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Oxford Rail announces - OO gauge Mk3 coaches

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I’m quite pleased with this announcement as I held back from buying multiple ScotRail TSOs as Oxford had said they’d produce more with different numbers if they sold well, I’ve already got my order in for this pair. 

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Very easy to renumber with the superb Railtec transfers. I rubbed the old numbers off with a cotton bud and Brasso, less than 2 minutes a coach.

 

I am just completing my respraying into executive light grey and my coaches now perfectly match my Bachmann DBSOs - also renumbered by Railtec Decals.

 

John

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Advice time

 

I tried to change the couplings and the springs ended up out of place. Getting them back in was tricky but now the small screws that hold the seating plastic to the chassis aren't gripping. Has anyone else had this issue and recommend a solution? It's critical because the seating plastic keeps the coupling mechanism in place, otherwise it hangs low.

 

These really are such poor build quality, I ordered Hornbys latest virgin MK3s because I was so disheartened with these.

 

Thanks in advance

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Hi James90012,

 

I fitted lights to my rake of Oxford Mk3’s and also had a few problems when reassembling. Three suggested options:

 

1) Add a drop of super glue to the plastic hole,  leave it to set, then reassemble using the original screw: It should now ‘bite’ into the the plastic+glue and re-thread itself. This will allow un-screwing at a later date.

 

2) Could find a slightly larger screw and reassemble, again it should re-thread itself and be able to un-screwed later, however finding a slightly larger screw that isn’t too big can often be a challenge (Sod’s law principle!)

 

3) Carefully glue together to form a permanent bond - although by nature, difficult to take apart in future.

 

I used a combination of 1 and 2 (as I was lucky to have some spare screws) and have had no problems since. I actually like the Oxford Mk3’s, especially once a bit of improvement work is carried out, but do agree that they could have been engineered and finished a bit better.

 

Hope this helps and good luck with your Mk3’s.

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Hi James90012

 

The easiest solution I have found is to remove the screws holding the ballast weights in place, gluing the weights instead, and then use those screws to secure the seating plastic ends.  They have a far better grip and keep everything in place.  One suggestion if you go down this route is be careful how far you tighten them, make sure that the self centring mechanism still works.  Loosening the screw very slightly can make a big difference to the smoothness of the self centring mechanism.

 

I would also suggest adding a small amount of super glue to both ends of the springs in the self centring mechanism.  This helps hold them in place and stops them disappearing if you are taking the coach apart.  

 

I have made these changes to about 20 coaches and they work well.  Sometimes after a while the self centring mechanism tightens up but it is easy to simply loosen the screw slightly if that happens.

 

Best wishes


Roddy

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On 30/07/2019 at 20:52, James90012 said:

Advice time

 

I tried to change the couplings and the springs ended up out of place. Getting them back in was tricky but now the small screws that hold the seating plastic to the chassis aren't gripping. Has anyone else had this issue and recommend a solution? It's critical because the seating plastic keeps the coupling mechanism in place, otherwise it hangs low.

 

These really are such poor build quality, I ordered Hornbys latest virgin MK3s because I was so disheartened with these.

 

Thanks in advance

The only rtr alternative to the Oxford Mk3a is the Jouef Mk3a, Hornby have only ever made HST Mk3 trailers. There’s a myriad of detail differences between the loco hauled and HST version.

The Oxford build quality isn’t the best but this is reflected in the price. All easily rectified using some basic modelling material, as explained above.

Brian.

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I emailed Oxford rail asking if they are any further on with the licence for the virgin west coast livery as it’s been nearly 2 years since they announce them. Also about the HST versions of the coaches, email back from them saying still waiting for licence and that they never said they were making the HST  versions but to watch this space. I am sure in their original info it said they were making them and along with the drawing of the mk3 body with the different variants showed a TGS, also a photos of 5 coaches in a display case shows them to be HSTs, as the roof clearly shows the space were the square roof vent goes and no grab handle on the end of the coach. Or am I just imagining it as I can not find a link anymore to the original press release. 

