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Model of the Year poll 2009




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#1 Andy Y

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 16:09

Thank you for your votes in the Model Rail / RMweb / MREmag annual poll.

Model of the Year 2009

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As we approach a time in the UK when we will be inundated with election terminology there's one word that seems to sum up this year's Model of the Year poll and that is“landslide”. In the more significant categories the winning margins have been less “marginal” than previous years with the results giving a significant “swing” towards Bachmann overall from a “turnout” of 1654 voters.


The last year has seen interesting developments in the 4mm world. The market was taken by surprise with the introduction of a 107 year old locomotive with the NationalRailway Museum commissioning Bachmann to produce 'City of Truro' for them on an exclusive basis. This produced a win in the 'OO  locomotive' category ahead of Bachmann's 3MT 2-6-2 tank which could well have taken the prize in any normal year.

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The development of Bachmann's first Electric Multiple Unit in the shape of the 4-CEP certainly took longer than 'City of Truro' but when it reached the market at the endof 2009 sales seemed very buoyant; a four car train is a risky move for any manufacturer outside of the train set market but this really seems to have paid off for Bachmann leading to forthcoming releases from the two main manufacturers to build upon this significant development. The nature of the product distinguishes itself from other entrants in the 'OO diesel and electric' category and secured the largest majority in this category seen to date ahead of the runner-up, Bachmann's Class 150.

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Much earlier in 2009 we saw the introduction of a niche product in the 'OO rolling stock' category in Hornby's 'Devon Belle' observation car, although only two of these existed in the real world the model is significantly different from regular coaching stock to attract the eyes of buyers, is produced to a very high standard and is rich in features. This won the category with a huge margin ahead of a new manufacturer name in the OO world, Flangeway, with their independent snowplough.

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With wins in the locomotive categories it's perhaps not surprising that Bachmann take the prize of 'OOmanufacturer of the year' but the differential between Bachmann and Hornby is far larger in this year's result than previously. Bringing different products and innovation to the market appears to win over the voters.

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There's no doubt that 'N' gauge isforging ahead in its profile within the hobby with greater choice,innovation and quality through healthy competition between the bigtwo, Graham Farish and Dapol, in the scale. In the steam locomotive category small and cute wins with Dapol's 'Terrier' taking the title ahead of the Farish 'Royal Scot'. The diesel and electric category produces a close result in this year's poll with the Dapol 67 with it's exceptional slow running performance and detail pushing the Farish '24' into runner-up spot.

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In the 'N' gauge rolling stock result Dapol's 'DVT' takes the title ahead of another special commission from Dapol with the N Gauge Society's 'Stove R' six wheel van.

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With Dapol making a clean sweep of the 'N' gauge categories it is not surprising that they go on to take the manufacturer title with almost two-thirds of the votes cast. There is rivalry within this market sector but this really is good news for the modeller whichever stable the products come from.

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Swinging away from the smaller side of the hobby across to the larger scales a newer name in the hobby,L.H.Loveless, has really started to capture the affections of voters taking a significant win in the locomotive category with its hugely impressive model of the 'Deltic' prototype.

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L.H.Loveless will undoubtedly be very proud to take the manufacturer of the year title for the larger scales ahead of Heljan. 

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Although Bachmann and Graham Farish are distinct brands they are, of course, the same business. Having a presence in the two most popular scales in the hobby increases the chances of becoming the overall manufacturer of the year but the difference this year is greater than before and Bachmann are to be congratulated on their performance in a year where products that are distinctive and possibly even a gamble have risen to the top of the voters' minds. We live in interesting times!

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The end of the first decade of the 21stcentury presented an opportunity to look at significant releases within the hobby over the last ten years and what a decade it has  been!

We are experiencing a time when products are available off the shelf that we could never have dreamed of ten years ago and produced to a higher standard than ever before so this vote really is the 'best of the best'.

The 2008 poll winner in the shape of the NRM special edition 'Deltic' prototype manufactured by Bachmann wins the the first 'Model of the Decade' title ahead of Hornby's excellent Class 60 and Hornby's Maunsell coaches. It is also interesting to see that another special commission in a niche area,Murphy Models' 141/181, secured 10% of the vote.

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The Editor's  Special Prize for the product with innovation and market impact goes to Bachmann's 4-CEP, an award winner in its own right but one which has opened the way for more third rail and unit based projects.


It is impossible to say how closely this record of modellers' opinions relates to sales but I am sure there is some correlation to it. I hope there is a relationship between the two as the poll results send out a very clear message to manufacturers that doing something different and attention grabbing secures an advantage.


