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hatchett-mk1Last week saw several new partwork magazines hit news agents and supermarkets. Along with Star Trek and Doctor Who was Your Model Railway Village which came with a piece of track and the above mk1 coach for just £3.99.  Since then some of the forums have been awash with the usual ‘im buying 50 of them’ while others argue that they shouldn’t be so greedy and leave them for the new entrants to the hobby (yawn!).  While the mag is little more than a pamphlet if im honest and I would doubt many would follow this through to the end anyway (including the publishers I expect), issue 1 has apparently done quite well for them.  Ok you are not going to find a jinty stuck to the front of a forthcoming issue, you have to buy that separately (timed around Christmas if the publishers have any sense) the Mk1 is quite a surprise.

I do wonder who its intended for.  Kids with train sets already who just want some cheap coaches or newbies who will probably find themselves in a crumpled heap on the floor of a model shop when they pop in to add another coach to their new collection and find them something like 7 times the price without a magazine!

The coach itself isn’t actually that bad.  Id go as far as to say if it wasnt for the Bachmann mk1’s it might actually be one of the best RTR Mk1’s out there.  Sure its crude but look at what we had before with Lima and Triang.  At least it’s flush glazed, the gangway is roughly the right shape and the bogies are about the right size (the lima ones werent).  It’s a tad long and the underframe is hopeless but it’s not that bad really.  It is perhaps what Hornby’s railroad range should have been rather than re-released lima items at not far enough from top end prices.  It certainly makes the gap in the market for Hornby’s own mk1s a lot smaller than it was.

But, and this is a bold statement, I do think this might be the most significant RTR release for a good few years.  Before you think ive gone completely mad let me explain.  We have had some excellent models recently, class 85, 350 blue pullman etc with increasing accuracy, detail and value added paraphernalia such as lights sound etc.  Obviously the above mk 1 is nothing like them but the effect it seems to have had on a lot of forumites is enormously encouraging.  People are talking about improving them themselves, converting them to other things and even at the price having a go at weathering with not a lot a lot to loose. That is why I think it’s so significant, it seems to be getting people thinking about doing stuff for themselves rather than expecting it done for them.

So to anyone who has brought this mag with a view to getting their scalpels or paintbrushes out give yourselves a pat on the back, THAT is what the hobby is all about!

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Lee
Lee
7 years ago

I told myself I wasn’t going to bother as I’ve inherited quite a few Coaches just really, but then I saw a copy in the local shop, so I bought one. I’m not really a stock modeller at the moment, but I’d be defintely tempted to try a bit of improving on this one, even without it, as you say, it’s a pretty decent little model

Miles
Miles
7 years ago

Jim, these are the wisest words I’ve seen written about this coach. It’s a cheap coach that is reasonable in most aspects and as such is the perfect platform for newbies to get modelling

Jonathan Hughes
Jonathan Hughes
7 years ago

Well said Jim; I did consider picking up a few for my two boys… but didn’t in the end. Your points are all well made but with a full rake of Bachmann Mk1s already in the to-do cupboard I couldn’t justify it. They wanted the Enterprise D though… so I bought 3 (one for me too) 😉
Jon

Colin Parks
Colin Parks
7 years ago

Hi Jim,

I have been away. Just catching up with your prodigious output of stock!

This coach for £3.99 has certainly got people talking. If it isn’t just a loss-leader and the price is turning in a profit for the supplier, then things could get very interesting in the future.

It could be the start of a real budget range.

All the best,

Colin

Paul M-P
7 years ago

It’s an interesting perspective and I hope that it does as you suggest encourage others to start their ‘apprenticeship’. Inaccuracies aside I do wonder how well you could blag a good look from it with a makeover using Masokits etches and the like. Judging by some of the dodges I’ve got away with over the years I suspect to most people it’d scrub up well. Which gets a thumbs up from me.

David West
David West
7 years ago

Being one of the many to have bought a few of these.
All I can add is that they do ‘scrub-up’ rather well. Remove the roof ribbs, and molded pipe runs replace the underframe,weather down the sides and it’s getting much less toy like