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Woody100

My Childhood Train Fantasy - Blown Away!

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It's rather a very good lesson in moving forward. I would have killed to have any of those models back in the late 1960's. But, being the only game in town, it was " like it, or go without".  I'm pleased to see  Hornby got the message, and kudos to them ( and, the others who have caught up). 

 

Conversely, the images of the 94xx on the Bachmann thread show the ever-venerable Toad brake van, completely new with its moulded in handrails... I'm sure that the irony isn't lost.... I don't want to knock Bachmann, but it does show how a competitor can catch up to such a degree, that someone can commercially make an almost definitive model to the point of completely shutting down the competition.  

 

I've never had a railway-based fantasy, per se: I've been extremely lucky to have a fairly close relationship with the real thing to not need the fantasies. I do however applaud those people who strive to achieve the subject in model form with quality & fidelity. I've seen some modelling which has left me speechless, and a desire to equal the quality the modeller has made either privately or commercially. 

 

Now... Fantasies... I say! This is a family show!

 

Friday is here, and the sun is shining. Have a great weekend folks.

 

Ian.

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Ah, the '73 and '74 Hornby catalogues... my friend David Lewis had the 73 and I had the 74.  I think the 73 had the 9F in black, which then disappeared to be replaced by the shiny green one.

 

I used to spend hours looking at them, desperately wanting the large layouts... now they look ludicrous.  Growing up is painful.

 

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I think I have it wrong about the 74 catalogue,  which was the very spartan one from the 70s 75?

 

 

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Wow yes , these were the days . Great catalogues & track plans  . we have much more detailed models now of course, but I certainly don't have the excitement of these times .   Have a look at Oscar Paisleys YouTube site for more evocative memories of that era and earlier

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But you can see that they still have a foot in what was even then the past; daddy home from the office sharing the joy of the lad.  Only the previously obligatory pipe to denote that these are nice middle class people is missing.

 

There were display layouts, often pictured on train set box covers before it was stipulated by Trades Descriptions that the box had to show what was inside, no more or less, and set up at large department stores over xmas.  They were supposed to contain every item in the range, so there was always a high level section with a bridge and a station with a closed roof, and hardly a square inch left without a siding or a building from the range.  Those display layouts were massively influential and still represent what many people think of as a 'proper' model railway, and their descendants sometimes appear on tv dramas where a character has a layout.  

 

They were of course totally impractical and nobody ever built one.  They needed several operators if you wanted to do anything other than let a number of trains run around unsupervised, took up too much room for a normal house, and must have been a ton in weight.  But lordy lordy lordy lord, how we wanted them!  I was probably about 13 when I realised the folly and discovered in MRC that it was far better to build on shelves around the walls as a better use of space.  

 

 

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Quite a few of the catalogue layouts had multiple tracks often leading to nowhere in the distance or out of camera shot. Trains were often on apparent collision courses, and if the layouts were meant to be operable, the wiring would have been pretty complex! If anything were to derail on the larger layouts, I always wondered how you'd reach it (with difficulty!). I still used to spend hours looking at the whole catalogue though...

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Johnster the layouts pictured are actually from the 3rd edition Track Plans which was announced in the 74 catalogue but didnt appear until 75. By that time several accessories , like the R408 turntable had been discontinued and so had to be hurriedly replaced by a 4th Edition !   But these were built . I certainly built a derivative of the one with Oliver Cromwell going over the Girder Bridge . From memory that was plan 9 from the book . By use of a diamond crossing and bridge you could have two circuits that crossed each other or by flicking the points one large oval. Many hours of fun was had avoiding collisions on the diamond crossing (or staging them!) Definitely a toy train layout but lots of fun . Other layouts shown are from plans 8, 11 and 12 . This is very much my era and as you can probably tell I spent hours studying these pictures !   Thanks to Woody for posting a blast from the past!

 

I know the layouts Coppercap is referring too . Probably from 71/72 with tracks leading off in the distance . In fact these were staged set pieces . I think Pat Hammonds books actually show the scenes being staged . Then , of course, there was the frontpiece of the 73 catalogue featuring a huge layout that must have been another set piece. It featured the new Black 5 with red and yellow (much too bright to be called crimson & cream) coaches , The Black 9f was on a higher level with blue crircle tanks .   I spent hours drawing plans imagining what the rest of the layout must look like . Now you realise it was a set piece and probably didnt have a back!

