A rather unplanned and surprise locomotive model review this week! This is a review of Hornby’s 00 scale version of Gresley’s successful N2 class – a popular model train subject since Hornby Dublo days.
The current model is a tweaked version of the model produced by Mainline and then Dapol. The most recent release of this model has been the first DCC Ready version to-date. It is part of a hideously over-priced “London 1948” train pack. Many shops are now splitting the set and it can be purchased very cheaply, so today we ask whether it is worth snapping up!
Class: GNR/LNER Gresley N2 class
Use: Suburban Passenger
Region: North Eastern
Era: 1920 – 1962
GNR 1744 – Great Central Railway
Manufacturer: Hornby (ex-Dapol)
Motor: 5 pole loco-drive
DCC options: Latest versions DCC Ready- click here for DCC fitting guide
This ex-Dapol/Mainline model is a mixed bag. It has sprung buffers, nice handrails and some reasonable moulded detail, although the chimney is crude. The cab (above) has no interior with the mechanism visible and the running plate is flat and devoid of lamp irons.
The shape is reasonable and the character of the prototype has been captured well. The lack of details as mentioned above detracts from the look of the model, with the lack of a cab interior being a major gripe. Frustratingly, Hornby did not consider shifting the mechanism out of sight when they overhauled the chassis. There’s plenty of space in the body to accommodate a hidden mechanism – Tut tut Hornby!
The reviewed model is nicely finished in simple unlined black, if slightly shiny and devoid of a works plate. The top of the smokebox and boiler has a nasty moulding seam (see above). The model is of a Scottish-based locomotive, so it is an interesting and poor choice to be selected as part of a London train pack! Previous BR lined versions have been nicely finished, as has been a GNR version (see below). Preserved GNR 1744 is planned to be produced in 2013.
A modern, smooth and fairly quiet mechanism. Pick-up’s are ok, if a little more sensitive than it could have been. Overall, it is a very nice runner though.
It can handle 4-5 bogey carriages around tight second radius curves with minimal slippage. This surprised me somewhat, as the press have marked it down considerably in this area. It is true that it is not an amazing hauler and not relatively as strong as the prototype, which was classified by BR as 3P2F. It has none-the-less proven to be a useful model here at Locoyard.
It has a few good things going for it, such as sprung buffers, handrails, and a decent DCC Ready mechanism that’s easy to add a decoder to (click here for more). It has no NEM couplings, does not have the best detailing and the motor is visible in the cab which makes the model look dated.
Unquestionably the RRP for the London 1948 train pack and the yet-to-be released GNR 1744 is far too high. In reality, this model should be sitting in the Railroad range with a proportional price tag. Fortunately, the public seems quite aware of this and have not bought many of the train packs! *The N2 at £30-£40 represents very good value for money
Overall Locoyardometer Score: 3.1 or 3.5* at £30-£40
This not a fantastic model – the real big gripe being that the motor being is visible in the cab. Hornby should have pitched the N2 as a Railroad model, but instead priced on par with Bachmann’s fantastic BR Standard 3MT, which blows the Hornby N2 out of the water in every department. But as of January 2013; retailers are heavily discounting the Scottish locomotive and splitting it from the 1948 London train pack. This model is worth £30-£40 new and at that price it is just a 4 star model that’s worth considering. Otherwise, it is a 3 star model.
Detailometer 2.5, Outlineometer 3, Finishometer 4, Motorometer 4.5, Powerometer 3, Specometer 2.5, Valueometer 2, Locoyardometer 3.1