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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what people think about the upcoming Hattons 4 wheel coaches.

Personally, I'm finding it really hard to understand why anyone would be interested in these things.

As far as I am aware, very few 4 wheel coaches survived beyond the 1920's grouping and the few that just about survived into BR days only did so as very short-lived engineers vehicles.

So unless someone is modelling a preserved railway such as the Bluebell or IOW or they are modelling pre-grouping - and I suspect that there would be very few people doing that now - I just can't see what the interest is.

Thoughts ?
 

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Hattons gave an indication of what they see as the prospective market, by illustrating trains of their 4 and 6 wheel coaches with
some of the various pre-group liveried locos that are now available (and a couple more not announced at that time!).

There are, or have recently been, available and announced, a good twenty RTR pre-group loco models in a pre-group livery. With
rare exceptions there is little in the way of RTR rolling stock to accompany these. (Hornby's six wheel bogie Pullmans possibly the
most generally useful, as they worked to 'society events' in addition to scheduled Pullman train services, so could travel widely;
and the traction would have been a bulled up express loco.) And that must be the gap that Hattons are aiming at.

All the above presumes that a fair number of their customers are happy with 'generic' rolling stock. Given the persistent popularity
of wooden bodied mineral wagons in Private Owner liveries which are cheerfully operated behind locos in BR and more recent livery
schemes, I should say that Hattons are on a safe bet there.

If the six wheel full brake approximates to one of the LNER constituent's motley collection of ancient stock, I might just paint one
black and stick it the engineer's department, for use on track maintenance trains in the BR steam period...
 

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Quite a number of locos, including Hornby and Bachmann, are supplied in pre-grouping liveries. I assume Hattons feel there is sufficient interest in old-style coaches to make their "Genesis" range viable. Could well appeal to the modeller with limited space in particular?

John
 

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Whatever the appeal may be in the general market, the arrival of Hornby's similarly generic pre-group four and six wheel types has gone unremarked here.
 

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Hornbys generics are not really such, just incompletely developed and then botched Stroudley coaches which give the impression an accurate range of Stroudley coaches was scrubbed to compete with Hattons. The brake end is only characteristic of very few coaches other then Stroudley ones; the Taff Vale had similar ends.

Hattons coaches equally could easily be better; the SECR 3rd class coach is 99% a SECR 2nd class coach.
 

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(butler-henderson @ 8 Apr 2021, 17:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hornbys generics are not really such, just incompletely developed and then botched Stroudley coaches ...
Hattons coaches equally could easily be better...
I would suggest that this is where all genres in RTR railway modelling product have started, compromised approximations to establish whether sufficient market exists. And if it does, then better follows. Let's see if the trick is repeated this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe that Hornby's interpretation of the market for 4-wheel coaches is based around the idea that their existing early 1970's 4-wheelers are long overdue for an upgrade.
Presumably, that means their new 4-wheelers will appear in train sets in the same way that the old ones did.
So in a way, I can see a rationale for Hornby's approach - they are upgrading something they already make.

As for the wider market for 4 wheelers, I have serious doubts.

My observation is that most people model a period 40 years behind the current date as a sliding window. By that, I mean that I observe most layouts at exhibitions representing the 60's and early 70's. By that time, 4 wheelers had long gone from the national network with perhaps, a handful seeing out their last days as stores in engineering yards just before the preservationists grabbed them.

From that perspective, the only market I can see is that of the collector 'must have' and 'nice to have' because I think that unless one is modelling preservation, 4 wheelers are pretty much out of period for most people and date from a time that very few people today have actually witnessed. Which makes me wonder why we are told there is a 'demand' for them. I suspect it is more that the options for new models have run out and this is the next step.

In the 7mm scale world however, things are somewhat different. We've got Dapol's Terrier which is most definitely suited for 4 wheelers. And 7mm'ers do seem to model pre-nationalised steam more so than 4mm'ers, probably because it is convenient with small 7mm layouts and there is a proliferation of kits for locos of the period.
 

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(Graham Plowman @ 8 Apr 2021, 23:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I believe that Hornby's interpretation of the market for 4-wheel coaches is based around the idea that their existing early 1970's 4-wheelers are long overdue for an upgrade.

As for the wider market for 4 wheelers, I have serious doubts...
As ever, the market will decide. My opinion, the success of 'little old locos in early liveries' in RTR OO appears to be continuing, and a proportion of the buyers will want a train or two which bears some resemblance to what they might have first operated with. Whether the demand will support more than these pretty fakes, that's doubtful under present circumstances, see below.

(Graham Plowman @ 8 Apr 2021, 23:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... I suspect it is more that the options for new models have run out and this is the next step...
There's no shortage of subjects in bogie carriage stock, such that all our dozen or so competing RTR OO suppliers could - if they wished and were sufficiently well organised to coordinate matters - each release extensive ranges without duplications for the next decade!

The problem I believe is economic. I would suggest two additions to the line of yours I have quoted:
I suspect it is more that the options for readily affordable new models of bogie carriage stock have run out and this is the next step.

Are we going to see much more in the way of new toolings of 1930s and earlier bogie carriage designs? I don't think so, because the asking price is only going one way: that's until the manufacturing moves out of China to wherever lower costs prevail...

(On the basis of this opinion, I broke my usual rule of 'wait for a good price' on the release of Hornby's QoS Pullman cars, and am pleased I did so. A set was necessary for the layout, and they haven't reappeared since. I have since managed to hoover up a few 'odds and ends' from the first run! But the simple fact is that the price was too high for the general market, even though they were well worth the money.)
 
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