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Hi All
I've just recieved from Hattons a new Hornby A3 in blue (split from a set) and gave it a good run on the club layout last night. This is the seventh version of the new A1/3 I've collected and among them there's one dog, two with annoying clicky valve gear ( apparantly incureable), three are generally good, but this blue one is really exceptional, no parts have fallen off (that really is something you know) & it runs perfectly quietly without any hesitation or suggestion of tightness in the running gear and it has plenty of power as well.
All too often we're on here explaining our difficulties with certain models, so I thought I'd just let you know that among all the duds and averages a few real gems get through the quality control system as well,I wonder if I've got the first one off the production line after everone at the factory was just given a bonus......who knows?

Cheers
Paul M
 

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For comparison, I have 5 of these chassis, under A3's and A4's.

All have been good runners as received: quiet, smooth down to low speed, and after the usual hour or so of running in able to crawl well in both directions on a DC resistance controller. Two with clicks from the rods: one on curves, a connecting rod fouling the leading crankpin; the other turned out to be from an expansion link which was very loosely mounted and had a slight bend in it. The locos by themselves were pretty uniform for traction. Add the tenders, and the story changes, as two were free running, and the others were 'brakes on'. The tender pick ups are very variable in effect, (found this applies to all Hornby) so took these three apart to adjust the pick-up wipers, which has sorted it out.

The first A4 shed over a dozen detail parts during the first month of operation. These were steadily collected in the tender coal space, and once the shower appeared to have stopped went into works for redetailing, including testing all 'sister' parts to those which had fallen off for secure attachment. The subsequent A4 and A3's have been fine in this respect.

From the relatively recent better models I have now acquired a dozen. Two were decidedly below par for mechanical performance as purchased: same cause in both cases, motor worm not properly aligned to pinion; Hornby's steam loco motor mount is IMO an inept design, and vulnerable to poor assembly. My single example of a Q1 also put on a display of dropped detail parts.

Something of a mixed bag for quality of assembly is my conclusion. The parts have the potential to make a good model, but the assembly operation doesn't always obtain that full potential. On a positive note, all the deficiencies have proved to be rectifiable; and my most recent purchases, two Britannias, are the best built and sweetest performing steam models I have seen from Hornby.
 

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So, out of 12 locos from 2 customers there are 5 with faults ? - that's just under 50% that should not have got through quality control !

Not good enough IMHO.

Maybe Paul's "Gem" was intended for a magazine review & got mixed in with the general stock.
 

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Brian,

I'm with you on this.

In any other product people would be jumping up and down.

Buying a locomotive where detail bits fall off is really unacceptable. I could live with maybe having to do some tunning of the locomotive (specifically its chip) to get it to run well, but dodgy pick ups motors etc really bad quality control.

I would be sending them back either for a refund or repair.

Or maybe my expectations are different.

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 29 Mar 2008, 01:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...

Or maybe my expectations are different.

John

John,

I don´t think so. However, in today´s world, people are putting up with a lot more, and are satisfied with a lot less, than they´re entitled to.

Reding some German forums, I often smack my forehead and ask myself "is that guy nuts" when I read about how a certain well-known German brand in particular abuses their customers service-wise, and the customers bow, say grace and how that is normal and that it could be a lot worse. NO!!!!! It should be a lot better!!! These companies are in the business because I, the customer, buy from them. It´s a give-and-take situation, not a hand-me-down one.

OK, before I blow off even more steam, I´ll squander my bonus (part of it) at the local hobby shop. Hope I get OK stuff, in terms of quality...

Tom
 

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I know ths going to be controversial, but.......

I am currently sick to death with my Hornby locomotives, I have hardly run any of them because I do not yet have a layout, but here goes...........

Royal Scot shed a sanding pipe on inaugral 2 lap run, then later snapped off the middle brake rigging, caused by mis-aligned rods. Replacement Royal Scot arrived in kit form from a well known retailer, 6 items loose in the box and speedo cable snapped, patience snapped....
Class 56, sanding pipe snapped off when it hit the first (Radius 3) corner on my test loop, almost impossible to refit.
Q1 missing 1 middle sanding pipe from new, then kindly obliged by snapping off the other one, how kind, oh and the sliding hatches on the tender keep falling off.
Class 60 Loadhaul. Missing lamp bracket from one end from new, bogie side frame detached on first run, dropping sanding pipe assemblies, managed to re-assemble.
Class 50, body split on cab corner as I was carefully removing it to fit a DCC Chip. I ould go on.

