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You will like this review and you won't find any better pictures of these new coaches on the web!

And for those who are curious, see how they compare with the old versions that Hornby used to make!



Hornby Stanier Coach Review

What you think?

Should Hornby continue to upgrade the coach range or should they produce entirely new coaches and apply these new standards?

And which coaches are due for an upgrade next?

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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The flush windows make the LMS coaches look less 'toy like' than the 'old' model, this removes a major limitation in my view.

If the dimensions and overall details are correct on the 'New' coaches, I would be surprised if second hand 'old' LMS coaches will achieve double figures on EBay.

I would imagine that some decent Collet or Hawksworth GWR coaches will appear next, unless market research has indicated that SR coaches would sell in high numbers.
 

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Nice review and they look good, coming on in leaps and bounds.


But how do they actually run?
We have seen reference to Hornby Pullmans derailing on curves, so would naturally be quite curious whether that alleged problem has been cured here.

With reference to the couplings, "this was measured at 6mm ".
I am not sure what that actually means.
It could have been nice to have seen a pair coupled together and to compare them with an old pair similarly coupled. I recall Peco using a photo, of their N gauge wagons to demonstrate how their then new ELC coupling enabled six wagons to fit into the the same length as five with previous standard couplings - a most effective demonstration!

A tip on photo enhancement - raising the brightness overall, tends to blow out the highlights. Raising brightness selectively, only on the 'shadows' or darker areas, can avoid this.

Doug's comments on providing an economically price rake of coaches rings a bell. Hornby have done this with the Northumbrian set. It would be interesting to know how this worked out for them and whether it might lead to more coach sets in future.
 

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QUOTE What type of coupling is fitted?

A Hornby tension coupling? Is that what it is called? Fitted into an NEM pocket.

QUOTE With reference to the couplings, "this was measured at 6mm

The new coaches are 6mm closer together than the old when coupled as the coupling hook is 3mm closer to the coach body on the new coach.

QUOTE A tip on photo enhancement - raising the brightness overall, tends to blow out the highlights. Raising brightness selectively, only on the 'shadows' or darker areas, can avoid this.

I have noted this. Which feature in typical image editor software would one use?

If its a case of manually selecting an area with the wizard and raising the brightness of the selected area only thats hard work when processing multiple images.

Help here would be appreciated.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I heartily agree on the problems with manual selections, especially on multiple images! I hope I didn't sound too critical, but I could see what had happened and I know how difficult it can be to avoid this and also some experience of how to correct it when it happens..

The common problem is that most models have a lot of black areas in addition to a good deal of lighter tones and cameras will average this out to produce the mid tones as best it can. This often leaves the balance completely wrong. the 'trick' is to lighten the darkest parts with minimized effect on the lightest parts which might already be TOO light.

'Automatic balance' usually adjusts only brightness and contrast, which can work very effectively for normal photos like portraits, landscapes etc. But with our extreme toned models, the result is very often worse than the original!

How to approach this will vary with software.
My personal experience is, at one extreme with Microsoft's own, free, basic Photo Editor and, at the other, with Adobe Photoshop.

MS Photo Editor is useless for individual selections, but is fast and simple to cover overall adjustments. Really good results can often be obtained simply by raising the overall 'Gamma' a little. (I emphasis 'a little', as small adjustments have a BIG effect). Definitely worth a try. 'Gamma' covers the mid-tones and can pull up the darker areas without blowing out the lighter areas too much (with a little luck!). Even if highlights do become slightly blown out, Photo Editor can reduce that by adjusting the 'brightness' (light tones) back down to compensate. Note the gamma figure that has the desired effect for you and use that as a target figure for all future pics of similar composition. Gamma/mid-tones is almost guaranteed to be two to four clicks higher than the default used by the program, no matter which programme you use.

This free program is very simple, very fast and well worth using for basic stuff, which is very often all that is needed. If it does what one requires, I truly wouldn't use anything else - and, surprisingly often, it does do the trick.

On the other hand, Photo Shop has a plethora of available adjustments that can be used either overall or on selected areas.

The simplest approach by far is to use its (overall) Image Variations, where you are presented with several (smaller) pics of your original, below a smaller copy of your original pic. The range of copies show what exactly will be the result of clicking on them for 'more red', more blue' etc with immediate results displayed right beside your original. On this same screen you can also lighten or darken the original (without affecting the colour), but the additional and IMPORTANT refinement is that you can select whether this overall adjustment is applied to the shadows (dark areas), mid-tones or highlights and can follow up with several adjustments to any or all of them, while seeing the effect immediately. The resultant pic is always displayed right beside your original, untouched copy which remains exactly as it was, so that you can always make comparisons. If you don't like what you have done, simply click the 'original' and your new result immediately reverts to the starting point again. Your REAL original pic remains untouched throughout your manipulations and will not be affected until you say OK. On hitting OK, all your adjustments are than applied to the original pic, which may take some time to process, depending on your PC.

If you still don't like the result, you can easily revert to the file on your disk drive and start again. Incidentally, Photo Shop allows you to record your adjustments so that exactly the same can then be repeated on multiple pics. But I have never got round to learning this bit - one day maybe!

