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James May inside Hornby

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James May goes inside Hornby on BBC 4  Wed 6th at 9.00pm  2 parts.

Should be good, and another model railway programme is on after that on the same channel.

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REMINDER SOON 1- mins

BBC 4 @ 21.00
James May’s programme about Hornby’s problems.

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Posted (edited)

and another one on basset loock after it

 

Edited by WaYSidE
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Just watched it on catch-up, absolutely fascinating and full of how not to do things with the benefit of hindsight.

Stephen

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, StevieB said:

Just watched it on catch-up, absolutely fascinating and full of how not to do things with the benefit of hindsight.

Stephen

The toys, v modellers dilemma saga was interesting. Thomas saved not just Hornby but the whole uk market 20 years ago. Good to see they got their man back. The IRM guys must have watched with interest looking into their future through a crystal ball.  For childhood nostalgia reasons I have an emotional attachment and subliminal loyalty to Hornby through my childhood exposure to Hornby-Dublo, then Triang-Hornby and finally Hornby Railways, but their scale quality nose dived after Double and they got left behind in the 80s and 90s when Bachmann started raising the bar and producing much more desirable locos and rolling stock. Hornby still had that table top layout appeal, but the locos were very crude compared to Bachmann then. They seem to have caught up again. I'd hate to see them go under, especially Airfix.  Half the countries engineers and industrial product designers got the bug from building airfix kits, working with meccano and horny trains. I call a spade a spade, my models are toys, and in our house everybody calls them Dad's toy train set. Trying to dress it up as something else or more high fluting by calling it 'railway modelling' seems a little odd! :) I play by making and driving my toy trains, and happy as a bunny when doing so, call it modelling, or play I care not. 

PS: I found the two month build of the airfix plane fascinating. Unpaid, his eyes must have been ruined by the end of it not to mention his stress levels.

As James May often points out there were a lot of 'friendly men with beards' in both programmes. :) 

Edited by Noel
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being a newbe, i learnt loads from both progs, the first was tame, I enjoyed second one best, and so much unfinished history,

editors couldnt decide who to offerd with "' playing, enthusiasts, modellers, toys, " ' who cares, its all good, bar the 'electrified cat'

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28 minutes ago, popeye said:

I call them models

Toys are for children. :trains:

 Spot on. There's a very big difference.   

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1 hour ago, popeye said:

Toys are for children. :trains:

I confess. I am a middle aged big child! And my inner child loves messing around with electric model toys. :)

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Posted (edited)

I engage in a hobby called model railways , the key is in the name , I try ( and often fail ) to represent railways in model form . Toy trains are entirely different , things like giraffes popping their heads at bridges etc.  to suggest that a beautiful hard crafted model , or an exquisite hand built track layout is a “ toy “ is completely wrong and would most likely annoy the builder significantly  

 

this is different to say RC Model aircraft , which , while there is a “ scale” section of that hobby , most RC units are merely crude approximations to any actual aircraft , the purpose of RC being to get something to fly rather then an exact replica , as a result many RC” models” are very crude in comparison to the detail on a model railway model 

the model railway hobby is entirely separate from toy trains , which were largely marketed  to children , and because of computers ( of one form or another ) that market  has disappeared . Rovex ( ? ) I beleive pivoted Hornby away from frank Hornbys products aimed largely at adults to the then emerging cheap injection mounded “ toys “

the truth is model railways is largely an aging adult hobby , children arnt a component of that hobby and the hobby has  gone from strength to strength despite alarm calls as far back as the 70s about the disappearance of kids from the hobby ( given it never was a kids hobby in the first place ) 

to this day Hornby has failed to accept or grasp , that the toy train market is dead , despite a temporary reprieve on the back of “ Thomas” 

had Hornby retained its IP material . Went up market ( and slimmed down ) perhaps entered the O gauge market as well , it would have faired better  . It’s always suffered by being , just too big , for the market it should be in 

My own view is that Hornby is no longer relevant to the model railway hobby , and hasn’t been for some time , should it address that market, some part of it might survive, otherwise it will vanish , cause it can’t keep burning money forever ( even if it tried repeatedly ) 