 

 

Edited by Legend

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Even as a child it used to infuriate me where there were buildings such as the ones in the pictures that appear to have no access to them at all.

But I think I was a pretty strange child! 

 

 

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Were these layouts the big unfeasible ones which appeared in the track plans  book?

Most of them in that book were fairly impractical 

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There 2 different versions Russ . The ones Woody pictured are from the 3rd Edition track plans and were feasible if very unlikely .    I think what you are thinking of is the layout that appeared in the 71 catalogue and on the cover of track plans . It had the new Triang Hornby overall roof terminal station on the left  with the Princess Elizabeth heading out of it, a turntable MPD scene centre and running lines to the right . A high level track framed it all at the back with the old girder bridge . That was totally impractical, set up just for photos, but as a boy of 9 i didnt realise it at the time.

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33 minutes ago, russ p said:

Even as a child it used to infuriate me where there were buildings such as the ones in the pictures that appear to have no access to them at all.

But I think I was a pretty strange child! 

 

 

Russ ,

 

You're a pretty strange adult now.

 

Pete'  :mocking_mini:

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Talking of 73, here's some images to make us all quiver.. 

Makes you almost want to take samples from your pile of mags and retire away for some brief 'me time' doesn't it? 

 

 

IMG_20191129_160914.jpg

IMG_20191129_160838.jpg

IMG_20191129_161002.jpg

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1 hour ago, Woody100 said:

 

A disused tunnel,  odd thing in a fantasy world 

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7 hours ago, BernardTPM said:

I think the difference is that they did actually make them at the start, just left them in the catalogue until they ran out of stock (the trailer kit was 'last man standing'). I doubt many shops actually bothered to order them on the off-chance of selling them. I did buy one (I think from 'Ace Supplies' in Manor Park) circa 1970ish.

I also have a memory that the Peco catalogues were slightly different from the Hornby/Airfix type that's updated annually.  The Peco catalogue seemed to last for many years (possibly until all the of print run had been sold....) and then a new catalogue came out, so it's likley that discontinued stuff would still be in the 'current' catalogue for years. I certainly had one in the late 1980s that had the card bodied wagons in it, even through they'd long stopped being available. 

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7 hours ago, BernardTPM said:

I think the difference is that they did actually make them at the start, just left them in the catalogue until they ran out of stock (the trailer kit was 'last man standing'). I doubt many shops actually bothered to order them on the off-chance of selling them. I did buy one (I think from 'Ace Supplies' in Manor Park) circa 1970ish.

I also have a memory that the Peco catalogues were slightly different from the Hornby/Airfix type that's updated annually.  The Peco catalogue seemed to last for many years (possibly until all the of print run had been sold....) and then a new catalogue came out, so it's likely that discontinued stuff would still be in the 'current' catalogue for years. I certainly had one in the late 1980s that had the card bodied wagons in it, even through they'd long stopped being available. 

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6 hours ago, tomparryharry said:

someone can commercially make an almost definitive model to the point of completely shutting down the competition.  

 

 

You may logically think that but whoever has a model on the shelf that satisfies a customer's need for a specific model and livery can outweigh subjective assessments of near enough Vs better.

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4 hours ago, AY Mod said:

 

You may logically think that but whoever has a model on the shelf that satisfies a customer's need for a specific model and livery can outweigh subjective assessments of near enough Vs better.

Hmmm. I can see your argument, and that is sometimes where fantasies are lost. and I'll try to exemplify this.

