There seem to be a circular argument going on here.
We have a plastic body, made in more than one piece, that breaks - easily.
This is immediately blamed on ham-fisted post office workers in a bid to deflect any possible criticism that might be attached to either the basic design or the workmanship of this obviously very delicate plastic model. Is there any evidence that it was dropped in transit? Was the packaging adequate? Was the packaging damaged? Was there any sign of damage to the loco when it was unpacked? At this point we do not know and should not leap to unjustified conclusions.
QUOTE I now insist on an insured delivery for all diecast locomotive products and put fragile stickers around the outside of the box.
Strange how I don't need to do this for the majority of plastic locomotives!
Strange indeed, as it completely contradicts what appears to have happened to the plastic review model! Surely no one could possibly think that plastic is tougher than metal? To which one really must add that diecast locos maintain their value largely on the basis that they have maintained their bodily integrity.
It seems pretty obvious that a two-piece boiler is absolutely asking for trouble at the inherently weak joint and that that particular mishap simply could not have happened if the boiler had been manufactured as a single piece. It would have been even less likely to happen if it had been made of metal in a single piece.
The implication that Marklin's difficulties are a result of their bodies being diecast metal, as opposed to plastic, is amusingly simplistic! Their difficulties are considerably more complex than that.
Other than the unfortunate split boiler incident, the Scotsman appears to be a very fine model indeed and one that I would be delighted to own myself. But it highlights yet again the manufacturer's difficulty in providing fine detail and attachements while still maintaining an adequate degree of kid-proofness. (or even Doug-proofness!)
In my opinion, that two piece boiler is a basic design decision that results in a very obvious vulnerability and I would agree that it could be most helpful to Hornby that they be made aware of what happened so that future models might avoid suffering the same fate.