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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The editor of Model Rail has gone a bit too far in my view with his editorial in this months Model Rail.

The editor basically says that now Hornby and Bachmann have got the product right they need to get the packaging right and take the packaging upmarket and as an example tells us how a £200 American loco is packaged.

It comes in a largish luxury box with a foam filler and a numbered certificate and a limited lifetime gaurantee for the first owner and has an A5 sized booklet with 16 pages detailing the history of the loco and there is a signifificant instruction manual as the loco comes with a decoder and sound. It all sounds very nice and I guess if you are paying £200 then fair enough.

However stores in the USA have the room for big boxes. Stockists is the UK most certainly do not!

And we simply don't have the room at home that the Americans have to store all these large boxes.

And big boxes and all the trimmings are for collectors. Modellers don't necessarily want any of this and Britain is a nation of modellers rather than collectors. And the thought of paying an extra £20 or whatever for luxury packaging does not go down down too well with me.

I would rather that Hornby and Bachmann invest any spare cash into locomotives and not luxury packaging. There is still so much that can be done on this front in the UK.

However others may view all this entirely different.

Is my view right or wrong?


Should Hornby and Bachmann really make more of an effort to bring us luxury packaging with every model and are we willing to pay the extra for this?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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All I want from packaging is:-

1) A clear indication of what's in the box, so for coaches I want to know the running number as well as everything livery information and carriage type

2) Protection in transit - it may not be a scientific poll but if I remember correctly at least two posters to this forum have had problems with the new Britannia packing not being good enough to survive the mail system

3) Easy to remove from the model without jeopardising all that fine detail that's being added these days.

David
 

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from an environmental point of view the simple the packaging the better

from a users point of view it's the contents that matter most as far as i'm concerned it can come in a brown paper bag as long as it's a great model !

however packaging sells product so i'm sure luxury US style packaging will eventually come
 

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Gary & DWB,

I agree - personally I prefer the way most of the europeans package their loco's - a clear plastic thingy that you sit the loco onto & then fold up the sides, cover the top using a piece of soft cloth, clip the end in place, then slide the clear outer cover on & then into its protected box.

I may be wrong but I supect that most UK modellers prefer to run their models rather than to look at it.

best regards
Brian
 

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Why do they produce gold plated wheel editions?

Why limited collector club editions?

There are always those that will pay more for something exclusive. Why not do it if they make some extra cash out of it. Just make sure that they package some others in some regular packaging too.

When I receive my locos - and I've had a few arrive in a bad way - I repack them with tissues (Kleenex) under and over the tissue paper to wedge it in gently, but firmly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe Chris Leigh of Model Rail is suggesting that all locomotives should come with nice luxury packaging.

On this occasion I think his has got it wrong and I expect even more correspondence on this than Model Rail have had on the Bachmann epoch thingy.

You cannot even see what you are buying when you get luxury packaging.

I remember a chat I had with Hornby's Simon Kohler a few years ago now on this very subject and he was adamant that Hornby will always have a box with a window in so that customers can see what they are buying. There was a time in the 1970's when Hornby put a pretty picture of the loco in the window. As soon as Simon took over the first thing he did was to have that picture card placed at the back of the box leaving the window clear so that Hornby customers could clearly see what was in the box. Hornby sales went up as a result!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I have yet to read Chris Leigh's editorial, so I can't yet comment directly on that. I have noted in recent reviews that he was having increasing issues with Hornby's packaging.

Just at the moment, on my workbench, I am in the process of re-assembling several new Hornby locos. My Britannia 'William Wordsworth' came with several pieces detached in the box, including the wind deflectors from the windows. My M7 has loose pipework (at least by the time I had removed it from the box), my M&S Flying Scotsman loco has a rear step detached from the tender, and a front step detached from the loco.

Basically, these are all superb models, but I am getting fed up of receiving them in kit form. If I wanted to build a kit, I would buy one. I echo DBCLASS50's comments above about the clear plastic 'thingy' that Marklin etc use. Though this is not infallable, as I have received one Marklin loco damaged by it's packaging.

