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Hornby R3692 14XX


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Just a heads up,  Hobbyking has this available from its global wharehouse for around $70.00 Aud.   I was fortunate enough to get the last model from the Australian wharehouse with free shipping for under $70.00 Aud.  I had never considered Hobbyking as a source of Hornby products as the prices are generally full retail.  The have the latest East coast Express trainset from their Australian wharehouse for around $205.00 and for Aussie buyers this would include free shipping.

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With a little time on my hands I did a test on the 14XX.  The loco is a much improved version of the ill-fated budget release a couple of years ago.  It has a sprung trailing axle.  On the level the loco walked away smoothly with six standard coaches,  but baulked at eight.  Definitely a vast improvement in haulage from the model that could barely propel itself.

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Good loco for the money, then, and it sounds as if it's a more reliable performer than the hit'n'miss Hatton's/DJH.  The sprung trailing axle seems to have cured it's ills, and pushed the price up, but not to an excessive degree.  A loco too far for Cwmdimbath, though; Llantrisant had them but not Tondu, and my interpretation of Rule 1 is too restrictive for me to get away with it.  Shame.

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To be fair, the 48xx loco on valleys service was pretty much limited to an autocoach, and that was about it. Anything else, and a pannier was put on the job. I always enthused over the Hattons/ DJM 48xx, and because 4871 was the last to be released, I somehow got a good 'un. When I ultimately get around to building the layout, the 48xx will be semi-permanently coupled to the autocoach, just like real life. To that end, I'll run the pickups from the bogies back to the locomotive. I've got a couple of Airfix 48xx knocking about, so that should do for me. 

 

Although the 48xx did work to Penygraig, I don't think they did any shunting work whilst there. The goods diagrams were covered on the branch by locomotives rostered on the job to service Cambrian Colliery. I just can't see a 48xx with 25-odd Felix Pole 20-tonners! I 'think' the 48xx's on Llantrisant was 4821 Pontypridd-Cowbridge), and 4871 (Llantrisant-Penygraig), but please check it out.

 

Happy modelling,

Ian.

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Photographic evidence backs you up Ian; 1421 for the Cowbridge branch and 1471 for the Penygraig in BR days.  Probably Metros or 517s earlier.  The reserve was railcar no.18.

 

I don't think you could find two branches served by the same junction more different in character anywhere.  Cowbridge was the epitome of rural bucolic, the original passenger terminus used as the goods depot and the later station being on the truncated Taff Vale line to Aberthaw.  The scenery is pleasantly rural, green hills and fields, and plump tasty looking sheep, and there is a general air of agricultural prosperity.

 

Penygraig was a grim mining village, surrounded by steep sided mountains and with a general air of poverty and deprivation.  The sheep are ill-kempt scraggy mountain ruffians and look anything but tasty.  The railways are long gone in both places but the general airs, and the sheep, are about the same.  One in seven of Cowbridge's population is a millionaire; I doubt if anyone in Penygraig is or ever has been. 

 

Llantrisant's allocation of auto trailers in the early 50s included some esoterica, including the flat-ended W 1 W converted from the GW's first matchboarded steam railmotor.  A photo in Lewis volume 1 shows 1421 at Cowbridge in 1949 or 50 in unlined green early 1948 livery with Egyptian Serif BRITISH RAILWAYS lettering, 1920s GW style, and a matchboarded trailer in crimson/cream with plated toplights, a scene screaming to be modelled!

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11 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

Photographic evidence backs you up Ian; 1421 for the Cowbridge branch and 1471 for the Penygraig in BR days.  Probably Metros or 517s earlier.  The reserve was railcar no.18.

 

I don't think you could find two branches served by the same junction more different in character anywhere.  Cowbridge was the epitome of rural bucolic, the original passenger terminus used as the goods depot and the later station being on the truncated Taff Vale line to Aberthaw.  The scenery is pleasantly rural, green hills and fields, and plump tasty looking sheep, and there is a general air of agricultural prosperity.

