Bachmann Deltic - yet another missed opportunity!

In message , Andrew Sollis CVMRD writes
I'd rather have the money to spend on my model railway :-)
Reply to
John Sullivan
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There are two sides to this particular debate...
On the one hand, we are finally getting models with decent mechanisms and a better level of detail than we have ever had. You could say that we have never had it so good.....on the other hand.....simple errors have crept in which have spoilt what might otherwise have been great products.
The problem is (and here is where the Merc analogy falls down) that despite their faults, the new Hoover, Deltic, Peak, 20 are all going to be better than any of the alternatives. In fact, there IS NO alternative to these. If you want a 50, you can either buy the Hornby offering or dig-up an inferior second-hand Lima. The same is true of the Deltic - Bachmann with faults or the considerably worse Lima... Unlike the guy buying a car, we don't have a choice if we want that particular loco. Unless Bachmann, Hornby and Heljan decide to go head-to-head on a model, the consumer has no choice but to buy or not buy. Faced with that decision, most of us will buy.
It's also worth noting that there is probably a silent majority who (like me) are sufficiently ignorant of the minutia to be happy with a model which: A) runs well and B) looks like the prototype.
I know that certain models have fallen down on B), but even that is subjective. To me, the shots I've seen of the new Deltic look excellent. I haven't looked at the 37 in any detail, so I won't comment. The Heljan 47 looks good to me too and I'll be getting one soon. If the Peaks and the 20s and the 40s all look like the prototype to me, then I will buy them also. Others may not be so easily pleased, but I'm pretty sure that the majority of potential buyers wouldn't have a clue if the head-code box was a scale inch too low or if the works plate was in the wrong place.
There is never going to be enough competition in the UK market to FORCE manufacturers to be diligent in their research. As Colin says, the manufacturers need to be open with the enthusiasts and fix the problems where possible. Similarly, we all need to be constructive in our critisism of new models and hope that some of them can be fixed in later runs. There is a huge amount of detailed knowledge out here in the buying public - more than Bachmann or Hornby could ever afford to employ, but perhaps there is some way that their critical eyes could be used earlier in the production cycle and prevent some of the gaffs.
Adrian
Reply to
Adrian
That's an insult to NBL.....Bachmann have NO excuse whatsoever.
Colin.
Reply to
Colin Meredith
Whilst I comprehend the contents of your grievance and balance of most, the fact will always remain that *we* will not be happy until the manufacturers do correct the faults for, and of which, there is no excuse.
If there had been a sensible and/or reasonable excuse then the manufacturers would have come straight-out with same and not waffle nor utter such irresponsible *hype* directly and/or via the media.
Tact and diplomacy goes out of the window when a spade is called a spade and not a piece of agricultural equipment.
Humorous Regards,
Colin.
Reply to
Colin Meredith
manufacturers
manufacturers
I mostly agree. They shouldn't make the mistakes. If they aren't prepared to do the "agricultural equipment"-work themselves, then they should at least release pre-production samples for people to rip to shreds *before* they set their friends in China off on a production run.
Calling a spade a spade is to be commended, but some have resorted to calling it a f***ing shovel. The attacks aimed at MREMag (in certain Yahoo groups)for being less than critical of Hornby and Bachmann have been childish at best and at worst slanderous. There really is no need for it.
Like I said, I'm pretty sure that the number of people sufficiently "in the know" to notice the errors in some models is very low compared to the number who would actually buy the model. If it's going to cost Bachmann another 100 grand to fix the faults, they'll just weigh that against lost sales and probably reckon it's not worth spending the money. Are there 1000 people out there who are bothered enough by the errors to NOT buy the model? I doubt it. Most of the people who are able to spot the mistakes will still buy the blasted thing, grumble, then spend more money on brass overlays and detailing packs.
The fact of the matter is that the hobby isn't big enough to support enough manufacturers for effective competition so Bachmann, Hornby, Dapol and Heljan will pitch their products at a level which will make them most money. That doesn't excuse the stupid mistakes, but how much are they spending on R&D? From our point of view, not enough. From their point of view - who knows? Probably just enough to make a decent profit.
