Happy, or is that Hornby, New Year!

Firstly of course Happy New Year to you all!

Hornby’s 2012 Plans

As I mentioned in my It’s Christmas message this is the time of year that Hornby announce their plans for the coming year. The last couple of years it has been on Christmas Day but this year it has been kept until today to formally make the announcement. Every year there is an issue of a news embargo requested by Hornby following their briefing of the plans to the media in early December until they formally release the information themselves to the public domain.
This embargo was originally, and now somewhat ironically, put in place at the behest of the printed media. You can, however, bet your bottom dollar that one magazine or other, often blaming print / distribution schedules will report on the plans earlier than the official release date, as has once again happened this year.
This also leads to much froth and debate on web forums about what has been released or can and should not yet be said, however, at the end of the day, it is all publicity and noise generated for Hornby.

Although I have known about Hornby’s plans for sometime, unlike some blogs and forums I have respected Hornby’s intended release date hence this post today.
I am not going to provide full details of all their plans but I am happy to outline below the Southern related items that will be of interest to us Southern Modellers.

BR(s) Converted Maunsell Pull- Push Sets and Third/Second Open

Image of Pre-production version (yes minus buffers) of the Hornby Converted Maunsell Pull Push set (Picture copyright and courtesy of Hornby Magazine)

Twenty Pull Push sets were converted by BR(SR) from late 1959 to mid 1960 as replacements for earlier Pull Push sets of SR and pre-grouping design, such as the ex LSWR Gate Stock sets that have already been announced by Kernow Models.
They consisted of an 1935 built ex-Diagram 2403 Maunsell Brake Corridor Composite and a Diagram 2023 (ex 1930 built Diagram 2005) Maunsell Second Open (was designated a Third Open until 1956) neither were styles previously produced by Hornby.

Hornby will be releasing the sets both as a coach pack as Set 610 and a train pack as set 600 with M7 30029 (Picture courtesy of Hornby Magazine)

The brake end was modified by inserting two windows to form a driving compartment, with the corridor connection removed, and droplights replacing the familiar former guard’s lookout duckets. Similarly the outer end of the Second Open had its corridor connection removed but the corridor connection between the two vehicles was retained.

Maunsell Diagram 2005 Third/Second Open (Picture courtesy of Hornby Magaine)

On one hand an obvious choice for Hornby due the success of the standard Maunsell coach range meaning that they have underframes etc. already in place. On the other hand as they did not already have the Diagram 2005 Third / Open Second in the range it has meant two new body moldings. The Second / Third Open type will also be released as a Diagram 2005 loose coach in Olive Green as No. 1400 and BR(s) Green as s1314s.

SR / BR(s) Bogie Van B

Hornby Bogie Van B

Following on from Hornby’s lovely four wheeled Van C released a couple of years ago, the addition of the bogie Van B is a natural and often asked for progression as currently only the Ratio kit is available.
The Van B’s were first built to diagram 3093 in 1937, being 50ft over headstocks, steel framed with mixed 6½” / 3½” planking on the body side and fitted with standard Southern 8ft bogies (as Hornby have already exquisitely modeled on there Maunsell stock). Some were fitted with a stove for the guard the only real obvious difference being the chimney, and in Southern days the livery, as the stove fitted versions were not for working off the SR, identified them by orange painted squares at the top of the sides at each end and the lower part of the Guards door.

Other items

In addition to the above totally new items there will be DCC Sound fitted versions of rebuilt Merchant Navy 35023 Holland-Afrika Line and rebuilt West Country 34040 Crewkerne. The Railroad range will also gain the original old style ‘Schools’ Class as 911 ‘Dover’ in pre 1931 livery, but with loco drive in place of the old tender mounted Ringfield motor. New liveries include: a short frame M7 249 and narrow cab T9 708 with watercart tender both in SR Bulleid black , SR Green N15 771 ‘Sir Sagramore’, wide splasher T9 30313 with late totem,  BR lined black ‘Terrier’ 32670 with early emblem and original West Country 34001 ‘Exeter’ with early emblem.
Britannia class appears as 70004 “William Shakespeare”  in full Golden Arrow regalia as she would have carried for hauling the service when she was allocated to Stewarts Lane between September 1951 and June 1958.

Hornby have advised their intent to ensure that all are release during the calendar year,  and are sufficiently advanced in the design / production process to achieve this,  having resolved some of the supply chain issues experienced during 2011 (which includes the use of new factories / companies in China).

The much rumored 2Bill emu has not been announced, perhaps Hornby are keeping this for another year, following on from mixed reaction to their 4Vep and with production of the 5Bel Brighton Belle units now being carried over to 2012?

The advent of the Third/ Second Open might perhaps lead to the production in the future of a Maunsell Restaurant Car as these were generally paired together or am I am wish listing…

27 thoughts on “Happy, or is that Hornby, New Year!