 

Penygraig was a grim mining village, surrounded by steep sided mountains and with a general air of poverty and deprivation.  The sheep are ill-kempt scraggy mountain ruffians and look anything but tasty.  The railways are long gone in both places but the general airs, and the sheep, are about the same.  One in seven of Cowbridge's population is a millionaire; I doubt if anyone in Penygraig is or ever has been. 

 

Llantrisant's allocation of auto trailers in the early 50s included some esoterica, including the flat-ended W 1 W converted from the GW's first matchboarded steam railmotor.  A photo in Lewis volume 1 shows 1421 at Cowbridge in 1949 or 50 in unlined green early 1948 livery with Egyptian Serif BRITISH RAILWAYS lettering, 1920s GW style, and a matchboarded trailer in crimson/cream with plated toplights, a scene screaming to be modelled!

 
Do you remember Max Boyce singing about the first Japanese Rugby team to visit Wales and their visit there ?

 

”Gareth Edwards got mighty long pass

But not as long as Penygraig grass “

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The Hornby/ Dapol 14XX always had a sprung trailing axle.  The Airfix had the sprung trailing axle as well but drove on the leading axle with a huge motor where the Dapol/ Hornby drives the middle axle.  Neither chassis design is fit for purpose, both bend in the middle, the Airfix snaps through the leading axle and the Dapol/Hornby behind the middle axle.

I have the bits of 9 or 10 in my scrap box, 1 Hornby still running and a Dapol under repair. The Airfix suffer from failed pick up springs and the chassis snaps if you have the front casting misaligned when you tighten the fixing screw.

Hornby quality control or lack of it leaves  the loco balancing on the centre wheels on slight humps where it stops dead, some do it, some don't, if they don't they don't pull much.  They really are a nightmare to keep running.

It took me 30 years to cure the Airfix pick up problem with some new steel springs from eBay instead of the phosper bronze(?) ones and if I can find enough bits I intend to create an Airfix 14XX with a Dapol motor and a detailed cab.

For decent performance the traction tyre centre axle needs to be sprung not the trailing one, or the trailing axle needs to be powered.   By complete contrast the Hattons 14XX just keep running, Beautifully. Gliding along where the Hornby hops like a startled Rabbit.    Even at £15 a Hornby 14XX isn't my idea of a bargain.

 

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For decent performance the traction tyres need to be removed and disposed of with extreme prejudice.  Ideally the wheels need to be replaced  with ones without the tyre groove, but the ridding of the pollution the tyres inflict on your life is a worthwhile improvement in itself.  

 

Traction tyres are Satan’s snot, completely pointless on a loco that never needs to move more than a single auto trailer, will stretch and mess up the running, ruin your pickup performance on a loco that needs all the help it can get in this respect, and will distribute crud liberally wherever the loco runs, ruining any other loco’s chance of decent pickup. 

 

There’s certainly no harm in springing the centre axle or powering the trailing one!

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4 hours ago, The Johnster said:

For decent performance the traction tyres need to be removed and disposed of with extreme prejudice.  Ideally the wheels need to be replaced  with ones without the tyre groove, but the ridding of the pollution the tyres inflict on your life is a worthwhile improvement in itself.  

 

Some 20 years ago in October 1999, I bought one of the first Chinese made Hornby 14xx locos from a small shop in Wincanton. Upon returning to Australia, an old friend suggested replacing the tyred driving wheels with plain ones. This was easily accomplished. The loco has rarely been off the layout since and runs beautifully. I posted a Youtube some 2 years ago, please see below.

 

One recent improvement I have done was to "thicken" the chimney by the simple expedient of wrapping some "scotch" tape around it and then repainting. The change in appearance is striking!