Basically, I think the problem is that Hornby's products are now world leading in terms of the amount of fine detail parts that are fitted, and I say this with good experience of European manufacturers products too. I don't think they need to aim at luxury packaging, just packaging that does it's job, i.e. gets the loco to it's owner in one piece.

Hornby could learn from other manufacturers regarding the way some parts are fitted. For example, the wind deflectors on Marklin steam locomotives are usually fitted from the inside of the cab as part of the glazing unit, rather than being glued to the outside with 2 or three drops of CA.

To sum up, I think Hornby have reached the point where they need to hire a packaging specialist to overhaul the way in which their super-detail models are packaged. If the A3 requires a complex 2 part EPS tray and locking pieces when packaged as an individual loco, then why assume that it can then be placed in a hormal tray in a train set and still survive? I've tried to be constructive in what I've said, but I do think there is a problem with the packaging of many of the new models that needs to be urgently addressd.
 

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>my M&S Flying Scotsman
and I thought the credit card was stretching it a bit.... unless you mean a different M&S and I would welcome some clarification.


David
 

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My M&S Flying Scotsman

Meaning my Hornby Blue Flying Scotsman loco, produced as part of the Marks and Spencer Premier Boxed Set for this Christmas, which the wife has authorised as we managed to purchase it online for £152.


It's a nice set, or at least it will be with a few extra drops of super glue, though now I wish I'd had the £150 towards the Heljan Container Crane!! Anyway, set is going away to Santa just as soon as the glues set.


Is there another M&S ???
 

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>Is there another M&S ???
Apparently not since I jumped to the correct conclusion but knew nothing of a _blue_ Flying Scotsman.

Thanks for the information.

David
 

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Speaking as someone who has a wide variety of nationalitys of locos, I think the "luxury" packaging theory is incorrect. I have one American loco with the packaging described and I reckon it's a waste of space and money. It increases the mail order costs as well which is a consideration we have here in Ozz.

The German outline has packaging broadly similar to Hornby and Bachmann and is a more upmarket product than either US or UK outline, so I don't see how they can call this luxury packaging. Maerklin and Trix which are significantly better than most actually have very understated packaging. I guess with Americans it's the bigger is better theory. The current Hornby and Bachmann packaging is fine. It does what its supposed to do. I take the reverse arguement that the oversized American packaging is stupid.

QUOTE Why do they produce gold plated wheel editions?

Why limited collector club editions?

I actually bought one of these and I now regret it. It just sits on a shelf doing nothing and has two boxes. The regular Hornby box and a special display box, neither of which get used as it sits on the special gold rail provided. The newer boxes Hornby have are fine. I found the older ones from a year ago did lead to breaking detail parts when they came out the box.

As regards the 16 page instruction booklet, the one I got with my BLI J class is pretty crap.
 

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As a modeller. all I want from packaging, is that it ensures the item inside arrives in a good condition and is easily removed from the box without damage.

For a less knowledgeable/newer modeller, some extra historical data might be useful and so would be a welcome improvement. Some notes on running in/basic maintenance would also be good for the same reason.

For the collector it may be different and certificates, luxury packaging etc might be more relevant.

Bearing in mind that the extra volume of sales generated by the collector helps to keep the price down for me, the modeller, I would not object to a small extra price for some packaging improvements. However, when we start talking of £20.00 or even half of that, then the manufacturers can take a hike.
A few pounds maybe acceptable if coupled with a less damaged delivery, but any more than that is not.
 

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I think this months editorial is one of the long list of things that really isnt up to scratch. he wrote it as though "now i have got shed loads of money i want an expensive loco".

A couple of months ago i wrota an e-mail about one of the articles. it was the one about the warwell. the reviewer had simply purchased the wrong kit for the wagon he was trying to build. he complained about white metal being inflexible (despite genissis kits being made from lead free pewter which is conciderably more forgiving) and to put the icing on the cake he winged about it riding too high after he had fitted wheels that were too large!!
A month later Model Rail published a letter slamming low cost white metal kits in general.

