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There is a re-occuring theme at the moment among modellers and that is have Hornby, Bachmann and others gone too far in the quest for detail and accuracy and have they forgotten the practical aspects of actually running the trains on wobbly track with tight curves and steep gradients and long loads with owners who actually may want to pick the models up!

We currently have a trend of flangeless pony wheels which Chris Leigh in Model Rail picked up on in his editorial this month. Others have noted the fixed pony axle and the issues that arrise as a result of trains going up and down gradients and tender pick up connections shorting. And then there is the appearance of the white pipes on the latest Britannia models which apparently are prototypical accurate as built but after one steaming the pipes on the prototype changed colour to one that we are all more familar with! This pipe thing is one I cannot get my head around and Hornby are toning this down on future models.

And then we have a release of new Hornby models that, unlike their former Lima counterparts, cannot pull the skin off a rice pudding. Surely priority number one is to offer a loco that can pull a good rake of 10 coaches minimum?

Basically this is a request to go back to the good old days when we were offered locos that could run on radius 1 curves, could pull a decent rake of coaches or wagons, could go up and down gradients with ease, had solid stable engineered running gear, had wheels with flanges that did not eject the coaches and wagons from the track, and couplers that provided enough clearance on curves for buffers, and loco/tender gaps that were OK for tight curves, and bogies that had some lateral movement so that they could run on uneven track, and with solid detail that would stand the 100 mm drop test, that looked as if they actually did some work, with a level of detail that you can see when things are moving at 70mph., etc etc (anything else that anybody wants to add in fact).

When you think about it its all very well the editor of Model Rail reminding us how things used to be.

Its his editorial staff and reviewers that are entirely to blame for current events!


Are Hornby and Bachmann suddenly suffering a backlash as a result of having gone too far to satisfy the whims of a tiny minority who sit their locos on the shelf?


The new Hornby Railroad range more than likely will not have any of the issues described above and as a result the appeal of the range may be far wider than Hornby have assumed! It is a range for practical people who run railways and not for collectors who place models on the shelf for show.

OK. Thats got my grumpiness off my chest.

Does anybody else feel a bit grumpy right now?

Or are those who hanker for the old days actually in the minority!

Don't get me wrong. I am all for the fantastic new models and detail but not at the expense of the ease and practicalities of running and handling. And this is what is very much overlooked by those journalists who report on new models and who have so much influence on the manufacturers.

Funny thing is Marklin and Fleischmann seem to deliver on the practical side of things even with the high level of detail. How do European journalists who review their models react to any compromise to permit models to operate under all conditions?


The classic Hornby period seemed to be 2000-2003 as there were a number of superdetailed models released that did actually run very well on train set type layouts (R1 curves excepted) and had the right balance of detail and running qualities with bodies that were relatively easy to remove. I'm thinking Bulleids and Princesses. From 2004 onwards the balance seems to have tipped in favour of those who demand even more detail and tighter gaps at the expense of the more practical aspects.

Hornby are very successful at the moment so they are doing things right.

Maybe its just me!


Happy modelling
Gary

PS my interests happen to be steam. I suspect that many of the comments made to not apply to D & E models. I may turn to the modern outline and take an interest in D & E if it means that things operate without constraint, the bodies are easy to remove and replace, and they are easy to pick up. I don't have too much practical experience in this area with the latest models.
 

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Being constructive every loco and item of rolling stock should satisfy the following performance and appearance criteria:-

1) not stall on set track points at any speed.
2) pull a minimum of 10 coaches.
3) navigate 1st radius curves without buffer or body fouling
4) pull a minimum of 5 coaches up a 1:20 incline on a curve
5) not derail if track is uneven by 2mm along 300mm on a curve
6) have a body that can be removed in under 60 seconds
7) have bogies that will navigate curved points and switchover point sets in both directions without derailing
8) be able to be dropped from 100mm without damage
9) have flanges on all wheels
10) have a wired plug in connection to tender if tender has pick ups
11) have an appearance that resembles our memories of the loco when it pulled into a station
12) have motion gear that will operate for 100 hours without loss of screws
13) have detailing parts that will accept 2kg of pressure without breaking
14) be fitted with couplings that permit stock to travel on 1st radius curves

If each locomotive model and item of rolling stock can satisfy these criteria then it will match what was offered to us in the 1970's and 1980's (point 1 excepted)!


