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Hi there....I'm cattlecreep

Apart from a message to piemanlarger, which I have not replied to, (waiting for info!) this is my first post

Just had a good troll through this forum and found a post by Alastairq dated 3rd march07 about Vitrains class37. I have just recieved Vitrains latest from Hattens....37416 Royal Scotsman £49! what a stunner
and it's not made in China,not that I have a problem with that, although some on this forum do
,however given a close comparison with Bachmann's EWS 37411 and BR 6826 which have differing points and shapes within themselves! who's to say Vitrains have or have not got it right? The livery is superb,it's slow running is as good as Bachmann's and it has more detailed parts,it also hase lights
Well done Vitrains....I'll be buying more.
I think the whole issue of body shape is to say the least rubbish!! I have looked at so many prototype pics and found lots and lots of differences,so how can the models be faithful to the real thing?......hope to get some feedback from this post

yours john
 

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QUOTE (cattlecreep @ 16 Jan 2008, 14:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>....however given a close comparison with Bachmann's EWS 37411 and BR 6826 which have differing points and shapes within themselves! who's to say Vitrains have or have not got it right? The livery is superb,it's slow running is as good as Bachmann's and it has more detailed parts,it also hase lights
Well done Vitrains....I'll be buying more.
I think the whole issue of body shape is to say the least rubbish!! I have looked at so many prototype pics and found lots and lots of differences,so how can the models be faithful to the real thing
Whilst the new Bachmann 37 has one or two points of critism, unfortunately the ViTrains version has a list of them.

The shape issues are mainly to do with the curve of the roof (flattened, I think?) and the appearance of riding too high on their bogies, made worst by the too sharp angle of the tumblehome. This also reduces the depth of the body sides from top to bottom. To my eyes the result looks more like a body plopped on top of the chassis, where as the Bachmann model gets the proportions about right.

The windscreen area is another point of contention too, many thinking that ViTrains have cocked up both the height and angle of the windscreen. Certainly there's something not quite right about the look, so I tend to agree with this view..
Bachmann haven't been totally successful here either (my main critism with their version), but it's interesting that if their 37's windscreen glazing is removed, it looks more or less spot on. The method of modelling glazing and window frames is the problem here and it's not confined to this model or Bachmann either IMHO.

There are other negative points too.
The ViTrains 37's buffers and their mountings look ridiculously flimsy and not like the real thing.
Moulded handrails, plus there's some printed body detail which those into stripping and respraying might not approve of.
Rivet counters also report some incorrectly placed detail like grilles and panels.

You mentioned lights. Well the ViTrains ones are a total bodge, poorly implemented.
The light bleed through the ends is one of the worst seen on any model for years. There are various reports of how to tackle this problem, but the best answer is to remove the lot, light guides etc, and fit a decent lighting kit instead.

Despite the motor only driving 4 of the 6 axles and the fitting of those dreadful traction tyres, the Vitrains model is reported as a very smooth and reliable runner.
Bachmann have had some quality control problems in this area with one of their 37's (Drive shafts coming adrift from the flywheel). Not all of them are affected though.

So close and yet so far then?
Although much better than the awful Hornby and old Lima models, the ViTrain 37 falls just a bit short in too many departments.
 

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I think the real issue is, what hits the button for individuals?

As for shape discrepancies?

then I'm afraid it's really down to the 'eye of the beholder?'

in other words..an opinion?

I support the introduction of the Vitrains #37

I do feel the details to be added could be better....but where applicable, I'm sure there are cast metal details out there.

However, the IMPORTANT thing is, we have a NEW manufacturer on the block...who are obvioulsy willing to learn [read 'appease'' the over-fussy British buyer?]

Sure mistakes have/will be made.

I feel the rather trivial errors on the Bachmann #37 are in fact of greater impact....for a skilled. experienced, 'responsive'' company like Bachmann to offer such a model WITH such errors is far more reprehensible than for a fledgling company like ViTrains.

Vitrains have removed the traction tyres.

they also have spotty-dog track performance.

