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  1. Indeed, it is easy to forget just how large production runs were up until the end of the 1970s, so in 14 years the A1A body tools could be expected to have run well over 100,000 shots whereas modern RTR runs are generally in the low thousands if that.
  2. I'm always on the lookout for models that tell the story of Triang's journey to Hornby Hobbies. One that I think does this particularly well is the R357 A1A (Class 30/31) Diesel Electric. It was made from 1962 to 1976 so spans almost exactly the period from Triang becoming a head on challenger to Hornby Dublo (rather than the low budget inferior alternative) to the birth of the modern Hornby Railways range. An important part of this story are the last production versions which retained all the classic features of Triang locos (worm driven motor bogie, magnadhesion etc) but are finished and presented alongside the next generation of models that bridge the gap until the China-made era. Certainly, when introduced, it went immediately to the top of the class as a scale version of the model it purported to represent, as good as the Dublo EE Type 1 (Class 20) and markedly better than the horror that was the Dublo Deltic. It also represented a sizeable mixed traffic class of loco. Whilst of not great value, it is hard these days to find original unmolested examples in good boxes with the correct header card and paperwork. I've managed to source two good late examples, one from the 1975, and one from 1976, the last year of production. The 1975 one is noted for coming in a new box size, smaller and squarer in section than that used previously. This marked a standardised size that would endure for 20 years through numerous graphical changes. By this stage, the loco is presented in the green livery (as D5572, the only number used on green and BR blue versions in the entire production run) that had periodically graced the model since 1963. Since 1973 though this has been gloss laquered to give an incredibly bright shiny finish. This was a policy of Hornby Railways' new owners post-Triang that meant the sober colours of the Triang era (brown buildings, satin-finished locos etc) had given way to garish red brick, shiny locos and bright finishes that would appeal in toy shops. However, technically the post 1973 models benefit from additional trailing wheel pickups, indeed they picked up from more wheels than the following Mk2 Ringfield powered locos that replaced it. The 1976 model is almost identical but has plastic buffers fitted of the type that would become standard for the next 30-odd years, and a different headcode label. The '4C01' and '9D80' headcode labels were used interchangeably throughout the long production run of this model. The 1976 box is the same size but is now in the red Hornby Railways design that defines the 'real' beginning of the post Triang era and would be used subsequently for the standard Ringfield Mk2 powered locos. All the diesel models from 1977 onwards would need to use this Ringfield mechanism or be culled from the range. The more modern ex-Triang locos (Hymek; Class 37) got new chassis and mechanisms, but the R357 A1A, along with the R157 Diesel Railcar and R253 Dock Shunter were deleted - presumably the tooling was worn enough not to justify the changes needed, whilst the A1A, with it's motor hung from the internal body top rather than the chassis was completely at odds with the chassis mounted Ringfield mechanism. The model was replaced the following year by the Class 25. That year, gloss varnish also gave way to matt finish as Airfix and Palitoy/Mainline began to challenge Hornby's market dominance with much more realistic looking models (just as upstart Triang had moved in on Hornby Dublo's territory).
  3. The capacitor is not needed to make the engine run; it is there to reduce sparking. There is no specific positive or negative side to the motor; the distinction is between the insulated side brush (held by the sleeved spring wire) and the uninsulated side brush which is effectively linked to the chassis which is 'live' to the opposite polarity. You run the wire from the pick up plate to the insulated brush. This wire must be protected from any bare metal contact with the chassis or motor. You do not need to do anything for the opposite side brush - the metal brush spring is screwed to the motor and the motor is screwed to the chassis which creates the return current path. When fitted, the capacitor sits across the positive/negative path - if not used you don't want any plain wiring in its place or you will just dreate a short circuit.
  4. Time to stick it on ebay then so a mug like me can buy it....
  5. I don't know if you ever intend to go back to it, but ironically that is just the kind of project challenge I am so enjoying tackling!
  6. It's a teeny pair of images but agreed that it looks like a Lima six wheel motor bogie
  7. I'm not sure I would be looking to take on a shop lease in Zone 1 right now!
  8. Most of the Lima D & E models offer a excellent basis for detailing. Mechanically they are politely described as 'rugged' - they use a Ringfield motor with traction tyres, pickups generally from one bogie each side (although later issues such as the 47 and 37 had additional pickups) and a great big lump of pig iron for weight. I know many disagree, but for romping around a layout they still do the job for me. However, if you want to do shunting or low speeds they really don't compete with modern mechanisms, so it is not uncommon to re-engine them - either with CD motors is the Ringfield housing or transplanting central drive through both bogie mechanisms - a number of Lima 31s have benefited form mechanisms recovered from Hornby 31s that suffered 'mazak rot'. I'll let others comment on sound installation.....
  9. Ah, the old crystal ball gazing. Model railways have for the majority of their existence lived on the margins of a niche hobby - most people know or are vaguely aware but many people go through life untouched by any association. In many ways, the classic 'train set for every boy' period looks like a bit of an outlier, a period from 1950 to 1980 where it was a rite of passage but put away with other toys and not pursued as a hobby. I say this to emphasise that the cottage industry/small business approach is far more the established long term norm than perhaps we like to think - look back to firms such as Hamblings, Anbrico, Exley, LMC, Bassett-Lowke - these were not household brands in the same way that I would argue Bachmann Branchline, Heljan, Accurascale, Kernow etc are not household brands. This means that Hornby as a brand and a company retain a unique association and value in people's minds, and the brand I think will continue whatever happens to the legals structure, assets etc of whoever is using it. In that sense I think it's important to separate any discussion about the present company with the question about the survival of the brand. In terms of the enthusiast, the sheer range of materials and opportunities is unrivalled compared to the past - whatever specific problems there might be getting a cast chimney for class 'x' of loco as originally built in 19-whatever from a particular cottage industry supplier, the ability to source things is incredible. The continued development of 3D printing and similar technologies mean that for those who want to pursue it, the sky is pretty much the limit.
  10. That's a great photo you linked to - is that a 'neverwazza' or genuine? The image in the Triang 1964 catalogue was from a time when the illustrations where heavily artworked.
  11. The clear evidence is that you get it from friends, not strangers. That is why restrictions now focus on social gatherings and family meet ups. It is unfortunate that public transport use has been demonised so much by this epidemic.
  12. Although the specific reason for closure has been given as Covid, it is very clear that Ian Allan had been pulling out of transport publishing/model sales for a long time. I understand that the Waterloo shop is owned freehold, [Apparently the shop is on a lease] the shop did not do internet sales so no alternative channels were or are available during closure/reduced footfall. In that sense, I wouldn't read this closure as typical of the issues facing every model shop.
  13. https://www.facebook.com/TheAviationHistorian Oh dear, final nail appears to be Covid-19 but as the last remaining outpost I was already concerned for its future.
  14. Ha ha, for once a straightforward answer....the Bachmann models aren't perfect but all use modern flushglazed close coupling metal wheeled vehicles modelled on specific prototypes. Lima and Hornby offerings are non flush glazed old tooling, BUT note that unlike Bachmann the roof vents are correct on the Hornby Mk2 BFK - this was tooled by Triang in 1968 who got this correct, unfortunately Bachmann put the vents in the 'open saloon' positions rather than the correct compartment positions. The tooling has not (yet) to my knowledge been corrected.
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