Review of the OO Works RTR Devon Belle Observation Car

Observation Car

photograph by David Cockle

For information about the prototype please see our Pullman car picture pages

To quote an article on the NRM's website ( "When the all-Pullman "Devon Belle" was introduced in 1947, it added yet another name to the list of famous British expresses.  It brought a new standard of luxury to the journey westward and the added bonus of a specially constructed observation car.  It ran from Waterloo to Ilfracombe.  At the time, it was referred to as "The Glasshouse" and "Britain's only American style observation car".

The Model:

First impressions; it looks the part and the painting, lining and lettering gives an overall impression of being well finished.  So well done Roderick Bruce, proprietor of 00-Works, for the effort in bringing us a 4mm RTR model of this unique coach.

The body of the observation car appears represent "Matchboard" construction (though not as fine as that executed by Hornby in their recent Pullman car releases) and there is no individual car number on the model; I look to others with greater knowledge to advise on these two points.  I have not been able to check the models dimensional accuracy, maybe a someone with access to drawings might be able to comment on this.  Notwithstanding the model looks right.

00-Works specialise in limited production runs of Southern prototypes, which would not be likely to be produced by Hornby or Bachmann.   The quality and level of detail of 00-Works is improving with every release, but you must remember that being a limited production model from a small manufacturer, the level of detail is not going to be as high as the latest releases from Hornby or Bachmann.

Areas that could be improved with detailing:

  • Fitting of flush glazing
  • Detailing of the underframe area
  • Detailing or possibly replacement of the bogies
  • Removal of the two "Bachmann" type couplings and detailing the observation end's buffer beam with vacuum pipes & scale couplings, and fitting a proprietary close-coupling to the rear end, particularly if the Car is to be run in a fixed rake
  • The fitting of passengers and Pullman Attendant
Observation Car
The model seen attached to a Hornby Pullman  photograph by Terry Bye
The car is available in three options: -
  1. Southern Railway - Pullman umber and cream with white roof.
  2. BR (S) - Pullman umber and cream with grey roof
  3. Maroon livery for British Railway ownership and Scottish operations.

The 00-Works Devon Belle Observation Car does not come cheap and the £120 plus £3 insured delivery price may put some people off.  00-Works did a kit version, selling for approximately £75, however availability is unsure at the time of writing this article.

Manufacturers details are:

00 Works, "Brendon", Langham Road, Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5DT
Tel 01580 882 185

all photographs are copyright.

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This page was last updated 26 November 2005 from a review written by David Cockle

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