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Frank Hornby, the gent who bought toy railways, engineering sets and diecast toy cars to the masses, left this world 70 years ago this week on 21st September 1936.

My guess is there will be a toast to his memory both in Liverpool and Margate at some point during the day. And maybe even in Barwell, Beer and Chirk!

If Mr Hornby had not had his eureka moment then arguably Britain would never have had its own ready to run out of the box model railway system and Britain would more than likely have had to rely on supplies from overseas.

As it is Britain now has thriving hobby industry supporting a large number of people supplying a very large number of hobbyists. And all this is down to the seeds sown by Mr Hornby all those years ago!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 16 Sep 2006, 14:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think an announcement by Hornby that they will be producing a blue pullman would be an excellent way of celebrating this event!!

Peter
Or maybe as a nostalgia item a return to three rail.


What is special about this Blue Pullman? I have seen a few requests for it. Does anyone have any pictures?
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 15 Sep 2006, 22:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If Mr Hornby had not had his eureka moment then arguably Britain would never have had its own ready to run out of the box model railway system and Britain would more than likely have had to rely on supplies from overseas.

........and we would have had super-detail rolling stock and scale track for the last fifty years.
 

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QUOTE and we would have had super-detail rolling stock and scale track for the last fifty years.

That is not really a fair comment. Hornby Dublo products were very well engineered and comparable with Marklin in their day.

You have to look at the very low priced products from Triang in the 1950's if there is to be any criticism of scale or detail and these products were not part of Frank Hornby's legacy however they did eventually see off Frank Hornby's legacy as it seemed that the British public put absolutely no value on quality and detail and much value on very cheap low cost products!

Hornby's 2 rail track introduced in 1959 was the finest quality British 2 rail track ever produced. The issue was that it was fragile and had a complicated non isolated point set up and this drove families towards the much stronger and cheaper code 150 Triang Super 4 track with is simple isolated frog point set up.

QUOTE Was he responsible for OO scale?

No. His company embraced the standard that had been developed over a 10 year period by others in 1938 when Hornby Dublo was introduced.

Frank Hornby was very definitely the man responsible for bringing mass produced toy trains to the British people.

Let us remember that in his time there was no such material as plastic and products were made from metal.

And that the reason the British did not fall in love with overseas products from Marklin or Bing was that they were very, very expensive!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Hello Neil.

The blue pullman is apealing because it is a very striking, prestigous train.

There were only 6 sets in service. andy were in 6 and 8 car formations.

they carried a light blue livery so you could spot them a mile off.

picture here.
http://www.intercitymodels.com/Icl03.JPG

there has been 2 models. one from kitmaster and the other from hornby. both are very collectible. paticularly the kitmaster model which had the correct length coaches. the parlor cars often fetch over £80 and the kitchine cars over £100.

the situation with this train and models has been rediculous for some time. a company announces they are going to make a model then nothing ever comes of it.

i have been pestering Simon Kohler evry time i see him.
i am not fussed about an all singing all dancing model but just something i can kit-bash.
i can do the detailing if only someone else would do the basic shell for me.

there is an ongoing debate as to weather many people want it or weather few want it and the few make lots of noise.
it almost always comes top of the wanted lists.

Peter
 

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QUOTE ........and we would have had super-detail rolling stock and scale track for the last fifty years.
... and the millions of kids who couldn't have cared less might well have had a darker christmas. May Hornby live another 70 years.


If we can interest one child to look up from those cursed video games we have done a service to that child.
 

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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 16 Sep 2006, 16:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... and the millions of kids who couldn't have cared less might well have had a darker christmas. May Hornby live another 700 years.


If we can interest one child to look up from those cursed video games we have done a service to that child.
I have made an amendment to suit all in your post.
Happy anniversary Hornby keep up the good quality.
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 16 Sep 2006, 22:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello Neil.

The blue pullman is apealing because it is a very striking, prestigous train.

There were only 6 sets in service. andy were in 6 and 8 car formations.

they carried a light blue livery so you could spot them a mile off.

Peter
Thanks for that Peter, Looks quite nice. Similar to HST in some ways. Well I guess they are aware it's wanted. We'll have to wait and see if they go for it.
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 16 Sep 2006, 13:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>the situation with this train and models has been rediculous for some time. a company announces they are going to make a model then nothing ever comes of it.

If you're refering to InterCity models,then this is a trifle unfair,-They are still working on it but it'll take time,-you clearly have no idea of the massive costs of the injection moulding tooling involved to produce a kit!

QUOTE i have been pestering Simon Kohler evry time i see him.

Yeah,-I bet he really loves that!!

He's already on record stating that Hornby have looked at it and don't think it's a commercially viable proposition,it's NOT going to happen!-I'm sorry,but exactly what part of the word No don't you understand?
There's absolutely no point in bending Simon's ear every time you see him,Hornby have made their decision,-just live with it and give the poor bloke some peace...

QUOTE i am not fussed about an all singing all dancing model but just something i can kit-bash.
i can do the detailing if only someone else would do the basic shell for me.

