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Hornby has nearly done it

7401 Views 49 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  kristopher1805
I invested in the Hornby 2018 catalog and of course made directly for the steam loco section, passing on the way various train sets and train packs.
That is the offer of almost every late steam express locomotive so to plug through the list we have.

LNER types
A1 original type Flying Scotsman
A1 Peppercorn type 'Tornado' (Railroad)
A3 Flying Scotsman 60103 1959 style
A4 a fair variety including a selection of the Railroad range
B17 (also Railroad)
P2 first version Cock 'O' the North (Railroad)
D49 (in Railroad)

Merchant Navy un rebuilt
Merchant Navy rebuilt
West Country?BoB unrebuilt
West Country/BoB rebuilt
Lord Nelson - new effort from Hornby fills a missing gap abandoned by Bachmann a good looking effort
King Arthur N15
Schools V class also in Railroad

Kings a range of
A Star class
County 4-4-0 type

New streamlined Duchess
Rebuilt Patriot
Rebuilt Royal Scot "The Rangers' a GCR loco so I may take one of these.
4P compound (Railroad)

Britain this one Coeur de Lion and there is Oliver Cromwell

So a few drop offs such as the unrebuilt Patriot and the Duke of Gloucester BR8P but the big surprise here is the lack of an unstreamlined Duchess/Princess Coronation/City which was only introduced last year, do they think they saturated this market, I might have had one but they are likely to have gone for at least a year

All these express locos have rather squeezed the lesser loco types so although 8F and K1 are there and you can find a Hall a pair of Granges, a solitary B1 (likely I will take one of these) a pair of Q6's the BR class 4MT, Black 5's, there is a nice new J36 a fine job clearly may buy one for fun the SR Q1, J15, L1 hangs in there in LNER apple green a Fowler 2-6-4tank, M7, H class, GWR 2-8-0 tanks, a pair of Adams tanks and J50 plus some more industrial offers and a Terrier.

Finally the poor J83 lingers as does the decent 72xx some train packs such as a K1 so may be worth a look.

So is there much here for me? well I am a mixed traffic and freight sort of a guy but I am well stocked up on the Black 5, I'd like an 8F with Fowler tender so that is on the list and the new J36 in NBR black plus another B1, in fact I have been contemplating ousting the two Bachmann ones I have and replacing them with Hornby versions, I have a Q6 which I think has a weak motor and have long thought about a second S15, the Rebuilt Scot the Rangers is tempting however I am not bursting with desire here and really want none of the bigger express locos but I'll buy some of the above to keep Hornby going with my small contribution.

I'll have a look at the freight stock next (at least the steam era stuff) however if you want to comment of the diseasals and the tramcar type stuff them be my guest, I will comment on other areas.

I'll be the first to mention a mistake - on the track geometry plan they have R4 at 552 millimetres whilst it is of course 572.
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To be honest I have found very little that I actually want with the exception of the SE&CR wagon and the reintrodution LNER teaks. I wish they would bite the bullet and dump all the Railroad stuff and anything from the main range lingering from the Triang era stuff with those massive goalpost couplings. Very few youngsters are interested in trains these days and with prices what they are I think many silver surfers will also be thinking twice about what they can afford. I wanted a new version B12 but was not prepared to spend £170 on it. I manged to get one from Rails for £124 and thought twice over that price as well.
I think we need to remember how lucky we have been the amount of models being released; go back to most of the 1970s and their was one new loco a year from Hornby, or if you were lucky two, and the chance of it turning up before the end of year was often very unlikely. There are nothing that particularly interests me in the current list of main catalogue announcements although I do have an eye on the Club being re-launched in order to get the preserved H.
Not a lot of interest here which must be a worry to Hornby one assumes that the express loco strategy must have some marketing validity and that has meant a significant range of coaches, I'll have a look at these in a bit more detail later.

Anyone else interested in these models and yes model inflation well outstrips that which is general and those of us on pensions and the like (me unemployed just now) find that our budgets are stretched, I have been cutting deals with Hattons older for new but that will run out soon which will cut back spend and I have some repairs piling up.
Other than the final version of the P2 and a decent V2, I am done on big engines. (My resolve might wobble on P1, U1, W1.) Hornby are never going to do the A2/3 are they?

