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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last few years there has been a trend to produce locomotives with ever more fine detail.

Now great care is needed with these models and Hornby have redesigned their packaging in the last year or two to permit items to be removed without actually having to push the item out of the packaging. The packaging sort of falls apart around the product. So clearly Hornby are conscious of this aspect.

Now the Thomas the Tank Engine range does not need packaging of this type. The locomotives are virtually indestructable.

However, they possibly are a bit light on detail for many.

So are we better served by having Hornby and Bachmann models with incredible amounts of detail, or should the industry have a rethink and focus on producing models that can be handled without the need for due care and attention?

And possibly in a different price bracket?

It might be that lower costs of development as a result of not having as much detail could result in the production of some of the obscure one off locomotives that have been requested.

Such as the City of Truro and the Duke of Gloucester.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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That is so spooky, as I was just about to write a similar post!!

Last week I purchased a Hornby class 47 and 58, and placed them on top of my chester drawers. They were out of their boxes on a piece of track, as I usually like to admire models for a few days.

Anyway, I was in my other bedroom and I heard a crash. A streak of black fur blazed across the landing and down the stairs. My heart sunk knowing what might have happened. Yes, my cat had jumped up, obviously trying to get at the piece of track overlying the edge of the drawers.

Both locos were lying in a sorry mess on the floor after a 1.2m fall! Or thats what I thought! The only damage the 58 suffered was a handrail that had popped out. The 47 suffered no damage at all. There were'nt even any impact marks!

So hats off to Hornby from me, for keeping production going of their older models, with evolutionary refinements over the years. A lot of people criticise the likes of the aging 37's, 47's etc but the market is there for durable, robust models. Super detailing is all very well, but it's best to just keep the bits to the plastic bag, to be added if desired.
 

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This is just a continuation of all the other topics that set lovers of detail against lovers of sturdy utilitarianism.

There are clearly markets for both and equally clear that the very differing requirements are mutually incompatible. Going either way will only provoke screams of criticism from the other camp. Trying to hit a 'happy medium' will probably provoke screeches of criticism from both camps!

The only ways a manufacturer can avoid all this nonsense is either to provide their models to two different standards or to set their policy to satisfy one of them and forget the other altogether.
 

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If this topic was put to a vote - I would certainly go for "Sturdiness".
Nothing can look worse than a locomotive that has lost several add on plastic cosmetic parts. These parts fail to add extra efficiency to the running of the locomotive - add parts by all means during manufacturing process and the pressing of the body plastic moulding.
My one wish, is the return of the locomotive metal chassis and cast bogies.
 

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Manufacturers tend to listen to those who are most vocal. And those who are most vocal have been demanding more and more detail and finer chassis work.

Wouldn't it be interesting if a manufacturer produced two versions at the same time of the same model.

One a super fine detailed version for £110, and one a basic robust version with less detail for £65.

Which one is going to do better?


In fact we have this choice at the moment but offered by two different manufacturers.

Bachmann do a Jinty that has lots of detail for about £48, and Hornby do a Jinty (reintroduced after 14 years!) that is robust for about £32. They can possibly be bought for less money if you shop around but the basic differential will be the same.

And are we going to have a Class 9F wars in 2006?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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For me they can add as much detail as they like, provided it comes in a plastic bag. Most important for me is the models running qualities and if people want more and more detail then let them add it from the plastic bag. I would have thought this would have been cheaper for the manufacturer too and possibly avoid quite a few tears on Christmas morning as little Johnny's new super detail Flying Scotsman, or whatever, sheds bits and pieces all over the living room carpet.
 

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I would vote for a well detailed model, either attached or in a parts bag, to be added as desired. The call over the last few years has been for better detailed models. I guess it is a natural thing to strive for better quality.
 

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I received my first ever 'super detailed' model today - a Hornby 09012 'Dick hardy'. I have to agree with everything in the 'review' section on this site for this model - simply incredible, astonishing etc etc.

But I have now found myself in an unfamiliar position. The model feels so delicate, one false move and something could break off. When rotating it through my fingers, it was difficult to handle in case you squashed a pipe or something.

This is one model that I will have to leave on the layout, rather than picking it up all the time. I really feel that it is inevitable that something will snap off due to their tiny size and fragility.

I was also intrigued with box and packaging. Nicely designed to help elimate breakages when taking out or putting in box, although I think I will pass on putting it back in!

One thing that struck me though was on the box it says 'not suitable for children of 3 years or younger'! Thats a
understatement isn't it? I would say it's not suitable for children full stop, or even some ham fisted adults for that matter!

So it raises that question of sturdiness v detail. Well as I've already said I like sturdy models, but after seeing this model, my appetite has been well and truly wettened for more suoer detailed models.

Funny though how a lot of people say just put the detailing bits in a bag (myself included). Well in this instance their is a bag of bits and bobs, but there is so much more pre fitted on the model!

In my opinion you cannot have the holy grail of a sturdy superdetailed model. It's one or the other I think. Theres definatley a place for both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE In my opinion you cannot have the holy grail of a sturdy superdetailed model

You can but at a price. And the price is probably several times more than most Hornby customers would be prepared to pay. Kit builders who construct locomotives out of white metal and brass create some very sturdy detailed lomomotives indeed. However you are talking 100's of hours of time and kits that are more expensive than a typical ready to run Hornby! And to be fair kit built locomotives more often than not have inferior running qualities (my own experiance). But the work of the kitbuilder is to be admired never the less.

