Monday, October 10, 2011
R101 or R127 crane
I'm not really a collector of model railway stuff, but I do have a soft spot for the operating accessories. For some reason though, I'd never acquired one of Hornby's operating cranes, even though I quite liked the model. This changed thanks to doing a deal a week ago at the Beaconsfield clubs second hand stall. For £15 I picked up a Pacer (another model I've always liked), this crane and a book of stationmaster memoirs.
First introduced in 1962 when it was listed as R127, this model have been in the range pretty much constantly since then apart from a spell in the 1980's. Now released as R101, this is the "modern" version which is moulded in yellow plastic rather than red and nicely labeled for the engineers department. A nice touch is the cranes number is the same as it's Hornby code !
Looking at the model, it's actually pretty good. The real thing has a bit more detail but not much as this rather good photo shows:
The biggest change you could so would be to replace the chains on the model with string or thread. Chop off the operating handles, although they are only stubs so you could ignore them to make it easier to pose the crane in scenes. Round off the counterweight and ad some overlays and rivets. Paint and weather to taste and it's a rather smashing project.
I think I've seen photos somewhere of the same (prototype) crane on a fixed base. I know the model has occasionally been offered in this form.
My model will go into the collection and stay as mint as it is. Somewhere along the lines it's had a close encounter with a bag of green flock which now won't entirely brush off. It can sit among the Giraffe cars and Battlespace goodies. I still don't have the big breakdown crane but it can only be a matter of time. Mind you, a second one for detailing looks quite appealing too. These etched bits look very handy.
More details on the Hornby Collectors Website