DJ Models Austerity – A Review

Since the craziness that followed the Peckett blog post (I had more social media notifications on my phone than when I accidentally uploaded a naked selfie on Twitter) normal service is resuming with a review that is quite old hat. DJ Model’s (or DJM if you are that way inclined) Austerity/J94 landed after a long wait toward the last quarter of 2016.

The first wave consisted of a squadron of limited edition models for Hattons and a single main range J94 for DJ himself.

I shied away from the increased price of the limited editions and the J94 was not right for my needs (high bunker etc) and I waited patiently, and quietly, for more of the main range to appear…it all seemed to have gone quiet on that front when I found a second hand Hattons limited edition.

The Austerity class of locomotive is important to me especially as it was the main motive power on Chris and I’s first exhibition layout together  and where I really cut my teeth into actual modelling. When we first started on Austerities we had never airbrushed or really modified anything ready to run. They have been with us on a long journey and continue to be so.

For those of our readers going ‘WTF is an Austerity let alone a J94?’ Wikipedia has the answers …. Hunslet Austerity

For all our readers who do not know who DJ Models is, here is the OTCM quick fire version of history:

A man called Dave Jones worked for Dapol, Dave Jones left Dapol and set up DJ Models (Dave Jones Models – a Masterpiece in naming) he then announced a lot of stuff continually from September 2013 including the Austerity. Since then his style and public persona have been publicly available to see on the world famous RMweb and effectively you either love him or loathe him. He has spawned conspiracy theories, devoted fans and recently actual models.

He has certainly got people talking which is no bad thing. However no matter how convincing the conspiracy theories maybe I always planned on judging the company by the models it produces. I just had to wait a long time to get one. When you think I preordered an early British Railways example in 2013 and its still not here. I really do not mind waiting but Christ on a bike that is a long time.

If you want an in depth technical review that will actually tell you what you need to know head over to Albion Yard DJM J94 Review

The first thing I noticed when I took opened the box is how light it is. It is exceptionally light on its loafers and to my unscientific built in scales felt lighter than the little Hornby Peckett.

The face of it though is very lovely and sits much more Austerity like than the Dapol/Hornby version. The only thing that caught my eye is the rather protruding smokebox door dart that looks like Charlie Dimmock on a cold winter’s day.

The pipes/holes in the bufferbeam should not be there and there are some glue marks around the support braces on the chassis which I am mentioning as I do not see them on other company’s models.

The cab backhead is very flat which I probably would never have looked at but since the Hornby Peckett has rechipped my mind on back head detailing its getting judged.

In fact I feel sorry for the DJ Austerity coming hot on the heels of the Peckett, it’s like hanging around to judge the cleaner who has come on stage after Miss World has ended.

It is a shame really as the model looks like an Austerity but the true judge of any model is what you plan on doing to it, the ultimate accolade I guess would be to say ‘I am just going to weather it’. Oddly while totting up what I wanted to replace and add I ordered the exact same items I would do for the 30 year old Dapol model. So is that progress?

Well probably not, however, there were items on the Dapol model that I hated but would never change either through laziness, lack of ability or both and thankfully these have been rectified on the DJ Model. There is no Saddle Tank seam, and the chassis and wheels are miles and chains better than the old model.

So with the same mods you will end up with a far more definitive Austerity. Whether you should have to do any mods in first place is an argument I cannot be arsed having. Maybe DJ Models tag line ‘Setting Higher Standards’ needs amending to ‘Setting Higher Standards, in Some Aspects’. That fits the bill for the Austerity much better.

Things to be sorted: /Non-prototypical pipes in the buffer beam – Out and fill /Chunky Steps – Replace /Moulded on beads on the cab spectacles – Remove/Replace /Chubby Injectors – Replace
Things to sort /Door Dart – Replace /Non Flat Handrail supports – Replace /Chunky steps – replace. But look you can see through the chassis where you should be able too – A massive improvement
The all important chassis, the shape is spot on and the wheels are very nice. Close up there are some screw heads in the sides of the chassis but with weathering etc and if you do not point them out no one should see them. Hopefully. I am still not sure on the thickness of the coupling rods.
Old meets new. The magnetic smokebox door on the DJ model (to access the chip) in this photo has a gap around it which I am hoping is because I put it on wonky rather than an actual gap.
Next time you see this Austerity she should be approaching Chris and I’s 8th or 9th go at this class of loco and hopefully for me be the model I have been aiming for since we starting modelling coal lines.

Thanks for reading everybody, I am off to New Zealand now for 3 weeks so I will leave you all with Chris who has sworn to do some updating on the filth he has been up to.

Keep safe,



3 thoughts on “DJ Models Austerity – A Review

  1. I had a look at one in bits at the Stevenage show this last weekend, it really is the proverbial curates egg. Outwardly in body its a J94, and on balance better than the Hornby offering. But bearing in mind that version is what – 30 plus years old with no upgrade, the DJM should be streets ahead. It isn’t.

    Mechanically is where it goes wrong for me – all wheel drive, no vertical movement to cope with the vagaries of industrial track, no articulated coupling rods, a motor seated in the saddle tank which has to engage correctly with the gear box if you take the body off …. Conversion to EM seems a doddle if you can live and are happy with the wheels as supplied just pulled out, but a conversion job to correctly profiled EM wheels then it aint going to happen without a bespoke conversion set or a new chassis. P4? Your having a larf 😉

    1. Andy, I am actually going to try and remove the all geared drive and just have it powering the rear axle then work out how to mega bodge some basic suspension as my track is shite. Not really what you should be doing on a hundred notes model. In an ideal world the DJM model should of been so good comparing it with a Dapol version should never be the first assumption.

  2. p4newstreet

    I could use one on Brettell road but as a nice to have rather than a necessity. The way it was being sold at the start you would have expected something more like a RTR version of the brassmasters kit than a slightly improved (in some areas) dapol one. I was hoping it’s release would see a flurry of unbuilt brassmasters kits appear but afraid it didn’t.
    I might still do one with RT models bits and a DJM body but it depends if the promised ‘everything will be available as a spare’ thing ever happens.

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