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The Hornby virus struck again, and I would like to apologize for the language I´m about to use. It´s just, like, I´m so disappointed by Hornby´s quality - AGAIN.


What happened? Before plugging in a DCC decoder, I wanted to break in my 58. It ran fine for, like, half an hour, but then it started to buck, jerk, make weird, scraping noises, slowed down. In short: it was broken, rather than broken in.

No service sheet, and I refuse to disassemble a loco drive engine without a manual or service sheet. So, in disappointment, I took the engine back to my dealer. He told me that more than half (!!!) of the engines he had sold had been returned by the customer showing similar running characteristics, and that this was a huge issue on German forums by now (I had to work a lot of overtime lately and didn´t check, but he was right), and that he will not order any new 58s until their quality has improved significantly. As of now, quality is sub-standard, and he is the one left with the hassle and the mad customers. Apparently, Hornby Germany has announced a revised issue where better quality can be expected, but that, of course, is of little help for those who already bought the engine.

Hornby, this was the very last chance I gave you. You blew it. I hereby vow to never, ever in my life purchase another locomotive manufactured by Hornby or any of its subsidiaries! Freight and passenger cars, maybe someday, but no more engines - ever. I can do without the disappointment of having to return my defective engine to the dealer for a refund.

The engine itself received good to average reviews in the press, but the dealers I spoke to and the forums see it differently. The quality of this engine is considered shoddy, the running quality sub-par (even the Modelleisenbahner magazine mentioned this), and, apparently, there seems to be an issue with the rods - no idea if this is true or not. Some engines also appear to have a faulty paint job.

Like I said, I´m very, very disappointed by Hornby - again. I had to return an engine which turned out to have quality issues to the dealer for a refund - again. If this is Hornby´s entry to the German market, sorry Hornby, but over here, we are very quality minded. This engine does not seem to meet continental European standards, quality-wise. And I really like the engine, love the rich details, and you all know that I gave Hornby a fair chance.

Oh yeah - my dealer exchanged the 58 for a Roco class 146.2, a DCC decoder, and a voucher for the rest of the money instead. Now, all I need to be a happy camper again are a couple of IRE coaches...
 

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Very Sad

Manufacturers need to get quality sorted out for all their models.

QC seems to lie with the consumer, on the basis that a certain proportion of the models will be defective , but that its OK because we can take them back and get another one.

When will they learn that there is considerable dissappointment in a model not running, that just taking it back, can be a major inconvenience (perhaps extra expense of posting it back) and that its a very bad experience for all concerned.

If reports of defective quality on the German forums are as widespread as you mention, then Hornby will well and truly have shot themselves in the foot, ruining their reputation in Germany just as they want to expand their market presence. They will need to do something about it. Lets hope that the UK modeller also benefits from any improved quality and is not treated as second class because we supposedly won't pay extra. Pay for something that should be included in price!

Russell
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (rb277170 @ 21 Feb 2008, 23:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If reports of defective quality on the German forums are as widespread as you mention...

Hi Russell,

I really, really hope that Hornby will get its act together eventually - at least on the UK outline market. Us continental modellers can choose between a real lot of brands, but there´s only a limited number of manufacturers for 00 scale.

Here´s a two links to German forums discussing the class 58 (or G12, the Ep.I designation):

Eisenbahn Kurier

DSO

These are the longest, most recent and most informative ones I could find.
 

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It looks like hornby are trying to save a bit of money by not using the best chinese manufacturers. How popular are model railways in china, do the workers know what they are making, or do they think they are just childrens toys? You should also email and write a letter expressing your dissatisfaction to Frank Martin the CEO of Hornby. Don't bother with the complaints department, go to the top man. To compare with another manufacturer, I have read only high praise for Kato.

Remember that in Britain it is up to the retailer to pay for any reasonable return expenses on faulty merchandise. This includes fares on public transport if you take it back yourself.
 

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That's a real shame - just goes to show that although the 58 had very good reviews a short test by the magazines is just not enough.

Whatever happens now IMHO damage has been done & it will unfortunatly be long term.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 22 Feb 2008, 01:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It looks like hornby are trying to save a bit of money by not using the best chinese manufacturers. How popular are model railways in china, do the workers know what they are making, or do they think they are just childrens toys?

Hornby use the Sanda Kan factory. they share the factory time with many different manufacturers. among them i believe are (or at least were!) Atlas and Life-like. In the wilderness years when i was doing american modelling because the UK stuff was just complete guff i never got a duff Atlas loco and the life like loco's were a little crude but they always ran like a dream.

Railway modelling in china is in its infancy because they have only recently had the money to spend on the hobby. the number of model shops has gone from about 3 to about 20 in 3 years.

I suppose what i am trying to say is dont blame the little chinese woman sitting at the production line. she is only doing her job. if hornby have used a crap motor in this loco, its not her fault or anyone at the factory's fault.

Peter

P.S. i know this will be a contravertial view in light of this thread but although i have great sympathies for people who have bought a pup. i am not inclined to believe all i read on the german forums. i think many of them see hornby as a toy manufacturer and dont particularly like or even want them to venture into the german market. i strongly suspect that at least some of what is written on those forums is a bit of light hearted UK bashing.
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 22 Feb 2008, 14:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hornby use the Sanda Kan factory. they share the factory time with many different manufacturers. among them i believe are (or at least were!) Atlas and Life-like. <Snip> I suppose what i am trying to say is dont blame the little chinese woman sitting at the production line. she is only doing her job. if hornby have used a crap motor in this loco, its not her fault or anyone at the factory's fault.

