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A very interesting, and in places blunt, interview with Bachmann in the current Model Rail magazine.

Chris Leigh, the Model Rail editor, wanted to use the quote with the "B" word in on the front cover.

Would this have sold more copies of Model Rail?

Basically it is hinted that Bachmann seem to get more than their fair share of criticism in forums. Remember folks that Bachmann are an operation run by fellow human beings. How would you feel if your work was subject to the type of criticism often worded in such a way and levied at Bachmann?

Exactly! As Graham Hubbard indicated, "we are not
" and the staff are all very approachable, do listen, and do sort out issues if goods are returned.

By the way we can have a Bachmann Blue Pullman if 5000 of us are prepared to pay £500.

The continentals are very happy to pay this sort of lolly for ICE models (
) it seems and its a question of the Brits reapraising their thinking along continental lines. As soon as we do then all sorts of things can be developed apparently.

And Bachmann made exactly the same request that Hornby made in the SK interview. It is absolutely pointless whinging about our faulty models in a model railway forum. That will not get it repaired or replaced. You should always first send it back to the stockist or Bachmann and let them deal with the issue. That is the request which is sensible. Then at least when we whinge about the faulty model in our favourite forum we can then also be constructive and include how wonderful the Bachmann or Hornby (or whoever) customer service is!

Basically Bachmann told us all how it really is and why things are as they are. It all makes absolute sense and an absolute nonsense of those who whinge and whine about delays and why things are as they are in terms of the practicalities of modelling a model.

A Garratt for example. It is suggested that would be a hopeless model to own as it simply would not run on tight British model railway layouts so therefore hopeless to even think about! Fair commemt.

Interesting that by comparison with the Hornby interview there were just 2 lines on Bachmann Dynamis and that it will be DCC "compliant" (not "conformant"). All very low key by comparison with the Hornby entry into DCC.

And also interesting that Bachmann seem to have given away the Hornby big secret for 2008!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 15 Aug 2007, 23:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...We can have a Bachmann Blue Pullman if 5000 of us are prepared to pay £500.

The continentals are very happy to pay this sort of lolly for ICE models (
) it seems ...

Not if it is made by Bachmann. Even we aren´t that stupid.

Maybe he mistakes Bachmann for Fleischmann?
 

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QUOTE By the way we can have a Bachmann Blue Pullman if 5000 of us are prepared to pay £500.

The continentals are very happy to pay this sort of lolly for ICE models ( ) it seems and its a question of the Brits reapraising their thinking along continental lines. As soon as we do then all sorts of things can be developed apparently.

I paid 465 Euros for mine so I'd change my model shop if I was you.

QUOTE A Garratt for example. It is suggested that would be a hopeless model to own as it simply would not run on tight British model railway layouts so therefore hopeless to even think about! Fair commemt.


QUOTE And also interesting that Bachmann seem to have given away the Hornby big secret for 2008!

What was that then?
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 15 Aug 2007, 22:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Basically it is hinted that Bachmann seem to get more than their fair share of criticism in forums. Remember folks that Bachmann are an operation run by fellow human beings. How would you feel if your work was subject to the type of criticism often worded in such a way and levied at Bachmann?
Experience working in Quality Assurance (which included customer problem support and resolution) for a well known multinational taught me the real gauge of quality: is it selling, and are customers making repeat purchases despite whatever problems may have arisen? Hopefully the Bachmann team take some comfort from the way product departs from retailer stock. From the way batches are announced as having arrived, to their being out of stock, is often very brief: the 'wallet vote' for the product speaks volumes to me. And the criticism, however harsh, is a reflection of expectations which Bachmann have done much to raise; it is a compliment of the 'we know you can do better' type, even if the wording is unfortunate. Remember the old saw: The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about...
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior @ 16 Aug 2007, 09:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Southern T9 I believe?


Methinks that a certain manufacturer is trying to tempt me from my chosen path.....

Regards
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 16 Aug 2007, 14:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What is the "B" word


I can only guess - maybe "Botchmann"?
 

