Thursday, 2 December 2021

Another Retro issue from Hornby / Corgi: the 417S Land Rover Breakdown Truck

Hornby Hobbies Ltd. are getting in on the retro issues act now and with this release they are getting rather more accurate. The rather strange '261' release of the James Bond Aston Martin with rotating number plates tended to confuse as much as delight. Here, though, we have a good copy in many respects. It is 59 years since this first appeared (with suspension and an interior) in December 1962.

The original shown here has the early type 1 jib whereas the new issue has the later type 2. It does, however, demonstrate how accurate the new issue appears to be.

The base, of course, gives the game away and anyone thinking that they might be able to get away with flogging this at a high price, pretending it to be an old original will have to think again. It is distinctly silver too, compared to the usual grey of models issued in the 1960s.

The tin canopy is very good and bears a nice, quite aged-looking transfer for the Breakdown Service text and logo. The search light, however, seems to be fixed and made of plastic whereas the original rotated and was metal. It may be that mine was very stiff and I didn't try too hard to move it but I got the impression that it was fixed.

Apart from the end of the winch gear axle looking different to the original - exactly the same end as appears on the Corgi Model Club's 417 model - it is not easy to see much that does not match nicely the original issue. The hook is a little different, with a different shape but that's about all I can detect on first look.

The packaging is very good, better than the Corgi Model Club's efforts so far in that it has a less shiny finish. There is an important piece of thick card that stiffens the whole thing and protects the outer box from the protrusion of the bumper and top of the jib at the rear. A piece of black polystyrene covers the search light. I am sure that this is the same block as the Corgi Model Club provide for the 417!

I had to smile at 'Join the Corgi Model Club' promotion on the flap!!

The 'bottom' panel has the usual text and 'Made in China' in pleasantly small text.

There have been several people worrying about how fraudulent traders may try to sell these off as originals but both the base and the box really should be enough to make it abundantly clear that this is not an original. I see no problem whatsoever and very much like the idea that collectors can buy a lovely model like this for a modest price. The Hornby / Corgi issue is also available for anyone to order and in a large a quantity as they please.


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