- Reviews Index
- Bachmann 4Bep
- Bachmann 2EPB
- Bachmann 2Hap
- Bachmann 4Cep
- Bachmann MLV
- Bachmann Class 159 new version 2020
- Bachmann Class 450 Desiro
- Dapol Class 73
- D J Models Class 71
- EFE Isle of Wight Underground Stock
- Halling Croydon Tramlink Tram
- Heljan Class 07 Dock Shunter
- Heljan new Class 33/0s
- Hornby 2Bil
- Hornby 2Hal
- Hornby 4Vep
- Hornby Brighton Belle
- Hornby Class 71
- Hornby Class 395
- Hornby Refurbished Eurostar
- Kernow 2H
- Kernow 4TC
- Kernow Bulleid Diesel Locomotives
- Replica Motorised Chassis
Hornby HA Class 71
Hornby chose to go into head-to-head competition with other manufacturers over two Southern models, the Adams Radial tank (also made by Oxford Rail) and HA (Class 71) electric loco (also to be made by DJ Models). Oxford Rail were first with the Radial Tank and Hornby’s model has only just appeared. Incidentally, in my opinion both are good, there are minor differences, minor strengths and weaknesses in each, but there is no clear best version. Hornby are, however, first out by a long margin with their Class 71, albeit with only four versions versus DJ Models’ plethora of future offerings and Class 74s underway.
The first tranche of this model comprises of:
|R3373 E5001 in BR(S) coaching stock green, red bounded by white waist level stripe on the sides, small yellow warning panels on the cab fronts, BR roundel mid lower body on A side, above the waist stripe/below the grilles to the right hand end on the B side, brackets for Golden Arrow/Night Ferry headboards on the cab fronts, brackets for Golden Arrow arrows on body sides, roof rain strip at the top of the sides. This is as preserved by the NRM and it matches details in photographs I took in on 2nd June 2004 at Railfest York and on 30th March 2013 at the Southern Open Day at Barrow Hill.|
|R3374 71012 in BR blue with full yellow front, brackets for headboards on the cab fronts, brackets for arrows on body sides, roof rain strip at the top of the sides. This matches details of 71012 in a photograph published in Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 215.|
R3376 E5022 in BR(S) coaching stock green, red bounded by white waist level stripe on the sides, BR roundel mid lower body on both sides, brackets for headboards on the cab fronts, brackets for arrows on body sides. There is photo of this loco in this livery in September’s Model Rail but it is too small to make out if it has body side brackets. However the model’s details match those of an HA in “as built” condition.
Not pictured is R3378/NCiM026 (NRM/Locomotion Special Edition, available only from them) E5001 in BR(S) coaching stock green semi-gloss finish, red bounded by white waist level stripe on the sides, BR roundel mid lower body on A side, above the waist stripe/below the grilles to the right hand end on the B side, brackets for headboards on the cab fronts, brackets for arrows on body sides, roof rain strip at the top of the sides. This is as preserved by the NRM and it matches details in photographs I took on 1st October 1988 at a Network Day at Waterloo.
Please note, contrary to what some modellers have said both current models of E5001 are of the preserved locomotive and not as in “as built condition” as both have the rain strips that were fitted during the first overhaul (which is also when some locos also gained unlined bronze green livery).
In terms of authenticity it looks like an HA, there are no issues over its shape, and in most major dimensions and position/size of details it is accurate. However, whilst its length over extended buffers is spot-on there is a quandary over the length of its body. The full size E5001 was scanned by a laser to produce this model and one hopes this results in the body being the correct length. However, when compared to 4mm scale drawings by R.S. Carter in Model Railway Constructor Planbook 3, BR Electric Locomotives in 4mm scale, and by Graham B Fenn in Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 215 the model’s body is 5mm shorter. It matches all other dimensions including length over extended buffers. Scale drawings of models have been known to be inaccurate (and yes, I did check quoted dimensions to confirm that the drawings are correctly scaled) but I also have a small scale BR Works drawing of an HA. Whilst this drawing is not scaled to 1:76 using the length over extended buffers as the reference and doing the arithmetic the body length matches that on the modelling scale drawings. BR Works drawings have been known to be inaccurate as well, and maybe the modelling drawings were taken from Works drawings. I have yet to find data for the body length (along its lower edge) so if anyone definitively knows its length or can run a tape measure over E5001 please let me know so this quandary can be resolved. Incidentally the Golden Arrow Productions HA model is the same length as Hornby’s model but DC Kits resin kit’s body matches the scale drawings. I sold my Genesis Kits whitemetal kit earlier in the year so can no longer check this version.
This model has a new 4 axle, 8 wheel electrical pick-up, central motor and flywheel drive which is DCC ready (8 pin socket). It correctly has 16mm diameter spoked wheels and the flanges are reasonably fine. As to whether it works well, two of my three worked smoothly and responsively straight out of the box and the lighting features worked as specified. The other (R3374 blue) ran erratically, cyclically working smoothly and then slowly with a growling sound, there was a faint smell of electrical burning and occasional wisp of white smoke, and none of the lights worked at all. This dud was returned within a few hours of it being delivered and its replacement ran as well as my other two. So if you get a good one it will be good indeed…
It has a very finely modelled working pantograph; the switch to activate it is underneath the chassis. This is a feature that has appeared on some, but by no means all, models with pantographs since the 1960s – remember Triang’s “Electra”? However, I seriously question its usefulness on this model. Whilst running on DC it does allow two locos to be controlled on the same track, obviously when using DCC this feature is not required, but as HAs only used their pantograph on short lengths of catenary in a limited number of sidings it is only of use if you wish to confine a loco to a siding with overhead. It is hardly realistic operation to arrive at the siding using track power, then to remove, or at least tilt, the loco to select the pantograph pick-up, so it can the operate using overhead power. This feature cost money to provide and I think it would have been spent better on another feature (see later). The pantograph is delicate and can readily fall apart, particularly the upper arms/pan head detaching from the lower sprung arms, when being raised/lowered or indeed the model being removed from its box. I have so far twice had to re-assemble the pantograph – it is a fiddly job - and whilst I suffer from age related reduced manual dexterity it only took me a few minutes both times.
|The model weighs 490g and the new drive mechanism provides more than ample smooth power. The shoebeams are aligned outside of a conductor rail fitted to the ends of OO/HO gauge track sleeper ends so may be aligned for true scale track, but positioned like this there is a danger on OO/HO track of the shoebeam fouling on the conductor rail on pointwork and on curves.|