Every magazine which receives review samples should apply the drop test and a 2kg crusher test! I want to know what happens when my brand new locomotive has an accident or is picked up with normal handling practices.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS I will not be happy if Code 75 track has influenced the thinking of the manufacturers in any way. Code 75 track modellers can make their own arrangements if that is their track of choice. My view is we would not be in the situation we are now in if Code 75 track had not been invented with the resultant need for tiny flanges! If Code 100 is good enough for German modellers it is good enough for British modellers! More grumpiness!
 

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If track needs to be redesigned so be it. If there is to be a big DCC push in the UK we cannot mess about with track that causes stalling or locos that take more than 60 seconds to remove a body.

My experiance of German models (Marklin) is that they already offer all or nearly all of the above criteria incuding the durability tests and 1st radius curve criteria. If its good enough for the Germans why isn't it good enough for the British? More grumpyness!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>Does anybody else feel a bit grumpy right now?
Yes, but it has nothing to do with model railways, that's how I deal with being Grumpy.


David
 

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Grumpy! The thing that gets me grumpy is coupling , i expect it has been moaned about on here before but ............ RAAAAA ........it just winds me up , I have a modern uk layout with lots of the new locos and stuff by all different companys, and no matter how smooth and level my track is they still do not stay coupled . Bring back the old style i say ! They may be ugly and look totally stupid but they were big enough and heavy enough to stay coupled and you could set back into sidings with long trains and not have wagons going in all directions because the piddley couplings could not handle the weight and get tangled !
Anyway thats that off my chest !

Oh and just another little thing about the nice super detail models , ive given up putting on all the fancy pipes and snow plows because they keep getting bashed of by wagons that have come uncoupled from previous trains !

Hope this adds to the grumpy old men issue !


But i still cant wait for the hornby 56!
 

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Gary, I would agree with most of what you say. The problem may well be that they are listening to the wrong whingers. Some of the criticisms I have heard are about locos having traction tyres. I honestly don't see how you can expect a small lightweight loco to pull anything with out the aid of traction tyres to give it's wheels purchase on the rails. Small wheel flanges, now while they may be more prototypical, the reality is that you will have far more derailments. Is that really what you want?

I have a selection of both British, German and US models and am well aware of the differences. The US outline is too hard to run on small layouts in my opinion. While I can comfortably run it now on my new layout I would say that if you have any curves under a metre forget it. The quest for scale accuracy has made US outline very poor runners. Unless you are prepared to lay your track flawlessly you will have problems. I have found that when running coaches you spend all your time modifying the coaches to get then to run right rather than running them.

The German outline is the other end of the scale. Maerklin specifically have realtively large wheel flanges and while this would create shivers running up the spine of the model rail pedant it means that they never derail. This good for people who want to run trains rather than maintain them

I want my models to run continuously with me having to fart around putting them back on the track and this my experience of US outline. I wont buy any US locos now.

With the detail thing, where Maerklin differ from Hornby is that Maerklin trains have metal bodies and their add on details are metal too. These are securely attached to the body. Fine detail just wont last if it is made of plastic and glued on.

Traction is also increased by the weight of the metal bodies too. UK outline locos are too light, they need more weight.

You can have fine detailed models that run efficiently. This is proven by the fact that German outline do. Because UK locos are small and made of plastic they are light weight. Weight is probably the biggest problem that Hornby locos have. If they increase the weight they will have better traction. Removing traction tyres is not a good idea either. It reduces the pulling power of a loco dramatically. You can only get away with this with big US locos that have substantial weight.

I do feel that Hornby listening to the pedants too much has negatively affected the running ability of UK outline. It is not nearly as bad as US outline but if they keep listening to the pedants it could be.

I think it's quite reasonable that if you are paying about a hundred quid for a loco then you want it to last. The current Hornby models, while well detailed are too fragile and the detail parts can in some instances be blown off. I think they want to make them stronger. Maerklin and Brawa make their models out of Zinc which is strong and will not corrode. Why don't Hornby do this too?

I suppose the accuracy thing versus functionality is what we were discussing on the other thread. If you want operational efficiency then you have to have some compromises. If you are not prepared to have any compromises then you are going to have to spend a lot of money or make everything yourself.

I also have to say that while the old Hornby couplers were ugly as sin they were and are some of the most efficient available.

While I would agree that D & E are better look at the pantographs that the GNER 225 have



I want better models but not at the cost of them being crap runners. My models are to be run and not sit in cases.
 

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To my mind, the message is quite simple: there are a lot of us who need to up their standards and move forwards.

