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In another topic there is a discussion revolving around "quality".

Yet we have not defined what quality means!

We may all have a view on what quality means to us.

There are some for whom quality means a model with a motor that can be serviced and parts that are easily removed and replaced kit style.

There are others for whom quality means a model that is prototypically accurate.

There may be a clash of cultures and what represents quality to one nation and one person may not to another.

So we do really need to define what we mean by quality.

Only then can manufacturers produce the perfect model that satisfies everybody!

Happy modelling
Gary

PS is it about meeting customer expectation? If a model is capable of pulling 4 coaches and no more then if it stated this as part of a "Performance Specification" on the packaging would you be happy?


Car manufacturers offer performance figures. There is absolutely no reason why model railway manufacturers could not do the same.
 

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Maybe Model Rail Forum could develope a performance table for model locomotives with information drawn from members?

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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OK, I´ll start:

Quality means to me that the engine should be as prototypically accurate as possible. If wheel flanges require a longer wheelbase for the engine to operate properly, that would be OK with me. If it is shortened or lengthened to fit on an existing wheelbase (cf. Märklin/Trix´s Hercules diesel on a class 185 underbody), then that is not OK in my book.

The model should include as many seperate handrails, grabirons, pumps, valves and other whatchamacallits as were/are on the prototype engine. No, or only few, cast-on details, please. Please make them the variety that doesn´t fall off easily, and include some spares if they do anyway. Sprung buffers are fun, btw., for me.

The engine should perform smoothly, accellerate with the amount of pulling force necessary for a train to get going, do so silently for those of us who want to install a sound decoder, and its top speed should not exceed NEM recommendations. The motor shouldn´t get too warm. The gearbox should be solid enough that there is but little wear on the drivetrain. It should be able to climb gradients if they are not too steep. Thus the engine should be of appropriate weight.

The engine should be easily servceable. Disassembly should be easy, and if screws are involved, no self-cutting screws that wear out their holes, please. After the body shell has been removed, access to all points that are to be oiled or greased should be of ease. An 8- or 21-pole DCC connector is a must. A casing where a standard-sized decoder can be placed is a necessity. A casing where a loudspeaker can be installed would be the icing on the cake. Electrical pickup should be reliable, i.e. connecting to as many wheels as possible, yet easily accessable so the modeller can remove dust and lint.

Lighting should be with golden white LEDs, since the yellow or blue variant looks awful, and bulbs heat up and draw a lot of current (I´m thinking DCC). Close coupling should be integrated in the model´s body.

After the break-in period, the engine should be able to accellerate and decellerate smoothly and quietly, without jumping or wobbling on the tracks. Detail should be as fine as feasible. I´d like to be able to place the engine back in its original casing with all small parts installed, thank you. If one snaps off, I´d like to call the factory where it has been made (or ask my dealer to do so) and get a spare part. I want the colors and the printing to be prototypical, no compromising here. Correct size, shape etc. are mandatory, so I haven´t mentioned that so far.
 

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QUOTE (ebaykal @ 11 Jul 2007, 12:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I will " ditto" all that !


Baykal

Thanks Baykal!

Your mentioning of Micro-Metakit on the other thread (and an engine I just got from my dealer) has just reminded me that i forgot something.

"Quality" to me also means "predictability". I´d like to leave Hornby out of this, as they are fairly new to continental modelling, however, when I buy a Fleischmann, a Trix, or a Roco engine, then I know what to expect from them in terms of quality. Although some models may disappoint my expectations, "Trix" usually means that the model will be a bit on the rugged side, with reliable (read "vintage") motors installed, yet great paint jobs and great pulling power. Lots of metal used. Roco usually fetures all-wheel-drive, a plastic shell on a heavy diecast frame, and a five-pole motor. Not quite as rugged as Trix. Fleischmann is somewhere inbetween... you get the idea.

When Liliput (-Bachmann) announces a new engine, I am not sure what to expect, as their quality in the past (not only since Bachmann took over) was very inconsistent. There were really good engines, as the class 42 and 52 engines, and there were clinkers like the new class 45 engine, or the streamlined class 01. Therefore, I´d like to see engines made by that manufacturer before I decide whether to buy them or not. Same applies to Piko engines, as the revamped stuff from East German times does not hold in my eyes, the "newer", post 1995 engines are fine with me in some cases, but utter crap in others.

Bottom line, if, say, Roco and Piko both announced a class 146 (which they have), I´ll wait for Roco; if Trix and Liliput both announced a Prussian S9 steam engine (my secret dream), I´d preorder the Trix right away and stayed clear of the Liliput.

