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There seems to be some fairly differing opinions in relation to after market care with Brawa.

My experience has been nothing but positive.

My club installed one of their funicular railways on our club layout and after the first day of non-stop running at an exhibition the motor burnt out. We sent an email off to Brawa and they sent the club out not one but two spare motors. Sine replacing the motor we have change the duty cycle so it only runs half as often as it did the first day and the second motor is going strong.

I have had a few bits break on some of my Brawa wagons (totally my fault) Brawa have replaced the broken bits at no cost to myself, I would have been happy for them to send them to my German dealer and for them to send them out to me.

Brawa stock is not perfect, and (unfortunately for my hobby budget) is priced at the top end of the market. However, there is definitely a sense of getting what you paid for because the detail is magnificent, and enhances the look (at least in my case) as to the effect I am trying to create. It also helps that they are now a significant player in my niche portion of the hobby (Württemberg before WW II)

But detail comes at a cost and it is easy to break bits of it. But with careful handling it is not a problem. Interestingly the Brawa boxes come with an age minimum on them (14+) most others are 3+. Of all the manufactures product that I have (Maerklin, Fleischmann, Trix, Roco and Brawa) Brawa is probably the one least suited to children.

Cheers

John
 

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QUOTE But detail comes at a cost and it is easy to break bits of it. But with careful handling it is not a problem. Interestingly the Brawa boxes come with an age minimum on them (14+) most others are 3+. Of all the manufactures product that I have (Maerklin, Fleischmann, Trix, Roco and Brawa) Brawa is probably the one least suited to children.
Absolutely John. I keep them well away from kids.

Interesting the age thing. I bought my oldest (3 at the time) an Underground Ernie train set which had an age rating of 3 on the box. As I bought it in Australia, as that's where we live at the moment, it had a sticker superimposed on top of the age rating lifting it to 8 years old. I did wonder if this was an admission that Aussie kids are 5 years behind European kids?
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 20 Dec 2008, 11:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Absolutely John. I keep them well away from kids.

I did wonder if this was an admission that Aussie kids are 5 years behind European kids?


Far be it for me to comment on the intellectual development of Australians!


A little Kiwi girl was sitting in her classroom in Australia when her teacher walked in and started talking about how proud she is to be an Australian and how wonderful it is to be a Wallaby supporter.

The teacher then asked everyone who supported the Wallabies to put up their hand. Every hand in the class besides one went up. This surprised the teacher and so she asked the little girl why her hand wasn't up.

"Well," said the little girl "because I don't support the Wallabies."

Even more surprised the teacher asked her whom she supported.

"I support the ALL BLACKS" she replied

Now a bit irritated the teacher asked the little girl why she supported the All Blacks.

"My mom supports the All Blacks and my dad supports the All Blacks, so I support the All Blacks".

The teacher looked at the little girl and with a smirk asked: "Well, if your mom was an idiot and your dad was an idiot, what would you be?"

The little girl looked up at her teacher, smiled and replied:

"A Wallaby supporter."

Sorry it was just to hard to resist, now back on topic

Cheers

John
 

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I am not sure of the OP's motives for posting, at the outset it seemed to be a eulogy to the OP's favourite manufacturer but ended in a plethora of sporting trivia. Yes, quite.

As a purchaser of Brawa products I do not possess the same rose-tinted viewing apparatus as others on this forum when I review my experiences with their product or their customer service.

I do query the use of plastic based valve gear on locos whose wheels are gear coupled driven by an exceedingly powerful motor. Amongst the German users of Brawa it is well known that their crossheads tend to wear badly, thus the small end of the connecting rod comes into contact with the valve gear. As the valve gear does not drive the wheels, the gear driven wheels continue to rotate and the result is valve gear spaghetti.

Another issue is the loss of the tiny coupling rod screws, if you loose the screw on the leading axle, the same catastrophe occurs. I have lost two locos to this problem, both BR65's and each has been updated with modified metal valve gear from Weinert's BR50. The unexpected response from Brawa was a demand for 22Eu for the supply of one coupling rod screw (only available as an assembly) that detached after approximately two minutes of running. Brawa refused to waive the charges despite the intervention of the Brawa dealer.

An associated fault was the recent photograph from Stummi's forum of Frit's BR94 with a sheared coupling rod screw, unfortunately this was not unusual and cannot be explained by either careless handling by the owner or packer, they just should not break, it is that simple. Hopefully Brawa will address this failure with a redesign?

