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BBC Four - James May's Big Trouble in Model Britain

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33 minutes ago, jjb1970 said:

In all fairness, how many people here would be especially happy about leaving what appeared to be a very pleasant, modern office offering a nice working environment to go back to something that had obviously seen better days and didn't look especially pleasant?

living local I suspect its the move from modern offices 2000's to 1950's also the journey to work would take up to a hour maybe longer each day

 

Nick

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Corbs said:

 

Maybe I've been a dishonest film maker for the past 10 years as a Producer then! :P

I was a producer and director of factual programmes at the BBC for twenty five years and never found it necessary to cheat in that way; most of the editors I worked with wouldn't have countenanced it either. Fair enough if their expressions remained much the same throughout his speech but the idea of taking reaction shots from a completely different occasion sounds very strange.  In any case why would you not want the staff's immediate reaction to the announcement. That was surely the whole point of that sequence.

 

Never let a good story get in the way of the truth.  

 

I did wonder whether SK's careful placing of the portrait of Frank Hornby was done for the camera but it's possible by now that everyone working at Hornby really do feel that to be their legacy rather than Tri-ang. The chap who'd been there for fifty two years would still have started after it became Tri-ang Hornby  in 1965 so, even though the product base originally descended from Tri-ang as did its presence in Margate (and the tension lock couplers),  there's probably no corporate cultural memory of it being anything but Hornby. Interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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Posted (edited)

I’ve watched both episodes. I can see the frustrations of Rails and Hattons regarding lack of product, and new tooling, hence starting to produce their own models.

 

I still feel Hornby don’t take the diesel era modeller seriously today, yet back in 2005, the super detailed class 31 arrived, then the 08/09, 60, 56, so all good. But since then it’s all been a bit lacklustred, especially choice of liveries. 

 

The part that really surprises me is Hornby not producing a super detailed Class 37 and Class 47. Considering these where their bread and butter diesels through the late 70s, 80s and 90’s. If the Terrier kettle is considered to be a staple member of their range, seems odd to have given up the 37 & 47. Indeed th definitive models of both in my view have yet to be produced.

Edited by richierich
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Well I do work with BBC factual editors and they are masters of it, so your commitment to the truth is admirable.

I'm not saying 'that scene is clearly false', I'm saying 'don't straight-up believe everything you see because in my experience most of it is made in the edit, and this programme is clearly playing the humorous drama angle'.

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Posted (edited)

2 episodes.  Only 2 episodes!!!  All that hype and froth for only 2 bl**dy episodes!  

 

 

Edited by The Johnster
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55 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

There was a children's homework answer which went something like this

Teacher: Question. Name a food one of your parents likes.

Child: Answer. My daddy likes sugar, in fact he likes it so much he even sniffs it up his nose.

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Posted (edited)

Very nice series, and overall it’s a good advert forRails and a Hattons too.

(afterall Hornby knows where good money comes from too).

 

i am thrilled !! that after 3 years banging a drum for new technology (and having bricks thrown at me for suggesting it) that Hornby had at least looked at VR (if not AR too).

 

I think AR rather than VR would be more complimentary to Hornbys physical railway range,  with layout cameos and scenes.

VR has a place in simulator (ie viewing as the developer was on the laptop..think “wii” But using your iPad) rather than the headset as in a loft blowing an imaginary whistle, you could easily fall over a beam and fall from the loft, and definitely the audience isn’t totally ready for it ! 

But scalectrix however is an instant win for VR.. imagine yourself driving that car whilst sat on the couch, against your mate.. and he doesn’t even need to be in the same house as you ! - i’m  think you could even ditch the track and have a course defined by machine learning and race the cars round your house, or the street running off battery/Wi-fi .

 

ive just spent 2 days at the Excell looking at applications of both AR and VR in Data Centres and talking to developers about the tech for my own idea (not related to this hobby),  It isn’t that expensive to develop, and much cheaper than it was, and yes you can use a 3D cad for elements of the app (when I first started I was using Sketchup 5 years back! ).

 

i do hope Hornby give this more thought, it would certainly be more appealing to the crowd in my age group, but I see how hard it would be culturally for Hornby to adopt and hence difficulty in defining those use cases.

 

As for another series... i’d like to see some old fashioned customer research and feet on the street with retailers, indeed if the budget stretched.. a single episode could cover a model from CAD to retailers Shelf including the factory in China... perhaps a gimmick could be James putting a GPS in a model box in China, following it and seeing which lucky customer buys it.

