Saturday, 27 July 2013

eBay items for sale

So here are some eBay items up for grabs and they could be yours


Metcalfe Relief Red brick terraced shop fronts

Price: Buy It Now £10


Metcalfe Low Relief pub and shop fronts

price: Buy It Now £10


Metcalfe Low Relief stone terraced shop fronts

Price: Buy It Now £10



Hornby class 86 Caledonian

Price: Buy It Now £30


all money made goes towards a Hornby Unrebuilt West Country Class Clovelly.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Bachmann BR Express Passenger Blue Tornado thoughts

Today Bachmann's model of Tornado in Express Blue has been released and pics have surfaced but how good is the model exactly?

Warning: These thoughts are my own opinions and don't affect Hornby or anyone else in the community.


The box is the usual plastic packaging that i DON'T like at all simply because its not really ideal.


Skipping onto the model we can see how superb it is. The livery application is spot on like it should be. The buffers are silver (though this isn't a major thing) and yes they ARE sprung so this should shut them moaners up! Cylinder heads are painted silver too and there is lining on the cylinders the Hornby one lacked the lines but then again i'm not fussed by it if anyone is its the Moaners *Groans*

Electric headlights, smokebox straps painted silver, handrails are present and correct. The link motion is also accurate compared to the real Tornado. NEM sockets are their too.

The tender has no rivets but then Tornado in reality does not HOWEVER the original A1's did have rivets on the tenders. Painted cab interior is also there as well, axles boxes and springs are their too as well as handrails and electric headlights and lamp irons on the tender too.

The nameplates are printed on both sides on the smoke deflectors, plus there is glazing in the cab windows. There is also the BR Early emblem (like it should be) on the tender.

Rivets are also on the cab roof as well as vents that don't open but then they don't really need to. A plstic coal load is in the tender that IS removable and i say this because all their other A1s have the removable coal load.

OVERALL: A great model

Monday, 15 July 2013

Ranting: The moaners in the model railway hobby/community

It's quite simply really, that the moaners we get in the model railway community are just ridiculous. They moan even over the stupidest and slightest things, i for one am jolly well sick of it.

I personally blame John Foster (who reviews the latest products in Model Rail) for it all, yes we've had moaners before in the past BUT it has worsened ever since he criticized the Hornby Heavy Tanks.

 Hornby's 72 and 42xx's (in my opinion) are great models and thus don't see nothing wrong with them. But that is more than what can be said for all the moaners out there.

For starters John Foster criticized both 42xx and 72xx models for poor paint jobs. NOW take a good look at the paint jobs on these photographs, i see NOTHING wrong with them. There is not even a mark or a mistake on the paint work. Was john Foster briefly blind or something? but i think he just simply said that for an excuse to criticize the models further to try and label them as bad models when in fact they are NOT.

Here are some of the many things the moaners complain about:

Firstly we get the moaners that complain for an extra nothing about locomotive bogies not having any bits painted on them! Most locos in real life don't have bits painted on the bogies yes some do have but not all locos. And besides why can't the people paint them themselves its not that hard all you need to do is get a cocktail stick or needle, some little pots of paint and pick out the bits you want to paint.

Then we have the moaners that complain about steam loco cab interiors not being painted. Pretty much the same thing said above can be said for this. You CAN paint them too get a cocktail stick or needle, pots and paint and there you go (anyone would think it was rocket science) but if i can (which i have done on a few occasions) paint the cab interiors why can't anyone else.

Then there's the folk that will either say sprung buffers add realism to models or will say how disappointing the model is because of no sprung buffers.I will tell you know sprung buffers DON'T add realism they are only their essentially for play and are somewhat pointless as said by critics. And for the record they are just sprung buffers, no one cares if a model doesn't have them if a loco actually has buffers that is what all should matter. You're only going to mess with the sprung buffers when holding the model not when its rolling around your layout.

Then you get people that moan about locos with either plastic buffers or even sprung plastic buffers. The Duke (71000) and the P2 are moaned at for this. The P2 confuses me though as it is rumored to have debuted but i have never seen any pics of it yet. Only un decorated samples have emerged so perhaps this is just their excuse to wine over nothing. They also say the P2 has moulded handrails and square axleboxes, Moulded handrails look abscent from what i've seen on the un decorated sample plus the square axleboxes were on the real P2 so whats with all the moaning and winging.

