No compromise from Hornby
Finescale models and attention to detail is Hornby's new year message
At a press briefing in London on January 16, Hornby's Simon Kohler introduced the new models featured in the Hornby 2001 catalogue. The new philosophy at Hornby, now under the leadership of new Chief Executive Frank Martin, means detailed and well researched, finescale models - the toylike attitude of compromise is well and truly out! The outstanding success of the ‘Merchant Navy’ has paved the way for the new approach which has proved a big hit with the modelling public. This year will see Hornby build on this success with a new star of the ‘Super Detail’ range, the ‘Coronation’ Pacific. Supporting the ‘Coronation’ are completely revised models of the ‘Princess’ and ‘Duchess’ produced as a direct result of the investment in the streamlined 4-6-2, all fitted with the new five-pole motor driving the locomotive. All new locomotives from Hornby will now have the new motor fitted in the chassis of the locomotive wherever possible.
Under development is a new five-pole skew-wound Ringfield motor tender drive unit featuring completely new 13:1 gear train and motor block, fitted with new wheels eliminating the infamous centre stub axles. The new unit promises more responsive control at low speeds, and should be in production in the second half of the year. Further development work on the new power unit will also later see it being used as a power bogie in the diesel and electric fleet.
The policy of continually upgrading models will bring further additions to the ‘Super Detail’ range including a weathered 9F Class 2-10-0, fitted with an improved chassis block that more accurately reproduces the prototype, although this loco will retain tender drive. The ‘King’ also benefits from ‘Super Detail’ treatment.
Other developments in the rest of Hornby’s range includes the tender from the ‘King’ Class fitted to ‘Castle’ Class loco Kenilworth Castle, and many new livery variations including the 2P 4-4-0 in the attractive S&DJR blue livery. The ‘Queen of Scots’ train set is also new including A4 Golden Plover and Pullman coaches Juana, Sheila and brake car No.78. A new ‘Great British Trains’ pack features the famous ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ or ‘ACE’. This set comprises ‘Merchant Navy’ Class Holland-America Line and three BR(S) Mk.1 coaches in SR green livery with unique running numbers and destination boards not available elsewhere in the catalogue. This set is being produced as a Limited Edition of 2,000 sets.
Although all current development work is being concentrated on steam outline locomotives, Hornby are very conscious of the fact that the ageing diesel and electric models, as well as their rolling stock range, also need attention but nothing is promised for this year apart from new liveries and the introduction of the new motor bogie previously mentioned.
The big news for the second half of the year is the introduction of two new models of the ‘Battle of Britain’ and ‘West Country’ Bulleid ‘air-smoothed’ light Pacifics. Expected to be available around September 2001, these new and extensively researched models will feature such detail differences as 8’ and 9’ wide cab versions, short or long smoke deflectors, and two types of tender. First releases will include ‘BB’ Class 92 Squadron, preserved on the Nene Valley Railway, as well as Tangmere, plus ‘WC’ Class Wilton.
• Exclusive pictures from the new Hornby catalogue are featured on the centre pages of the March 2001 issue of BRM, while Pat Hammond looks at the history of the Hornby streamlined ‘Coronation’ Pacific in the March 2001 Classic BRM supplement.