Certain prototypes capture the hearts and minds of many enthusiasts and the BR standard 9F is certainly one of them. The 9F was a unique standard class that unlike it’s cousins, gave British steam a locomotive type that was new. And it’s also regarded as one of the best performing types too, as discussed in yesterdays blog post (click here).
It is not often that two largest 00 scale model manufacturers produce a model of the same prototype, for the simple reason that they clearly prefer to not unnecessarily dilute their sales (and frustrate their customers who would like to see a never-before modelled type). The 9F has long been in the Hornby range and although a good model for its time it was due an upgrade to DCC ready loco-drive. At the same time Bachmann recognised a gap in the market of a modern ready to run 9F and started work on a super-detail version. Anticipating that their aging body tooling would be outclassed by Bachmann’s new tooling and not wanting to waste the re-engineered chassis, Hornby decided to create a cheap budget version for their “Railroad” range.
The interesting thing about Hornby’s Railroad 9F is that it is surprisingly good and incredibly cheap for a model of this massive prototype. In fact I’d even go as far as saying that it (and the GWR 4-6-0 County class) are the best Hornby Railroad models. Tomorrow we will complete a light review of the Hornby 9F – a full review is not possible given that so much work has gone into improving Locoyard’s version! On Friday we will look at Bachmann’s 9F and ask whether it is worth it’s price tag. This will be an interesting contest, so watch this space!