This review is of a keenly priced model for the younger enthusiast. It is aimed at the budget end of the market, whilst the discerning modeler has the option spending more and going for the better, but more expensive Bachmann version (click here for the review of the Bachmann Jinty). The Hornby Jinty 3F can frequently be found in starter train sets, which is not a bad thing. A review of 12 train sets currently on the market can be found here. Also, do not forget to check out the many over model steam locomotive reviews that can be found here.
Class: Fowler 3F Jinty Tank
Era: 1924 – 1967
47279 – Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
47298 – Llangollen Railway
47324 – East Lancashire Railway
47327 – Midland Railway – Butterley
47357 – Midland Railway – Butterley
47383 – Severn Valley Railway
47406 – Great Central Railway
47445 – Midland Railway – Butterley
47493 – Spa Valley Railway
47564 – Midland Railway – Butterley
Motor: Type 7 motor
DCC options: None or DCC fitted – click here for DCC fitting guide for DC versions.
Detailing on this old model is basic compared to many more recent models, but not bad. The body is reasonable – it has a cab, glazed windows, handrails, even an airpump (below) and some moulded details; which for the exception of the cosmetic coupling hook (which is very poor) are reasonable. The buffers look OK but are not sprung. The rivets around the smokebox are a nice touch. The chassis is very poor however.
As with the details, the model is mainly let down by it’s chassis, which is quite different to the prototype. The body has one glaring problem – the lack of daylight or any attempt to model under the boiler. It’s not all bad though, with the shape of the cab, firebox, boiler, smokebox and water tanks all being reasonable.
The finish varies – the latest blue S&DJR liveried versions are especially nice. The LMS livery version reviewed is ok, if a little plasticky and a blank worksman plate. That said; other maroon versions have been worse – the version 16440 looks very poor. The finish is simplified in most cases. BR black versions are reasonable. As with most models (including super-detailed versions), the seam across the top of the boiler is obvious; unfortunately this is also present across the chimney.
The type 7 motor has been around for ages, as has the chassis, which is also used for the 2721 class pannier tank, J13/J52, J83, Thomas the Tank Engine/E2 and Railroad class 08 diesel shunter. My experiences of this chassis in the past have been mixed, but it has to be said that Hornby have done a good job in improving it over the years. That said, do test your model if you can, as the quality is still a little variable. It isn’t the most smooth or quiet chassis, nor is it the most rough or noisy. Pick-ups are good too – so not bad all round for a cheap chassis.
The prototype was always praised for it’s useful power – a reputation that Hornby’s model does not quite replicate. It just about copes with four bogey carriages on tight 2nd radius corners – which is probably more than enough power for most of us. Non-DCC versions have space in the smokebox area where a weight can be added, which helps a lot.
Massive tension lock coupling ‘s set the low-spec tone. Unlike Bachmann 0-6-0 Junior Models; basic versions are not DCC ready, although DCC fitted versions are around for little more money. If you are happy to use a soldering iron, DCC Conversion is not too tough (click here for guide). It does have a cab (unlike Bachmann equivalents), glazed windows and handrails.
Ex-set versions can be bought new for around £20 (DC versions) and DCC fitted for a little more. It is very good value and along with the 2721 class pannier tank and J13/J52 is one of the better budget models around – I’d pick the Jinty over the J83 or class 08 any day! The better Bachmann version is a lot more expensive.
Overall Locoyardometer Score: 3.3
Cheap and cheerful, the Hornby Jinty is a very good model for beginner and those who would like something that’s not too fragile that will last. The generic chassis is it’s main failing in terms of looks, but otherwise it is ok and better than many other budget models. It is more grown-up than Bachmann’s Junior models, but is not DCC ready. Look out for it in your local model shops first – they will split them from sets and sell them for a better price than you’ll find online. This model was brand new and cost just £17! If you want a better model, expect to pay 2-3 times the price for the Bachmann version.
Detailometer 3, Outlineometer 2.5, Finishometer 3.5, Motorometer 3.5, Powerometer 3, Specometer 2.5, Valueometer 5, Locoyardometer 3.3