O-Scale 44 Class Comparison: BHO vs KHIAC

I was given the opportunity to take a few photos of the two versions of the O-scale (1:43.5) NSWR 44 class today: the KHIAC 44 that was released a few months ago in late March and the upcoming 44 from Bergs/Haskell/ O-Aust.

I spent about a half hour looking at both locos close together. The impression I gained from this quick comparison is outlined in these notes and are based upon external details, I did not get a chance to see the BHO 44 pilot run or to look inside. I’m told that the BHO model has had some extensive re-working of the internal arrangements (wiring and lighting) and will be supplied with a good quality can motor & twin flywheels which should be good for its running qualities. I’m told that this, and a completely new nose job, is the cause of the delay in the release of the model. Release was hoped to be in time for the Liverpool exhibition in late Sept/early Oct, but this is looking a little optimistic. We can always live in hope.

Note: it appeared that the body on the BHO model I photographed today was not correctly secured to the chassis. This is apparent in the photos but I’m assured that models will not be supplied in this condition. This can be seen as a gap between the pilot and the body on the front end. The damage to the 5 chime horn occurred in transit.

My impressions are set out below (the BHO model is 4401 while my KHIAC model is 4411):

– One obvious difference between the two models is the way they sit on their bogies. This is apparent in person but not so clear in these photos. A good deal less daylight can be seen above the bogies on the BHO model when viewed from the side and it sits lower to the ground. The BHO appears to be closer to the prototype in this with the model “hunkered” down nice and low. This difference in the gap between the top of the bogie and the body didn’t seem to traslate in any apparent difference in the height of the models.

– In person the most glaring difference was the colour of the yellow in the paint job. The yellow in the KHIAC has a good deal more orange in it with the BHO model having a more muted tone to the yellow. Also the india red seems a little “chocolatey” and browner in the BHO model. This may just be the photos as I was using a blue filter on my camera. The rest of the differences in colour seemed to be confined to differences of detail. I’m not enough of an expert in the 44 to know what is correct for particular versions of this class.

– The A-end nose is probably where most interest will be focussed and is the main reason given by the manufacturer for the delay in production of the BHO model. At a cursory glance the nose on the BHO model seems a little more slanted over the main headlight than the KHIAC version and the gromets round the cab windows are finer. In spite of looking closely at the locos in person and in these photos I honestly can’t see that much difference, except of course in detail differences such as twin or single marker lights etc. The join where the compound curves of the hood meet the sides of the nose are finer on the BHO model and the grab rails are missing on this model as it represents an earlier version. Feel free to post comments on what you can see if you feel like doing so.

– The B-end is basically the same on both models except for minor details such as the yellow numbers.

I must say that the promises of the manufacturer of the BHO model seem to have been fulfilled: even on a cursory glance it is a more accurate model and has some important improvements. However, to be honest, I can’t see that the A-end re-working has produced what could be described as a “dramatic” difference and improvement over the KHIAC model. The work around the windows is certainly important and closer to the prototype, but the curves of the nose don’t appear glaringly different to my eye. Perhaps others will see things I’m missing. Take a look at the photos and enjoy yourself 🙂

I understand the BHO model has been on display in Bergs Hobbies in recent days. I’d like to thank Peter Krause for allowing me access to the BHO model so I could photogrpah it.

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