This vehicle is one of those projects where the money seems to have run out half way through, so you have some very good stuff followed by some really bad by this day and ages standard. Lets start from the top, compared against various photographs in Larkin et al. the body is actually a very good represenation, as oppsed to the fish van they have got the roof profile right including the subtle shoulder on it. The rest of the body looks spot on as well (bearing in mind Ive no drawing here only photos) Two issues, compared to the photos I saw the rain strip looks a tad high – but I appreciate theres no set postion for this – and the other was the moulded door handle which looked clumsy, but easy to replace.
Ok so far but the finish, ohhh dear. Its self coloured plastic still as Ian alluded to, no paint job, so design clever is back to the good old 70s then. Its shee’ite and looks it. Letterings good though which is a shame as I’m thinking respray here. OK so thats the top half done, lets have a peek under the skirts. Solebars are – well solebars, the w irons and axleboxes are right but look very plasticky. Then the brake gear – what brake gear I hear you ask, and you are absolutely right to ask it, theres a hell of a lot not there – and its rather obvious it isnt there as well, even with my “its running past fast and never parked up,you wont notice it” philosophy you would notice it, so thats an extra job to do. Dare I mention buffers? – plastic rigid jobs that look like the axleboxes, plasticky and cheap. The brake blocks are even too inbound for OO let alone EM and P4
Overall it obviously set off with good intentions then got lost in translation, probably because of the bean counters. Its a job half done in effect. With the work involved to get it to the standard of the Parkside kit then the answer is simple, spend your cash with Andrew Hastie’s fine company. With it Im looking at:
1. Building all the brake rigging and underside detail
2. taking off the door handles and replacing
3. At the very minimum a heavy weathering to try and disguise the self coloured plastic, but in reality probably a complete respray and new transfers
4. New buffers
5 New brake blocks
On a last plus side the EM conversion was easy, the wheelsets just drop in without any hacking, and the brake blocks are so hideously out of line, they dont interfere with the running.
Clearly Hornby have returned to where they started from, making toys, not models.