On the 1st May Hornby showed pictures of decorated running samples of their new GWR King Class models which were shown on their The Engine Shed blog. What do i think of these models? Well let's find out shall we?
Warning: The opinions in this blog are solely that of my own
Hornby first announced an all new tooling of their King Class last year (forget which month) and engineering samples that year were shown off at Warley in November and now we have got some decorated samples of the models, the King is expected to be released in Mid September.
A retooled King though wasn't unexpected as it was only a matter of time for them to do so especially since the Castle Class were retooled (still need to get one myself) some years back.
First up we have 6000 King George V in BR Brunswick Green with the Early Emblem and the bell on the front running board, this model also has the silver smokebox door darts and bands too though you cannot see it in this side on image and a front view of all models does show this.
The model is just absolutely stunning, with pre fitted drain cocks, silver cylinder heads and... well all the usual super detail stuff that we would expect to see on a model like this. Plenty of rivets, separately fitted handrails and door darts not to mention just look at the valve gear. The livery is also spot on too. Although it doesn't show this expect the model to have a painted cab interior and maybe even a removable coal load in the tender, though that isn't unlikely to happen as most super detail models have this feature. NEM couplings will also be present too i'd imagine and metal buffers, not sure if they will be sprung but i don't care much for sprung buffers so even if they aren't i am glad they have at least added metal buffers.
The axle boxes on the bogie are also painted yellow which it is painted on the loco in real life for granted those on the tender aren't but they aren't on the real loco anyway and besides if you wanted them painted you can do this yourself easily with a pot of enamel yellow paint.
Hornby are aware that on some models the chimneys are not correct and will thus have those corrected however the chimney on 6000 here is correct!
Up next is King James I in her beautiful Great Western Green livery, the chimney is correct on this model before i add. livery, lettering and lining is spot on and all the detail is pretty much the same as the other model and on the rest. Silver cylinder heads, metal buffers, separate fitted door darts and so on are all present like on the other model so i won't blabber on too much. Looking at pics of this engine is reality the axle box on the bogie when it was in this guise wasn't painted however i am sure the correct black paint can take care of that is just me being nit picky.
We next have King Edward VIII in BR Brunswick Green same livery as 6000 is in only this model has the BR Late Crest. Again the yellow axle box on the bogie was absent on the real loco but black paint or some sort of paint remover should take care of that. Detail is the same so expect it to be the same as the other models separate handrails, metal buffers, rivets, separate smokebox door darts etc
The chimney is wrong on this model as in reality it had the single chimney in this livery but Hornby are aware chimneys need to be correct on some models so when it gets released this model will or should at least have the right chimney.
Finally we have King Richard II in the gorgeous BR Express Passenger Blue livery, chimney is correct looking at pictures of the real thing, this model will have TTS Sound however i am hoping they will also make a King in the this livery that is DCC Ready i.e without TTS Sound as i have no BR Express Passenger Blue livery locomotives in my collection and would love to have a model in this livery especially since i am planning to get one of the King's myself. I don't want to spend a lot more money on a TTS Sound model just to remove the chip and DCC Decoder so it can run on my layout as that isn't worth it, DCC Fitted i would understand as i have done that in some cases by removing the DCC Decoder and put in a blanking plate but a TTS Sound model is different.
Hornby if you are watching please also make a King in this livery that has no TTS Sound. As for detail it is the same as on the other models so expect it to be no different other than of course the name, number and of course livery.
So overall the new Hornby Kings look stunning and i eagerly await their release in September, again i hope a none TTS Sound BR Express Blue King will be released but that is just me and my personal bias. These models will fill a gap of a model that has long been in need of being retooled, and the wait will most definitely be worth it.
Thats all from me now so take care...