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While we are waiting for the for the Victorian train to appear there is an opportunity to look at how the model has progressed since Tri-ang introduced it in 1961 in a magnificent train set. We can also discuss whether Hornby could make a basic model like this in England at a reasonable price and whether there is a need for generic coaches based on the clerestory coaches.

P1020760.JPG

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You will find many differing opinions on that. Mine is that the last thing we need is anything generic, whilst I accept that many people seem keen on the generic four- and six-wheel coaches.

 

With all the fuss Hornby has created about the Hornby anniversary, it is nice to see Tri-ang celebrated. After all, what we now call Hornby can be traced back to Tri-ang and Rovex rather than Hornby. Having said that, I think it’s a bit of a cheek offering these coaches and this locomotive to the modern market. I don’t think Hornby has done much over the years other than change the motor and gearing but a Dean Single tooled to modern standards would be welcome.

 

As an afterthought, a Midland Spinner would be even more welcome.

 

How should a single be engineered? Metal boiler for maximum weight, well balanced. Driving only to the driving axle, traction tyred wheel only as an alternative. Minimum drag tender pickups, Bachmann style.

 

I had some extra coffee this morning. It shows, doesn’t it?

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I would welcome a Dean single and some panelled clerestory coaches tooled up to modern standards but I think the existing models are reasonable representations.  The Railway Modeller reviewed them when they came out and pointed out the errors which were minor.

 

In the 1970s the Isle of Purbeck Model Railway Group replaced the clerestory roofs of the coaches with conventional roofs, put some windows in at the end and repainted them malachite green.  These represented ex LSWR pull push sets to accompany the M7s.  Ace Trains made some generic GWR clerestory coaches complete with conventional roofs in many pre-grouping liveries and these were very popular. You can still get second hand Hornby clerestory coaches for around £3 so there is no risk of ruining an expensive model by cutting it down and repainting it.

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The current China made Lord Of The Isles has a different chassis from the original, with pick ups on the front bogie, as well as the driving and trailing wheels.

 

Only the driving axle is driven, by a small modern motor. An 8-pin DCC socket is also fitted.


2007 Service Sheet.

1C5D27B8-F04C-47F6-BC9F-463C61EE5BCA.jpeg.d467beb38f6b28a1f51f948967fcf023.jpeg

 

2009 Service Sheet. The locomotive body outline, and the tender Body outline and chassis are from the Caledonian Railway Single, No.123. As is the front bogie.

(LMS Dean Single is a genuine Hornby error! ;))

Note the traction tyres shewn on this Service Sheet.

1465F4D9-63D7-4CC4-AC97-77110EE4ED8D.jpeg.53f7cc0288855af3866b62ce7ca10779.jpeg

 

Operating & Maintenance Instructions.

The locomotive body outline and bogie is from the GWR Dean Single. (No mention of the traction tyres, introduced later?)

 

B97503E4-508D-4A19-8C25-17C07C70670F.jpeg.189755a208baa8dfb8ce0de1cd3145b3.jpeg

553F5765-E51A-4A41-B88B-A74E04998C24.jpeg.d5e63c8f531e17f17fa2728c713853cf.jpeg

 

The original RS.48 “The Victorian” Train set. 1963-1964.

 

http://www.hornbyguide.com/item_details.asp?itemid=1145

 

Service Sheet 1962.

0B2F2D71-8E93-44A9-8C96-187350B36475.jpeg.b3fcd7fcc6984fc8af244bb942d5c72a.jpeg

 

The original locomotive had a traction magnet that acted on both the driving and trailing driving  wheels. The magnet attraction on the trailing wheels helped to “stick” the rear of the locomotive to the steel track then in use. Traction magnets are not effective on Nickel Silver rail, as currently used by Hornby, etc.

Pick up was by a spring acting on both the driving and trailing wheels.

The return being via the chassis and the non insulated locomotive driving and trailing wheels.

 

The 2006 edition train pack. Limited edition of 2500.

 

http://www.hornbyguide.com/item_details.asp?itemid=3837

 


The Dean Single 4-2-2 “Lord of the Isles” was first introduced into the Hornby range, (then Tri-ang) 45 years ago in 1961 as part of a train set as well as being available on its own. Over the following years the locomotive appeared sporadically up until 1981. In that year the “Lord of the Isles” made a welcome and final return as part of a collectable train pack which remained available for two years, however, it was never included in the Hornby catalogue pages. Now some 25 years later a special 25th Anniversary “Lord of the Isles” Limited Edition Train pack is once more available for the model collector and as can be seen this time featured in the catalogue. In 25 years manufacturing techniques and materials have changed but where possible Hornby have tried to capture the very essence of this Limited Edition model train as it was not only in 1981 but as far back as 1961, the year of the locomotive’s first introduction. Contained in a special presentation pack, each train is complete with a limited edition certificate denoting that it is one of 2,500. Limited Edition Train Pack contains: 
GWR Dean Single 4-2-2 “Lord of the Isles” 
2 GWR clerestory composite coaches 
1 GWR clerestory brake coach

 

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I think there is scope for basic plastic components to be made in the UK - the production cost difference isn't so great and offset by reductions in shipping costs. Hornby's QuickBuild kits are made in the UK and although most of the Airfix kits are made in India, over the years they have occasionally used UK production (in the Humbrol era until 2006, Airfix kits were made by Heller in France, so there isn't the ingrained use of China for kits in the same way as there is for model railways).