Yep - Sanda Kan make for some top value and quality brands, including many in USA some of the EU favourites too... in general they produce really nice product.

Quality is a function of the product specification, and QC is part of that too... If rigorous inspection is specified and paid for properly, then top quality results with high standards both at the individual component and assembly levels.... with 100% pre-packing check of everything... all for a few cents/pence extra.

If the factory is pressured to do it for nothing, then the brand gets what it has paid for - product "as it happens" off the line...mostly good, some not so good.

You certainly cannot knock china Mfg when its at its best - I just added DCC to a new Tenshodo bullet train.... a totally superb model of the current Japanese prototype engineered perfectly. Surprise Surprise... Look closely and you'll find "made in China for Tenshodo by Bachmann" on the box.

Richard

PS: I guess this means I just have to wait a while and I'll be able to save a lot and buy a couple to lower the cost of my start in EU modelling.... sorry for those who got a pup but I have no worries about stripping and tuning a loco so its an ill wind for some, but not for me :)

REJ
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 22 Feb 2008, 07:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You certainly cannot knock china Mfg when its at its best - I just added DCC to a new Tenshodo bullet train.... a totally superb model of the current Japanese prototype engineered perfectly. Surprise Surprise... Look closely and you'll find "made in China for Tenshodo by Bachmann" on the box.
Richard

I think they do all the plastic models from tenshodo. They do the manchurian railway loco for them and i believe Kader make the spud motor bogies for them too.

Bachmann have recently announced that they will make the chinese bullet train CRH2. this is actually a japanese design and with only minor alterations could produce the japanese E8 shinkansen. i have been wondering if it will be marketed in japan under the tenshodo brand?

I really would like a good list of what we this is made at which factory. perhaps we should start a thread on that very subject. infact i think i am going to do that now.

Peter

P.S. i look forward to some pictures of that JR500!!
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 22 Feb 2008, 06:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>P.S. i know this will be a contravertial view in light of this thread but although i have great sympathies for people who have bought a pup. i am not inclined to believe all i read on the german forums. i think many of them see hornby as a toy manufacturer and dont particularly like or even want them to venture into the german market. i strongly suspect that at least some of what is written on those forums is a bit of light hearted UK bashing.

Peter,

I, too, don´t tend to believe everyhing that is written on German forums. A couple of members bash any given engine for the joy of bashing, which is not at all helpful for any side.

That is why I look out for posts from people who either own the engine (or bought it an returned it because of given issues), or have tested it at a friend´s or their dealer´s place, and give qualified opinions about their observations. It is those members who complain about the shabby quality, and who are starting to accuse the magazines of misinformation about the Hornby engine, as most can´t understand why these observations have been omitted in the magazines´ reviews. Particularly the extremely brittle plastic and the poor running performance cannot have been overlooked by the reviewers.

Interestingly enough, the more modellers have the 58 (or check them out at their dealer), the more posts from dissatisfied modelers can be observed.

UK bashing seldom occurs, and is usually not tolerated (albeit the German modeller marvels whether UK outline modellers have to put up with the same "quality standards"). The 58 is rather seen as a Chinese model than a British effort - and is compared to good Chinese efforts, like the Brawa engines. However, considering engines like the class 58, or the Arnold class V80 with the missing front coupler, it is understandable that the connection Hornby -> cheap, shoddy -> toys rather than models is being made. As for not wanting them on the German market, that is nonsense. Any good model that meets continental quality standards is welcome (the 58 was, too, when it came out). ACME of Italy, Railtop of Switzerland, LS Models of Belgium are foreign companies who are very welcome on the German Market. Heris, a German manufacturer with hornbyish quality issues, however, was not.

EDIT: I do have to admit that some remarks made by Hornby executives that Hornby wants to conquer the German market because of the high profit margins did not exactly help Hornby´s popularity, especially in the light of some known quality issues when the remark had been made.
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 22 Feb 2008, 18:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>LS Models of Belgium are foreign companies who are very welcome on the German Market. Heris, a German manufacturer with hornbyish quality issues, however, was not.

I may be wrong here but AFAIK some LS models are actually from the Heris stable ?

I have a number of LS Models SNCB & CFL coaches & goods wagons that look like they are made by Heris & indeed the packaging is identical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 22 Feb 2008, 20:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I may be wrong here but AFAIK some LS models are actually from the Heris stable ?

I have a number of LS Models SNCB & CFL coaches & goods wagons that look like they are made by Heris & indeed the packaging is identical.

Afaik, these companies seperated themselves from Heris early on to produce under their own name and in accordance to their own quality guidelines.

The Heris story, on the other hand, is long and verbose and imho deserves to have a thread of its own...
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 22 Feb 2008, 18:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>EDIT: I do have to admit that some remarks made by Hornby executives that Hornby wants to conquer the German market because of the high profit margins did not exactly help Hornby´s popularity, especially in the light of some known quality issues when the remark had been made.

Hornby may be a big fish in the UK pond, but they are a minnow in the world pond - maybe their suits ought to bear that in mind ?
 

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QUOTE (rb277170 @ 23 Feb 2008, 08:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When Hornby are good they are very good. But trouble is you can't be certain when making the purchase , you could get a dog (if it runs at all). Its just too much of a lottery

Russell
This is my experience of Hornby too. You don't know what you are going to get. This is worse when you are only able to buy by mail order as you cannot see the items you are buying first. There are too many things in the regular Horby range that should be in the railroad range. e.g Pendolino, GNER 225
 
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