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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have told by my local hobby shop that they expect the the Bachmann 9F to land in Oz on the 19th of june and to be in shop by the end of the month. He told me that Evening Star and one black 9F were coming and that the third black 9F should follow late July early August. So I'd better get the finger out and finish paying for them.

Ozzie21
 

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And here is a Review
Courtesy of Model rail
QUOTE Appearance
The "9F" Scores very high here both on first impressions and under more detailed scrutiny. Bachmann has done another great of capturing the charactor of the prototype, something that requires more than a set of scale drawing and dimensions.
Dimensionally the model is generally good, although the width over the cylinders is 3mm less than it should be at 32mm. We suspect this is compromise forced by the 16.5mm track and the need to line the motion up correctly with the cylinders. The face of the locomotive has the aura of immense power as the original and side on, the characteristic gap between the boiler and the frame has not been compromised by the provision of locomotive drive. At the other end, the cab has an authentic look and features some good interior detail. For the first time (I think), some of the dials are picked out in white, although Bachmann hasnt to the extreme lengths of recent Hornby models with fully painted gauges and controls. Other details include an AWS warning bell and reverser handwheels.
Like all BR standards, the "9Fs" carried a good deal of external pipework . Bachmann has paid close attention to this area, particulary around the smokebox and cab
Theres more but my hands hurt
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 15 Jun 2006, 13:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Never thought I'd see the day someone complained about detail improvement.


It's strange that some modellers do complain about the detail some manufacturers are putting on their models. I still think that some models produced by Bachmann and Hornby could be better than they are now in the detail department. Hornby's Duchess could be a lot better if they got away from the toy train mentality and produced a model that better replicated the real thing. Tenders that couple closer, finer flanges on wheels, front and rear trucks that don't have acres of daylight showing through are some that I can think of. Look at what the yanks are making and people are paying for that exta detail. Perhaps Hornby and Bachmann could produce a " Premier" line of models with higher than average detail. Of course the price would reflect that extra detail but I wouldn't mind paying for it.

Ozzie21
 

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The problem for manufacturers in the relatively small British market is that the high volumes apparently go to kids and so the products must necessarily have 'toy' toughness (and price levels).

I feel sorry for both Hornby and Bachmann, as no matter which direction they appear to favour, they are going to be hammered by some section of their customer base - they just can't win!

A possible answer, as suggested, is dual levels of detailing to be made available, but it would be very difficult to apply that to aspects such as variable coupling distances, flange standards and clearances in general.

Just a couple of personal comments
"Acres of daylight" round bogies and pony trucks, especially with undersized wheels as well, are absolutely top of my 'loathe it with a vengeance' list. This unignorable combination totally destroys the overall effect of any model.

Yet, at the opposite nit-picking extreme, I sometimes wonder if there is any point whatever in in trying to reproduce tiny dials etc, inside a driving cab, which will only ever get looked at once, if ever!

Managing both of those in a single model strikes me as the absolute height of perverse lunacy!

BTW, that wasn't levelled at the Bachmann 9F, above - we seem to have drifted a long way from the actual topic in our generally impossible-to-satisfy grumpiness - sorry!
 

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QUOTE (Rail-Rider @ 16 Jun 2006, 14:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...
"Acres of daylight" round bogies and pony trucks...

I think its meant to be like that. It was nicknamed the 'Spaceship' due to the big gap between the boiler and footplate had the effect of making the boiler look like one of the booster stages, used in the 60's NASA space project, on its side.
 

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You're absolutely right, but . . .

We were talking about pony trucks and bogies and, because I had very naughtily continued the derailment from the subject and had merrily careered a mile off track, we weren't even talking about Bachmann's 9F!
All my fault!


Mind you, come to think of it, there is quite alot of fresh air round its pony truck too!
 

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QUOTE Yet, at the opposite nit-picking extreme, I sometimes wonder if there is any point whatever in in trying to reproduce tiny dials etc, inside a driving cab, which will only ever get looked at once, if ever!

I have wondered about that too. The class 31 I bought is supposed to have a detailed cab and I have never seen it. If it was lit maybe then you could see in but as it is I would have to get a torch and a magnifying glass. I did wonder about the relevance of the opening doors too as they spring closed and you wouldn't be able to see in anyway as your finger is in the way holding the door open.


QUOTE Perhaps Hornby and Bachmann could produce a " Premier" line of models with higher than average detail. Of course the price would reflect that extra detail but I wouldn't mind paying for it.