Adrian
Reply to
Adrian
"Adrian" wrote
I think you'll find there's more to it than that. MREmag seem willing to publish anything (including some grossly inaccurate material) providing it's not unduly critical of the manufacturers.
One email recently published by MREmag states categorically that the final thirteen class 50s:-
fact seems to have been forgotten by the owners of 50044/49, both of which carry 'D' prefixes on one side! >>
whereas there is plenty of photographic evidence to prove this claim wrong - a quick look at *Rail Portfolios 2 - The Class 50s* is enough. So it seems that it's ok to publish material which makes the owners of 50044 and 50049 look idiotic, but reasoned criticism of the manufacturers is taboo.
I don't go along with calling a spade a f***ing shovel, but sometimes some of the idiotic comments on MREmag, and some of the clever ways in which contributors emails are manipulated by the editor rankles deeply with some, and I know that MREmag is held in extremely low regard in some quarters.
One person I know emailed MREmag referring to *
the review section of the MREmag website*, but the published version mysteriously became *the excellent review section of the website*. Now that to me is just out of order.
My own feelings are that MREmag serves a useful purpose and I've known Pat Hammond personally for a long time, but sometimes I think his lack of prototype knowledge (which he openly admits) gives some serious lack of credibility to what he publishes.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
Despite their pre-production samples, they still get it wrong......despite their promise to correct any shown faults, they still get it wrong.
Childish and potentially slanderous comments from any group are totally unwarranted and moderated, or not moderated, as the case may be....
Those who buy for the sake of buying, or because so and so and so and so have got them, are no different than sheep. Let's not forget the people who *MUST* have them for their web-site.....
If the hobby isn't big enough to support all manufacturers then why haven't they themselves realised that fact..... I don't see Dapol offering their latest imitation from the Virgin stable at a price in relation to the quality of the partgicular product....
Colin.
Reply to
Colin Meredith
"John Turner" wrote
Sorry, that should read:-
*sometimes some of the contributors' idiotic comments on MREmag ..................... *
John.
Reply to
John Turner
Pat Hammond is a decent person and has been relied upon by many for some excellent information. He doesn't deserve public ridicule from any group....we can all make mistakes from time to time and I've noticed many so-called experts from that particular group in question doing the same.....since when has Pat Hammond decried and/or made fun of any group out of hand....??
Talk about working together for the good of the hobby...... what was that word, "clique" ? Those who can't pronounce it can call it "Clicky" or "Clikky"....to each their own...-)
Perhaps I too would like to see more of the stated debatable criticism in MRE MAG, but if people don't like it then they should either leave it or contact Pat Hammond direct....he is also at as much liberty as any moderator to allow what is, or is not, printed and the same applies to magazines....people still buy magazines which they openly criticize don't they...?? They don't always get their full and/or complete story printed either.
Colin.
Reply to
Colin Meredith
"Colin Meredith" wrote
I'm most certainly NOT decrying Pat, but some of the people from whom he publishes messages are clearly talking out of the wrong end of their bodies. All I'm saying is that his (self acknowledged) lack of prototype knowledge doesn't always allow him to decide whether the information which he receives from some of his correspondents is sound or otherwise.
It took me about thirty seconds today to confirm that the information about the lack of "D" prefixes on certain class 50 numbers was a load of tosh. Now I'm not suggesting that Pat would have the resources to check this sort of thing, but maybe an element of caution in publishing information which *once in print becomes fact* would certainly add credibility to MREmag.
There are certainly plenty of people around (self included) who would assist with this sort of information, although with some reluctance when most reviews on the website are financed by advertisers selling the item(s) being reviewed. This in itself brings into question the independence of MREmag.
When one considers that, generally speaking, much of the model railway press has a non-critical policy for fear of upsetting advertisers, I just think that MREmag or a similar forum could have been ideally placed to have taken up that cudgel of independence, and for once given the model railway enthusiast some truly impartial product reviews.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I'm not for one moment suggesting that you are decrying Pat and neither has Pat decried you nor any group...to my knowledge.