It's the smaller pre-group design black locos where there are more purchases to be had from me. On current trend it looks like Oxford Rail are going to get much of my RTR loco spend this year, for their N7 0-6-2T, as my two old whitemetal models are desperate for the reserves to come to the rescue.
Yeah I'm sort of in the same zone, my N7 has had issues I actually have its original builders plate as it was made in Gorton so an N7 looks good, I'd like an A2/1 but an A2/3 would be nice ad nearly as good. the J6 would be a good 'un, correct about V2 a bit of a lost opportunity there. So hope more post on this interested in your views.
MN spamcan in blue livery. Trying to convince SWMBO of the absolute necessity of purchasing this model. There is a wedding coming up and of course a new outfit for her required. Hmmmm!
QUOTE (Maz066 @ 3 Feb 2018, 22:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>MN spamcan in blue livery. Trying to convince SWMBO of the absolute necessity of purchasing this model. There is a wedding coming up and of course a new outfit for her required. Hmmmm!

Best of luck with that...

Mark in Oregon
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Hi Folks
....Clearly Kristopher will be filling the blanks on the coaches but I do have to congratulate Hornby on their current coverage of coaching stock. The only fly in the ointment has been the Gresley and Thompson livery fiasco on the last (CURRENT ??) batches. Clearly the corridor Gresley stock body profile leaves a lot to be desired and this is partly due to the fact that Hornby have to cater for the Train set sector with Radius 1 and 2 curves. This affects almost all model coaches with visible channel solebars but has been a particular problem with these LNER coaches. They are the longest in the range apart from the almost flat sided Hawksworths since all the Colletts, Staniers, and Maunsells are not only shorter overall but many have shorter wheelbase bogies than the Gresley design.
....The solution adopted for the 12 wheel LMS diner is hardly attractive and the original spare chassis option no longer exists. It would have been possible to include clip-in sections in an accessory pack if a little more thought had been given to the design. An alternative solution might have been to have "Dummy" wheels at one end of each bogie which did not touch the rails or solebar. By reducing the wheelbase to 6' 3" on the remaining wheels the track radius would have been a far smaller problem.
....There are continual complaints about the ex Airfix "B" set and autocoach but if Hornby were to fit the newer bogies to them that would be a major improvement. Bearing in mind that some newly introduced 4mm RTR coaches are nowhere near as accurate as the "B" set it seems hardly fair to complain about them when the newer models are given glowing reviews and almost all of the serious errors are ignored.
....Kristopher will no doubt highlight the serious omissions but with the huge variety of coaching stock designs the best we can ever hope for is coverage of the principal body types and a selection of coaches covering the most useful diagrams. There have been many "False starts" such as the corridor clerestory stock without any panelling and the panelled versions where neither correspond to actual prototypes. A huge amount of tooling expense has been appllied to generic designs which are now being replaced with their accurate equivalent. Tastes have changed but the ability to make accurate coaches existed decades ago and it was short sighted management that preferred generic models to accurate ones and this has now come back to bite Hornby on the backside. Fingers crossed they survive to release the Maunsell dining car !! Hornby's wagon range is another matter altogether.
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Thanks Adrian I think you are better qualified to talk about the coaches but today I'll look at Hornby's wagons. Last year we saw a severe downgrade with a lot of models being withdrawn, as a result we saw a good number of private owner open wagons but not much else, clearly this year is better and certainly more balanced.
There are 41 such open wagons however and a christmas truck which would be better in the Railroad section I think. They have 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 plank wagons plus a few 21 tonners
Recent offerings include the 20Ton coke wagon in 7 varieties a trio of 21 ton hoppers which look OK and staying with the theme of the steam railway there are a few tanks, the Carless tanker has returned which saw me scour shops last year to find one which I did and there is a Pumpherston oil larger tank from Glasgow then onto a selection of 7 SR cattle wagons which is a quite new model, a pair of horse boxes and then a conflat with BD container and finally a SR vent van, great but Bachmann have this covered exactly which is a shame they could not pick something a bit different a few Rudd wagons but a later post steam liveries and then 7 guards vans the Shark being in EWS, the NE one in red/grey the others being 2 LMS style and 2 southern style one as SR labelled and one GW style toad in grey.