I reckon the two tiered approach is the go like Roco have done with their playtime series for kids. This is interesting that people here are saying they would like this as this very idea was put down by several individuals on another thread. It was suggested that there was no gap in the market for prestige UK outline, which I reckon there definitely is. I would certainly buy it. I've been waiting on this happening for some time now.
 

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its not really my thing (not grand enough) but it does look fantastic. i might be tempted by an evening star if i see a good price on it.

"Perhaps Hornby and Bachmann could produce a " Premier" line of models with higher than average detail. Of course the price would reflect that extra detail but I wouldn't mind paying for it."
The trouble is that so few people would buy it. i think this loco is right on the top edge of what the mass market are willing to pay for a loco. above the £100 mark the punters drop off like flies.

"Yet, at the opposite nit-picking extreme, I sometimes wonder if there is any point whatever in in trying to reproduce tiny dials etc, inside a driving cab, which will only ever get looked at once, if ever!"
its a bit like the national theatre, noone ever goes to see it but we all feel cultured just knowing its there!

Rail rider- if you look at a real 9F there IS acres of daylight around the front pony. the real thing looks like a meccano afterthought! i think bachmann have capturet it beautifully. far better than many of the hornby models - particularly the king.

Dennis - you are right HO sscale would be very nice. but it is not nearly as practicle for our loco's as it is on the continent. because our engines are built to much smaller loading gauges the clearences between the cylinders and wheels and valvegear would have to be very tight on a super detailed model and would probably mean that they couldnt negotiate train set curves. this is the same reason that many go for EM rather than P4.
i actually quite like having OO uk stock, it means that it dosent look out of place when i run it with my american stock or continental stock.
interestingly people have tried to mass manufacture HO brittish stock notably Rivarossi (i have an HO scale royal scot), but they were rubbish sellers. heljan were going to try it again with the 47, the bogies on the model were the first thing they did. they are to HO scale. then they changed their mind and did the body in 4mm! then they got the body wrong and did it 2mm too wide and the whole think looks daft!

But i would like a 3mm range! bring back TT!!!!

doug - its amazing to think that these steam engines are contempories of the space race! i have never looked at it like that before.

Peter
 

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QUOTE I don't wish to open a can of worms but I often wonder how different things would be if you all had gone for HO scale rather than OO. You might already have that premier line courtesy of Marklin, Trix et al.

Historically Trix did once make British outline.
You can still find it for sale second hand on Ebay.


Here is a Trix Mallard



Why they stopped I don't know but maybe if they continued maybe we would not have had such low quality British outline up until the last couple of years.
The lack of competition caused stagnation in the British market which has only really improved recently. I can see items in the Hornby range now that they were selling thirty years ago. Can you imagine getting away with selling thirty year old product in the USA or Germany?
I don't think so.
 

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neil - you cant criticise them for using their back catalouge to make money. the old moulds are updated modified to bring them up to near todays standards. they have modern wheels and couplings often NEM pockets.
i wish they would dig out a few other things like the blue pullman or the APT. they are money makers and they have the moulds luying around doing nothing!
some of the athearn moulds must be 20 years old buy now. i bought a DD40 about 4 years ago that came out in about 1980 i think.

Peter
 

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QUOTE neil - you cant criticise them for using their back catalouge to make money. the old moulds are updated modified to bring them up to near todays standards. they have modern wheels and couplings often NEM pockets.

What I am saying, Peter, is that Hornby had a virtual monopoly on model rail in the UK until relatively recently and as such had no motivation to modernise or modify. It is only with the arival of Bachmann and competition that they improved the quality of their product. Now if there were still continental competitors in the UK such as Trix ( which is the pre Marklin Trix) it would increase the competition and raise the standard of the product even further.
I can appreciate why they are still knocking out antique products, it's because there is no real choice for many locos. So they can get away with it. People have no option but to buy it as their is no choice. Now if Bachmann announced they were to make a super detail digital sound Blue Pullman or HST, what would Hornby do, compete and offer a similar product or not bother?


So really the more competition the better. As the companies compete they have to offer better value for money or something that the other companies don't offer to gain the advantage. Which is why a premier line would be a good thing, to capture that gap in the British market for people who don't want thirty year old toy quality product and would like something a bit better in quality and extra options. Maybe you might be right in that not that many people would buy it but I can see from this thread that I am not the only person who would buy it.
You don't have to buy it if you don't want to.
I don't really understand why you are so against it?

