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Hornby to produce a 4 Vep

7733 and 7747 at Haywards Heath on 18th August 1968, copyright photograph from Buggleskelly Books

It just gets better for 4mm scale Southern Electric modellers, particularly those whose time period is the late 1960s to mid 1970s period. In their early minutes of Christmas Day new product range for 2010 launch, Hornby announced a 4 Vep model. Due to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2010, initially original condition Veps in BR blue and Network SouthEast livery will be available, product numbers R2946 and R2947 respectively. These models will feature interior lighting and headcode boxes and will be DCC ready or DCC fitted (product number suffixed with a "X"). Hornby have stated that this model has been tooled to allow refurbished units also to be produced and window bars are not an impossibility. We do not yet have information about unit numbers, therefore knowing details like having lifting rings or not, on the all blue model having unpainted aluminium window frames or not, and whether early or late blue and NSE liveries. These models are already advertised for placing pre-orders with major retailers on the internet for as little as £120.

This model has thus far been developed with the assistance of railway industry sources and the Southern Electric Group. The choice of the unit type and liveries was entirely Hornby's and it is not lost on modellers that Hornby have chosen to model yet another type of Southern stock which ran/runs in Kent! Note if an early blue version is produced it will be compatible for running alongside late steam stock on the South West Division.

Veps may not have been everyone's favourite units but it is a good choice filling the outer suburban gap between the mainline 4Cep and forthcoming suburban 2EPB models, both from Bachmann. If they sell well, hopefully more versions will follow in future years, particularly a BR blue & grey version (which will make modelling the SE Divison in the 1970s a cinch) and also refurbished units with a multitude of liveries to exploit.

photographs (above) 7733 and 7747 at Haywards Heath on 18th August 1968, © Buggleskelly Books
and (below) 3185 at Leigh on 26th February 1995 by John Atkinson

3185 at Leigh on 26the February 1995, copyright photograph by John Atkinson