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New Hornby Class 56 breaks cover

7629 Views 31 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Brian Considine

Just a couple of days too late for Warley, what were they thinking!

Just appeared on the Hattons website in the past few minutes, the BR Blue Class 56 R2645.

See the Hornby website for more info:

A little over the odds at £80 perhaps (Hattons' price) , but I've just ordered one in excitement. Just past the 2pm cut off for guaranteed next day delivery, but fingers crossed!

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I received my R2645 BR Blue 56 from Hattons yesterday morning, it was late last night before I got a chance to test run it.

I'm delighted to report that it runs very nicely, though with quite a sqeak in one direction (this problem was identified in one of the magazine revies, and apparently goes away after a little extra lubrication, I will do this later today when I attempt to fit a DCC chip. My lights also work fine front and rear.

One small criticism is that a return to tissue paper for the packaging seems to have lead to slight rubbing of the paint on the dome of each cab, making it slightly shiny in places. I had the same issue with my Royal Scot and Patriot locomotives a couple of months back. It seems a retrograde step to me, as many recent relases have been wrapped in plastic/silicone film which solved the problem, why go backwards?

Another way of reducing the likelihood of paint rubbing is to use a slightly more glossy finish, like bachmann do for example, as again, this is less prone to rubbing.

Overall though, I think I'm holding what is probably the finest 00 Scale diesel model to date. Though of course, as ever, this is open to debate.........

I intend to take some photoies of it in action on our Underground Ernie test track this morning, and if I am feeling brave, I'll do a step by step guide to my DCC chip fitting.
Oh, both roof fans rotate btw.

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I gave some limited first impressions in post 19 of this thread, since then due to a family crisis I've not had the chance to chip it, but it has just done a few more laps in analogue mode.

The sqeaking has got much worse and before I run it much further I need to find my oil, which has been misplaced after a move. Reading threads on other forums this squeking is a common problem, which suggests that they have either forgotten to lubricate the entire batch, or are using a new lubricant that quite frankly hasn't travelled well.

The Model Rail review in the January issue also had the squeaking problem with both locos that they tested. Some have had problems with the headlights, but mine was not affected.

I am trying not to let the squeaking colour my overall opinion of the loco, though clearly out of the box it does not match the near-silent smooth running qualities of the 50, 31, and 60. Many less experienced owners are also going to have problems successfully re-lubricating the model, so it probably is going to be an issue for Hornby.

Physically as a model it does look superb, it possibly is the finest OO diesel yet. Twin working roof fans, opening doors, nice directional lighting. On the downside, all the handrails are plastic like the Class 60, and the lighting is a slight retrograde from the 50 for example, in that the forward marker lights and th centrail 'laser' headlight appear to come from the same bright white LED. Personally I think that the lighting is more effective when the marker lights are yellow LEDs and the 'laser' headlight is a bright white LED, like on the Hornby 50 and most Bachmann 37s.

How does it compare to the Bachmann 66. Well this week I also received a new Bachmann 66/9 in Stobart livery. This has several fine tweaks from earlier versions, not least yellow LED cab lights, which in DCC mode can be operated separately from the main directional lighting. These are very effective, but you cannot operate each individual cab light, they are either both on or both off. The finish of the loco is superb, as is the running quality straight out of the box. The Stobart livery is exciting too, in my opinion. Not quite as much fine detail as the 56, but then they are models of two different prototypes. The main problem with Bachmann 66s, in my opinion, is that only 2 of the three headlight/marker lights are lit. On this version only the centre top and bottom left on the no.1 end. No longer switchable between night and day, instead a switch underneath enables or disables the tail lights. The Hornby 60 forward lighting is better, with the dimmer 3rd headlamp lit.

Hope this helps, I will post pictures when the family situation improves.

Best Regards
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