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on 22 August 2014
The Hornby Merchant Navies (MNs) and West Countries (WCs) in mid to late 1950's on rebuilt form are extremely well detailed models up to the usual Hornby super-detailed standard.

The DCC sound is pretty good by factory-fitted chip standards (you can see and hear a demonstration on You Tube by searching for the catalogue number, Hornby R3130XS (MN) or R2997XS (WC)). Whilst the sound certainly adds a new dimension to model railways it's at a premium of about £120 on an engine like this, nearly doubling its recommended retail price, so it's an expensive extra.

My only criticisms of the model is the usual unrealistic gap between engine and tender and the fact that, when viewed from the side, Hornby steam locomotive bodies/buffer beams always sit unrealistically too high over the front wheels of the leading bogies.

This item was last in the Hornby 2012 catalogue with a recommended retail price of £270, which meant that you could easily pick one up new for around £230 and even Ramsey's British Model Trains latest edition only values them at £275 in mint boxed condition (which does not of course mean that you should even pay that price for one). As you can also still buy them new for around £240 in the UK, $360 from the USA or realistically weathered by TMC for only £300, do not pay this second-hand rip-off shyster price of £500 (all but a penny then plus postage), nearly twice the new recommended retail price and more than twice what a used one is worth, demanded here.
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