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> Olivia's Trains EM2 reviews
Greyvoices
post 12 Apr 2013, 22:08
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I have just been reading reviews of Olivia's Trains EM2 model and was hoping for some penetrating journalism but I was sadly disappointed. The effort made by the Hornby magazine was not too bad but the write up in the review section in the Railway Modeller was little more than manufacturer's sales information. I take issue with them both for not addressing the criticism levelled at the EM1 by many enthusiasts, and, by that omission failing to give assurance that the EM2 is any different. The principle concern for me is the pantograph performance which was a major issue with the EM1, folding back on itself when rubbing under the overhead wire (some of us like to operate "pans up"). Has the pantograph been improved on the EM2? If you were new to the hobby and reading these magazines having no previous knowledge of the EM1 models you would have no indication that there had been a pantograph problem which had previously been reported by both magazines.

My chosen area of modelling is far removed from the Woodhead route but I was tempted to buy both the EM1 and the EM2 as I made an effort in my early teens to get to Sheffield to observe them (OK, I was a spotter). My interest had been sparked initially by the Hornby Electra which I was given for Christmas 1960 (I think it was 1960). This was a wonderful model and worked beautifully with the pan up, taking power from the overhead wire. I can also justify having a model of Electra on my West Suffolk Junction layout (when it gets built) as I have fond memories of this locomotive passing through Bury St.Edmunds. I even took a photograph of it standing in Bury St.Edmunds yard.

I would appreciate comments from those who have bought the EM1 or EM2. It is regrettable that the model magazines have failed to make reference to their earlier critiques when "reviewing" this particular model.

It is such a shame that the initiative shown by Olivia's Trains has not been a full 100% success. I would like to hear that the pantograph on the EM2 is much improved and that the EM1 is being updated to the same standard.

Best regards ............... Greyvoices (alias John)



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trainsntrees
post 12 Apr 2013, 22:32
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Hi
I gave up on model railway magazines not long after I started. Reviews are one thing that put me off, photoshopped layouts was another.
Regards
Kal




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Kal


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34C
post 13 Apr 2013, 10:32
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Same here regarding magazines. The 'reviews' the most woeful aspect; typically one guy with a review sample rushing to meet a deadline, who may never have seen the prototype. The on line 'review' information is much better, simply because numerous owners make their input over time, and not only use the thing, but often take it apart and give hints on how detected errors may be corrected. All the significant troubles of recent models have been picked up on line.

Not looked at any EM2 threads because it's not in my purchase plan, but there must be something out there by now. Ah, http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php...171-heljan-em2/

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Greyvoices
post 13 Apr 2013, 12:34
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Thanks for the link 34C. I have read through it and note that Olivia's Trains don't come out of this with much credit. No mention of pantographs though as the criticism is more to do with dimensional inaccuracies. The last post in the thread carries photos of a just delivered production EM2 and this is certainly a disappointment.

I wish that all in the model railway industry are successful but if they want to survive they should try to produce models that justify the high price tags. To offer models that have very obvious inaccuracies when it is just as easy to produce something that better represents the prototype is, in my opinion showing a degree of disrespect to discerning modellers. The RMWeb thread makes reference to the successful collaborations between Kernow Models and Dapol, the association between Olivia's Trains and Heljan being deemed to be inferior.

So what should we think about magazines that fail to report on these inaccuracies?

Railway Modeller states, "The models match published dimensions and drawings very well", which is patently not true. Journalistic integrity is distinctly lacking; their review is nothing of the sort, merely uninformed opinion. Shame on the reviewer and shame on the editor. I am also not impressed with the anonymity of the reviewer who, apparently, is one of Railway Modeller's "own specialist staff".

The Hornby Magazine has a more in depth review and the companion article that charts the history of the EM2 is a good effort. The 2 articles combined constitute 8 pages of text, diagrammatic drawings and historical photographs. That said, in the concluding paragraph the reviewer (signed MW who I assume is Mike Wild) writes, "The new EM2 is an excellent model made to the highest standards to meet the demands of today's railway modellers. Its (should there be a possessive apostrophe) detail is stunning, its appearance superb and it is a pleasure to see such a rare locomotive produced as a ready-to-run model". Hmmm. No mention of cab side window shape issues, no mention of bogie dimension and bogie/body clearance issues, no mention of buffer beam placement and nothing at all about the pantographs. Obviously, Heljan have not produced a, "model made to the highest standards".

For most of this critique I of course rely upon the discussions in RMWeb threads (sorry about that but 34C did lead me there) but even to my less than perfect eye there are problems with this model. If it cost 100 for the basic model then perhaps we could be a bit more forgiving but at prices starting at 165 and rising to 270 when sound fitted this is a bit rich. In the interests of fairness I will make a visit to Olivia's Trains to look at both the EM1 and the EM2 in the flesh because I know that a judgement made from comments on internet threads and magazine articles is less than complete.

Best regards .............. Greyvoices (alias John)


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naugytrax
post 13 Apr 2013, 14:40
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Can't comment on the EM2 because it's not in my scope of interest.
But regarding your parenthetical query, there is no such thing as a "possessive apostrophe". Apostrophes are used to indicate that one or more letters have been elided, for example in "Jimmy's toys" which would be "Jimmy his toys" in the original archaic form. On the other hand, "its" as you have used it is the possessive neuter single pronoun as it stands and nothing has been elided, so no apostrophe. "It's" as in my first sentence is a shortened form of "it is" and so an apostrophe is needed here.

My favorite magazine howler is the reviewer who keeps saying that the Bachmann Mk. I coaches have NEM coupler pockets which allow the fitting of NEM362 couplers (it's well known that they are in the wrong place!).