 

Edited by adb968008
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I never realised that such in depth Business Studies was such an integral part of railway modelling - Its more about small trains and stuff to me  :D

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Posted (edited)
On 14/03/2019 at 11:46, Corbs said:

For the latest in combining railways and VR, have a look at 'Derail Valley'. It's an arcade-like simulator where the player has to pick up waybills and complete jobs, doing nearly all the work of the railway themselves. It looks like good fun.

http://www.derailvalley.com/

 

What I really want is a 00 gauge Class 47 with a camera in the cab, I put on my VR goggles and have the camera's point of view with all the controls at my fingertips!

Hey kids, you don't want to be an engine driver, doing the paperwork is far more fun! Actually it does sound interesting so I'll dig out the VR goggles

 

This is definitely :offtopic:

but there's a DCC tram layout Stepley Tramways with a cam tram (RF camera at both ends) and a fairly authentic set of controls. It uses a  monitor rather than a VR headset but it's enormous fun. The odd thing is that when you think you're driving the tram at breakneck speed and then look at it on the layout it's moving quite slowly.

Back to Hornby. In 2000 they did do a Hornby Virtual Railway (windows 95-2000 so probably wouldn't work now update It does in compatibility mode but the design interface is a bit rubbish)  where you built a layout from the Hornby catalogue that you could then operate. This included a driver's eye view and, within the limits of setrack, it was quite entertaining. I suppose the idea was to built your layout virtually and, when happy with it, build it for real. Of course if you make your layout VR you may not want any fiddle yards. Could you I wonder get the VR to go completely virtual for longer stretches of main line between the actually modelled stations?

Edited by Pacific231G
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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

. Of course if you make your layout VR you may not want any fiddle yards. Could you I wonder get the VR to go completely virtual for longer stretches of main line between the actually modelled stations?

You could, but then how do you relate that to your own layout ?

the products are isolated.

that said if you gave your self space in the lounge to stand and felt the urge to shovel coal firing a duchess up Shap VR could let you (the data point size for a footplate would be quite small), it just wouldn’t have much bearing on your Hornby Duchess, which would be in the cabinet staring at you, as no doubt would be a few puzzled pets.

 

with AR however you could set data points to your layout, and then adopt scenes... obviously things like smoke etc, but you could have virtual scenes... it could be raining, night, day, snow etc your layout could be open country one minute, inner city another, or oddities.. your farm animals could be walking about, or go sci-fi and put Storm troopers on the platform. More importantly though, your locos and stock are part of the story.

(Yesterday I had a demo with Daleks and a hot tub in a £300mn IT facility using AR, just because I could).

Edited by adb968008
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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, LBRJ said:

I never realised that such in depth Business Studies was such an integral part of railway modelling - Its more about small trains and stuff to me  :D

 

Nah mate.

Rivet counting is so yesterday; it's all spread sheets and market analysis now.

The Railway Modeller needs to catch up though (didn't they always?). 

What real modellers want to see today, is detailed forensics on the RTR manufacturer's annual accounts and investment strategy.

 

RMweb is proudly out there at the front of this revolution in the hobby.

It's where the modern 21st century modellers hang out.

 

Now, where's me calculator......?

 

 

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
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15 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

.....with AR however you could set data points to your layout, and then adopt scenes... obviously things like smoke etc, but you could have virtual scenes... it could be raining, night, day, snow etc your layout could be open country one minute, inner city another, or oddities.. your farm animals could be walking about, or go sci-fi and put Storm troopers on the platform. (Yesterday I had a demo with Daleks and a hot tub in a £300mn IT facility using AR, just because I could).

 

Wow! That's some heavy s**t you've been using.

Could you spare some of your stash?

 

.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

Wow! That's some heavy s**t you've been using.

Could you spare some of your stash?

 

.

The funny thing is, when I tell colleagues I have model railways as a hobby, they tend to say pretty much the same thing to me as well.

 

Between VR, AR and MR* Theres a normal world I must be missing somewhere.

 

* MR= model railways

Edited by adb968008
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Corbs said:

Well I do work with BBC factual editors and they are masters of it, so your commitment to the truth is admirable.

I'm not saying 'that scene is clearly false', I'm saying 'don't straight-up believe everything you see because in my experience most of it is made in the edit, and this programme is clearly playing the humorous drama angle'.

