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4 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

I think it's always been the case that folks either model the contemporary scene or the one they remember when they were younger (ie something they can directly relate to)  OR they model something based on a (completely) different era that happens to appeal to them. If it were possible, it would be interesting to survey the relative percentage of each. Clearly, as time marches relentlessly on, eventually anyone modelling the steam era, whether that be BR1948-1968, Big Four 1923-1948 or pre-grouping 1922 and earlier, will by definition NOT be modelling what they remember.

 

I count myself as already being in the latter demographic. I was four when steam ended and have just the vaguest memories of going out with Dad to see the last leaky 8Fs in the northwest of England. The time that should have made the greatest impression on me therefore is the late 1970s / early 1980s - however, it has absolutely no appeal at all to me from a modelling point of view! It doesn't too much study of pre-1968 pictures of the same scene in the 1980s to see which was the more interesting so I shall always be a pre-1968 modeller, primarily LMR 1950s although I have equally enjoyed my prolonged dalliance with LNER 1930s.

 

Will I be in the minority in 20 years time (if I'm fortunate to still be active by that date!)? Dunno. Do I care? Not really - I'm quite happy doing my 'thing', just as much as others are doing theirs.

I read years ago (might have been by CJF) that folk often model something 10-15 years earlier than they can remember, possibly because parents/uncles/authors always seem to make you wish that you'd been there (of course that's a huge generalisation). I do think there's something in that, though.

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12 hours ago, john new said:

my daughter is struggling with basic electric wiring for my train mad grandson’s train set.

All it needs is two wires...

 

That's OK, I'll let myself out.

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8 hours ago, Andy Hayter said:

 

 

After the last survey in 2018, I was able to show that at best 50% of modellers model what they remember as 11-15 year old train spotters.   This mirrored an earlier survey, in I think 2013 with a similar result.  This seems to be a point blinded to those that do model what they remember in their youth and post as if this is the norm.  Undoubtedly they are the biggest group but probably are outnumbered by those who do not model what they remember as an 11-15 year old.   

 

It is probably too soon to ask AndyY to run a new survey but it might nevertheless be interesting if he did.  I sense a slow but continuous movement towards periods before we were born with pre-grouping becoming slowly more and more interesting to a small but growing group of modellers.  

 

Has Rocket/will Lion push that boundary back further? perhaps we should wait a couple of years and see.

Thanks Andy,

 

I don't know whether the likes of me are 'blind' to the fact that only 50% model what they remember from their youth. 

 

Though I have no hard evidence, in conversation with the RTR folk from time to time, it would seem the most-popular manifestations of their products (where applicable) represent the BR steam/diesel transition. That is BR green or black locos (of both steam- and diesel-outline) and carmine/cream or maroon coaching stock. This has been the case for some time (the enormous number of post-War 'baby-boomers'?), but, no doubt, BR blue will gain the ascendancy as the post-War boomers boom no more! Interestingly, the BR blue/grey period (in all its manifestations) was probably one of the longest in our railways' histories. In my experience, it was popular with trainspotters. My school, where I taught in Wolverhampton, built in 1976, was adjacent to the line to Shrewsbury. Each break/lunchtime, a group of boys would note the numbers of the various classes (including DMUs!). As the '80s came, the group diminished in size and by the time I'd left the school in the early-'90s, there was none (even though there was still a variety of classes). Now, over 40 years on, I wonder whether any of those boys (there were never any girls) are railway modellers. Some were at the time, and I had an after-school group which scratch-built brass locos - interestingly, what they built was steam-outline; in one case, a type well before my time - an M&GNR 4-4-0! 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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4 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

I read years ago (might have been by CJF) that folk often model something 10-15 years earlier than they can remember, possibly because parents/uncles/authors always seem to make you wish that you'd been there (of course that's a huge generalisation). I do think there's something in that, though.

You might well be right, John.

 

I recall over 65 years ago, sitting by the banks of the murky (disused) Chesterfield Canal at Kiveton Park, fishing for tiddlers with a favourite (and mightily politically-incorrect) uncle. The ex-MS&LR line ran alongside. One day, a gleaming B17 went by, shining in BR green. His comments went along the lines of the class looking much better in LNER green, with the carriages in teak (they were in carmine/cream). He told us of A4s in garter blue and of the 'Silver Jubilee' swishing through Retford. He couldn't understand the 'strange' numbering of the locos in the contemporary Ian Allan abcs of the time. 

