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Hornby R3518 The Final Day Collection – LNER Class A3 ‘Gay Crusader’ No.108 (Ltd Ed)

Hornby R3518 The Final Day Collection – LNER Class A3 ‘Gay Crusader’ No.108 (Ltd Ed)Score 94%Score 94%

Hornby R3518 The Final Day Collection – LNER Class A3 ‘Gay Crusader’ No.108 (Ltd Ed)

Hornby to mark the 70th anniversary of the final day of the big four railway companies (LNER, LMS, SR, GWR) released in 2017 four limited edition locomotives, each representing one of the big four railways companies. These locomotives being as follows:

  • R3518  The Final Day Collection – LNER 4-6-2 ‘Gay Crusader’ A3 Class Limited Edition
  • R3516 The Final Day Collection – GWR 4-6-0 ‘King George III’ 6000 King Class Limited Edition
  • R3517 The Final Day Collection – LMS 4-6-0 ‘Seaforth Highlander’ Royal Scot Class Limited Edition
  • R3515 The Final Day Collection – SR 4-6-2 ‘Kenley’ Battle of Britain Class (Air-Smoothed) Limited Edition

The one we are looking at today is R3518 LNER 4-6-2 ‘Gay Crusader’ A3 Class steam locomotive. The model is the most recent tooling of the iconic A3 model, which features a 5 pole skew wound motor (motor located in the loco), DCC ready (ready to be converted to DCC) with 8 pin decoder socket fitted with an 8 pin blanking plug for operating the layout on traditional DC analogue controlled layouts. The decoder socket is located within the tender. It’s worth noting that other versions of the A3 model that are sound fitted have a 21 pin decoder socket instead of the 8 pin decoder socket. The tender also features a housing mount to take a speaker for DCC sound conversions. See the diagram below.

The tender is coupled to the locomotive by means of a drawbar which is screwed in place, there is a couple of mounting holes on the drawbar to allow closer coupling of the tender. If running on tighter radius curves, use the furthest apart hole settings on the coupling bar. Also between the tender & loco is an electrical plug with a wired connection to the locomotive from the tender. This can be unplugged by pulling away from the tender. 

Other features include removable NEM coupling boxes & small type NEM tension lock couplings, removable coal load, full detailed cab interior, sprung buffers, finely printed details, flush cab window glazing, wire handrails. Also, a bag containing separate brake rodding which for fitting on the tender & loco tender & loco, dummy front screwlink coupling, coupling hook, cylinder pipework is included. A flanged wheelset is also included for swapping out the flangeless wheelset under the cab. If displaying the loco or running the loco on large radius curves, swap the flangeless wheelset for the flanged wheelset. A limited-edition certificate is also included, with this one being number 154 of a limited edition run of 500.

This model in testing on the layout has been converted to DCC & is fitted with a Zen Black DCC decoder. In operation is free-running, smooth, quiet & had no problem hauling a mixed rake of eight Bachmann MK1 & Mk2 coaches plus observation coach (see video clip below). 

The A3 is a modification of Greasley’s A1 design & was one of the stalwarts of the East Coast Main Line express services from the mid 1920’s up until 1961, when replaced by the English Electric Deltics. The A3’s had a number of modifications carried out, which included fitting Kylchap double blast pipe arrangement with double chimney with small smoke deflectors fitted either side of the chimney (later replaced by larger Peppercorn smoke deflectors). The class was also converted from right hand drive to left hand drive, with A4 boilers being fitted to half of the class due to A3 spares being in short supply. The A3’s without the Kylchap double blast pipe arrangement & double chimney was modified using german style smoke deflectors.

The first of the A3’s was withdrawn from service around 1959 & the last being 60052 (except Flying Scotsman) in 1966. Number 108 Gay Crusader was built in Doncaster in 1923 initially number 1477, Gay Crusader entered Doncaster works as No.4477 in 1942 for rebuilding into a class A3 & re-entered traffic in January 1943. Later on, being renumbered as 103. The model features this A3 in the condition it was in on its last day of service with LNER.

 

Key Features:

  • 5-pole skew wound motor
  • All-wheel pick up (bar the front bogie truck & under cab wheelset)
  • Fine details & parts
  • NEM  small type tension lock couplings
  • Wire handrails
  • Glazed cab windows
  • Metal chassis
  • DCC ready (8 pin decoder socket)
  • Ltd Ed of 500 with certificate
  • Extra detail parts bag supplied with the model for fitting by the modeller.
  • 2017 year release

Model featured in this article:

  • R3518  The Final Day Collection – LNER 4-6-2 ‘Gay Crusader’ A3 Class Limited Edition

 

2017 Hornby ‘The Final Day Collection 70th Anniversary

  • R3518  The Final Day Collection – LNER 4-6-2 ‘Gay Crusader’ A3 Class Limited Edition
  • R3516 The Final Day Collection – GWR 4-6-0 ‘King George III’ 6000 King Class Limited Edition
  • R3517 The Final Day Collection – LMS 4-6-0 ‘Seaforth Highlander’ Royal Scot Class Limited Edition
  • R3515 The Final Day Collection – SR 4-6-2 ‘Kenley’ Battle of Britain Class (Air-Smoothed) Limited Edition

Photo’s kindly provided by Jaike Annetts

[wordbay]Hornby A3 The Final Day[/wordbay]

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Review

94%

Summary A superb detailed model with excellent running that copes very well with prototypical length trains. One for collectors

Model rating
94%

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