NRM Review - Hornby Class 08 in EWS Livery Review

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NRM Review - Hornby Class 08 in EWS Livery Review

Postby 47806 » Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:00 pm

I know that there is already a review for this model, but I think it is always best to get more than one opinion. Enjoy:

Good Things come in Small Packages

Thomas Blampied investigates Hornby’s new version of a classic model, photos by the author.


R2595 – Hornby Class 08 Shunter #08630 in EWS Maroon/Gold
Era – Current
Price – Approximately £50

If you asked anyone to identify a British locomotive, Mallard would be the obvious first choice. If you asked them to identify a diesel, they would probably choose the class 08 shunter. Whether they recognise the wasp striping, or the character ‘Diesel’ immortalised by the Rev W. Awdry, the 08 is one of the oldest and most successful diesels ever used on the network.

The first BR class 08 was built in 1953 (D3000, which is now at Barrow Hill). The last of the 1,191 locomotives, 08937, was built in 1962 and survives at Motherwell (EWS). The design was basic and featured the latest in diesel-electric technology. Two electric traction motors power the outer axles while the coupling rods supply traction to the inner axles. By 2003, fewer than 300 shunters were registered with Network Rail.

The Model

The first impression of the model is very pleasing. The loco feels heavy and sits well on the track. The packaging is Hornby’s new split-Styrofoam box which is less likely to damage the contents.

Under the Hood

The model has a five-pole sealed electric motor. The slow running is excellent. The model does not have traction tyres, nor does it need them. The pulling power is superb; a rake of MK2 coaches is no trouble whatsoever. Even with pickups on all wheels, this model does occasionally stall on points at slow speed. I have heard stories of the notorious “squeal” that plagued the early versions of this model. I have heard a tiny noise coming from mine, but only for a second. The model is DCC Ready but I have only tested it on DC.


The couplings are NEM in a removable socket. I accidentally popped a coupling off so be warned: this is a fragile model. The buffers are sprung and are of a metallic colour, this is not accurate for 08630 but it still looks fine. The coupling rods are especially well-done; the mechanism mimics the real thing quite well. Detail in the cab is superb, the dials are painted and the printing is legible! The EWS livery is well-applied and the printing is crisp. The small warning and instruction labels are also legible! The flush glazing is superb and very clear. This model features so many small details: opening doors, lamp irons and hand rails to name but three. The model also comes with brake hoses that you can fit if you wish. The model does not come with a driver but it would be quite easy to fit one. Weathering is not applied but you could add a light layer of brake dust. Many prototype photos show that shunters stay remarkably clean. The model does not have lights fitted; on the prototype, the lights very small. I believe that this oversight can be forgiven.


Overall, this is a must for any modern-image layout. There are many liveries to choose from to fit any time period. I rarely give a perfect score on a review, but this “gronk” definitely deserves one. 10/10

Sources: The Railway Magazine, December 2003[code][/code]
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