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  • Writer's pictureTom Everitt

REVIEW - Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

Revolution Trains new MTV/ZKV 'Zander' engineers wagons are now arriving with modellers and retailers, and we've taken a close-up look at these useful little wagons.

Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

The Prototype


The Standard Wagon Works company began construction of the MTV wagons during 1975 using redundant 35t tank wagon underframes combined with a new open body. 150 were built and given TOPS code MTV and numbered B390000-390149 with the intended use being carrying sand and aggregates. Later in their lives, they were also used to carry salt, plate iron and scrap materials.


During the late 1980s some MTVs were transferred in to departmental use as ZKV Zander wagons, with some receiving a yellow stripe around the top of the wagon while others had full repaints into 'Dutch' grey & yellow livery. A handful were even branded for 'Mainline' prior to the privatisation of Trainload Freight (into what became EWS).

Zanders continued to see use in engineers trains, often mixed with other wagon types, into the late 1990s before being withdrawn from use.



The Model


Just like the prototype wagons, Revolution Trains have made use of their 35ton tank wagon chassis to produce the MTV/ZKV wagons in N Gauge, with a new body moulding resting on the existing chassis.

Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

The real wagons are a relatively simple welded construction with distinctive bracing sections along the sides and ends, all of which have been sharply reproduced by Revolutuon. Corner bracing plates are also present, correctly representing the welded assembly. Lamp brackets are the only additional items featured on the sparse body, and these are fine, separately fitted items.


Dimensionally the body looks correctly proportioned when comparing to photographs of the real wagons.

Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

The chassis will be well known to those who already own any Revolution Class B tanks, and features some very fine details. Brake cylinders, pipework, brake assemblies and handbrake lever & ratchet are all separately fitted components and very finely moulded, which gives the chassis a nicely refined feel to it.


Defined rivet details are present along the solebars and some very neat buffers are moulded as part of the chassis. Detail around the springs and bearings is very nice indeed and really lifts the quality of the model.


The body does sit with a slight gap between the floor and the top of the chassis due to the detail included for the tank wagons, but unless looking directly side on this is not particularly noticeable.

Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

Somehow Revolution have managed to include a kinematic style coupling system into the underframe. This is free moving and allows wagons to be nicely close coupled without locking buffers on tighter corners.


Plastic centred 3 hole wheelsets run smoothly and freely on pin point axles with no sign of wobble as the wagon was both pushed and pulled around the test circuit. A metal weight is fitted between the wagon body and chassis and the model weighs in at 10 grammes.


A bag of separately fitted parts including coupling hooks with 3 link couplings and vacuum pipes is also provided for the modeller to fit as desired.

Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

The finish of the models is excellent, with smoothly applied paint, good density and colours which look a good match for the prototype. The 'dutch' yellow has been well applied over the side bracing with only a small amount of overspray visible in one or two areas, and even then only such that it shows in the photos and is not really visible to the human eye under layout conditions. Overhead warning flashes and data panels are sharply printed, with all but the smallest text being legible.


These wagons will make perfect subjects for those who wish to practice their weathering skills, with the real things often appearing in cosmetically poor condition, with the original livery sometimes almost completely hidden by dirt and rust!

Revolution Trains MTV/ZKV Zander

In summary these are excellent models, highly detailed, well finished and smooth running. They should find a home on any layout set between 1970 and the late 90s as part of engineering rakes and we have no hesitation in recommending them.



Availability


The following versions of the MTV and ZKV are now available from Revolution Trains stockists:


N-MTV-101

MTV AGGREGATE WAGON

BR FREIGHT BROWN

B390024 - SINGLE


N-MTV-102

MTV AGGREGATE WAGON

BR FREIGHT BROWN

B390098 - SINGLE


N-MTV-103

MTV AGGREGATE WAGON

BR FREIGHT BROWN (SALT TRAFFIC)

B390105 - SINGLE


N-MTV-301

MTV AGGREGATE WAGON

BR FREIGHT BROWN (STONE TRAFFIC)

B390012, B390016, B390031 - TRIPLE PACK


N-MTV-302

MTV AGGREGATE WAGON

BR FREIGHT BROWN (SAND TRAFFIC)

B390077, B390109, B390111 - TRIPLE PACK


N-ZKV-101

DEPARTMENTAL ZKV ZANDER

BROWN WITH YELLOW STRIPE

DB390004 - SINGLE


N-ZKV-102

DEPARTMENTAL ZKV ZANDER

BROWN WITH YELLOW STRIPE

DB3900132 - SINGLE


N-ZKV-103

ZKV ZANDER BROWN WITH YELLOW STRIPE - MAINLINE BRANDING

DB390133 - SINGLE


N-ZKV-111

ZKV ZANDER CIVIL ENGINEERS "DUTCH" GREY/YELLOW

DB390097 - SINGLE


N-ZKV-112

ZKV ZANDER CIVIL ENGINEERS "DUTCH" GREY/YELLOW - MAINLINE BRANDING

DB390140 - SINGLE



The model featured in this review was purchased by the reviewer direct from Revolution Trains.



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