You know what? I think next year's poll could be even more interesting!
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#2 Andy Y

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 16:13

Bachmann delighted to be Top of the polls

Bachmann Europe Plc is delighted to have topped the polls in the annual ModelRail / RM Web Model of the Year competition


Bachmann won three out of the four OO categories winning steam locomotive,diesel/electric and manufacturer of the year. Bachmann was also awarded the ‘Model of the Decade’ award for the Prototype Deltic produced exclusively for the National Railway Museum.


Graham Hubbard, Managing Director of Bachmann Europe Plc said today

“whilst I am delighted with the OO scale results, I am disappointed that the tremendous effort we have put into our ever expanding N scale Graham Farish range has failed to bring us any reward. Rest assured we will be working even harder to rectify that over the next year. I would like to thank all those who have voted for us and for the positive feedback we have received following our recent new model announcements”


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#3 Andy Y

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 16:18

Dapol's website also addresses the results:

In a recently held poll amongst readers of the Model Rail magazine, and the RM web forum, Dapol models have been awarded as Best N gauge Models for 2009 in all of the available voting categories.

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Best Steam Locomotive for our 0-6-0 Terrier model.


Best Diesel and Electric Locomotive for our class 67 model.


Best N gauge rolling stock for our MK3 DVT.


and Best N gauge manufacturer of the year.

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Dave Jones, Dapol’s product development manager said that “ This is a true indication that Dapol really are leading the way in increasing the popularity of this gauge, with our innovations and technology. We are truly humbled by this ‘Clean Sweep’, and reassure all N gauge modellers that we have more upcoming models which will raise the bar even further, to cement ourselves as the leading manufacturer in this scale. Thank you to everyone that voted from all at Dapol”.

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Dapol’s innovations have been many for N gauge but include;
First with NEM coupling pockets
First with a close coupling system
First with low friction bogies
First with NEM 651 DCC 6 pin sockets
First with sound compatible locomotive
First with ‘flicker free’ internal coach lighting
First with working Scharfenburg couplers
First with internal seating in our coaches



IIRC the Farish Mk1 was the first N gauge product to have internal seating.




Followed by an email from Simon Kohler at Hornby:

May I through your web pages thank all those who voted the Hornby Observation Car Rolling Stock Model of the Year 2010.  Obviously we were disappointed not to achieve more than the one award but this can only spur us on to aim for greater things in 2010 / 11.  Once again, thank you.  Now where did I put those Blue Pullman drawings!!



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#4 bennyboy

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 17:21

I notice that more people voted in the OO diesel/electric locomotive poll than for the steam equivalent. Interesting! Although I guess the younger diesel/electric modellers are more likely to be online than the older steam modellers.

And I don't know why Graham Hubbard is fretting about the lack of wins for the Farish range, when their Class 24 almost came first in the diesel poll, despite it having the same faults as the 00 gauge version!

#5 Pugsley

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 18:57

The 2008 poll winner in the shape of the NRM special edition 'Deltic' prototype manufactured by Bachmann wins the the first 'Model of the Decade' title ahead of Hornby's excellent Class 60 and Hornby's Maunsell coaches. It is also interesting to see that another special commission in a niche area,Murphy Models' 141/181, secured 10% of the vote.


It is impossible to say how closely this record of modellers' opinions relates to sales but I am sure there is some correlation to it. I hope there is a relationship between the two as the poll results send out a very clear message to manufacturers that doing something different and attention grabbing secures an advantage.

That's an interesting point about the different and attention grabbing products. I'd read the 'Model of the Decade' chart differently and hope that manufacturers notice the correlation between getting it right and votes/sales.

I believe I'm right in thinking that, certainly the top five in that poll, were all very well received at the time of their launch for being accurate renditions of their subjects, without some of the shape errors that have been present in other releases. That is certainly the case with the Deltic and class 60, which just shows what can be achieved.

#6 Removed a/c_Phil

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 21:09

Thanks Andy for keeping us up to date with this poll.

Have to say I am far from surprised how well Bachmann have done in the 4mm field. To me they deliver a diverse, balanced and economical model railway system to the modeller and collector all around the world. I have commented before about the "pocket money" prices of "traditional" wagons when compared with market competitors.

Bachmann continue to "dip their toe" into waters that other manufacturers steer clear of, so I am really pleased that they have been rewarded for it. Perhaps Mr Hubbard is a little disappointed with his lack of top notches for his 2mm products, but I don't think he has anything to reproach himself for. Dapol are very obviously 2mm market leaders at the moment, and I am biding my time until something 4mm, which appeals to me, is released.

I wonder if the team from Margate are sitting there thinking "what about us ?" If they are then perhaps there are one or two lessons to learn Mr Kohler. As someone posted recently - Hornby and Bachmann products apparently come out of the same factory, so how do retailers still make a profit out of flogging 4 CEPs at £110 ?

