Hornby’s Welsh excursion…

Hornby have produced a number of models in their ‘Super detailed’ range, and this class 67 locomotive is one of their latest editions. Although the Hornby class 67 has been produced for a number of years now, this version, the Arriva Trains Wales Class 67, 67003 is a 2014 Hornby release in the new plain blue livery, it’s the second of its class in this scheme to have been released by Hornby with 002 preceding it.

Full Product packaging
Full Product packaging

Thirty class 67 Diesel Electric locomotives were ordered by EWS (English Welsh & Scottish Railway) and these were built by Alstom in Valencia, Spain. These powerful Bo-Bo locomotives are powered by a General Motors 3200hp EMD Prime Mover – known as the 12N-710G3B-EC. This EMD prime mover forms part of EMDs 710 engine series which powers a number of modern diesel locomotives around the world, this 12 cylinder version powers other locomotives such as the Irish Rail 201 class, as well as the British class 66 locomotives.

After a few teething problems, with a gauging issue and a bogie issue which resulted in the fleet being restricted to 110mph until all were modified by 2003 to run at 125mph, they were the workhorses of the Royal Mail trains, until EWS lost the contract to carry mail by rail, with this venture all but ceasing in 2004.

Since the class were no longer required for hauling mail trains, they became well spread across the rail network, some of the class were used in Scotland to pull the sleeper trains over non electrified routes, other were employed to rescue failed express trains on the East Coast Main line. Just a handful of the class have become synonymous with Royal Train duties and also the EWS directors train. Their appearance with mk3 coaches and a DVT in the short lived Wrexham & Shropshire railway, gave a very welcome boost to the popularity of the railways and showed that locomotive hauled trains still had a place on todays system.

In March of 2012, Arriva Trains Wales leased three units from DB Schenker, namely 001,002 & 003. These locos replaced the class 57’s on the Premier North-South Wales route, a weekday premier service running between Cardiff and Holyhead, offering a First class route with dining service.

67003 makes up the review piece here. The all over blue and yellow very reminiscent of the heady days of BR blue. 67003 was the first locomotive off the production line and became the first of the three Arriva Trains Wales 67’s to be painted so.

Hornby have created a good rendition of this paint scheme, the silver roof and Arriva blue match up very well, there are the odd few blemishes in the paint on this review item, there is perhaps a little too much paint bleed on the front of the loco where the Yellow warning panel meets the surrounding blue.

Front cab, slight paint blemish

Having mentioned the slight paint blemishes the text has been crisply reproduced and is legible. With such a (used hesitantly) bland paint scheme the detail of the locomotive really needs to stand out and be just right, as on a significant majority of other models the extravagant paint schemes often steal the eye and offer their own Wow factor, but in the case of this model that isn’t the case.

For me the showstopper is the ability to see through the grilles and not seem a big lump of Mazak, the prototype allows you to pear through the locomotive grille and this is well replicated.

See through Grille and crisp bogie detailing

The bogie detail again is crisp along with the underframe detailing and the long fuel tank is moulded well. This is a refreshing change amongst a number of RTR locomotives, that have very little detail or just incorrect detailing. The only detailing lacking is the myriad of pipes between the bogies and the cab sides which are clearly visible on viewing the prototype. While these are easily added by a competent modeller, I’m not in a position to make this a criticism as these are after all toys and are still required to navigate sharp train set curves.

Hornby’s well used 5 pole skew motor runs very smoothly with the Bo-Bo wheel arrangement, this test piece was the DCC ready version and it comes pre wired with an 8 pin socket. The motor was responsive  and ran very well when coupled with a Lenz Silver decoder and I also had quite pleasant control from the older Hornby R8215 decoder 8pin 4 function decoder (These have now been superseded with the newer R8249 or Sapphire).

The Hornby Cl67 comes with what would perhaps be considered quite a small bag of detailing parts, (if any of you have bought Heljan or Vi trains locomotives you’ll understand just how many parts you get!). However the detailing is very crisp and the small cab front pipes and swing knuckle couplings will add a very good touch once added by the modeller. The lower skirt is also an add on detailing item which will complete the front look of this locomotive really well. This however is where the next issue arises, adding all that detail may mean in some instances that the loco will now not negotiate tight trainset curves, (just bear that in mind when fitting them). Hornby nicely give you the option of the large or small standard 00 gauge coupling, which will fit the NEM pockets on this loco. Although If I were to detail this to a high standard I would be tempted to fit Kadee (Or even a Sergent Coupling from the US) knuckle couplings. The prototype is fitted with a knuckle Buckeye type coupling that can be swung to the side if the need for connecting to coaching stock arises and the screwlink coupling is required.