Graham Plowman
 

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I don't expect there will ever be a situation where all modellers agree. That's what makes us human! All the manufacturers can do is try to service what they think is the middle ground. They will stuff up sometimes and if they do and rectify it let's acknowledge that. (Russell take note!)
But if we have a situation where the manufacturer after weighing up the situation does something we don't like deal with it! On the wearisome subject of pony trucks: HORNBY LEAVE THEM AS THEY ARE. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THE STATUS QUO! If people decide not to buy a Brit or RB that's their modelling that becomes less satisfying. Why? BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GET ONE FROM
ANYONE ELSE! In fact if you alter it I won't buy them! Actually I will as I thoroughly enjoy what I do .
I am happy to be a "train setter" and any modelling I do other than that is my choice.
Grumpy enough for everyone!
 

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Gary your list of demands is very amusing. i would love to see someone build any loco that would conform to those specifications!

you want an 0-4-0 that weighs about a kilo with a fully compensated chassis with perfect pickups and practically no detailing.

may i recommend a block of lead with wheels?

I think the title of this thread was very apt.

Peter
 

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On the subject of cartezian/pony truck wheels
If a company like Hornby who are trying to give us more accurate models cannot design a cartezian/pony truck that will work with flanged wheels then they are not as committed to giving more accurate models than they make out.

Pete
 

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I must admit i am looking forward to the basic range from Hornby "railroad i think it is called". Dont get me wrong the stuff they are making now looks very good and is miles away from the stuff in the 80s but i just cannot afford it. I always asumed there was an invisible line drawn and the people who wanted the high detail on the models would modify them themselves because that was the part of the hobby they enjoyed the most. This now seems to not be the case. But Hornby are going to do the basic range Great!.
All the supermarkets do the same thing Sainsburys call it basics. It is going to supprise a lot of people, it is a very clever approach. Everyone who models has some parts they enjoy and some they do not and we are all different. Ill shut up now
 

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QUOTE (55 going on 5 @ 8 Feb 2007, 10:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..........but Hornby are going to do the basic range Great!.
All the supermarkets do the same thing Sainsburys call it basics. It is going to supprise a lot of people.....

That'll be Hornby "No frills" then!!

However not sure if I qualify as a grumpy old man as I'm not quite 49!

Regards

John
 

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Hmm...

Deep breath

Some of this is I think wide of the mark

1) As already noted , anything with 4 or 6 wheels will tend to stall on dead frog points at low speed. Been there , done that, and I personally will not tolerate anything less than Electrofrog for precisely this reason. I do own a very small shunting layout - and it was deadfrog Setrack points and Lima locos that killed Ravenser Mk1

I'm a modern image or "D+E" modeller. In the Bad Old Days of the last century, almost anything would stall on a dead frog cos they all had 2 wheel pick up each side - one side of the motor bogie , and the other side of the trailing bogie. They couldn't have all wheel pick up , because the wheels on one side were very effectively insulated by traction tyres

Now we have 8 wheel pick up on all recent diesels, and also current production DMUs (including the Lima re-releases. We also have tender pickup on some Hornby steam. Reliable running has been dramatically improved

2). Do we really expect a small tank engine to haul 10 Mk1s?? The Triang M7 couldn't - so I think it unreasonable to damn the new M7 on this ground

The old generation of diesels and electrics couldn't do this. Neil knows what his cl 91 will (or rather won't) shift - and that's typical of the breed

The current generation of diesel models , with centre motor/double bogie drive, will pull far more than their 20th century predecessors. (Yes , there is a problem with the small motor bogie now fitted to the ex Lima 73 - it hasn't got the guts for long trains and is only really suited to DMUs . That's one , reissued, loco)

3) This is a non-starter with any C3 restriction coaching stock (Mk3s, 23m DMUs etc).

I honestly do not think 14.5" radius curves are necessary, and the current limitation to 2nd radius curves (18") is perfectly acceptable to me. (Visually 18" is unacceptable , and close to unworkable with Kadees - I'd be aiming for min 2') I certainly would not accept compromised "shortie" coaches to get round 1st radius curves - and nor would the rest of the D+E market , which is why Hornby had to tool up a scale length Mk3 about 7or 8 years ago if they wished to compete with the Lima Mk3

4) I think you will find very few if any RTR locos from the 70s and 80s could pull 5 up a 1 in 20 gradient. You stand a far better chance with today's diesels

5) Bad track will always be a problem with rigid chassis locos

6) Say 120 seconds and I might well agree with you, at least as a desired standard

7) Nothing will permit long modern vehicles to pass through 18" reverse curves at speed with 100% reliablity, especially where coarse pointwork is in use.