#7 The Stationmaster

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 22:01

Interesting to note how far in front the 4 CEP was in its category - and then consider the 'in service' time span and thus periods which could be readily modelled using it.

Are we again seeing a push in favour of the steam/diesel/electric transition era I wonder?

And as Andy says - the 2010 voting might be even more interesting..

#8 woodenhead

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 22:28

Whilst Dapol may have swept the boards this year in N, I think next year will see a swing back towards Farish again as it's new products roll in and we see a more even spread of accolades.

Last year we got the MkIIIs which was I think a big factor in Dapol's favour plus the units finally arrived which everyone and their dog wanted. At the end of the year Bachmann had two strong releases in the 24 and the 150 (which scored higher than either of Dapol's offerings despite it's standard couplings and visible motor). What let Farish down was the 47, this should be a staple on any layout from the 60's to the present day but the bogies issues let it down badly.

What have we to look forward to this year, a Black 5, a Standard 4 and Mark 1s plus I'm sure there is more that hasn't been announced yet. Of course there is also Dapol's offerings with the Britannia looking very tasty indeed and who could be without a B1, a 58 and an 86?

But where are the HSTs Dapol, that would be my vote for 2010. I've had them on pre-order since the MKIIIs came out and the coaches are suffering badly in the coach sidings from lack of use.

#9 Dr Al

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 23:53

Dapol's website also addresses the results:

IIRC the Farish Mk1 was the first N gauge product to have internal seating.


Even longer ago than the Mk1 - the original suburbans (circa mid 1970s) had internal seating. So it's been around for 35 odd years....

#10 nebnoswal

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 00:26

And I don't know why Graham Hubbard is fretting about the lack of wins for the Farish range, when their Class 24 almost came first in the diesel poll, despite it having the same faults as the 00 gauge version!


It was unfortunate that the Farish Royal Scot appeared in the polls two years in a row! It, the BR green variant, was released into the shops in late November 2008 and was included in the 2008 poll. The LMS black variant hit the shops in June 2009. I’m sure if the release hadn’t of been so spread out the result may have been closer!

As has already been stated, this year is going to big for new steam releases in N. Having had a close-up of forthcoming Manor and seeing the test shots of the Black 5, 4MT, 3MT and Britannia is going to be hard to split the difference between them all.

What was impressive was the % of the vote given to the Stove R, which was commissioned by the N gauge society, and was only available to members.

#11 bmg

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:38

Thank you Andy for providing tabulated results. They make very interesting reading. Congratulations are due to all the winners.

Do the results convert into sales? This year I have purchased 3 locos (2 Bachmann and 1 Heljan). I have also purchased 15 RTR wagons/carriages (13 Bachmann 2 Dapol). So maybe they do convert.

One wonders how Hornby will interpret the results and how they will react.

#12 woodenhead

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:34

I see Mr Kohler has fired up the Hornby 'Frothmatic' early this year ...

I wonder if theres a market for a .... :icon_wow:


Nah Bachmann would take Mr Kohler's Blue Pullman and raise it a 5-Bel which being Southern and an EMU would win model of the year hands down.

#13 PaulRhB

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 17:00

Well done to all the manufacturers who won in the poll at least it shows we have many prepared to take the gamble of new models. I think the win for the 4-CEP was richly deserved and I think that it tapped the novelty and the nostalgia market was it's great attraction. The timing of the release after such anticipation must have helped a tad too Posted Image
As mention above it's nice to see the innovators rewarded, Hornby just missing out on with the model of the decade with the phenominal 60 to the Deltic where the digital scanning takes accuracy to the next level. Would we have seen that innovation without Hornby raising the bar?
Dapol also rightly awarded for the innovation and quality in N gauge, their push into the OO market is good but they need to watch the blip of the monster boxes so it doesn't create a reputation as being inconsistent. (I have a pile of the FEA's and some MCAs with 8 Silver Bullets on order so I am putting my money in as welll as hopefully constructive criticism).
Nice to see the smaller companies featuring high too, even if some are produced by Dapol, and being rewarded publicly for their investment.

#14 Western Scottish

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 17:36

Well done Bachmann. Richly deserved accolades! It is nice to see that taking a risk and bringing innovative products to market (the 4 CEP) is paying off for them. If anything , I think their 2010 program with Class 85, 3F,7F and 350 will bring even greater accolades. I certainly seem in line with findings with the last 5 of my models all from Bachmann. All my purchases ran sweetly direct from the box with no QC issues, which for me certainly merits Bachmann being Manufacturer of the Year. :D






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