The Horizon Express is a Creator 'Expert' series model, which means it's a bit harder to build than general City sets and smaller Creator ones. 1351 pieces for 79.99 GBP / 129.99 US$ gives a very good price per piece value, but there are a lot of small pieces so it seems a bit better than it is. For your money you get 6 minifigures and half a train. Yep, that's half a train, an engine and two carriages (or 'cars' as they're called in quite a few countries!) To get a full train you would have to buy two sets. The set can also be expanded with the addition of a power unit to remotely control the train and operate it's headlights, but that would be at extra cost. Based on the French TGV and similar styles, it is a good representation of a modern, streamlined train.
|Half a train... 79 cms (about 31 inches) long.|
The engine section is very nicely styled and, this being Creator, uses twenty parts where City or almost any other theme would use one. Take the chevrons on the side of the engine, most City sets would use a sticker for this, but Creator uses no less than 32 pieces to get the right effect. Very fiddly but worth the effort!
|The business end!|
|Inside the business end.|
The two carriages / cars are generally the same externally but internally they both have different functions. The first has a standard seating configuration with 3 seats, a partitioned toilet and a luggage hold. The second is a restaurant car with three seats, two small tables, a coffee machine and a drinks seller. The only major problem with these is space, or lack of. Fitting as much as possible into an already small space leads to some very cramped conditions with only enough room to walk sideways past the drink seller and the toilet cubicle, which, as luck would have it, has a sliding door! Both carriages have swing-open doors at one end and the windows are constructed in what I believe is a unique way, basically normal windows built sideways, with lots of connecting pieces to keep it stuck to the bodywork. That alone was a bit of a challenge!
|Inside the carriage showing the toilet cubicle (a must when|
hurtling along in half a train!)
|The very cramped restaurant car.|
Nice to build and not too repetitive on the carriages, some neat construction techniques are used to help get the external shape, especially underneath.
This is a great set, though not recommended for the younger audience that City sets are aimed at. The box states 14+ but I'm sure there's some younger people wouldn't find it too much of a problem. It's a shame it's only half a train, no track and there's no power functions included. Luckily the instructions show what to take out / change / put in to get it ready for remote control. Maybe one day...