Hornby. Hitting the right notes in 2015?

Are Hornby hitting the right notes

Are Hornby hitting the right notes

Well it’s very nearly a year since the last foam filled festival of angst and fundamentalist fervor. In one sleeps time will Hornby hit the right notes with, (allegedly), two new steam engine projects, a passenger coach, (singular), and a host of new liveries across the range from Railroad to high spec tooling models? Will they generate a wordless Wednesday?, sometimes it’d be nice to think that could happen, but within five minutes it’ll likely be the endless, ‘my wallets in danger’, I’ll be watching this one’, to Why aren’t they doing a blooyellowred one? That might make a change of course from the current tempestuous, I want one, I want one, I can’t get one. (Don’t forget to write it in capitals on their facetube link, they need plenty more ‘Twenty Yard Hardmen’ in there. Shouting. A lot.) At Warley, Hornby made a surprise announcement of LMS horseboxes and LMS Period 3 suburban stock, North Eastern Region hopper wagons, A class 71, and an Adams radial tank, with hard copy models and test pieces (excepting the 71) on show. This of course has followed the furore of the cheek of Hornby to announce a Great Western King class locomotive in September.

LMS Horse box

LMS Horse box

lmssub

hoppa

lswr
(Please excuse the image quality snapped using a mobile phone)

In this era of ‘social media’ it appears to be the done thing to have your say, it’s your right, or the law or something. Historically, or perhaps histerically Hornby have always kept their cards close to their chest regarding what they are announcing. Hence the surprise relating to some of their above announcements. Apparently Hornby doing what they’ve done for years, i.e. keeping quiet and then telling people what they are doing, are now ‘spoilers’ for other manufacturers. Well I say other ‘manufacturers’ but DJM would currently be far better employed writing romantic novels, their listings being more akin to The Pulitzer Prize ‘Best Fiction’ nominations. The manufacturers model prototypes are always worth studying closely, assuming the manufacturer puts images of them out, some don’t even up date their own website with images of their own products, or announcements about packaging… Bachmann seem well ahead of the game here. When you see a pre production model from them, you get a very good idea of how the finished product will look.

     Bachmann 64XX  Pre Production model

Bachmann 64XX
Pre Production model

The LMS Twins were a case in point, The Hattons model manufactured by Dapol is chunky, no other way to describe it and the pre production models were the same when shown at a forum members day. The Bachmann pre production model had far more finesse to it, the group of modellers I associate with all waited to compare the Bachmann model when released, and then subsequently bought it over the Hattons/Dapol model. The Kernow 02’s also are exhibiting the same chunkiness around the cab, and general bodywork, with very noticeable thick cab sides. Compare the Kernow images 02 (  K2101O2SteamLocomotive  ) to an equivalent Hornby M7 tank and you’ll see what I mean, the Hornby model has a finesse to it that the Kernow/Hattons/Dapol models don’t capture. I think the indications of the quality of the end product from these prototypes is maybe overlooked, or is it the majority of the Ready to Run market purchasers being less discerning/bothered about detail and quality issues? Some of electricnoses pigeons are coming home to roost. The FTG models SPA freight wagon has a design fault in that the couplings are too short resulting in buffer locking and an inability to couple like for like wagons without modifying them. It seems odd that the manufacturer hasn’t acknowledged the issue, they are surely aware of it having subsequently posted on the same page of the net that the problem is discussed, and presumably is still supplying inherently faulty products.

At Warley, Rapido   www.rapidotrains were showing their pre production models of the APT-E, and as an addition to the UK product, they were showing their ‘home’ market products, which are second to none in terms of fidelity. To those unfamiliar with Rapido this was an easy way to show their companies capability, and quality. Interestingly just over a year ago they were in the UK and brought two pre-production models with them albionyard.the-canadians-are-coming/ At Crewe, Jason and Dan were very engaging and a year later we have them back in the UK with a UK product to show. The Canadian models which were prototypes are now, (within the year), available and are of very high quality. Compare that to the UK market, what a difference.

