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Hornby goes Steampunk in 2020

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53 minutes ago, HonestTom said:

 

Steamboy or The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (terrible movie, great design work).

Steamboy epitomises terrible movie, great design work for me. I've never been so disapointed by a film

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Posted (edited)

This lazy idea of sticking cogs on things and calling it steampunk was the reason I dropped out of steampunk after few years (having been there at the first three "Asylums" in Lincoln).

But that was more than half a decade ago. Surely Hornby have their finger closer to the pulse than this?

Edited by DavidH
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3 hours ago, HonestTom said:

 

 

As an example of someone who I think does steampunk railways right, I'd recommend Chris Walas. He borrows heavily from the work of Wells, Verne, Lovecraft, Twain and other Victorian and early 20th century writers, as well as messing around with his own ideas to create a coherent (and fun) mythos of his own.

 

 

Chris Walas' models are brilliant!

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As I say, I love the idea of a steampunk range.

 

I welcome the diversity of imaginative layouts, be they steampunk, sci-fi or from the pages of Tolkien or Pratchett.  There is a rich vein of fantasy that has barely been tapped. 

 

But, what is the steampunk aesthetic as applied to railway equipment?

 

The field is diverse, and, somewhat bedeviled by the fact that US outline stock follows such a different aesthetic from British outline.  The picture is varied and confused.

 

Here are some of the many examples for those befuddled by the genre ....

 

train-car-steampunk-steam-locomotive-train.jpg.698580bc83de2cfe479c22528e8e2acc.jpgimgbin-steampunk-train-motor-vehicle-steam-locomotive-VAer15yZQCjAJdkrX3SutS1kD.jpg.c4dc9518dde28c3e6dac89c4b1f4055a.jpg

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Quite a varied bunch, though what I think they have in common is some exaggeration of forms, which results in something more profound, distinctive and coherent than is achieved by merely sticking bits of random junk to trainset  equipment.

 

Here Hornby seems to have equated steampunk with the work of Laurie Calvert.  That is a somewhat limited interpretation and not necessarily the best choice.

 

I probably do lean more towards the Victorian sci-fi end of things, and I'm afraid that my Steampunk locos would probably come out looking like Cramptons (an essentially outlandish type by any standards) or something fearsome by Beattie for the South Western!

 

Clyde-2-4-0-loco-Beattie-London-and-South-Western.jpg.cd1e95e132ff11233b7d084988c14aa2.jpg

 

So, it's not one readily definable look and not one easy to capture.  Yet, in a round about way, what I'm saying is that I do not really like the Scrapyard Appliqué aesthetic Hornby has chosen, and prefer something a little more elegant.  But, each to his own. 

 

  vUWV2Tm.jpg.b90812dce73f0ad024cc98a21b54ff49.jpgjeff-wayne-jeff-waynes-musical-version-of-war-of-the-worlds-the-new-generation-23-cd.jpg.5fb759addd725a51963eaa47a003e27e.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, JohnR said:

Well, I wasnt expecting that. Will be interesting to see how well this goes down. 

 

At a glance down to the Bargain bins I'd say.

 

Fingers crossed however it works out for them

 

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Hmm - what an incredibly brave step.  This is either going to be the 'games market' genius range of the year or the biggest flop since the Olympics disaster and it appears from the share price that the shareholders might not have noticed it or can't yet decide which way it will go.  I can see the attractions of it for 'a certain market' so hope they can get it on sale in Whitby by the right dates because it should do well then.  And maybe it will give them a route onto the shelves of Games Workshop type outlets where it could do extremely well:  but there it surely cries out to be backed by a range of complementary kits?.

 

But my biggest worry if it does take off is how long it might last as a potential fad until the next fad comes along?  Back to my opening of 'what an incredibly brave step'.

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19 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

Here are some of the many examples for those befuddled by the genre ....

 

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That one, please!

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13 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

 And maybe it will give them a route onto the shelves of Games Workshop type outlets where it could do extremely well:  but there it surely cries out to be backed by a range of complementary kits?

Games Workshop will never let anything not made by them sully their shelves, and I can't really see game stores being interested in it except perhaps for the scenery items - but then I'm not sure there are that many steampunk wargames for them to go with...

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20 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

I probably do lean more towards the Victorian sci-fi end of things, and I'm afraid that my Steampunk locos would probably come out looking like Cramptons (an essentially outlandish type by any standards) or something fearsome by Beattie for the South Western!

 

Clyde-2-4-0-loco-Beattie-London-and-South-Western.jpg.cd1e95e132ff11233b7d084988c14aa2.jpg

 

 

I remember seeing one of Mike Sharman's layout at an exhibition, which pretty much fits the bill. 

 

I can understand the idea of imagining what (as an example) a steam powered Victorian airship would look like, but I'm agreeing with the 'sticking a few cogs on it and calling it steam punk' criticism of the kind of thing that Hornby are doing. 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, truffy said:

 

That one, please!

 

Have you considered the size of the thing?  Its coaches are tripple-deckers, which might challenge your loading gauge!

 

These, or suitably anglicised versions, are I feel, more me .....

