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I have noted that Model Rail have changed the method of grading new models under review and have now introduced a 5 traffic light barometer system. The more a model gets the pulse racing the higher up the traffic light tree the traffic lights go.

In doing so they seem to have taken a very tough line in one or two cases. In fact it is now less likely that a review model will be awarded the full 5 stars compared to obtaining the green light under the old system.

This is not going to stop manufacturers submitting their new products for review as it is good promotion however it could well lead to a few managing directors being on tenderhooks when the copy of Model Rail falls through the letter box each month!

The issue for me is that Model Rail reviewers question manufacturing decisions made and if the reviewer considers that the wrong decision has been made they will downgrade a model rather than giving the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt. Is this acceptable thinking when reviewing and grading a new model?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>The issue for me is that Model Rail reviewers question manufacturing decisions made and if the reviewer considers that the wrong decision has been made they will downgrade a model rather than giving the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt.

If there is a single grade, then I think you're right it is an issue. Maybe it would be better to have several sub categories and then an overall one. My favoured electronics website does this and I find it more useful that a pass fail. They also have the "Recommended" and "Best Buy" categories for the very top models.

David
 

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I think the new gradings are a good idea. If it means fewer models get the top grade and manufacturers work harder next time to correct minor faults, then great.
 

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have you also noticed that some of the items seem to have not recieved a traffic light grade at all. i think there must have been a signal failure that day!

I understand your point about reviewing models and the manufacturers deciosions. but i think this is a great idea. for instance on the new britannia we have returned to flangless pony wheels. in my opinion this looks fine on trainsets and is necessary because of the tighter radius curves that are in use on home layouts.
BUT
On the A1/3 and the A4 they included flangled wheels as an extra.

if i was not allowed to criticise the manufacturing decisions then i would have to give the model top marks. but their decision not to include the extra wheels has led to me not buying one yet. i think this is a serious issue with this model and i wont get one for the time being incase the flanged wheels are included in the next batch.

I would want to criticise the decision taken buy the manufacturer to not include those wheels.

Reviews in model rail are distinctly hit and miss anyway. i really take issue with some of them. particularly the warwell that they did last year. not only did the reviewer purchase the wrong kit for the type of wagon they were trying to build but proceeded to complain like crazy about it sitting too high despite the fact that the reviewer had fitted wheels that were much too high.
the next month i expected to see an apology from the editor instead i was amazed to see a letter criticising the standard of whitemetal kits in general.

I now take the views expressed in model rail with a huge pinch of salt.

I spend far more time reading older mags than the new ones. and i have to add that had the editors 20-40 years ago been far more stringent then perhaps we would have got far better models much earlier. for instance evrytime a new lima loco came out even if there were fundimental errors they were invariably given reviews along the lines of "yes its another Lima, how wonderfull - top marks" when actually they wernt very good models.
If tougher grades mean we get much better models then i am all for it.

I dont want to single out model rail either. i think the reviews in railway modeller are in some cases dangerously close to the exact wording of the press releases!

Peter
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 10 Jan 2007, 10:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I now take the views expressed in model rail with a huge pinch of salt.

I dont want to single out model rail either. i think the reviews in railway modeller are in some cases dangerously close to the exact wording of the press releases!

Yes, exactly - don't forget that H & B are very, very important advertisment customers to the magazines so take the human/commercial factor into account when reading reviews.

Sometimes, I think that the big 2 get far more for coverage of "new" products than is really fair. Sums it up really when one of the mags expressly commented on the generous hospitallity provided by one of the manufacturers on a product launch last year (I think it was last year anyway).
 
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