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This topic has been chewed over again on MREmag. What does not seem to be included in the debate is where it is and is not appropriate. Fine to have an unflanged wheel in Railroad, that's for the toyshop and R1 curves. But is it appropriate on models? I see that the contagion has now spread to the Duchess and MN. Hornby's only UK market competitor has done the trick of fixed frames and a flanged wheelset on the A1, but Hornby seem set on propagating their blunt instrument. I do hope Bachmann get a move on with renewing their A4 (and maybe doing an A3 too) to the standard of the Jubilee. Much as I like the idea of the d/c + coal rail tender A3 in Hornby's 2008 range, it is only acceptable at a deeply discounted price, because of this crude toy legacy compromise, and the work entailed in replacing it with something that looks right.

I am not sure this point is appreciated at Hornby. I have yet to find a modeller that likes the flangeless rear truck, and many have like myself modified the offending item. This has been communicated to Hornby, but taking their actions as a reply the answer is 'more of the same'.
 

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It was flangeless centre drivers that was one of the reasons for me going "over the water" back in the 70's. IMHO there is no excuse whatsover of having flangless wheels anywhere on a detailed model (unless, of course the real thing had flangeless drivers).

If I were still modelling the UK scene it would be unacceptable to me, even more so now that large OO model locomotives have exceeded the £100 a go barrier.
 

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It honestly doesn't bother me too much. Where does the reality end and the toy train begin?

Are we going to start complaining that the suspension is just moulded on to the chassis? Why can't they provide miniature live-steam boilers, valves and pipework on all the models along with the realistic pony trucks?

Modelling is all about compromise. Does a plain rear pony truck that swings out by 10mm to the side when the model is running around a 20" radius curve look prototypic?

Is it better to fix the pony truck and give it a little more modelled detail?
 

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I don't have a problem with flangeless wheels. Having a true scale loco with all flanged wheels and realistic end float is all well and good if you've got true scale turnouts and curves to go with it. But as most of us are pushed to fit in anything then peco medium rad turnouts and 36" rad curves - which is about a 70 metres rad curve in real life - we need to compromise somewhere.

Most of us are in the hobby to run trains. No point having a great looking loco if it jumps off the tracks at each turnout and curve...
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 21 Jan 2008, 16:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..Modelling is all about compromise. Does a plain rear pony truck that swings out by 10mm to the side when the model is running around a 20" radius curve look prototypic?

Is it better to fix the pony truck and give it a little more modelled detail?
But, and it is a big but, this is a totally unnecessary compromise. A better arrangement will deliver the fixed frames and the detail, and a flanged wheelset. The most recent Hornby production I have is the Britannia. The Hornby wheelset mounted in an inside bearing pony truck runs inside the fixed external frames, with all the detail in place. Haven't tested its' limits but it is fine down to 24". My Bachmann A1's have run on a friends 2nd radius set track perfectly satisfactorily, and that is one of the longest wheelbase classes. If it is possible on the A1...
 

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There are a number of things with the Hornby chassis which need to be resolved before this issue of fixed pony wheels.

1. The transmitting of current from the pick ups is by pressure of the base plate. Looking at recent Hornby releases every single base plate is suffering some type of distortion. All too frequently, this results in damage to the pick ups in the area where the pin from the chassis contacts the pick up. It's such a poor system. A simple revision would be simple soldering of a wire to each pick up and running this up through the chassis. This would transform this chassis and make it much more reliable.

2. The tender coupling is a potential nightmare, just about every tender loco has this problem. It isn't a problem with DC but with DCC it results in erratic running. It's time the plug used on the Britannia became the new standard, it looks better and performs better.

3. It may be a coincidence but I find more motors suffering from problems, and I've had to replace two since Christmas one was on a brand new loco, which simply seized into a solid lump after a few minutes running.

4. I think poor quality returns from dealers are finding there way in to the market, via Hornby selling to traders on Ebay, for this reason I no longer buying stock for sound installations on Ebay.

5. Locomotive back to backs appear to have improved recently. The attention given to back to backs on tenders, and pick ups being in contact with wheel backs has gone backwards. Almost 100% of tenders are at fault. Moulding faults on the inside of tenders is a problem with the black 5, 8F, Duchess, the moulded hook, that hooks and clips to the tender weight, is now very poor, or ineffective. A second screw in the tender will give far more satisfactory results.

Returning to the issue of pony flange less pony trucks, clearly this manufacturer has identified a huge saving in manufacturing costs, and is determined to apply this to each and every model possible. It probably looks acceptable on a 3ft radius curve and above, but on train set curves, it's like a return to three rail. Perhaps that will be their next advancement !
 

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QUOTE (34C @ 21 Jan 2008, 15:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This topic has been chewed over again on MREmag. What does not seem to be included in the debate is where it is and is not appropriate. Fine to have an unflanged wheel in Railroad, that's for the toyshop and R1 curves. But is it appropriate on models? I see that the contagion has now spread to the Duchess and MN. Hornby's only UK market competitor has done the trick of fixed frames and a flanged wheelset on the A1, but Hornby seem set on propagating their blunt instrument. I do hope Bachmann get a move on with renewing their A4 (and maybe doing an A3 too) to the standard of the Jubilee. Much as I like the idea of the d/c + coal rail tender A3 in Hornby's 2008 range, it is only acceptable at a deeply discounted price, because of this crude toy legacy compromise, and the work entailed in replacing it with something that looks right.

