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2969 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chassis block in the current path, (instead of wire soldered to the pick-up wipers keeping the chassis block dead); the outdated loco to tender coupler; none seem of much interest.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?
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The trouble is that the Hornby range now has more strata in it than your average archaeological site

QUOTE How much I agree that models with bogies should be central motor with flywheel drive and pick up on both bogies, as the baseline standard. Sadly that message has still to be fully accepted

For new tooling , I'm sure this message and this standard have been accepted. There are only 2 exceptions in post 1999 developed models from all ranges (both 4mm and 2mm) .

One is the Bachmann 108 , where drive is to a single bogie with 8 wheel pick up - though in a Modernisation Plan DMU filling the body with mechanism a la the 158/170/Voyager would be very intrusive , and we're talking about a 2-3 car DMU after all. The drive is well engineered and running of the 108 is in my experience superb, - you simply do not need to hang 15 coaches on the back of the thing. Mechanically I have no complaints with this mechanism and it would be fine for further 2-3 car DMUS, and quite possibly for the 4-CEP

The other is the Pendolino , where we were told explicitly at the time it was announced that this would not be a high spec model , as it was for the trainset market and built down to a price. In fact Hornby have done a bit better than was feared, overall, but the big area of compromise and corner cutting is the mechanism , no doubt about it

All Bachmann diesels since the revamped 46 in the early 90s meet baseline standard. All new Hornby diesels from the 50 and all Heljan diesels meet baseline standard. All Dapol and Bachmann-developed N does so as well. Almost all are DCC Ready and most have lights.We're now arguing about 6 axle drive and 12 wheel pickup DCC Ready with lights as baseline standard.

In steam engines, DCC Ready loco driven with a good can is standard. Hornby have fitted 5 pole cans with gearbox drive since the Merchant Navy in 1999 and tender pickup is normal for them

The probelms arise with the older stuff , some of which is very old indeed. The Dean Single, Caley Single and B12 date from the early 60s and were designed for the X04. They can't take the Ringfield tender drive, or the new 5 pole motor built into the chassis , and the only other seperate motor Hornby have in house is the cheap Type 7 can

Then you have the older locos from the late 70s to the mid 90s , using the pancake Ringfield - things like the B17, Unrebuilt Patriot, 28xx, 29, 37, 35, HST and all the electric locos (86, 90, 91,92). Plus the old 0-6- 0Ts (J83, Jinty, 27XX, J52). Plus the cheapy 0-4-0Ts

Then there's the Airfix /Dapol inheritance - finer bodies than Hornby of the same period but similar mechanisms with 3 pole tender drive eg the 4F , 56, 155, terrier, J94 . They've revamped the 14xx so it does actually work..

Then there's the Lima inheritance , recently reissued with a mimimum warmover in the form of 2 new motor bogies to replace the Lima 4 and 6 wheel pancakes which do not meet EU regs. These are at least 5 pole units and now have 8 wheel pickup and are DCC Ready , but they lack adhesion and are simply not adequete for a loco , though fine for a DMU if used with adequete weight . The 6 wheel version is a serious mistake.

Hornby's a real curates egg of a range now. They've made a start replacing the older locos (A3, A4, black 5 , Britannia , 08, and new 56 are all upgrades of existing models ) but there's still a long way to go. I assume there will be at least one replacement loco in next years new tooling , and possibly 2 . Surely the B12 must be replaced in the next 2 years?? Surely they need a new Castle and a proper Pannier tank?

pedro:QUOTE 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.

A1 - Product recall for replacement motor.

Warship. - Inherited from Mainline: 1980s model

Voyager - Normally an excellent runner

J72: - Inherited from Mainline : one of their launch models in 1979

Bachmann have few inherited models - basically the ex Mainline split chassis affairs and it looks like they are getting round to revamping them. The Scot and Jubilee were announced this year and I suspect the split chassis LNER stuff (J72, B1, V2, V1-3,) must be next in line

The issue isn't the standard of the mechanism in new models - its the big chunk of "legacy" models tooled up in the 20th century, and how quickly Hornby in particular can replace them with models to current standards

Looking at the list , and assuming 3-4 new locos from each manufacturer each year, logically about half the new Hornby locos from here on in should be retooled versions of existing models in the range (say 2 per year). Anything less and it will take from here to eternity to sort the range out. This has one benefit - it stops the range growing too much. It has already reached the point where it muct be a struggle to find enough production slots to keep everything in continuous production

And the next few years could be very expensive if you have apple green tendencies
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