Rapido HO GMD-1

Rapido HO GMD-1

 Rapido HO 52'6" Gondola

Rapido HO 52’6″ Gondola

What this shows is that there are manufacturers out there who listen and get on with it. Hornby over the past couple of years maybe haven’t done so well in that respect, with no disrespect to Simon Kohler,  hornbysimonsays  who has always been polite and professional when dealing with Hornby matters, but I see a change in Hornby in how they are interacting with people. Their use of Facebook with the GWR King saga was very, very, clever indeed, and I think we’ll see more of that to come. I think not only will we see the quality and availability of models change from Hornby, I have a strong feeling we are seeing the beginning of a business model change too. And, if I’m right, some of that will be partly to them listening to what people are saying. There may be an element of being careful for what you’ve asked for. You may get it, but at someone else’s cost.

I’ve still got a fiver on this being one of this years announcements in a few hours time. Remember where you read it first, over a year ago …
https://albionyard.hornby-2015-predicitons

_B6O4719.CR2

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29 Responses to Hornby. Hitting the right notes in 2015?

  1. I’m with you on the outside cranked Sentinel, Paul.
    Must admit, apart from a bit of quiet satisfaction with the already announced rolling stock, most loco releases leave me kinda cold these days. Nowt truly relevant, y’see!
    I’ll happily give the peurile “ooh, my poor credit card” drivel a wide berth.
    Happy frothing! 😉

  2. Adrian Swain says:

    Hi Don’t worry too much about the plastic thickness around the cab of the Kernow O2, just have a VERY close look at the bunker and coal rails on the 2nd prepros of the Mainland versions on Graham Muspratts site. Paring off a bit of plastic may be a bit fiddly to reduce the chunkiness, many of us have tried that on plastic and whitemetal models and been successful but I don’t fancy working on that bunker to correct it. They may delay release and retool the model which is perhaps why only the IOW painted versions have been shown so far. I sure as hell hope so, as they have my money for the SR livery No 207.

    • bawdsey says:

      Hi Adrian the whole body to me looks on the chunky side, I’ve got a good selection of BR era medium format images which in due course will be good for comparison. I don’t mind taking a knife to a model to improve it, but with all the fanfare that DJM are ‘setting higher standards’ it is quite ironic that the design encompasses such heavy detailing, however they don’t say what standards they are measuring against.

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Hi Bawdsey Have you had a GOOD look at the bunker and compared with the full size ?. You might get a bit of a shock, especially if you thought the original CADs looked correct and did not look at the later ones, assuming the correct bits would stay correct.

      • bawdsey says:

        Adrian, no, I’ve not taken a great deal of interest in it enough to comment on specific detailing, it just looks ‘coarse’ particularly when compared with other contemporary and recent loco releases, and my late fathers images. Like most modellers I can live with some compromises, I do understand that there are tolerances etc., in manufacturing that make some things difficult or uneconomic to achieve. Like yourself, my aviation career started in engineering making heavier than air machines, so I do have sympathies with manufacturers and the problems they have to overcome. It’s disappointing that whereas I would happily risk paying up front, sight unseen, for Model Rails Bachmann manufactured USA Dock Tank, I’m not prepared to do the same for a model out of the DJM or DJM + commissioner stable. I would hope that personal reticence could change particularly with Kernow’s DMU announcement. But for me their DMU will need to be the equal of their ‘Thumper’ 205 unit, before I part with my cash. I used to travel on them weekly and also spent a day doing an extensive photo survey including getting in the inspection pit underneath a 117 unit at Bletchley depot, their, (DJM/Kernow) rendition of it, will be a real insight as to how good they are in this partnership.
        brgds
        Paul M-P

  3. Steve Lucas says:

    As a Canadian, I have been envious lately of some recent UK outllne steam models. Bachmann UK’s S&DJR loco’s with table catchers and number and detail-specific loco’s offered ready to run come to mind. While Bachmann US offers generic models in both steam and diesel rather than specifically detailed model that their UK operation does. Walthers is also a major player in North American outline modelling, offering a complete range of also generically detailed loco’s and coaching stock.