 

Though he clearly had an influence on me, it didn't extend to my modelling what he remembered. No, my motivation is to recreate what I saw in my formative years. I can't recall exactly which other locos I saw with him on those early occasions (it was before the 'Brits' were on the line), but the list of classes was enormous, though many were very dirty. In the very earliest of those times, one might even have been a B7, but I can't remember. However, I do recall vividly all the types as the '50s gave way to the '60s, and the 'Brits' came! 

 

I know it's dangerous to be too nostalgic, but I doubt if any small boys fish for tiddlers now in that same canal (it might even be re-open), favourite uncle with them or not. Even if they did, I doubt if they take notice of any passing trains. Returning to the area for a family funeral about three years ago (not my uncle's - he died in Australia in his 90s, after emigrating with his family in 1968), I looked in at Kiveton Park. A big mistake!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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9 hours ago, Andy Hayter said:

 

 

After the last survey in 2018, I was able to show that at best 50% of modellers model what they remember as 11-15 year old train spotters.   This mirrored an earlier survey, in I think 2013 with a similar result.  This seems to be a point blinded to those that do model what they remember in their youth and post as if this is the norm.  Undoubtedly they are the biggest group but probably are outnumbered by those who do not model what they remember as an 11-15 year old.   

 

It is probably too soon to ask AndyY to run a new survey but it might nevertheless be interesting if he did.  I sense a slow but continuous movement towards periods before we were born with pre-grouping becoming slowly more and more interesting to a small but growing group of modellers.  

 

Has Rocket/will Lion push that boundary back further? perhaps we should wait a couple of years and see.

Andy, 

 

I believe that modelling railways that pre-date our own memories has long been popular, witness the wide range of 4mm and 7mm kits going back to the pre-grouping period. A look at the show guides for the Scale Societies, whose members are amongst the more committed  model builders, would show a large proportion of layouts that predate many modellers earliest memories.

 

In more recent years there has been considerable improvement in the quality and detail of RTR models and a comparable increase in many modellers unwillingness/inability to assemble and finish kits, at least to a comparable standard. The recent interest in manufacturing pre-group models and the uptake of these by modellers is born of several things. The need by the manufacturers to keep finding new products to stimulate sales, the entry of the  new "commissioner manufacturers" to create a range with something different/unique, the opportunity to use 3D scanning to create models from  preserved and therefore "high profile" locomotives and the willingness of the consumer to buy these models because they are unusual, attractive, different, etc.

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I would agree with the earlier comments about the current generation of "slimline" tension lock couplings.  I have had to replace those on several recent wagon purchases (including a limited edition) as they are so loose in their mounts that they have a distinct downward droop.  Please could reviewers look at couplings and check that they function correctly, and perhaps check that they are compatible with popular uncouplers? 

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Posted (edited)

I agree that such couplings should not be a sloppy fit, and that more scrutiny and criticism in respected reviews might lead to better quality control. But.... as many modellers swap couplings to a different preferred type, and there must by now be hundreds of thousands (or more?) of the things in circulation, clearly with insufficient standardization of dimensions of the plug-in bits, what hope is there in any reasonable length of time of creating a situation in which they are all a perfect fit? Manufacturers would have to co-operate for a start, and would have to insist that their cut-price, out-sourced, overseas workshops actually adhere to standards. Frustrating as that may be, when they should simply have all been made correctly to specified standards in the first place, the answer to droopy couplings is generally simple, by means of insertion of an invisible shim. Is it at least slightly helpful that poor quality control in this respect is easier to fix satisfactorily than poor quality control of highly visible features of the model, or of those that affect its running?

Edited by gr.king
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54 minutes ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

Andy, 

 

I believe that modelling railways that pre-date our own memories has long been popular, witness the wide range of 4mm and 7mm kits going back to the pre-grouping period. A look at the show guides for the Scale Societies, whose members are amongst the more committed  model builders, would show a large proportion of layouts that predate many modellers earliest memories.

