No-one's got them,-yet!
Hornby have only just received stocks of 2 of the BR versions into Westwood,...so they're probably going to be despatched to the retailers this week.....should be interesting to see what they're like..
Was down at my LHS (Hythe Kent Models) yesterday morning and the M7s had arrived moments before I arrived. Had a peek and must say they looked very nice - but resisted the urge to buy - waiting to hear how easy it is to install a decoder - and, if that proves difficult, will wait for a decoder-equipped version to be released.
Got a phonecall today from my LHS to advise that the Bachmann decoder-installed Jinty had arrived - which I had pre-ordered to see how the Bachmann factory-equipped decoder performs. Would have preferred a decoder equipped M7 rather than a Jinty so maybe one day I'll have one of each........
The booklet on Hornby's DCC systems given away with the current (October) 'Model Rail' mag has an article on fixing decoders in small OO locos. (See current thread in DCC section.) This may be relevant to your needs.
I picked up my Hornby M7 yesterday - lovely model superbly detailed, and it runs well too! My only gripe is with the packaging; the loco's in its tray so tight that you run a serious risk of damaging the fine detail every time you take it out or put it back!
Unless you're a collector who can't bear the thought of damaging the packaging (in which case the loco will probably never leave its box anyway), the best option would be to take a scalpel to it and ease the fit a little.
I am not a Southern fan but I have always liked the M7's since seeing them in the Hornby catalogue in the early 1970's.
So last week I bought the late crest version. The detail is incredible, but far too delicate. Before I took it out of the box I noticed the plastic whistle was hanging off and will soon depart from the body. Also one of the sand pipes which seems to be a very very fine plastic was nearly snapped and the break rigging appears twisted.
Would not things so delicate be better made from brass and wire, how many out there have already lost their whistles?
So mine is now going back to the model shop for replacement and I believe I am not the only one.
One thing that would have been nice to carry over from the old version would have been the opening smokebox, but never mind, the cab detail makes up for that.
I got one of each of the early and late crest unweathered M7s and was delighted with each. I was surprised however that the packaging was not the spilt type which we've been used to latterly. I very carefully prized the model free from the polystyrene and was relieved that nothing had come adrift.
It's a beautifully designed little model - the housing for the front coupling is very cleverly disguised - and they both run very sweetly indeed. I'm not really a modeller of the Southern region either, but I just had to have these and the detailed cab is a work of art!
Has anyone tested the haulage capacity yet? My layout is dismantled at the moment so I can't test that!
What a lovely little loco this M7 is, like some of yourselves, i'm not a southern fan, but this engine has a character of its own, and i just had to have one, unlike some others, mine popped out the box with no trouble at all, a brilliant piece of miniature engineering, and a credit to Horny.
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