I had an early Hornby (ex Triang) 9F (Evening Star) that I got from a train fair for possibly £25 back in the 90's in Temple Meads, It was my favourite steam loco, but unfortunately the wheelbase didn't like one of my curves on my layout at the time and it had "Silver Seal" wheels and was also tender drive. So I sold it some years later. Anyway I got back in to the hobby recently and picked up a Railroad model (possibly 10 years old) off ebay for £50, in fantastic condition, but the drawbar bolt snapped in transit, anyway fixed it. and for £50 I'm chuffed, the railroad model is as good (if not better) than the Bachmann stuff from late 90's 00's. Hornby really have sorted it out. Price was very low IMO and I think I got a bargain. However I did recently pick up a Cock-O-The-North P2 Railroad model off Amazon brand new for £83, I thought this was a bargain too hence why purchased, something about lots of driving wheels and deflectors, anyway. Pricing is a hot topic, I'm affraid I now ignore the railways range, simply too pricey, Railroad (don't like the name much) but I like what it delivers, so always interested in what they bring to the table. I'd like to second that the current 9f chassis is a vast improvement over the old and my 9f happily negotitates 1st radius curves, granted it slows a little but doesn't de-rail. Hornby really do set the standard at the moment for chassis and drive systems, just a shame prices can be high. Unfortunatley it's railroad or 2nd hand for me.Currently being splashed in the 'Engine Shed', EP of the new 9F tooling.
But oh dear, I can see a readily discernable dimensional error in the photographs, and I expect this represents what is to be produced, as what are definitely new components which necessarily match the incorrect dimensions are shown.
The driven axle centres should all be spaced at the same dimension; the model doesn't replicate this. (Hornby have probably perpetuated the incorrect driven wheel base from their previous model.) For me this is a 'once seen, cannot be ignored' defect.