First look: new liveries for Hornby rolling stock

03 February 2023
Two newly-liveried model arrivals from Hornby demand closer attention – here's why...

Hornby is fortunate to be blessed with such a rich back catalogue of tooling. And though, every year, we get excited about which models are to arrive on the scene from new tooling, alongside these sit new models from existing tooling, which often sport new liveries or minor alterations.

Two such examples from Hornby's tooling archive arrived for review this week, prompting me to explain why I selected them for review in the first place. Allow me to explain...

(R60078) Loadhaul 'shark' ballast plough DB993826

If there's one livery of the brief post-Trainload Freight to pre-privatisation era that's unmissable – even with bad eyesight – it's Loadhaul. With orange banded sides across an all-over black-painted body, its visibility was prominent, putting it mildly. Oddly, the livery has aged well, if judged by today's more colourful liveries on the network, and wouldn't look out of place.

Hornby's tooling for the prototype hasn't aged either. Released in the 2000s, the model looks every bit as spectacular as it did back then. Detail atop, underneath, around the sides and inside abounds, and it really does demand closer scrutiny.

ZUA shark

"Ahoy captain!" – the large wheel for dropping the ballast ploughs over the railhead is clearly in view, and so is the thread, adjacent!

Hornby ZUA shark

By this time in the mid-1990s, much of the lettering was being applied by stencil, as evidenced by the 'Brake Force' lettering. Separately-fitted handrails are plentiful, while an eye in the coupling hook is provided for the more discerning modeller or collector.

ZUA Hornby

A view you'll never see – assuming all is going well on your layout, that is. NEM coupling sockets are provided, while brake detail is on show.

Hornby ZUA shark

Going the 'extra mile', inside the pack you'll find air, and vacuum pipes...

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Hornby ZUA shark, a pair of 'cosmetic' ploughs for replacing those fitted to the model with coupling cut-outs. 

With some of the 'Shark' ballast ploughs seeing use until as late as the early 2010s, this Loadhaul-liveried model is worthy of a closer look for layout variety.

(R60107) LMS 'Conflat' and container No. 4853

Stepping back in time now, for both era and the tooling on which this new livery sits, we find Hornby's 13T LMS conflat, equipped with a removable container. When first released, the tampo-printing technology as used today wasn't as precise. The liveries were perhaps a little more rationalised, too, so, arguably, this is one of the most detailed liveries applied to date on this model.

Hornby LMS Container wagon

Couplings aren't fitted in NEM pockets, but a little cunning modification by the confident modeller could see these substituted with relative ease.

Hornby LMS conflat wagon

With container removed, there's a diorama in the making – opportunities for a foreman, crane and operators, perhaps?

Hornby LMS conflat wagon

The thickness of brake levers is obvious when the model is flipped, but far less so as evidenced in the previous photograph.

Priced at £21.99, the wagon remains accessible for smaller budgets, providing great interest, particularly if placed near a warehouse or unloading point.


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