Hornby Masterclass Peckett W4 R3427

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

Perhaps the phrase of the latter half of this year regarding a few ready to run locomotive releases has been ‘gamechanger’. Go back a couple of years or so and there’s no way you’d have thought that sobriquet could be applied to any product from Dapol, but their 7mm scale 350HP Class 08 has certainly got people talking, and importantly, buying! The announcement last year by Hornby of the intention to produce a Peckett industrial tank also generated significant interest.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

A few years back their Industrial Sentinel Diesel was very well received, even allowing for it sitting in the Railroad range and at the bargain end of the basement. Just occasionally we do get the release into the wild of something that has the potential to make people think differently about modelling and layout building, and Hornby has turned up this week and ‘knocked it out of the park’, ‘nailed it’, ‘got the money shot’ etc., etc. with their Pecketts. Well, a festively coloured Manchester Peckett turned up at the Yard, so it only seemed right to have a look at it, run it for five minutes, and then take it apart. It’s a bloke thing if there are any girls reading!

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

The Peckett W4 locomotives were built between 1885 and 1906 at Atlas Engine Works in Bristol. The ‘W’ series of engines were constructed between 1884 to 1938 with 140 examples of the W4 included in the production sequence. The livery of this model is that carried by the Manchester Ship Canal Company locomotives and is numbered ’11’, the engine being works No654 of 1897. Checking the model against a published photo of the prototype shows a couple of discrepancies, however these engines throughout the course of their career would have been subject to detail changes. The discrepancies are nothing significant, the toolbox in front of the cab is lower and longer on the model and there is an extra lamp iron on the cab rear. hornby-w4-liveries-are-here/

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

The model is surprisingly small underlining the diminutive nature of the prototype, note the 50p piece! At first glance the model captures the look of these charming engines and has a finesse to it rarely seen on a mass produced model. Things like the rear cab sheet, the cut away within the sheet for the brake standard is included, glazing is commendably thin without the Mr Magoo specs look that other manufacturers seem to achieve. Inside the cab there is fine backhead detail neatly painted and fixed. External fittings are of a similar quality, the injectors, whistle and separate smokebox dart do credit to the design team in providing the sort of fittings that really need no changes at all, what a difference to some other contemporary steam prototype releases.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

The paint finish quality is pretty much Hornby at its best, the opacity doesn’t appear compromised anywhere, legibility of printing is excellent. The finish particularly on the metal assemblies is smooth and consistent, color changes and lining are crisp with no bleed through and no evidence of casting pitting in the paint. As outlined in the link above, Hornby were unable to determine the exact color scheme for this model, but have used the MSC ‘house’ scheme for the Manchester Ship Canal locomotives.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

There is only one visible mould line which runs along the top sides of the saddle tank casting. It’s only noticeable under strongest light and I doubt if it will show even when the model is weathered. The body castings are predominantly metal as is the chassis giving a very useable 131 grams for such a small locomotive, in contrast the DJM J94 is only slightly heavier at 153grams. There are no traction aids such as traction tyres fitted and the locomotive sits square on a pane of glass, so on good track pretty much all that weight can be used to advantage. On a brief test on level track the Peckett handled 14 Bachmann 10ft wheelbase oil tanks with no hesitation in either direction.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

The body and chassis split easily and the instruction leaflet gives clear pictorial advice on removing body and chassis. There is very restricted space within the saddletank, so fitting a sound chip discretely will be challenge. Disassembly was easy with good quality hardware and no over torque of any of the fixing screws. With no lighting there are no wires connecting body to chassis. Once separated take care with the sand pipes under the running plate and the cab top whistle, both items easily damaged if not careful. Buffers are rigid rather than sprung and the castings and shape of them replicate the type used on this engine well. Handrails and their fixings are well captured, the cab side and rear cab rails perhaps being a bit heavy but not noticeably so. The Saddle tank handrail knobs are placed at the correct radial position, something which Hornby have let slip in the recent past with the J15 for example.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

As mentioned due to the lack of space Hornby recommend their x9659 4-pin-decoder, this is the type recommended for use in the Sentinel too. The motor is a sealed unit driving to rear axle through a vertical gearbox and gear train. The front of the motor had a small brass flywheel configuration in the design however this seems to have been dropped to allow space for the wiring loom, at the rear is a conventional worm on top of the gear train tower. The resulting action is smooth, quiet and showed no hesitation or cogging throughout its speed range.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

Chassis is cast metal block adding to adhesive weight, axles are 2mm diameter running in circular grooved bearings which locate into the chassis casting. Electrical pick up is from blackened wiper pickups pushing outwards on the rear of the driving wheel tread. The pickups are integral to the base plate, power being transferred by two sprung plunger pickups in the chassis which locate into holes on the base plate. Clever, neat efficient design with no wiring! Brake shoes are included on the base plate, aligned with the OO gauge wheelsets. The characteristic flat face profile of the wheels is well captured including, correct number of spokes and shaped, placed balance weights. The only chassis omissions of note are no brake pull rods or assemblies included and no guard irons on the base plate. With the small diameter of the wheels and potentially uneven ‘train set’ track it possibly made more sense to omit guard irons. Still, gives us something to make doesn’t it?

