Model Railway Forum banner

Review contributions

2960 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  neil_s_wood
Lifted from the 108 DMU thread, to avoid derailing it further.

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 21 Jun 2007, 00:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have you guys considered writing your own reviews?
Very much a newcomer here, but have taken part in what might be called the 'reviewing process' on rmweb, and before that similar activity on the BRM site. Now here is the strange thing, and it was what attracted me to reply to Maas' post: there is relatively little interest from most UK forum participants in the mechanism, unless some aspect makes it an immediately problematic runner. The 'screaming' Hornby 08 perhaps the foremost example recently, and before that the difficulties in persuading the Bachmann A1 to pull well. My pet gripes about Hornby steam loco mechs: mechanically inept motor mount; the use of flat surface contacts and the chassis block in the current path, (instead of wire soldered to the pick-up wipers keeping the chassis block dead); the outdated loco to tender coupler; none seem of much interest. Similarly Bachmann's often poorly aligned pick-ups, and use of 3 pole motors. Strange in my eyes, but there it is.

The other problem is that I rarely buy anything newly introduced immediately after release, (although the Bach 9F/BR1F was an exception) and even then there was a delay: by the time my local retailer had the item it wasn't convenient to visit for a week, and then I had no time to really get to grips with it for another week or so. And by that time Doug had his fine review out as I recall - it was a link to it that was my intro to this site - and he had got it pretty much right, and in any case this is a most satisfactory model. Lets wait for the Super D, the only announced model that really has me excited at the prospect; maybe I will have some input to throw into the pot.

So, is there any interest here in a 'mechanisms' focus?
See less See more
1 - 3 of 17 Posts
I think the lack of focus on mechanisms is due mainly to the very high standard of mechanisms in the uk. yes there are the odd problem with pickups but they are things that we can generally fix on our own.

These days the standard for a diesel is a central motor driving through cardan shafts and for a steamer its a loco mounted motor. all should have flywheels and be smooth and quiet.

When things do catch our atention is when things dont live up to that default level. for example the pendo has a mechanism which is frankly shocking (i dont care if it can pull a full rake, its still a poor quality mech).

Also you have to bear in find that the motors are far better than they were 10 years ago. we have moved on a generation and its far less of an issue.

he only real complaint i have had was with the bachmann A1 which even after remotoring was still pretty weak and i was still unhappy with it so it went back to the shop.
I have also had voyagers with the wipers bent around the axles and other wipers that were catching on the wheels causing a ticking sound. but apart from the A1 they were all easily solved.

The loco/tender coupling hornby use is a million times better than it was. yes its more fragile but i think its a very good comprimise and as good as it can be without either being perminantly coupled or using little plugs and sockets like spectrum models which dare i say it the ham fisted brits are bound to break in 2 seconds flat and will probably blame hornby for.
They will have to adress this issue however if they want to go along the sound route. i think the tender is a much better place for a decoder but it will mean 4 current paths rather than the durrent 2.

A live chassis is a complete non issue. it is not a problem unless you go doing silly things with DCC and start frying your decoders. the axles are a good pick up and if anything are better than the wipers. i have had pickup problems with dirty wipers but never dirty axles!

I too am waiting for the super D but i want one in LNWR.

See less See more
QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 21 Jun 2007, 09:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It seem to me that quite a lot of people are now prepared, willing (& able) to accept that they will complete the manufactures quality control & adjust things like pickups & back to backs. IMHO this is quite wrong & the manufactures should not be allowed to get away with it, otherwise this will eventually become the "norm". After all, if your new car need things like the wheels reballencing or the headlights adjusted you would not do that yourself - or would you ? I think not.

I may add that in over 30 years of dealing with German & Austrian built models I have only had one locomotive with a defective pickup & solder joint (both faults on the same locomotive)

Half of me totally agrees with that statement but part of me hates it when people go crying back to the retailer when there is something really very minor wrong with it. i stand there thinking "is this person really that inept that he cant even tweak a pickup-what the hell are they teaching kids these days....."
I agree that things should be right in the first place but i also think that manufacturers should be able to rely on an element of common sence on the part of the end user (that goes for anything not just model railways.) it is amazing to visit other countries and see different standards where exactly that happens. they dont need to fence off railways because people are not stupid enough to walk across them!

The mech on my roco loco's are very good but i dont think this idea that continental loco's are not fragile is true. my new steamer and my electrics are just as fragile as my electric loco's. The mechanisms in them are really a matter of taste. i would be just as happy if my new steamer had a loco mounted motor and no tender drive. and my electrics all suffered from the same PTFE grease overkill that my bachmann diesels do and still needed to be stripped and cleaned in order to cure the stiction problem.

QUOTE (34C)Peter,

'Very high standard mechanisms' followed by a list of problems relating to mechanisms? If by this you mean 'a recent improvement in the quality of UK model mechanisms', that would accord with my experience, but I don't think we are all the way home yet!

I would hardly regard what i said as a list of unreliable loco's. for the record here is my list.
! A1 that i was just not happy with the pulling power. (i understand that part of the problem was the springs on the bogies were too strong but at the time i was not in the mood and it was a very expensive loco.)
A bachmann warship with split worms after 5 years good service. this was easily solved with new worms sent by bachmann.
A voyager with a burnt out motor after some rather excessive running buy a young member of my former club.
A J72 with a mainline chassis that has burnt out more times than i care to remember.

QUOTE (34C)My Bachmann A1's roar along with 15 mk1's behind, one of the best performing UK models, if you know how to tweak it. On the subject of Bach's steamers, again and again people suspect the quartering of the driving wheels as the cause of jerky running. Never in 40 steam model purchases of a wide range of types have I had an out of quarter example: but the vast majority have had pick-ups not in contact with the wheel back. Same applies to friend's purchases. So do I believe that the wheel press tools in the factory are unreliable, or that the hand assembly process does not focus enough on pick-up wiper alignment?

I have never had any problems with quatering modern bachmann steamers but Spectrum models i find paticularly poor and even my very expensive bachmann china QJ needs a tweak.

QUOTE (34C)Regarding Hornby's habit of using the chassis block as part of the conducting path. The real pain is the flat surface contacts, which will eventually fail at some point, causing unreliability. It is just so unnecessary, two wires soldered to the wiper strips either side, job done. Hornby clearly know how to do a better job on this, and on the loco to tender connection, as evidenced on the Britannia. But if 'we' don't ask for this better standard to be maintained, we will not get it, is my feeling.

This is the first time i have ever heard of anyone having a problem with the chassis contacts. for ages i thought it was a problem with my old A4 but when I soldered a wire from the chassis to the motor bypassing the (at the time) very poor loco coupling the problem was solved.

I think we are asking for this new standard to be maintained especially with diesels but the problem is that we cant force manufactures to do as we ask. the pendo mechanism if frankly shocking buy todays standards but we asked for a higher spec model and i was under the impression they had agreed to deliver a higher spec model. unfortunatly it never materialised (or if it did then i hate to think of twhat the "low"spec model would have been like!!)

See less See more
i think the singles are 1 area where tender drive is actually quite a good idea. but it would have to be a very good tender mechanism. not the ringfield junk we used to have.
The problem is not just traction but motors that are small enough to fit into the boiler of a loco tend to be very high revving. for a single you need a low reving high torque motor, which tend to be of the larger variety.

1 - 3 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.