For a company with the reputation [and credibility] of such as Bachmann, to offer a model whose performance MIGHT be anything less than 'perfect' ..for similar money....certainly swings it for me towards Vitrains...regardless of minor shape oddities.

it IS oh-so-easy to critiscise the efforts of a newcomer......we really need to be careful we don't 'kill the goose' here...Vitrains seem to be the sort of people who would be quite content to tell the British buying public where to 'get off?'....we need them more than they need us, I fear.

go for it,Vitrains...
 

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QUOTE I feel the rather trivial errors on the Bachmann #37 are in fact of greater impact....for a skilled. experienced, 'responsive'' company like Bachmann to offer such a model WITH such errors is far more reprehensible than for a fledgling company like ViTrains.

For a company with the reputation [and credibility] of such as Bachmann, to offer a model whose performance MIGHT be anything less than 'perfect' ..for similar money....certainly swings it for me towards Vitrains...regardless of minor shape oddities.

So faced with a model from company A that is 99% right and a model from company B that's 90% right - you'd dismiss the model from A as "substandard" and recommend B just because A is Bachmann????

In terms of British 4mm D+E (or at least D) , the "goose that lays the golden eggs" is Bachmann. Bachmann gave us the first centre motor/double bogie drive he 46 , in the early 90s) when Lima and Hornby were mired in the pancake motor/2 wheel pick up each side era - it was 8 years before Hornby responded with the 50 (Lima never responded properly). They gave us the best 4mm coaches so far (the Mk1s) a decade ago - only now is Hornby reaching the same level with the Maunsells. All the modern wagons available in 4mm RTR to a high standard have come from Bachmann - only this year are Hornby responding with the Shark. They gave us modern DMUs with a good mechanism and lights 8 years ago (158, then 170, then Voyager then 166) - only now have Hornby responded by announcing a 153. They gave us the first high spec Modernisation Plan DMU (the 108) - Hornby are still to respond. Etc

So I'm not really sympathetic to "Vi-Trains as a stick to beat Bachmann ". And given that the people behind Vi-Trains are the people who gave us British Lima (not a high quality brand in my eyes and one that did little or nothing for us after 1990) - and they trumpet the fact : I'm predisposed to cast a cool eye on Vi-Trains . In my eyes they have a "track record", and not a positive one

Vi-Trains could have done something for us. They could have given us a decent electric. They could have beaten Hornby to the 153. But no - they deliberately duplicated a subject already available in a modern generation model , and with a new version from Bachmann already announced. As to their future plans, rumours are rumours and we will see what (if anything ) ever emerges. But at this stage I remain to be convinced that Vi-Trains will ever produce a British outline model that is not already available in Bachmann's catalogue - or that they will ever do it as well as Bachmann. At that point I'm afraid I don't feel I need them at all....

I'm not buying a 37 from anyone. Too much politics and there's more to the railway than classes 37 and 47 (a point I fear Vi-Trains and their importer will never grasp). But for what it is worth, the end view of the Bachmann 37 convinces me, completely, whereas the same view of Vi-Trains says "goodish model". Vi-Trains have also stopped the taper of the body too short (ie left the bottom mil off the body) to get clearance for bogie swing - as a result there is a large gap between bogie and body which will annoy the sensitive. Because of what they've done , this is not correctable

If we didn't have the Bachmann 37 , Vi-Trains' model would be perfectly satisfactory to get on with , while we worried about something we haven't got at all (EMUs ?) . But we have got the Bachmann 37, and the things we haven't got - we still haven't got

You won't go too far wrong with the Vi-Trains 37 (it's not old style Lima)- but Bachmann have done it that much better
 

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***Three opionions, all different. All correct too, because they are correct to the "needs" of those who wrote them

To me, if its not right, its not right... period.

To put a personal perspective on it, I am a steam modeller and feel the same about the Hornby Scot - Oh so so close, but some things just NOT right, so I'll stay with Brassmasters kits and singed fingers for my "Scots".

I always wonder about this issue.

The drawings are available. Loco's exist to measure. There are a zillion photo's in web collections. The design tools are computers that allow any correction until perfection is realised, and then a "rapid prototyping" machine can spit out pre-tooling samples to check it really IS OK.... then the "perfected" drawings can be directly fed to the tool making machines.

So... WHY on earth so they still get it wrong? Is it conscious compromise for radii or their perecption of owners needs, or is it just careless product management?

I admire Vitrains for giving it a go - and hope they learn and go on to do better....just as the other brands did, and still do, getting closer every time.