Small or Large standard couplers
Small or Large standard couplers
Lower front Valance and detailing parts.
Lower front Valance and detailing parts.








Overall this model is good, there have been discussions over the Quality control of the paint issues before and most if not all can be easily rectified by the modeller, with a little generous weathering, and if not then a simple replacement is all that is needed, so hysterics its a hobby after all!

Match this up with the up coming Arriva Trains Wales DVT and Mk3 coaches and you can have a simple and short but very prototypical train without any comprises! Brilliant.




First Published article



I couldn’t resist a quick post as I’ve had my first article published. The Partwork series that is Your Model Railway Village on reaching issue 19 has published my article about building Model Railway Dioramas and small layouts, based around my Long Logging Line Layout which is the On30 layout I’ve mentioned on here and the little wooden wagons a few posts down. Whilst it may not be in one of the big 4 magazines, not that all of them would entertain an On30 layout in their pages, its still a great feeling to know that some people will get to read your article and hopefully gain something from it. It takes you through the thought processes needed for a small layout, and aims to get across the message that it doesn’t take long to build  a small layout or diorama and that they can really help you refine your modelling skills if your aim is to build a large layout.

The partwork can be ordered from Hacette if your local shops no longer stock it.  https://www.hachettepartworks.com/our-titles/model-railway/



Changes and goodies…

Things are moving on apace now, which is a good thing as time is getting more critical as the layout is due for exhibition in June.
The good thing is lots of goodies keep dropping through the door, although the couple from the US are still to arrive. I’ve had an issue getting hold of ME turnouts, even ME themselves had run out of stock, although I’ve been told they are on their way but I’m looking at the middle of May for them to arrive in the UK which is obviously not an option so thanks to a great company in the UK who are the importers of Shinohara trackwork and turnouts. I had 2 code 70 turnouts arrive this morning and they look great. However they are quite DCC UNfriendly more of that to follow when I wield the soldering iron to sort them out.

Check these guys out if you want more info Scalelink The site is quite a goldmine.

Lots of little resin detailing items have turned up from Unit Models. They look really good and photos will be up this week.

Well thats the goodies out of the way for the time being.

Changes. I’ve changed my mind again on the front right hand side of the layout again, gone is the plan to model Jesse’s auto shop as I’ve decided against the white building and also I couldn’t work out how to fit it to the location on the junction properly so I’ve chosen to model Domingo Produce Corp. (See below) Its a great looking building to model if you like shoeboxes with platforms ( like me ) and the reefer trucks out on the sidewalk will make a great addition to the plot. It also shows the location the layout is set in quite well.

Domingo Produce corp.
The perfect way of setting the layout!

Boley truck models have come in handy to model these reefer trucks but again they’ve had to come from the US but a good deal on US ebay has come up trumps. Photos to come when they arrive but not expecting that for a while.

With luck and some good weather the photos of progress will be uploaded this week or weekend.

Thanks all for reading.


After trudging around googlemaps and bing I think I’ve settled on the view breaker on the front right hand side of the layout, I’d gone through so many different decisions but none of them looked right as I wanted the entrance to the business to be on the Avenue and not of 22nd St. So when looking at the western end of Nw 22nd st on google I discovered the perfect building which I thought would be great to model as well as quite simple. I like nothing more than to keep things simple. So what is it I here you shout before you hit the back button.

Well its Jesse’s repair shop on the junction of 22nd st and 22nd Ave. Googlemaps has it listed as Espana Body shop, but if you drop down into street view this is what you’ll see:

Front view of Jesse on 22nd Ave
Front view of Jesse on 22nd Ave

View of the sign at Jesse's repair shop
View of the sign at Jesse's repair shop

This should be a good little project and the space thats available on the layout will allow me to model this to pretty much scale dimensions. We’ll see how I get on with white walls.

Into the Google world

As we all know by know google is one of the worlds new super powers but it provides modellers of prototype locations a wonderful tool for seeing the things you wish to model. In my case the NW 22nd St in downtown Miami, and considering I’ve never been to Miami and live a good few thousand miles away it becomes an invaluable tool without which I probably wouldn’t have been able to build the layout the way I want to.

Here is the Latch Shoe company which will feature on the front left of the layout in its bright yellow glory.

The bright Yellow Shoe Latch company