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
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.
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.
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
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.
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…