In light of the demand for the recently released BR(s) Pull Push sets converted from Maunsell coaches Hornby have today announced the additional release of coach pack R4534A as Set 616 comprising of Driving Brake Composite number S6695S and Second Open number S1359S. The coach pack should be available in November.
This is a sensible addition to the range and looks likely to have been pulled forward from next years catalogue to meet the obvious demand, so full marks to Hornby. My review of the Pull Push sets can be read here.
Set 616 was originally Central Section based but was transfered to the Western Section during 1962.
A further addition to the 2012 range is R3159 a new M7 class number 30055. This is a long frame pull push fitted version and therefore suitable motive power for the Pull Push Sets. Unlike 30029 contained in the R3087 Train pack 30055 should have the dog clamp style smokebox door, and is illustrated as such on the packaging for the coach packs so hopefully it will be modelled correctly by Hornby.
Further to my review of the excellent Hornby BR(s) Pull Push set conversions last week, it would certainly appear that they have been popular. In many cases retailers have sold out and in some cases have not been able to even full fill pre-orders.
In some instances emails have been received from retailers advising that orders have been cancelled as the item is out of stock and production has been cancelled, which has raised a few eyebrows and in some instances hackles.
In response to this I have communicated with Simon Kohler, Sales and Marketing Director at Hornby who advises me that further stocks will be available in July, so I am happy to try here and put the record straight.
I assure those trying to get hold of them that they will be worth the wait!
As first announced by Hornby in January this year the models of the BR conversions of Maunsell stock into Twenty Pull Push sets, that were converted by BR(SR) from late 1959 to mid 1960, have now started to hit the retailers. The Hornby models correctly 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). Hornby have released the sets both as a coach pack (R4534) as Set 610 and the train pack (R3087) as set 600 with M7 30029.
Building on the success of their excellent Maunsell coach range they have of course utilised a number of common components such as the underframes and bogies, complete with their standard close coupling cam arrangement and NEM pockets etc. Both coach bodies are new toolings to take into account the driving brake and also the Diagram 2023 Third / Open Second.
The models correctly recreate the modifications to the prototype; where the brake end was modified by inserting two windows to form a driving compartment, the corridor connection removed and plated over (complete with rivet detail), and droplights replacing the familiar former guard’s lookout duckets. Similarly the outer end of the Second Open had its outer corridor connection removed and plated over but the corridor connection between the two vehicles was retained. Hornby’s attention to detail has included the up-rated EMU style buffer stocks fitted to the outer ends of both coaches along with fine rivet detail, the additional lamp irons, handrails, steps and whistle on the driving end. This attention to detail has also extended to the fact that the driving end bogie correctly has the guard irons represented, and also within the interior that features correctly coloured seating for both 1st. & 2nd. class along with brown partitions, all very nice touches!
Livery and printing matches the high standard of the existing Maunsell Stock range, and unlike on their recently released Van Bs have they managed to get the ‘Guard’ lettering on the doors the correct size. 30029 within the R3087 Train pack version has the shed plate 75F for Tonbridge Wells West, printed on the smokebox door, which is correct for both the 30029’s and Set 600’s allocation for the time period c1963. They have however used the dog clamp fitted smokebox door arrangement on this M7, where in reality 30029 retained the centre dart method of keeping the door closed.
The Second / Third Open type is also due to be released as a Diagram 2005 loose coach in Olive Green as No. 1400 and BR(s) Green as s1314s but of course fitted with standard buffers and corridor connections at each end.
As these were only introduced by BR(s) from 1959 for those of us modelling earlier periods it should be remembered that ex LSWR Gate Stock Pull Push units have been commissioned by Kernow Model Centre for release probably early 2013 and I know that the early stages of the CAD preparation is underway.
Note: ‘Pull Push’ rather than ‘Push Pull’ was the description usually coined by the Southern Railway / Southern Region within working notices etc for these type of workings.
First announced by Hornby in January this year and detailed on my post at the time here, the Southern Railway Bogie Van ‘B’ has now arrived in the shops. The first four versions are two in SR pre war Olive Green livery and two in BR(s) Green all with different running numbers.
The model builds on the success of their 4 wheel SR Van C (BR code BY) released a couple of years ago and it is just as exquisite. These 50ft vans have the same nice modelled SR 8ft bogies as their wonderful Maunsell coaches and include the same close coupling cam mechanism with NEM pockets. As with the Maunsell coaches Hornby’s close couplings are included in addition to the now usual narrow tension lock style coupling.
