Getting back up to speed!
Hello and welcome to this edition of The Engine Shed – offering you inside information from the Hornby Development team!
We should probably kick this month’s edition off by addressing the delay from the last instalment of The Engine Shed. While we had always expected a longer delay than perhaps would be deemed normal, we must admit that we hadn’t quite envisaged the gap between blogs would go on for quite as long as it did. With a few changes within the team, a small re-organisation was in order, but we’re now locked and loaded and ready to crack on.
We’re still as committed as ever to The Engine Shed and we do understand its importance to talking directly to you, our Hornby audience. We’ve got big plans for the future, and as far as we’re concerned, what we said in January’s edition still stands.
One small caveat though, is that we’d like to slightly amend the monthly nature of the blog. Rather than this meaning every four weeks, The Engine Shed will be coming to you, at least, once each calendar month. Occasionally this may mean slightly longer gaps between editions, but rest assured, we’ll be here each and every month lifting the lid on what’s been happening here at Hornby.
We hope that puts any concerns to bed, and we can now look at what’s been happening here over the last few weeks!
The Latest Samples
As it’s been a little while since we last came to you, we felt it was time to check in with each of the major projects and show you how things are developing. We pick out a lot of different models here in The Engine Shed and it’s important to us that we keep you in touch with them as they progress. After all, one of the main objectives with our blog is to pull back the curtain so you can better understand what we do and see what goes into producing Hornby models.
We’ll start with the J36 Class, which we last saw back in February. Only having an early Engineering Prototype for our deep dive into the history of the model, we’ve since received another sample which gives you a better look at the tooling. The plastic from February has been replaced with die-cast metal and we’re generally pretty pleased with the project so far, and where it’s heading.
The next stage, as many of you will know, is the Decoration Sample which is always a big step. You can be sure that as soon as we have it, we’ll be showing you here in The Engine Shed.
The Streamlined Princess Coronation last joined us here in The Engine Shed in March. Again, we had a fairly early Engineering Sample which has since been followed up by another. Fortunately, this time we have the correct tender, which massively improves the overall look of the model.
Much like the J36, this sample is still at an early stage and you’ll notice bits and bobs that aren’t quite right. The team are well aware and have been hard at work trying to ensure the Decoration Samples will be as good as they can be.
Ahead of today’s edition, we released a small video on social media which showed the Streamlined Princess Coronation running. Of course, we did get a bit longer with the sample and here’s our full look at the Streamlined Princess Coronation here in the workshop.
It’s always a real treat to be able to get these samples on our layout and see how they go. Overall, we were really impressed with the model, and despite some small things here and there, we’re ready to move onto the next stage.
While we’re patiently waiting for the Decoration Samples for both the J36 and the Streamlined Princess Coronation, this is certainly not the case for the Rebuilt Patriots. Decoration Samples for both R3614 ‘Rhyl’ and R3633 ‘E. Tootal Broadhurst’ recently arrived here in the office and we’ve shot both of them for you here in The Engine Shed.
It always feels like such a huge stride towards seeing the finished model when the Decoration Samples arrive, but there’s often bits that still need to be worked on. For these two, we’re pretty happy with them and have noted the last few tweaks ahead of the final stages of development.
We do have another Decoration Sample for you today as the Class 153 in GWR livery recently arrived. Having not discussed the R3662 Class 153 153368 in The Engine Shed yet, this may come as a bit of a surprise, but the team were impressed with what they saw with this sample and it only feels right to include it here for you too.
The GWR livery looks stunning, and we can certainly see why it remains popular with enthusiasts.
Lastly, we have the Approval Samples for both the SR (R4816) and BR (R4817) Maunsell 59’ Kitchen/Dining Firsts. Following the Decoration Samples we had back in April’s Engine Shed, these models are the last we’ll see of them before production (and it shouldn’t be long now!).
All these samples get you right up-to-date with all the goings on here in Sandwich, and there’s still plenty of exciting news on the way. It won’t be long before there’s more on everything we’ve covered here, but also on some of our other favourites including the TTS Vent Van, Toad Brake Van, ‘Paddington’ Class 800 and Port of London Authority Peckett, to name but a few!
A4 'Bittern' Arrives in Margate
Back at the start of the month, several of us here at Hornby were invited to attend the arrival of A4 ‘Bittern’ in Locomotive Storage Ltd’s warehouse on the old Hornby site. As you can probably imagine we jumped at the chance and made the journey to Margate on Saturday 2nd June.
For those of you on social media, you would have seen that we covered the installation in great detail, sharing and documenting the hard work as it progressed. We then capped the day off with this fantastic video, summing up all our experiences from the day.
Fortunately, we were also able to grab some more images from this fantastic event, which we have for you here, exclusively, in The Engine Shed.
‘Bittern’ looked resplendent and not at all out of place in the surroundings of the Margate warehouse (which looked very different from when we last saw it). The hard work involved in the move was there for all to see, and it made us feel very appreciative that the locos we deal with tend to be 76 times smaller!
Overall, we had a fantastic day and it was truly a great experience to be part of. We’d like to offer a huge thank you to Locomotive Storage Ltd for inviting us and we’ll be booking in another visit to the site as soon as we can.
Track Plans Book
In the last edition of The Engine Shed we picked out a few highlights from the Mid-Year Announcements. Within that edition we welcomed back the Track Plans Book, which made its return after five years out of the Hornby range.
It only seemed fair that as we’ve been re-visiting all the projects we’ve recently discussed here, we checked back in with the Track Plans Book as it is now available, both on the website and with your local Hornby retailer.
For those starting out in the hobby, there’s some valuable advice in there to help kick start your journey, and even for those more experienced modellers, there’s some great layout ideas and suggestions.
That just about does it for this month’s edition of The Engine Shed. We hope you’ve enjoyed catching up with all these projects and that you’re as excited as we are for the future. There’s lots more to come, not only on the models we’ve spoken about today, but also for other Engine Shed favourites, and some we haven’t even discussed yet!
We’ll be back in July, hopefully for that Engine Shed that we still haven’t got to do yet, but with all the latest information as well.
As ever, we hope you’ll be joining us then too, and that any concerns you’ve had from the last couple of weeks have been dispelled. The support and readership of The Engine Shed is really something quite special and long may it continue!
Until next time,
The Engine Shed team
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