 

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Now, that's steampunk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Edwardian
grammar
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Andy2009128846_SuydamITclassC-800.jpg.6da2279f973185184de62b9f103601ac.jpg

 

If I took my all brass Pacific Electric and other US models to a Steam Punk show, I'd make a fortune.

 

Andy

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7 minutes ago, eldomtom2 said:

Games Workshop will never let anything not made by them sully their shelves, and I can't really see game stores being interested in it except perhaps for the scenery items - but then I'm not sure there are that many steampunk wargames for them to go with...

 

There are steampunk wargames, but I can't see these buildings having much appeal. 1/76 is not a common wargaming scale. Wargamers are already well-supplied with more suitable (and cheaper) buildings - these are literally just ordinary buildings with extra bits stuck on.

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Hi all. Thanks for you comments. 

 

I'm Laurie the designer of this product for Hornby. The was tasked with using existing product, and giving it a Steampunk make-over. So bear in mind those constraints, although I am very happy with the designs. I am really pleased with the results on the Locos, Wagons, and Coaches. The buildings I had lots of thoughts over. I really wanted to do something wacky, overbalanced, and almost falling over but had to modify existing items. So two of the sides have detail on them and two of the sides just cogs and gears as a Steampunk motif - the idea being they could be instantly recognisable as Steampunk. No matter what the song says, you do actually needs cogs and gears. Otherwise they would look like buildings but not really Steampunk. I have many more ideas if they are needed. This also has a narrative to it, to get imaginations going. 

 

The investment wasn't too high but the idea here is to bring in other modellers into our hobby. I applaud Hornby for giving this a go. To broaden it's appeal. Ask your children or grandchildren what they think of these locos racing around dinosaurs, and you may find you have to have these as visitors to your own layout when the grandkids come. The hobby after all is meant to be fun. 

 

For me this was a dream come true - I got to design a Hornby product. How cool is that? 

 

I am making a series of videos for daily release on YouTube for those interested in seeing how this product was developed. 

 

 

 

Regards, Laurie Calvert (Cato Pass model railway). 

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SOME of the figures have distinct possibilities for Victorian/Edwardian non-punkers.

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40 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

 

Have you considered the size of the thing?  Its coaches are tripple-deckers, which might challenge your loading gauge!

 

These, or suitably anglicised versions, are I feel, more me .....

 

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Now, that's steampunk!

 

 

Makes me think of E M Forster's short story "The Machine Stops"...

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10 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

SOME of the figures have distinct possibilities for Victorian/Edwardian non-punkers.

 

At 27mm?!?

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9 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

 

At 27mm?!?

 

I had S scale modellers in mind....

 

Or some reductive surgery.

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8 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

 

Not only are Hornby risking a repeat of the 2012 disaster by ploughing a lot of effort into a range which might not sell, they're devaluing the Bassett-Lowke name in the process.

 

The Bassett-Lowke name will mean nothing to Steampunk fans, and to use a name historically associated with well-engineered premium products on models derived from Smokey Joe and the Hornby 4 wheel coaches is somewhat akin to putting a Vanden Plas badge on an Austin Allegro....

 

Shudder the thought...

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Hornby well and truly missing the mark, cogs and gears do not really capture the steam punk aesthetic as others have pointed out. Shame they’re using the Bassett Lowke name too...

 

Great idea on paper, could have been so much better however.

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This whole steampunk story smells "fake news". Nothing is shown about it on the Hornby website.

Regards

Fred

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6 minutes ago, sncf231e said:

This whole steampunk story smells "fake news". Nothing is shown about it on the Hornby website.

Regards

Fred

 

Yet it's in their official announcements, the models have been seen and there will be a Bassett-Lowke stand at the London Toy Fair in a couple of weeks.

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Incredibly brave or incredibly foolish. Only time will tell. I can only say 'Steampunk' holds no attraction for me.

 

I wish them well with this venture, in how far it will reduce their operating deficit will also have to wait and see.

 

Limb and saw spring to mind.

 

regards to all

 

Nigel

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Don't usual comment on these sort of things. But have followed Laurie stuff via You Tube, Thinks it a brave move, as an lone wolf unconventional modeler well done for giving it a go. Railway Modelling isn't all Rivet Counters or Box Collectors, it should be a broad hobby as the Cakebox have shown. . It about using your imaging nation feels it going back to the Battle Space stuff of yesteryear, like others have said I wonder if Hornby still have the tooling for them or Triang Trans Continental Range, great second hand models to kit bash . I hope this open the door to non railway modeler the Table Top Gamers, to check out the new Hornby Ranges. Many of my own parts come from the Plastic Kit Modellers & Wargamers as the different to normal railway ranges. I wish Hornby well. 

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1 hour ago, LocoLaurie said:

Hi all. Thanks for you comments. 

 

Hi Laurie

I do hope it’s a success, as we’ve seen your layout is popular, but I do think they need to push more towards some of the more elegant designs and even mix it up with the Airfix range yo provide customisation. 
I just feel they needed to grab it by the horns and truly do something WOW rather than dipping in one toe ;) 

As you’ve shown we can all take standard models and customise them, which providing a basic shape and a set of parts that popped in pre made holes would allow truly unique creations and interaction and be really different. I just feel they’ve limited things by providing it ‘done’. 

Fingers crossed the popularity makes it a success that prompts some investment in special tools :) 

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