Well,-there's your solution then,-do some modelling-if you're really that desperate for a Blue Pullman pick up some cheap Triang power cars,[still available cheaply if in less than pristine condition] and modify the centre cars from r-t-r coaches [IIRC someone bashed some Hornby 'shorty' Mk3's in on of the mags fairlty recently] Chris Leigh does the bogies and some other bits...

QUOTE the few make lots of noise.

Yeah,-don't we know it!

Frankly,I'm getting quite sick of listening to them whingeing on about it!
 

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Hey,-I'm actually quite chilled,
-thankyou Dennis


-It's just this old chestnut of "why don't Hornby re-do their Blue Pulmann?" keeps cropping up from time to time,and it gets boring listening to the same old tired arguments in favour of it....[you know,me an'all me mates down the local club want one,so they're bound to sell]

Hornby have clearly done their homework on costings against likely returns,and have stated that they won't be doing a model of it.
So that's that,-End of story.

It might not be what some people want to hear,-but that's the way it is...

Just let it lie,and move on to other topics...
 

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QUOTE Hornby have clearly done their homework on costings against likely returns,and have stated that they won't be doing a model of it

That was pretty much the case when Triang took over Frank Hornby's Meccano in 1964. Almost the whole of the Meccano Hornby range was put to bed. The costings of continued production did not look good and it took Hattons of Liverpool almost 30 years to clear the stock from the Liverpool factory that they purchased from Triang Hornby!

In fact the bean counters at Triang were absolutely shocked by what they found!

O gauge was still being produced even though nobody was buying it. Ditto 3 rail track even though there were massive factory stocks. Much of this ended up in a hole in the ground in a secret location.

Today's Hornby will have your ear if you come up with ideas that are commercially viable. The lessons of history probably have not been forgotten at Margate.

With the HST having its 30th anniversary and still going strong there has to be a reasonable case on this subject matter. It would be nice to have an HST that can pull a decent rake and not rely on traction tyres.

With the DCC future that we seem to be moving towards then this has to be a consideration.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS if they can do a limited run of the "Lord of the Isles" then why not......
 

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>Similar to HST in some ways
Running The Blue Pullman fixed train sets gave the Western Region a lot of useful experience for when they came to introduce the HSTs in 1976.

I think Gerry Fiennes had a lot to do with their introduction to the WR when he was general manager there. When I was re-reading my "Deltics - a symposimum" recently I noticed his name cropped in the "coup" which got Deltics to the ER. You can check out his involvement in his book "I tried to run a railway". I haven't read that since the late 70s when I conjured it up from the book stacks in the university library.

David
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 17 Sep 2006, 17:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>PS if they can do a limited run of the "Lord of the Isles" then why not......


But 'Lord of the Isles' is also going to be made as 'Emily' in the 'Thomas the Tank Engine' range,so therefore generating lots of sales potential for far less tooling costs....

Totally different kettle of fish than the Blue Pullman...
 

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"If you're refering to InterCity models,then this is a trifle unfair,-They are still working on it but it'll take time,-you clearly have no idea of the massive costs of the injection moulding tooling involved to produce a kit!"

The inter city models kit was 1 of the 4 i was refering to. in their defence the propriator of intercity models has been quite ill (heart bypass?) so i was sort of excluding that model from the argument.
Actually i know exactly how much toolling costs having been involved in that area of engineering extensivly. a 4MM body shell costs about £10,000 to tool. i believe there are 5 different bodyshells for the BP's but there are alot of parts that would not need to be drawn twice. (its cheaper to do several of something that are almost the same) so my estimate is about £35-40K for the whole BP.

i have been pestering Simon Kohler evry time i see him.

"Yeah,-I bet he really loves that!! "

He actually seems like a very nice person and always open to new ideas and always reasonable in his arguments.

"He's already on record stating that Hornby have looked at it and don't think it's a commercially viable proposition,it's NOT going to happen!-I'm sorry,but exactly what part of the word No don't you understand?
There's absolutely no point in bending Simon's ear every time you see him,Hornby have made their decision,-just live with it and give the poor bloke some peace..."

I actually disagree that its not viable. i think he along with D.C.Kits have underestimated the demand. if there is no demand for the model then why does it concistently come top of the wants lists?

i am not fussed about an all singing all dancing model but just something i can kit-bash.
i can do the detailing if only someone else would do the basic shell for me.

"Well,-there's your solution then,-do some modelling-if you're really that desperate for a Blue Pullman pick up some cheap Triang power cars,[still available cheaply if in less than pristine condition] and modify the centre cars from r-t-r coaches [IIRC someone bashed some Hornby 'shorty' Mk3's in on of the mags fairlty recently] Chris Leigh does the bogies and some other bits..."

Thankyou for you valuable sugestion even if it was a bit patronising. i am too busy designing kits to have the time to model one. modifying the centre cars from RTR coaches may sound like a good sugestion but they are very different from anything on the market and so would never look satisfactory.
I am aware of the parts available.

the few make lots of noise.

"Yeah,-don't we know it!
Frankly,I'm getting quite sick of listening to them whingeing on about it! "

You are more than welcome to ignore us. but i am getting sick of people like you winging about us.
you dont seem to understand the difference between whinging and lobying.