Star of the show will be the new LNER type Toad brake vans of B and E varieties so this is welcome but maybe in time for Christmas but not sure which year.

For more modern image modellers there are Seacows, Trouts, PCA fee tanks, a dubious HEA hopper with Hornby on the side, a ZCV and some timber wagons looking rather germanic. For longer items there is a ferry van some KFA container flats with containers.

The train packs reveal a few more options if you buy in threes including some milk tankers which look good, and some 20 ton ICI silver tank wagons.

So better than last year and a reasonable balance but too many private owner open trucks is my assessment

Is there much to tempt me, well no, the new toads certainly when they come out the two obvious candidates for me are well covered by Bachmann and I have the milk train I want being IMS made by Dapol whose dairy was at Marylebone hard by the GCR station. I model 1962 and have been eliminating private owner wagons in favour of BR 16 tonnes weathered and battered, the Railroad range is limited the best of them being a triple pack of MGR hoppers which stand out so the ranges may be a bit mixed here. As usual the Thomas range has a pair of troublesome trucks but I doubt they will be of much interest to us on here either.

So better than last year but not for me, Bachmann get my desultory spend but Hornby may just get a slap of a couple of the new brake vans when they make it to the retailers.

OK so coaches next.
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Hi Folks It is not exactly Hornby duplicating the Bachmann SR van as, in fact, the Hornby van is ex Dapol ex Airfix and was designed, in part, by my late friend Ray Chorley. He did a lot of research to assist Airfix and, before they went under, they made duplicates of some tooling in case they ever wanted to move production back to the UK or another factory, possibly in China. Quite a number of wagon tools were duplicated which is why both Dapol and Hornby have the some identical bodies although Dapol had to make a new chassis for theirs. Presumably that had not been duplicated.
....The bad news in terms of duplication is that although not all available from Hornby at the moment Dapol are proposing to do the Rudd, Clam and Tope which will put another nail in the coffin. Quite why they wish to duplicate models of this type I fail to understand. Hornby have rather let Bachmann and others wipe out much of the pre Modern image scene, some being really excellent but even these are being duplicated in some cases by Oxfordrail (PO 7 plank and the new 5 Plank wagons) There seems to be a complete lack of original thinking much of the time giving modellers very little additional choice of accurate wagons.
.....As I have said more than once, Hornby Dublo had a much more sensible approach to freight stock when first launched. 4 tank locos in the Big 4 colours each available in a set with one Mineral wagon, one 5 plank, one van and a Brake van. Each was correctly decorated and lettered for the appropriate region and, available separately, a Cattle or horsebox a special box van and a selection of petrol tanks and bogie wagons. Not a PO 7 planker in sight rather surprisingly in view of the tinprinted bodies they mainly had. I assume the war put paid to PO wagons and when production restarted PO wagons were old hat with all the new BR liveries.
.....Clearly Hornby's current financial difficulties prevent them a) being able to keep product in stock for more than a very short time and
only being able to do a few small batches of new or existing wagons per year. The situation seems likely to remain like this for some time unless they can move back into profit.
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Thanks Adrian, many ex Hornby Dublo later Wrenn bodies ended up with Dapol and they run well and look good but father was able to buy a lot of Wrenn wagon chassis so they all sit on those rather than the plastic type but I still want to see a more typical 1962 van/container/XP sort of train and well Hornby are just not with it on this.
A bit of van variety behind this B1 sort of look.

Lots of brown and reddish vans all shapes and sizes.