Sorry , but if you are laying crossovers I suggest that nothing tighter than Peco Streamline small radius should be used, and medium radius if possible. This will add 2" or 4" to the length of a crossover - very rarely is that a killer when designing a layout

But having the points built to a proper - less coarse - track standard would improve the reliability of running. Setrack is simply too coarse for reliable running

8) I'm afraid I prefer not to maltreat my models.

9) Yes but - sometimes the prototypes had flangeless wheels (9Fs)

10) Yes

11) Not sure the issue here ?

12) Yes

13) see 7

14) Sorry , but I don't much like tension locks and this is saying they have to be the only option. NEM pockets please and then we can all agree to disagree

code 75 track does not require tiny flanges. Yes 1960s Triang and 1980s Lima was a bit too deep for code 75 but flange depth was only an issue with these.

I have to say that my experience of US outline - and that of many others - has been completely different from Neil's . It runs far more reliably than older British RTR and it will certainly take curves down to 2' radius . This is specifically a comment on US diesels. I['ve seen plenty of US switching layouts using RTR stock and commercial track down to 2' radius running flawlessly at shows.

The first time I ever operated a layout under exhibition conditions , it was the club's then US layout. The difference between that and the "performance" of my own stuff - Setrack points , traction tyres and the rest - was so great that at the end of the day I felt like junking my own home layout and stock because trying to make it work at all was so painful

Ever tried shunting with a Hornby 06 across Setrack points? Now try a Hornby 08 across code 75 electrofrog
 

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You must have been up all night doing that.

QUOTE I have to say that my experience of US outline - and that of many others - has been completely different from Neil's . It runs far more reliably than older British RTR and it will certainly take curves down to 2' radius . This is specifically a comment on US diesels. I['ve seen plenty of US switching layouts using RTR stock and commercial track down to 2' radius running flawlessly at shows I should really have been more specific, I was only talking about US steam with passenger coaches. goods wagon are ok. Stuff like Big Boy has difficulty. The coaches, which are exactly scale length, made by Branchline have too much detail around the couplers which inhibits their ability to turn on anything less than a metre radius. Maybe less detailed coaches can do smaller radii?
 

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This sounds like a coupler problem , not a problem with scale length coaches.

Personally I'd do what was necessary to enable the couplers to cope, including removing end detail that causes fouling and possibly including replacing the couplers with Kadees

I'm assuming the coaches concerned are 12" /300mm long - this would equate them with Mk3s and 23m EMUs , and these can certainly be got round 2' radius if long Kadees are used

Where compromises are concerned , I'd be ready to lose a bit of pipework on the ends to get things round a sensible curve - to me this is infinitely more acceptable than shortening the whole vehicle

From the Toy Fair photos , Hornby have had to reduce the fairing under the nose of their Pendolino to get it round 18" curves . I'm not going to criticise that - if it troubles you , and you have more generous radii , then it can be fixed with plasticard , but having Pendolinos , to scale length is a great assest - you'll never scratchbuild one.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 7 Feb 2007, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>While I would agree that D & E are better look at the pantographs that the GNER 225 have



That's a pantograph is it? I thought someone had glued a couple of bits of silver painted sprue onto the roof!!

Seriously though this sort of cheapskate finishing detail should make us all very grumpy indeed.

Regards

John
 

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If Hornby actually manage to fit a decent pantograph on the Pendolino , it'll be a (welcome) first....

The 91 is early 90s tooling, well before Hornby decided that the future lay in higher quality models for railway modellers rather than compromised models designed with one eye on the trainset market.

We've had decent new generation OO models of pretty well every significant diesel class, and plenty of fines steam engines. But electrics - nothing

On the Continent , overhead electrics seem to be viewed as mainstream subjects and there are plenty of models up there with the best standards of the day.

The failure of the British manufacturers to offer anything for those of us who are interested in electric traction is becoming a sore point.

We had great hopes that Vi-Trains were surely going to do the first decent electric loco. But no - a cheap 37 - of which we already have 2 models , one which is good from Bachmann and one which is ancient from Hornby.

Please don't treat the elderly Hornby 91 as typical of current OO RTR. Its a model that badly needs updating - although Hornby could usefully start updating their electrics with the more numerous and longer lived 86

Ibn the last 10-12 years just 2 new electrics have been tooled up in British outline - any scale - : the Hornby Eurostar and the Hornby Pendolino.....
 
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