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QUOTE And Bachmann made exactly the same request that Hornby made in the SK interview. It is absolutely pointless whinging about our faulty models in a model railway forum. That will not get it repaired or replaced. You should always first send it back to the stockist or Bachmann and let them deal with the issue. That is the request which is sensible. Then at least when we whinge about the faulty model in our favourite forum we can then also be constructive and include how wonderful the Bachmann or Hornby (or whoever) customer service is!

Very tempted to use the "b" word myself here.....it rhymes with pollok, a very nice fish being used to replace cod.

Completely misses the point that Bachmann and Hornby should take more care not to send faulty goods in the first place. Why on earth should we be thrilled to send a faulty model back to the manufacturer so they can have a second attempt to get it right and then be thankfull about how wonderfull they are!

Words fail me......almost!

Haven't bought Model Rail yet but if Graham Hubbard has revealed Hornbys 2008 model , would that not be mischief making in the extreme, to the extent another "b" word could be used?

QUOTE Interesting that by comparison with the Hornby interview there were just 2 lines on Bachmann Dynamis and that it will be DCC "compliant" (not "conformant"). All very low key by comparison with the Hornby entry into DCC.

Not really suprising as Bachmanns entry into DCC has been relatively successful whereas Hornbys Digital control (is it or is it not DCC?) to put it kindly has been a touch more troublesome.

Russell
 

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QUOTE Completely misses the point that Bachmann and Hornby should take more care not to send faulty goods in the first place. Why on earth should we be thrilled to send a faulty model back to the manufacturer so they can have a second attempt to get it right and then be thankfull about how wonderfull they are!

Unfair comment. You need to buy the magazine and read the interview. Bachmann point to factors outside their control and all models are tested thoroughly. As they say they are not "ba**ards" and will provide a sympathetic ear in the event of being contacted directly.

QUOTE Haven't bought Model Rail yet but if Graham Hubbard has revealed Hornbys 2008 model , would that not be mischief making in the extreme, to the extent another "b" word could be used?

They basically said that they would not do a certain model becuase another manufacturer was looking at it. They did not reveal the name of the manufacturer. The assumption has been made by the rumourmongers that it is Hornby however it could be Heljan or ViTrains or anybody else.

QUOTE Not really suprising as Bachmanns entry into DCC has been relatively successful

Yet to be proven as the only Bachmann console we have seen is the very basic EZ-Command. To date Hornby have offered higher spec products to the public all fully CE EMC compliant and not requiring any EMC devices to be removed from locomotives!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE very basic EZ-Command

But relatively succesfull in comparison to a Select unit.

Can I just point out that Bachmann loco sound diesels have been very well received. So I don't think Bachmanns credentials in DCC are as unproven as you state.

As I pointed out before , I haven't yet bought Model Rail or seen the article so will refrain from commenting on their quality control, if it is covered. However,I do find QUOTE Bachmann point to factors outside their control difficult to believe in conjunction with ensuring goods are fit for purpose.

Russell
 

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QUOTE But relatively succesfull in comparison to a Select unit.

Can I just point out that Bachmann loco sound diesels have been very well received. So I don't think Bachmanns credentials in DCC are as unproven as you state.

Have you actually used either a Select or an EZ-Command unit? I have used both and both do what they say on the box. Whilst there is a perception that the Select unit itself has issues, when analysed issues generally are more about how first time users get to grips with DCC and the intolerence of DCC to poor track laying and issues that have been identified with locomotives and points rather than about the Select unit itself. These same issues also afflict users of EZ-Command of course but there are many more Select users active on the web so we read more reports on the Select. Hornby have never ever claimed conformance or compliance for the Select however it does work with the products of others (not all but then Hornby have never said that the Select will work with all although they have said in conversation that it will work with European product which it does) so I simply do not and never will understand the big fuss. When using Hornby DCC do not remove the CE EMC device fitted to all European locos. This acts as a signal damper which the Hornby Select works perfectly well with. It has to be questioned why Bachmann suggest that these CE EMC devices are removed when Hornby make no such suggestion and therefore on this basis how do you judge the relative success?