The way in which MRE Mag was ridiculed by a certain group was, as the originator of reply stated, childish to say the least.
Regarding the "D" prefix saga....I cannot comment but, by the same rule, do not doubt your integrity.....don't we get such mistakes in magazines and groups on a fairly regular basis....??
Regarding finance of MRE Mag...that is a personal matter for the owner and the companies who advertise....as with magazines, without this the costs would spiral....but I do comprehend the point(s) in question and can't totally disagree.
I do not agree with trying to fluff the issue or, indeed, trying to pull the wool over one's eyes and certain issues could and should be more forthright in certain areas with regards to portraying the hobby. The manufacturers use the media for their own sales gain.....
At the end of the day I think most are wiser than they once were regarding what's what, etc. Nobody can kid all of the people all of the time....
Coln.
Reply to
Colin Meredith
"Colin Meredith" wrote
Absolutely - that's why I* was decrying idiotic contributors. If I make a statement about something, I try to check my facts to the best of my ability before making a statement - it becomes a nightmare if something appears in print which is totally incorrect.
You don't need to tell me about the cost of running websites - I have three, but I certainly wouldn't conisder the cost of maintaining these as excessive - certainly you won't find *pop-ups* or prejudicial advertising on any of my photo sites.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I suppose it all depends on how you view the email content on MREmag. Since the Emails are from individuals, I would always take them witha pinch of salt. Anyone who takes a single email from *any* source as gospel is foolish.
Again. That was a "view" put forward by one person in a single email and there to be debunked by anyone who feels the need. I agree that the originator of that email made himself look stupid by suggesting that the owners of 50044/49 had got it wrong, but I don't think that reflects on MREmag.
MREMag is essencially a news service and discussion group combined. The discussion group part should be viewed as just that.
Reasoned critisism is OK. Perhaps MREMag is pro-manufacturer, but the reason for this suggested by some (which I won't repeat here) is outrageous and should not be encouraged.
I would agree completely on that. I understand why Pat needs to edit some of the more long-winded emails, they should never be embelished
I don't think the news portion of MREmag suffers in this way. The emails, as I have said, are just opinions of individuals. As for the reviews, I have never looked at those. I buy magazines for that.
Adrian
Reply to
Adrian
"Adrian" wrote >
Ah well, you'll certainly not get much in the way of (even constructively) critical reviews from many of them.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
In message , John Turner writes
A feature of the locomotive reviews in Model Railroader is a data panel summarizing what the locomotive is and what it will do. This sort of thing is very useful to aid the potential customer in coming to his or her decision as to whether or not to buy a particular item, and also for comparing the item purchased against to check whether or not a duff example has been acquired. In my opinion all reviews should include a summary like this (but obviously amended to suit British conditions, such as weight in grams, radii in metres, etc.)
For example (p.22 Dec 2003 issue)
Bachmann E-Z mate couplers mounted at the proper height Directional constant lighting Drawbar pull: 5.12 ounces (23 passenger cars or 71 freight cars on straight level track) Five-pole can motor with flywheel Dual-mode automatic decoder for use on either DC or DCC Dual-mode QS1 sound system Engine weight: 21 ounces Lighted number boards Minimum radius: 18"
Performance Minimum, midrange, and maximum speeds on filtered DC, straight track
Scale mph Load Volts Amperes 4.6 Free 9.5 .10 27.1 Free 10.5 .14 75.7 Free 12.0 .20 --- Slipping 12.0 .34 --- Stalled 12.0 .60
Speeds on DCC, straight track Scale mph Load Throttle setting 11.5 Free minimum 51.9 Free midrange 91.9 Free maximum
Reply to
John Sullivan
I don't disagree. The manufacturers could and *should* do better. I just think that the economics s such that they don't have to in order to sell their product. More competition would force them to do a better job, but unless we can double the number of people active in the hobby, that is not going to happen. Our only hope of improving matters is to persuade the manufacturers to work with all the knowlegable people out here (myself excluded) and try to improve things. It's not like they WANT to make mistakes.
