Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

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Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby nberrington » Wed May 06, 2020 9:31 pm

I’ve successfully converted Hornby Maunsell coaches to P4 without issue. I got a shock when I flipped this guy over...

Has anyone converted one of these?

Backstop plan is to trash the wheel housings in favour of some Bill Bedford W irons or the old MGT ones I have kicking about someplace




David Knight
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby David Knight » Wed May 06, 2020 11:35 pm

Hi Neil,

Mr Hornby was not thinking about P4 modellers when he designed this van. I took one look and decided a Parkside kit was a better idea. The closest I've come to it was doing the Hornby LMS Horse Box which was a bit of a faff and I'm not happy with the results either. It's in my sin bin waiting for inspiration and a tranquil mood. Doubtless there will be some good advice from other quarters but I suspect new underpinnings will be involved.



Philip Hall
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby Philip Hall » Thu May 07, 2020 12:03 am

I have successfully converted one of these to P4 and I have another two to do for myself.

I retained the inside bearings, removing the pinpoints on the axles. At the fixed end, I just dropped the wheels in. I don’t think I used any washers on the inside ‘cradle’ to restrict sideplay as there is only just enough room for the P4 wheels anyway.

On the other end, I engineered/bodged a rocking axle within the ‘cradle’, by removing a little plastic from either side of the axle slot so it could move upwards a little, and did the same for the ‘clamping clip’ to allow downward movement. I then arranged a central pivot point with a thickish piece of styrene, cut to lie just below the axle centre. Actually it’s best to do this before cutting the axle slots so you can set the height of the pivot point. I then drilled a small hole in the piece of styrene and inserted a dressmakers pin, set so it sat snugly under the axle.

The rocking axle pivots on this pin, but because it is a curved surface there is virtually no drag, and the van was almost as free running as a pin point fitted vehicle, and quite steady on the track. I am tempted on the next one to put two of these pins on the fixed axle as well to reduce drag even more. The van needed a bit more weight, and a nice touch is to add collars to the buffer shanks.

A good friend decided he couldn’t live with the underframe as supplied and ended up springing and generally refining it with new components. However, it took him three times as long, if not more, than my method...

I’m afraid I can’t agree that the Parkside kit is a better bet. Maybe because you can engineer a better underframe, but I haven’t a chance of finishing the upperworks to Hornby’s standard. I have some Parkside kits to build but I will struggle to match the RTR ones. I should say that I have also successfully converted the Bachmann Southern van without any compensation at all, but that at least has outside bearings. However, I used a slightly deeper flange on this vehicle, produced to my special order. And before you think I simply used an EM wheel, I didn’t!

I doubt I have any photos of the conversion because it was a long time ago, but I will have a look later this week.

Last edited by Philip Hall on Thu May 07, 2020 8:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Porcy Mane
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby Porcy Mane » Thu May 07, 2020 12:36 am

I went the springing route. Long time since I did mine so some of the details may be a bit hazy.

Modified Bill Bedford LSWR W irons. For this job, they'r not quite right as they don't drop below the bottom of the axle box enough but I can live with that. I think the brake blocks and bow strings will probably have been Old Mopok/ABS castings.

To obtain the correct ride height the W Irons had the be raised by the equivalent thickness of the chassis floor. Fortunately the Hornby chassis is moulded from a solvent friendly plastic.




Terry Bendall
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu May 07, 2020 6:43 am

I have not done one of these and the arrangements are different to other long wheel based Hornby products. However my usual method of a fixed axle in the existing bearings as Philip suggests and a rocking W iron at the other end would be my preferred method. I know that some don't like the idea of rocking W irons but they work and are fairly simple to do.

Terry Bendall

Philip Hall
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby Philip Hall » Thu May 07, 2020 8:14 am

I have just thought that an alternative would be to use the little Masokits spring carriers in the Hornby W irons. I am always keen to used as much of what is provided so long as it looks good enough.

Another possibility is to use the MJT inside bearing units, making one fixed and the other rocking. With the length of your trains on Swanage the slight lack of free running shouldn’t be a problem.


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Steve Carter
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby Steve Carter » Thu May 07, 2020 9:47 am

BRM November 2008 has an article by Geoff Meredith on converting the Hornby van C to P4.
It was very simple to follow, the only difference I made was to use a MJT inside bearing unit. It sat too high so some cutting of the floor was needed to get the unit at the right height. Now MJT do a low profile unit that may work better.
PM on its way Neil.
Steve Carter

Jeremy Good
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Re: Hornby Maunsell Van C Brake

Postby Jeremy Good » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:09 pm

I’ve done mine using a Masokits Universal Springing unit retaining as much of the Hornby moulding as possible. The W-Irons do get a bit thin but there is sufficient brass from the springing units to support the W-irons.

I’ve attached 2 photos which should hopefully show how this fits together.



I’ve been trying to work out how to replace the brakes and tonight have used some Masokits Clasp Brake etches attached to the spring underfames and using the Masokits PMV kit as a guide. It seems to have come out reasonable well. I’ll post some photos when I’ve cleaned it up.


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