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French Station HC8029


We have seen Skaledale and Lyddle End from Hornby, now Hornby International brings us Skale Structures. A small, but hopefully growing range of international railway buildings and structures that will fit nicely on your continental layout.

I haven't seen the full range displayed anywhere including the Hornby sites to date, but I am sure that the full range will be made public soon.

These models are made in China like the Hornby Skaledale buildings - a range that is incredibly popular with medallists. Previous ranges are sought after as they are produced in limited quantities. Distributed internationally by Hornby Italia and in the UK by Ontracks.co.uk.

The Front of the box:

Personally, I'm not too sure on the name. It seems a bit strange in English. You can intentionally miss-spell a word in English for whatever reason, but it is difficult to transport that miss-spelled word into other cultures and expect them to understand what you are on about. As you see on the back of the box, 'Skale Structures' is not translated in any way. I know that the average French bloke has no idea what 'Skale Structures' means. Why wasn't Skaledale just called Scaledale....?

Anyway moving on from that, we see on the back of the box (below) the other buildings in this range. Hornby International has launched the range to cater to the whole of the Continental European market, although in doing so is only offering one or two models for each region. Lets hope that we have some more soon. See if you can figure out which model suites which country.

I am looking at the French station (HC8029) in a little detail. Modelled at HO 1:87 it would fit on any OO scale layout as well if it fitted into the decor. As with most Hornby resin moulded buildings it is not perfectly square and straight, but this is fine - it gives the model character and it ends up looking much better than a simple plastic kit when sitting on the layout. The details are good, the paintwork is really good and the weathered effects on the roof times is just right. I am impressed with this as I am of my many other Skaledale buildings and accessories.

So what region in France is the station come from? As in the UK, each European country has different building styles depending on the region. In the days before nationalisation, the many private companies employed architects to design stations along their routes.

What I have found that approximately match the model are a few of the stations on the line from Marseille to Vintimille. A 259 km line that follows the Côte d'Azur on the south coast of France. (More info in French on Wikipedia here)

Gare de la Penne-sur-Huveaune (right)

Gare de Ollioules-Sanary (below left)

Gare d'Aubagne (below right)

Aubagne is perhaps the most similar except for that horizontal moulding that goes through the doors and ground floor windows. The dentils under the cornice on the prototypes don't quite match the model. Of course, it is not a scale model - rather a compressed form of reality, portraying the feel of the prototype. None of the real buildings have window spacing or dimensions exactly the same as the model.

The slight defects in the moulding process add to the charm of the model and give it character. If you would like to add lighting to the model, blacking out the interior walls and roof would be required, but the effect would be quite good. People added to the inside would be visible from the outside - I'm sure that you could add more period detail such as station names, posters and notices.

The model has a RRP of £30.80.

Review sample supplied by Ontracks.co.uk who are the UK distributors of Hornby International products.

- April 2009


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