Richard Johnson
 

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Is it possible that refining and refining the computer model requires more hours put in by expensive 3D design people and a company sets itself a 3D design budget for a project which forces a 'cut off' in corrections before manufacture?

Also it is in the interest of the 3D design people to not quite get it right if they can help it because then it takes longer and they can get paid more for each project, if they are contractors? In fact, do Bachmann and Hornby use 3D design contractors or their own people or a mix or is this some kind of trade secret?

Dapol have taken to posting pictures* of things in development so people can comment - then they get free constructive criticism (amongst all the irrelevant comments people must send also) from the people who "place the strongest emphasis on accuracy to the prototype" and are most likely to comment in detail.

Would this benefit other companies such as Hornby and Bachmann and ViTrains or would they see it as an admission that they couldn't control quality of design themselves, or that it forced them to reveal "secret" new releases before schedule, or that they were conceding that a new upstart had a better way of doing it etc. etc.


*That they are still doing this suggests that on balance they get more helpful comments than unhelpful ones...
 

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I am sympathetic to the view Ravenser expressed. Vitrians have the capability, demonstrated by their mainland European product, to deliver something much better. The field was wide open for them when they launched to do something really useful like a high grade model of the HST. But given that the Lima formula lead to business failure, attempting a repeat probably means that they will not concern those of us in the UK for very long.
 

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QUOTE So I'm not really sympathetic to "Vi-Trains as a stick to beat Bachmann ".

Bachmann have established a reputation.....'credibility', perhaps.

For such a company with such 'credibility' to sell a model, regardless of ''accuracy''......which is reported to perhaps have indifferent track performance, is something I find verging on an 'abuse?'

The fact that companies like Bachmann..and perhaps Hornby too...not to mention Heljan....can sell models ,of which reports appear herein and elsewhere, of performance failures, I find of significant concern.

If I were to part with [whatever] a lot of £'s...for a loco..I do not expect [or at least, I have been LEAD to not expect] to have to make one, two or even three return trips to a local model shop to exchange the goods.

yet, that is what I read regarding some of our most vaunted RTR models.

and of even more concern..most of you seem to accept this sort of thing as perfectly normal behaviour....and a perfectly 'normal' expectation?

but then, on an equal note, IF I were to buy a brand new car, I would NOT expect to have to have any faults rectified.

regardless of make.

The fact that inevitably there will be faults with any make, is of little relevance...it is MY hard--earned money that is buying.......and is significantly less than that available to a manufacturer.....or its salespeople..

yet it is I, the humble customer, who is expected to suffer the inconvenience?

ie, the one who can LEAST afford it.

sorry...but when I read [and acknowledge] how nearly perfect the bachmann product is, in fidelity....yet read and hear of customers having to pick and choose amongst a model shop's stock to find a ''good runner'', or have to 'return' because of operating faults......I find I would sooner choose a maker whose product has 'more' faults, but good running, regardless.

I don't 'do' inconvenience...which is why I still drive a 20 year old Volvo.
 

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geodel:

The usual issue with diesels is complex compound curvature in 3 dimensions, and accurately rendering same , especially when your main data source is a set of 2 D drawings, sometimes with changes between what the works intended and what actually happened.

In these cases , Hornby are understood to have compromised the chimney of the Scot to aid mould release. They are now backtracking and will modify the tooling. Any niggles with the Bachmann 37 are very slight - the main gripe seems to be the windscreens and it seems there has been some slight miscalculation relating to the aluminium edge round the windows and the rubber grommit. That, to my knowledge, is all, and it certainly does not justify returning the loco to the shoip

In the case of the Vi-Trains 37, they have quite deliberately "lost" the bottom millimetre of the body in order to produce a much greater than scale gap between bogie and body to avoid the body fouling the wheels on tight curves . This is a traditional problem area on RTR 37s - the common solution has been to get the body right but sit it a mill or so too high above the bogies. Then the determined can correct the gap by reworking the bogie pivots. You can't do this with the Vi-Trains loco because the whole body has been made a bit too shallow.