 

In more recent years there has been considerable improvement in the quality and detail of RTR models and a comparable increase in many modellers unwillingness/inability to assemble and finish kits, at least to a comparable standard. The recent interest in manufacturing pre-group models and the uptake of these by modellers is born of several things. The need by the manufacturers to keep finding new products to stimulate sales, the entry of the  new "commissioner manufacturers" to create a range with something different/unique, the opportunity to use 3D scanning to create models from  preserved and therefore "high profile" locomotives and the willingness of the consumer to buy these models because they are unusual, attractive, different, etc.

 

The reason why we see an increase in pregrouping modelling amongst the more finescale, model building side if the hobby is an interesting one. I have been a fairly committed model maker, happy building pretty much anything, ever since I started modelling. My RTR purchases over the last 25 years can be counted on the fingers of one hand in locos and require no fingers at all for rolling stock.

 

I model the pregrouping period for a number of reasons but the one that started me off was the lack of RTR. It seemed a bit of a waste of effort building 1950s or 1960s BR period kits of prototypes which others got on their layouts by popping in to the model shop and buying.

 

If the manufacturers brought out a full range of RTR for the GCR in 1907, I wouldn't be rubbing my hands with glee. I would think that it was time to start modelling something even more obscure.

 

I always saw the building of models as being to fill the gaps left by the RTR people, not to duplicate what they do. That was 40 years ago when I did model the late 1950s. As the RTR range increased, my need to build things declined so I went back in time.

 

The idea that a model doesn't look as good as a RTR one but at least I made it myself which gives me more satisfaction doesn't really apply to those of us who model the railways back in the old days. I build things that give me double satisfaction. Firstly because I built it myself and secondly because they don't look just like the ones that everybody else has bought in the shops.

 

I have no particular affection for any period I saw on the real railways. I hardly remember steam and if I want to see blue diesels there are my own memories and photos plus many colour videos to watch. Anything more modern than that just leaves me cold in terms of modelling inspiration. Why model a Class 66 when I can see a real one any time that I want to?

 

The only way I can see a GCR train, in colour, moving through the landscape or working in a station or yard, is in my shed or on another layout. It somehow makes it that bit rarer and more precious to me.

 

 

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7 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

All it needs is two wires...

 

That's OK, I'll let myself out.

Point of joke understood.

 

However, it is not much more complex than that for DC at the level she is working on for grandson Ted. She is having the same problem with the tech’ as I have with choreographed dancing  steps (two concrete blocks for feet there) so I sympathise. Why some of us seem to have deficiencies in some skill areas but can do it in directly related others is a mystery. (I can’t dance but could play football for example - both foot coordinated skills).

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47 minutes ago, gr.king said:

I agree that such couplings should not be a sloppy fit, and that more scrutiny and criticism in respected reviews might lead to better quality control. But.... as many modellers swap couplings to a different preferred type, and there must by now be hundreds of thousands (or more?) of the things in circulation, clearly with insufficient standardization of dimensions of the plug-in bits, what hope is there in any reasonable length of time of creating a situation in which they are all a perfect fit? Manufacturers would have to co-operate for a start, and would have to insist that their cut-price, out-sourced, overseas workshops actually adhere to standards. Frustrating as that may be, when they should simply have all been made correctly to specified standards in the first place, the answer to droopy couplings is generally simple, by means of insertion of an invisible shim. Is it at least slightly helpful that poor quality control in this respect easier to fix satisfactorily than poor quality control of highly visible features of the model, or of those that affect its running?

My crit of this type is that the older metal ones with riveted on hooks did the job/still do if you can find them to recycle from old scrapper stock. The new one’s may be cheap, I guess why the manufacturers fit them, but they don’t work properly, the hooks fall off and on some stock look a bit rude!

 

The move to NEM partially failed as there was no voluntary agreement to be exactly to standard, the new style basic t/l isn’t up to the job, and the big lumpy fitting makes retro-fitting more difficult.

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2 hours ago, gr.king said:

Is it at least slightly helpful that poor quality control in this respect is easier to fix satisfactorily than poor quality control of highly visible features of the model, or of those that affect its running?

