When Hornby Dublo appeared in 1938, it was the best quality model railway available in GB, in commercial quantity, in any scale, so far as the locomotives went.
When you add to this the recent expiry of patents covering rectifiers, which had kept them very expensive, Meccano's decision to adopt 12 vdc was exceptionally foresighted - and I think was the first in the world to standardise on what became the near universal standard (only Marklin and Lionel holding out).
I am, like you, also a fan of the Super-Detail Hornby Dublo coaches. Only with these, and the late range of goods vehicles, did Dublo's rolling stock catch up with the locos. The combination of moulded ends, underframe and roof with the retention of shiny tinplate sides, and the incorporation of interiors, produced a virtual Exley at a friendly price. Furthermore, the sides being so thin, yet strong, removed any need for flush glazing, since the glass appeared immediately behind the side, just like a real Mk 1 - very clever. In fact, the only deviation was H-D's adoption of the shorter, 57ft, Mk 1 underframe with the result that most of the coaches were too short.
I notice that someone is reporducing the H-D EMU - but in BR Maroon! This is an understandable error, since the first non southern region BR EMUs, for the Shenfield service, did come out in that colour. But, unfortunately, the H-D and the repro EMUs are models of the Euston-Watford 1957 stock, presumable chosen by Meccano since these were 57' long in real life. They were always green, initially BR's version of Malachite and from about 1961, the darker olive multiple unit stock green, almost immediately with cream lining to relieve what was widely thought to be an ex-Arny batch of paint. The dark green did not look good in itself.
So the chap doing the repros can apply three green liveries, BR blue and finally blue and grey. Railway history is full of pitfalls!
There is nothing so like painted metal as painted metal which is why the ACE steam locomotives come over so well. It is the adoption in miniature of the railway's character that using similar materials to the prototype conveys like nothing else.
But, surely ACE has now morphed into the Leeds/Bassett-Lowke sphere, where convincing models appeal to more mature tastes. The recent GWR 4-4-0, for example, is quite at home amongst the Hornby No 2 4-4-0s, as well as the Bing for B-L range from before WW1 - in itself constituting a range way ahead of any other in production anywhere in the world.
But, before WW1, 0 Gauge was the cheap train set and so the quality of 0 gauge was always inferior to contemporary Gauge 1. I hope the Metropolitan Westinghouse loco will not be the only example of Gauge 1 quality to appear in 0 Gauge going forward. Modern mechanisms mean that it is now practical to produce in 0 Gauge prototypes which could not be fitted round mechanisms previously, expecially since most locomotives were also offered in clockwork in the old days.
This is the special appeal of the Leeds tank locos, never offered in clockwork and thus free to represent prototypes that no othr maker could produce.