71000 yes does have plastic buffers (possibly sprung but it's hard to tell from the photo) but may i ask whats wrong with this. The answer is nothing we've had plastic buffers for years but its only when sprung buffers get introduced to problems come in. VItrains and Heljan give their locos plastic sprung buffers too but no one bats an eyelid but then thats because this is Hornby.

Take this for example Bachmann are known to make last minute changes to some models such as announcing a model as pristine but they go and weather it or change the running number but people don't complain if it was Hornby their would be moaning like there's no tomorrow!

71000, P2 and the Heavy Tanks have all been criticized by moaners so far! what next moaning about the Great Gathering A4s because they have no headboards? but knowing the moaners they probably would as they would moan over anything even if a bird pooed on their car.

Hornby deserve praise and credit for bringing out these models available to buy as otherwise we may not have them but alas they don't receive the credit from moaners BUT they will get credit from me because they deserve it. If they rarely moan at Bachmann models and never moan at Heljan and VItrains then why can't they do the same for Hornby? But then again i believe personally they do this over the sake of nothing.

And considering you've got the folk that say sprung buffers add realism (which they don't) makes no sense either how does sprung buffers add realism to a model. Clearly these people have not thought that one through yes buffers are sprung in reality when they make contact with each other but that is not the case with the models.

Lets put it this way and god strike me down this doesn't happen what would happen if Hornby went bust the next day what would the reaction be then? The moaners would probably feel guilty then because they haven't given any praise to Hornby for some of their latest products and wouldn't have made the situation any better.Plus if that was to happen we wouldn't have the vast variety of models that neither Bachmann, Heljan and VItrains make.

But seriously people the moaning is getting out of hand and it needs to stop NOW if you ask me all these moaners don't deserve to be in the hobby..............

But the moaners DON'T put me off in buying the latest products such as 71000 and the 72/42xx in which i do plan to get.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Hornby BR Express Passenger Blue Tornado thoughts

A few days ago Hornby's special edition model of 60163 Tornado was finally released in BR Express Passenger Blue livery the question is how good is the model itself?

Warning: these are my opinions they don't affect Hornby nor anyone else in the community

Theres no doubt about it that Hornby's model of Tornado is quite good.There will be debate about which model is better though from other modellers. Some will say Bachmann's is better but then others (and i have heard some people say this) say the Hornby model is a more accurate depiction of Tornado.

But does it really matter which model is better or which one is more accurate? Of course not both models are just as good as one another (in my opinion).

But now lets move on too what we are here for.


When it comes to this sort of thing i always talk about the box first and save the best till last. The box is Hornby's usual standard packaging with a sleeve with a photo of the model. Although i am not 100% certain i think the packaging is Hornby's fingerhole job.


Now we move onto the best part the model. Hornby have made special editions of Tornado in three liveries these being: Apple Green, Brunswick Green, and this livery they haven't made a model of Tornado in its works grey livery but then giving it wasn't a very attractive colour and being bland i'm not fused about that. Bachmann have made Tornado in all four liveries but its works grey was a collector club edition only.

Detail wise the model has NEM sockets so the couplings can be removed and replaced dead easily, the smokebox straps, handles and handrails are painted silver as per the real loco as well as the cylinder heads. The buffers maybe sprung but its hard to tell then this doesn't matter too much anyway as they are just their for play. The chimney is accurately made too, the handrails along the boiler are NOT moulded they've been added seperately.

The lining on the boiler and tender are accurately applied as well as the BR Early logo, The livery is also spot on too. The link motion, valve gear and side rods are all connected beautifully and are accurate to the real 60163 as well .

At this angle you can see there is no painted cab interior but that is not a problem for me as it can be painted yourself (it's not rocket science) though only the people that have done it themselves or realise that would bring it up and NOT criticize the model for it. Tender springs and axle boxes are present too aswell as warning signs/stickers and electric head lamps as well as handrails.

Whether the coal is removable or not i don't know. Its hard to justify whether there is glazing in the cab windows due to the angles of the photos taken. I'm sure they are present but it would help if someone who has this model could shed light on this. The rivets on the cab roof are their too and the vents which don't open but then they don't need too.

There is no lining on the cylinders however but that doesn't matter too much. The chime whistle on the right smoke deflector is absent but that is the same story with the Bachmann model BUT considering the original A1s didn't have the chime whistles on the smoke deflectors this doesn't bother me what so ever.