The Bachmann diesels are very good as you say however are they not using a rebranded ESU decoder?

Anybody serious about DCC is not going to get either EZ-Command or the Select anyway to be brutally honest and yet there is serous discussion about the Select!

The Elite is more for the serious DCCer as will be Dynamis.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE all fully CE EMC compliant and not requiring any EMC devices to be removed from locomotives!

I wish you would stop flogging that particular horse!

David
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 16 Aug 2007, 21:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Unfair comment. You need to buy the magazine and read the interview. Bachmann point to factors outside their control and all models are tested thoroughly. ...

Hmmm... they design a model and they also do it´s package, r+d-wise. They have the moulds made in China. Bachmann UK eventually approves the mould, or a sample model from these mould. Bachmann makes a series of models in their own factory, in accordance to what Bachmann UK has ordered, paints and tampons them the way Bachmann UK has asked them to, packs the model in the box as specified by Bachmann (UK or China) and ships it overseas. There, the models are distributed to the dealers.

WTF is outside their control? Why can´t a model railroad enthusiast expect a model to be contained in a package that will protect it during shipping, no matter what? They aren´t exactly newcomers to the market, they´ve been around for quite a while, and they should know how to avoid certain "outside" issues, which imho must mean "shipping to the customer", as all other steps are well within Bachmann´s control.

So, just what do they think is "outside their control"?

Another thing that I find annoying, yet telling, is that both Hornby and Bachmann badmouth mrr internet forums. If they can´t stand the heat of criticism, they should make toy dolls - oopsie, bad idea (Mattel) - they should make teddy bears or so, but not models based on a certain prototype, to which it will be compared, and which should incorporate certain functions.

Oddly enough, I am yet to hear continental or US outline manufacturers rant and rave about online forums the way these two companies´ representatives do. Now, why would that be?
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 17 Aug 2007, 07:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I wish you would stop flogging that particular horse!

David

It's well and truely dead by now.

QUOTE The Southern T9 I believe?

oh


QUOTE Oddly enough, I am yet to hear continental or US outline manufacturers rant and rave about online forums the way these two companies´ representatives do. Now, why would that be?

I wonder?
 

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ME26-06
QUOTE Another thing that I find annoying, yet telling, is that both Hornby and Bachmann badmouth mrr internet forums

Not in fact the case. Hornby have not made any particular comment about forums other than the passing remark in the SK interview that sometimes forum discussion can get rather more emotional and intense than the issue seems to warrant. I don't think that's confined to model railway forums, and Model Railroader has made a similar comment about internet dicussion getting rather "intense" in a recent editorial

Bachmann is another matter.

In commenting , it's probably necessary to have read the MR article and the exact words used , and to be familiar with the fairly extensive "history". The comment is actually made by Ben Jones of Model Rail:

QUOTE Internet forums are littered with comments about the company, some fair, others unjustified and some downright libellous.... Does the company deserve the criticism it recieves, do we give the company a harder time than it's competitors and if so , why?

That is a comment from Model Rail , not Bachmann. I can't call it a neutral comment , because certain prominent internet critics of Bachmann D+E products extended their fire into identifiable attacks on Model Rail and other magazines , and personal criticism/attacks on their writers (and Chris Leigh and Darren Sherwood of Model Rail were very much targets of these internet attacks on "certain persons/some reviewers"). Several of these internet critics then emerged as staff/reviewers for new specialist D+E magazines , marketing their aggressive reveiwing of diesel and electric models as a selling point. There was a lot of talk from the same quarters that modern image/D+E modellers should refuse to buy Model Rail and other magazines that featured extensive steam content and read only these new specialist D+E magazines...

Bachmann's own comments in the article are extremely restrained , compared to what is understood in the hobby to be the private views at Barwell

MR editorial text
QUOTE Over the years Bachmann has been heavily criticised by some diesel & electric era modellers from detail and shape errors on its diesel locos.

