Exclusive 2017 re-engineering news!
Hello and welcome to another edition of The Engine Shed – your look at the inner workings of the Hornby Development Office.
The nights have drawn in and as we write this the sun is setting over Hornby towers - we can’t quite believe it’s only 4:30pm! Reading back over the comments from our last blog where we revealed our new tooled Mk.1 BSO and FO coaches, it dawned on us that Warley is not too far away, as is our complete 2017 range launch. We are sure there will be something in there for everyone, from the experienced model railway collector to the absolute beginner. When deciding on a range, a great deal of effort is made to ensure as many eras and locations as possible are represented, as well as locomotives and sets that are not only detailed but also provide an entry point for someone that might be an absolute beginner, or returning to the hobby after many years. The range we’re referring to, as I’m sure you’ll have guessed is Railroad and the focus of this week’s blog is a re-engineered favourite joining the range in 2017, plus we have some exciting development news to share with you about another 2017 loco.
The B17, but not as we know it
In 1926 and with the ever increasing need for a locomotive to supplement the B12 class on the former Great Eastern routes of the London North Eastern Railway, Nigel Gresley was tasked by the LNER to produce a three cylinder 4-6-0 design, using the cylinder and motion arrangement of the D49, but with a tractive effort of about 25,000lb and a relatively light axle loading of just 17 tons. The resulting locomotive, the B17, would eventually don the names of popular English counties as well as English football teams and be extremely popular amongst model railway collectors.
R3447 - LNER 4-6-0 'Kilverstone Hall' B17 Class, available now from Hornby.com and your local retailer
Many of you will be aware that we released a B17 Class 'Manchester United' way back in 1980, (although that feels like just yesterday) featuring a ringfield motor in the tender complete with rubber traction tyres. It was a good and powerful loco however, time has moved on and ringfield Tender drive has become undesirable, with Loco Drive being the much preferred option to the modeller. For 2017 we have re-engineered our old original B17 model, and it will be released into our Railroad range in LNER Livery, with the name “Liverpool”.
We have created a new locomotive drive chassis and added more weight along the boiler to increase overall weight and traction to the drive wheels. We have also re-engineered the tender chassis, making room for an 8 PIN DCC socket. The loco and tender will therefore be hard wired and permanently coupled.
Take a look at the CAD work that the designer has kindly allowed us to show you for this exclusive piece of 2017 news. You can see quite clearly the weight that has been added to the chassis as well as where the DCC chip could sit inside the tender.
Unfortunately, we do not have anything physical at this stage to show you but we hope to have some samples in soon so you can feast your eyes on what we’ve designed. Who knows, perhaps we will consider other subjects to undergo the B17 re-engineering treatment in the future. What do you think? Are there any locos you’d like to nominate?
The Merchant Navy gets a lick of paint
So now on to another exciting Engine Shed exclusive. You have been witness to every single stage of this loco’s development and some weeks have passed since we showed you the running sample for The Merchant Navy, but guess what arrived just a few days ago. It was a very exciting moment for us, so here’s a first look at the Decoration Sample for R3434 SR 4-6-2 'Channel Packet' '21C1' Merchant Navy Class (Un-Rebuilt) and R3435 SR 4-6-2 'Royal Mail' '21C3' Merchant Navy Class (Un-Rebuilt).
Obviously like with all pre-production samples we receive there are inevitably things that need changing and altering slightly. You’ll notice that the green on the wheels is slightly different to that of the green on the body and also some the nameplates and running number's placement needs some attention so that it fits exactly between the yellow lines. However, do not fret, our team in the factory are aware of these and a few other minor errors and are making the changes as you read this.
So there we have it, another page is turned in the Merchant Navy’s story, it seems like a life time ago since we announced this new addition to our range but we are almost there with it due for release in the first part of 2017.
A picture paints a thousand words
Lastly this week, you may have noticed that our latest Calendar Wallpaper features the photographic talents of Mr Callum Willcox , the winner of our recent competition. The judging panel have informed us that it was a close competition with some incredible entries and that, we can certainly vouch for! We are always glued to the Customer Images section of our website and love to see how creative you can be with your layouts so keep them coming. In fact, we may even feature some of the best here in the Engine Shed! Why not head on over and download Callum’s image as the latest Calendar wallpaper?
Well that about does it for this week. Thank you again for all your comments about our new the Mk.1 coaches – we hope that these and the H Class will be available to pre-order soon. Also, be sure to let us know what you think of the changes we’ve made to the B17 in the usual places (Facebook, Twitter and our Forum).
Until next time, keep an eye out in all forms of media, you simply never know when or where our next announcement might pop up!
The Engine Shed Team.
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