Monday, 8 March 2010

On 00 R-T-R pre-nationalisation releases generally

An interesting few contrasts this year between the Bachmann and Hornby new releases, at least from my point of view.

Hornby are ‘celebrating’ the GWR 175: one reworking of the 28xx, ditto for 61xx (in shirtbutton livery only), and a set of Hawkesworth coaches that actually (as far as I can tell) never actually ran on the GWR qua GWR. To be fair, I will be buying the 28xx, but... by contrast, let’s look at Bachmann...

Brand-new S&DJR 7F 2-8-0. Brand-new Johnson 3F 0-6-0 (if you’re being really uncharitable, there was a R-T-R 3F back in the 60s by Triang, but short of a complete rebuild below the footplate, I don’t think it counts). City of Truro. No coaches. Now, the latter is a shame, but given that Hornby’s Hawkesworth’s are pre-nationalisation in name only (and they’re only producing them in maroon and blood-and-custard), that’s pretty much a draw on the coach front. (Some Toplights next year, maybe?)

To me? Bachman win hands down by daring to produce new stuff, and moreover they are (as I commented on RMWeb) very much actively encouraging pre-nationalisation modelling: in fact, they seem intent on turning modelling the S&DJR into this decade’s GWR branch terminus. And they’re not afraid to produce unglamorous workhorses like the 3F, the kind of thing that’s as common as muck and usually covered in it. More power to them.

It is, as I’m sure I’ve said before in this blog, perfectly possible to produce R-T-R Big Four (or even pre-grouping) stock that’ll attract the BR Steam Era modeller - in fact, if I were one, I’m sure I’d be delighted at the chance for something unusual to offset the dreary procession of Standard Class engines and Mark I coaches. Custom paint jobs aren’t THAT pricey - witness the number of custom finished modern era locals and MUs that are produced for various model shops. Putting out a shortish run of something in a GWR or LMS livery isn’t going to break the bank. I don’t believe that the cries of ‘there’s no demand’ are true. There’s no demand because you aren’t making the stock!

So, I say more power to Bachmann for daring to produce genuinely new Big Four locos and actively trying to create a demand, even if it’s for the S&DJR! Keep it up.

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