    Rapido Trains offered their HO scale models eight years ago. Starting with a resin kit for an LRC coach and their first ready-to-run extremely detailed models of a Canadian National Railways’ prototype coach and sleeping car, their line has expanded to include complete passenger trains and equally impressive looking and running locomotives. The CN GMD-1 that you’ve posted the photo of is just one example of their attention to detail. Rapido’s coaching stock and freight rolling stock are more examples. This link has some examples of Rapido’s level of detail. Nulli Secundus! http://www.rapidotrains.com/budd1.html

    UK outline modellers are in for a real treat with Rapido entering the market.

    Steve Lucas

    Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada..

    • bawdsey says:

      Hi Steve, I agree re Rapido, the Gondola and GMD-1 are my own models! I’m awaiting a Genesis CN GP9 too. I’ve always felt the US/Canadian market didn’t have and still doesn’t to a degree a good cross section of quality steam models. It’s only relatively recently that smaller prototypes seem to be included in mainstream ranges, Bachmann in particular, so I get where you’re coming from. It’s good to see that passenger cars are also now getting more coverage and to a much improved quality too in the North American market. I’m very glad that Rapido are entering the UK RTR market, and I do hope they realise how fickle it can be, (Jason certainly seems switched on though). Today you can see modellers laying into Hornby for their latest K1 release, some of which have a slightly distorted footplate, yet another manufacturer is being hailed as a hero despite their first product having couplings too short to work effectively. It’s a weird world …

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Hi With regard to the SPA the couplings are the least of your worries, at least you can probably do something to correct that problem. The serious detail and dimensional inaccuracy of most of the underframe will stump anyone unless they can replace almost all of it. The chequer plate floor WITHOUT the transverse battens for fork lift trucks is a joke. It’s raised diamonds would look OK on a 3.5inch gauge model but the floors were almost certainly “Durbar” plate anyway, (look it up on Google if you don’t know what it should look like ) I am waiting for someone to try reversing a train of SPAs over a crossover, remember how well the Hornby Magazine Stove R performed with the same type of swiveling axleguard units. ?? DJ Models has stated he is really proud to have brought this model to market. I got banned from RMweb completely for 3 weeks for just mentioning there were some problems !! Funny old world

      • bawdsey says:

        The SPA again isn’t my field, but a colleague bought two and quickly reported that the couplings were too short as had been identified pretty early on. As I said in my blog post I’m surprised there has been no acknowledgment of the issue in any form from FTG. If you consider the chassis and bodywork as ‘detail issues’ which a proportion of the purchasers aren’t going to be over fussed with, (they’ll be happy with the model and its decoration) the fundamental QC issue I feel is the coupling problem. That as I understand it, likely prevents them being used coupled to each other. Not a good start for him.

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Hi I agree that the sort of modellers who are posting unpleasant comments about me on RMweb would probably not even notice these errors. I doubt they have even looked at a photo of a real wagon (of any sort) to see if their models bear some resemblance. They have all discovered the coupling problem once they try running them. This is a Trading Standards issue as the model is “Not fit for purpose” but instead of asking for the model to be rectified they are spending time and money doing it themselves. More fool them, will they continue to do this on the next model.??
        It was only the coupling issue which I highlighted in my last post although I had referred to other issues earlier and this got a warning and then a ban. Clearly RMweb no longer permits criticism of certain favoured manufacturers, nor does it comply with it’s own rules about contributors being polite to each other. I am surprised that Andy York allows other posts which comment about the couplings as clearly this is directed at FTG Models. I am still waiting for the purchasers to comment on the running of the wagons through small radius pointwork in reverse. Since they are still busy replacing couplings, to get them to run at all. I presume they have not yet had a chance to try that. I wonder if other posts commenting unfavourably about the model are being redacted, I know this has happened to me. The BRM review, unsurprisingly, hardly mentioned the errors but since John Emerson was “replaced” that is no great surprise. I would love to know how your colleague gets on with his two and what his opinion of the overall quality is.

