Bonnie Dundee

Bonnie Dundee

Monday, 8 April 2013

RTR and Quality Issues

Bit of a rant this time I'm afraid. My available modelling time is rather precious as I have alluded to before, so it has been most frustrating that I spent much of a free night dealing with RTR quality issues. First of all a Hornby rebuilt West Country pacific that had a distinctive tick (more of a limp actually) when it ran. It looked and felt like a quartering issue and a bit of work finally got to the bottom of it and corrected the problem. I suppose the key point is - that I shouldn't have to. When I finally get round to progressing one of my projects, I dig out a Hornby A3 that has been sitting in the "to do" pile for some time. I opened the box and out fell the revering rod and the rocking thingy ma bob. Oh and the tender top came away in my hand. The loco itself looked great, with magnificent detail in the cab particularly but it seemed such a shame that it was spoiled by build quality.

To make things even worse I fitted a decoder and put it on the layout for a bit of running in. The running quality was awful and I noticed that the motor seemed loose. On checking it became clear that the rear mount was not holding the motor as tight as on other similar models of the same kind. The casting is clearly not the correct size. I have temporarily packed the mount and am now searching to obtain a spare part to replace it. These two examples added time and effort to what I was doing, but how many new recruits to the hobby would, having parted with large quantities of cash, be put off by this shoddy manufacturing. 

For my future mainline I want to have a good representation of the locos running through northern Fife in the early 1950's. To do that I will have to rely of the RTR market and ironically given what I have just said, the high quality of the models makes it easier to do so than at any time in the past and it also makes it a more difficult choice to go changing some of the detail or livery. So the next time the interweb starts getting into a lather about what one manufacturer or other is going to produce at some far off time (Dapol and their class 21 springs to mind) perhaps the number one choice for the wish list should be for them to manufacture what they already produce properly.

60100 Spearmint
Gresley A3 60100 Spearmint
Despite the problems with the RTR build quality, 60100 joins the roster for future project X. The loco was based at Haymarket and shows their attention to cleanliness with a polished, but work-stained appearance. The one time stead of Norman McKillop, 100 was made famous in his writings in Trains Illustrated throughout the 1950's under the pen name of "Toram Beg". It will be a welcome addition to the fleet.

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