Bachmann speaker (Graham Hubbard?)
QUOTE Despite their critics we can show excellent sales results on the original OO gauge Cl 37s, Cl 40s , and Deltics. A small , but vociferous minority continue to slate these products (and more recent releases) but 95% of all potential purchasers are more appreciative of our efforts to push the horizons just a little further . There are virtually no more main line diesel classes worth producing without continued duplication. All these models are regarded as a considerable improvement on previously available products

[I'd regard the implied assessment of the supplanted Lima 37, 40 and 55 as entirely accurate. The Lima Deltic was dire in every way and I'm shocked Hornby have wheeled it out even for a kiddies trainset]

That's everything on D+E critics and the internet , in a 6 page article

However as longer standing members will recall , almost a year ago Bachmann announced they were withdrawing all publicity/press releases /facilities from all internet sites and forums because they objected to some comments on another forum about the accuracy of the Freightliner logos on a newly released loco. I still think that was gross overreaction , and the particular irony was that of the 3 posters making inflammatory comments in the thread concerned , 2 were anonymous posters with a handful of postings to their names (ie trolls , not forum regulars) and are believed to be individuals who have written for specialist D+E magazines , and, specifically, contributed highly critical D+E reviews. (The 3rd, a regular, was subsequently suspended from the forum for intemperate comment about a Bachmann 37)

There's no doubt that Bachmann have sought to press forum administrators over comments that they were unhappy about. Hornby thankfully seem a great deal more relaxed - as far as I'm aware there has been no pressure on Doug over material critical of Hornby on this forum , which would certainly have resulted in repeated complaints if it had been aimed at another quarter.

Indeed on MRF it is not true that Bachmann are given a rougher ride than their competitors - quite the opposite . Indeed they are largely ignored - I've even seen it suggested they were not a significant enough presence in the UK to be worth talking about (which I don't accept by the way).

It will be interesting to see how long and how heated this thread is - compared with the thread on Simon Kohler's interview. I also note that MRF managed just 10 postings in 2 short lived threads on the Bachmann 47 , and 13 postings on the Bachmann Ivatt 2MT- but 78 postings on the Hornby 66 (not a significant release) . In contrast another forum's thread "What's Wrong with the Bachmann 47?" has reached 14 pages and 349 postings, and the Hornby 66, only 39 postings

QUOTE WTF is outside their control? Why can´t a model railroad enthusiast expect a model to be contained in a package that will protect it during shipping, no matter what

I've seen some pretty startling photos of the effects of waves and storms hitting containers on ships at sea (whole stacks of boxes pushed over at 45 degrees , that sort of stuff) . And there are tales circulating of less than careful handling of parcels by couriers and Parcelforce (apparently there should be heavy emphasis on the word "force") Stories of throwing packets to the other end of the room as a form of sorting ...

What is perhaps worth noting is that Bachmann, both in an early BRM interview and more explicitly here, have indicated that development of D+E models in 4mm is nearing the end of the road : diesel locos are almost exhausted, they won't touch electric locos with a bargepole as they don't believe anyone will buy them, and if the 4-CEP isn't a commercial success, that will be the end of RTR EMUs
(I paraphrase - the tone is a little more measured but the substance is the same). That seems to leave only DMUs , and they haven't raced to follow up the critical success of the 108

The days of selling D+E magazines on their product reviews, never mind "reviewing as a spectator blood sport", may be drawing to a close
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 16 Aug 2007, 22:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>paints and tampons them the way Bachmann UK has asked them to.

Oddly enough, I am yet to hear continental or US outline manufacturers rant and rave about online forums the way these two companies´ representatives do. Now, why would that be?

Tampon printing? now does that account for being permanently irritated? No wonder they went with Tampo printing now!


