I don't buy RTR locomotives. I like to kit build small industrial steam engines. And yet here is a small industrial in a box from Hornby. How could I resist?
When the Peckett was first announced, it was immediately high on the list of models I'd spend my own money on. No freebies here, my local model shop is £70 better off and I have a nice new red box. Compared to the RRP of £87.99 this is a bargain (and not from a box-shifter) and is easily comparable to the cost of kit and bits for a model you have to make yourself.
I've chosen the Huntley and Palmers livery as I like biscuits and it's the prettiest on offer, but Manchester Ship Canal and 565 Dodo are also in the shops at the moment.
Comparing the model to prototype photos, I can't see anything obviously wrong with it. There will doubtless be nit-pickers but these locos saw more than the usual number of detail changes and modifications during their lives so you'd need to pick a particular date for the prototype you are comparing it against if you want to moan.
Since this is a sort of review which means I'm legally required to moan, the smokebox door/handle looks a little flat to me but they weren't exactly bulbous. Whatever, it's certainly more than a match for my kit-built models and will happily sit amongst them. The under-tank pipework is particularly well done, far better than my efforts with bits of wire.
What I do see is flawless paintwork. The decorations is superbly applied and well beyond the ability of the vast majority of model painters. Again, to be pedantic, I wonder if the chimney top and dome should be a better colour match. Both could be replaced with turned brass aftermarket parts if preferred, the paint isn't an especially good representation of unpainted brass. A bit of weathering would fix this and save attacking the model with a saw.
Take the body off, two screws with one hidden under the front coupling, and you see the chassis in all it's glory. The five pole motor drives a compact gear train allowing enough space up front for a DCC chip should you feel the need. A 4-pin in-line socket facilitates this. Finding space for a speaker would be more of a challenge.
On the track, the model runs very, very sweetly straight from the box. How much improvement running in would provide is questionable. I've not built many chassis that could hold a candle to it.
So there it is. Superb. This model should be a cash cow for Hornby if they make it available in 4 or 5 different liveries each year. Purely on cuteness, I'd see many collectors buying one of each. There aren't even any detail bits supplied to confuse anyone.
So, it's a superb model and will doubtless inspire lots of people to have a crack at some minimum space layouts. I've a few ideas in that direction myself.
Let's finish with some numbers:
Length over buffer: 83.5mm
Width over bufferbeams: 32mm
Height to cab roof: 48mm
Wheel diameter: 12.8mm
Wheel width: 2.8mm (measured over tread & flange)
Haulage: 0.02kg (0.7oz)