I for one wouldn’t miss it  , even though like many kids at the time (1968 ) my first train was a Hornby , but once I started subscribing to “ the constructor “ , I realized , I was interested in model railways not toy trains and by 12 , I was building white metal GWR kits  ( appalling badly at first ) 

To me the core of the hobby , it’s the myriad of small suppliers doing kits , white metal , brass etchs etc  because these enable some beautiful models to be made  and I don’t  mean locos and rolling stock. To me the gamut of “ model railways “ includes track , signals , buildings and lineside structures and to cap it all good scenery , whereas , for example, poorly modeled track or wacky track configurations are just as bad to me , as a poor model of a loco or wagon . 

 

Really good railway modelling , a standard aspire to , and most of the time fail to meet , should recreate a feeling of transporting you to the period being represented 

Dave 

 

Edited by Junctionmad
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Hi Junctionmad. the suggestion that some Toy trains are not "beautiful hard crafted models" ?

woops, i mean no offense, I only relayed what i thought the editors were afraid to say, i meant they didnt know who to offend. if i understand above you are upset at hornby not me, i hope. but i disagree with your comment 'poorly modeled track or wacky track configurations are just as bad as a poor models of a loco or wagon'

surely we all have to start somewhere, and looking at the hobby,  with fresh eyes, to me, Lima's Irish models are beautiful, be they far from the reality, yet the capture the era in which they were made, just as modellers wish to recapture past eras,

as for poorly laid track, BordnMona would be quite upset, and from what I see of old irish prototype rail, there was a lot of poorly laid track in the past, indeed getting trains to run around and around poorly laid track is my favorite aspect of this hobby, me and my kids have great fun, slowing down and driving the trains over difficult sections of tracks, they are learning how to drive. My layout was both 'excused' and inspired by a video of an incline that showed an irish loco struggling uphill on very poorly laid track. that i said is what i want an aspect of my model rail to represent,' the skill of the engineer/driver.'

as i said  "editors couldn't decide who to offend with "' playing, enthusiasts, modellers, toys, " '"meaning i understand the difference, but they were tip toeing about all the terms, not really committing to any one term to describe the hobby and being confusing in their various portrayals, and maybe they are reflecting a general criticism of the hobby, cos before i started looking, i hadnt a clue about what modellers got up to, or why.. yet i fully understand industrial heritage as its a passion of mine.

i added 'who cares', cos i learnt stuff from the program, and that was all that mattered to me and may i suggest the general public feel the same, and form what James of DCCtrainautomation said in the increase in interest after the last program was aired on ch4 in 2018, his sales shot up by ten new customer a day, and isnt that an important part of the hobby, to occasionally inspire a modeller or two more to start the hobby for what ever reasons. play or realism, it doesnt actually matter.

yes its clear that most on IRM are modellers, the skills and knowledge in this place amazes me,  hence why i am contributing and reading through so many pages in the hope of accruing even a drop of your skills and knowledge, ,but i also see a number of abandoned blogs and layouts, and i ask my self why is that? many reasons I suppose, but one reason may be to enthusiasts and modellers, versus playing with toys. which just may upset  the many who started with a boxed train set or as kids with toy trains and still consider it play, surely they didnt come to the wrong site?.

In defense of toys, some of the most desired collectors / collections in the world are highly modeled accurate and prototypical toys,  both manufactured and hand made.

Be they Tin plate, carved old African, straw, wooden, clay, Video or plastic, many serious toy collectors would be quiet upset at the suggestion that some Toys are not "beautiful hard crafted models that represent the original" and this includes  trains and the artists who create video games including train simulators. indeed I learnt from the 2nd prog that it was german toy manufactures of toy trains that inspired the first English models, which were marketed to the elite rich as toys for the 'boys'.  Modelling only came much later.

No I am not going to upset modellers by calling your creations toys. But modellers have to stop upsetting toy enthusiasts by claiming yours is a more noble hobby , it is a different hobby and just as yours should not be confused as toys,  you should not belittle the levels of skills for the toy makers and video artists who create games,(toys) war games, lego, board games, and those who play them,  you get the idea, its in the imagination of the beholder that matters. all human effort is relative,  

i hope i didnt offend you or anyone by saying all this, as there are many references on this site to playing with the models, 

nor will I be telling my partner, that I was playing with a model! 