  1. “the addition of the bogie Van B is a natural and often asked for progression as currently only the Ratio kit is available”

    While I can see the commercial reality, I think the shame is that “modellers” are demanding this model just because they won’t build a reasonably simple kit. Maybe I’m just grumpy, or maybe I have one of these in my cupboard that looks pretty good to my eyes, but a little bit of me feels sorry when the opportunity to build is removed. I know you can still build the kit but let’s be honest, most people won’t and even if they do the response will be “Is that one of the new Hornby ones cor its luverly” or worse “Are you going to replace that van with one of the new Hornby ones now they are out ?”

    1. Hi Phil

      I agree with you I have built a number of the Ratio kits and they are very good. I think it is the fact that the kits come, rightly so, with a large number of fine detailing parts (including etchings) that can put some people off.

      I often get the “is that a Hornby one” with a number of my models especially the Devon Belle observation car which very much pre dates the Hornby release.

    2. Hi Graham,

      All very welcome, I look forward to them.

      Are you aware of any reason why they are being released in SR Olive Green and BR Green, but not SR Malachite Green?



      1. A good question…although their malachite on the coaching stock does not match mine using Precision paints so a repaint will no doubt be in order for me anyway.

        ps. your Van C’s are in the post today.

  2. Hardly an exciting surprise that is notable more for its lack of items rather any ‘stand-out’ models. To be offered a replacement for the perfectly adequate Ratio B van is somewhat depressing, could not Hornby have released a updated version of their aged SR Utility van?

    The late 50’s Maunsell P+P is a logical release and will please many and will ensure the sale of M7’s but my choice is the Kernow Gated set.

    2012 will be remembered as the year of Hornby’s missed opportunity but considering their committment as supplier to the Olympics and 2011’s (and 2012) financial constraints, it is hardly surprising.

    Hopefully 2013 will bring at least one SR goods loco from Hornby if only balance the huge preponderance enjoyed by the other three companies – a Q1 and C are hardly adequate?


    1. Hi Tim

      I don’t think it that much of a missed opportunity as I am sure they have other Southern items in the pipeline that are being held back to ensure that they can clear last years issues with supply chain and ensure that this range from new suppliers / factories are released on time, hence the lack of items planned for release in Quarter 4 to allow that Quarter to be used take up any slippage.

  3. Rather surprised that there are no new liveries on the existing Maunsell coaches. Last year Kernow or Hattons indicated that such reliveries had been removed from the 2011 list as they would be released too late for 2011.
    Rather hoping that the BCK Diagram 2403 is eventually released as well as an Olive King Arthur with the watercart tender.
    The Van B (kit is half completed with no progress for 2 years) and Dia. 2005 open coach are most welcome.

    1. Hi Bob

      I too would have thought other livery variations of the Maunsell range would be welcome but I guess Hornby are aware of levels of stock already out there and giving a bit more of a breather. I would be surprised if tooling isn’t such that the original Diagram 2403 BCK can not be produced in the future.
      I would personally would also like a further release of the 448 to 457 series with the 5000 gallon watercart tender but in Malachite (as this series were allocated to Salisbury) I have already repainted the BR green one released into SR Black but malachite with its lining is a little more complicated.

  4. I realise that your preference is for Malachite having often seen your excellent models on web sites. I confine myself to a 1955-60 period and the SR pre war period so any of Galahad, Launcelot and Guinevere would be most welcome. I suspect Hornby have kept these popular names back for such a release in the future.

  5. In the past (about 15 years ago) I willingly built kits (Q1, Q even the C van and a 2-EPB for a start) and did conversions. However today with family life and work life consuming so much of my time, I am happy that Hornby and others are going to make what I will not have time to build. I have still yet to start a Crownline un-rebuilt Merchant Navy!

    I will welcome a 4-BIL and even a 4-EPB someday too and an S15 to replace my conversion.

    Overall quite a happy program this year with the 5-Belle and finally a pair of different push-pull sets.

    1. Hi John

      Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean about having a number of kits to build and not enough time, but I will persevere with reducing the pile slowly.
      I assume you mean 2Bil as a 4Bil would only have been formed using a pair of 2Bil’s This I think is still very much on the cards for Hornby in the future.
      I am guessing you are modelling the early BR period from the stock that you mention so you should be aware that the initial umber and cream 5Bel release is of the early 30’s livery rather than that which it carried in the 50’s/60’s although again I am sure that livery variation will be produced in coming years.

  6. Well, a good selection of new items for us SR folk, the Van B and Open 3rd are great additions and the 1935 style Brake Compo will no doubt appear in an earlier guise in future. I am primarily a pre-war SR era modeller and so the shortlived Maunsell Push-Pull pairs don’t excite, but I’m sure will be very popular.

    What’s happened to the SR Maunsell High window stock (R4506 – 12, I think) that were announced in 2011 and then quickly rescinded. I was certainly expecting these in 2012.
    That’ll be a very lonely BR Open 2nd/SR Open 3rd without its compartment style buddies!

    The photo of R3115 Exeter on the Hornby site is confusing, it shows the loco sporting the cab lined out in a panel paired with early crest tender. I hope they sort this anomaly out before production starts, an early BR crest WC is long overdue.
    34001 is an odd choice as it didn’t have the modified cab windows (Jan-55) for very long before rebuilding (Nov-57) – good for renames though!

