It has been my intention for a while to offer some insights in to some of the models and stock I run on my layouts: why I’ve chosen them, what I think of them and would I recommend them to a friend. To accommodate this, welcome to the new Review section of the CAS site! Recently inspired by similar bloggers and vloggers, (noteably IC82 and LocoYard – both worth subscribing to by the way) overtime I hope to offer focus on new models I purchase as well as taking a retrospective look at some of the older parts of my collection.
I’m going to start with my most recent purchase: The Hornby DB Schenker Class 67 (R3039). My plan is to give you an overview of the model and different versions are available for purchase and then give the loco a score out of 10 for Packaging, Features, Details & Finish, Running and Price before totting these up to give you an average mark.
These modern image Diesel-Electrics were built by Alstom in Spain in 1999/2000 to replace EWS Class 47’s. Initially the Class 67’s were employed on Royal Mail services until this practice ceased in 2005. Since then, the 67’s have had a mixed life: A few found their way into passenger services with Wrexham & Shropshire and more recently Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains Wales; Two units now head up the Royal Train; whilst the rest are still used for freight duty by DB Schenker (the successor to EWS).
This example, ‘Keith Heller,’ was named after DB Shcenker’s cheif exec and features a sizeable Maple Leaf emblem to pay tribute to his Canadian roots.
Surprisingly I possess very few modern image (post 2000) stock and thought this would look the part hauling some intermodel container freight, departmental autoballasters or even a rake of MrkIII’s.
Oddly, Hornby make two versions of the Class 67 with different specs. There’s a Railroad version, although not specifically branded as such. You’ll find it without working lights, less detailing and wider couplers. This version seems to have been included where the Class 67 makes up a train pack: The EWS managers train for example.
I’ve opted for the high end version in DB Schenker Red. You can also pick this model up in Wrexham & Shropshire two tone grey (where you’ll also find Mrk III coaches and a DVT – also with lights – sold separately to complete the set), as well as in a rather smart plain blue Arriva Trains livery.
Packaging features the Hornby printed sleeve approach which accompanies it’s higher end models. I quite like this actually, it makes the box look really smart and feature presentation-esque, but it can be annoying in the shop if you want to give the model a good looking over. You do however get some background info on the rear and a real world picture (how very Bachmann!). Inside they’ve opted for the ice block style which I much prefer to the faff of their usual openable ends.
The model is excellently equipped and you’ll find:
- NEM pockets so you can change out the slim line tension locks provided should you so desire
- Sprung metallic buffers
- Directional lighting: 1 high intensity white light and 2 marker lights at the front, 2 red tail lamps at the rear. There’s also a switch on the bottom of the model enabling you to toggle between day and night lighting modes.
- DCC Ready (but not fitted).
- Bag of detailing accessories: Various vacuum pipes, interconnect cables and faux couplers, some of which I’ve fitted bellow. It also comes with an additional piece of plastic to give the model a more prototypical look at the front. This valance will obscure the NEM coupling pocket so I’ve only fitted it to the front of the loco.
Really all the features you’d expect from a high end ‘Super Detail’ Diesel model. I’ve not seen multiple lighting modes for a DC model before so this really is a nice touch. Only slight niggle is I wish the Valance made room for the NEM pocket, like the Dapol Class 52, rather than obscure it.
Detail and Finish:
Once you’ve fitted a couple of the extra vacuum pipes to accompany the grills, lamp hook, warning notices and raised wipers, the 67 really looks the part.
More of the same on the side of the model with recessed hand rails and cab step, see through engine bay grills (in fact you look through to the actual electric motor) all finished off in the striking red DB livery with fine grey boarder. I also love the recreation of the corrugated effect side panels.
There’s good underframe detailing, not too much colour here but you are treated to a couple of warning notices and some tanks true enough to real life.
There is some moulded compartmentary on the roof, but you do get a separately moulded exhaust system and more engine bay grills.
I have heard a few horror stories of badly applied paint jobs and botched scratches on factory fresh models, but this one is flawless.
Boy is this model heavy! The motor sits in the middle giving good weight distribution over the boggies. In fact it feels like Hornby has added even more weight to the ends of the model. Heavy models are desired for good traction but I was ever so slightly worried this was going to be too much. Despite this unit being an absolute beast though, its exceptionally quiet and with all axle power it’s a very smooth runner too.
It’s capable of really smooth slow speed running on DC without the lights flickering/not working even on gradients.
The 67 makes mince meat of a rake of weighted intermodel-containers, and only really struggles if you’re going very slowly uphill with cars in tow. Despite it’s weight it also doesn’t run away on downhill stretches either.
As there are two versions, you’ll find prices will vary wildly. The high end version with lights such as this one, which fits into Hornby’s ‘Super Detailed’ range, cost me £117 from John Dutfield in Chelmsford. This seems to be about the going rate for a Class 67, although I have seen them fetch £135 so definitely shop around. I have also seen the Wrexham & Shropshire variant for a little less on eBay.
Not the cheapest loco in the world by any means, but this really is an example of ‘pay for what you get’ and you get great detail and a fantastic runner.
I can find Hornby to be a bit hit and miss at times but this is definitely a hit. Superbly detailed well equipped and excellent on the track, I’m pleased to say the Class 67 makes a fine addition to my collection. OK, so you definitely could get a bit more for your money elsewhere, and I’ll soon take a look at the Heljan Class 17 which oozes value, but if you’re into modern image stock I’d definitely recommend you take the plunge.
Overall Score: 8.3/10
Thanks for reading, I hope to bring more reviews soon!
– Andy Carter