Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Hornby v Oxford, you decide!

Hornby's long awaited Adams Radial has finally landed.

After a long wait the Hornby Adams Radial is finally with us, which gives the comparatively rare opportunity to compare two identical products. The Hornby Adams Radial and the Oxford Rail Adams Radial.

The new Hornby model certainly is impressive and has been well worth the wait. The models are reproduced in spectacular detail, but are they a worthy competitor to the earlier release by Oxford Rail?

Oxford Rail's offering depicted in LSWR green

It has to be said that both models are of a very high standard and either would make a very welcome addition to any modeller's collection. 

Performance: The Oxford model was notorious for it's inability to negotiate uneven track work, this issue was quickly remedied and the more recent models have performed without any trouble.

We have given the Hornby model a quick shakedown test this morning and it ran smoothly first time out with no signs of any such problems. It has to be said that the original Oxford model ran very smoothly round our test track too.

The Hornby model has more weight than the Oxford version which I imagine would also contribute to tractive effort although we haven't put either through a comprehensive test on this matter and the real locomotive was never known for a large tractive effort.

I'd say the Hornby model just edges it on this occasion though.

Chip fitting: When we received delivery of the Oxford model we found chip fitting a difficulty but can be done with a direct 8 pin chip from Gaugemaster. I feel that Oxford would have been better off going for a 6 pin socket rather than an 8 pin.

Having seen the higher coal load on the Hornby model I was sure it would take a chip a lot easier than the Oxford version I was however very disappointed. It turns out there is less space for the chip than the Oxford version and that the standard 8 pin direct will not fit. I intend to experiment with several smaller chips to see if the problem can be resolved.

Oxford have recently announced a sound fitted version of the model which I am quite eager to see as I can't imagine where such equipment is to be fitted.... A victory for Oxford on this one though.

Detail and finish: A very close run thing! Starting with the BR liveried versions. I think I prefer Hornby's lining and numbers over Oxford's but there is little to choose. Smoke box numbers, shed plates and BR crests are equally as good as each other.

The LSWR version is an interesting one as I think they are as good as one another but interestingly present themselves in two different shades of green, the Hornby one being lighter. Which is more correct is a matter for debate in my opinion. I think there is little to separate the two models on this one.

One problem the Oxford model does have is the fact that several examples have had loose buffers. One positive of the Hornby model is the fact that the finished model doesn't have the massive coal load pre-production models (or the model on the box picture) have.

Price: This is the big one, with an RRP of £119.99 (our price £110) for the Hornby model and £99.95 (our price £88) for the Oxford model there is quite a substantial gap in the prices. Had the Oxford model not came along I think we'd be referring to the Hornby version as reasonable value for money in the current market. However, the Oxford version does represent very good value for money.

In conclusion, I think both models are excellent and wouldn't be disappointed to have either in my collection but the Hornby model just has the edge on the Oxford model, the question is, is it worth an extra £20? I'll leave that decision up to you!

Keep enjoying your modelling guys. Tony :)

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