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Tony Wright

Wright writes.....

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A feast of Thompsons...Keep 'em coming!

 

I built a an A2-2 and an A1-1 using Triang A3 boilers as the basis for plastikard models around 1968. Butt-soldering the motion after it was shortened was a definite weakness! I have only mentioned this in passing to show I have been a Thompson Pacific admirer for a good many years.....George Mellor must have photographed them as I cannot find any negs.

 

Any chance of a thorough photo feature of Tony Wright's fine layout....?

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Thanks for the heads up. A very effective photo there Andy....The locos exhaust is casting a weak shadow on the adjacent wagons. It is touches like this that make all the difference.

Edited by coachmann
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I can remember you bringing those plasticard locos and running them on the club layout when we were based at Sea Road in Old Colwyn.

George

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Tony has written up an in-depth review of Hornby's Thompson suburbans for the next BRM.

 

Hornby Thompson 3rd R4576 01.jpg

 

Hornby Thompson Brake 3rd R4577 02.jpg

 

A year ago, we were treated to the release of Hornby's outstanding Gresley non-gangwayed 'suburban' coaches, and now we've just received the latest samples of the Thompson equivalents. And, are they outstanding, too? Without a doubt, as I hope to explain in the review.

 

Never being one to leave alone, all I'll be doing to these models is to blacken the wheels more and dispose of the horrid couplings; replacing them with scale shackles. I'll also weather the underframe and roof, just to make them even more perfect. But they're that already! Wonderful models, and wholly recommended.

 

Hornby Gresley All 3rd weathered.jpg

 

Hornby Thompson Composite R4575 03 weathered.jpg

 

Within the review Tony relects:

 

My non-gangwayed rakes of ex-LNER carriages were built many years ago. I built the Kirk examples, and Tony Geary built the Comet ones. These run on Little Bytham, and they won't be replaced because they're still good enough. But only just, for these superlative Thompsons (and their non-gangwayed Gresley predecessors) are quite stunning and render at a stroke (I'm afraid) the need to kit-build equivalents. Why 'I'm afraid'? Because the makers of kits are finding their markets more and more under 'assault', and their sales are bound to suffer. That's not Hornby's fault - what more can the firm do than make superb models? It's just that a good few layouts over recent years have developed a 'sameness', particularly with regards to locos and rolling stock (and more recently, with ready-to-plant buildings).

 

Can the 'sameness' be combatted?

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Within the review Tony relects:

 

Can the 'sameness' be combatted?

 

 

This is something I agree with and reminds me of the early 80s when all Railway Modeller GWR branch lines had the Airfix, new then, 14xx and autocoach.Alll the layouts looked the same.

 

Another reason for modellers to rename locos if possible. A set of etched plates on the Hornby Castle etc.Tony Wright has several different A4s like this.

 

As for coaching stock ,when you look at these new coaches they are fabulous value for money compared to say a Comet kit.However the likes of Hornby can't built every type and sometimes a kit is the only option if you want a particular type but a lot of modellers stick with rtr and these will fly off the shelves.

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Must agree with you about renaming and numbering Robin, something I have done on Wencombe. Whilst not a kit builder myself, renumbering and naming is a relatively simple way of giving our layouts some individuality.

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This ties in a bit with the lengthy thread on the future of kitbuilding.

 

As Tony says, quite correctly, there is little or no point in trying to build kits if your aim is to end up with a particular vehicle on your layout. Very few modellers can match what Hornby, Bachmann and others are producing in terms of quality.

 

If your aim is to have fun making things, it is a different matter. My answer to "sameness" is to model the pre-grouping scene and even then Bachmann are going down my chosen GCR path!

 

The RTR people are no doubt constantly on the lookout for new ideas to put on the market and it won't be long before pretty much every major class of steam loco and all major classes of diesel loco are available RTR. Certainly enough to run many a layout as "big four" or BR. It will be a long time before any RTR firm makes enough locos and stock to allow anybody to run a pre-grouping layout.

 

There are also certain areas, which can be chosen as prototypes, which have not had the attention of the RTR folk yet. As an example, there are very few RTR locos available that would have run around Lincolnshire branch lines in the 1950s. Suitable classes would include N5, C12, A5, J6 and J11. Only the last one is in the pipeline as a RTR. The others are all available as kits, assuming they are still in production (I haven't checked).

 

Good to see that Tony Wright seems to be getting "back in action" again. Putting his views across with his usual style!

 

Tony

Edited by t-b-g
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Within the review Tony relects:

 

 

 

Can the 'sameness' be combatted?

Absolutely, it can!

By any reasonably or moderately skilled modeller using techniques as described above.

By anyone who can do a bit of weathering.

By the use of good scenery.

There are undoubtedly more but, as Tony G. says - you can always follow a different path i.e. pre-group or, shock horror: foreign!

Cheers,

John E.

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It is not worth Hornby producing more than a handful of types, but if anyone 'needs' a 5 or 6 compartment brake third (for example) then removing the plastic sides and fitting etched brass sides is the answer. I suspect I won't like the lozenge windows but I'll balance this with the surface detail before doing any surgery!

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Guest Tom F

Missed the thread when started on the 15th. Fantastic insight into the Thompson Pacifics.

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In regards to the problem of Sameness, I think we need "ready made snap together body kits" for entry level modelers that can then be painted and modified to suit the owners taste. This would give young people an idea as to what they could go on to achieve in this hobby, as well as the immense psychological boost of being able to look at some thing they know to have created themselves.

 

On a much larger note I would support the recreation of an A1/1 and would even cast the first £10 towards its construction.

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Fantastic info on the Thommo pacifics from Mr Wright. Really interesting to hear from people with first hand experience of them.

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Having just read through this, I must commend Mr. Wright on a extremely well written and in-depth review of the A2s (and A1/1). This might convert a few more people to the light dark side of the LNER...

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That is superb.You know where to find me on Sunday Andy. :no:

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The green lined out Pannier with early small totem is pushing it a bit especially beside a loco still carryting full British Railways. That aside, some really nice modelling there not to mention super photography.

Edited by coachmann

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Guest Tom F

Lovely Andy. Thanks for posting.

Which months issue will Little Bytham feature in?

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It's in the January issue Tom, I believe the digital edition is now out, subscribers should get a copy early next week and it's on shelves on Thursday.

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Oh dear - I feel Grimsby Town coming along!

 

Tony's work as usual looks A1.

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It's Tony's fault that I model the ECML not the Western inspite of being welsh!

 

Superb shots

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