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Hornby LMS Black Five


Tom Davidson



4657 LMS Crimson R842 (Margate made, 3-pole tender drive)



This version of the famous ‘Black Five’ was actually finished in a faded red colour, which was quickly remedied with a spray of matt black paint! Printing and numbers were not of the quality seen on today’s models, but HMRS transfers were used to update these.



The moulded handrails and smokebox detail betray the model’s 1970s origins, although the quality of the bodyshell is good enough that you don’t notice from a distance – particularly for a heavily weathered end of steam model.



Unfortunately, a degree of metal fatigue had affected the driving wheels of the loco, causing it to run with a noticeable ‘limp’. When I tried to remove the problematic wheel, it broke off in my hand and shattered, meaning that a replacement had to be sought. Even so, the remaining wheels still appeared slightly mis-shapen, and the loco struggled to ever run smoothly after that. With only 2 pickups on each side, it also struggled with insulfrog points, although not as much as some smaller wheelbase diesel locos.



If the wheels are in good condition, make sure they are kept clean, and take good care of the Ringfield motor by cleaning it up and lightly applying lubrication every once in a while. An alternative to the Ringfield would be to remotor the chassis using the new ‘Railroad’ model – apparently this DCC-ready chassis fits the old Margate bodyshell.



Decent enough looking loco for a 1970s model, but the mechanism and metal components haven’t lasted as well as the bodyshell.


Overall ranking



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