Hornby Kitchen/ Dining First
◆ SCALE ‘OO’ ◆ MODEL Hornby R4816 Kitchen dining first class coach 7869, Southern Railway olive; R4817 Kitchen/dining First Class coach S7861S, SR Malachite green ◆ PRICE £47.99 ◆ AVAILABILITY Hornby stockists or www.hornby.com
It is notable that, when Hornby introduces a fresh range of coaching stock, restaurant and sleeping cars tend to come after the launch of the ordinary vehicles. The fabulous and extensive range of Maunsell coaches comprised only ‘seating’ vehicles – until now. Say hello to the Maunsell First Class Kitchen diner. Mike King’s shows 34 Maunsell Dining Firsts in traffic by 1934, usually (though not always) running with a Dining Saloon Third and primarily on the Western Section as the Pullman company had the catering contract for the Eastern and Central sections. Unlike most Southern coaches, the restaurant cars were not permanently allocated to a particular set. Hornby’s model follows the An Illustrated History of Southern Coaches company’s well established practice and matches the existing Maunsell stock in all major respects. If I can highlight a few details, the roof and underframe are particularly pleasing. The roof has separately fitted torpedo vents over the saloon and the full complement of vents and water tank over the kitchen. The destination board brackets are well defined and the pack containing the alternative close couplings includes four plain body-coloured plastic strips which I assumed are unlettered destination boards. You’ll need to find some appropriately coloured lettering decals to complete them. The coach sides carry panel and beading detail which is a little more prominent than it is in pictures of the real thing but the distinctive square-cornered windows and recessed doors look spot-on. Hornby has also done a convincing job with the obscured glazing of the kitchen windows. Internally, the high-backed 2+1 seats and white-topped tables are modelled, and the tables carry Pullman-style brass table lamps though, unlike Hornby’s Pullman cars, those in this model are not illuminated. Some modellers have criticised the prominence of the printed curtains. I can’t say that this bothered me. The curtains are quite convincing but they do extend further across the windows than is evident in most photographs. Underneath, the model is really impressive, with battery boxes, brake cylinders, dynamo and the massive gas tanks to serve the kitchen cooking ranges. Interestingly, the weight of these ranges on one side of the car was such that they had to be counterbalanced by lead weights attached to the solebar on the corridor side of the car. Hornby has these six weights accurately modelled. The dining car runs on SR 8ft wheelbase ‘steam’ bogies and these are moulded with some of the deepest detailing that this reviewer has seen. Brake blocks are in line with the ‘OO’ gauge wheel treads and the model runs on pin-point bearing metal wheelsets. Sprung metal buffers are fitted and the model has tension lock couplers in NEM pockets mounted on a closecoupling cam arrangement. Alternative continental-style close couplers are provided. The corridor connections are fitted with blanking plates which unclip. The model is offered as No. 7869 in the austerity unlined olive green, as depicted in Mike King’s book, and matching Hornby’s ‘Return From Dunkirk’ train pack. It is also available as S7861S in BR Southern Region ‘malachite’. Fully lined Southern livery and BR crimson and cream will presumably be offered in future production runs. A Third Class Dining saloon to accompany this vehicle would also be useful. It is good to see Hornby turning out such high-quality, newly tooled coaches, and filling gaps in its range.