Possibly for most on this forum, but not for those youngsters starting out and their parents, who probably aren't worried about the type of boiler or tender fitted but who do want their train to work - and who may be put off the hobby for life if it doesn't.

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Posted (edited)

Why, after all these years are we using Tension Lock Couplings?

They are obtrusive and detract from models.

And don't get me started about the monstrosities they put on N gauge models.

Just my opinion!

Edited by andytrains
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Posted (edited)

Some very interesting recent comments. Thanks for all of them.

 

I rather like the idea of folk having to go further (and further) back in time to model prototypes, the like of which will probably never be available RTR.

 

Though that doesn't apply to me, I still prefer to make my own locos/rolling stock. I don't really care if Bachhornjan makes an A1, A2, A3, A4, V2, W1 and/or whatever else. I don't use them and don't need them. To others, they're the only way of populating their ECML steam-age depictions in numbers, but that's not what 'modelling' means to me (even if I'm just shooting moving footage of modified Hornby locos on LB for the firm's Youtube channel!). 

 

I have to admit, however, that without the likes of Bachmann's (much-modified) Mk.1s I'd still be making the 100+ number of the type needed for LB. Those Mk.1s I've built (and there are still many to do) are the ones not available RTR (though things like BSOs now are). 

 

I think it always comes to back to being able to say 'I made that'. Nothing can beat that in my opinion.......................

Edited by Tony Wright
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Afternoon campers. Yes, I am still alive....just.

I believe there was some discussion recently about the newish Bulleid 'shorty' coaches (beautiful models IMO).

Just to confirm that when built, several sets were immediately allocated to the SR Western Division and worked on various fast, long distance Express services and fast Stoppers on the WOEML . They reached Plymouth in my days as part of Waterloo to W of E services split at Exeter. They moved around a lot and many did work fast outer London Suburban services on unelectrified lines, e.g. Guildford to Shoreham via Horsham or Uckfield, Oxted etc.

Even in the early 60s full sets were used on Summer Services on the WOEML and Somerset and Dorset. However many were extended to form longer sets for all sorts of work and withdrawn relatively early. The longer, 63' versions lasted longer of course and were used extensively on Central and Western Divisions on all sorts of services, especially morning and evening Commuter services into Waterloo from Salisbury and Woking.

Hope that is of interest, despite the fact I have absolutely no records of these coaches working north, or east of London on other Regions, not even on the long distance, summer holiday trains from the Midlands and North to the South (usually Bournemouth) and West (including Sidmouth and Exmouth). 

P

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Apart from the obvious attractions of models we have built ourselves, I think one factor in the unusually high popularity of nostalgic or historic modelling in Britain  is not just the inherent attractiveness of steam locos and the greater variety of interesting vehicles for them to pull, but also the range of operation possible on a small or medium size layout.  Modelling is modelling whatever the chosen era or subject (some people enjoy modelling the London Underground) but the other aspect of railway modelling is modelling the activity of railways as well as its physical objects.

 

According to Loco-Revue, the most popular period amongst French modellers is the fairly long period of the 1970s and 1980s when steam had disappeared but the other features of the "classic" railway such as wagonload and pickup goods between small local yards, and the making and breaking of passenger trains were still common. 

In Britain, those sort of activities, especially wagonload goods and local goods yards,  seemed to disappear, (along with an awful lot of railways)  at around the same time as the end of steam in what was anyway a rather depressing era for railways when they seemed to be in a terminal decline. By the time the railways started to buck up again- something I always associate with the arrival of HSTs-those "classic" activities had largely vanished.  

 

Certainly, if you look at Hornby's UK catalogue compared with its European brands, the relative paucity of steam locomotives in the latter is quite striking.  It is also of course far far easier to actually go and see see steam locomotives at work in Britain, albeit in zoos, than just about anywhere else on earth so that's probably another factor in their continuing popularity.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Andy,

 

I don't know whether the likes of me are 'blind' to the fact that only 50% model what they remember from their youth. 

