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Hornby R2614 GWR 4-2-2 Dean 3031 Archilles Class

Lorna Doone

By Gary Leigh

Train Wheel Plant Rolling stock Locomotive

When I heard that Hornby were going to produce a Dean
single with a new name for the first time in 40 years then this was one
model that had to be added to the shopping list for 2007. The model has
now appeared and even though an older model in the Hornby armoury it has
to be said that it has been given a fresh new look as a result of using
the latest paint technology to produce what has to be the best example
ever of this vintage GWR loco.
The package comes complete with limited edition
certificate and the loco is DCC ready and should have the room to squeeze
in a small Hornby decoder. I was a little surprised not to find a driver
and fireman in the box. In fact there are no detailing parts at all in the
box and this does make for a refreshing change as many models these days
have detailing packs that contain more parts than the average Airfix kit!
The pictures that accompany this review can do most of
the talking as far as how the model looks however it has to be said that
the fine paintwork in the cab is exceptional and this is one model where
you can really appreciate this as the loco is running around the layout.
So how does the loco run on the track? (continued lower down)
Train Wheel Rolling stock Tree Sky
Train Vehicle Rolling stock Plant Track
Train Vehicle Rolling stock Track Motor vehicle
Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Track
The loco being light in weight and having just one
drive wheel is clearly at a disadvantage compared to bigger heavier locos
with multiple drive wheels. Two Clerestory coaches were hooked up and on
the flat there was little difficulty. A further coach was added and again
the loco rolled along smoothly. Four coaches though and the loco was on
the limit with the big drivewheel spinning along in an effort to propel
the train forward. In times past track was steel and Lord of The Isles had
magnadhesion which helped to provided plenty of grip. And the short
Clerestory coaches were about half the weight of the latest and longer
examples. In terms of overall performance it was all very smooth and slow
running, even with that big wheel, was very acceptable. This is helped by
having additional pick ups in the front bogie. The big wheel also provided
exceptional speed and if required and clearly The City of Truro would have
had stiff competition had the prototype performed anything like this!
What I really did like though was the show stopping
effect the loco had on everybody who walked past the test layout at Warley
MRC where trials took place. There were a couple of the latest modern
locomotives running and nobody batted an eye however once Lorna Doone
appeared club members were tempted to walk over and see what the fuss was
about. Lots of talk of proper trains and something different from todays
super detailed models. (continued lower down)
Train Land vehicle Plant Vehicle Rolling stock
Train Plant Vehicle Building Track
Train Plant Rolling stock Tree Vehicle
Train Vehicle Rolling stock Plant Motor vehicle
Train Wheel Vehicle Track Rolling stock
Train Plant Vehicle Rolling stock Nature
Train Plant Vehicle Rolling stock Motor vehicle
If you don't like big gaps between the loco and tender,
or moulded handrails, then this loco is not for you. For those who enjoy
operating models that are a little different in character to the
mainstream offerings, and with entirely different running characteristics
that can be a little challenging, then this is definitely one of those
locos that you should add to your collection. If it is too late to pick
one up by the time you read this review then Hornby will probably release
another example at some point and when they do put your name down on the
waiting list!
I would like to express my thanks to Warley MRC for the
use of their test layout for this review.

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