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34C
post 13 Apr 2013, 15:39
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Concerning mag reviews, a consistently honest appraisal, warts and all, is what I am looking for. There seems to be a very strange value set in operation based on what I read when still purchasing magazines.

Presented with something fundamentally sound as a model (right dimensions and shape which as a result looks like the prototype from all angles, accurate and well applied livery, all the practical detail for the scale well rendered, mechanically of sound design, runs and pulls well, easy to service and fit a decoder) then there is a tendency to focus on minor detail errors. The glazing is perhaps not perfectly flat, it's a millimetre overwidth over the centre sandboxes, the windscreen wipers are clumsy mouldings and perhaps an etched part would have been better, this cover has an overly thick edge.

Presented with a real dog (dimensional and shape errors which mean it doesn't look convincingly like the prototype) whatever good features may exist in livery and detail application, mechanical competence, service access and running, are bigged up for all they are worth.

This is just wrong. The most exquisitely applied detail and livery goes for nothing if it is applied on something which doesn't basically look right. A consistent review system with integrity would actually terminate on 'doesn't look enough like what it is supposed to represent to be worth continuing with the review'. I'd pay good money to read that...
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Greyvoices
post 13 Apr 2013, 16:14
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Thank you for sorting out my apostrophe confusion Naugytrax. I am afflicted with what amounts to a localised understanding of grammar and repeated doses of education have had little beneficial effect. My misunderstanding of the correct usage of the apostrophe is merely the tip of a very large iceberg of ignorance.

Best regards ............. Greyvoices (alias John)


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Brian Considine
post 13 Apr 2013, 16:27
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QUOTE (34C @ 13 Apr 2013, 16:39) *
Concerning mag reviews, a consistently honest appraisal, warts and all, is what I am looking for.

A consistent review system with integrity would actually terminate on 'doesn't look enough like what it is supposed to represent to be worth continuing with the review'. I'd pay good money to read that...


It would have to be very good money - conflict of interest comes to mind here.


QUOTE (Greyvoices @ 13 Apr 2013, 17:14) *
Thank you for sorting out my apostrophe confusion Naugytrax. I am afflicted with what amounts to a localised understanding of grammar and repeated doses of education have had little beneficial effect. My misunderstanding of the correct usage of the apostrophe is merely the tip of a very large iceberg of ignorance.

Best regards ............. Greyvoices (alias John)


Watch out for our new forthcoming section "Speeling & Grammer" tongue.gif
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rb277170
post 13 Apr 2013, 20:14
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I've long disregarded reviews in model rail magazines. They quite clearly give a rose tinted view, and if a model is so bad ie it doesn't go ,they probably just don't publish a reviiew at all. At least most people know RM doesn't give in depth reports, it's the ones that purport to take the model apart etc that dont report failings that are the worst. I don't recall anyone in the press reporting difficulties with the Heljan 17 either at the point they reviewed it or later when the problems became obvious! I put this down to two reasons: advertising revenue, and the gentlemans club that operates between magazines and manufacturers where they all know each other and it certainly wouldn't be done to criticise anyone. We should all be thankful that these companies are producing these models at all and relieving us of 100 -175

Russell
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cvr1865
post 13 Apr 2013, 21:02
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I think there was mention of the pans in model rail, I will have a look, back in minute. (Puts down cat sips beer, bangs head on newspaper rack/ coffe table/ beer holder stumbles over cat whilst looking for light switch, why are we watching tv by candle light....)
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cvr1865
post 13 Apr 2013, 21:16
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Right thought so. Ale mug is recharged, model rail states that the em2 has "stronger springs to reduce the flopping around of those fitted to the early 'EM1s'"

Hope hat helps.
Simon.
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JSpencer
post 13 Apr 2013, 21:23
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Model Rail seem to have been it bit more critical than others. Noting the outer cab windows were too wide, the finish ok but not up to the highest standards, the price difficult to justify, the brake blocks not in line with the wheels. The pantos have stronger springs than the EM1.
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Greyvoices
post 13 Apr 2013, 22:08
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Thank you Russell, Simon and JSpencer.

Yes there must be some sort of relationship between manufacturers and model magazines which underlines the value of MRF and other forums. It's a strange situation with all parties being dependent upon one another, those who make the models and rely on the press to spread the word, those in the press dependent on advertising and then there are those who buy the models who depend on those who make the models .... and so on and so on.

I have to say that I am fast reaching the point where I rely solely on the internet for information about models and i am not talking about the digitised versions of printed magazines.

I get the impression that with the EM2 it is one step forward and two steps back. At least now I know that the pans are a bit more resilient; thank you gentlemen.

Best regards .......... Greyvoices (alias John)

PS. Simon, I too am nursing my ale glass. Just had my weekly fix of Scandinavian crime.


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cvr1865
post 14 Apr 2013, 14:01
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Greyvoices (alias John)
Do give model rail a try they have the very best how too section as well, a bit light on the model layouts but it's all there.

Also great work on the ale I was taking a local brew in myself. Glad I could help

Thanks
Simon
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David Todd
post 14 Apr 2013, 18:33
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Sorry can not comment on the EMs',stopped keeping up with the news releases, when drawings to tooling,started creeping in etc.
Then the price put the dampers' on it, Olivias' seemed to put a lot of time ,money and effort to the project though.........


QUOTE
Do give Model Rail a try they have the very best how too section as well,
................... thumbsup2.gif


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........dt........


Link below,is to my layout, Dover Priory and Town Yard.Kent Uk
https://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...showtopic=20477

]Click this link and watch my Naff Video Company,clips,of my layout
http://www.youtube.com/user/ferriesdover/videos
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