Every programme that's not live is made in the edit (live programmes are edited in other ways) and you can argue that what you film are just the raw materials for the edit. That being so, Take Nobody's Word for It is always good advice but, though like all documentaries it chose the aspects of the story to focus on, I didn't see anything in these two programmes that felt untrue. Unfortunately that's not always quite so true  

 

I had another look at the BBC's editorial guidelines (they're available online for all to see https://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines and they haven't changed significantly since I worked there.

"For news and factual content, unless clearly signalled to the audience or using reconstructions, we should not normally:

stage or re-stage action or events which are significant to the development of the action or narrative

inter-cut shots and sequences to suggest they were happening at the same time, if the resulting juxtaposition of material leads to a misleading impression of events.

Commentary and editing must never be used to give the audience a materially misleading impression of events or a contribution."

 

This is obviously a matter of degree and judgement. We all know (I assume) that the reporter apparently listening to the interviewee isn't, it's just a way to avoid distracting jump cuts,  but that's not distorting the truth; changing the reporter's question in the reverses wouid be though and some people do push it.

 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Every programme that's not live is made in the edit (live programmes are edited in other ways) and you can argue that what you film are just the raw materials for the edit. That being so, Take Nobody's Word for It is always good advice but, though like all documentaries it chose the aspects of the story to focus on, I didn't see anything in these two programmes that felt untrue. Unfortunately that's not always quite so true  

 

I had another look at the BBC's editorial guidelines (they're available online for all to see https://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines and they haven't changed significantly since I worked there.

"For news and factual content, unless clearly signalled to the audience or using reconstructions, we should not normally:

stage or re-stage action or events which are significant to the development of the action or narrative

inter-cut shots and sequences to suggest they were happening at the same time, if the resulting juxtaposition of material leads to a misleading impression of events.

Commentary and editing must never be used to give the audience a materially misleading impression of events or a contribution."

 

This is obviously a matter of degree and judgement. We all know (I assume) that the reporter apparently listening to the interviewee isn't, it's just a way to avoid distracting jump cuts,  but that's not distorting the truth; changing the reporter's question in the reverses wouid be though and some people do push it.

 

 

 

 

John Krish was one of the Greats from the British Docunentary Movement (1930s-1960s) - most of us might know him from his glorious BTF film of the last week of London trams, “The Elephant will Never Forget”.

 

When the BFI released loads of his work on pristine DVDs a few years back they asked him about his approach to making documentaries. He clearly despised the modern version of a commitment to The Truth and gave an example from his famous short. He needed an elderly couple to film reminiscing on the top deck of a tram. But, he said, if you film any couple being themselves in that situation they’ll mostly just sit there in silence, not moving much, which would have been dull to look at and been the opposite of the point he was trying to make. So he got two bubbly people who’d never met before, stuck them on the tram together, and filmed them animatedly chatting and pointing things out. The “truth” of the scene was an emotional one for the audience, which would certainly have failed current editorial standards. 

 

Krish’s films are delightful and important cultural objects. “Truth” can take many forms, and be different things to different people. I’m not even necessarily arguing today’s standards are wrong. Though I’d be surprised if many of today’s documentaries are still being enjoyed half a century later, like Krish’s. 

 

Paul

Edited by Fenman
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Well, I know an editor working on several reality shows in Hollywood.  Any story can be told for drama by judicious cutting, even to lifting conversations from one scene and adding to another......  The BBC may well have guidelines but many shows, e.g. the recent model railway challenge shows are made by independent companies.

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22 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

While I'm sure I'd be fascinated by a treatise on the labyrinthine history of the Hornby & Tri-ang names, the viewing figures would be lucky to hit 100. On the plus side, you could use the whole of Wagner's ring cycle as the background music, there would be plenty of time!

Has anyone suggested filming a treatise on the history of Hornby names?

 

What I would have liked to see on the Hornby programme would be a Tri-ang Princess train set in a glass case instead of a Hornby Dublo train set and a portrait of the three Lines brothers in a glass case instead of a portrait of Frank Hornby because this is how it all began. The only thing left from Hornby, as produced by Meccano, is the name Hornby.

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6 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

I had another look at the BBC's editorial guidelines (they're available online for all to see https://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines and they haven't changed significantly since I worked there.

"For news and factual content, unless clearly signalled to the audience or using reconstructions, we should not normally:

stage or re-stage action or events which are significant to the development of the action or narrative

inter-cut shots and sequences to suggest they were happening at the same time, if the resulting juxtaposition of material leads to a misleading impression of events.

Commentary and editing must never be used to give the audience a materially misleading impression of events or a contribution."