I am not sure this point is appreciated at Hornby. I have yet to find a modeller that likes the flangeless rear truck, and many have like myself modified the offending item. This has been communicated to Hornby, but taking their actions as a reply the answer is 'more of the same'.

Sorry 34C on this I got to disagree with you. I admire Hornby and Bachmann's initiatives on this one - Both solutions are acceptable. True the Hornby one less correct. But leaps and bounds better than predecessors. I'm a fan of A1's, A3's and A4's. To ask for bachmann of a retooled A4 or/and A3 is a surprise as the Hornby one is so good lining and livery applcation top drawer. So please Bachmann no more duplication, but if you really want an A2 or A2/3 would be very nice.

The trailing truck isn't an issue for me and only visible on the closest inspections.
 

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QUOTE Out of interest does anybody have a picture of the trailing wheelset design that Bachmann has fitted on the A1?

I could take one but there will be a delay while I charge a set of NiMH batteries. If someone else can load one sooner than tomorrow evening, please go ahead and do so.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (davidw @ 21 Jan 2008, 19:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry 34C on this I got to disagree with you. I admire Hornby and Bachmann's initiatives on this one - Both solutions are acceptable. True the Hornby one less correct. But leaps and bounds better than predecessors. I'm a fan of A1's, A3's and A4's. To ask for bachmann of a retooled A4 or/and A3 is a surprise as the Hornby one is so good lining and livery applcation top drawer. So please Bachmann no more duplication, but if you really want an A2 or A2/3 would be very nice.
No request element here, Bachmann have announced an intent to renew all their split chassis types, including the A4.
 

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I realize that I'm new to this (been modeling for about 8 years), but from what I have read there seems to be a "loud small minority?" demanding high quality, finely detailed models and picking to pieces anything that is wrong.
Now I am not saying that making the manufactures aware of mistakes or increasing the quality of models is wrong. But I am wondering if it is in response to the demands of higher detail that Hornby have gone down the road that they have. You have to admit (well I think so) that on a straight track the rear pony truck looks fantastic!
Now my biggest beef is the loco to tender gap!
 

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I don't have strong feelings on this matter other than I think the current method Hornby use is acceptable to me. I understand that its not prototypical, but then neither is the electric motor in the firebox...you have to draw the line somewhere and for me, currently its in the right place. I can happily tolerate the rear pony truck as is, but I couldn't tolerate flangeless centre drivers, for example.

Rob
 

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QUOTE (34C @ 22 Jan 2008, 01:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>(and maybe doing an A3 too)
Duplication.


I am content with the present situation.
 

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My purely personal view,
I suspect that Hornby must have a Market Research Dept, and I suspect they know that the large majority of it's customers are like me, I just want to enjoy a train running round my model while I get on with things like buildings and scenery.
And anything that helps the poor little engine to cope with my less than perfect track laying is (for me) a good thing.
I suspect a few moans from 'rivet counters' is easier for Hornby than a deluge of complains of poor operation from us less than perfect modellers.
But of course i could well be wrong!
 

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Strangely enough I was watching a Hornby Brit on a layout at the weekend and have to say that if it had not been for this topic I would not have realised about the pony truck - when on a layout this feature is barely noticeable.

Regards
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 22 Jan 2008, 13:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Strangely enough I was watching a Hornby Brit on a layout at the weekend and have to say that if it had not been for this topic I would not have realised about the pony truck - when on a layout this feature is barely noticeable.
I was testing my Britannia out last night, after finally getting around to replacing the split gear on it, and Dad commented that the trailing truck wheelset had de-railed as it was going around a 3rd radius curve...

I personally am happy with the compromise that Hornby have come up with, although I may try and play with the design if and when I get around to modifying the model to represent the preserved version (should really start off with a more representative model but beggars can't be choosers!).

Regards,

Dan
 

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QUOTE (Duztee @ 22 Jan 2008, 23:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My purely personal view,
I suspect that Hornby must have a Market Research Dept, and I suspect they know that the large majority of it's customers are like me, I just want to enjoy a train running round my model while I get on with things like buildings and scenery.
And anything that helps the poor little engine to cope with my less than perfect track laying is (for me) a good thing.
I suspect a few moans from 'rivet counters' is easier for Hornby than a deluge of complains of poor operation from us less than perfect modellers.
But of course i could well be wrong!
I am afraid you are not wrong. This is exactly what I heard from the horses mouth. Hornby know exactly who the majority of their customers are and these customers are their prime focus.
 

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Here is the photo of the A1 pony truck mounting as promised:-
Automotive tire Bumper Rim Motor vehicle Machine tool
There is some side play and the mounting rocks on a central pivot

Here is a low level close shot of how it looks from the outside:-
Train Motor vehicle Wheel Rolling stock Vehicle

Here is a low level close shot of Hornby's A3 with the flangeless pony wheel set:-
Train Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling stock

And finally, a low level close shot of Hornby's A3 with the flanged pony wheel set:-
Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Motor vehicle

David
 

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