The days are getting shorter and they’re already playing Christmas songs on the radio. The excitement of Christmas is building and so too is the excitement for the Hornby 2021 range launch. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s still December to go and plenty of work going on here at Hornby. Lockdown has meant the model designers are working from home, but new samples are still arriving in the office every week.
This is the first time the responsibility of writing the Engine Shed has fallen to me, but if there is one lesson I’ve learnt from the past few blogs it’s that a picture speaks a thousand words so without further ado let’s start:
APT-P running sample
First up we have received an unpainted running sample of the APT-P. One of the key features of the APT project was the tilting bogie design which allowed the body of the train to lean into bends. Naturally, our model needs to replicate this feature and a running sample allows us to judge how well the tilting mechanism works around corners as well as checking the unit can handle track features such a points smoothly. Once released it will be possible to complete a full APT-P rake including the development coach.
Class 91 decoration sample
Next up we have a decoration sample of the upcoming ‘For the Fallen’ Class 91. This paintwork was unveiled on its real-life counterpart in October 2014 and marks the contribution and lives lost of the regiments up and down the East Coast Mainline during the First World War. As I hope you will agree, the unique livery has been replicated superbly and really helps bring the newly tooled Class 91 to life.
A2/2 and A2/3 samples
Back in mid-August we showed off some 3D computer renders of our upcoming Thompson Pacific A2/2 and A2/3 class locomotives. Since then the project has moved to the point of decorated running samples which you can see below. These models provide us with a good idea of how the various locomotives can handle tight curves and points while also offering a glimpse of how the locomotives look fully liveried up. Compared to other locomotive they appear quite imposing and the placement of the cylinders further back than is usual is another point of interest. There is still plenty of work to be done on these models, mostly to do with production tolerances and extra fitted details but when ready these models will make a magnificent addition to the range of Pacifics Hornby offer.
'Cock o' the North'
Initially built as a 2-8-2 P2 ‘Cock O’ the North’ was designed to cope with the demanding gradients on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen line the locomotive was rebuilt as an A2/2 to test Edwards Thompson’s standardisation concepts in 1944.
'Thane of Fife'
‘Thane of Fife’ also started out life as a P2 and was the first of the class to be rebuilt to A2/2 specification.
‘Edward Thompson’ was the first of the newbuild class A2/3s. The A2/3 locomotives were visually quite similar to the A2/2s that preceded them, again being part of Thompson’s push for standardisation of design.
Like most of the class, A2/3 ‘Steady Aim’ was named after the winner of a major flat race held after the war, in this case the winner of the 1946 Epsom Oaks event.
A2/3 ‘Chamossaire’ was the fifth member of the class to be introduced. Due to delays the class was late in arriving meaning that the designer, Edward Thompson had retired before most of the class were introduced.
‘Sun Castle’ was the second to last A2/3 to be built. After Thompson’s retirement Arthur Peppercorn quickly made changes to the design resulting in a more conventional looking locomotive.
Coronation Scot Coaches
One of the most exciting group of samples received this month has been the Coronation Scot coaches. We have had them running and they look splendid paired with our matching streamlined Coronation Class ‘Princess Alexandra’.
These coaches all feature working lighting, and a great effort has been made to improve the effect the lighting has on the interior. The designer paid particular attention to the way the light on the table fades away from the table lamps in the restaurant cars and the result is very noticeable, a really nice touch, as are the etched windows on the kitchen coach.
The windows on the Kitchen coach have been etched to recreate the faded design found on the real thing.
Message from Montana
Hornby Christmas Grotto
Christmas is on it’s way! On 2nd November we launched the Hornby Christmas Grotto featuring everything needed to get into the Christmas spirit, including special Christmas Hampers, Christmas themed photo booth props, festive videos, a Christmas Kids Zone including lots of activity sheets and so much more. Click here to visit all the festivities that sit within the grotto!
Linking in with the Christmas theme we are pleased to confirm that our virtual Advent Calendar will launch on 1st December and this year the content is bigger and better than ever before – just wait until you see what prizes are up for grabs! Aside from the various competitions featured behind many of the doors, there will also be exclusive videos, announcements, ‘go to’ Christmas gifts and lots more. The advent calendar will be live on the Hornby website and we will also be featuring the surprises from behind each door on our social media channels.
Hornby Christmas Gift Guide
We are pleased to confirm that our Christmas Gift Guide will go live tomorrow (28th November) and includes a whole host of top Christmas buys, from stocking fillers to starter products, seasonal gifts and lots more. As a small Gift Guide teaser we are pleased to confirm that as of today we will be offering a seasonal Hornby Club sign up option. If you’re looking to sign up a friend or loved one to the Hornby club for Christmas, simply quote ‘GIFT’ when ordering the subscription and we will send a personalised Christmas card with the welcome pack, so there will be something to open up on Christmas day. The ‘GIFT’ offer can be redeemed via telephone (01843233512) or email (email@example.com). Order by 17th December for pre-Christmas delivery in the UK and by 14th December for Rest of World.
For more information on some of our top suggested Christmas gifts, head over to the Hornby YouTube channel for unboxing videos and our top stocking fillers video which is going live on 30th November!
Dad's Choice Awards
We are thrilled to share that the Flying Scotsman Train Set (R1255M) has been chosen as a Highly Commended Award Winner by the Dad’s Choice Awards. Thank you to everyone who voted and for more information about the train set click here.
Well that’s about it for this month’s Engine Shed. I’m always happy to hear from readers so if you have anything you would like to share feel free to E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading this month’s edition and be sure to come back next month when we will be looking back over the year and the models that have been featured in Engine Shed during 2020.
Best wishes to you all, stay safe and healthy.
The Engine Shed team
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