Hornby Kitchen/ Din­ing First

Model Rail (UK) - - Reviews -

◆ 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.

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