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Hornby goes Steampunk in 2020

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10 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Just realised that the Starter Track might be problematic in terms of power, even if the power track was relocated. That needs a rethink perhaps?

 

It will probably be supplied with those staple-like dead frog bypass clips which are also found in Hornby DCC sets. Fine if you only want one engine; awkward if not.

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.

 

What is missing is a "Steam Punk Turbo Car"   -    I would suggest this for next year, a Beam Engine driven 6-wheeler with a riveted plate formed giant spike !

 

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10 hours ago, Coryton said:

 

That could be interesting. Some actual modelling?

 

Surely not!

:jester:

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6 minutes ago, phil gollin said:

.

 

What is missing is a "Steam Punk Turbo Car"   -    I would suggest this for next year, a Beam Engine driven 6-wheeler with a riveted plate formed giant spike !

 

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Ironically the battle space car in the quirky poll would be a good start ;) 

 

Or this from Bandai in N where they offer a range of clip on bodies to standard shorty chassis. Very collectible and fun. 

Star Wars Train

 

Nankai Class 50000 STAR WARS Livery

The real thing off Flickr

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Ozexpatriate said:

I have the 00 Police Box. (By the way my spelling was intentional - the British style-guide is to lowercase acronyms pronounced as a word - like "Nato". The US style-guide is to capitalize "NATO".) Unless of course the US style-guide has been adopted in Britain now.

 

 

Actually, no. You can adopt either form.

 

The US practice reflects past British practice and is, therefore, correct.  Our Oxford Dictionaires and their ilk have decided that retaining capitalisation for familiar acronyms, e.g. RADAR, is now archaic usage.

 

For me, in this as in many instances, what is now regarded as archaic is merely correct.  So, TARDIS, RADAR, NATO etc are all perfectly correct this side of the herring pond. 

 

Another example of US retention of correct form is in placing a full stop after Mr. etc, recognising that it is an abbreviation.

 

Language evolves, for sure, but there is no means, thankfully, of compelling us to accept every innovation - not all are relevant or necessary for all of us - and, though the Brits have a tendency to look down on American-English, the US is in many respects a preserver, rather than just a mangler, of the language.

 

  

Edited by Edwardian
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19 hours 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 .....

 

558285631_TheroadtoBabylonbyvoitv.jpg.dbb09d3ceee1c10beea2556a27404f68.jpg

 

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688cbf9e46813c2a0203cd2b91b2c006--steampunk-machines-steampunk-airship.jpg.a2ac2fe901fd7cfbb7ae91c53f631286.jpg

tumblr_njy1qirZMw1s3hp12o2_1280.jpg.27644f4a551741d649708f5a714573e5.jpg

 

Now, that's steampunk!

 

 

Oh F+++. I think I might take up airship modelling.

 

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On mature consideration of this "Steampunk" venture and the Hornby 2020 range more generally, I have concluded that all Hornby really needed to do was to introduce some new pre-Grouping locomotives to its range .....

 

 59162119_tumblr_pswi8s6v5D1s3hp12o1_500(1).jpg.07188ed8ad041d88752766f9ee429848.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

On mature consideration of this "Steampunk" venture and the Hornby 2020 range more generally, I have concluded that all Hornby really needed to do was to introduce some new pre-Grouping locomotives to its range .....

 

 59162119_tumblr_pswi8s6v5D1s3hp12o1_500(1).jpg.07188ed8ad041d88752766f9ee429848.jpg

 

I just knew that an 890 would fit the bill! Where's that Ratio kit I squirrelled away gone to?!

 

Or to really pump things up and truly embrace the bigger is better ethos that Steampunk enjoys, an 0 gauge 890 modified to represent broad gauge 4mm with the coaches done as double deckers, perhaps in a clerestory styled arrangement so the lip is the gangway from the top deck to make full use of that huge loading gauge. Panelled and fully lined out of course...

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I’m struggling to see Hornbys thinking behind this range. If they are as bad as things are being made out to be, and another loan has just had to be taken Out, why are they doing this? Surely time, and money, would have been better spent on going through the polls and picking more top polling models from them? 

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Any date for the release of the Hornby / Bassett-Lowke Steampunk range ? Maybe I missed something in the thread.

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Given what people have been saying about customisation, maybe the way to go with the steampunk concept would have been to get Airfix on the case and produce a few sprues of steampunk parts that would be compatible with Railroad locomotives and stock. Maybe some suitable figures to go with them (I'd suggest 1/72 scale to broaden the appeal to war gamers).

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15 minutes ago, HonestTom said:

Given what people have been saying about customisation, maybe the way to go with the steampunk concept would have been to get Airfix on the case and produce a few sprues of steampunk parts that would be compatible with Railroad locomotives and stock. Maybe some suitable figures to go with them (I'd suggest 1/72 scale to broaden the appeal to war gamers).

 

Not only that, but think what they could have done with the whole Hornby range at their disposal?

