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In depth idiot
8,346 Posts
I have only had the Oxford to 'fiddle with' on behalf of a friend, and it's a decent model. I will leave aside the detailed accuracy for
experts, it is clearly an Adams Radial, and the basic dimensions are correct. Ran very sweetly and quietly, the 50:1 gear ratio meant
that good slow speed performance was available.

It has a couple of problems which I was asked to look at and if possible fix. Firstly it was prone to losing traction. This is a problem
common to many locos with carrying wheels either side of the coupled wheels, if there is a slight dip in the track or at the foot of a
gradient, the model can be largely riding on the unpowered wheels and the driven wheels slip. That was easy enough, a little fiddle
with the rear axle for more upward travel sorted it. (This kind of thing you have to test for the layout it is to run on, as standards of
track laying are thought to vary from one layout to another...)

The other much remarked on problem was that part of the motor can be seen under the front of the boiler. The drive line can be altered
to move the motor out of sight, by deleting the flywheel from the drive line. Conveniently there are multiple screw attachment points for
the plastic cradle that holds the motor, so resecuring it out of sight was easy. (That's all from memory, I don't have it to look at as it is
now with the owner.) A little piece of curved black plasticard was formed and installed to represent the missing boiler underside.

I have only looked at the Hornby in a shop and it looks very good, in their usual style. I should think it is the better model of the two.

(That said, Oxford were unlucky to run into competition from Hornby with their first RTR OO loco; also I feel that the relatively tricky
subject of a small tank loco with many wheels wasn't the best choice. Had it been released when Chinese RTR OO was in its infancy my
feeling is that it would have been very well received. Arriving late to the party, the bar was much higher. I see improvement coming as
they gain experience, their N7 is quite classy in some respects.)
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