 

On 3/8/2019 at 8:05 AM, Junctionmad said:

I engage in a hobby called model railways , the key is in the name , I try ( and often fail ) to represent railways in model form . Toy trains are entirely different , to suggest that a beautiful hard crafted model , or an exquisite hand built track layout is a “ toy “ is completely wrong and would most likely annoy the builder significantly 

referring to Dave post above

 

 

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Hi lads,

I enjoyed that program especilly as it covered Railways and Plastic kits.

However  I notice a quote above 'Hornby is no longer relevant to the model railway hobby'

IMHO Thats a bit Daft to say that. A quick check on my layout reveals  loco wise a Q1, Black 5, 2 Schools Class, Merchant Navy, Oringial condition West Country  and an H Class Push Pull set. From Baccy a Brighton Atlantic, Standard 4 tank,Class 20, 4-CEP and 24,  From Kernow and 02 and Bulleid Diesel so from my Point of view Hornby are producing quality stuff not to mind the other locos and stock they are producing which is up there with the best. A Lord Nelson to replace my Bachmann ones is my next purchase along with Oringal condition Merchant Navy.Coaching stock and Wagons are more of less on an even footing.

Having worked in Marks for 2 years or so Hornby were the go to for people starting off into this hobby so Hornby were and are still reveleny but obviously not to the Irish scene. nomatter how much you pointed at Bachman it did not cut the mustard in their eyes.

Have a look at the 2019 range and the New stuf coming out. some fab stuff indeend.  The only problem I have is how to fund all these flipping Models.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/shop/new-for-2019/new-for-2019-steam-locomotives.html

cheers

George.

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57 minutes ago, Georgeconna said:

Hi lads,

I enjoyed that program especilly as it covered Railways and Plastic kits.

However  I notice a quote above 'Hornby is no longer relevant to the model railway hobby'

IMHO Thats a bit Daft to say that. A quick check on my layout reveals  loco wise a Q1, Black 5, 2 Schools Class, Merchant Navy, Oringial condition West Country  and an H Class Push Pull set. From Baccy a Brighton Atlantic, Standard 4 tank,Class 20, 4-CEP and 24,  From Kernow and 02 and Bulleid Diesel so from my Point of view Hornby are producing quality stuff not to mind the other locos and stock they are producing which is up there with the best. A Lord Nelson to replace my Bachmann ones is my next purchase along with Oringal condition Merchant Navy.Coaching stock and Wagons are more of less on an even footing.

Having worked in Marks for 2 years or so Hornby were the go to for people starting off into this hobby so Hornby were and are still reveleny but obviously not to the Irish scene. nomatter how much you pointed at Bachman it did not cut the mustard in their eyes.

Have a look at the 2019 range and the New stuf coming out. some fab stuff indeend.  The only problem I have is how to fund all these flipping Models.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/shop/new-for-2019/new-for-2019-steam-locomotives.html

cheers

George.

Have to agree George; to say that Hornby are no longer relevant is utter nonsense. Their 60 is excellent, as is their 08 and I just got their new 87 and it's brilliant. They have had their problems as has been touched on in the documentary but they are still the biggest in the business when it comes to Brit outline (said through gritted teeth of course, but that's because we have our own horse in the race!)

Cheers

Fran

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Do Bachmann not have a larger market share in the BR outline market? I must try buying one of the newer Hornby steam locos to see if they improved, especially in the chassis stakes where they used to be poor.

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24 minutes ago, Noel said:

Do Bachmann not have a larger market share in the BR outline market? I must try buying one of the newer Hornby steam locos to see if they improved, especially in the chassis stakes where they used to be poor.

Hornby are still top dog by some way. I would recommend an A4 or Britannia if you want to see what they can do. They've come a long long way since the move to China. 

Cheers,

Fran

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8 minutes ago, Warbonnet said:

Hornby are still top dog by some way. I would recommend an A4 or Britannia if you want to see what they can do. They've come a long long way since the move to China. 

