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D J Models HA

DJ Model class 71s in late and early green liveries

(above) BR green with small yellow warning panels and BR(S) green with red stripe versions

Railway Modellers working in 4mm scale will be aware that Hornby has gone into direct competition with “Southern” models from two new entrants to the model railway market.  The first was with Oxford Rail over the Adams Radial tank locomotive.  Here the common conclusion is that both versions have strengths and weaknesses, similarities and differences, and they are both good models, but there is no runaway leader.  The second competition is with DJ Models over the HA/BR Class 71 electric locomotive.  In the case of the Radial Tank Oxford Rail were first out, but not by a long time, but with the HA Hornby were first to the market by ten months.  DJ Models claim its model’s development was extended to produce an even better model than originally conceived and to produce what could be the best detailed UK model of an electric locomotive ever.  Has Dave Jones succeeded?


To begin with the packaging.  Most railway models these days are delicate things with lots of separately applied fine detail.  Because they have to travel from China and then be distributed around the world they need to be well packed.  However, some models recently have been so well packed that it is difficult to get them out of their packaging, and in doing so, ironically, damage results.  This model potentially falls into this class.  Like many models these days it is encased in clear plastic frame, fitting the top, bottom and ends, then enclosed in a clear plastic sheaf, so enclosing the sides.  This model goes one further in that the clear plastic frame also has sides, all elements clipping together tightly.  It is then encased in a clear plastic sheaf, even though none of the model is exposed.  This is then surrounded by thick foam and put into a sturdy cardboard box.  Fortunately on this model much of the detail has to be applied by the modeller so it does not get knocked off in the tussle to get the plastic frame apart.

The DJM0071-002 E5004 BR(S) green with red stripe version

(above) The DJM0071-002 E5004 BR(S) green with red stripe version

Once out of the packaging, it looks like an HA!


To inspect the body and bogies closely.  Rivet detail around the grilles is more prominent compared to Hornby’s and Hornby’s matches pictures better.  Rivet detail on the roof is about the same prominence on both.  Cantrail rain strips on the DJ model are over-prominent, larger than pictures show, but Hornby’s rain strips are conversely too slight compared to pictures.  On the subject of these rainstrips, research by the East Sussex Finescale Group has determined that these started to be fitted from September 1963, not necessarily at the same time as a major overhaul and re-paint into BR loco green.  Thus, and photographs support this, some HAs did run in “malachite” green with a red/white stripe with rainstrips.  Hattons have commissioned two special edition HAs representing the first and last Golden Arrows.  Their description of the green/red stripe version states it depicts “the first Golden Arrow service (hauled by E5015 in June 1961)” but a picture of their model shows a model of E5015 with rainstrips.  Whilst pictures may prove that E5015 did run at some time in its first livery with rainstrips, unless someone can produce a pictures of it like this on the first Golden Arrow it looks like this claim may be incorrect.  So far DJ Models have not produced an HA without rainstrips.

B side details on the E5003 version, showing the quality of the moulding

(above) B side details on the E5003 version, showing the quality of the moulding. Hornby’s HA has a working pantograph, a feature of limited value and use in my opinion.  It results in their pantograph being over-scale.  The DJM’s pantograph is cosmetic and finer.  However, as a result it is not sprung to retain contact with an overhead wire nor does it self-level in position, so care is needed to avoid it looking asymmetrical, a.k.a. wonky, as seen above.

The slim but dummy pantograph raised

(above) The slim but dummy pantograph raised, the springs are more for show than effective operation

Generally the details in DJM mouldings are slightly more prominent but crisper than Hornby’s.  The DJM model has separately fitted handrails and lamp brackets, whereas Hornby’s are moulded on.  On the DJM model the windscreen wipers are finer, bogie mouldings better defined, footsteps on cab fronts and over buffers are less prominent than on Hornby’s, all a better match to pictures.
To the parts to be affixed by the modeller, a bag contains the bogie to body brackets and pickup beams, plus a gap-free lower front valance and associated pipes.  The first two, the instructions state, provide the option of not fitting if platform clearances are too tight. 

Bogie and cab side detail on the DJM0071-005 E5010 BR gren with full yellow end version

(above) Bogie and cab side detail on the DJM0071-005 E5010 BR green with full yellow end version

The pickup beams do tend to fall off so are best secured with a little bit of solvent, on the other hand the lifting lugs are a tight fit and so far have stayed put.  The lifting lugs are in reality fitted to the body, not the bogies, but on the model they are fitted to the bogies to permit train set curve radius swing.  In my opinion they look odd there and they stick out rather a lot so I might end up not having them. 

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