In terms of the Class 08/09, and like every superdetailed plastic loco, you will pick up ways of handling the body without damaging the detail. Peco do produce a service cradle which permits you to place locomotives upside down without risk to detail. This helps with servicing and body removal and is highly recommended for those who, out of necessity, need to seperate bodies from chassis, or who require something that supports a chassis when upside down and servicing.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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An example of an add-on part, having bought a DMU set, the powered coach is fitted with uniformed driver. The driver certainly makes the unit look more realistic, until that is the driver somehow completely disappears without trace.
A few days later, a uniformed plastic figure was found near the track (minus legs),
could this be the missing driver? After further examination of the plastic model, it was indeed the driver. Closer examination of the DMU cabin, shows a narrow gap between the driving motor and the inside of the cabin - apparently during a run around the layout, the model driver must have slipped through the gap and on to the track.
 

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Had to smile at paul d's e-mail about the box saying not suitable for children under 3. I bought a Bachmann Class 66 at the Warley show, beautiful model, runs like a dream but on the back of the box it says 'Not suitable for children under 14'. If they keep this up it will be old age pensioners only, and then it will come in a plain brown paper bag from under the counter.
 

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QUOTE 'Not suitable for children under 14'

What about children over 14?

I suspect we have to blame you know who for the wording of these manadatory warnings.


And this sounds like a breach of human rights for children of 13!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 12 Nov 2005, 11:09)It might be that lower costs of development as a result of not having as much detail could result in the production of some of the obscure one off locomotives that have been requested.

Such as the City of Truro and the Duke of Gloucester.

The research costs of a model are the same whether it's highly detailed or basic,it's the tooling costs that would vary..

I would rather the manufacturers produce models that are mechanically well engineered with good running qualities, are dimensionally accurate in respect of their bodywork,and with a fidelity to the prototype appearance,than have a myriad of small fittings and gimmicky working features...

It is easier for the individual to detail up his own model,than to correct fundamental design flaws(The bodywork on certain Bachmann diesels springs readily to mind here!)-after all,-it's what the serious modeller has been doing for years!,-to create something that's personal to him,as well as altering the gauge to something more akin to the prototype at the same time.
This leads me on to another thing,(which may be expecting too much!)manufacturers of '00' should acknowledge the existence of the finer gauges and allow clearances for replacement wheelsets,with use of standard axle sizes,at the design stage.
 

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I have to disagree with Bob on the issue of detail in bags as i feel a loco comes half finished and its always the really fiddly bits that are left off, usually attached to a clumsily large sprue which leads to bits being broken before you even start. My other gripe with half finished detail is that some manufacturers seem to think we modellers have ESP so they don't need to put diagrams in to show where things go.
If manufacturers wish to put such fine detail on models then on a £100 loco shouldn't the majority of it be etched brass and whitmetal? On all my recent purchases even the handrails on the hornby steam locos are tacky looking plastic affairs.
Even as i type i've just looked at my white knight to see the pipe beneath the left handrail is actually in 2 pieces and isn't glued together.So that'll be going back then. Seems to be par for the course with hornby China's standard of adhesives.
 

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I think that Hornby has continually improved both the models and the packaging.
My latest 5 models from Hornby arrived all in perfect condition with the small parts and bits factory applied and carefully packed to withstand the demands of shipping from China to the UK and then to Austria.
Even after my clumsy finger had dismantled them (checking space for decoder and lubricating) there are still all parts on the model.

All are excellent runners. So I have maintenance friendly super detail models with first class running at prices that make my friends modelling continental stuff jealous. And I do not have to pay a hefty surcharge for factory applied weathering - thank you Hornby!

Thomas
 

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Maybe i just seen to get all the seconds. Maybe i should change my supplier. Maybe hornby stuff can't man being sent half way round the world to the same extent as bachmann.
Though saying that the wife bought me a heljan class 57 thunderbird and 2 of what i assume to be the sandboxes on the outside of the bogies dropped off when i picked it up, they don't glue them on as its that waxy plastic so they push it through the sideframe and melt the end over very professional!
 

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In recent topic reads, it was apparent that members of this Forum were divided on the importance of "detail" being the most seeked after, on new models from all the top manufacturers.
Yesterday was clean up session on my layout - after completing this task, I was left with a small variety of pieces of debris. Checking over contents of the debris, I was most surprised to see small detailed plastic parts and after further examination, these plastic parts were obvious - detailed plastic add-ons fitted by the manufacturers as "details" on the locomotives - however the problem was what part belonged to which locomotive, as all locos have traversed over the layout for some time. It proved however, these "detailed parts" were not adequately fixed securely to the locomotive when assembled on the production line.
All parts have been kept, as no doubt, it is hoped each part will be reunited with the correct locomotive.
 

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Why use plastic for handrails when metal looks so much better, is more robust and just gives an air of quality in my opinion. I have several older loco's from various manufacturers which have them as standard such as an ancient mainline J72 and a warship. To use plastic is a step backwards in my opinion. I supose they'll say its down to cost but if you pay £100+ for a loco surely you should expect the best?You can have detail which is sturdy it has been done before.
 

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The plastic parts I was referring too, were mostly in my opinion air pipes and brakes - to glue them back on will according to size require nimble fingers and excellent eye sight and not forgetting the correct locomotive!
 
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