As far as the end view is concerned , my personal take is that the arc of the top of the nose on the Vi-Trains 37 is a shade too flat and that Bachmann have it spot on

Then there are the build issues which have affected Vi-Trains : the severe light bleed on early batches, the horns breaking off in the packaging on early batches, the thin and unhappy application of the warning panel yellow on early batches which led to the fact that the nose front is a separate moulding being abit obvious with comments about "self coloured plastic" (something Lima loved) bouncing around

The current Bachmann 37 has not had build issues reported as far as I'm aware . I am not aware of any "performance issues" with the loco

In short the Bachmann 37 is a better model than the Vi-Trains 37, although I'm not calling the Vi-Trains model bad (It is substantially better , mechanically , than the elderly 37 in Hornby's catalogue)

If someone is concerned about the quality of models available, recommending that intending purchasers buy the inferior model where a choice exists is, to my mind, nuts. Exactly the same standard must be applied across the board in criticism regardless of the company concerned - I'm not interested in cutting A some slack because he's not B

And if we speak of track records , Bachmann have a much better record in terms of returns to shop, mechanical performance , accuracy and build quality than the people behind the Vi-Trains 37 . Whether they are better than say Roco is irrelevant to the purchaser of a 4mm class 37, as Roco don't make one.

The logic that runs "I've read there's a problem with the buffer beam on the Heljan Falcon,. so you should buy the Vi-Trains 37 in preference to the Bachmann 37 even though it's not as good , to teach them all a lesson" is perverse. I've no interst in using one manufacturer as a stick to beat other manufacturers by the application of double standards

I certainly think to describe the Bachmann 37 as an "abuse" is unfounded and unreasonable. Vague heavily qualified comments about second hand reports of unspecified alleged problems with unspecified models from some manufacturer or other , including companies not in the market with a 37 and therefore completely irrelevant to the matter in hand - we can do without.
 

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QUOTE The current Bachmann 37 has not had build issues reported as far as I'm aware . I am not aware of any "performance issues" with the loco

maybe you haven't.

which does not mean others can't have either.

my issue concerning running quality centres around an issue of,''who'' is doing the quality control?

Personally, I don't think it should be the customer!

But increasingly I read, here or in other forums, etc, where the customer IS in fact the QC....

NOBODY IS OUT TO 'TEACH ANYONE A LESSON''....although in a lot of fields this poster is well qualified.....that view solely belongs to the reader.

what THIS reader see's in the critique of Vitrain's efforts, is total dismissal.

which this reader finds totally unwarranted, when issues of 'quality of operation' are frequently overlooked, from competitors?

which, given the 'standing ' of those competitors within the model railway market...should not happen. in my view.
 

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I'm afraid general and unsubstanted negative comment of this type is somewhat unhelpful, especially on this subject of all subjects

QUOTE my issue concerning running quality centres around an issue of,''who'' is doing the quality control?

Personally, I don't think it should be the customer!

But increasingly I read, here or in other forums, etc, where the customer IS in fact the QC....

We've reached the point where the relevant postings should be linked or quoted , so we can see which model from which manufacturer is at issue

You're specifically claiming that the Vi-Trains 37 runs better than the Bachmann 37 and that the Bachmann 37 is frequently defective . Neither claim , frankly, can be supported by much evidence

The only reports of any mechanical issues on the Mk3 Bachmann 37/4 are a couple of isolated reports of drive shafts popping out of their sockets, noted above . The cure is to take the body off and put the drive shaft back in its socket - a 5 minute job , and not a warranty issue. No such issue is documented with the Mk1 and Mk2 Bachmann 37/4. The Vi-Trains 37 has had a number of well-documented QC/build quality issues of its own , referred to above . Mostly (as these things tend to be) on the first batches

The whole subject of Bachmann's 3 successive models of the 37/4 has sparked endless bitter warfare on the internet, which has spilled over into specialist print sources. It's all been over body shape issues , which you said you didn't care about - nobody's criticised performance , and if there had been anything to criticise , interested parties would have shouted it from the housetops. In fact Bachmann's very vocal critics have been very quiet about the mechanisms , probably because they are vastly better than those of the old Lima model

QUOTE which this reader finds totally unwarranted, when issues of 'quality of operation' are frequently overlooked, from competitors?

which, given the 'standing ' of those competitors within the model railway market...should not happen. in my view

