Friday, 6 July 2012

Hornby Valve Gear: Interchangeability between A1, A3, A4


You may remember my Graeme King 60700 model from an earlier blog post - apparently from as far back as 2010! This model was based on a modification of the Railroad Mallard 60022 model. The model originally sported the clunky Railroad valve gear - but no more, in preparation for a complete repaint to its 1949 era livery.


The model has had a change of valve gear, and cylinders. Both sets of valve gear are available on eBay from Peter's Spares from time to time. In this case, the super detail valve gear came from 60073 St Gatien, a badly damaged model I bought to break up for spares. The valve gear was in surprisingly good nick, and along with a brand new set of matching A4 cylinders (for the current super detail A3 and A4 models use the same valve gear with different cylinders), 60700's overall look has been markedly improved, and very cheaply!

This would more or less prove how interchangeable the components between the Railroad Hornby Pacifics and the super detail Pacifics are.

In fact...you'd be surprised how far back the parts are interchangeable!


60103 Flying Scotsman was bought off eBay a few years back with damaged valve gear. I thought nothing of it at the time, but I used the older tender drive valve gear as a direct replacement. The only change you need to make to this valve gear to fit is to bend it carefully so the bracket fits under the running plate. I don't think it looks different enough from the top version of the valve gear to warrant changing it again, so it will stay like this, albeit weathered at some point in the near future.

And to compare further, the "optimum" combination using Sandwich as an example.

Hornby's "future proofing" and reuse of standard components between models of the tender drive, and locomotive drive era is rather impressive in my view, and shows what can be done if you are working to a budget.

The main chassis block is shared between Super detail A1s, A3s and A4s, and the older Railroad A1 and current Railroad A4 models, and everything else including the flanged or flangeless cartazzi wheels are more or less bolt ons for the overall detail for the model. I am looking to buy the latest Railroad A1 for a more full comparison, but I suspect that shares more in common with the Railroad Tornado model.

Until next time!

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