Due to the chrisis that has occurred at Hornby Hobbies from poor managment over a fairly long period of time and their moving and having distribution handled by an outside company; the model railway spares department has altered beyond recognition.
One of the casualties that has occurred is the ceasing of the supply of the basic Hornby 0-4-0 chassis on anything like a regular basis, both inside and outside (Smokey Joe) chassis. Another casualty has been Ian at East Kent Models 'chucking the sponge in' after struggling to do business with the reorganised supply chain and giving up.
Smallbrook Studio has never been large enough to even attempt to do business with Hornby and as all that we wanted was spare chassis, we would never have been welcomed, so we turned to the next best and probably better thing and sought our supplies from East Kent Models, who have supplied us with all of our needs for the last decade as best as they were able when dealing with the main supplier and importer.
With Ian's ceasing to trade and the lack of supply of chassis as spares, we are now forced to go onto the open market and buy complete locomotives at the best price that we can find for the continued supply of the chassis to sell with our kits. We need to do this, mainly for our customers in other parts of the world who are otherwise unable to easily source them but this also goes for many UK customers who might be unable to pop around to their local model railway shop or exhibition because it does not exist.
The result of all of this preamble is that YES we will continue to supply the Hornby basic 0-4-0 chassis but at a far higher price than they have been to date. We will not be offended if you can and do buy chassis elsewhere, many customers already do this but we will be here to supply if all else fails.
A second rersult of this situation is that we can competitively make our own chassis and we are in the process of mastering it, this will have scale Narrow Gauge wheels and will fit as a direct replacement for the Hornby chassis, three versions are initially planned, an outside cylinder, an inside cylinder and a 'spud' version, the latter fitted with 14mm coach wheels. All will have a quality 12v 3 pole motor with both axles driven via worm drive.