10 January 2022
Hornby's 2022 range announcements revealed new smoke-effect generating technology using water vapour.
Hornby is to introduce a limited range of OO gauge model locomotives featuring smoke-effects. As witnessed on the manufacturer’s recent TV appearance, Hornby: A Model World, it has been developing its own system, which is to be factory-fitted to its new flagship models of LNER P2 Class 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales (R3983SS), BR A3 Class 4-6-2 60103 Flying Scotsman (R3991SS) and LMS/BR 4-6-0 ‘Black Five’ No. 44726. Its newly-tooled P2 will sport LNER Apple Green, while its A3 4-6-2 is to feature a die-cast footplate and flickering firebox effect. Its ‘Black Five’ workhorse is to be sold in lined BR black with early crest. All models are to additionally benefit from sound and are expected to become collectable flagship models.
Locomotives fitted with smoke effect devices aren’t new, however, they’re seldom seen on layouts. Until recently, small devices have been used which commonly vaporize liquid products to display a controlled plume of perceived ‘smoke’. Such items have been retro-fitted to locomotives, inside buildings to represent a house fire, even around scale branches and leaves to simulate a bonfire.
Commenting on the new unit, Simon Kohler, Product Development Manager said, “These new units fitted inside locomotives vaporise water, not oil, and a full ‘tank’ of water inside the device will last between 30 and 40 minutes depending on running speeds. The smoke ‘chuffs’ are aligned with the steam sound. The intensity and volume of steam omitted is adjustable by altering CV values.”
Hornby's sound-fitted Stanier 5MT 'Black Five' 44726 (R30225SS) will feature the new steam generator technology.
Hornby has a history of introducing recent technologies to new models for mass-market, from its first forays into digital with Zero1, to its recent development of the Hammant & Morgan HM6000 power station with wireless app interface. Though seldom used but for a select number of modellers prepared to adapt models and retro-fit after-market units, this new market appearance by Hornby will see factory-fitted smoke effects for the first time on British-outline OO gauge models, widening it to a larger market audience and adding an extra dimension of realism to models.