 

Though I have no hard evidence, in conversation with the RTR folk from time to time, it would seem the most-popular manifestations of their products (where applicable) represent the BR steam/diesel transition. That is BR green or black locos (of both steam- and diesel-outline) and carmine/cream or maroon coaching stock. This has been the case for some time (the enormous number of post-War 'baby-boomers'?), but, no doubt, BR blue will gain the ascendancy as the post-War boomers boom no more! Interestingly, the BR blue/grey period (in all its manifestations) was probably one of the longest in our railways' histories. In my experience, it was popular with trainspotters. My school, where I taught in Wolverhampton, built in 1976, was adjacent to the line to Shrewsbury. Each break/lunchtime, a group of boys would note the numbers of the various classes (including DMUs!). As the '80s came, the group diminished in size and by the time I'd left the school in the early-'90s, there was none (even though there was still a variety of classes). Now, over 40 years on, I wonder whether any of those boys (there were never any girls) are railway modellers. Some were at the time, and I had an after-school group which scratch-built brass locos - interestingly, what they built was steam-outline; in one case, a type well before my time - an M&GNR 4-4-0! 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Tony

 

"I don't know whether the likes of me are 'blind' to the fact that only 50% model what they remember from their youth. "

 

That is not exactly what I said, I said at best 50%.  It is probably lower than that but by how much, the data does not allow me to say.   It could mathematically be zero - well zero minus you and the other people who claim that we model what we remember from our youth.  I am not seriously suggesting that, that is the case - just that it might be possible within the limits of the data.

 

"Though I have no hard evidence, in conversation with the RTR folk from time to time, it would seem the most-popular manifestations of their products (where applicable) represent the BR steam/diesel transition. That is BR green or black locos (of both steam- and diesel-outline) and carmine/cream or maroon coaching stock. This has been the case for some time (the enormous number of post-War 'baby-boomers'?),"

 

Absolutely no argument from me on this point Tony.  The survey showed that this period was by far and away the most popular.  Indeed so popular that there were far more modellers of the period than fit the age profile for being train spotters.  Clearly there are a significant number of modellers who choose this period not because of reminiscences but because it is a really interesting period.  It is also a period well served by the trade - rtr and kits.

 

The importance of that observation is that your prediction of the demise of the period in favour of blue diesels may prove to be rather premature.

 

One other point we need to consider is the one of self-fulfilling prophecies.  I well remember a time when the rtr manufacturers shunned the Southern Railway.  There is no interest in that area they said (so we don't produce any models, so no one buys models....).  But look now, the Southern is a fairly well served region and is popular.  All it took was one good rtr model and suddenly a pent up desire could be released.  

 

So while a high level of sales for one area or time period cannot be denied or dismissed, a low level of sales for another area of our hobby may just be due to a lack of models to satisfy a demand.

 

Edited by Andy Hayter
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10 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

I read years ago (might have been by CJF) that folk often model something 10-15 years earlier than they can remember, possibly because parents/uncles/authors always seem to make you wish that you'd been there (of course that's a huge generalisation). I do think there's something in that, though.

 

Nah. As I get older I have an increasing problem of remembering things that happened to me last week let alone last decade or last millennium. And that old pre-grouping stuff looks so messy, agricultural, heath-robinson and unrefined in style and design. I was around for the end of the steam era and that was horrendous enough.

 

;-)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pacific231G said:

Apart from the obvious attractions of models we have built ourselves, I think one factor in the unusually high popularity of nostalgic or historic modelling in Britain  is not just the inherent attractiveness of steam locos and the greater variety of interesting vehicles for them to pull, but also the range of operation possible on a small or medium size layout.  Modelling is modelling whatever the chosen era or subject (some people enjoy modelling the London Underground) but the other aspect of railway modelling is modelling the activity of railways as well as its physical objects.

 

Hello David

 

I fully agree with your point about operation above (placed in bold by me for reference).

 

I set out many years ago to have a model railway that was full of operating potential - attaching, detaching, carriage workings, loco rosters, freight shunting and so on.

 

After nearly 25 years of endeavor and 'second guessing' how RTR products would come to market, I feel I have now achieved about 95% of what I set out to do. Yes...I have very successfully made a number of wagon kits, but my focus has been on RTR.

 

My 25' x 10' layout can 'purport to be' Exeter Central, Oxford and then Newton Abbot depending on what stock I am running. I have produced cyclic diagrams for all my stock and have rostered locos to individual trains. Often, there are 'cycles within cycles'.