      • bawdsey says:

        My colleague is not over enthused with them, I get the impression that rather than pre order again from FTG, he will wait and see what comes out of the box before placing orders for their products in the future. So the overall quality issue has made one customer reticent to use them, (FTG), again. Technically I’m not sure this is a Trading Standards issue yet. If people return them and there’s a problem with refunds then yes it could be. The wagons will couple to other types/manufacturers, just not to each other as I understand it, so its not entirely useless. There is a bizarre mentality at times on the forum, there’s baying for a product recall on the Hornby K1 which some examples have a bent running plate. This is in effect a cosmetic problem as it doesn’t affect the running (K1), contrasting with the FTG wagon which has a coupling issue affecting its use, and the issue is ignored/deemed acceptable. I can understand a review not picking it up, most of the editorial teams I know, only get one sample, so it wouldn’t immediately be apparent that there’s a problem lurking.

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Hi again You are absolutely right, FTG trailed round all the Mags. with his sole sample and I doubt anybody did anything more than just put it on the track and take a couple of photos. The BRM review has already reached the newsagents and is very bland but many customers have bought quite large numbers and will want to run a block train. They will HAVE to modify the couplers and I am not sure how far they can pull them out of the pockets before they reach the end. For small radius curves, trying to glue them in the new position may well not work., On top of that we have still got to see if the swiveling axles will work when shunting across pointwork !

      • bawdsey says:

        Lets hope they learn from their errors, whomever signed off the coupling design as acceptable is made to understand how tension lock coupling work and what affects them, and the company offer replacement couplings/mountings to those modellers who have bought faulty products with the next production batch. It is very odd that D&E modellers whom in the past were the vocal ‘we want improvements’ commentators, (thinking of the NEM coupler pocket height wars), are now happy to sit back and accept whatever comes.

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Hi Looks like RMweb REALLY don’t like criticism of certain manufacturers products as my ban has now been extended to 2037

      • bawdsey says:

        23 years. People get less for murder, shows how far out of touch with reality the core moderating team are. Why not just say banned? It would help if they actually didn’t bury their heads in the sand until all parties get so frustrated the are forced to step in. Here’s a case in point http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/48029-abs-models-current-address/page-3 its no wonder that the forum is getting a reputation for being partisan if a junior mod (No4), has to close the thread, when the forum manager should have acted earlier. Had they done so there wouldn’t be the irony of the manager actually complaining about having to do his job.

        Look at the positive side, the reviews won’t take things like the details taken from your milk tank comments and present them as their own opinions/facts.

  4. Kane says:

    Paul

    All very well, but will Hornby survive? I have delved into the company reports and the management are making big efforts to improve the situation, which currently shows losses for the business.

    The punters (you and I) look at the quality of models, as illustrated by criticism of some impending releases in the thread above.

    There is another side to the this. The business model. The likes of Kernow take a big punt on individual commissions and, I guess, look for each to sell out, turning a profit at a given point through a limited run.

    Bachmann, Hornby etc have a different and more traditional approach to getting products to market and are vulnerable in different ways. And the time to market will be different depending on the resources of the company concerned.

    And when you talk about Hornby keeping quiet about releases how about comparing them to Bachmann. They announced something and then wait for the trade only events. If the traders pile in with orders the models get made and in some cases the 45xx get bumped up the production schedule.

    So what is so wrong with others announcing products that are a couple of years away from production?