Cheers,

Fran

An LMS patriot class would be more my cup of tea or a black 5 than those massive mainline express pax locos. A4s never tickled my fancy. Soft spot for GWR Castle class or the best loco ever made GWY 57xx Pannier tank. :) 

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1 minute ago, Noel said:

An LMS patriot class would be more my cup of tea or a black 5 than those massive mainline express pax locos. A4s never tickled my fancy. Soft spot for GWR Castle class or the best loco ever made GWY 57xx Pannier tank. :) 

Their Royal Scot and Patriot are nice. Not had a new coronation yet so dont know how good they are. Always liked the panniers and some of the bigger GWR tanks but all those 460s they made all looked exactly the same to me  I have to say! 

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2 minutes ago, Warbonnet said:

Their Royal Scot and Patriot are nice. Not had a new coronation yet so dont know how good they are. Always liked the panniers and some of the bigger GWR tanks but all those 460s they made all looked exactly the same to me  I have to say! 

I still have a die-cast metal Hornby Dublo GWR "Cardiff Castle" 4-6-0 with the original chassis mounted longitudinal ring field motor as opposed to the utter plastic junk they used in tender motor 20 years ago. Worst design decision they ever made was the switch to tender motors. Glad to see they've moved back to chassis motors.

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I think if Hornby were to go, it would have a huge impact on the hobby. They have produced some lovely models through the years. I for one would hate to see them go under. Besides looking to see what news on models from IRM, I also make sure each year to check out and see what Hornby have on offer when they announce their new releases for the year. Were they technically the first company to have a form of DCC with the Zero 1? 

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On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 7:54 PM, Warbonnet said:

Their Royal Scot and Patriot are nice. Not had a new coronation yet so dont know how good they are. 

Purchased my seventh China made Princess Coronation at the recent Modelrail Scotland in Glasgow. Superb model, finely detailed, 5 pole loco mounted motor, electrical pickup from all driving wheels and all tender wheels, and DCC ready. Each one of my seven locos is physically different, as were the prototype locos the models represent. Now that is attention to detail.  

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3 hours ago, mmie353 said:

I think if Hornby were to go, it would have a huge impact on the hobby. They have produced some lovely models through the years. I for one would hate to see them go under. ? 

Going by their track record Kader would be likely to acquire the Hornby if the business goes bust. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_Electric_Trains

Kader would probably drop the Bachmann brand name in the UK and market its British outline models as Hornby.

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4 hours ago, Mayner said:

Going by their track record Kader would be likely to acquire the Hornby if the business goes bust. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_Electric_Trains

Kader would probably drop the Bachmann brand name in the UK and market its British outline models as Hornby.

That could be bad for competition. I’d equally hate to see Bachmann Branchline disappear as a channel in the UK. When Hornby took over Lima the Lima rubbish merged into the Hornby catalog and it was difficult to avoid accidentally buying former poor quality product from the junk range Lima had. 

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Posted (edited)

Concluding episode two last night was interesting. Watching the process where samples were reviewed and sent back for changes was fascinating. At one stage the Accurascale stand at warley was clearly visible. The CEOs of both Rails and Hattons were not happy bunnies. But that’s just business. Hornby though weakened are still big enough to compete by whatever means is necessary. Was most impressed by the lady who did the CAD design for a scalextric car, and the in-house film team making an advert. The Hornby Terrier looked exquisite. Pricing their class 66 at under £100 including sound was a statement. Love these fly on the wall behind the scenes programmes. Wonder how much production they really will move back to the Margate site despite the declared intent. 

Link to programme below but you’ll need a UK VPN to view it from Ireland (James May's Big Trouble in Model Britain, Episode 2: )

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00037sz via @bbciplayer

Edited by Noel

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, BosKonay said:

Thanks for the grab Noel :)

Perhaps lots of things for Hornby to worry about :) 

Cheers. Keep your heads down, you don't want Simon lurking around in the car park. Sweep the office for bugs regularly and darken the windows. :) He doesn't seem to take prisoners but since the Deltic announcement you must now be well on their radar. :) The sheer specs must have set off alarm bells also in Bachmann's bunker. If you get to ship the Deltic before either of the other two do refreshes, it should be game over in that niche.

Edited by Noel
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