REVIEW - Revolution Trains IWA Sfins2 Holdall Vans
With production starting from 1987, 160 wagons were produced by Waggon Union for Cargowaggon GMbH and Norsk Hydro. Classified as IWA under the BR TOPS coding system, they are also known as Sfins2 in the UIC international code system.
The Hydro wagons were mainly employed on fertiliser flows from Immingham to destinations in the Midlands, Scotland and south Wales. Those operated by Cargowaggon saw more varied use on steel traffic, bottled water and newspapers in both block trains and Speedlink wagonload services.
The design incorporated integral one-piece sides and roofs so that each complete half can be lifted and slid over the other, using the prominent handwheels at each end, for easy loading and unloading.
Now owned by Touax, many of the wagons are still in use today on trains carrying aluminium ingots from Ditton Foundry near Warrington to Nievenheim in Germany via the Channel tunnel. 30 of the Sfins2 vans have had the hoods removed and been converted into timber carriers.
Revolution are fast becoming the go-to manufacturer for high quality N Gauge freight stock, and the IWA more than lives up to expectations. The imposing size of the prototype is immediately obvious, even in N Gauge form, with the models measuring 140mm in length and capturing the bulky appearance of real thing perfectly.
The ribbed hoods feature nice, sharp moulding of the structure and fine rivet and latch details. The ends are equally impressive with separately fitted rib detail, fine wire handrails and foot steps. The distinctive yellow canopy operating handwheels are separately fitted moulded items.
The wagon underframes also boast many separately fitted detail items, most notably wagon lifting points and a fine etched handbrake. The underside hasn't been neglected either, and structural detail, linkages, brake pipes and air tanks all present.
The distinctive bogies have been reproduced with good depth to the spring and axel box details. RP25 profile wheels are fitted and the wagons exhibit stable, wobble free running with little resistance evident in the models reviewed here. Kinematic couplings with a standard NEM pocket are fitted to allow for close coupling.
The finish is excellent, and captures the aluminium and blue finish the wagons have worn since new extremely well, although it's rare to see the prototypes not completely covered in grime! There is a plethora of extremely fine data panels text across the model, with all but the smallest text being sharp and legible. The yellow backing of the Cargowaggon logo has good density and the blue lettering is nice and sharp.
The wagons are provide in packs of two, with 4 running numbers available for the Cargowaggon and Norsk versions, and an unbranded pack also available.
The IWA Sfins2 are another excellent addition to the Revolution Trains N Gauge wagon line up and given their long life and continued use can find a home on most modern image layouts. Weathering them will certainly provide an interesting challenge given the filthy state they have often appeared in!
Availability and Price
The following versions are now available from Revolution stockists:
CARGOWAGGON IWA SFINS2 HOLDALL VAN TWIN PACK A
CARGOWAGGON IWA SFINS2 HOLDALL VAN TWIN PACK B
NORSK HYDRO IWA SFINS2 HOLDALL VAN TWIN PACK A
NORSK HYDRO IWA SFINS2 HOLDALL VAN TWIN PACK B
UNBRANDED IWA SFINS2 HOLDALL VAN TWIN PACK
The models in this review were purchased by the reviewer from Rails of Sheffield for £89.99