Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to the 70's

R 455This isn't a proper serious post. In fact, feel free to go out and do some bank holiday stuff if you want, the sun is shining and you have the day off after all.

In the meantime I am celebrating 1973.

This is R455, Hornby's Industrial Tank engine introduced in that year. Collectors will note that is is based on the same moulding as the legendary "Nellie" first released in 1962. By the 70's you could also buy it as Connie (2 colours) and Polly as well as this unnamed version.

I remember looking at this little loco in a Hornby catalogue when a child. It must have been an out of date catalogue as even I'm not that old. It stuck in my mind for some reason, probably the shiny dome to be honest, so when digging through eBay a week ago looking for something else, I stuck a tiny bid on it. For less than a tenner including postage, I am the proud owner of a little red engine in surprisingly good condition. The chrome is good, something that any classic car owner knows is important, and the only blemish is a little paint rub in the smokebox handle. I'll touch this in with some satin black and no one will ever know. Incidentally, how do you chrome plastic ?

Actually, at the price this loco has only deperiated very little over the years. Originally sold at £3.53, I still had to cough up £3.25 and I didn't even get a box, just the plastic inner tray. Mind you when I was a kid, that was still rather more than young Phil's pocket money would have run to. Of course I can make up for this now I am a grown-up and can buy the toy trains I want. Well, sort of anyway.

Of course, now I have the thing I've got to work out what to do with it. I do have quite a Triang collection but that's mostly made up for operating accessories (9 Giraffe cars and counting !) so it doesn't really fit in. Perhaps I could get some contemporary wagons and make yet another micro layout up for it. Maybe use appropriate aged buildings.

Or perhaps put some Romfords in, slap some Spratt & Winkles on the ends and use it to anoy finescale modellers ?

For more information, visit the Hornby Railway Collectors Guide website.

1 comment:

matt scrutton said...

the chrome effect was done by basically putting the appropriate bit in a plating chamber, sort of like a decompression chamber. The chrome is actually aluminium, a block of aluminium was bombarded with atoms and the component was made nice and shiny and, apparently, chromed. Triang-Hornby used to chrome entire loco bodies, fit them to the relevant chassis and give them to employees on retirement! I've got pictures of models such as a chromed Flying Scotsman, 9F, Jinty, Albert Hall, and most randomly of all, an HST!