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The model performs just as well as it looks, very smooth running and surprisingly strong for her size, easily capable of hauling four Mark 1s during our tests (a feat the real thing would have found most difficult) despite its short wheelbase the loco also made relatively easy work of the insulfrog points on the test layout, although a slight stutter on the Hornby Express point occurred this was to be expected and I must emphasise only a stutter, the loco didn’t actually stop (personally I favour Electrofrog points on my layouts which eradicate any stutters). One feature lacking from the model is sprung buffers, although this is quite understandable when the size of the model is taken into account. For DCC modellers the loco requires a 4 pin decoder, which is also produced by Hornby and unfortunately at the time of writing unavailable so I can not bring news of how easy it is to fit with any certainty, however initial inspection shows that it is going to be a very tight fit! Is This Model Suitable For My Layout?: As long as you have a factory siding on your layout then the answer is yes. One advantage of Hornby producing Dodo in the in-house Peckett livery is it could belong to any company of your choice, no need to worry about awkward company names spoiling the effect of an industrial engine delivering supplies into your company’s factory with NCB splashed across the side of it! Likewise the same could be said of the MSC liveried example as although produced in their livery it has no tell tale signs that it truly belongs to that company. However, the Huntley and Palmer example is pretty limited to a Reading biscuit company! Their relatively anonymous appearance and the fact several survived into preservation means they are also a suitable candidate for anyone who has a preserved layout. Although unsurprisingly they don’t really fit into the modern image mid ‘60s (unlike some industrial classes which survived into the ‘80s) and as I’m sure you can all imagine none have clearance to run on the main line. In Conclusion: A beautiful and versatile model that wouldn’t look out of place on any steam layout large or small. I have only two issues with the model, one being the four pin DCC socket which leaves you very short on choice of chip, the other being the short supply, these models are selling like Hot Cakes and many retailers sold out before they even hit the shelves (or the UK for that matter!) If you want one grab it when you get chance! My rating; 912/10.

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Model Railway Express Issue Two January 2017  
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