For those eagerly awaiting the new Hornby Brighton Belle units to hit the retails outlet, modeller, author and regular blogger Nigel Burkin has posted some good images and a brief review of the Blue Grey version on his excellent blog here.
The comments regarding the improvements over Hornby’s 4-Vep should be noted such as pin point axles and finer wheel treads throughout. I am told from another source that the running of these models is impressive, despite using the same motor type as the 4-Vep, so the use of pin point axles on all the trailing bogies and also a heavier chassis for the motor car obviously has worked.
Hornby have now confirmed the details of the versions being released year as being: 1934 umber and cream set 2051 that will consist of driving cars 3rd class numbers 88 and 89, 3rd class trailer No.86 and 1st class trailer cars Hazel and Doris. The 1967 set 3053 in blue and grey with driving cars S292S and S293S and trailers cars 2nd class S285S and 1st class S281S and S283S.
Further information on the prototype Belle units can be found on the Semg website here
Hopefully the later style umber and cream variant to fill the gap between the two versions above will follow in 2013 perhaps.
It has also been noted elsewhere that there appears to be no provision for a coupling on the front of the unit. I guess Hornby do not believe many modellers will have space for a pair of 5 coach units running together, but apart from the occassional service in reality they generally ran as a pair.