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I get the impression Oxford are back tracking on a lot of things at the moment, their die-cast range has slowed up and they most definitely did say they were going to release HST versions of the Mk3 and showed initial drawings showing they had correctly incorporated the differences.  The news on the Virgin stock is disappointing as I was hoping to assemble a rake for the last days of loco hauled Mk3s in 2005.  There again, "Kit-Kat" liveried Mk3s did run without the "Virgin" logo for a while so if it is that which is delaying the release why not put out the de-branded versions?

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2 hours ago, wombatofludham said:

I get the impression Oxford are back tracking on a lot of things at the moment, their die-cast range has slowed up and they most definitely did say they were going to release HST versions of the Mk3 and showed initial drawings showing they had correctly incorporated the differences.  The news on the Virgin stock is disappointing as I was hoping to assemble a rake for the last days of loco hauled Mk3s in 2005.  There again, "Kit-Kat" liveried Mk3s did run without the "Virgin" logo for a while so if it is that which is delaying the release why not put out the de-branded versions?

 

I don't know much about the Oxford Rail MK3s except that the Stobart Rail MK3 has been released earlier this year. I would really like a rake of Chiltern liveried MK3s that work with the Class 68s. Hornby haven't produced these yet, so that could be a really good product to announce by Oxford, especially considering Dapol have produced three Class 68s in Chiltern livery and with them mostly running with said MK3s they don't currently have much to run with in OO Gauge. 

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When released they also said that Irish Rail ones would follow but still waiting. 

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On 24/10/2019 at 09:45, Cbpete said:

email back from them saying still waiting for licence

It's strange that it is taking so long for the Virgin licence. Hornby, Lima, Bachmann, Heljan, Dapol and Vitrains have all produced 00 Virgin stock over the years. It makes you wonder how bad ORs representation of the Virgin livery is.

 

If they had brought the coaches to market to coincide with the release of Hornby Virgin class 87 I'm sure they'd get quite a few sales!

Perhaps the delay is due to OR working on a 86 to release at the same time! After all, their Virgin MK3 picture showed more 86 than MK3!

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3 hours ago, scottrains29 said:

It's strange that it is taking so long for the Virgin licence. Hornby, Lima, Bachmann, Heljan, Dapol and Vitrains have all produced 00 Virgin stock over the years. It makes you wonder how bad ORs representation of the Virgin livery is.

 

If they had brought the coaches to market to coincide with the release of Hornby Virgin class 87 I'm sure they'd get quite a few sales!

Perhaps the delay is due to OR working on a 86 to release at the same time! After all, their Virgin MK3 picture showed more 86 than MK3!

 

Any link to that post of the Virgin Class 86 and Mk.3???

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On 24/10/2019 at 18:32, NIRCLASS80 said:

When released they also said that Irish Rail ones would follow but still waiting. 

Oxford mk3s are loco hauled,irishrail mk3s are Hst coaches,different roof detail.

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43 minutes ago, killucan2 said:

Oxford mk3s are loco hauled,irishrail mk3s are Hst coaches,different roof detail.

Yeah, well aware. But I think it’s more representation than accuracy just like Lima coach releases of the past. 

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On ‎28‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 13:11, scottrains29 said:

It's strange that it is taking so long for the Virgin licence. Hornby, Lima, Bachmann, Heljan, Dapol and Vitrains have all produced 00 Virgin stock over the years. It makes you wonder how bad ORs representation of the Virgin livery is.

 

The line from Oxford was that another company (not necessarily in model railways) had abused the Virgin image rights and as a consequence Virgin was completely reviewing its granting of licences. That was something like two and a half years ago though.

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Having recently unpacked and examined my oxford Mark 3s purchased a year or more ago, I feel the topic of Oxfords appalling build quality with these coaches needs revisiting.