In fairness when the Bachmann model gets released soon there may be debate over both models these models are almost guaranteed to sell in their thousands.

Overall the Hornby model isn't a bad model yes Bachmann's may be better but the Hornby model is not a bad model. And to be honest i wouldn't mind owning a model of Tornado in Blue at all but i would end up with Bachmann's mind :P

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Hornby The Titfield Thunderbolt train pack Thoughts

Hornbys Titfield Thunderbolt train pack of the 2013 range to celebrate the 66th anniversary of its release has                               finally been released but just how good is the pack itself.

Warning: These are my opinions and they don't affect Hornby nor anyone else in the community

We will start with the basics and that is the box . The box itself is very good despite being the usual standard packaging used for the train packs. The box art is really quite impressive though, love the drawing style effects and old film rolls with a few still shots from the film. Overall the box art is superb and it will always catch your eye even when you walk into a model shop.


In all honesty the best part about the train pack itself has to be the DVD and toad brakevan as soon as you see the pictures of whats taken out of the box.

We shall start off with the locomotive.

First off they have used the right loco used in the film, the GWR 1400 class or the 14xx so they have got that bit bang on. They've also got the running number right being 1401 (the main engine of the class used in the film) however a few changes need to be done to make it perfect.

For a start yes the livery is right being Black BUT its the weathering that is not quite right!

Heres the real 1401 used in the film. Compare that to the model in the pack. You can see the real loco is heavily weathered.

Why couldn't Hornby have weathered the model abit more because then it would look more like the real one with the case of the model its only been lightly weathered not to mention they could have used a grey weathering spray. But also you can see the faded letters of where the GWR logos used to be. That is something the real 1401 didn't have in the film so why have it on the model its that feature that makes it look odd not to mention the only black livery that had GWR on the sides was wartime black has this loco isn't in wartime black the GWR logos are inaccurately placed on the standard BR Black.

Thats the least of the train packs problems though as we now move onto the rolling stock supplied.

 Atleast one of the rolling stocks used is not right and that is the Lowmac.

Why did Hornby use a Lowmac a Lowmac wasn't used in the film nor was one in sight anywhere a Well wagon was the flatbed in question used in the film. Hornby should have used a well wagon because then it would look much better and more accurate to the film its alright for people to say just add bogies on the Lowmac supplied but then that would just look awkward.

As for the coach body that sits on the Lowmac that too is wrong. All they've done is taken a standard 4 wheeled coach body paint it a random colour and there you go they just plonk it on the Lowmac.  In the film a coach body from the Stephenson's Rocket was used so Hornby could have used that especially since in the past they have produced the Rocket. Not to mention the coach body was yellow and black not just yellow with a grey roof.

The GWR Toad van is the best rolling stock used simply because its accurate, and has the right colour which is BR Grey and has been given some slight weathering too.

But i have to ask why did Hornby choose this combination? its all wrong in the movie the 14xx was pulling a well wagon/Lowmac with a coach body on or a GWR Toad because at that point it had crashed off the rails and been damaged. Instead 1401 was pulling a Wishbech and upwell tram coach with a GWR Toad van and occasionally a Cattle Wagon. Why coudn't Hornby have made a Wishbech coach from scratch and pair that with the loco included aswell as a Toad van and even add a Cattle Wagon because then that would be just perfect. Or if they had to do this choice of a scene why coudn't they make a model of Lion (Titfield Thunderbolt in the film) and put that with this aswell as a well wagon and a Rocket coach body because that would be perfect too.

When it comes to price wise £99 (the price from Hattons) isn't really worth it yes its less than the RRP of £123 but i wouldn't pay £99 for this pack especially for something that lacks the vast amount of detail it should have.

I remember Dapol once made a model of 1401 and was a limited edition when it came to weathering that one was much better. In terms of production Hornby (like other people have said) have taken a step backwards which is the case with this product how could they possible charge £123 for this?

I just hope the other 2013 range items (which i trust will not) don't turn out like this one because otherwise that would be such a shame. But even if Hornby were to make the changes i stated i wouldn't but it myself as i already have a 14xx im perfectly happy with BUT STILL what stopped Hornby making those changes and altering it.

on that bombshell that sums up my opinions on the Titfiled Thunderbolt train pack