 

 

 

The show was heavily edited for entertainment value. Remember the scene where SK was talking to the Warley organisers about the Rails banners and we were shown queues of visitors waiting to be let in? Cut back to SK and he is walking past stands still being constructed. These scenes were shot hours apart but presented as contemporaneous.

 

This show was cut to generate a sense of urgency, immediacy, excitement and humour.

 

Having said that, it would be unsurprising if the Hornby staff were unimpressed with more changes. They must live in fear for their jobs every day!

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8 hours ago, The Johnster said:

2 episodes.  Only 2 episodes!!!  All that hype and froth for only 2 bl**dy episodes!  

 

 

 

 

That's nothing, just imagine if somebody had mentioned Bachmanns 94xx

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15 minutes ago, Robin Brasher said:

The only thing left from Hornby, as produced by Meccano, is the name Hornby.

 

Crikey, if they can't even get their own history right, small wonder that the best they can do is a corned beef Terrier! :jester:

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

 

I did wonder whether SK's careful placing of the portrait of Frank Hornby was done for the camera but it's possible by now that everyone working at Hornby really do feel that to be their legacy rather than Tri-ang. The chap who'd been there for fifty two years would still have started after it became Tri-ang Hornby  in 1965 so, even though the product base originally descended from Tri-ang as did its presence in Margate (and the tension lock couplers),  there's probably no corporate cultural memory of it being anything but Hornby. Interesting.

 

 

 

Corporate cultural false memory is nothing new, rare, or confined to the model railway industry.

 

Interesting? I can think of words that might be more apposite. Such apparent reverence for a competitor ones predecessors played a major part in putting out of business might make for an interesting psychological study.

 

The truth is that the business that dealt the coup de grace to the Hornby trains of yore is the one that evolved into the Hornby of today. Moreover, there are models in the current catalogue that are direct descendants of Tri-ang products. By contrast, there is absolutely no physical legacy to connect the two Hornbys.

 

 

 John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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The argument about the true home of Hornby is fun but ultimately meaningless. Model trains were made at Binns Road for around 43 years but Dublo for only about a quarter of a century.

 

Tri-ang stated in Margate in 1954 and as Hornby from the mid 1960s. So with 65 years of history in Margate and all active staff, even good old Peter from the Visitor Centre, knowing no other base, I think it is reasonable for Hornby to argue that they are "coming home" even if it is only to save a few quid.

 

Good luck to them.

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On 14/03/2019 at 08:23, t8hants said:

No one has mentioned the VR section of the programme.  If in the near future, you will build your Airfix Spitfire 'on screen' in VR and then take off and fight the dastardly Hun in endless air battles, where does that leave the need for space cluttering real models?  Likewise we have had low definition build your own layout simulators for years, but when they finally crack HD VR railways, any era, place, or stock, again confined to the system of your choice, who will want to take up valuable physical space in ever shrinking sized homes with a real layout. 

 

If I could create a layout where I could take a stroll through the countryside, and watch the shunting in the yard I have created, or get underneath the loco and watch the motion, even sit in the fire-box and watch the coal coming in, perhaps take a drink the pub, be a guest at the wedding, or help fight the fire: in other words be a participant in the the hundred and one different scenarios modellers have created in static models, why would I want to bother with space consuming largely static conventional layout?  If such a system was available now, I perhaps wouldn't even consider traditional railway modeling and I'm in my mid sixties. 

 

Hornby must go down that path, or they will be like the British bike industry of the sixties, blind to the winds of change, luckily the UK is renown for it high quality VR work, so the future should remain bright for Hornby, but we might not recognize the company in the future.

 

Have you seen how many brothels there are on layouts? What would we doooooo......?

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My elder son is badgering me to “build a train set” for my grand-daughter.. I think he wants to see his Hornby (or Tri-Ang, I don’t recall - it is 25 years old after all and has been in the loft for a LONG time) TPO Coach in action again! 

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I bet Boeing are quaking in their boots that they'll be found out that they didn't make the, F15 or F16, or BMW with the Mini....

 

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see why the Hornby brand name is kept, and why it is marketed as it is.

 

Lets face it there was no confusion in the mid sixties when it became Triang-Hornby, and obviously the management back then could see the value (based in Margate) of rebranding as Hornby Railways, and then as 'Hornby'. My non modelling school contemporaries knew 'Hornby' as the top of the RTR tree, or alternatively the only game in town back then. Triang was what you saw in the toy section of the K's/Freemans/Littlewoods catalogues to buy 'on tick'.

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