 

The issue of loose/missing door footsteps, buffers etc has been well documented and such issues were present on all five coaches, but on opening the Mark3a buffet I find that they have surpassed themselves.....chassis so loose from the body that it dropped down to the floor, the plastic chassis so thin that it bows severely on the slightest pressure. And of course,  the minute springs upon which the close coupling mechanism depends are missing from both ends and loose in the box. As some would know, relocating these is a nightmare.

 

All in all, a cheap and nasty product. People may bag the Hornby Mark3s as crude and long in the tooth (and with their own errors in production) but they are at least a solid, robust build that I much prefer. I will not buy further Oxford coaching stock while such poor quality persists (they are not THAT cheap after all...)

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1 hour ago, Johnfromoz said:

Having recently unpacked and examined my oxford Mark 3s purchased a year or more ago, I feel the topic of Oxfords appalling build quality with these coaches needs revisiting.

 

The issue of loose/missing door footsteps, buffers etc has been well documented and such issues were present on all five coaches, but on opening the Mark3a buffet I find that they have surpassed themselves.....chassis so loose from the body that it dropped down to the floor, the plastic chassis so thin that it bows severely on the slightest pressure. And of course,  the minute springs upon which the close coupling mechanism depends are missing from both ends and loose in the box. As some would know, relocating these is a nightmare.

 

All in all, a cheap and nasty product. People may bag the Hornby Mark3s as crude and long in the tooth (and with their own errors in production) but they are at least a solid, robust build that I much prefer. I will not buy further Oxford coaching stock while such poor quality persists (they are not THAT cheap after all...)

 

Such a shame. I had really high hopes for these when they were first announced and was looking to replace 30-40 Hornby Mk 3s (3 HST rakes, 3 Mk 3 ScotRail push-pull rakes and some sleepers). I was also in touch with Oxford quite a lot in the early days, but lost interest when they decided not to fit lights. I lost even more interest once the shortcomings of the model became apparent.

 

I'll be keeping my Hornby ones for the foreseeable future now. They scrub up pretty well with window frame etches, lazer glaze, corridor connectors and a respray, which I had already done on them anyway. The Hornby ones look like a Mk 3 to me. I just need to fit them with lights now. The roof detail discrepancies don't bother me and with the Oxford ones, I'd just be replacing one set of shortcomings with another.

 

I think this is the challenge that companies bringing out new models face these days, improving what are already pretty decent models. Fall short and many people just won't be interested. Fortunately, many of the new model ventures (Accurascale, Cavalex, SLW, etc.) seem to be up for this challenge.

 

Looking on the bright side, at least it's saved me a fair amount of money. 

 

 

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Were good in one way

 

Cheap Jouefs on Ebay for 3a stock.

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On 29/11/2019 at 09:49, Johnfromoz said:

Having recently unpacked and examined my oxford Mark 3s purchased a year or more ago, I feel the topic of Oxfords appalling build quality with these coaches needs revisiting.

 

The issue of loose/missing door footsteps, buffers etc has been well documented and such issues were present on all five coaches, but on opening the Mark3a buffet I find that they have surpassed themselves.....chassis so loose from the body that it dropped down to the floor, the plastic chassis so thin that it bows severely on the slightest pressure. And of course,  the minute springs upon which the close coupling mechanism depends are missing from both ends and loose in the box. As some would know, relocating these is a nightmare.

 

All in all, a cheap and nasty product. People may bag the Hornby Mark3s as crude and long in the tooth (and with their own errors in production) but they are at least a solid, robust build that I much prefer. I will not buy further Oxford coaching stock while such poor quality persists (they are not THAT cheap after all...)

 

since Hornby adopted tinted glazing on the windows I thought they still weren't bad coaches at around £30.  if they somehow incorporated the coach ends of their new plug door mk3s with correct profile gangways, mk3a roof and some closer couplings Hornby would sell even more units.   the fidelity in some areas is great on the oxfords but we are still missing the definitive 4mm scale Mk3 (the sort you could imagine Accurascale taking on).