    Bit harsh really. The hobby needs flourishing trade support of all sorts. So whether Hornby, Peco, Kernow or DJ models, C & L, Comet (as was!) or the myriad of other businesses I wish them all well. And if their products aren’t 100% then get modelling.

    • bawdsey says:

      I see nothing wrong with companies announcing products ahead of production, we (‘should’) realise there are lead times that can vary, having been involved in production engineering and manufacturing I certainly realise that. If your product is being duplicated/replicated then you make the stop/go decision. As a commercial entity that is your duty. Other maufacturers in the past JLTRT/Parkside have seen kits in their range duplicated, notably sometimes to a lower standard and they have had in contemporary parlance to ‘suck it up’, very little comment from the masses about how that affected those companies, purchasers chose the ready to run items and voted with their wallet. Therefore if the same happens elsewhere in the hobby, shop commissions for example, the same applies, dry your eyes princess and get on with it.

      If Kernow/Hattons/Rails/Olivia’s et al want to get into manufacturing good luck to them. If they announce an unrealistic programme or product, (eg Olivia’s Blue Pullman), then they can expect their customers to question the robustness of their approach, be it in pricing lead times, variants, liveries etc etc. The manufacturers that produce commissions will take that ‘value’ to their commission products, if you look at Heljan and the O gauge MK1’s they look awful (whilst acknowledging they sell), because they are slab sided and hence, the wrong shape. However if you look at their Railbusses and Hymek you get a totally different idea of their fidelity to prototype.
      If a manufacturer has produced excellent products/mediocre/poor/nothing, that history is carried to the commissioner. The commissioner who is funding the project hopefully has their eyes open when engaging the manufacturer, Kernows ‘Thumper’ made by Bachmann has arguably set their standard for future DMU/EMU’s from them. I and others (I think), will be expecting a Bachmann quality Derby 3-Car unit from them. If it isn’t it’ll look like a retrograde/cost cutting/can’t be arsed, (choose your own) step backwards. I come from a very competitive and cost conscious commercial background, anyone who wants to take the risk in this market knows what they are getting into, or should do. Hornby I think will continue to change the way they sell, and to whom. I see similar changes here to what happened in my own industry of aviation about 15 to 20 years ago. If Hornby do that then it will change the landscape of model retailing beyond recognition, and I think that can, and might be done. Are my thoughts about manufacturing/commissioning and subsequent product retailing harsh? I don’t think so, if you don’t bring a quality product to market, I’m not sure there’s a future for you.

      I’ve no fear of modelling, most products aren’t 100% ready to run or otherwise, and I don’t expect them to be. Nothing that comes from RTR manufacturers and runs on my layout evades modification in one way or another, with one notable exception.

      The Bachmann NRM prototype Deltic.
      Produced 2007, getting on for eight years ago and still one of the best out there, that’s what the market and commissioners should be aiming for.

  5. Adrian Swain says:

    Hi Actually, having known Chris Leigh for nearly 50 years, I had a private go at him for one of his Dapol reviews and I am more than happy if he lifted any of my comments for his reviews. Just wish he had lifted a few more but he did pick up one error I had not seen because I have not bought one. I would have bought a couple of milk tanks had they been redeemable but they are not. I can’t read your reference to RMweb or any other aspect to do with the forum so you will have to copy it in full for me to have a laugh (or cry ) What surprised me is that Andy Y. printed my post about the couplers (which iI believe is still there ?) but THEN banned me till JAN 2015. Having posted here and on Modelers United he then increased the ban from 3 weeks to 22 years !! He really does not like me OR is getting orders from “On high”?? In order to get my final post on the Dapol Terrier topic I had to suggest that he was deliberately suppressing important information about errors on the model for which he might have to take some responsibility and this got me unbanned in order to post. !! I had already been banned from the Kernow O2 and LSWR brake van topics for trying to air errors that could be clearly seen and these are still suppressed by him..
    I understand that one modeler has replaced the tension locks on the SPA with screw couplings but unless he has fixed the axles rigid that will give problems even when pulling the wagons, let alone pushing them. I have a long list of errors on this wagon but I doubt they will ever reach the public on RMweb. When Andy Y reads this post I anticipate my ban being increased to at least 100 years, good thing the death penalty is not available !. I won’t suffer as a result of this ban but the general public will clearly be buying models without the benefit of knowing about the errors and may eventually find out why !! Regards.