I don't find such issues of quality of operation with OO RTR diesel locos and DMUs tooled in the last 10 years by Bachmann, Hornby, or Heljan (Even the Pendolino, with an avowedly cheap and cheerful mechanism, runs adequetely). Models that originated 15-25 years ago are a different story , but the Bachmann 37s are brand new

For the record, Railway Modeller tested the rival 37s on a gradient of 1 in 36 on a 3' radius curve . Vi-Trains model with traction tyres managed 12 coaches , Bachmann's model 10 (For comparison , dwb's Jubilee managed just 6 coaches on 1:50 on a 3' curve) . Clearly on level track either 37 will pull far more than most of us can accomodate on our layouts. I've seen both models run light at slow speed, and both ran smoothly and slowly. Possibly an advantage to the Bachmann model fitted with a Lenz Gold . Either will knock spots off the Lima and Hornby models of the previous generation when it comes to running

And I really don't get your references to "standing in the model railway world". |Your desciription of the Bachmann 37s reputation :
QUOTE yet, that is what I read regarding some of our most vaunted RTR models. would be bizarre if it wasn't so bitterly ironic

What exactly is Bachmann's reputation? In the US, they are regarded as not a premium brand, though the Spectrum range is seen as adequete. On this forum , many posters seem to have a relatively poor opinion of OO RTR and its manufacturers in general. And very specifically , Bachmann in particular have been targeted by an orchestrated campaign of attacks on their latest models by certain prominent internet critics [not on this forum]over a number of years . Those who have dissented from such attacks have found themselves attacked by the critics. And nowhere has the fighting been closer and bitterer for longer than over the successive Bachmann 37s. They are to D+E wars what the Ypres Salient was to World War 1 . I've heard stories of people being banned from specialist forums controlled by prominent critics simply because they said something vaguely positive about the Mk1 Bachmann 37 (One victim seems to have been a modeller on your own home patch). And all of this bloodletting has been over body shape issues, which you say you don't think important - not over the mechanism or the running qualities which are vastly better than previous Lima models. With Lima you did have to pick and choose to find a good runner.

QUOTE Bachmann have established a reputation.....'credibility', perhaps Bachmann have had bricks put through their windows at every opportunity , despite being responsible for nearly all the positive developments in 4mm D+E over the last 15 years . Pilgrims to the shrine are sadly lacking , so I don't think excessive respect is the issue

QUOTE NOBODY IS OUT TO 'TEACH ANYONE A LESSON''. There is a suspicion in 4mm D+E that certain prominent critics may perhasps be out to "teach Bachmann a lesson" and maybe Heljan too. Certain of them seem to have some old connections with the people behind Vi-Trains , and in the eyes of some who have crossed those critics in other contexts, Vi-Trains choosing this subject above all, and releasing their model just 2 months before the long expected Mk3 Bachmann 37/4 , seemed just too much of a co-incidence. Whatever the facts may be, sadly the Vi-Trains 37 is a highly political model. To have posted as you've done , on any other forum or context, would instantly have been read as a very highly political posting, with a clear agenda, and a very overt declaration of open factional allegance. MRF doesn't do D+E , and from some of your other posts your interests lie elsewhere, so I very much assume you're completely and blissfully ignorant of the wretched hornets nest you're busily poking here

QUOTE what THIS reader see's in the critique of Vitrain's efforts, is total dismissal.

which this reader finds totally unwarranted, when issues of 'quality of operation' are frequently overlooked, from competitors?

which, given the 'standing ' of those competitors within the model railway market...should not happen. in my view.

Hardly:

Okyedoke
QUOTE So close and yet so far then?
Although much better than the awful Hornby and old Lima models, the ViTrain 37 falls just a bit short in too many departments.

Ravenser
QUOTE You won't go too far wrong with the Vi-Trains 37 (it's not old style Lima)- but Bachmann have done it that much better

That's hardly total dismissal. You want to read someone really putting the boot into a OO diesel (there've been plenty of dotty diatribes to choose from) It's not like anyone's accused intending purchasers of having "blood on their hands".....

If the Vi-Trains 37 had been released 10 years ago , we'd have been awestruck and the magazines would have dripped superlatives . These days its so-so and Bachmann have done the job better. That's an index of how far 4mm D+E has advanced in 10 years
 
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