 

Just think about all the loco chassis available to Hornby and think what you might clothe them in.  If I were Hornby, I'd be looking to use the Caley/Dean single chassis (as someone has already suggested, I think) and designing an outré steampunk body shell for it.  I'd make a feature of the huge driving wheel splasher, play about with proportions and details, but retain a certain mad elegance and clothe it in a luscious livery. I'd pimp up my Triang short clerestories to go with it.  Then I'd probably look at my goods types and try for something bit, black and utilitarian, go for a rather ugly kind of beauty.  The Q1 is half way there already.  

 

tumblr_nn0863gW0H1rv33k2o5_500.jpg.a5f4e206bc42f2f8897ddba7c7b062d3.jpg

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33 minutes ago, Kerluc said:

Any date for the release of the Hornby / Bassett-Lowke Steampunk range ? Maybe I missed something in the thread.

April.

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Thanks. I forgot to wear my goggles.  :D Due to the famous Brexit, I'll never buy this funny toys in UK.   :biggrin_mini:

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I can't help but think this is something a distraction for Hornby, certainly in terms of prodution capacity/slots.

However if it is using existing tooling as a base and will not be at the expense of the main range, then good luck.

Otherwise Hornby will land themselves with a niche range, incompatable to their main customer base, that will not sell.

Although like Underground Ernie, possibly a good source of parts for bashing by modellers :-)

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1 hour ago, Edwardian said:

 

Not only that, but think what they could have done with the whole Hornby range at their disposal?

 

Just think about all the loco chassis available to Hornby and think what you might clothe them in.  If I were Hornby, I'd be looking to use the Caley/Dean single chassis (as someone has already suggested, I think) and designing an outré steampunk body shell for it.  I'd make a feature of the huge driving wheel splasher, play about with proportions and details, but retain a certain mad elegance and clothe it in a luscious livery. I'd pimp up my Triang short clerestories to go with it.  Then I'd probably look at my goods types and try for something bit, black and utilitarian, go for a rather ugly kind of beauty.  The Q1 is half way there already.  

 

tumblr_nn0863gW0H1rv33k2o5_500.jpg.a5f4e206bc42f2f8897ddba7c7b062d3.jpg

 

The obvious loco candidates to me, assuming Hornby want to stick to their older, less detailed models, would be the Caley Pug, the Holden tank, the 2721 pannier, the Dean and Caley singles, the 4-4-0 County and the Triang B12. They all have the right Victorian look to my mind, even if the prototypes aren't necessarily Victorian. I also think the old streamlined Duchess would make for a very impressive steampunk loco if you dolled it up with a suitable livery.

 

One idea I thought might be fun would be to produce a new bodyshell for the 0-4-0 that would have absolutely minimal detail, but a lot of holes that you could plug detail parts into. Elaborate funnels and domes, oddly-shaped tanks, different cab roofs, condensers, even crazier accessories like gun turrets, spikes, armour etc. That way, you could produce one new body, one new sprue of parts and give people the wherewithal to create a vast range of possible locomotives.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Hilux5972 said:

I’m struggling to see Hornbys thinking behind this range. If they are as bad as things are being made out to be, and another loan has just had to be taken Out, why are they doing this? Surely time, and money, would have been better spent on going through the polls and picking more top polling models from them? 

 

Because if the only people that Hornby made products for were the people who fill in polls, they would go bust. Very quickly.

 

To be sure, the polls are good indicator of what will sell well to one particular sector of Hornby's customer base. Which is, of course, the sector that's represented here on RMweb and in the readership of the railway modelling magazines and other railway modelling websites. But we are not, by a long chalk, the be all and end all of Hornby's customers. 

 

Of course the steampunk stuff isn't going to appeal all that much to the majority of people here. But then, it isn't intended to. Nor are the annual Santa special train sets and all the other sets based on an outdated 0-4-0 loco pulling a handful of unprototypical wagons. But, guess what - they sell! And they keep on selling.

 

The steampunk stuff is cheap to develop, not least because it's all based on existing models but because it requires no research into an actual prototype - just someone having fun with the CAD software on their computer. No licensing fees to pay, no demand from customers for ever-increasing detail. All it takes is a bit of imagination.

 

Maybe it will flop. Who knows? But even if it does, it won't have cost a lot. This is not hi-fidelity tooling that required a massive investment up front. It's just a bit of fun - the modern equivalent, maybe, of the giraffe wagon and the space battle car. And it's the sort of thing that is worth trying, just to see if successfully cracks a new market.

 

And, to address your other point, things are not as bad as they're being made out to be. Far from it - recent financial results from Hornby have been very positive. Sales are up. Revenue is up. Losses have been cut. The share price is up. The "extra loan" you mention is just the investors being prepared to back the company with more money, because they can see a better prospect of a return. The struggling is all in your perception.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/full-steam-ahead-Hornby-model-145456851.html

 

Edited by MarkSG
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3 hours ago, G-BOAF said:

Hornby will land themselves with a niche range, incompatable to their main customer base, that will not sell.

....and they've never done that before, have they..??? :rolleyes: :mosking: :jester:

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1 hour ago, MarkSG said:

 

Because if the only people that Hornby made products for were the people who fill in polls, they would go bust. Very quickly.

