22 December 2022
Tapping once more into its long heritage, Hornby's latest train set is also its best yet, says Howard Smith.
Only last month, I was praising Hornby for the release of its Lord of the Isles train set in its beautiful retro-inspired box. In quick succession, I find myself with another, this time, even better!
When Hornby created a small range of its steam-outline ‘locomotive greats’ with die-cast bodies, my interest piqued. Now, we find one of these examples boxed as part of a ‘train set’.
What we like:
The thought that went into creating the marvellous retro packaging inspired by the maker's first release of this set in 1953 – to a very different set of standards – almost dwindles as the locomotive is removed, it being the centrepiece of the package and to the cutting-edge standards of the present day.
A BR Coronation Class 4-6-2 46232 Duchess of Montrose is complemented by a BR ex-LMS Stanier composite, and Stanier brake third, while Hornby provides a third radius starter oval of track, a power connecting track and re-railer.
Best of all, just like the original, the set also includes a ‘Royal Scot’ headboard, while the coaches have separate destination boards – quality metal items no less, no expense spared!
The impressive haulage capabilities of this locomotive – as previously revealed in BRM – demand that more coaches are placed ‘in tow’ to benefit from the scale-length train spectacle that would ensue. What a sight that would be!
Here’s a set whose detail and quality is arguably undersold by its packaging. By that, I mean that the contents inside the box are to a much higher quality than those depicted on the outside, but it’s all related to nostalgia. If you dreamt of owning the set when first released, gazing through the window of a retailer, but missed out, the manufacturer has offered a second chance.
Much has changed since 1953, but the excitement of owning such a set remains. This set is an investment, but one that’ll bring a smile and great joy – for generations to come.
What we noticed:
Despite there being no official definition, to me, a train set is best described as containing track, a locomotive and, if you’re lucky, rolling stock, but most importantly, a controller. Its newly-released ‘The Royal Scot’ contains all the above, but omits a controller. Perhaps more economical than certifying plugs for different countries? Either way, this boxed set – more akin to a ‘train pack’ in my view – hits the perfect spot for the collector and enthusiast.