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In-Box Review
DRB Baureihe 050 Lokomotive
ESCI HO 1/87 Schwere Guterzuglokomotive Baureihe 50
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

DRB Baureihe 50

Schwere Guterzuglokomotive Baureihe 50 (Heavy Goods {freight} Train Locomotive Series)


The 2-10-0 arrangement (UIC classification: 1E; Axle arrangement: 1'E h2) was a very popular one on Germany’s Deutsche Reichsbahn. The first were built by the individual state railways from 1915 to 1918, and these became the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (DRG) BR58. The DRG then produced a number of standard classes of 2-10-0s: the heavy 3-cylinder BR44 (1753 built), the two-cylinder version BR43 (35 built), and the lightweight BR50 (3164 built). During wartime, the BR44 and BR50 designs were simplified as ÜK (Übergangs Kriegslokomotiven, or interim war locomotives). By 1941, it was clear that even these were too complicated, expensive, time-consuming to build, and used too much of materials in short supply, so new Kriegslokomotive (war locomotive) designs were developed; the lightweight BR52 (6161 built) and the intermediate weight BR42 (844 built). For a walk-around of a museum BR52, see Click here for additional images for this review. below.

DRB Class 50

The Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRB) Class 50 is a German class of 2-10-0 locomotive, built from 1939 as a standard locomotive (Einheitsdampflokomotive) for hauling goods trains. It had one leading axle and five coupled axles and was one of the most successful designs produced for the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

This class was procured as part of the German Nazi party's preparations for war that led into the Second World War. Up to 1948, 3,164 Class 50 engines, with a top speed of 80 km/h, were built by almost all the European locomotive factories – towards the end as so-called provisional war locomotives (Übergangskriegslokomotiven) and classified as 50 ÜK.

At the end of the steam locomotive era they became virtually a universal class of steam engine that, thanks to their low axle load could even be employed on branch lines with light track beds. The Deutsche Bundesbahn grouped the locomotives into Classes 050, 051, 052 and 053 from 1968 so that the numbers were computer-compatible.

the kit

This review is of the original ESCI kit. Revell now has the tooling for this (and several other ESCI German Dampflokomotive [steam locomotive], a BR 01, BR 02, BR 41, BR 43, BR 43 & Kurztender 2´2 T30) and hopefully they have reworked it. At least Revell’s injection process should mitigate some of the problems addressed below.

One hundred twenty-eight black styrene parts and twelve clear pieces make up this kit. This includes the single piece section of track for display.

The level of detail is exceptional. A large German Dampflokomotive featured a ganglion of piping along the boiler. Rivets and bolts festooned heavy castings and fitting. ESCI reproduced these features along with their hangers, clasps, valves and stays. Though they are molded on, this is what one will find on todays high quality electric steam locomotive models. While molded on detail is not preferable, it is in-scale.

Most of the molding is sharp. Surface finish is predominately smooth where it ought to be, but the bands for the boiler jacket are rough.

I do not see any injector or mold marks that would be visible once assembled. Small amounts of rough flash are on many small parts. Unfortunately, the molding quality is marred by sinkholes on many prominent parts; while this can be overlooked to a degree (steam locos picked up many noticeable dents) the location, n not be reasoned away. The wonderful detail that adorns this kit will make filling and sanding a great deal of trouble.

The cab backhead is thoroughly detailed, even to the oil pot warming over the firebox door. However, there are no seats for the crew. A typical omission.

The model assembles authentically. The driving wheels are mounted on individual axles instead of one wheel attaching to another. Well molded brake shoes are provided for each driver, a prominent feature neglected on almost all other plastic locos.

The tender “doghouse”, where the head brakeman would ride, has large windows. ESCI made no attempt at an interior.

While the valve gear is not workable, the model can be build to roll.

Fit? Could be disappointing. I started an another ESCI Dampflokomotive and the fit is inconsistent. The majority went together tight, but the cab assembled with large gaps that required a great deal of gap-filling CA. Then, the cab would not fit onto the boiler. The amount of sanding and carving noticeably changed the cab. A great deal of surgery was needed to get the footplate onto the frame without warping it.

livery and decals

Standard DRB livery was red running gear and frame, with overall black superstructure. During the war, many engines were camouflaged. Humbrol enamels are the only paints mentioned.

Decals by Cartograf for a single engine are provided, along with DB logo and information stenciling.


This very detailed kit can build into an impressive model. The modeler may have to work on fit issues, and fill sinkholes. Without such work, it can still be an good model of this powerful class of locomotives.


ESCI was a well-known model aircraft manufacturer. It is no longer in business. It specialized in static models.

They started manufacturing aircraft, military vehicle, car kits and figures around late '70s early '80s. Some of their kits were famous and also officially awarded (Modell Fan magazine) for their accuracy and smoothness. They were pioneers of engraved panel lines at injection moulded kits alongside with Hasegawa. ESCI's line of 1/72 scale F-5, F-100D/F, and Sea Harrier remained, until today, arguably among the best scale replicas ever produced in injection moulded plastic. After 2000, Italeri has begun re-releasing many interesting and still accurate ESCI kits, this time under the Italeri brand and with new updated box art and decal options.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Exceptional detail. Display track. A subject found all over Europe into the 1980s.
Lows: Sink holes and some flash.
Verdict: This very detailed kit can build into an impressive model. The modeler may have to work on fit issues, and fill sinkholes. Without such work, it can still be an good model of this powerful class of locomotives.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 02161
  Suggested Retail: $25.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 20, 2008

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


The review is right on the money , I've got 6 of these kits from the late 70s and although they do have some fit problems they are a great scene filler for your roundhouse or coaling platform. I've got one under the water tower , one under the coal bin , I left out the plastic coal insert and built the interior of the tender. I also have one with the boiler door open having the ash removed. A good way to use those Faller and Kibri yard equipment sets. And a lot cheaper than cutting up a Roco 50. As built the wheelsets are a little narrow for HO track , so you have to move them out a little. Just dry fit the wheelsets first ,it depends on the code rail you use.
MAR 12, 2009 - 01:43 PM

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Click image to enlarge
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
    Sprue two: track, footplates, axles, bogies, cab parts, appliances, fittings
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
    Tender chassis
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
    Boiler detail close-up
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
    Boiler and chassis detail
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
    Boiler, tender, frame, drivers, fitings
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050
  • Revell (ESCI) 1/87 German 2-10-0 DB Baureihe 050