I think I have had enough, the steam locos look wonderful when you get one with all the bits in place, but they just do not stand up to use. Bachmann, by contrast, don't seem to suffer from the 'bits dropping syndrome', I regard there recent diesel releases as now being in the same league as Roco for example.

I think I have just talked myself in to clearing my Chinese Hornby, as these problems take the pleasure out of the hobby for me, and as I say, i haven't started any serious running yet.

Ashley
 

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Ok i am going to be contraversial too.
I would never hand over my money without seeing a loco run.

Surely this is not a quality control issue with hornby but with you. if you spend the extra couple of quid and buy the loco in person then you can inspect it and test run it to your hearts desire.

If you are unhappy with their quality control then there is nothing to stop you instigation your own. -if its broken then dont buy it!

Peter
 

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Hey Paul M, good to hear about your nice new loco.

Interesting that Hattons are splitting sets up. Is this a new trend with shops?

I have a thing about blue locos. I have far too many and probably need to get rid of some of them.
 

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Hi Peter,

Being on the other side of the world, buying locally is not just a matter of a few quid, more like 50-100 of them.

As such, I do buy sight unseen, and generally off either a prototype photo or an advance sample picture.

Now the thing is, that because I am buying continental products, I have yet to recieve a dud locomotive. I have used my dealer in germany for many years now and when I have had issues, they have sorted them out for me. Maybe the issue here is about the quality control that is not being exercised.

If I was buying hornby locomotives, given what I have read here, I would be buying them locally, so I have protection under NZ law. If Hornby are serious about building the hobby, then they need to address the quality control issue. Anything less and peple will take Ashley decesion and stop buying hornby locomotives.

It is cheaper to retain a client than get a new one.

John
 

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I don't think that the issue has too much to do with quality control. It has more to do with poor design. If the locos were designed better, it would be easier for the assembly process to be completed without so many failures.

The other side of the coin is that if you don't like the added detail that may be damaged/fall off and need your attention, then don't buy new locos. Instead buy older wren or similar that had no detail parts to fall off!

Rob
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 1 Apr 2008, 09:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ok i am going to be contraversial too.
I would never hand over my money without seeing a loco run.

Surely this is not a quality control issue with hornby but with you. if you spend the extra couple of quid and buy the loco in person then you can inspect it and test run it to your hearts desire.

If you are unhappy with their quality control then there is nothing to stop you instigation your own. -if its broken then dont buy it!

Peter

Sorry Peter, I have to come back on this!

I do buy the majority of my locos locally (but local is still just over 35 miles each way). Also he is not a Collectors Centre, and the Royal Scot in question was the Collectors Centre one. Also, it is sometimes difficult to spot missing detail pieces quickly, for example the missing lamp bracket on my Class 60.

Agreed, when possible I should inspect the loco and ask to see it run, however the main problem with Hornby stream locos seems to occur when going around curves, i.e. valve gear that maybe slightly out of shape catches on some of the plastic detail parts. Most dealers, at best, have a short test tun straight in each gauge. My Wife often nags me to check locos over, and I think I will listen to her more from now on.

I'm in a bit of a quandry over my Hornby collection to be honest, as obviously most of the new releases look fabulous, but they often don't stay that way when you attempt to run them. I guess I'm a bit of a 'mint boxed collector' mindset. I'm not intending this to be a 'bash Hornby' attempt, it's more of a wish that they would fit metal sandpipes etc like Bachmann. Agreed that I was probably feeling a bit extra crabby when I posted as it was in the early hours!

I do have to disagree that the quality control should be down to me though. Picking up on one of the later postings, the design/construction of the models could be improved, there seems to be general agreement that the motor mounting is not all it could be in Hornby's super detail steam models. I think there is still work to be doen on the packaging of the locos to enable them tto travel a little better.

Regards
Ashley
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 1 Apr 2008, 03:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Q1..............oh and the sliding hatches on the tender keep falling off.

Are they the small curved bits with a slot in? If so I wondered what they were!

Regards
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 1 Apr 2008, 15:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are they the small curved bits with a slot in? If so I wondered what they were!

Regards

It maybe of interest to you modelers - some years ago a manufacturer told me in confidence that is.
That it is far cheaper to replace faulty items, than to carefully examine that item for faults and flaws in materials.

I have no doubt that manufacturers today apply this rule - considering too that most manufactures no longer, actually produce the item that they sell on the market.
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 1 Apr 2008, 16:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are they the small curved bits with a slot in? If so I wondered what they were!

