achieved, just, with the Hattons version going on sale around a week before its rival. However, while Oxford Rail has currently only released one livery, which will be reviewed next month, Hattons managed to get its entire production run of no less than 20 different models on sale at the same time, which is impressive by any standard.

This is even more notable given that there are four distinct tooling variants within the batch as well as a host of different liveries, not to mention a smattering of weathered versions. Regardless of the version or livery, the pristine models are all priced £33 with the weathered releases at £37, none featuring a load.

War to peace

Developed during the Second World War, the Warwells were rated at 50 tons and designed to carry tanks and other large vehicles and equipment within the UK loading gauge. Following the end of the conflict, many were retained by the War Department but others were sold off to British Railways, it recognising the usefulness of such heavy duty wagons to carry steel and a variety of other bulky loads. Many were modified with bolsters or, less commonly, flat decks for such purposes, examples of these and standard wagons finding their way into various engineers’ roles when they ceased to be useful for revenue duties.

Read more in the August issue of RE – on sale now!

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