Hornby Brush Type 4, Class 47, R.060 – Retro Review.

Is this the worst class 47 model ever produced? The Hornby Brush Type 4, Class 47 was released in 1976. It has a Ringfield motor and a rather shiny paint finish! The version I have is a good runner with a disastrous paint job, as they all had!

The prototype.

By 1961 the end of steam was in site and there was a need for a large number of lightweight type 4 locomotives. Locomotives classed as Type 4 produced between 2,000 bhp and 2,999 bhp. A contract was awarded to Brush, initially for 100 Diesel electric locomotives.

The Brush type 4’s were built between 1962 and 1968. Over 500 were built at Crewe and Loughborough. Seventy eight are still in use today. They had 2750 horse power Sultzer engines, later de-rated to 2500 horse power, giving a top speed of 75 mph. The engines were 12 cylinder units, effectively two six cylinder engines sandwiched together in a V shape. The locomotives are popular on heritage lines. I shot a class 47 similar to the model, at the East Lancs Railway in 2019, see the video below.

The model

Released in 1976 the Hornby Brush Type 4, Class 47, is depicted with a 1960’s green colour scheme and the later BR crest. It was only produced for one year and sports the 1970’s style box with the silver seal logo. The box is in OK condition.

The model has a rather odd shiny appearance. Also, if you look at the roof vent detailing the silver colour on the model is overdone and not very realistic. See the prototype below. This paint job is a disaster and may be why the model only survived for one year!

A black wash may help the vent detailing.

There is an attempt at windscreen wipers, moulded into the window glass. The handrails are moulded on and picked out in silver paint. The head code is illuminated but very dim at normal running speeds. It has crude, un-sprung buffers of the wrong size and very little buffer beam detail. The green band on the livery should continue round the cab front.

The bogies are plastic and all the wheels have pickups. The bogie detailing is very primitive, oddly the power bogie centre wheels have no flange while the trailing bogie has flanges on all the wheels. The gearing is all plastic. Remarkably the model gets round minimum radius curves without effort.

This was not a cheap model at the time, costing £13.25, that is over £100 in today’s money.

Hornby Brush Type 4, Class 47, R.060 on the Hornby collectors guide site


The review model cost £60 on eBay. This is a crude model even for the 70’s . The only redeeming feature is the running. The paint job is incredibly bad.

See the class 47 on my test layout.

Below is a video of the class 47 in action, from my YouTube channel Not Just trains.