    2BIL or not 2BIL, that is the question! (sorry)


  7. Excellent news. And thanks for setting it out so clearly. I am not a great fan of Ratio coaches; none of those I have built or bought are great runners. So the Van B is good news for me.
    Do we have any more news on the Barrysound chips in the MC and WC? Are they 4.0 chips with authentic sound or simple generic sound? SW Digital or in-house?
    With Kernow’s offerings too I have enough to keep me busy. But a Black Motor or Adams Radial would be exquisite. Rgds Barry

    1. Hi Barry

      Thanks for you kind comment. I am afraid that at the moment I do not what soundchip they intend to use, however I will try and find out.

      1. Further to my reply above I am now able to advise that the Soundchip will be an ESU LokSound V4.0 with 18 sound functions. Hornby in the past on their sound fitted releases have always used authentic sounds rather than generic and I would be surprised if they changed that policy, especially when recordings from the preserved locos are available. They have previously been developed in-house (which perhaps could in reality be another 3rd party) but not SW Digital.

  8. Graham, re the Hornby Malachite Green, I have to say that it more closely matches the colour the original quickly weathered [or ? sunlighted] to than the too yellow version produced by many paint manufacturers [and sadly applied to many preserved locos and vehicles in modern, non-fading technology] – I guess it’s a matter of whether you want a more accurate in-service colour, or a brand-new-out-of-the-paintshop colour!

    1. Hi Paul

      This is a topic I am studying closely at the moment and discussion with various members and authorities on the subject within the Southern Railways Group. Currently all my stock is painted using Precision Paints P78 or Railmatch which are as you say similar to the as applied colour rather than what it weathered too. I guess the issue is that Hornby have produced their malachite coaching stock in the same green as their BR(s) green which perhaps should be slightly darker still. The Malachite they use on the locomotives is closer to the Precision Paints colour. This also has a bearing on the colours to be adopted for the Kernow Gate Stock and which colours to match them too. Getting it right for everyone’s opinions is going to be tricky and I am sure we will not please everyone.
      I do feel I may have to open the debate wider to gain a larger consensus.

  9. Hi Graham
    Modelzone are still selling at sales price Maunsell coaches in the Hornby Southern 1940-47 livery so I assume sales are poor compared to the other liveries. I suspect this is due to most modellers expecting them to be similar in colour to the previous Hornby Malachite green and the Bachmann Malachite green. As you say the commercial paint offerings encourage this view. It will be interesting to see what the consenus is! Although this period is not one of my main interests, the Bulleid coaches ran in Malachite green for many years in the BR period. Incidently I am happy with the Hornby BR (S) coach green.
    It would be good if the Maunsell SO is offered with two running numbers.

    1. Hi Bob

      I think its a mix of the colour not being what most people were expecting and also the fact that the post war – pre nationalisation period is one of the least modelled periods (one of the reasons I like it) although as you correctly say Malachite lasted well into the BR period due mainly to the SR policy of re varnishing rather then repainting.
      I understand that the SO will be available with two running number variants for both liveries.

  10. Why do Hornby make authentic errors when producing various models. Why don’t they check their production plans with experts (ie : like you Graham for Southern stuff) – before commencing and making the errors. They should have good photographic reference to the actual chosen loco proposed. But not !
    Most of us know what is wrong once we see the model in the flesh………Like
    the malachite Southern M7 No 242. It should have been unlined. BR No M7 30023 has a left facing lion on the left side. Loco 30023 as you know, like other locos having the second emblem for the first time, began coming out with lions on the left side front facing, which made the heraldic emblem wrong on this side). The shop grey Bullied 21C164 has the late 3 windows arrangement. All three, quickly noticed after the event by enthusiasts. It must upset the Hornby team. I know they have been ‘advised’ that the proposed Bulleid ‘Exeter’ has the wrong cab linings pictured in the press. Guys like you for all the Big Four and BR issues should be ‘on call’ to eyeball out their idea before it may just go out wrong!
    PS : I love your ‘original’ cabbed Bulleids. How do you do it ?

    1. Hi Peter

      To be fair it not just Hornby that can sometimes make such errors, see my review of the Bachmann 25t Pill Box for example here and they do from time to time consult with known experts in their field but that is usually at the design stage of a model rather then perhaps a few additional livery variations. The M7 242 being lined I guess was an assumption on their part, as not even Bradley (to which I know Hornby reference) refers to any of the 6 M7’s that gained malachite as being unlined (243 was also unlined as I have modelled her) it has only been Peter Swift’s later book of the M7’s that has published chapter and verse.
      2IC164 was a shop commissioned limited edition so it would have been them that specified the model rather then Hornby and like a number of shop / magazine commissions compromises will be made to use existing tooling to keep costs reasonable and therefore this was a compromise that the commissioning shop must have been happy with.
      I will be suprised if Exeter’s lining does not in fact appear correct on the actual model, Hornby’s use of CGI artwork initially for announcements is well known and most take such with a pinch of salt.
      Thanks for your kind comments on my original style cabs on West Country’s my post on how I do the conversion is here.
      Best regards

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