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Hornby HA Class 71

Hornby are masters of painting and printing and I think the colours on all versions and all markings are credible.  If only Dapol had produced the liveries on their Class 73s as accurately….
The body is a very fine piece of injection moulding.  Handrails and windscreen wipers are separately applied but the lamp/headboard/arrow brackets are moulded on.  I suspect that all bodies are moulded with rain strips and for producing the earlier version without some poor soul(s) in China have manually to shave the rains strips off before painting as there is a faint outline of a rain strip visible on the E5022 version.  Window glazing is as flush you can get with mass production.  The drive mechanism is hidden from viewing through the window on the A side by a representation of the booster set.  However the booster set is in reality floor mounted and on the other side of the compartment, so in reality can only been seen by looking through the window close up when the compartment is illuminated. 
Booster set seen through the window on the A side of a model
Above shows the visibility of the representation of the booster set when viewed through the window of the A side of the model 71012, below shows the booster set within E5001 and it is in reality on the other side of the locomotive and its top is roughly level with the middle of the window. Photograph taken on 2nd June 2004 at the NRM's Railfest at York by Colin Duff. At the bottom E5001 is pictured running (not under its own power!) at Barrow Hill on 30th March 2013. The booster set is not visible from most angles, especially when the electrical compartment is not lit. Photograph by Colin Duff.
Boosters et within E5001
E5001 at Barrow Hill on 30th March 2013
Buffers are sprung and the model is fitted with slim tension lock couplings in a NEM pocket which swivels on the bogie.  There is only the top half of the buffer beam, which includes the vacuum pipe, with tension lock couplings in place.  The couplings can be removed and supplied buffer beam lower inserts fitted to produce a full buffer beam.  This insert includes both main reservoir pipes and the air brake pipe.  The bogies and underfloor equipment are also fine examples of injection moulding and compare well to pictures, and it would be churlish to mention I noticed that some of the cable/pipe runs on the model are slightly different to that in pictures.  Maybe the cable/pipe runs varied by loco and over time anyway.  For fitting a DCC chip and other maintenance the body removes easily enough from the chassis; note the buffer beams are part of the chassis.
Bogie on E5001

There are directionally controlled illuminated headcode boxes and marker/tail lights which show white forwards and red rearwards.  On a loco of this era the white lamps would be “warm white”, however to my eyes those on the model are a more tad greenish than yellowish.  There is a switch underneath the chassis to switch off the tail lights when using DC for when the loco is hauling stock.  The instruction leaflet gives no information about controlling the lights on DCC.  A sheet of self-adhesive headcode blinds, including blanks, is supplied to fit to the *outside* of the headcode panel glazing.  Whilst stick-on headcodes are acceptable on Hornby’s EMU models with external stencils, as a reproduction of an internal blind it is not.  In my opinion this is by far the worst feature of this model, a throw-back to a toy train era, a ha’porth of tar moment.  The money spent on providing a working pantograph should have been spent instead on an internal headcode blind.  Additionally the supplied printed headcodes are all numeric-alpha 1A to 0K split along the middle to allow changes.  As the outer corners are shaped and the letters/numerals printed positioned to be handed, changing the headcode to anything other than numeric-alpha requires surgery with a sharp knife.  I have yet to dis-assemble the body enough to see if fitting an internal headcode blind is possible.

In conclusion this is an extremely good model well worth what it costs and Hornby have set the bar high for DJ Models, but not for the first time in recent years Hornby have made an odd judgment about details.  I hope it can be confirmed that this model is the correct length.