For diesel traction, another problem was the inability of the Brawa V100 to negotiate cross crossing V's without pause, this was caused by the bane of traction tyres on the outer axles. For solving this problem I am grateful to Brawa for supplying two pairs of tyre free axles FOC, the V100 still pulls an appropriate number of coaches without tyres, so why fit them in the first place?

I do have a personal favourite from Brawa and I will hold it up as an example of model making at its best- the DR V15 is simply stunning and great value hence owners tend to hold onto them. It may be one of their cheaper models but it is a great model.

My remaining Brawa models function no better than later Fleischmann products, they are merely more expensive and rather delicate (owners of Lenz loks will know the same issue). I admire Brawa's painted finish on its rolling stock and it certainly sets its apart from pre-coloured plastic models but it really is no better than the finish of the much derided Liliput from the latest Chinese production.

My experiences may be unique on this forum but not within the greater community of modellers in Germany. My Brawa models are chosen for their applicability to the requirement on the layout and treated no differently to products from many other manufacturers, they are simply no better nor worse.
 

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I have to agree with Tim's comments on Brawa models. In my collection of around 170 locos, they have performed no more reliably than the other major brands. I have experienced broken parts on plastic valve gear and on flimsy tender coupling arrangements. Parts have been available but are ridiculously expensive.

The Lenz locos currently have 100% failure rate on delivery. In each case plastic parts have been detached or broken. However they have been probably the most detailed models and best runners of all the ready to run stock. Speaking to Lenz management at Warley they said they had tried to make the finest detailed models they could but had made them rather flimsy as a result.

The star reliability performers have been fleischmann with a ruggedness and quality that has been unique in my collection of 2 rail HO models. Of course other peoples' experience may be different.
 

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Hi,

It may be off the wall but why are we discussing Brawa's Customer Service? Surely the only reason that we need to contact customer care is if something fails, therefore the fact that we are discussing the performance of Brawa's Customer Service means that we have needed to use it and that their reliability may not be as good as the hype?

I agree with Custodian's comments about Fleischmann, moreover in 30+ years of modelling German railways the only reason that I have contacted Fleischmann is due to me over-oiling a motor (fixed FOC at an Expo) and to replace a handrail that I broke. As many of you might know, my Expo layouts have always been well endowed with Fleischmann locos and therefore the statistical chances of failure have been greater than most but I have never been let down by a Fleischmann loco.

Conversly....

Of the Brawa models I have owned both the BR65's suffered valve gear failure (one lost a coupling rod screw and the other was the plastic crosshead), the V100 would stall on some of my crossing V's until the traction tyre wheels were replaced, the S2/6 arrived with the wrong coloured driving wheels and had to be returned for a new chassis. The only faultless Brawa loco was a plain and simple DR V15.

If anyone would care to doubt my word, please consider that I have been contributing to Continental Modeller* since its inception and most of this forum has either seen or heard of my layouts that have attended over 100 Expos in the past 20 years. Therefore, I consider my judgement of what is reliable is fairly consistent and I must admit to having my favourites but surely this is understandable?

Tim

*Also Eisenbahn Journal, Rail NL, MIBA, Eisenbahn Magasin, Eisenbahn Kurier, Rail Minature Flash, etc.
 

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QUOTE (custodian @ 29 Dec 2008, 22:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The star reliability performers have been fleischmann with a ruggedness and quality that has been unique in my collection of 2 rail HO models. Of course other peoples' experience may be different.

QUOTE (72C @ 29 Dec 2008, 23:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I agree with Custodian's comments about Fleischmann, moreover in 30+ years of modelling German railways the only reason that I have contacted Fleischmann is due to me over-oiling a motor (fixed FOC at an Expo) and to replace a handrail that I broke. As many of you might know, my Expo layouts have always been well endowed with Fleischmann locos and therefore the statistical chances of failure have been greater than most but I have never been let down by a Fleischmann loco.

The old style 3-pole motor may not be a favourite of many people but it is extremely reliable &, in the even of doing so much work it should wear out every single part is replaceable - brushes, armature, gears ect - even in models 30+ years old.

As dealers we have only ever had one FLM loco faulty from new - a solder joint on a Cl24 had come adrift. The newer motors as fitted to the later OHE's do not have replaceable brushes but they seem to do a lot of running before requireing replacement.

They certainly do have a ruggedness that is IMHO only equalled by Marklin.
 
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