No one buys for the sake of buying. We are not like sheep. I buy the best model of the prototype I need for my layout. I'm not a skilled modeler, so brass kits are out of the question. I'm attempting a DC Kits DMU, but it's right on the limit of my abilities. The Bachmann 55, despite the faults looks far and away better than the Lima, and will certainly be streets ahead in terms of running qualities. Call it "the best of a bad bunch" or "best of breed" - it's still going to be the best RTR deltic on the market and that's all Bachmann have to do. If they hadn't made any mistakes on it, the difference in sales would be VERY marginal. It's not because people are sheep. It's just because it's still the best *available*.
That's not what I said. The hobby isn't big enough to support *more* manufacturers producing competing models as they have in the US. Clearly there is enough market to support the 4 RTR manufacturers we have now.
True. Dapol are clearly at the bottom of the heap of UK RTR manufacturers in terms of quality. The Bachmann 5-car 221 is a far better product at the same price. However, if the market in the UK was bigger, all the manufacturers would see the benefit of bigger production runs and we would see either lower prices or better quaility for the same money. The reviews of the Pendo were so bad that I am sure many people didn't bother with it. The errors in detail on the latest Bachmann and Hornby locos are far less significant - at least they run very well. Presumably Dapol struggle with the quality / price ratio because they haven't moved production to China.
Adrian
Reply to
Adrian
I suppose not, but where else do you go. For me, model railways is something I spend 2-3 hours a week on. I haven't got time to read the DEmodelers posts (I read about 1 in 10 and delete the rest). I would welcome a good review site which lists the good points and the bad without having to wade through some of the waffle that the Yahoo groups generate. Such a site would have to be run by someone knowlegable but NOT opinionated, who is capapble of being balanced and not claiming a model is a disaster because of some tiny discrepancy. We need to be told that a livery is wrong, that the windows are not quite right, but we also need to be told to what degree the model looks like the prototype and what the good bits are.
As for me, I'm just crossing my fingers for the class 40. I just hope they can make a decent job of that. I suspect that like the Deltic, I'll think it looks great then read scores of messages pointing out the errors.
Adrian
Reply to
Adrian
In article , Adrian writes
I do agree with a lot of what you say, Adrian, both here and in your earlier posting.
This needs to be weighed against the fact that modellers are already moaning about the time it takes Bachmann to get their models into the shops. While I support your view that the expertise available amongst the critics should be harnessed it could take two or even three batches of pre-production samples before all errors are ironed out. That could add another 6 months to the production schedule.
MREmag depends upon the good will of manufacturers but, despite this, is happy to carry readers constructive criticism so long as it can be convinced that it is sound. Unfortunately it isn't always! The moment MREmag loses the confidence of the manufacturers (because they feel that they have been unfairly treated) it will have no choice but to close down. Who will benefit from that? I have already had a few shots across my bow!
I endorse this view. I have long thought that the vast majority of Bachmann's and Hornby's customers are unaware of the errors and are quite happy with their models until someone at club or on the Internet points out errors and takes away their pleasure. If this were not true why do they sell so well?
I also think that it is true that once the identified errors are corrected there will always be someone to point out even more of them. Once you start on the road to build scale models you are on a hiding to nothing. For some people the models will not be perfect until they are £500 products with a real miniature diesel engine fitted in them.
Pat
Reply to
Pat Hammond
Untrue. I was unaware that it was incorrect!
That is a ridiculous statement! As I cannot prove the accuracy of the content of the emails, should I refuse to publish them? The email section was opened up on the request of readers and not for my benefit. It takes me time I could well be spending on things of benefit to me. It is not essential to MREmag and did not exist in the early months of the magazine. However, I get the impression it is popular.
I agree!
Where on earth did that come from? It is not my style at all! Can you tell me the source of that claim, John? I still have all the original emails and so it would be easy to check.
It would if I tried to criticise a model for being inaccurate when I had no idea whether or not it was. Personally I prefer to describe what I can see and so my reviews are rarely critical. Now doesn't that make sense?
Pat
Reply to
Pat Hammond
In article , Colin Meredith writes
Thank you Colin.
Pat
Reply to
Pat Hammond

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