Use of People

The last ten years have seen incredible growth in the model industry. It came about when model cars and buses were eventually produced to the same scale as the trains, in effect bringing three hobbies together. This created even further interest in landscaping, in architecture, town planning, country-scapes and social habits. Now that was a long way round to get to the use of model people wasn’t it?

Figuring out where the figures go

No longer is a model railway just a train running around a track. It can run through towns and villages, into ports and across moorland. It can also run past events and through history; for example, past a church during a wedding, past a school at playtime. Where trains are concerned, figures can elaborate on the story. Once upon a time, these stories were only in our head; we could imagine the train pulling into the station where three hundred holiday makers were waiting, watch them climb aboard and send them off to the seaside. Now we can model our imagination, make it come alive, and share these stories with everyone.

Hornby is a busy city. We can’t show it in its entirety, but we can show Station Road and the square outside Central Station. People are shopping, visitors are sightseeing, some relaxing in the sun on street benches, others leaning over the railway bridges watching the trains go by. The local buses are busy bringing in passengers from the suburbs. Down in the station yard a track crew is removing unused track, the engine men are sharing the highlights of last night’s game and the signalman is waiting to hand over a token to a passing driver.

For us, the use of engine men on the footplate is a major part of our story telling. They represent the energy and the skill that went into making these trains run. They also fulfil an even greater role - that of filling the gap between engine and tender. On all ‘00’ gauge models, this gap is unrealistically large due to the curves of the track, but we can hide this by strategically placing the crew in a prominent position. We see many train crews hidden inside the cab. For us, there is no point in their being there if we can’t see them. We treat them as part of the engine, so they are leaning out of the cab, waving at train spotters. We hope you like them.

To be honest, our main interest is in trains and not in landscaping, so our landscaping is all within two feet on either side of the track, but it is enough to establish the difference between town and country, police station and farm. We don’t clutter our scenes; we focus on one action or landmark and create an activity around it so you know what is happening at a glance. The new Panda cars have arrived at the police station and Mrs Johnson is on her way to the fishmongers. There is no limit to the imagination and the story telling. Hey! Please don’t lean out of the carriage. You could lose your head.

We hope you have as much fun telling stories as we do.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Sorry, there are no upcoming exhibitions. If you’d like us to attend an exhibition you’re organising, please contact us.

Our Track Tricks


Laying the Track

Coaching Stock

Trucks and Wagons


Explore Hornby Central

How we make the trains run

Remaking History

The Making of Princess Anne

The Making of the Layout

The Making of our Steam Specials