 

 

It really has been a wonderful loco...................643038851_TheoldWincantonloco.jpg.e7b64c1bbc87a696ea29bb44c482d2b3.jpg

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1421 was allocated to Llantrisant in the early 50s, and regularly worked the Cowbridge branch.  Photos of it at that time show that it did not have the top feed at that time.  It carried the rare (ish) Jan-May 1948 livery, unlined green with 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' in Egyptian Serif lettering similar to the GW pre-1934 livery, for a while and is photographed in 1949 in this state.  It later carried unlined black with the unicycling lion at Llantrisant.  

 

I have removed the topfeed and it's associated pipes on a Bachmann 57xx.  The job would be easier on a 14xx as the visible pipe run is shorter.  It's a bit faffy but not difficult.  I'd prefer if manufacturers either made these easily removable or supplied them as retrofit detail in the box.  It makes modelling these locos in earlier periods more difficult than it needs to be, and boilers without topfeeds were used as replacements on the locos right up to withdrawal.  It takes longer to overhaul a boiler than a loco, and whatever spare that'll fit is put in to return the loco to traffic and release the workshop bay.  Tracing what loco had what boiler at what time is difficult and certified dated photographic evidence is best if you can get it!

 

Glad yours runs well, Caddy; I had a similarly modified Airfix years ago which gave good service for many years until the dreaded plunger pickup disease struck.  I often used it as a yard pilot and it could manage about 10 goods vehicles easily enough.  Chimneys make a big difference (mine had a turned brass one). When Robin Riddles designed the Austerity 2-8-0s and 2-10-0s, he was concerned that the ugly appearance of the locos would be criticised.  He was advised, apparently, to make the chimney as ugly and out of proportion as possible to draw attention away from the rest of the loco, and in the event it was indeed the chimney that attracted the most adverse comments about the locos' appearance.

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On 24/10/2019 at 05:28, DavidCBroad said:

The Hornby/ Dapol 14XX always had a sprung trailing axle.  ......................................

 

 

From my knowledge the budget model released about two years ago dispensed with the springing on the rear axle as a cost saving.  The official "fix" was an oversize traction tyre as the "centre" axle stood proud of the railhead resulting in extremely poor traction on about half of the production run.

 

This posting from November, 2017

 

"peteskitchen

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Posted November 15, 2017

For some reason Hornby has made a new chassis and keeper plate for this model to a much lower quality than when it was non railroad. The axle slots are now square and the rear  non driven axle is rigidly mounted with no play. Mine could only just pull itself along. The old keeper plate had its pickups pointing upwards, but this one they point downwards and the rear ones foul the track. Snipping the ends off, slotting out the rear wheel slots and fitting a gentle rear spring transforms the model. Mine will now pull 10 coaches on the flat with ease. However I really don't like the square axle slots as these will soon wear and get sloppy, a problem I've had with an early produced 72xx. I suspect somebody said to Hornby you cant put a round pin in a square slot...."

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20 hours ago, The Johnster said:

1421 was allocated to Llantrisant in the early 50s, and regularly worked the Cowbridge branch.  Photos of it at that time show that it did not have the top feed at that time.  It carried the rare (ish) Jan-May 1948 livery, unlined green with 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' in Egyptian Serif lettering similar to the GW pre-1934 livery, for a while and is photographed in 1949 in this state.  It later carried unlined black with the unicycling lion at Llantrisant.  

 

I have removed the topfeed and it's associated pipes on a Bachmann 57xx.  The job would be easier on a 14xx as the visible pipe run is shorter.  It's a bit faffy but not difficult.  I'd prefer if manufacturers either made these easily removable or supplied them as retrofit detail in the box.  It makes modelling these locos in earlier periods more difficult than it needs to be, and boilers without topfeeds were used as replacements on the locos right up to withdrawal.  It takes longer to overhaul a boiler than a loco, and whatever spare that'll fit is put in to return the loco to traffic and release the workshop bay.  Tracing what loco had what boiler at what time is difficult and certified dated photographic evidence is best if you can get it!