Its a real pitty when the rewiewers dont read the instructions! if i was genissis kits i would be having a little chat to a solicitor.

I thought that was unacceptable for a magazine.

I also noted that this month the actual magazine has taken another turn for the worst with the page register being quite along way out on several pages and not cut properly on others.

Model rail is the best of a bad bunch. bring back model railway constructor!!

Peter
 

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Dose every thing in the UK have to do what the Americans do the the biggest bunch of Raceists, bigots & hippocrates out there This is England, Great Britain Who cares what the yanks do.

I say we get a good deal from the British Model manufaturers its just that some in the hobby in the UK want everything for nothing I have oftern thought that about some of the people at model rail.

Pete
 

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QUOTE (Peter_Harvey @ 7 Nov 2006, 07:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Dose every thing in the UK have to do what the Americans do the the biggest bunch of Raceists, bigots & hippocrates out there This is England, Great Britain Who cares what the yanks do.

I say we get a good deal from the British Model manufaturers its just that some in the hobby in the UK want everything for nothing I have oftern thought that about some of the people at model rail.

Pete

A great deal of truth there !

best regards
Brian
 

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QUOTE Dose every thing in the UK have to do what the Americans do the the biggest bunch of Raceists, bigots & hippocrates out there This is England, Great Britain Who cares what the yanks do.

Not every one who lives in the island of Great Britain is English. Eight million of us aren't. What you have said is offensive to all Scots and Welsh. Now what were you saying about racist's and bigots


England is not Great Britain you can't equate the two. Geographically it's only half of it.
 

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QUOTE Dose every thing in the UK have to do what the Americans do the the biggest bunch of Raceists, bigots & hippocrates out there.
I say we get a good deal from the British Model manufaturers its just that some in the hobby in the UK want everything for nothing I have oftern thought that about some of the people at model rail.

So I take your a big fan of the American's then Pete !
. On a one to one level I've always found them to very pleasant folks, and good company. Live and live.
 

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Its like the french realy Mike the normal hard working people are very nice but its the power crazed people in charge that are the anoying ones.
Its a long story to do with the second gulf war but this isnt the place to go in to things about that.

Pete
 

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There is a correspondent on Pat Hammond's site who broadly supports the Model Rail editorial.

However the view always seems to be associated with the risk of delicate detailing parts falling off locos than the packaging. If these did not fall off locos then the packaging argument would be a total non starter.

We get offered very good value in the UK and maybe we are slightly tolerant of detailing parts falling off because we accept that to get the value we get, production methods have to be as they are. The swiss watchmaker approach of the Germans produces models that are very much more expensive.

I would prefer running the risk of using a bit of superglue than paying an extra £50 for a model thank you very much!

Its absolutely does not matter how these products are packaged and expensive foam packaging and all the trimmings is likely to do more damage than good in this area!

Magazines should stick to railway modelling rather than trying to tell Hornby and Bachmann how to run a manufacturing business.

On the other hand there are a few here also guilty of that sin!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 8 Nov 2006, 10:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Magazines should stick to railway modelling rather than trying to tell Hornby and Bachmann how to run a manufacturing business.

Quite - how would the magazines like it if Hornby & Bachmann started to tell them how to produce a magazine.

With the odd exception here & there the manufactures generally produce models that will sell. Sell is the operative word here. They conduct market research, have past sales figures, their own experience & a wealth of other facts & figures at their disposal to enable them to make a sucessfull commercial desision on what to produce.

On another forum I got tired of hearing people loudly slagging off the retail model trade. These "experts" said that the model trade should do this, do that & so on - they had all the answers. As soon as I suggested that these people "put their money where their mouths were" & maybe open a retail shop the silence became defening.

I'm not saying don't critisise at ll but try & look at things for a different perspective now & then.

best regards
Brian
 
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