 

I may not have 'made' my locos and stock but I have 'made' the workings after much study and repetitive testing and refining. And that has made me very happy indeed!:)

 

Brian

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, andytrains said:

Why, after all these years are we using Tension Lock Couplings?

They are obtrusive and detract from models.

And don't get me started about the monstrosities they put on N gauge models.

Just my opinion!

Commercial reality. Hornby Dublo, Peco,  Trix and then Playcraft all used a knuckle coupler based on a Patent, IIRC by the Pritchard who was PECO’s founder. Tri-ang didn’t, using an early form of hook and bar. The Tri-ang range stayed the course hence their coupling being the favoured UK style. The lock part of tension lock was a subsequent development to the basic Tri-ang style device. Inertia then kept it as the number one option when later entrants came into the market.
 

Why the ubiquitous on HO continental loop and spike either wasn’t used early on in the UK, or if it was got dropped, I can’t answer.

 

Edited by john new
Accidentally double quote now deleted.
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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Returning to the area for a family funeral about three years ago ............. I looked in at Kiveton Park. A big mistake!

I expect most of us have made that mistake, I rarely visit most of my old haunts now.

My first memory of the railway was just before I was two years old. We were going Brighton to visit one of Mom's ex-army friends for a holiday.  Dad was not train spotting then but was always a railway enthusiast, having many connections on both sides of his family, and even across the 'Company Divide' of LMS and GWR. We went down to New Street to get the tickets for the trip and Dad arranged for that to coincide with his aunt's husband who was a driver at Monument Lane being there working an express. When the train arrived I was duly lifted onto the footplate, my abiding memory being the heat. When the train was due out and the guard waved his green flag Bill lifted me up to pull the whistle then the fireman duly passed me back to Dad who was already on the platform waiting to catch me. 

My next big railway memory was waiting for a train at New Street to go on holiday with my grandparents at the age of four. Grandad was the Proof House lineman at that time so he took me into New Street No.2 box where Walter Pritchard who was pictured in a link I posted about signal box lighting a couple of days ago was on duty. Grandad phone one of the boxes on his patch to check how our train was running and where to get a seat. While we were waiting for the reply Walter took time to explain to me what was going on even though it was a busy summer Saturday morning. Soon the message came back that the train was on time and the last two coaches were empty so we took up position away from the crowd and walked straight on. Next time I spoke to Walter was on my first day with BR, when he was working on New Street panel.

Dad retained his interest in railways to the end, only giving up visiting New Street and heritage railways at the age of 85 when his eyesight was giving problems and Mom's health was deteriorating.

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Just in for photography/review, are these...................

 

1247140727_HornbyCoronationScotcars01.jpg.a570abdf28a62e05bf8cfc97044c36e4.jpg

 

This 'Coronation Scot' TO from Hornby has a 'put-together' issue; no matter how hard I try, the central part of the underframe (both sides) won't clip into the body as designed. I'll investigate.

 

1698940311_HornbyCoronationScotcars02.jpg.421206044be34ebb6e1e024b5fd02195.jpg

 

The Kitchen Car's fit is perfect. 

 

I have to say, the overall finish is superb.

 

Does anyone have any opinions on this new range of cars, one way or the other? 

 

 

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If my Dad were still around I'm sure he would have wanted the Coronation Scot set. He used to tell of going to the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow in 1938 and seeing the blue streamliner with the full train at the station when they arrived.

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I think it always comes to back to being able to say 'I made that'. Nothing can beat that in my opinion.......................

 

Sorry to be a bit late with a comment - gardening requires attention - Mrs B rightly reminded me.

 

Afternoon Tony,

 

I could not agree more with your sentiment although unlike you I also have a lot of "ready to run" loco's from the usual suspects. The diversion, challenge and satisfaction of building your own loco (or coach etc..anything else for the layout) is good for one's wellbeing apart from all the other "rewards".

However, I remember a comment from one of the hobby's guru's (Ian Rice I think?) some time ago.. "its all a fantastic waste of time really..." or words to that effect. So perhaps we need to keep the role our hobby plays in our lives in context. Much more important things in life than our hobby.....I think:keeporder:

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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