Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
Post Reply
User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5971
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: UK.

Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Mountain »

Thought I would start a thread about these, principly about their running chassis and what to look for or what to avoid.

To those who know and have been buying these over the years, the newer ones made in the last ten or so years are the best having improved running due to lighter contact pickups and a much reduced top speed. They look identical to ones that are slightly improved with blackened wheels when production moved to China, but China upped their game and made these things even better!
Probably about half of the blackened wheel types out there are the "Slightly improved" versions rather than the modern ones, but most of the issues with these little 0-4-0's from the past were due to incorrectly adjusted pick-ups as it is well worth taking ones time to get these "Just right" so all wheel pick-ups touch the wheels but don't push to heavy on the backs of the wheels (Which prevents ultra slow running), or through neglected maintenence where modellers will clean the wheel treads but forget to clean the backs of the wheels which are just as essential for their current collctiailitis as the wheel treads themselves!
While with patience, one can certainly get the older versions running sweetly like a dream, there are only one type to avoid, and this is the version with a slightly different chassis design that had square axles! (I am not joking!) I won't say don't go for one if one wants to do a complete rebuild, but as it is with those square axles, they only ever really ran well with a jump start and a good bit of speed set on the controller. The motors themselves were fine, but one really needs to change the gear cog, the axles and the wheels so they all run on the rounder type to get them to run nicely!

There are also a few of older versions from the early 1980's with very thin chrome plate on the wheels which would natrually give problems.

Most of them though can be made to run pretty good with pick-up adjustment and a good clean, and if one can find a newer slow running one with light action pickups, they will crawl even better than some other modern shunters out there!

Now for those who want the ultimate, there is a way to do this but it does take some effort (Took me three days!), as if one finds one of the slower running examples, and also finds an old Triang 0-4-0 chassis, one can make a hybrid of the two as the axle spacings are the same. So one can use modern Hornby 0-4-0 motor, wheels and gears in a solidly built old Triang chassis... But there will be lots of adapting and milling/cutting of mazak weights to do as well as making new a pick-up plate to apply pick-ups on all four wheels as Triang pickups on one side go through the axles where as modern Hornby 0-4-0 wheels are insulated so can't do this... And one will need to add external pistons if ones design requires them as Triang chassis do not have this feature, so it is a lot of work, but one can end up with an extremely free running chassis! (One can strap the motor down using small cable ties onto the later type Triang motor cradles. I had to turn the motor sideways and ream out my body (I was using a Smallbrook Studio cast resin body) to do this. Unsure if the new chassis would fit into a 00 model or not, as the motor may sit a litrle high if I recall correctly). The ever so slightly narrower diameter modern axles do not seem to be an issue when it comes to running, and if anything make it run even free-er. Not that Triang chassis needed any help as they are excellent in this way.
Phred
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:53 pm
Location: Queensland Australia

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Phred »

Mountain wrote:
modellers will clean the wheel treads but forget to clean the backs of the wheelsI
That's a good tip. I had not thought of cleaning the wheel backs but it makes sense.
Mountain wrote:
had to turn the motor sideways and ream out my body
More fibre in your diet may help.
User avatar
Ken Shabby
Posts: 457
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:20 pm

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Ken Shabby »

I have a few of them, and over the years I've had loads of ideas about various conversions.
Most of these projects tend to stall at some point and remain unfinished for years. The main problem has always been attaching the various remodelled bodies to the chassis.
The most recent unfinished project was a conversion into a 2-4-0 tank. The chassis proved easy enough to convert, but the body is just a pile of bits.
Somewhere I have a very early version of the GWR 101 tank, which my son bought me many years ago. I'll have to dig it out.

Ken
User avatar
glencairn
Posts: 4933
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:09 pm
Location: Both sides of the Border

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by glencairn »

I have a number of them, bought for the grandchildren to run.
Now they run my diesels, so I run the 0.4.0s.

Here is one with the cab modified.
IMG_3035.JPG
Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.
I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought
User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5971
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: UK.

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Mountain »

That is lovely.

I am always impressed by how many 0-4-0's from both Triang and Hornby are out there with their various personal forms when individuals rebuild them into their own lovely locos.
User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 13864
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Bufferstop »

Find the Romford/Mark it's top hat bearings that fit the modern Hornby axles, then fit them into the Triang/Triang Hornby chassis. They might be a slightly loose fit, so fix them in place with a spot of super glue. I may have been lucky but I was able to fit the newer Hornby rods to their matching wheels. I assume that when they came to design the more modern 0-4-0 chassis they started with the same wheelbase.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions
User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5971
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: UK.

