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QUOTE (maas @ 20 Jun 2007, 09:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you'll permit me a mini-rant here (I'm not singling out this forum!)... I'd really like to see those three issues (in particular the first 2) addressed in every review of any manufacturer's motive power. I'm amazed at how I can surf the web for an hour for this info, and in some cases, quite literally be educated about a particular loco's: buffer height/shape, air vents, rivet count, etc... BUT NOT be informed about the number of pickups and drive mechanism details. To overseas guys like me who've only recently got back into the hobby, info like this is in many cases is the deciding factor about a purchase.

For example, I've noticed that some Bachmann steam locos have extra pick-ups in the pony trucks, or "leading wheels", while others to not. Needless to say, my 2-6-2 with pickups on 8 wheels is a bit better that my 2-6-0 with only 6 pick-ups.
You make a very good point MAS. I have the same complaint, also being originally from overseas...there is an obsession with every external aspect of a model but concern for the internal workings is often lacking - perhaps many modellers are resigned to it performing poorly and don't worry about it much? If a manufacturer were to read a thread they would come to the conclusion that getting the exterior perfect and ignoring the mechanism inside would please many people. If people don't ask or demand or even expect better on the inside then it is unlikely things will improve here in the UK. Look at the dreadful Hornby Pendolino with appalling DCC, complemetary bucket of spanners and a wobble.

In Europe it is expected that a new model will have drive on all wheels, pickup on all wheels, a decoder prefitted that works, or a normal slot to take the decoder choice of the user, at least one flywheel, directional headlights and probably directional rear lights, and often an option to buy a version with DCC sound preinstalled - before worrying about the outside!!

I am quite happy for the exterior to be not quite perfect as long as it can actually pull a prototypical length train and captures the essense of the real thing - why buy an A4 if it can only manage six coaches on the level and four on a gentle slope? Hardly the performance of a powerful express locomotive...

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