However, for anything require complex electrical wiring or detailed printing and decoration the skills base does not exist in the UK to do this cost effectively. Electrically, LoI has a PCB and many more soldered connections than the Triang-era one; designed to provide all-wheel pickup and better running at a lower current draw than the original managed.

The decoration on the original was for example a sticker to the splasher, the boiler bands were hand-lined with a bowpen etc, but the China printing techniques allow everything to be pad-printed to exquisite detail, for example orange-black-orange lining to be applied with much greater finesse. So unless people are willing to accept a substantially simplified finish (and at no less cost) there is currently no realistic prospect of full UK manufacture being viable.

I would have thought though that a fair few of the ancillaries (buffer stops, plastic platform sections, plastic bridges etc) could be made over here with better security of supply.  

 

 

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I’d say there is a market for retooled GW clerestories, both the non-gangwayed to the correct length with proper bogies, interiors and full lining, and the gangwayed with proper panelling.  There may be some traction in generic versions of the non-gangwayed coaches with plain roofs in a variety of liveries; a lot of coaches from that period looked like that. 
 

LOTI and the shorty clerestories (good name for a band) were a brave idea when they were introduced, and Triang deserved the success they had with them IMHO.  The crispness of the plastic moulded panelling was and still is superb, and the shorties have served us well as material for cut’n’shuts and conversions for 60 years now, but they are really not acceptable in the modern market and arguably have not been for some time.  Underscale length, B1 bogies, crude underframe, no interior even compartment dividers, no clerestory glazing; can you imagine the reaction if Hornby released a new tooling in that condition now!

 

Trouble is, as long as the tooling exists and H are making profit from it, they will have no enthusiasm for new toolings.  The recent reintroduction was a response to a lively Bay market for them, a sensible way to make a quick and honest buck from a proven demand without even the bother of market research for which you can hardly criticise a company that needed every honest buck it could lay it’s hands on at the time, but we’re sort of stuck with them now!

  

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Singles are notoriously difficult to set up for traction and good running. Locomotion's superb OO GNR single uses a geared drive to both driven and rear axle, a solution also used in some 7mm locos. Alternatively a tender drive could be used.   

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Thank you for your comments about the Lord of the Isles.  You may be interested to see my Lord of the Isles locomotive by the engine shed in my waterfall layout that I had in the early 1970s with Tri-ang Super 4 track on foam ballast.

 

Lord of the Isles first appeared in June 1961.  It was Tri-ang's first pre-grouping locomotive and may have been inspired by Matchbox Toys' Duke of Connaught.  The first version had a matt paint finish and a smoke unit.  It did not have Magnadhesion and could pull around four Tri-ang clerestory coaches on Tri-ang series 3 track with a minimum radius of around 13". It was available as a locomotive or as part of a huge train set with two points, two signals, a signal box and a level crossing.

 

In 1962 it was fitted with Magnadhesion.  Tri-ang also introduced Super 4 track which had the same geometry as the present track but was to coarse scale.  During the 1960s Tri-ang fitted the clerestory coaches with pin point axles which were more free running than the old axles.  So, with free running coaches and Magnadhesion the Lord of the Isles could pull over six clerestory coaches.  It was the fastest engine in their range but like all Tri-ang models it was rather noisy.

 

Over the year the set was reduced to a locomotive, two coaches and a small oval of track as the original set was too expensive. I bought my first Lord of the Isles from Hobbytime of West Wickham in the 1970s.  By that time it had a gloss finish and possibly a crew.  I don't think it had a smoke unit.  I sold it and the clerestory coaches a few years later as my main interest was the Southern region.  The clerestory coaches may have ventured onto the London and South Western Railway but the locomotive probably did not.

 

 

P1020810.JPG

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On 17/01/2022 at 09:38, No Decorum said:

You will find many differing opinions on that. Mine is that the last thing we need is anything generic, whilst I accept that many people seem keen on the generic four- and six-wheel coaches.

 

With all the fuss Hornby has created about the Hornby anniversary, it is nice to see Tri-ang celebrated. After all, what we now call Hornby can be traced back to Tri-ang and Rovex rather than Hornby. Having said that, I think it’s a bit of a cheek offering these coaches and this locomotive to the modern market. I don’t think Hornby has done much over the years other than change the motor and gearing but a Dean Single tooled to modern standards would be welcome.

 

As an afterthought, a Midland Spinner would be even more welcome.

 

How should a single be engineered? Metal boiler for maximum weight, well balanced. Driving only to the driving axle, traction tyred wheel only as an alternative. Minimum drag tender pickups, Bachmann style.

 

I had some extra coffee this morning. It shows, doesn’t it?

My view is more controversial. I mostly just like seeing trains running. I don’t fixate on the details. I like the look of the lord of the isles. The last batch of the clerestory coaches was done quite nicely too, the main problem I have with it all is price. Models made from 50 year old molds price should reflect this. 

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