Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cheap toy trains

Cheap Locos

I’m not really sure why I own these model locomotives. Each was bought from the Hornby Railways stand at a show for the princely sum of 5 pounds. Yep, a fiver for a real, working, toy train. If anyone is making money with this deal, I’ll be amazed.

Their appearance in my collection is probably just because of the price. When I was a lad, buying a new toy chuff-chuff was a rare experience. Nowadays it seems like many modellers pick up every single item from the major manufacturers as it arrives at their favourite on-line retailer. If you read the forums, there are always howls of protest when something comes out at a price beyond what they want to spend along the lines of “How can the evil manufacturers expect us to buy everything if they insist on charging so much for it ?”. For me though, as mentioned last week, a new loco is a significant event – I know Hornby, Bachmann etc. Don’t expect me to buy everything they make and I for one, am happy with that situation.

If I can have a pretty loco simply by handing over the smallest denomination note you get from an English bank though, it seems difficult to resist. The problem is, what next ?

Both models are based on Hornby’s basic 0-4-0 chassis. The one with gears from the Scalextric range and performance to match. As shunters, they are useless unless you want to go down the route of replacing the gubbins with something more sophisticated (as you can read about in my book), The wheels have to go too.

The bodies are either the corpulent 06 diesel or a freelance steam engine. The first is so distorted as to be unsaveable in scale terms, the other is quite pretty though. I fancy that with new underpinnings including outside cylinders, it might be quite attractive. OK, so British Rail never had anything that looked like this, but it doesn’t matter. Well, not on my train set anyway.

One oddity – the diesel chassis has been reversed so that the cylinders, a hang over from its origins on various steam engines, are tucked out of sight under the steps. On the steam loco, they are missing entirely. Presumably someone altered the mould when it was decided to add to the pretty locos range.

Anyway, that’s two locos. Maybe there will be more to come – I fancy the old GWR 101 will be next in Network Southeast livery. And if it’s a fiver, I’ll add it to my collection.


Iain Robinson said...

I see the steamer as being a potential, rather freelance Forney in 7mm... They do have a certain charm as they are, though!

David said...

The steamer has the look of a chopped L1 to me.