The model includes many separately applied fine details such as handrails, door handles, sprung buffers, vacuum pipes and even lamp irons, The underside is just as well modelled with representations of battery boxes, generator and much, but not quite all, of the brake gear and linkages. On the roof, the vents are reasonably well moulded and the guards look out periscopes are separate fittings with the wipers also moulded, the glass however is not represented and the whole thing painted roof colour. Whilst speaking about the roof, the rain strips are very straight and not as curved as the majority of the prototype vans. However one picture on the excellent Southern Railway resource SeMG website here appears to show similar straighter rain strips, although I am certain this was pretty much an exception rather than the rule.
Livery application is up to Hornby’s usual high standard, although the guards lettering does appear to be slightly oversize, which considering it appears to be correct on their Van C models this is a little surprising. The olive green versions have the door window droplights in varnished teak as they would have been. Mind you these vans were soon quite dirty and not often cleaned so much so the livery was quite often not discernible.
Overall this is an excellent model, even with the minor niggles highlighted above, and will certainly be very popular with Southern modellers (and judging by stock levels at some retailers it already has been) and when perhaps a BR blue liveried version is released suitable for a heavy level of grime to be applied (see Paul Barlett’s excellent reference site here for inspiration) wider afield modellers will be able to make use of them as towards the end of their life they could be seen all across the network.
It is often debated in Southern circles if the term ‘unrebuilt’ should or should not be used to describe a Bulleid Pacific in its original form. One school of thought is that if something has not yet been ‘rebuilt’ it can not be ‘unrebuilt’. You might have guessed that if I am honest the use of ‘unrebuilt’ is a pet peeve of mine. Now Hornby, perpetuated by some of the written media have coined the phrase ‘unconverted, to describe the Maunsell Diagram 2005 Third / Second Open coach being released this year. This is I assume come about due to fact that some were converted to form part of the 1959/60 Pull Push sets nos. 600 to 619 but surely in original form they were just that ‘original’ not ‘unconverted’?
I also take this opportunity to clarify a few other things that has arisen since the announcement last week or correcting misinformation that has either appeared online, in some retail stores listings or in the printed media…
Firstly, contrary to at least one retail site and one magazine, the Bogie van B release is a completely new tooling of a model not previously in the Hornby range. It is neither ‘gangwayed’ or a retooling of the now aged ex Triang/Hornby Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van which is a different prototype entirely.
I can also re-confirm, as this has been questioned on at least one online forum, that the BR(s) Converted Maunsell Pull- Push Sets will be released both in a train pack as set 600 along with M7 locomotive number 30029 and also as a coach pack as set 610. It should also be worth reiterating that the driving trailer is a completely new tooling of the correct style 1935 built ex diagram 2403 BCK, as this style had flush style windows and droplights rather than the earlier style Maunsell coaches already in the Hornby range.
The release of West Country class 34001 Exeter in early emblem BR livery paired with high sided 4500 gallon tender represents the short period between January 1555 when she received the modified wedge shaped cab and November 1957 when she was rebuilt. I am hoping that the cab side lining will be corrected from the sample (computer generated) image shown on the Hornby website to horizontal lining that it should have when still paired with high sided tender, rather then the paneled lining as shown which would be correct if the tender was cut down.
I was asked a question via a comment on my Hornby announcement post of last week about the Sound Chips used by Hornby in relation to the release of both a rebuilt Merchant Navy and a West Country with DCC Sound. In case you missed my answer, I obtained the following clarification: 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.
Although not directly Southern, being from other railway companies, two of the brand new tooling steam locomotives announced did run on Southern metals. The GWR 72xx heavy goods 2-8-2 tanks were regulars at Salisbury on the freights and coal trains from South Wales and the LNER O1 class 2-8-0 freight locomotive number 63789 was used on during the Locomotive exchange trials on the Eastleigh to Bristol (via Salisbury) freight trials in 1948. Last years release of GWR 28xx class 2-8-0 number 3803 also was used on this trial.
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…
Although already out else where on the web I, unlike some blogs and forums, will respect Hornby’s intended release date and will be posting details and additional further information about the Hornby 2012 Southern related releases here on Tuesday morning (3rd Jan).
My post will include pictures of the pre-production samples as well as some Hornby supplied images.