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

Coupling and connecting rods have very little play in them and look to be held laterally by grooved crankpins. There is lateral play in the axles and at the largest gap there is about 60 thou clearance between the leading crankpin and back of the cross head, reducing to about 10 thou on my example. Running qualities are excellent, the locomotive running slowly on both feedback and non feedback DC Gaugemaster controllers. The locomotive was tested on Peco Code 75 track through medium, long, large ‘Y’ and curved points. They are a mix of wired/switched electrofrog and non wired blade electrical contact only. Plain track used included C&L chaired flexitrack and Peco Code 70 flexitrack. No problems occurred with any of the point and crossing work, or plain track. With the small diameter of the wheels if any running problems develop my first action will be to check the pick up adjustment, they are very flexible thin gauge material. I have a good feeling that this model will convert relatively easily to EM/P4, and wonder if either society might take a lead from the 2 Millimetre scene and supply a ‘Society’ conversion kit to get people easily started in the respective gauges. It is the type of engine that will work so well on a simple test piece layout.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

Couplings fit in standard NEM sockets and self centre without any problems or mechanical assistance. As I use three link couplings I’ve removed them after the photography. A thought occurred however when looking at the mounting for the rear NEM socket. Because there doesn’t appear to be a discrete option for a speaker for DCC users in the bodywork I do wonder if there may be the possibility of fitting a Sugar Cube speaker under the cab between the mainframes with the removal of the NEM socket.

Hornby W4 Peckett R3427 R3428 R3429

Hornby W4 Peckett
R3427 R3428 R3429

So what’s the Masterclass then? Well we know that over the years Hornby has sometimes dropped the ball, for me about five years back there had been a period of about ten years or so where I rarely bought any Hornby Product. Not so much because the product was poor, I’ve always felt that their stuff was alright, but they weren’t making stuff I was interested in, or for that matter a good number of my modelling colleagues. As in the introduction when Hornby announced these Pecketts a good many raised their eyebrows and wondered what compromises we might see, and how or indeed if Hornby would capture the character of these small pretty, delicate looking and conversely powerful industrial locomotives. Well having done just that with this model, for me Hornby are demonstrating just how good they can be. When they are on this form they can do the Masterclass ‘This is how to make a model railway locomotive’, some of their recent Airfix kit releases show a similar ‘chutzpah’ within the Hornby Brands.

You may also have noted that its December, so it won’t be long before we’re into the guff of Ready to Run model of the year voting, yaddah yaddah yaddah..

In October if you’d asked me I’d have said Model Rail/Bachmann USA Dock Tank.
In November I’d have said Dapol’s O gauge Class 08.
In December I find myself thinking Hornby’s Peckett.

That’s not a bad end of term report in my book.

Hornby
R3428-43-126 hornby.com
LOT01-PO10001188
SERVICE SHEET hornby.comdownload/item/515

_B6O4719.CR2

Advertisements
This entry was posted in 2016, Bachmann, blog, blogger, Branch Line, British Rail, dapol, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, EM, finescale, flying scotsman, Great Western, HO, hobbies, Hornby, Industrial, Inspiration, Kalmbach, Layout, life, LMS, LNER, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Peckett, R3427, R3428, R3429, Rapido Trains, research, review, Scottish Region, Southern, Southern Electrics, Southern Region, toy fair, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized, Western Region and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Hornby Masterclass Peckett W4 R3427

  1. otcm says:

    Have you noticed how easily removeable the buffer beams and the rear of the cab is? Also the valanced smokebox is very easily changed. Looks like Hornby have some variations planned, great model! Oly

    • bawdsey says:

      I’d not noticed either! The cab was on the list as crewing it will just finish it nicely. Mines already ‘in paint’. Great to meet you two at Manch and seasons compliments to you and yours.

      • otcm says:

        I have already begun slicing into mine! It reminded me of the conversation we had at Manchester about WAGs not getting weathering or detailing brand new models, I thought mine had until she saw me yanking off the Peckett’s chimney, she looked at me like I was beating a puppy! I am really looking forward to the next release of Pecketts from Hornby. We should know soon I think.

      • bawdsey says:

        I’ve now weathered mine subtly, the ’11’ comes off easily with Humbrol enamel thinners, and then a quick polish with T-Cut and it’s plain lined green, sorted!

    • Adrian Swain says:

      I am sure you are right, I have measured and photographed numerous W series Pecketts although i did discover that their dimensions increase with each mark. I never managed to find info on two pre 1900 W4 S.H.T. locos that were GWR owned for a while. Open cab backs are an obvious variant like “Bear” at Sittingbourne..

  2. Adrian Swain says:

    If only some of the Newbies were producing equally well researched, designed and tooled locos and stock, all would be right with the world or at least with the world of model railways. Unfortunately it seems many of their products seem to be aimed at winning the wooden spoon rather than MOTY..

    • bawdsey says:

      Aww, that’s a bit harsh Adrian, I don’t think any of them set out to produce a poor model, but a couple seem to achieve it easier than others!

  3. Chris Mears says:

    The more I read about this model the more often I find myself looking around for one to buy. My gosh it sure looks sharp.

  4. talltim10 says:

    I wish I hadn’t stumbled upon this blog entry. I was vaguely aware of the models existence, but now I really want one…

  5. I also found one of these in my hands last week. One found its way to Clyde Ironworks in Lanarkshire, providing a convenient excuse! 😉 I had a good look over the chassis and to be honest I thought clearances might be a bit tight in the crosshead department for EM conversion. Your photo suggests otherwise though and if you think it’s a ‘goer’, Paul, I’m prepared to trust you. Be a shame to lose that rather nice chassis, eh?

    Dave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s