Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I suppose they are by definition all old now.
What is the consensus on these lovely old machines? When I were a lad the Wrenn was the bee's knees and in my mind they still are. Do people believe that with the RTR models getting so good, the move to DCC and so on, that the Wrenn has had its day? I have a small collection - some tatty stuff to run/test (on my half-built layout) and some pristine models for 'best'. Nothing sits in its box doing nothing though.
 

·
In depth idiot
Joined
·
7,678 Posts
It has long had its' day. Wrenn were a downgrade from Hornby Dublo, in that there was no advance on H-D; modelling standards and mechanisms in fact retreated from H-D's standards. It is a shame that the Meccano empire was mismanaged, and the UK lost H-D. Had they survived then the UK might have had a Marklin or Fleischmann to fly the flag for a quality choice in RTR through the sixties and seventies.

But now we have decent quality UK RTR models, Wrenn and H-D is strictly a 'might have been' nostalgia trip for those who enjoy that. Nothing wrong with this, but given the choice between the best H-D or Wrenn item and its' modern equivalent, I would take the modern product every time. Take the H-D 8F or 4MTT, by general consent two of the best locos in the range: compare to the current Hornby and Bachmann equivalents. Good quality toys of the time, versus reasonable (Hornby 8F) and fine (Bachmann 4MTT) models. No contest if modelling is the interest.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
746 Posts
Back in the 80s when nothing else was available I ran a Wrenn 8F 2-8-0, Standard 2-6-4 Tank, and also had a Wrenn Merchant Navy.

When the Hornby Tender Drive 8F came I 'retired' the Wrenn version and same with the Bachmann 2-6-4 Tank -these were so much better looking models.

Then when we moved home I disposed of the Wrenns and most of my tender drive locos.

H-D Wrenn were good for their time but do not compare with the standards of today - some of us yearn for the old days but when it comes to models we've never had it so good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I own a couple of wrenn locos and i can see these out living most of there modern counterparts as these older models along with triang ect were built to last
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
The 8F was a pretty good model and I recall an upgrade on a pre-ringfield HD model by the LMS Society in RM in the early 60's. Unlike Tri-ang, the HD models used .125" axles and it was an easy job to upgrade with Romfords and improve the valve gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Having thought about this some more, nostalgia aside, I still maintain that some of the Wrenns remain pretty good locos. I agree they are not as finely detailed as modern machines but they do have several good points. Firstly, they are for the most part extremely robust. Secondly, the metal bodies make them heavy and this makes them excellent workhorses and extremely forgiving of less-than-excellent trackwork. My Wrenn 4MT is indefatigable in this regard, able to haul long sets up my unfeasibly steep (and curved) gradients. The pity is that Wrenn did not survive and that these excellent models were not developed further. The last of the Wrenns were actually pretty 'modern' machines and a glimpse of whatmight-have-been.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Sorry i don't get why Wren cost so much i saw a box van for sale for £25.00!!! and it did not even look that good (big fat frames)
Unlike new Bachmann or Hornby ,so why would you pay that amount for it could someone please let me know why.
Darren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
All the Wrenn locos and stock that i own have been bought at car boot sales ect and id never pay market value for these as it has been highly inflated
by the buy and hide away brigade.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
*** But reality is that Wrenn really never ever developed anything really, and while they are a reliable tough toy & a pleasant trip down memory lane for many including me, as scale models they were comparatively good to very good in Hornby Dublo days, well past their prime by the time Wrenn collapsed... and are horrid now.

All Wrenn core product - (and certainly the best of it) was made using tooling and technology developed by Hornby Dublo, bought at a fire sale price. Lines brothers also aquired Wrenn and put the two together to re-release the Dublo product as Wrenn.

The only change they made really was to add their name to some of the castings - and then made/painted/assembled them not quite as well as they were made in the best days of Hornby Dublo.

As happened to Dublo, the last of the Wrenn ex Lines brothers was unceremoniously dumped on retailers at fire sale prices, then the last few bits / parts were picked up by a couple of very clever chaps who re-released them in dribs and drabs to send the collectors price sky high.. which is where we are now.

I'd agree with the point you made if it was "It is a pity it wasn't Triang that died and hornby dublo have hung on and kept evolving".

Hornby Dublo was always streets ahead of Lines brothers and triang accuracy and performance wise, and given some of the really nice stuff they started to do at the end in their super detail range, I do wonder if UK modelers might not have had a far superior RTR model railway selection now if triang had been the casualty and/or that Hornby Dublo had just kept going, so we would have had REAL Hornby products now, not evolved triang with another name!

regards

Richard

. QUOTE (Mike H. @ 12 Jan 2009, 01:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><Snip> The pity is that Wrenn did not survive and that these excellent models were not developed further. The last of the Wrenns were actually pretty 'modern' machines and a glimpse of whatmight-have-been.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
To the consternation of collectors- or their secret pleasure, as I'm increasing the value of their collections, I run Wrenn locos every day. The 2-6-4T will pull 12 coaches up 1 in 66, and the problem is the first coach on the curve at the top, not the loco's adhesion! I've just sourced a donor chassis for this as the motion seized & burned out the motor on the original after 40 years...I've a Barnstaple which is also 40 now and still running fine. R1s shunt about too. They are great working models, nothing to fall off and with a little bit of work to make them individual well worth their place on the roster. When pals call, out comes the finescale, and back comes the slipping, that loco can only take 3 up and not if they're Bachmann Mk 1s...etc etc but for me, I'm happy to run the old locos- correct for the era, too, most of them were designed in the late fifties, so the model is truly following the prototype!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 22 Mar 2009, 06:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***
I do wonder if UK modelers might not have had a far superior RTR model railway selection now if triang had been the casualty and/or that Hornby Dublo had just kept going, so we would have had REAL Hornby products now, not evolved triang with another name!

regards

Richard

.
We probably wouldnt have had an industry at all now .Most people could not afford Hornby Dublo .It was much more expensive than Triang,though I agree far better .It was also old fashioned and self satisfied and expensive ,a combination that ensured its decline . Virtually all my friends except the wealthier ones in big houses had Triang .HD was out of the question for most unless Dad could afford it ,mine certainly couldnt .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Have to agree with the adhesion only thing that lets my 2-6-4T down is the clumpy connecting rods and flangeless centre driver - it is a FAR superior hauler than any of my more modern RTR locos - only approached in tractive capability by some equally ancient whitemetal kits......

I am contemplating modifying a later Hornby Fowler 2-6-4T chassis i have in the spares box to go under the Wrenn body.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top