The Duchess is up and running!
Hello and welcome to a brand new year and a brand new Engine Shed blog. We’re a little later getting started with the blog again this year, due to us having been out on the road visiting our retailers around the country and showing them what’s to come in 2017. With our new catalogue now hitting the shelves, we’ve had lots of feedback about the new range and we’re so pleased to hear (and read) that it's going down well with both modern and steam era collectors. It was fantastic to speak to so many passionate retailers over the weeks just gone, listening to what they had to say and getting their feedback on the new items, and we cannot wait to share with you all the updates as and when they happen on the new models throughout the year. So let’s get started shall we?
A running Duchess
46235 City of Birmingham works a football special home from Wembley Stadium, Hatch End 11 May 1963 - credit: ColorRail
One of the main highlights of Warley 2016 was being able to announce a brand new, newly tooled Princess Coronation Class with a new pony truck meaning that we are now able to produce two locomotives that we’ve not been able to before – one of which, “Sir William A. Stanier” features in the 2017 range. At the show, eager collectors and modellers alike were keen to get a glimpse of the stereo sample we had on display, and just before Christmas we received the next exciting stage of the loco’s development – the first running sample. Regular readers of the blog will know by now the importance of the first running sample, if not, take a look at one of our first ever blogs where we go into detail about exactly what this is. After a little bit of adjustment we were able to get the sample on the test track and put it through its paces.
There is, as always some more work still to be done - we're aware of the loose buffers for example, and at the moment the model is missing the rivet detail but don’t worry, you can rest assured that all of this will be rectified for future running and decoration samples. This running sample is produced primarily to see how well the model performs on the track, and to determine if there is anything on the tooling that is affecting the running. In any case, we grabbed our camera and shot a very quick video of one of its initial runs as we wanted to show you its progress as soon as possible. We will have more running samples as the months go on, so watch this space…
We’re extremely pleased with the way this sample is running, and are sure you’ll agree the project is starting to gather momentum now. Just the other day, our Product Graphic Designer was putting the finishing touches on the livery for the loco, and as you can imagine we’re waiting with baited breath to see the final product and reveal all with you.
An old friend returns
Another announcement at Warley last year was that we would be bringing back an old friend in the form of an A4 glossy 2017 catalogue. Well, these have been flying off the shelves since they were released and the response we’ve received has been very positive indeed. We wrote a few months back that we tried to include something for everyone and it is great to read that many of you would agree. There have been though, a few items that have really caught your attention, namely the new livery for the Peckett W4 - '883' which was built for Lilleshall Co. of Oakengates in Shropshire, a large engineering company noted for its winding, pumping and blast engines. We came across this livery when we were planning and researching the initial project and were excited to reveal the rather fetching all black livery to you earlier this month, as an ideal follow up to the immensely popular Manchester Ship Canal, Dodo and Huntley & Palmer liveries. The Peckett W4 has already proved so popular that our pre-order allocation has sold out on the website, but you may be able to pre-order from your local stockist.
Another reveal we made in the full 2017 range launch were the confirmed liveries for the first of our Engine Shed 2017 announcements – the Wainwright H Class.
We confirmed that we would be producing the loco in Late BR, SR and SECR liveries and a brief conversation with our Product Graphic Designer will leave you astounded at the sheer amount of work that has gone into these liveries in an effort to achieve the highest level of detail. For example take the Late BR - at first glance it may appear to be nothing out of the ordinary, however when you look closer you will see that we have taken the time to redesign the Late BR crest which now features no less than 7 colours, with the line work being made up of 3 colours.
However, it is the SECR livery that has caught the eye of many collectors and modellers and rightly so, for it is something that as a team we are immensely proud of, and has been described by our Graphic Designer as perhaps the most complex livery and highly decorated locomotive he has ever worked on.
The lining, as you’ll notice is all made up of 3 colours and is present on not only the boiler and the usual places, but on the footplates, steps and sand box as well - it is almost as if every visible part of the loco has lining on it. This goes for the wheels also, which feature detailed red and black lining and whilst we have produced lined wheels before, we have never produced something like this. We cannot wait to receive the first decoration samples, which should be with us in the coming months so keep checking back to the blog for all future updates.
The spokes are split
Way back in July 2016 (remember when it was warm?) we delved into two products which proved to be extremely popular when they were released, the newly tooled Cattle Wagons and Coke Hoppers. One of the brand new features on these particular pieces of rolling stock were the addition of split spoked wheels as standard. We were aware that wagons of this particular era were fitted with this type of wheel, and couldn’t miss the opportunity to add a little extra detail to our tooling bank, so we're pleased to reveal that the split spoked wheels will now be present on selected 2017 plank wagons. Take a look below to see how they look and be sure to let us know whether this extra level of detail is a welcome addition to these crucial pieces of rolling stock.
Well that about does it for this week. It is hard to believe we are almost at the end of January 2017, but we will be back soon with more news and information directly from the Hornby Development office. Until then, please do let us know what you think of the Princess Coronation running sample, the liveries for the H Class as well as the new tooled split spoked wheels in all the usual places (Facebook, Twitter and our Official Forums).
Thanks for reading and happy modelling!
The Engine Shed Team
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