Y´all understand what I´m trying to say?
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 11 Jul 2007, 10:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maybe Model Rail Forum could develope a performance table for model locomotives with information drawn from members?

Happy modelling
Gary

Perhaps an MRF version of the top gear survey?
The trouble with that is that with this forum we have such diverse interests and the chances of lots of us all having the same loco would not be enough to get a representitive sample.

Peter
 

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Peter, I guess most of the forum members model UK outline 00 gauge, so maybe, at least at first, the survey should be limited to that sphere of interest?
 

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I would say that a guarantee be made by the manufacturer's that quality of the model represents the price paid by the recipient. Who wants to pay a high price for a model, to find it disintegrates before your eyes or worse refuses to to run and when either the manufacturer or the retailer or both refuse to act on your complaint.
 

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ME- what i ment was that even if we did do a survey for any loco i dont thjink enough of us would own a paticular loco for the survey to be of any use.

Personally i really dont care about the quality control issues as i always make sure i get to see it run before i buy it and even if it does go wrong then it is always swapped for another. i really dont see the problem.

I have seen it claimed on here that german loco's are stronger than brittish ones. since i got a Roco 01 a couple of months ago i have so far broken it in 2 places (both easily repairable). i do think this claim is a bit of an urban legend.

Peter
 

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Hi Peter,

sorry, I got you wrong. You may be correct that if only one or two modellers own a certain engine, the rating may be leaning too far to either side to be of any value.

I might wiggle out of what you said about your class 01 by pointing out that Roco is Austrian...


..but I won´t. Particularly Märklin and the models that were made before Roco went into liquidation have a rather blemished reputation for quality. The higher priced manufacturers, such as Fleischmann or Brawa, still live up to their claims, but many other makers have or had cutbacks on their quality. The latest Roco offerings are better from my experience, though.

I compared German (and Austrian) manufacturers solely because it is them I know best, not because they actually are best. Ask any modeller about Märklin´s Henschel-Wegmann-Zug, or the Central Station, and you´re going to hear a lot of German words you will not find in a dictionary. Same with, like, a Roco class 265, or any NOHAB by Roco.

EDIT: I usually do the same - test the engine at my local hobby shop, and if I don´t like what I see, I won´t buy it. Hassle-free for me as well.
 

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To answer the question - simple.......

Is it fit for purpose?

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 11 Jul 2007, 11:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Baykal!

Your mentioning of Micro-Metakit on the other thread (and an engine I just got from my dealer) has just reminded me that i forgot something.

"Quality" to me also means "predictability". I´d like to leave Hornby out of this, as they are fairly new to continental modelling, however, when I buy a Fleischmann, a Trix, or a Roco engine, then I know what to expect from them in terms of quality. Although some models may disappoint my expectations, "Trix" usually means that the model will be a bit on the rugged side, with reliable (read "vintage") motors installed, yet great paint jobs and great pulling power. Lots of metal used. Roco usually fetures all-wheel-drive, a plastic shell on a heavy diecast frame, and a five-pole motor. Not quite as rugged as Trix. Fleischmann is somewhere inbetween... you get the idea.

When Liliput (-Bachmann) announces a new engine, I am not sure what to expect, as their quality in the past (not only since Bachmann took over) was very inconsistent. There were really good engines, as the class 42 and 52 engines, and there were clinkers like the new class 45 engine, or the streamlined class 01. Therefore, I´d like to see engines made by that manufacturer before I decide whether to buy them or not. Same applies to Piko engines, as the revamped stuff from East German times does not hold in my eyes, the "newer", post 1995 engines are fine with me in some cases, but utter crap in others.

Bottom line, if, say, Roco and Piko both announced a class 146 (which they have), I´ll wait for Roco; if Trix and Liliput both announced a Prussian S9 steam engine (my secret dream), I´d preorder the Trix right away and stayed clear of the Liliput.

Y´all understand what I´m trying to say?