QUOTE I don't wish to open a can of worms

Deja vu Dennis
 

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simple. i am against it because it would take huge resources away from models that i can afford and would buy. i would prefer for developement money to be spent on models for the masses rather than an elite few.

this premier line already exists. its called brass models. there are any number of makers churning out brass and kit built models to a very high standard so that the people who want to spend the extra money on the extra detail and higher build quality and are willing to pay for it can do exactly that.

it is interesting to note that exactly the same thing is happenning in china right now. bachmann had a total monopoly on rolling stock (apart from posh brass stuff) untill late last year. then a new company called Hai Dar turned up and churned out a very good loco (despite the reviews, 1 batch of 50 locos had a problem and thats the batch that went to the mags...) now bachmann china are scared stiff that they are going to loose their market.

i totally agree that competition is a good thing. it increases quality and keeps prices in check. but it dosent have to get elitest.

This is turning into a good debate. now lets keep it that way folks.

Peter
 

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In an interview on Radio 4 last month when Hornby announced their results, the CEO said the market split for Hornby products was 70% adult collectors 30% "toy". I don't mean "toy" as a "put down" just a description. That 30% is mostly made up by train set sales at Christmas. For Scalextric the split is 30/70 the other way.

The challenge for Hornby is finding out what the maximum price/performance that the market will bear. Peter says it's about £100. Neil and I would both pay more for more "practical" features. I've stated my preferences before - synchronised sound and smoke.

I think Hornby's live steam is beyond my upper limit.

>competition is a good thing. it increases quality and keeps prices in check
My experience is different. Increasing competition leads to corner cutting and continual paring back on cost until something breaks - usually about two months after I have bought it. I've had disappointing experience with several consumer products from big brand names (Sony, Motorola, Bush, Tempo, Nokia) in the last couple of years which could have been avoided if enough time had been allowed for the design to be proved before it went into production. The few pennies "saved" have led to the whole unit being lost.

David
 

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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 17 Jun 2006, 12:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I don't wish to open a can of worms but I often wonder how different things would be if you all had gone for HO scale rather than OO. You might already have that premier line courtesy of Marklin, Trix et al.

I forgot to mention that the old Trix stuff was in fact 00. Why they stopped making it I don't know but it's a bit of a loss.

QUOTE i totally agree that competition is a good thing. it increases quality and keeps prices in check. but it dosent have to get elitest.

I wouldn't neccessarily describe higher quality as elitist. Marklin Trix Fleischmann are higher quality and cost around 300 euros for a sound equipped loco. This is an upper middle quality. Micro Metakit make models which are 2000 euros and are top end, I would describe that as elitist. I think that as the German market is bigger it can afford more tiers of product whereas in the UK, which only has one tier of product, some people see Marklin Trix et al as top end price wise which in global terms they certainly aren't.
I actually beleive that the German producers, Trix etc, offer value for money in terms of what you get for your money. Which is why I continue to buy their product.
 

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Wow, this is all very interesting, and becoming a very indepth debate on the leading companys producing locomotives and rolling stock for the UK market, I have read very carefully all the above comments, and although i agree to a certain extent, with whats being said, i cant help thinking "do i see things differently", I have a 25 year old OO battle of britain class loco, that cost me £15 second hand, I also have another new one finished in grey, purchased for £100, there are subtle differences in their appearance, other than the colour, but when they are both running, they both look good, what i'm trying to say is, I think we have a good balance of RTR models already, if it looks good, runs well, and is at a price we can all afford, whats the problem? too be honest, it does not worry me if the whole loco is slightly out of scale, if it looks right it is right, and if the cost is right, i get it. Am i the only one who thinks like this?
 

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"Wow, this is all very interesting, and becoming a very indepth debate on the leading companys producing locomotives and rolling stock for the UK market" - thats why i like this forum. its far better than the rest for precisly this reason. you can actually have a propper debate here.

"Am i the only one who thinks like this?"
no you arnt the only one. but also you have to remember that many locos get displayed as well as run. and under those conditions detail is very important.
to me the smoothness of the mechanism is very important. modern locos are almost silent. by older BofB's sound like a number 7 bus!
I too think the balance is very good in the UK.

But just because a loco is modern and superdetailed dosent mean it looks right. the heljan 47 i mentioned earlier is a prime example. it has a fantastic chassis but it just dosent look right.

Peter
 

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QUOTE simple. i am against it because it would take huge resources away from models that i can afford and would buy. i would prefer for developement money to be spent on models for the masses rather than an elite few.

One thing I did think about this is that the development of new technology and features would filter down to the cheaper models. If you take BMW say, they put all their development into the top of the range motors, the following year the technology appears on the cheaper models as it becomes standard. This could possibly happen with model trains. So it may not neccessarily deprive you of the models that you could afford. It may actually improve them.
 
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