There are far more models with far less apeal than the BP which are often lapped up. someone mentioned the GWR single. even if it is to be made into one of the thomas models, there is still more demand for the BP than there is for the single.

Its inevitable that one day someone is going to produce the BP its just a case of who.

Peter
 

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QUOTE Actually i know exactly how much toolling costs having been involved in that area of engineering extensivly. a 4MM body shell costs about £10,000 to tool. i believe there are 5 different bodyshells for the BP's but there are alot of parts that would not need to be drawn twice. (its cheaper to do several of something that are almost the same) so my estimate is about £35-40K for the whole BP.

I'm suprised that the tooling would be that cheap. I personally don't think it would be a commercial sucess. How many units do you think the Blue Pullman would sell ? 5000 - 7000 perhaps, and then not all at once. Thats adding say 10 quid a unit just for the tooling costs. Although I model the period when it appeared, I would never consider one for my layout which will firmly remain in the Steam Era. Far better milage can be had for that type of money, build a decent 4F, and a 2P without tender drive and I'll have 1/2 a dozen.

 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 19 Sep 2006, 17:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm suprised that the tooling would be that cheap. I personally don't think it would be a commercial sucess. How many units do you think the Blue Pullman would sell ? 5000 - 7000 perhaps, and then not all at once. Thats adding say 10 quid a unit just for the tooling costs. Although I model the period when it appeared, I would never consider one for my layout which will firmly remain in the Steam Era. Far better milage can be had for that type of money, build a decent 4F, and a 2P without tender drive and I'll have 1/2 a dozen.



You've hit the nail on the head there exactly Makemineadouble,-you've got the point I was making!

Hornby [and the other mainstream r-t-r manufacturers] need to sell in the magnitudes of tens of thousands of a model to make it viable,and I think I'd agree with you on those potential sales figures...

Okay,Pedro,-to address some of your points,-yes,from what I understand it costs about £10K for a body tool,-so I don't see how you get to your overall figure of £35-40K,-it doesn't add up!,-bodies aren't the only thing,you've got underframes,bogies,interiors,glazings,and a load of smaller detail bits to take into consideration,and for a r-t-r version you've got all the mechanical bits on top of this all adding to the costs..

Research and Development
So far we've only touched on the actual tooling costs,but before you get to that stage you've got the research,-it all takes time,and time is money,-you have employ someone to study the real thing,and as there isn't a Blue Pullman preserved this isn't going to be easy..you can't just go out and measure it and photograph it...[like you can with a Bullied,for instance],you've got to work from plans and existing photo's,and as we all know,what actually got built didn't always accord with what was on the plan,and I think that I'm on a safe bet saying that not every part of the Blue Pullman was the subject of a nice,clear,detailed photograph..
Once the prototype has been studied,the model then has to be designed,and with 5 different vehicles to do,the Blue Pullman isn't going to be a quick and easy job,even with CAD to help you,and it doesn't share any components with anything else,so no shortcuts there...
And it's got to be accurate,to meet current standards,and avoid criticism...
Then marketing,with pricing etc..
All in all,quite a mammoth task,and huge investment of time and money before any return was seen,-so would it be the best use of resources?,would it return a large enough profit to justify the initial outlay?-during the time they took on the Blue Pullman R&D they could be developing other products that could be got into the shops quicker and could be earning money sooner....

QUOTE He actually seems like a very nice person and always open to new ideas and always reasonable in his arguments.

Well,-I agree with you here,-but the Blue Pullman isn't a new idea,is it? -It's a subject that the've looked at and discounted,-it's not one that's under 'consideration',-so any 'lobbying' is pointless..


QUOTE I actually disagree that its not viable. i think he along with D.C.Kits have underestimated the demand.

I don't think anyone is denying that there is a demand,-but how big is it?,- here are 2 manufacturers that don't think that there is enough demand to make it cost effective for them to produce a model, and,-especially in the case of Hornby,- to make a large enough profit!,ie. not viable..

BTW,I wasn't whingeing,-I was merely stating a fact..and, yes,-I do know the difference between whingeing and lobbying,and what is posted by some of the Blue Pullman fans [not neccesarily you,Pedro] definately sounds like whingeing!

QUOTE someone mentioned the GWR single. even if it is to be made into one of the thomas models, there is still more demand for the BP than there is for the single.

Well,-that's purely subjective,have you any hard facts to back it up?

But,-and this is what I've been trying to get across all along,-Hornby clearly see a potential to make a profit with the GWR single..obviously less initial costs,-a retool for the chassis to take a modern motor etc,and probably a few tweaks to the body to titivate it a bit,and you have a loco with wider appeal,including as 'Emily', the kiddywinks,-not a market you'd tap into with an expensive Blue Pullman!

QUOTE Its inevitable that one day someone is going to produce the BP its just a case of who.

Not Hornby,-probably Intercity Models,-but that's because Peter's motivation probably must be different,-he'd do it because he wanted to,-not because he'd think he'd make a large profit.
 
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