Well put
I don't think I could add to this


All the best,

David
 

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For a diesel or electric loco , I'd expect centre mounted motor with both bogies driven, and a minimum of 8 wheel pickup. 5 pole motor please. With a DMU (we have almost no RTR EMUs) I would willing to live with a decent motor bogie ie one bogie driven - so long as running is good. The loco should be DCC Ready, and should be capable of running at a very slow crawl without stalling, and at dead slow speed across pointwork without stalling . It should be capable of hauling a prototypical load up a moderate gradient without difficulty , and capable of a reasonable top speed (there are one or two models which top out at a scale 75mph when the real thing can do 90mph but this isn't really a problem. Nor are models of 125mph capable units which are capable of a scale 125mph...). Speed should be variable within a reasonable range (no locos which either stall or take off , except within a band of 3 speed steps out of 128)

The model should have RP25 wheels, with a consistant back to back at or extremely close to the NMRA figure

The model should be accurate to within 0.5mm in all principal dimensions . Detail should be moulded, and seethrough grills will be present with visible detail beyond. Rotating fans are a bit of a gimmick I can take or leave. So are opening cab doors. Handrails should be wire (so they don't break) and not moulded on. NEM 362 pockets should be present (at the correct height , bachmann!), though I suppose the NEM 363 sockets on the internal ends of the Turbostar are ok. Detail should be appropriate for the loco depicted, at the period depicted. Curves and profiles shall be close to spot on or spot on (and distant 3/4 views with a telephoto lens at odd angles will not be taken as definitive evidence of a problem!). There will be a little bag of detail bits - disc headcodes , that sort of thing. A high quality model may be produced in slightly different versions reflecting detail differences (eg short & long-framed M7, Urie and Eastleigh Arthurs)

Lights - hmmm. British steam engines didn't have lights (well actually they had a couple of paraffin hand lamps on a metal spike which were lit after dark). First generation diesels and electrics had a couple of 60 watt bulbs somewhere behind a grubby piece of glass and a canvas blind which were barelyt visible in daylight. You didn't get high intensity lights on British stock until about 1990 . I don't go with the light fetish - most lights look way to brilliant for my preferred period. The Bachmann 108 has working interior lights . You can't see them in daylight. This is entirely correct and authentic.....
No light leakage

Livery shall be well printed , without bleed. There will be no self coloured plastic. All colours shall be accurate, logos/lettering correct and of exactly the right size/font, in the correct places . And the correct number thereof

Stock failing one of these points shall be deemed decent quality but with an irritating flaw (unless it's something big like 4 wheel pick up , serious demensional error etc)

Stock missing many of them will be deemed mediocre

Bachmann have a good name for the mechanics of their diesels (they have never done an electric) but their steam has a more variable reputation mechanically and in terms of quality control. Detail and profile errors seem to be more noticeable (and more vitriolically criticised) on the diesels. They have a couple of DMUs that aren't DCC Ready because of lights and some old split axle kettles which aren't either

Hornby's post 1999 stuff is normally good, but this is only a part of their range. The pre 1999 stuff generally doesn't match some or many of these benchmarks, and in recent times there have been occasional problems with getting shades exactly right in some liveries, though the printing itself is very good
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 11 Jul 2007, 20:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Baykal!

Your mentioning of Micro-Metakit on the other thread (and an engine I just got from my dealer) has just reminded me that i forgot something.

"Quality" to me also means "predictability". I´d like to leave Hornby out of this, as they are fairly new to continental modelling, however, when I buy a Fleischmann, a Trix, or a Roco engine, then I know what to expect from them in terms of quality. Although some models may disappoint my expectations, "Trix" usually means that the model will be a bit on the rugged side, with reliable (read "vintage") motors installed, yet great paint jobs and great pulling power. Lots of metal used. Roco usually fetures all-wheel-drive, a plastic shell on a heavy diecast frame, and a five-pole motor. Not quite as rugged as Trix. Fleischmann is somewhere inbetween... you get the idea.

When Liliput (-Bachmann) announces a new engine, I am not sure what to expect, as their quality in the past (not only since Bachmann took over) was very inconsistent. There were really good engines, as the class 42 and 52 engines, and there were clinkers like the new class 45 engine, or the streamlined class 01. Therefore, I´d like to see engines made by that manufacturer before I decide whether to buy them or not. Same applies to Piko engines, as the revamped stuff from East German times does not hold in my eyes, the "newer", post 1995 engines are fine with me in some cases, but utter crap in others.

Bottom line, if, say, Roco and Piko both announced a class 146 (which they have), I´ll wait for Roco; if Trix and Liliput both announced a Prussian S9 steam engine (my secret dream), I´d preorder the Trix right away and stayed clear of the Liliput.

Y´all understand what I´m trying to say?


I'd agree with all the above. I see quality as reliability, durability and fit for the purpose. Even with any given company you have a bit of variance between models as has been highlighted. I guess you know a lemon when you buy one and if you consistently get lemons your view of that company will be tarnished.
 
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