So, Photo Shop can do much more but it often isn't necessary to go to that length (or expense or steepish learning curve!)

I imagine that all Photo Editors will have similar facilities and you will almost certainly find that what you already use can also do these tricks. Just remember that the contrast is almost always already too extreme so needs reducing if anything and then playing around with mid-tones is usually where the answers lie. Good luck!
 

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A very full answer!


I'll experiment later. If you have a look at the images in the Dapol review there are some dark spots in these and I did mention this to Doug. The Dapol wagons do have terrific detail in the chassis for such a small wagon and it is hard to see in the image. I might grab one of these and see what can be done.

And I take 100's of images a week and this issue does keep cropping up.

Back to the Hornby Stanier Coaches.

QUOTE how do they actually run?

Now I only use Hornby set track and points and never modify rolling stock (am I boring you?
) and in its standard unmodified form it seemed to run OK so it does its job from my point of view. I do only have the one coach for the moment but have 5 of the old style Stanier coaches within which it formed a rake.

If it ain't broke then why fix it! Thats my motto!


There will be some who disagree of course!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I know nothing about computer graphics but I have used a very small free program called DCEnhancer for quite a while now and it has almost always improved the pictures I wasn't too thrilled with. It doesn't work magic but for digital photographs it can be very useful. It hardly takes up any space or alter the computer in any way. It's also very quick so might be worthwhile having it handy in case it works for you. This is the link and about half way down the page there is a link that says 'dcenhanc.zip', click on that.

DCEnhancer
 

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I've seen a couple of the new stanier coaches on sale and they do look good. The only down side and this applies equally to these and the gresley coaches is the lack of interior lighting. Bearing in mind the price of these and the gresleys (especially teaks) compared to the pullmans of both hornby and bachmann shouldn't there be some form of lighting inside?
 

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I've just bought a rake of these (specifically the ex LMS ones). However, I have issues with them when being pulled by any loco with a mini-tension lock coupling, such as the Hornby 4P. If behind something with a full sized D tension lock hook, there is no problem.

Do I have a duff set, or is it a "feature" ?
 

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How many are you running in the rake? I found with the Gresleys that if i put too many on the back of an A3 or 4 the lead coach tended to derail, partly due i think to the strain on the coupling with its slightly telescopic nature when coming off a bend so you could call it a feature!
I assume this is the issue you refer to.
At least the couplings seem to be at the same height as the locos unlike the pullmans.
 

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Does anyone have any theories as to why the couplings 'bar' was made smaller like the Bachmann ones - I always have trouble coupling with the smaller 'barred' coupling?
 

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I'm running a rake of 2 (hardly prototypical, but it's all I could afford), so I doubt if this is the root cause of the problem.

Any other thoughts ?
 

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Those asking about problems with couplings should look at the postings under 'noob questions on couplings and radius 1 curves' to be found in this forum - seems to be the same problem as discussed there.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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I think I fixed my problem by removing the spring on the coupling (underneath the bogie) that connects to the loco.
Now I can run a rake of 4 carriages (2 of the new ones and 2 oddballs) with no problems..

HTH
 

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I had similar problems with the new Gresley coaches derailing in odd places. I have replaced the standard couplers with Kadee number 19 NEM couplers which give closer coupling to the point where the gangways are almost touching. thought that perhaps the buffers were locking and forcing the odd car off the track but it turned out to the wheels. I checked the guage of the wheels with my trusty NMRA standard guage and as usual the wheels were out of guage. Every model I've ever bought that was made in China or Japan or Korea has the same problem with the wheels not being in guage and this includes some rather expensive US brass models. I also discovered that some of the wheels were loose on their axles. Not sloppy loose but easily moved with finger pressure. Removed all the wheelsets from their bogies which isn't easy if you dont want to damage any thing and reguaged the wheels. Those that were loose were fixed in place with Loctight. No more derailments and no unsightly gap between the cars either.
My next problem is the coupler height difference between Bachmann coaches and Hornby locos when Kadee's are fitted. I'll be looking at body mounting the couplers on the Hornby locos if I can't find an under set shank to fit the Hornby locos.
 

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The BR liveried version of these got a big thumbs down because of the colour of the running numbers being gold not straw. I say a big thumbs down as it gets double yellows and thats the only reason given for it. Mine like the one reviewed has glue visible on the sides of the flush glazing, part of which was so badly stuck it popped out when i pressed it gently. The quality of adhesives used by hornby really is giving me problems as part after part comes loose, drops off or worse vanishes on the carpet and is eaten by the vacuum cleaner. I haven't dared hoover the loft carpet for about 4 years in the hope some of those niggly little parts might show up one day!
 

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>in the hope some of those niggly little parts might show up one day
Oh for the days when the only little niggly parts were steel screws and the chassis contained magnets. I remember taking the whole room apart and going through every box looking for a very important chassis screw. It was no where to be found. As I decided to give up I turned the chassis over and found the screw stuck to one of the magnehesion magnets. I definitely had mixed feelings after that.

David
 
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