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