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Hi Folks At the time the plastic mouldings used on the Hornby Dublo models were of a much higher quality than Triang and way better than Trix. They suffered from one serious problem, no doubt imposed by management, in that no new scale Diecast chassis was produced even though it could have been used on the majority of ordinary wagons. This was to have long term rather sad consequences insofar as almost all new wagons were forced to be made about 2mm wider than scale to suit the old diecast base. When a new chassis was finally made it then had to suit the newly produced over-width bodies and it too was wider than scale. Today there are still close on a hundred Dapol wagons all suffering from the same problem even though there is now a new plastic chassis. The assembly and manufacture has been simplified which was one of the reasons Hornby Dublo was overpriced in the early 1960s and this pricing was a major factor in the downfall of Mecanno in 1964. Today the quality of the tooling is still on a par with the best in 4mm RTR and the tools are apparently still churning out large numbers of models but NOT in the Hornby range. They passed first to G & R Wrenn and are now with Dapol, a major competitor of Hornby. Yet another management mistake which is no doubt being sorely felt. Whilst not Spot-On (another management misjudgement) these Dapol wagons could have been a far better range than many of the current Railroad wagons. Hornby have been punished a number of times for these sorts of mistakes and gone bust and now seem to badly need a fairy godmother.
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Right quite a few Wrenn wagons in the photo above some dublo bodies on later Wrenn chassis as well
OK to look at coaches the catalog shows 135 coaches and a dummy HST power car on top of which there are 25 in the Railroad range a grand total of 160 different units which I find to be astonishing, given the paucity of wagons except the open plankers then this is a surprise. One assumes that the effort to produce so many express locomotives means that there is a push to give each something to tow around the layout, it also suggests that there is a pretty good mark up on the price.

Coaches readily top £40 these days and that is as much as the cheapest loco so there is some truth in that, certainly the models are looking better and the quality breathes down the guards compartment of the Bachmann Mark 1, that said I have so many coaches that I need to dispose of a few not to buy more so they have little chance of any sales in my direction.....perhaps

Pullmans, a fine selection here with the observation coach heading the list and well it looks too and there are 8 others none of them 12 wheelers so a train can be made up with a fair variety I have a set of these but never use them but they are very nice.

Southern, 16 of these in a variety of styles and eras (Hornby have adapted the German system of eras to tell you which time frame a particular model comfortably sits within). The big news if of the Coaching stock is the new 59 foot kitchen/diner in earlier and later Southern green it does look good and with the strong SR support these days should and deserves to sell well
Further on there are a further 7 coaches and a brake van B which is a useful thing to have.
Just to show willing then there are some Maunsell coaches in blood and custard another 5 of those.
Finally at the end there are two twin sets of push/pull carriages which should do well as a shunting plank does not have room for a big express but push/pull sets could be seen any and every where.

GWR, an autocoach in GW livery continues but it is the ONLY GWR liveried coach, there are two BR mark 1's in brown/cream of the late 1950's so GWR fans might be feeling forgotten however some Hawksworth types appear in blood/custard along with some Collets in the same scheme to the total of 12 overall which is an interesting switch, the GWR has long held a preference and one assumes that this is getting to the point that there is some market saturation and maybe the later scheme may have a wider appeal which given the width of the coaches limiting the use outside GWR areas is ironic.
The auto coach also comes in maroon which is good. Along with these are some other Collet coaches in maroon.

LNER teak, a popular return for this look which has always been difficult to replicate with Gresley corridor and Thompson non corridor stock that look good and are a bit different, I might be tempted if in BR maroon and certainly would be by the BG but that too is in teak as mine is from an old kit, but this looks better .
I also like the Thompson non corridor central lavatory brake just the sort of thing for secondary services around Towcaster so again this has possibilities (now where is my maroon paint) In actual fact there are some Gresley non corridor stock in maroon odd they have not chosen the Thompson set so a bit more variety there.

LMS, the big 12 wheeled dining car continues in both LMS and BR formats with a set of Stanier coaches which have long been available and some 57 footers which have a typical look of the period about them. There is a range of non corridor stock in BR maroon as well.

BR the BG comes in both maroon and blood and custard but it is the B&C that catches the eye with 7 different B/G options but also in maroon so a good choice, these have come on and look very well the same selection then is shown in Blue/Grey 7 coaches and a BG so they have the options pretty well covered there.

After that there are mark 2D's and E's and mark 3's in modern liveries (post 11/8/1968 when the world stopped turning) A bit of a shame as the very first mark 2's were made and painted in maroon in the steam era but the blood and custard went by 1964 and the blue grey came along in 1966 so a bit of a confusing time here for transition fans.