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Given that’s it’s a massive year for Hornby next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce new Mk3 and Mk3a’s. Oxford really dropped the ball with these. Hornby could really clean up if they get them out fast and correct! 

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On 06/06/2019 at 17:44, apollo 079 said:

E-mail from Oxford confirms it will be 12014 and 12030 (in ScotRail).

 

Aye all very well, but when are they going to release them...................?

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On 01/12/2019 at 23:00, Hilux5972 said:

Given that’s it’s a massive year for Hornby next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce new Mk3 and Mk3a’s. Oxford really dropped the ball with these. Hornby could really clean up if they get them out fast and correct! 

 

Total speculation on my part, but

 

1) the current CEO of Hornby owns 51% of LCD Enterprises (owner of Oxford)

2) Hornby owns 49% of Oxford.

3) Hornby have some new tooling for Mk3 coaches (the slide door rebuilds).

4) I suspect, much like the Terrier, Hornby view the HST as "theirs"

 

I would be surprised if the new Hornby Mk3 tooling did not allow for the older versions to be made, as it would seem to be an obvious next step.

 

Given the ownership of Oxford, and that Oxford have apparently backed away from their original plans to do Mk3 variations, it would seem that the way has been made for Hornby to proceed with further Mk3 versions from new tooling.  I would guess the HST Mk3 first, with M3ka's possibly in the future.

 

The only real question is what level of effort/quality Hornby put into the model.

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7 hours ago, mdvle said:

 

Total speculation on my part, but

 

1) the current CEO of Hornby owns 51% of LCD Enterprises (owner of Oxford)

2) Hornby owns 49% of Oxford.

3) Hornby have some new tooling for Mk3 coaches (the slide door rebuilds).

4) I suspect, much like the Terrier, Hornby view the HST as "theirs"

 

I would be surprised if the new Hornby Mk3 tooling did not allow for the older versions to be made, as it would seem to be an obvious next step.

 

Given the ownership of Oxford, and that Oxford have apparently backed away from their original plans to do Mk3 variations, it would seem that the way has been made for Hornby to proceed with further Mk3 versions from new tooling.  I would guess the HST Mk3 first, with M3ka's possibly in the future.

 

The only real question is what level of effort/quality Hornby put into the model.

 

Bearing in mind the number of attempts there have been at Mk3s (Joueff, Lima, Hornby, Oxford Rail) and the quantity of those that will be available on the second-hand market then the market for just 'good-enough' Mk3s must be saturated if you're going to do more than just bring out new liveries so the only real gap would be for a top quality one. I had hoped Oxford Rail would fill that spot but their colour blindness and poor build quality have put an end to that

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On 06/12/2019 at 02:59, mdvle said:

 

Total speculation on my part, but

 

1) the current CEO of Hornby owns 51% of LCD Enterprises (owner of Oxford)

2) Hornby owns 49% of Oxford.

3) Hornby have some new tooling for Mk3 coaches (the slide door rebuilds).

4) I suspect, much like the Terrier, Hornby view the HST as "theirs"

 

I would be surprised if the new Hornby Mk3 tooling did not allow for the older versions to be made, as it would seem to be an obvious next step.

 

Given the ownership of Oxford, and that Oxford have apparently backed away from their original plans to do Mk3 variations, it would seem that the way has been made for Hornby to proceed with further Mk3 versions from new tooling.  I would guess the HST Mk3 first, with M3ka's possibly in the future.

 

The only real question is what level of effort/quality Hornby put into the model.

Alternatively....

 

maybe the Hornby Brand has greater reach, depth and resonance to be able to sell more mk3’s than Oxford ?

so let Hornby get on with the latest & greatest more common & popular versions, let Oxfords trickle in the background.

 

i’m not Sure I see any point to Oxfords mk3 in Virgin trains livery for example.. it’s gone, Virgins gone, and Hornby ones are discounted on the shelves.

 

Edited by adb968008
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