Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may get flamed for this, but can anyone see the point of buying these. I was at the NEC toyfair today and there were a number of stalls devoted to wrenn. The prices were extraordinary. £39 for a coal truck? True they are heavy and pull well, but they are crude models by comparison with what we have to day. I suppose its all about collecting. It can't be modelling surely. I have my tin helmet on ready for the flack
NF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I'd be inclined to agree with you. I have a couple of Wrenn A4's in my '00' LNER collection - the others being 3 Hornby and a Wills white metal kit on a hornby A3 chassis. Out of them all, the two Wrenn ones do pull the best with smooth control and good traction. However, detail wise, they are lacking.
I think at the time they first appeared on the market, they were of an acceptable standard. However compared to current line of model locos, there are very course.
These days Wrenn models appeal to be aimed the model railway collector, rather then the model railway modeller.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (Noggins Friend @ 17 Dec 2007, 07:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><snip> True they are heavy and pull well, but they are crude models by comparison with what we have to day. I suppose its all about collecting. <Snip>

*** Wrenn current "New" items are aimed squarely at collectors and take full advantage of the ability to charge based on perception rather than real hard value. REAL collectors will look for many things - when it was made, how many in each batch, what the tiny differerences between batches were, the packaging etc etc - so two apparently similar loco's or wagons may have two very different "values" to them.

Wrenn was based on the (very good for their time) Hornby Dublo tooling and was actually a failure in the "real market" ending up being dumped at any price and discounted heavily just to quit it - Its only in the last few years that it has really become a collectible of significant value, and the dregs of Wrenn were bought and reintroduced to cash in on it with "new" wrenn cobbled together from whatever remaining parts could be found.

The current Wrenn mania is not logical to any modeller who cares about accurate modelling, but there are many who don't understand a more focussed approach to "scale modelling" either.

Wrenn "value" comes from nostalgia for some and rarity/collectible value for others - Its not wrong or right - its just the way Wrenn lovers or collectors view it, and that's their hobby and their pleasure... so in the above you answered your own question well I think.

Richard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 17 Dec 2007, 03:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** Wrenn current "New" items are aimed squarely at collectors and take full advantage of the ability to charge based on perception rather than real hard value. REAL collectors will look for many things - when it was made, how many in each batch, what the tiny differerences between batches were, the packaging etc etc - so two apparently similar loco's or wagons may have two very different "values" to them.

Wrenn was based on the (very good for their time) Hornby Dublo tooling and was actually a failure in the "real market" ending up being dumped at any price and discounted heavily just to quit it - Its only in the last few years that it has really become a collectible of significant value, and the dregs of Wrenn were bought and reintroduced to cash in on it with "new" wrenn cobbled together from whatever remaining parts could be found.

The current Wrenn mania is not logical to any modeller who cares about accurate modelling, but there are many who don't understand a more focussed approach to "scale modelling" either.

Wrenn "value" comes from nostalgia for some and rarity/collectible value for others - Its not wrong or right - its just the way Wrenn lovers or collectors view it, and that's their hobby and their pleasure... so in the above you answered your own question well I think.

Richard

As I remember, Wrenn prices went absolutely crazy for a while shortly after the original Wrenn company folded in 1992/3- I remember going to a toy collectors fair around that time and being amazed by the prices being asked for Wrenn locos...

As you said, nostalgia and collectible value is what it's about- in the same way that I have a friend whose model railway interests are totally centred around collecting and running 50's/60's Hornby Dublo. I know the small abount of Wrenn stock I've got is a long way from being up to modern standards, but I wouldn't dream of replacing them, and I'm quite happy to run it alongside the current Hornby equivalents. I'm glad I bought it at a time when you could pick them up reasonably cheaply secondhand though- I seem to remember my 'City of London' cost about 25 quid secondhand in the mid-80's....
 

·
Chief mouser
Joined
·
11,775 Posts
One mans' meat is, as the saying goes, is another mans' poison.....

Having said that I personally wouldn't buy anything of that era normally. However I have just taken delivery of an unbuilt Kitmaster Stirling single for which I have plans..........(last seen running for nearest foxhole)

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My own view is that they are a complete and utter waste of money. Many years ago I had an 8F. At the time it was a fine model, but we have moved on 40 years since then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What I really get worked up about is the ridiculous liveries. On Ebay at present there is a Class 4 2-6-4T in Brunswick green and worse than that is a Rebuilt WC "Lyme Regis" in a sickly version of Malachite Green with bright green wheels for God's Sake. Uugh!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
QUOTE (Noggins Friend @ 17 Dec 2007, 18:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What I really get worked up about is the ridiculous liveries. On Ebay at present there is a Class 4 2-6-4T in Brunswick green and worse than that is a Rebuilt WC "Lyme Regis" in a sickly version of Malachite Green with bright green wheels for God's Sake. Uugh!!!!!

to be honest I don't see the point in getting worked up about something like that- they obviously found a market at the time, and it seems they still do amongst Wrenn enthusiasts and collectors.

Like they say, each to their own- I can't imagine I'd ever want to buy any more, but I've no intention of ever parting with the Wrenn loco and the few bits of rolling stock I've got, even though I know they're light years away fom modern standards...