    • bawdsey says:

      I wasn’t referring to any of Chris’ reviews, rather the BRM review of the same. The link reference to RMweb is the locked thread regarding the ABS business address. If you wish to read it do a quick search on Proxy IP address, that’ll get you going again. On RMweb there is now one that has been weathered by James Makin, and apart from it still looking a bit chunky, the weathering has significantly improved the appearance. From normal viewing distances most people would find the model acceptable when weathered to James’ standard. I use screw and instanter couplings on my BR VDA’s and Hornby CCT’s etc, looking at the design of the underframe from pictures I can’t see why they would cause any additional problems.

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Hi Do the Hornby VDAs have swiveling axle mounts ?? Neither the LMS or LNER CCTs do, nor the SR VAN C and I have all 3 which I would place a world away from the SPA in detail accuracy and design. The SPA has had the solebars moved outward significantly thus compressing the detail almost to two dimensions although not as bad as one of the early CADs shown on the SPA topic. I could copy my list of faults to this site but it is rather long.
        Having bought the above mentioned Hornby wagons I feel that they are setting the standard to be aimed for, at least with these anyway. The LNER CCT has certainly been “Cheapened” with moulded on vents and solid buffers although I never really thought sprung buffers work well enough to justify the cost..
        Whether Hornb’ys new policies regarding trading etc are “ahead of the game” we will not know for a year of two. If they are not, then Hornby may well have gone down the tubes. I have a feeling that they may just be TOO far ahead but it will depend if Bachmann decide to follow or to maintain their current direction. Internet trading will surely be the norm soon and the smaller model shops will not be around or at least not stocking major quantities of RTR. They may survive selling “Hobby” materials, paint, glue etc etc and other sorts of things like kits but I fail to see how they can afford to stock products with only a 20% discount or less, especially if Hornby don’t give them some sort of preferential treatment. If Hornby were to supply the retailers first and give them say, three months before their own “Outlets” had supplies the shops could get rid of large enough quantities to give Hornby a quick return but after that they could keep supplies restricted to their own outlets at full price.thus preventing an Ebay bonanza.
        I stopped selling to retailers at up to 40% discount some time back, as all the larger specialist model shops began shutting. Eventually there were only 2 or 3 ordering for stock, all the rest only ordered odd items when a customer asked for something. Now none of them have retail premises and all sales are by post. Exhibitions, the abandoning of retail price maintenance combined with proliferation of suppliers were the killers though, 50 years ago manufacturers did not sell at exhibitions apart from about 3 large shows in Central Hall, London, the Manchester club show and Glasgow. Today a trader can go to a show every weekend if they have the stamina and there are hundreds of product ranges. Shops just ran out of shelf space 25 years ago but when my business started there were really only half a dozen 4mm kit manufacturers plus Hornby and Peco.
        Things have certainly changed, 50 years ago O gauge was dead, TT was about to die, Narrow gauge modeling was very rare, G scale and Z gauge did not exist and N gauge was struggling.

      • bawdsey says:

        No idea if the Hornby VDA’s have swivelling axle mounts, mine (correction to VBA) are Bachmann, and theirs certainly do have swivelling mounts at both ends and work fine.

      • Adrian Swain says:

        Does your VBA have any form of centring for the axle mounts or have you fixed them ?? I assume you must have large radius curves if you are shunting with screw couplings replacing the tension locks otherwise you would have problems with buffer locking unless you have also added some form of anti locking device. I use my own design coupler for remote shunting purposes and have groups of wagons with 3 links in between but the radii are about 4 feet and I use “Bastardised P4” standards more politely known as 18.83/EM.

