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Not very fond of traction tyres either, so I will not be buying either loco. I quite like the Schools class but not with traction tyres. This is based on previous loco's that were purchased with traction tyres that proved more trouble than they were worth. It is a personel thing, so modellers like them and some don't - live and let live.
However, there is one point that seems to have been forgotton. When (not IF) the traction tyres fail and need replacing, there will be a lot of modellers out there struggling to pull apart the valve gear, as on the Schools class only to bend the connecting rod or damage other parts of the valve gear.
The amount of debate that has taken place about some modellers have trouble removing a loco body to fit a decoder, without damaging delicate detail, leads me to think that there will be quite an uproar when expensive loco's have their delicte valve gear damaged. Hornby rose to this challenge and supplied models with or without a decoder.
I think Hornby has not learned from its mistakes and thought this through to its inevitable conclusion: - lots of damaged loco's and upset customers.

Cheers Manfred
 

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QUOTE (RFS @ 28 Jan 2009, 21:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Manfred - let's not discourage Hornby and others from producing models like this. The problem with these 4-4-0s (and indeed the M7 0-4-4) is getting enough weight over the driving wheels to provide the adhesion in our small gauge. My M7 struggles with more than 3 Maunsell coaches so it's only fit for branch-line work, rather than for station pilot duty which I had intended - that's now a 2-6-4 tank. You can't pack the front of the boiler with weight as that reduces the weight over the drivers. Hornby have explained in detail that there is no real alternative to traction tyres other than a motorised tender, which the previous version of the Schools had. I'm sure we don't want to go back to that, so I'll put up with tyres for having the model in the first place. I do want some variety on my layout - ie I don't want all 6-coupled (or more) engines only. Perhaps Hornby will provide a service to replace tyres at a reasonable cost.

Of course, if you're in to modern image and like the idea of having a Schools on railtour duty with a reasonable load, you could always plonk a diesel on the back and run as a "double-header" ....


Hi RFS

I am not trying to discourage Hornby at all. Their are other alternatives that they may not have considered. Hornby may have missed a couple of obvious solutions.
Firstly, with the decoder fitted in the tender, Hornby could still put extra weight in the tender and let the weighted tender put weight on the drawbar which in turn would provide more traction for the locomotive. This will allow the front of the boiler to be packed with weight. Just a thought (the finescale guys have been doing this for ages)

Secondly, Hornby could put the motor in the tender and use a shft drive to power the locomotive in a similar manner that Dapol use on their N gauge locomotives. This allows for more weight in the locomotive. OO is large enough to allow the shaft drive to go below the cab so as not to interfere with the fine cab detail. Again the European manufacturers have been doing this sort of thing for quite some time.

Cheers Manfred
 

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An interesting comment about the word "Toy"

For years, the 70's, 80's and some of the 90's, when Hornby items were reviewed in the model press and criticised by modellers, for not being more detailed or having coarse wheels, Hornby's get out of jail card was " We are not a manufacture of scale models, but a toy a manufacturer". Some time in the late 90's their position changed to that of a manufacturer of scale models. There reasoning at the time was that their customer base had become mainly modellers and not children, as well as competative pressure from Bachmann, who were producing models superior to Hornby's. Hornby still catered for the toy market with train sets that included models with less detail. Hornby also introduced the Thomas The Tank Engine range and has introduced the Railroad range for the toy end of the market.
The problem as I see it is, that some people are not prepared to pay for a top quality model (as opposed to a toy), so when Hornby caves in to these people and produce to a price, these same people are the first ones to complain about faults, or compromises that have been made just to keep the price down. There are a lot of modellers who want top quality models at toy train prices. Sadly chaps that is not going to happen.
There is another classic example. Lima models were manufactured to a set price, which is why we were stuck with dodgy ringfield drives and traction tyres, on the plus side the bodies were quite good for their time. Once Bachmann and then later Hornby brought out models with a double ended drive, even though the price was higher, most modelllers abandoned Lima models. Their is a market out there for high end "models" and modellers are willing to pay the price for that level of quality. If you want lower prices then you can buy the "Toy" railroad range.
Having said all that, Hornby still have some work to do to weed out the poorer items in their range and move them over to the Railroad range where they belong.

Cheers Manfred
 

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Thanks Neil

Just had another thought and Neil you can correct me if my information is wrong
Isn't one of the European manufacturers producing two types of the one model. One for the high end market with all the bells and whistles and the same model with not so many refinements at a lower price. (I am talking about new release models here, not as what Hornby is doing with its new A3 and putting the older tooling in the Railroad range).

As Hornby have entered the European market, I wonder to what extent they monitor their competition?

Cheers Manfred
 
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