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Mountain »

Just to clarify, the top hat bearings are for the cast metal bogies or wagon chassis? If so the new hornby eheelsets may not fit without trying to widen the castings where they may break. I tried this myself in the past. If it were easy to do as they are (Without sliding the wheels along the axle) I would have done so. As one is doing that anyway it is easier to se the Triang axles as they are.
If one uses non-top hat brass (Or hard plastic) bearings, then these can be glued and filled but one will already be sliding wheels along the axles but it can be done, as one will not then need to make little spacers to go between the wheels and the frame.
The 0-4-0 con rods and axle spacings on the varients of the chassis on use with the Hornby Smokey Joe in their many forms, be they with or without pistons and their rods, are just about the exact same used as Triang used with their chassis, with the centres being the same etc. I can't visually see a noticable difference (Though it was ages ago I had them off to fit things from one to another etc). As far as I know it is only the wheels that are different with Triang wheels having heavier build and screw threads while the Hornby type wheels had more refined flanges and push in rivit type thngs to hold the rods on... The Margate type are easy enough to pull out and I have never known them to come off on their own, but the Chinese type take some force to pull them off so no way will these ever come off on their own! (Sadly some more complex designs of modern 00 gauge locos often lose their crank pins so these 0-4-0 designs which are lovely and simple are actually more reliable from having a major catastrophy!)

I hope this helps and is of use for someone?
Dad-1
Posts: 7373
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Dad-1 »

Modified old Hornby 0-4-0 to make a 0-4-2 Killin Pug
as used by the Caledonian Railway on the short Killin
Branch.

A guy had a resin accessories set up called Dean Sidings
and this was made using the Hornby chassis and his resin
conversion set.

Image

With DCC conversion it can run slowly, probably happier at
100 MPH !!

Geoff T.
User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5971
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: UK.

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Mountain »

Excellent!

I did see some modellers adding an additional gear cog to reduce the top speed of the older ones, and it looked easy enough to do (In theory! Not tried!)

Another modification I was thinking is the possibility of giving the locos a shorter wheelbase and possibly even a third axle and set of wheels.
User avatar
sparkhill
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:25 pm
Location: Birmingham lad living in Oz.

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by sparkhill »

Always great to see the Hornby 0-4-0 locos being discussed I have been a fan of small locos and short trains for years, some time last year I decided to trade all my small locos and rolling stock and purchase a considerable amount of Japanese Tomix N gauge models.

A big mistake, I tried to get into something different but hit a dead end so lost interest, last Saturday I traded all my Japanese stuff for would you believe a range of Hornby 0-4-0 locos and assorted rolling stock, I have to say that I have had more success with these little locos than anything I have had before, back to enjoyable fun building an oval layout with plenty of sidings so I can do a bit of shunting.


Dave
Regards
Nobby
User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5971
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: UK.

Re: Hornby 0-4-0's. (Budget versions).

Post by Mountain »

I have fun converting them into narrow gauge locos using Smallbrook Studio kits (Labelled as 0e which is the European form of 0-16.5. American form is 0n30. Bachmann now decided to call 0-16.5 by the name of NG7,though their lovely new items are not cheap! I am more into budget modelling. My scratchbuilt little waggons only cost a couple of pounds each to make, as I make my own couplings. If I have been given older plastic wheels I can make them cheaper, as sometimes modellers buy nice new metal wheels, so have the old plastic wheels spare, which is ideal to make budget waggons with, which is the main reason for converting the locos to 7mm scale as it becomes easier to build things. Use 00 gauge track width.

I can't fault these little 0-4-0's. The only ones to avoid (Though they can be rebuilt if one has spare parts so worth buying even scrap 0-4-0's if the price is right) are the Transcontinental 0-4-0 steam shunters made around 1976 or 1977 as they had square axles which never really worked from new, and the Hornby 0-4-0's which had grey colored wheels which I think came out for a short time around 1980 or therabouts? They were either an extremely thin chrome or had some sort of metalic matt paint on the wheels? The wheels tended to show signs of rust and never really picked up current that well. Change the wheels to either chrome types or modern blackened types and it will improve running a lot. I know the ones made in 1978 or 1979 that had the GWR 101 liveried bodies were fine. Think the one I once had that was problwmatic was something like "Touglas Tin" livery or something like that. Mind you, swap thechassis for a better one and it will be fine if one likes that livery! (Look at the wheels rather than the body, as someone may have swapped the body on the one I had?)
Most (Apart from ones made in the last half decade or so) will have a high top speed, but they run ok if both the wheel treads and wheel backs are clean, and the pckups are adjusted so they touch all four wheels without them rubbing too hard (If they rub too hard they will lack the slow speed crawling ability so it is good to spend time getting the pickups just right). The newest ones run so excellently that they feel like they are way more expensive models than they are. (Ok, RRP price has zoomed up a bit on the new ones, but even then, if I had no loco and I bought one of these at the RRP price, I could live with that as they run so well. Prefer to get it cheaper though! :D
Other than that and they are great, and can be found secondhand at bargain prices as I have seen older ones go for £10-£15 each. Can't go wong with that even as spares!
Most tend to go for £20-£35 each secondhand for a nice one.
Post Reply