      • bawdsey says:

        There is no centering facility on the Bachmann VBA’s, or their OBA and other types of same length wheelbase if I recall correctly. Perhaps another reader may advise definitively. I have no anti buffer lock devices and I use them fitted with instanter/screwlink on curve radii down to 30 inches which is the inner radius of the Peco CD75 streamline curved point without any problem, There are pictures on this blog of Wharfedale Road of them in use.

  6. gazza141 says:

    I reckon if they revisited their pricing model then modellers may be a little more amenable to buying RTR Hornby products. I was brought up on Hornby, and a number of my engines are adjusted or detailed. However, a number of bachmann engines and dapol wagons have certainly crept onto the layout. Crossed fingers they do listen to modellers…

  7. Adrian Swain says:

    Great news for Southern BR(S) modelers.

    If the video released by Hornby’s “Engine Shed” site of the latest running sample of the Radial were not enough to please many of those waiting for this loco there is now even better news. Shown in the video, being hauled by the Radial, are pre-production samples of three different ex LSW paneled stock coaches as rebuilt in 1935/6. The first is a Diagram 99 8 Cpt brake 3rd the second 9 Cpt Lav/All 3rd to Diagram 31 and the last coach is the Lav. Brake/compo to diagram 418. The Dia 99 and 418 models for 2016 formed the Lyme Regis pair which ran with the Radials for over two decades. There were 5 pairs of these in all and the All 3rds were loose coaches although two later entered Push-pull sets in 1958 as replacements for life expired unmodified coaches. The 5 pairs of coaches moved around much of the West of England and also ran in the Bournemouth area.

    I have been hoping for some time that the superb Maunsell coach underframe would be reused for these coaches although, alas, the powers that be on the SR made life difficult for Hornby by only making up five 2 car sets with both vehicles on this chassis and these were not P-P fitted. The P-P sets with one rebuilt coach always had one 56’standard LSW coach or another pregroup design with added driving ends.but are not the same as either Lyme Regis type.

    I am guessing these will be released first as “Train Packs” including the Radial, commercially this will make great sense as it will encourage modelers to buy the Hornby Radial rather than the Oxford Rail one. Can we look forward to a prewar set in unlined Maunsell olive with matching loco followed by a postwar set in Malachite with a black Bulleid liveried Radial or 30584 with “British Railways” in Bullied style?. A Crimson set with unicycling ferret Radial and a later totem loco with BR(S) green coaches to complete the quartet should be added. I certainly hope so and It should be noted that sometimes the Lyme Regis train discarded the Brake Third when traffic was light so a little more variety is possible in train formations. This gave rise to the pair sometimes running with the brake ends adjacent in the middle. Hornby may well use liveries on the train pack locos that are not available separately to encourage additional loco sales.

    Now what we need ( well there is no harm in hoping is there ! ) is a 56’ LSW underframe to make up a push-pull pair driving coach and a further trailer model on the 58′ Maunsell chassis. The 56′ LSW non corridor sets which appeared all over the SW section could then be produced as well. Because the compartment components are so standardized once the initial CAD files have been made the world of LSWR coaches is your oyster. If the SECR can have a Birdcage set then the Western section needs the 3 coach sets at least as badly. If anyone wants in depth information I can recommend Mike King’s books “Southern Coaches” and “Southern Pull-Push Stock” and also Gordon Weddells book on the later LSWR coaching stock.

    The only question now, will Oxford Rail announce they are also doing the same coaches !!
    If my surmises are correct, a very happy Adrian Swain.

    • bawdsey says:

      It is good news Adrian, and another well selected set of prototypes by Hornby. looking at the image of the radial and comparing it to prototype shots in my collection, I’m not seeing any discrepancies yet that leap out.

      One wonders when they’ll announce the Bullied coaches.. ;0)

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