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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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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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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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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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