....then again, I do still have pretty much every loco I've ever bought since the Triang Jinty that came with my first trainset aged about 5, and still run most of them from time to time....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
To put the other point of view, there is more to a model than appearance. Wrenn always run beautifully with loads of power and adhesion. But more than that they feel nice. Once you get over taking them out of their box and actually using them, they are a pleasure to handle. For all the super-detail of the latest model you can't really say that about Hornby and Baccy - you're afraid to handle them because you just know something else is going to fall off.

Most people use their Hornby on the track and keep their Wrenn in cotton wool. In a sane world it would be the other way round!

And when are the current super-detail manufacturers going to catch up with 1960/70s Wrenn that had valve gear that actually works the valve spindles?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
There is more to owning a model than appearance. How they are engineered is a factor and for those who prioritise simple and solid engineering and heavy construction over appearance then Wrenn does fit the bill. If "new" Wrenn released a loco today with similar simple engineering and heavy construction then there would be a ready market for such a model. It would have charisma.

You could say the same about Bassett-Lowke. These models may not be entirely accurate but they do have charisma, solid engineering, and are of heavy metal tin plate construction.

Charisma is something that some see as lacking in a model that is entirely accurate. It lacks the touch of an artist.

Think of cars. Why do people queue up to buy a Morgan? As a car it is totally impracticle and think of the alternatives available for the same money. However I would still like to own a Morgan given the right set of circumstances!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
In depth idiot
Joined
·
7,678 Posts
QUOTE (Don @ 18 Dec 2007, 20:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>And when are the current super-detail manufacturers going to catch up with 1960/70s Wrenn that had valve gear that actually works the valve spindles?
Ever looked closely at a Bachmann steam model? I was very pleased to see this feature on the A1 pacific - it went totally unremarked in print reviews AFAIK -and this feature continues to be found on the outside valve gear types introduced since that I have purchased. Along with very fine detail everywhere which does not fall off, solid construction with much metal content, and excellent control and traction. Had Hornby-Dublo been able to stay in business, my feeling is that this is the type of product they would now be offering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
QUOTE (Gary @ 19 Dec 2007, 08:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You could say the same about Bassett-Lowke. These models may not be entirely accurate but they do have charisma, solid engineering, and are of heavy metal tin plate construction.

I was at a Toy & Train fair back in November and in one of the room there was an 'O' gauge tin-plate third rail rail layout running. It was pretty much a set-up on the carpet and run it afair. And although not a model railway as we'd view it, it did have an appeal. Which is what wrenn locos have. Granted, the body casting are crude, they lack detail, and the drivers on my 2 A4's are definatly not 6'8". But they are good models that have a nostalgic appeal...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,202 Posts
QUOTE Think of cars. Why do people queue up to buy a Morgan? As a car it is totally impracticle and think of the alternatives available for the same money. However I would still like to own a Morgan given the right set of circumstances!
I've just sold one......

Morgan....produced initially as a cheap sports [performance] car for the worker......its current popularity is down to a quantum shift in the 'type' of customer spending their money.

similar thing with Wrenn?
 

·
Chief mouser
Joined
·
11,775 Posts
QUOTE (Gary @ 19 Dec 2007, 08:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Think of cars. Why do people queue up to buy a Morgan?

QUOTE (alastairq @ 22 Dec 2007, 09:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've just sold one......

Is that because Richard Hammond has ordered one?

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
I once owned the Wrenn A4 Great Snipe. After a year or two of storage I finally tried it on my layout. The axles were so far off centre it jumped up and down like a kangaroo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I've got a BR Blue Wrenn 08 I unearthed from storage. Got it serviced as it's been ilde for something like 20 years maybe longer and it runs like a dream.
weighs a ton as well so plaenty of pulling power. Not that'll see much use I've kept it for sentmnetl reasons. Nice to know it still works though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
QUOTE (OfficerDonNZ @ 28 Dec 2007, 02:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've got a BR Blue Wrenn 08 I unearthed from storage. Got it serviced as it's been ilde for something like 20 years maybe longer and it runs like a dream.
weighs a ton as well so plaenty of pulling power. Not that'll see much use I've kept it for sentmnetl reasons. Nice to know it still works though.

I had pretty much the same experience when I came back to railway modelling about 5 years ago- I unearthed my locos and stock from the loft, none of which had been used in at least 10 years, set up a little test track and set about seeing what worked- most things unsurprisingly needed servicing to various degrees- anything from wheel cleaning and a light oiling to a fullscale stripdown and service. The one loco that ran literally straight out of the box was the Wrenn Duchess...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So we've established what? They are heavy, they pull well, they are durable they have good motors. But they look lousy and are often in the wrong livery or a non existent livery. They have no detail. For what I'd pay for a Standard 4 2-6-4 I could have 3 or 3even 4 Bachmann ones. I'd take those any day. If you want your 3 year old playing with them go for Wrenn. If you want a realistic model go modern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I came across an old Wrenn loco today in a shop and I personally tend to agree with the majority of posts here. Weighed a ton, doubtless could make a spirited attempt to pull over a small house, obviously good quality for its day but compared to contemporary models simply not that impressive. I'm told it has a high collectors value, and that is the crux of the matter. It is valuable to a collector, period. A reasonable analogy would be to say why use an old 286 when todays computers are a damn sight less frustrating. Sure they were good in their day, but...............................
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top