Hornby reveals 2012 range
By: Gareth Bayer
After several years with no new diesel or electric locomotives, Hornby’s 2012 range will include a replacement for the old and unsatisfactory Class 67 tooling inherited from the purchase of Lima in 2004. Rail Express reports from Margate with the full run down of all the new and reliveried D&E era items due over the next 12 months.
Looking at the delayed 2011 items first, the ‘Brighton Belle’ EMU was shown in almost completed form, a few steps further along than its Warley appearance. The production models just missed an early December arrival and were expected early in the new year, along with the delayed Railroad range ex-Lima Class 31 (strangely combining the refurbished chassis with the unrefurbished body) and Class 42 ‘Warship’. The pair of NMT power cars is reviewed elsewhere in this issue.
Quality Class 67 finally gets a release
As for 2012, the headline new tooling is the GM-Alstom Class 67. An obvious gap in the range of quality diesel locomotive models, the likelihood of an ‘OO’ gauge 125mph Bo-Bo from Hornby for this year was the worst kept secret in D&E era modelling. Three liveries make the first run, EWS maroon/gold as 67001, DB Schenker Maple Leaf red as 67018 Keith Heller and Wrexham & Shropshire silver/grey as 67012 A Shropshire Lad. Unfortunately for Hornby, the WSMR operation went belly up during the last 12 months, although the locomotives and stock, albeit in partially rebranded ‘Chiltern Mainline’ condition, are now used on Chiltern Railways’ London to Birmingham services.
SUPER ‘SKIP’: Rounding out the range of present day diesel types reproduced in high quality form, Hornby’s all-new Class 67 is a very welcome choice. As can be seen the new 4mm scale model is very well advanced, with painted samples also being shown off at the press event (albeit without wheels).
With multiple units generating considerable interest at the moment, there was hope that Hornby might follow up the 4-VEP with an EMU suitable for modellers north of the Thames, or even a first generation DMU type. Sadly there was no such news, however, Simon Kohler admitted the embarrassing mistake with the solid first class compartments on the Class 423 and explained that this tooling would be corrected. Purchasers of the first run will be able to get hold of replacements for their models, while the BR blue/grey-liveried release planned for 2012 would receive this feature as standard. Unfortunately, there are no plans to move the motor bogie inside the brake compartment at the same time.
The number of new colour schemes seemed down on the impressive selection unveiled last year. Most of the high-specification diesel locos only get one or two releases. The Class 31 will be produced as D5657 in original BR green with half yellow ends, with the HST power cars making up a Western Region set in BR blue/yellow/grey with exhaust deflectors. The Class 56 gets BR blue as 56083, with a DCC sound release of 56091 Castle Donnington Power Station in Railfreight Coal. Finally, the Class 60 gets a pair of colourful repaints as 60007 The Spirit of Tom Kendell in DB Schenker ‘Switch on to Safety’ red and the silver Tata Steel 'Tug' 60099.
On the older Hornby tooling and the more recently reintroduced ex-Lima locomotives and multiple units, the Class 73 gets Pullman umber/cream and Network Rail yellow, there is the ACoRP LNWR-style black on the Class 87, and the Class 90 gets the EWS ‘Zoo’ logo version of the experimental RfD European liveried 90036 as well as a second release of First ScotRail. The Hornby-tooled Class 92 is welcomed back to the range now that there are some attractive paint jobs to give it, with the Europorte/GBRf and DB Schenker red schemes receiving a 2012 release. The dual-voltage electric has received the standard new motor bogie and NEM coupler pockets. The Met-Cam Class 101 will be released in BR green (speed whiskers) and BR blue/grey as three-car formations and as a two-car in the classic Strathclyde PTE orange and black. Finally, the Class 142 ‘Pacer’ gets the blue and purple Northern Rail image.
Expandable train packs
Looking at the train packs, there are two expandable formations that debuted on the national network in 2011 and now make it into the Hornby range. With Direct Rail Services taking over the Northern Belle haulage contract, two Class 47s were painted to match the refurbished ‘air-con’ Mk. 2s. 47790 Galloway Princess (the ex-Lima tooling) is packaged together with three of the former Airfix/Dapol Mk. 2d BSO/FO coaches (Chatsworth, Belvoir and Car No. 17167, the latter masquerading as a BFK), in one set. These are joined by three separately available FOs (Glamis, Harlech and Warwick) and 47832, the Class 47 being produced without DRS plaques, nameplates and Pullman crests. For accuracy’s sake, Hornby should have swapped the two ‘Brush 4s’ around as it was 47790 that originally ran without the extras before 47832 was repainted.
Also new is the East Coast purple and silver ‘Flying Scotsman’ vinyled IC225 set, consisting of 91101, two Mk. 4 TSOs and DVT 82205. Matching individual RFM, FO and TSO coaches will also be produced. Rounding out the new packs is the ‘Royal Train’ ready for HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee formed of the current Mk. 3s 2903, 2904 and 2917, albeit powered by 7P BR Standard ‘Pacific’ 70000 Britannia.
Rolling stock expansion slows down
There were no announcements of newly tooled post-steam era coaching stock, although Hornby has found the production capacity to produce the incredibly short lived pairs of Maunsell push-pull coaches as well as another variation on the LNER suburban theme with three new Thompson vehicles.
Southern fans were also treated to a further example of brand new tooling in the form of the Bogie ‘B’ brake, which will initially be produced in SR malachite green and BR(S) green. These classic vehicles lasted long into the British Rail era, with the last examples being withdrawn in the mid 1980s, so we hope to see a corporate era blue release in the future. On a related note, the previously produced SR Van ‘C’ does finally get Rail blue.
Other reliveries include more of the Mk. 2d ‘air-cons’ in BR blue/grey and InterCity Swallow, while the Mk. 3 is produced as loco-hauled silver Wrexham & Shropshire stock (FO, TSO & DVT, to go with the Class 67) and BR blue/grey WR HST trailers (TF, TS, TGS & TRUB, to match the power cars). There is also a strange combination of debranded Virgin loco-hauled FO, TSO and RFM with an HST TGS. Finally the former Lima Mk1 CCT and Super GUV are released in BR Express Parcels/Red Star blue and Network Rail yellow respectively.
After enjoying several new wagon releases over the last few years, with the promise of more to come at 2011’s press conference, there is some surprise that this year will see no new freight vehicles. The KFA container flat will get two new numbers with reliveried containers, but that’s the lot! No new colour schemes or numbers on the 20-ton brake van, HAA, OTA, ‘Rudd’, ‘Tope’, ‘Clam’, ‘Trout’, ‘Seacow’ or ‘Shark’.
Skaledale and weathering
There are plenty of releases in Hornby’s resin Skaledale range, with most of the new buildings being suitable for modern modellers. Of particular interest will be the brick-built depot office based on the example on the Stirling & Clackmannan Model Railway Club’s Airthrey Park layout.
One interesting innovation from Hornby will be a new range of weathering powders, which will be produced under the Humbrol brand. The first batch will be composed of eight subtle shades; black, white, sand, light grey, chrome oxide green, iron oxide, dark earth and rust, along with liquids for application and fixing the powders.
HUMBROL GETS DIRTY: Hornby’s new range of weathering powders, which will be released under the Humbrol brand, will hopefully encourage more modellers to attack their pristine condition locomotives! This very effective Class 08 was given the treatment by Hornby’s development team.
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