 

To be sure, the polls are good indicator of what will sell well to one particular sector of Hornby's customer base. Which is, of course, the sector that's represented here on RMweb and in the readership of the railway modelling magazines and other railway modelling websites. But we are not, by a long chalk, the be all and end all of Hornby's customers. 

 

Of course the steampunk stuff isn't going to appeal all that much to the majority of people here. But then, it isn't intended to. Nor are the annual Santa special train sets and all the other sets based on an outdated 0-4-0 loco pulling a handful of unprototypical wagons. But, guess what - they sell! And they keep on selling.

 

The steampunk stuff is cheap to develop, not least because it's all based on existing models but because it requires no research into an actual prototype - just someone having fun with the CAD software on their computer. No licensing fees to pay, no demand from customers for ever-increasing detail. All it takes is a bit of imagination.

 

Maybe it will flop. Who knows? But even if it does, it won't have cost a lot. This is not hi-fidelity tooling that required a massive investment up front. It's just a bit of fun - the modern equivalent, maybe, of the giraffe wagon and the space battle car. And it's the sort of thing that is worth trying, just to see if successfully cracks a new market.

 

Couldn't agree more.

 

As I have said before, a little time browsing Hornby's own forums gives a view of a somewhat different market which overlaps that of people here - and that's just for the regular Hornby range.

 

If Hornby only catered to the wishes of people on RMWeb, their range would be very different. And while some people here can't see why they keep churning out the same "rubbish", they would have stopped a long time ago if it didn't sell.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, MarkSG said:

The steampunk stuff is cheap to develop, not least because it's all based on existing models but because it requires no research into an actual prototype - just someone having fun with the CAD software on their computer.

 

1 hour ago, Coryton said:

If Hornby only catered to the wishes of people on RMWeb, their range would be very different. And while some people here can't see why they keep churning out the same "rubbish", they would have stopped a long time ago if it didn't sell.

 

At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I would contest the assertion that steampunk "requires no research into an actual prototype" which, while basically true, misses the point that has been made that steampunk is more than adding cogs to things.

 

Hornby's 'steampunk' range may be popular, and good for them if it is. But if it fails, would it be because that there isn't a market? Or, simply because Hornby may have failed to judge what the market might actually expect?

 

There have been some splendid, practical suggestions made in this thread, notably by @Edwardian, as to how steampunk might be better serviced at relatively little risk. If there's a real buying (rather than simply idly curious) market out there.

Edited by truffy
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It is valid point that the Caley Single would be a good candidate for the steampunk treatment, the large driving wheel and splasher as a focal point  for the makeover, the Caley single has a head start by exuding Victorian and Edwardian style in a manner which the 0-4-0 tank cannot compete

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10 hours ago, Zunnan said:

 

I just knew that an 890 would fit the bill! Where's that Ratio kit I squirrelled away gone to?!

 

Or to really pump things up and truly embrace the bigger is better ethos that Steampunk enjoys, an 0 gauge 890 modified to represent broad gauge 4mm with the coaches done as double deckers, perhaps in a clerestory styled arrangement so the lip is the gangway from the top deck to make full use of that huge loading gauge. Panelled and fully lined out of course...

I think the coaches are too small in the painting, so I'm not sure you'd need to bother that much. ;)

 

(I'm fond of the painting, short of Tripods Over Ludgate Hill I can't imagine anything I'd more like to see portrayed, although obviously there are other stations I'd pay money to meet the Heat Ray...)

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9 hours ago, HonestTom said:

 

 

 

One idea I thought might be fun would be to produce a new bodyshell for the 0-4-0 that would have absolutely minimal detail, but a lot of holes that you could plug detail parts into. Elaborate funnels and domes, oddly-shaped tanks, different cab roofs, condensers, even crazier accessories like gun turrets, spikes, armour etc. That way, you could produce one new body, one new sprue of parts and give people the wherewithal to create a vast range of possible locomotives.

So, a sort of Mr Potato Head of the steam world?

 

cheers

 

ps. I tried for a while, (before posting), to make a funny pun in my reply. I could not think of one.

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There has been some debate over Hornby's use of the Bassett Lowke brand name for the Steampunk range, but personally I think this is a good idea; I doubt if many of the target market have any idea of the history of that name, and it sounds to me a perfect fit for Steampunkery !

 

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On 06/01/2020 at 21:36, Ozexpatriate said:

I have the 00 Police Box. (By the way my spelling was intentional - the British style-guide is to lowercase acronyms pronounced as a word - like "Nato". The US style-guide is to capitalize "NATO".) Unless of course the US style-guide has been adopted in Britain now.

 

Unlike Nato or Radar, though, the TARDIS is a fictional entity for which there is a canonical form used in that fictional universe. The BBC uses the all-capital version, and that's also the version they have a registered trade mark for. So I think it's reasonable to stick with that version when referring to the same thing.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/5Dp7g7b0dSVhD2TM1xNlf7c/the-tardis

https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/1/UK00002054001

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