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

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