 

Sure, Airfix/Bachmann have made the toad, and up until that point, the 'only game in town' just happened to be the 'best game in town'. Both Airfix & Ratio were streets ahead of the Triang-Hornby toad van, So far, so good. But, some people looked at the toad, and thought "that could be so much better, if....." I started looking intensely at the toad, both as a model, and the full-size version just to get an appreciation of how & why the whole thing comes together. How does it work? Why does X appear here, but doesn't appear in Y? What does happen very quickly is the loss of childhood fantasy, regardless of age. The palpable 'other' loss of course, is the poor old manufacturer who up until now is 'sitting pretty' because he is , in fact, 'the best game in town'.  Looking at the Bachmann 2019 toad, it hasn't fulfilled my fantasy due to lack of fidelity. As far as RTR is concerned, Hornby did indeed catch up, and overtook Bachmann by a wide margin. The quality & fidelity does (to my mind) restore a degree of fantasy because the jump forward was that large. 

 

That brings us to 'now'.  Will another manufacturer bring out a toad to rival the Hornby model? Or, have we reached the point where any new model will have to go that extra mile to push the existing model off the top spot? 

 

Your comment about near enough Vs better was where we were back in the 60-70's. Triang-Hornby thought 'near enough' was ok, until Airfix & Mainline got in the game....

 

Have I got this right? The human emotions are very, very subjective,  

 

have a great weekend, Folks,

Ian.

Edited by tomparryharry
Text clean up

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4 hours ago, pete_mcfarlane said:

I also have a memory that the Peco catalogues were slightly different from the Hornby/Airfix type that's updated annually.  The Peco catalogue seemed to last for many years (possibly until all the of print run had been sold....) and then a new catalogue came out, so it's likley that discontinued stuff would still be in the 'current' catalogue for years. I certainly had one in the late 1980s that had the card bodied wagons in it, even through they'd long stopped being available. 

The Wrenn handbook was similar. Nothing ever seemed to be removed, even if it was not in production, whilst 'new' models would be announced years before they were made, if ever (hmm, that sounds familiar :D) so as a youth, one was somewhat misled as to the actual available range.......

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4 hours ago, tomparryharry said:

That brings us to 'now'.  Will another manufacturer bring out a toad to rival the Hornby model? Or, have we reached the point where any new model will have to go that extra mile to push the existing model off the top spot? 

 

I've got a couple of current production Hornby toads, and they are beyond doubt the best model of a long wheelbase GW toad there's ever been.  But they're not perfect; the side lamp brackets are moulded and there could be better internal detail.  But these are matters I can deal with and have dealt with myself.

 

4 hours ago, tomparryharry said:

Have I got this right? The human emotions are very, very subjective,

By and large, I'd say you have, Ian.

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On 29/11/2019 at 02:27, The Johnster said:

I reckon the prize has to go to Peco's 'roadrailer', which kept appearing in catalogues year after year but never materialised in the shops for about 30 years...

 

 

 

They come up all the time on eBay and hidden in boxes at exhibitions/swapmeets. Made by someone called Scalecraft who made plastic kits. You rarely see the lorry though.

 

For some reason they always seem to be listed in the model kit section rather than model railways.

 

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/scalecraft-n-a-roadrailer-box-wagon--1163574#

 

 

 

Jason

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I'm not 'exactly' sure, but didn't Minic Motorways make something similar? Minic/Triang certainly made integrated track, although I can't remember the part numbers.  Writing this, it definitely was Triang-Hornby Super 4 track as the parent module.

 

Ian. 

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8 minutes ago, tomparryharry said:

I'm not 'exactly' sure, but didn't Minic Motorways make something similar? Minic/Triang certainly made integrated track, although I can't remember the part numbers.  Writing this, it definitely was Triang-Hornby Super 4 track as the parent module.

 

Ian. 

 

https://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk/index/Category:Minic_Motorways

 

1870680904_Mechanical_Horse_with_Road-Rail_Wagon_Minic_Motorways_M1570_RM924_(TriangRailways_1964).jpg.12b50d676d4075b14402a12d11dc1882.jpg

 

There's one visible at the front of this magnificent layout, running on a section of paved rail.  Wonderful stuff!  

 

664888254_Tri-ang_Railways_Minic_Motorways_Arkitex_and_Model-Land_integrated_(TRCat_1965).jpg.8b10c5bb784e46ff4cdce5af17598ee5.jpg

Edited by Dr Gerbil-Fritters
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Aah! That's the one! I can't ever remember having one, though. Certainly, the track was about, as we had Cartic wagons as well, which did work, after a fashion.

 

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