Regards

Yes, those are the things, they do fit back in place OK (top of the tender sides, nearest the locomotive) and can be carefully slid in position, but invariably they detach when the loco is running, usually at the most awkward point to reach!


Ashley
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 1 Apr 2008, 19:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ok i am going to be contraversial too.
I would never hand over my money without seeing a loco run.

Surely this is not a quality control issue with hornby but with you. if you spend the extra couple of quid and buy the loco in person then you can inspect it and test run it to your hearts desire.

If you are unhappy with their quality control then there is nothing to stop you instigation your own. -if its broken then dont buy it!

Peter
Sorry Peter, I have to agree with John. It simply is not an option for me living in Australia. The vast bulk of what I buy is not available here and the limited amount that is costs twice as much. If I was at home then I would go to hobby shops in Edinburgh and Sheffield and buy in person but unfortunatley I'm not so mail order it is.
 

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Sometimes I think I`m building a kit when I get a new loco. I consider myself to be a reasonably proficient modeller but there are locos from all the manufacturers I`ve struggled with. And it`s not just British outline and it`s not just locos. Roco Wurrtemburg and Prussian coaches, just how many bits does one have to fit, and do they fit, well nearly! And the bits are so SMALL!

I`ve got the sandpipes off my Hornby Black 5, I`m mulling over another way of doing it, Gibson bogie wheels are the only way I can run with the front steps. I`ve got nearly 30 inch ruling radius but I`ve had to modify my Hornby Arthurs if I want to add all the detail, steps and drain pipes, the drain pipes are still off the A4s and A3s. I`ve lost count of the hours I`ve spent on some Bachmann steam locos getting them to run smoothly (the diesels are OK). Don`t get me started on close coupling and corridor connections.

BUT-----that`s what we asked for didn`t we-- we moaned when the brake gear wasn`t there or it didn`t line up with the wheels, we griped when the bogie wheels were 1mm out, we complained when the vac pipes were wrong or the scale coupling was too big or the sand pipes weren`t there or the pipe detail on the underside of the cab was missing. We tut tutted when our non existent passengers would have to jump between the coaches to get to the buffet.Perhaps we should have been careful what we wished for because maybe our track wasn`t as good as we thought so when the manufacturers started making real scale models we were trying to run them on toy train track. Now we wonder why the thin flanged models derail. Now we wonder why bits come off when they hit some uneven track joints.

There- that`s got that off my chest.
 

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QUOTE (Romseyles @ 2 Apr 2008, 08:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sometimes I think I`m building a kit when I get a new loco. I consider myself to be a reasonably proficient modeller but there are locos from all the manufacturers I`ve struggled with. And it`s not just British outline and it`s not just locos. Roco Wurrtemburg and Prussian coaches, just how many bits does one have to fit, and do they fit, well nearly! And the bits are so SMALL!

There- that`s got that off my chest.
I know exactly what you're saying. I got a rake of those Roco K.Bay platin coaches and it's like an airfix kit inside. Loads of extra parts to be fitted and brass name plates. I couldn't be bothered so have just left them for a rainy day at some undefined point in the future. There just too much to do.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but I assume that Hornby are selling locomotives that have no minimum radius advised and the bits are falling off when using hornby track?

To my way of thinking then, something is being purchased in good faith, and being used for the purpose that it was designed for, and its not working properly.

That is a serious quality control issue (let alone the potential legal ramifications).

If Hornby are selling these models to be shelf queens and not to be used, they should advise that. But then why would they put a motor in it if it is not to be run?

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 2 Apr 2008, 07:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Correct me if I am wrong but I assume that Hornby are selling locomotives that have no minimum radius advised and the bits are falling off when using Hornby track?
Hornby specify a minimum of 2nd radius for many items, those with nothing specified will work on the minimum radius provided in the track system. Although there can be fouling issues (with detail and swinging bogies on curves for example) I do not recall this being the problem with any of the parts that fell from either of my A4 or Q1; then again there is no Hornby track in my layout, and curves are kept as large radius as possible. It was simply that the parts were not positively enough retained; they fell off pretty rapidly in the first couple of weeks of running. Since being glued back in place, they have all stayed put for the subsequent two years or so of operation.

There is actually a funny side to this. I have two components recovered from the track that defy all attempts to find the place from which they fell. One is a brake cylinder, the other looks like a valve gear component. My tentative conclusion is that they came off locos owned by friends while operating on the layout as visitors.
 
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