Model Reviews – Hornby – 2 HAL


The 2Hal model is just new bodies and interiors on top of the 2Bil model floor and running gear so I do not intend to do a full review.  Suffice it to say that Hornby have produced another 2 car EMU to the same high standard, and with the same features (and same small flaws), as their 2Bil model.

A plus point about the Hals is that the bogie sideframes with pickup beams on the driving trailer are correct (below left), whereas on the 2Bil models power bogie sideframes have been used on the driving trailer (below right).  Despite Hornby now producing a standard bogie sideframe with pickup beams they have perversely not used it on the latest issue BR blue livery and BR green with small yellow warning panels 2Bil models.  An opportunity to rectify a flaw on the 2Bil has been missed.

A negative point about the Hals is that despite it being produced under their “design-clever” regime, which amongst other factors involves less separately applied detail and more moulded on detail, the roof conduit is separately applied.  Good, you think?  Except it is so delicate that it is prone to break and/or distort and many modellers have encountered on this (see below).  However, fortunately not all roofs are affected in this way. On their 2H models for the Kernow Model Rail Centre Bachmann controversially chose to mould on roof conduit.  Personally I think it looks all right, and now unintentionally Hornby have proved this decision was sound.

There was concern expressed in one modelling circle that the shades of green applied to the 2Hal models is different to that on the 2Bils, so making a joint formation looking patchy and putting together one of the hybrid Bil/Hal units requiring a repaint.  If one goes by the box art then the greens are significantly different, but I have put a Bil model and a Hal model side by side in good daylight and confirm that whilst the Bil model has a very slight sheen on them that is absent on the Hal, the shade of green used is, to my colour vision, the same.

Hornby 2Hal models produced so far are:
R3260 SR unit 2653, in unlined olive livery, “Sunshine” lettering and numbering (above left)
R3290 BR unit 2639, in BR(S) green with small yellow warning panels, and with airhorns
R3290A BR unit 2630, in BR(S) green with small yellow warning panels, and with airhorns (above right)

then in 2015:
R3340 2Hal unit 2607 in BR green with full yellow front
R3341 2Hal unit 2677 in BR blue with full yellow front

To come in 2016 is:
R3314A 2Hal unit 2623 in BR blue with full yellow front

In summary, whilst I have always been ambivalent about 2Hal units this is another very good model from Hornby of a popular prototype.

The 2015 releases – (left) R3340 unit 2603 and (right) R3341 unit 2677.