The Railroad range keeps it simple 2 each of Pullman, teak LNER, GWR and Stanier LMS coaches again blood and custard is popular with Marks 1 sets in this and maroon plus chocolate/cream again with BG's and there are two old favourites in GWR format a mail van and a restaurant coach and lastly a mark 2 in blue/grey.
Just in case you want something older there are a variety of 4 wheelers and then a few more in the Thomas range including Annie and Claribel of course and the other coaches look like low window Maunsells in the usual Sodor liveries. adding these in makes 170 different coaches!

So whatever you run you'll find something there for you and Hornby have it covered one detects a coach fan in the Hornby HQ as really this is a bit bewildering but yes there is something for each of the steam express locos to pull. To me it spells out the paucity of freight stock and is unbalanced however it is a clear marketing strategy, buy the loco and all the stock for it to pull but Hornby it is getting a bit pricey.
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Well we have now looked at the Steam loco side of things (lots of express types) looked at the coaches (vast numbers and choice) and wagons (good range of planked wooden wagons but this elsewhere) so now time to look at what Hornby offer in other areas.

Track, nothing has changed here and really Hornby should consider some work, I no longer use this much on the railway but retain some for other purposes such as the tramway and I have some semi-flex in the fiddle yard roads, semi-flex is Ok but the chairs are weak and re-using this is not easy but the track does stay as you curve it so it has its uses.
The other track is Ok but when it comes to points there are still shortcomings, the cross overs are a bit chunky frog wise the curved points are OK when you lead out of the junction but leading into the split then the inside track is simply not good enough one of the worst pieces, in fairness rivals Bachmann, Peco and even Fleischmann are no better so it needs a redesign the Express point is quite nice but it needs a much stronger front end as mine fell apart very quickly,
and yes as I mentioned before R4 is 572 mm not 552 as they have it in the catalog. On related matters it looks like they have improved the track pins the rest continues as before whilst the controllers also continue Hornby sing the now familiar e-link/railmaster dcc system. What is newer is the big push towards sound a great added value scheme but sound has to be tuned to locomotives which is a significant added complication.

The plastic station is there as it was and there is a fair range of resin buildings better than last year, Hornby look more like the 'one stop shop' that is always has been until it was under the control of the accountants and it needs to retain this position to attract customers and keep it's brand busy, I've said it before they keep spending the money on the wrong schemes and getting caught out whereas a bit more effort on the trains would at least add some value.

Hornby too have a very significant range of items not under production just thinking about steamers such as the Black Motor 700, T9, 4F, 2P, 28xx, 38xx, there are lots of others and the disappearance of the unstreamlined Duchess is a surprise but overall a better effort this year by Hornby but with a lot of work to do.

Let me know what you think!
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Hi Folks One of the problems faced by Hornby is the apparent need at the moment to shift all new stock out to retailers as fast as possible rather than maintain a working stock level for at least a year. If you are new to the hobby it would take some time to realise that there are hundreds of items no longer available from Hornby but which are still in stock by retailers. Looking at the catalogue many items are listed as pre-order and some as Sold -out but even the note about checking with stockists may make it quite difficult to find what interests you without trawling through various websites or Ebay. It is a pity that there is not an easy to access "Back Catalogue" for perhaps a 10 year period since many items would still be obtainable once you have realised they did exist.
Discontinued items are simply down to the Chinese batch production method; the Duchess will no doubt be back in next year or the year after and something currently in the catalogue dropped. The Chinese factories like to set up a tooling and make the lot (then put the tooling in storage until needed the next year or years later) so we have had situations where Hornby have said one version will turn up on the first quarter and another in the third and the whole lot have turned up together.
Great summary of the range .

Just wish they'd change the catalogue format to something more inspiring. I'm thinking of something emulating the great catalogues of 73/74. The market has changed from train sets to selling models for the more serious enthusiast, many of whom have fond memories of these catalogues.

It needs a bit of inspirational marketing, and I'm afraid it's lacking here . Apart from the non appearance of a proper catalogue in 2016 I think the format has been unchanged now for about 10 years . I can hear the marketing presentation now " the side on view in the catalogue is continued on the sleeve of the product and gives continuity to the range and offering" Boring !
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