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Given the special nature of this service, limited zone of operation and lack of publicity surrounding the train, it might be expected that no scale models of the coaches used would ever have been produced. Despite the unique RCOT rolling stock all being to standard DB construction and dimensions, which almost every continental model railway manufacturer have had in their catalogues at some time, accurate representation of the unique differences would require costly tooling alterations and research into prototypes which, by their very nature, did not encourage close inspection or detailed photography.

However, two manufacturers did produce models of the RCOT officer's coach, and a review of both models is provided below.

Roco Minitanks 829

Photo courtesy of www.nordbahn.net

Produced during the heyday of the Berliner, this model represents one of the two officer's coaches, in this instance No. 910 298. 

The model is based on the standard DB 2nd class compartment coach body of type Bm 234, fitted with MD33 bogies, and at 303mm length over buffers, is to correct scale length. The pre-computer era lettering is accurately and neatly applied, although the RCOT logo and lettering sits too low on the bodyside. Large format, "painted" Union Jacks are printed at each end of the coach, correct for the earliest version of the prototype, and the twin-leaf, sliding corridor connector doors and entrance steps are correct.  

The model is finished in chrome-oxide green, which is incorrect for these coaches as they were originally painted in Royal Corp of Transport blue, similiar to the DB standard cobalt blue used for 1st class passenger coaches. The underframe detail has been taken from the base model, so features none of the special equipment fitted to these coaches such as generators, water heaters, fuel tanks and access ladders. The number of side windows (12) is correct, but these are based on the later standard 1200mm wide windows, not the 1000mm windows of the prototype. No representation of the roof-mounted ladders or radio antenna are provided

Similarly simplified is the interior, which represents the standard 12-compartment interior of a normal DB 2nd class coach. The unique layout of the officer's compartments, ammunition room, sleeping and working accomodation of the prototype is thus not represented. 

In summary, if the modell been finished in the correct livery it would have served as an excellent basis for a modelling project to create the correct interior and underframe detail, but the model as produced is not an accurate representation of the real thing.

Märklin 47950 4MFOR

Photo courtesy of www.catawiki.com (2016)                                                                                      Photo courtesy of www.bwbahn.com (2016)

Marketed in a set together with a number of four-wheel flatbed wagons and military vehicles, this model is of the same prototype as the Roco
version , but finished with computer lettering as 51 80 09 40 001-2 [P].  While the lettering is complete and correct, Märklin also chose to finish the model in chrome oxide green, not RCOT blue. Had this model been finished in the later ocean blue / cream colours, the lettering and livery would have been correct.  

The interior and underframe detail have been taken from the standard DB 2nd class prototype too, so in these respects this model suffers from the same simplifications of the Roco version, but with a further compromise in that the coach length has been shortened to 282mm overall, not the correct 303mm. This is a Märklin standard, equivalent to a scale of 1:93,5 and chosen so that these coaches will negotiate Märklin's second radius curves

Future developments

The advance of computer-assissted mould making using cheaper materials for shorter production runs, together with the developments taking place in 3D printing, may mean that the RCOT coaches will one day be commercially viable as limited production series, ready-to-run models. Almost all DB standard prototype coaches have now been produced at some stage by model manufacturers, so interest is turning more and more towards the one-off and unique prototypes so far not produced. The commercial need for a variety of versions of the same model can also be met, as the Berliner coaches could now be modelled in both blue and blue/cream versions in RCOT service, as well as the charter train operator liveries applied by the companies that bought them after the Berliner's operations ceased.

Until then, the only viable option will be to create authentic models using existing, ready-to-run models as the basis. Some initial considerations about the feasibility of such as project can be found here


Photograph awaiting copyright clearance