Dublo restaurant carThe Hornby-Dublo Super Detail coaches are a quirky blend of materials, with their tinplate sides and plastic roofs, ends and underframes. The maroon versions are particularly popular and come in seven versions including a sleeping car and full brake, just the right amount to form an attractive little collection in their own right. They are not that expensive, with prices around the £25 mark, except for one fly in the ointment; the 4071 Restaurant Car. Every self respecting express train needs one, but as they were released at the end of the Dublo production period, they are the scarcest coaches in the range, with prices hovering around £150.


lightingkitAlthough the thought of lighting your buildings sounds attractive, purchasers of the Dinky Toys 787 Lighting Kit with 4.5 volt bulb may have been disappointed with what was in effect a torch bulb and a holder with clip and bared wires extending. With LEDs taking over for most applications, the lighting kit is starting to look even more quaint. Designed for Meccano and Hornby-Dublo models, it’s still a popular collectable although supply is plentiful so its price has done well to hold up around £10-15.

Hornby Dublo 4646 Aluminium Cables flat wagon

aluminiumcablesFor all its simplicity, the Hornby Dublo cable wagon is one of the most attractive in the range. The most common version is similar to its O gauge counterpart, with two wooden drums with paper sides to look like cable drums, held to the flat wagon with black elastic cord. The proper name for this model is ‘Low sided wagon with cable drums’. The wooden drums have ‘Liverpool Cables’, presumably reflecting Meccano’s Liverpool heritage. However the wagon was updated around 1960 with super detail plastic cable drums as shown here. These are highly sought after, so a rake of 12 cable drum wagons, which makes a most attractive freight train, would cost in the region of £60 with the wooden drums. As for a dozen plastic Aluminium Cables trucks; name your price!

One caveat; the plastic cable drums were available as accessories in their own right. Some enthusiasts may well have modified their wagons, so it’s worth giving these a fairly thorough inspection before buying.

Hornby Dublo 4076 six wheeled passenger brake van

Not sure whether to class this as a coach or a wagon. Either way, this Hornby Dublo stove-r 6 wheeled passenger brakeone really is a peach. Produced around the end period 1962-4, it’s a most unusual choice of model. The centre wheels are very loose to enable them to move with any points, crossovers, bumps etc. However it is prone to derailing, so this makes a better display piece than an actual running piece. The box has the late period italic Dublo logo and the couplings are the last fine plastic version. They are unusual in having a long plastic tube running off the back lug of the coupling to give a spring action to return the coupling to centre. The body is similar to the other super detail coaches, with tinplate body and plastic underframe, ends and roof. Expect to pay around £120 unless you’re fortunate enough to find a repaint or a seller who doesn’t know what they have. Actually, it has to be a coach as it has corridor connections at each end.

Hornby-Dublo 4655 16ton mineral wagon

Hornby Dublo 4655 plasticd super detail mineral wagon
Hornby Dublo 4655 plasticd super detail mineral wagon

The Hornby Dublo 4655 mineral wagon appeared in several guises, starting with a diecast 3-rail version, later including a 2 rail metal version, then the super detail plastic bodied version shown here. Other variations include metal couplings, Delrin couplings as shown, even late fine couplings and open brake gear. Although the hatch door does not open like some Tri-ang wagons, it is still a fine model even by today’s standards. The die was later hurriedly converted to provide the legendary Rail Cleaning Wagon, which reverted to an all diecast model, of which more later. 

Hornby Dublo United Glass wagon 4660

The full size version of the Hornby Dublo United Glass wagon would have contained sand for use in the glass making process. The Dublo version is nothing outstanding, being the usual diecast base with a Hornby Dublo United Glass Wagonsimilar body to the mineral wagon, only yellow rather than grey. But there are a couple of variations to excite the collector. First there is the open brake gear (as opposed to the solid web chassis), then there’s the couplings (metal, plastic or the most desirable ‘thin’ plastic coupling), and finally the lettering. The wordier version is common; ‘United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd’. The rarer version ‘United Glass Limited’ is shown here, and turns a £5 wagon into a £25 wagon.

Still playing with electric trains