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TonyT

Those of you in UK may find this interesting... Inside Hornby BBC4 2100 tonight

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Posted (edited)

A two parter

 

https://airfix.hornbynews.com/2DJZ-1DRDI-2AQAZC-V83UF-1/c.aspx

 

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Two-part documentary, introduced and narrated by model train enthusiast James May, that follows a year inside Hornby Hobbies - an iconic British toymaker on the brink of collapse. But this is no ordinary business series - this is a series about model train and plane obsessives, both inside and outside the company, all of whom desperately need the company to survive.

In episode one, we join Hornby as they face their biggest crisis in a generation. The company has lost £30M in the past five years and sales across all three of their major brands - Scalextric, Airfix and Hornby Railways - are down.

A new boss, Lyndon Davies, has been appointed to turn the company’s dismal fortunes around and he has brought back some company veterans to help in the fight for survival.

Simon Kohler, known affectionately as ‘Mr Hornby’ has been brought back after a four-year absence. He assesses the decline of his beloved company and attempts to reconnect with Hornby’s dissatisfied customer base and retailers.

Meanwhile, in a bid to revitalise Airfix, Lyndon tasks a master amateur model builder, Jim Bren, with the biggest build of his model-making life – the largest reconstruction of the Hellcat plane ever attempted by the company.

We get the opportunity to delve into the highly secretive world of the company’s design and development process. We meet Ken, head of the audio research laboratory, as he struggles to find the perfect cat sound, as well as other veterans like head of archives Peter, who has some very strong words on how he feels the company has been managed.

We also meet the people whose pastimes are at stake, such as the members of the Double O Gauge Association. We follow them as they prepare for one of the biggest events in the model railway enthusiast’s diary – The Great Electric Train Show in Milton Keynes – where their fictitious village of Batcombe is ready for its unveiling to the public.

 

Edited by TonyT

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Wish we in the US could see as well.

 

Considering what was written I'll do my part and buy an F6F, not much of an impact, but every bit helps.

 

Cheers,

D.B.

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Watched it , and to be honest loved every minute, 

 

My wife , bless her , nearly destroyer her tablet by an inadvertent spray of tea, at the line , "We've blanked the faced of the young men at the front in case they ever get a girlfriend in the future"

 

The build of the Hellcat , (for those who didn't see it , one half of the program covered the build of the prototype 1/24th Hellcat for Telford ) was fascinating , and I shudder to think of the responsibility of being handed a box full of bits , incomplete instructions , and being given 2 months to build the first display kit of a hugely important model..

 

So no pressure then!

 

Colin

(Still trying to find my missing mojo)

 

 

 

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I just caught up with it on BBC iPlayer.

As has been said, it was a bit of a shame "our side" of things was only about a quarter of the programme.

I suppose as it was aimed at "Hornby" the model railways side would be a bit more prominent.

It did seem though to take each and every opportunity it could to portray people as nerdy or geeky types by either innuendo or by James May's asides.

The model railway lot that were feautured were called the "Double O Guage Association" and their logo was "DOGA".

Mr May commented about one of them going to see a fellow "DOGA" .

In the UK a "Dogger" can have a totally different meaning so a nice bit of innuendo there. :lol:

Overall though it was pretty good and the guy who built the Hellcat deserves a medal !

I have never been a member of a model club but it was interesting to see the guy go to his local club where they all seemed to be sitting around quietly building models. :shrug:

I'm wondering why?

I would have thought build the models at home and the club would be more of a social thing?

There is a part two coming soon so we shall see.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I enjoyed it too, it makes the release of the Hellcat a savvy move, most US modellers will want to buy US aircraft rather than the likes of Spits or Mossies or Typhoons, stuff some of them may never heard of, but a 1/24th Hellcat has to be a winner over the pond amongst the general model builders, and that drives sales.

 

I cannot fathom out how anyone thought it was a clever idea to destroy the tooling for their past kits, that is like cutting ones own legs off at the knees.

Edited by TonyT

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Quite an interesting programme. Quite witty too (then I suppose you have to be). Looking forward to the second instalment.

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I met the chap who built the Hellcat at Telford.

 

He seemed remarkably relaxed and chilled out, all things considered!

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Episode 2

 

The concluding episode of the series, introduced and narrated by model train enthusiast James May, follows Hornby’s new management team in a desperate attempt to save the company.

In this episode Ken, head of audio development, is sent on a top-secret mission to capture the sound of a steam locomotive for its potential use in a brand new model.

Simon Kohler, Hornby’s number two, tries to rejuvenate the tired Scalextric brand name with a flashy new advert, but there is a problem: with the company strapped for cash, the budget is miniscule and it will have to be made entirely with in-house staff.

Meanwhile, the company takes on its first female product designer, Caitlin Williams. Fresh out of university, Caitlin is put on the Scalextric design team and we go behind the scenes to see what it takes to produce her first car.

In the climactic finale, we see Simon take on two of his biggest rivals as Hornby’s 2019 range includes two products that have the competitors fuming, leading to a dramatic showdown.

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