The US manufacturers also complain about internet ranting and say they disregard it. A lot of the stuff on forums is the same opinions expressed down the pub and for some reason people treat it as fact just because it is written down.
If you compare reviews in magazines and comments on forums then you will get a better idea but there really isn't any better way than to pop in and see a model at a local shop or show and make an informed decision. I model in several scales and have US, Swiss, German and Uk models and each has there bad points.
Few observations about some worldwide manufacturers,
Bemo (Germany) very nice detail but slightly brittle plastic, on 4 examples so far of a certain model the universal joint slips on the motor shaft requiring dismantling and gluing, and why after paying £150 do I have to stick on the handrails?
MMI (USA) lovely diecast and brass model but pickups are rubbish and so was the onboard sound and so I replaced it with a Soundtraxx Tsunami.
Lifelike & Athearn (USA) stub axles cause drive gear to crack due to either poor quality plastic or undesize hole for interference fit.
LGB (Germany) ,the self styled robust garden locos, Gear wheels that strip due to not being able to deal with the momentum of a train when suddenly stopped, spur gear drives that don't lock up the drivetrain are superior to cheap worm drives!

I could go on but Bachmann and Hornby are not alone and yet I choose to still buy locos from these manufacturers because although not perfect they are pretty good.
Yes encourage the manufacturers to improve the product but do it politely. It's not long ago that we bemoaned the fact that the europeans and US had all axle flywheel drives and better detail. Now we have these from both major manufacturers and still pay less than equivalent continental models! The Mehano european 66 costs £102 in HO!

If I have a problem I contact the manufacturer and also tend to post details of the fix on forums, so far I have found bachmann quick to sort any problem and I have never been charged for a repair where a component failed. I have had cracked gears on two G scale locos and had a defective motor replaced on a OO one.

Write a reasonable email or letter stating the problems either mechanical, look or in design and they will listen. Bachmann have retooled several recent releases in response.
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 17 Aug 2007, 13:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>ME26-06
And there are tales circulating of less than careful handling of parcels by couriers and Parcelforce (apparently there should be heavy emphasis on the word "force") Stories of throwing packets to the other end of the room as a form of sorting ...

and you should see videos and TV's come out of the back of lorries at your electrical store! Used to work for a big retailer 10 years ago and saw them being thrown out the back of a lorry more than once! They pay them peanuts and expect them to care . . . .
 

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When/if I get to read this interview, I may make a comment... but just to clarify a point, Bachmann have never asked us to remove or edit anything ever written on this site. I do get the impression from their communications that the company is not quite as hip as we would like in terms of Internet communication and reactivity. I think there may be still a "coax network" under the desks of some of the staff. But then I could say the same for Hornby.

I just wish that they could just embrace the Internet a bit more and use it to their advantage.
 

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Actually went and bought MR this morning, since this interview sounded interesting. Happily it is, (and there was other good content in the mag, particularly the East Coast articles) and I have to say it confirms my positive opinion of Bachmann. Sensible people making careful business decisions, to deliver a product which will sell profitably enough to sustain future development of the range. The bit about 'workaday' locos brought a smile to my face. I hope that means more goods types.
QUOTE (Ravenser @ 17 Aug 2007, 13:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. they won't touch electric locos with a bargepole as they don't believe anyone will buy them..
It is worth stressing that their reluctance to try electric locos is based on very poor sales of the electric loco models in their N gauge range. Given that Electrics typically look better in N gauge than steam types (less problem concealing mech and overscale tyre width and flanges) that does seem a reasonable commercial decision. Which is sad, as their track record in BR coaches had me crossing my fingers that in due course they might get to mk4's and a matching class 91 and DVT...
QUOTE ..if the 4-CEP isn't a commercial success, that will be the end of RTR EMUs (I paraphrase - the tone is a little more measured but the substance is the same). That seems to leave only DMUs , and they haven't raced to follow up the critical success of the 108.
Accurate paraphrase, I would say. I seem to recall something similar was said ahead of the release of the 108. Hopefully the 108 has enjoyed commercial success sufficient to encourage thoughts of another DMU class. Next Bach test the water with a similar vintage EMU. Seems like a good strategy to me: test both breeds of MU, and whichever is commercially successful, (or in the happy event of both succeeding, sells most strongly,) indicates the direction for the next MU.
QUOTE The days of selling D+E magazines on their product reviews, never mind "reviewing as a spectator blood sport", may be drawing to a close
Fingers crossed!
 
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