 

Glad yours runs well, Caddy; I had a similarly modified Airfix years ago which gave good service for many years until the dreaded plunger pickup disease struck.  I often used it as a yard pilot and it could manage about 10 goods vehicles easily enough.  Chimneys make a big difference (mine had a turned brass one). When Robin Riddles designed the Austerity 2-8-0s and 2-10-0s, he was concerned that the ugly appearance of the locos would be criticised.  He was advised, apparently, to make the chimney as ugly and out of proportion as possible to draw attention away from the rest of the loco, and in the event it was indeed the chimney that attracted the most adverse comments about the locos' appearance.

 

Aha! What's this? You're noting Llantrisant loco numbers, I see! Going over to the dark side.....

 

Happy Friday,

Ian.

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On 25/10/2019 at 08:14, GWR-fan said:

 

From my knowledge the budget model released about two years ago dispensed with the springing on the rear axle as a cost saving.  The official "fix" was an oversize traction tyre as the "centre" axle stood proud of the railhead resulting in extremely poor traction on about half of the production run.

 

This posting from November, 2017

 

"peteskitchen

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Posted November 15, 2017

For some reason Hornby has made a new chassis and keeper plate for this model to a much lower quality than when it was non railroad. The axle slots are now square and the rear  non driven axle is rigidly mounted with no play. Mine could only just pull itself along. The old keeper plate had its pickups pointing upwards, but this one they point downwards and the rear ones foul the track. Snipping the ends off, slotting out the rear wheel slots and fitting a gentle rear spring transforms the model. Mine will now pull 10 coaches on the flat with ease. However I really don't like the square axle slots as these will soon wear and get sloppy, a problem I've had with an early produced 72xx. I suspect somebody said to Hornby you cant put a round pin in a square slot...."

Absolutely. I got my barge pole out for the DJ 14XX. Nevertheless, it piqued an interest which led me to look at the Hornby offering. When I read about the downgrading of the model I barge-poled that too. Hornby shot itself in the foot there.

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On 24/10/2019 at 01:24, The Johnster said:

For decent performance the traction tyres need to be removed and disposed of with extreme prejudice.

 

Does the latest release (R3692 I believe) still have traction tyres? It's clear from various posts that the previous one (without sprung axle) had tyres but I cannot see the tyres on any photo or YouTube video I've been able to find of R3692 so have Hornby finally removed the tyres when they brought back the sprug axle?

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5 minutes ago, Rhydgaled said:

For decent performance the traction tyres need to be removed and disposed of with extreme prejudice.

I would wholeheartedly agree with that. Bought some spare non tyred wheels and swopped them out. So much better performance. 

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Not sure; Hornby’s website only shows a broadside on view and you can’t see if there is a tyre or not.  I would hope not; this chassis has been through several retoolings since Airfix days, and one might hope that such excrescences had been evolved out of the equation. 
 

The original chassis was a rather brave (I thought) piece of small engineering, following on from the 61xx which was about as conventional as it got in those days.  The sprung plunger ‘ball point’ rolling pickups were very effective until the plungers seized up, and it is perhaps a shame that the ball points were not continued with in a different mounting.  It also had a rather nice flexible drive joint between the motor and final drive layshaft.  
 

A groundbreaker when it appeared, the downsides were a cab full of motor which prevented detail in there, and those infernal top feeds which Hornby and Bachmann both insist persistently we must have on small GW locos.  They and their associated pipework wold be far better supplied as retrofit detail.  To be fair to H, they don’t have any more choice than we do if they are to retain the Airfix body tooling, which is pretty good otherwise.  

 

 

 

 

 

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One thing not so far mentioned with reference to swapping out the traction tyre wheels.

 

The two sets of driving wheels on the locos have the balance weights in different positions in relation to the crank pin...

 

The best method is to swap the wheel tyres, keeping the wheel centres.

 

Not so much rivet counting, as balance weight spotting? ;)

 

 

 

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