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{short description of image} Please read this carefully, particularly if this should be your first visit to the website. When you have read and understood the text below
please select for delivery to either metropolitan France or for the other western european (EEC 12) countries.

Doing so should take you to the product pages.
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My interest in Hornby (or Tri-ang, as I still think of them) goes back to the 1960s. Arnold as a trade name was established a long time ago (1906) in Nurnburg, one of the main toy making centres of europe, and Arnold joined the many firms making tinplate toys. The factory was destroyed in WW2 and immediately post war Arnold made a range metal products such as household hardware to keep going. It was apparent that the size required for a decent layout was not likely to be found in new housing and that something smaller than the prewar OO (4 mm/ft) and Ho (3.5 mm/ft) or the TT (3 mm/ft) models of the 1950s would be of benefit. In britain Lone Start had introduced a full 2 mm/ft 8.5 mm gauge system in 1957 with track, rolling stock, buildings and even vacuum formed layouts. The initial locomotives were not motorised, depending on imagination or hand power but the Treble-O-Lectric system arrived in 1960. Coincidentally Arnold first offered their Arnold 200 range in 1960-1962, following on with the Arnold Rapido products in 1963 which became progressively more accurate as production techniques, particularly for small and reliable drivetrains, improved. The Rapido coupler became the default coupler for what was now established as N (9 mm) gauge, used by Trix's Minitrix, Graham Farish and other N gauge producers who followed on. Arnold remained in family ownership until it 1995 when it went into bankruptcy and was bought by Rivarossi, however there had been a strong relationship between the two for decades and they must have shared prototype drawings and marketing effort which would explain the appearance of many of Rivarossi's offerings in a smaller size, the american Big Boy, Y6b, cab-forwards and IHB 0-8-0 locomotives immediately coming to mind. That said they did produce their own desighs and I used to hope that Arnold's SW1500 cow and calf diesels would appear in Ho. When Hornby Hobbies took over Rivarossi they also received Arnold. For those that do not have the space for Ho but prefer greater detail than is normally possible in N gauge Arnold's TT products may be of interest.


click here for a bit of history.


I am trading under the Micro Entrepreneur regime, I pay the equivalent of TVA/VAT sales tax up-front when I buy goods and I can not exempt this for any purchasers who might be TVA/VAT registered.

Although "Monsieur Vapeur" was registered in 2018 the Hornby Hobbies dealer registration was only obtained in 2019. In comparison with other shops I would not expect to instantly hold large stocks but would hope to offer a simple ordering service at an attractive price. Therefore please understand that there will be some delay before you receive items. I order on a roughly fortnightly basis. If the items are in stock at the warehouse it will probably take a week to reach me and another week in the post before it is due to be delivered to you. It must therefore be understood that there could be a four week delay before delivery. In some instance it might be quicker but you should not rely on that. If this delay is not acceptable then please do not place an order.


Due to my location in the countryside of France's Massif Centrale I am not expecting passing trade but that is not to say that I do not like meeting other model railway enthusiasts or possible potential customers. If you would like to meet up then please do not set off in blind hope, contact me to arrange a rendez-vous first. I do sometimes post on the AFRM website (a group of english speaking railway modellers in France).


French is not my natural language, and for the limited range of words that I do understand my speed of translation is slow. If you are able to speak english I will be able to answer your queries more quickly. If you want to contact me please use email. If you speak french (or another language) then please either use a translation facility (such as Google translate) or at least understand that I will be trying to use such a system on your text so please avoid abbreviations, slang or idioms that are likely to provide problems for a silicon based translation.


I am happy to post within metropolitan France and also the "western" EC countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Republic of Ireland) plus the Channel Isles. When using the site please select between the "France" or "other country" shipping option (if you should make a mistake on this then you can zero out the shopping basket and start again).This is not to say that I may not consider posting to other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore or Japan who generally have a reliable delivery system and if you happen to live in one of those and would like to buy anything then please contact me and I will see what can be arranged for shipping.

A further comment on postage costs: I am initially having to guess at the likely cost of posting single items. I would agree that adding in a duplicate item ought not to double the cost however I am having to make a choice within the options of the Paypal shopping cart and have defaulted to the method where there is no postage discount for multiple items (which worked for my previous web shops where multiple item purchases were not that common). If you are buying lots of compact and lightweight items then I can either offer to refund the excess postage or, if you prefer to pay the correct amount in the first instance, send me an email with your items and I can then make a specific invoice for that bundle.

Although, as a dealer, I have full access to the Hornby Hobbies image bank I have been surprised to see that many items in the Jouef catalogue do not have individual stock images to download although images may well exist within their printed and on-line or downloadable catalogues. If the web pages on this site do not show pictures of an item that you are interested and want to view an image then may I suggest that you search within the catalogues or alternatively see what your preferred internet search engine pulls up. Jouef has just produced one video so far. I hope to put links against the appropriate products in their category pages but since some will be of older items but potentially still of interest if you are hunting up old stock I will also list them on this page, well worth a quick look to show what comes in their sets (though euro products would not have uk style mains plugs).

You should also understand that some of the older items in the catalogues will be out of production whilst newer ones may not yet have been produced.

My individual product line pages are intended to show the items that are available in the warehouse now or slated for production and open for pre-order. Please understand that I use the predicted production dates as provided by the factory or importer and these may be subject to delay.


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Jouef 2-4-1p video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGXmD3Mhw20