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Everything posted by letterspider

  1. "We have not announced any further Class 90s at present and we now announce new products on a quarterly basis via our British Railway Announcements and only when new models are within three months of release. The best advice that I can give is to keep a lookout for future announcements for details of any new items that may be of interest to you". I think I am reading to much into this but why should the best advice be to keep a lookout for future announcements - when I told them I was thinking about getting a respray done ...? Wishful thinking ... I know! However it is useful we can see how the model might look thanks to the resprays showcased on this website..
  2. I have just asked Bachmann if they are producing the EWS livery or whether I should get a respray done
  3. This Class will be extinct if they keep as waiting any longer, we may be too
  4. Class E636 Camilla is a very popular locomotive with Italian modellers, the story and the livery gives it a sort of celebrity status. It is a different Class but the cabs are the same after rebuild, so I will be comparing those areas The Roco box is carboard with foam insert, not as slick as other manufacturers but perfectly adequate. Straight away you see the separate buffer details and the ploughs with comlete or slotted option for couplings. The user manual looks almost identical to the Rivarossi one, and would make you think that both models are produced from the same factory, however the model itself suggests otherwise. Looking at the cabs we can see straightway there is a driver and secondman - which is nice addition. However the plastic handrails bow out and also they break - even worse is that this particular spare seems always to be sold out. The windscreen wipers are to scale but moulded but they are painted so look good. The window heating elements are also well represented. Livery application and fine printing looks very sharp, the grilles on the side of the cab look better moulded than the Rivarossi The level of detailing upon the bogies are exceptionally fine, the speedometer cables look fragile but in fact will stand up well to handling. You also notice the considerable weight of the model - the bogie towers are metal however there are traction tyres on one wheel each end. The roof detailing is separately applied and looks good. The areas which have been moulded are sharp. The quality and fineness is the same as with the Rivarossi. However little details here and there put the Roco ahead. (The side windows on the E636 are rectangular not round) We can see inside a nice touch - there are representations of the inner mechanics of the loco and so we won't be seeing the wiring harness of the decoder or the flywheel of the motor. The body shells are held on by clips which are easy to prise off the chassis. The decoder slot is 8 pin just next to it is a pin selection for pantograph or rail operation. Again things are tight and sound fitting will require some skill. The lighting arrangement is robust, there are flush lenses in the body shell and a light box is cut into the recess of the chassis -so no fragile perspex light guides.There is no cab light. The cab is again very basic but wins over the Rivarossi because of the driver and it is just better fitted - not falling on the floor every time you pick the shell up. The directional lights appear more prototypical whereas the Rivarossi loco is overly bright; only one of the tail lights are illuminated during movement - which I assume is how the prototype works. There is not much light bleed. Also present beside and under the left tail light is a representation of a small green light which is used in certain situations (shunting?). I was unable to find a function key to turn that on (so far). On the Rivarossi this light isn't present. Overall this is another loco which has a strong motor and good to play with hours on end. There are good levels of detail and in many places the Roco model pleases you a little more than the Rivarossi with added details in areas where you don't normally look. I feel that Roco have applied a little more thought to please the modeller and so it is a ahead of the Rivarossi especially when the price is again around the Euro 170 mark. If Roco had put in metal handrails the model would have little to disappointment as far as the appearance is concerned.
  5. The current Hornby International / Rivarossi model can be found for about Euro 170. It comes in a plastic box which looks good and holds the model well. The model feels light about 600g and first impressions are of very nice detailing. A bag of buffer detailing is supplied with options for closed off ploughs or with a groove for a coupling hook. The manual mentions some details are for display purposes only and may interfere with running. One of these are the long cables running just underneath the body side. These are made of a flexible polymer, look really great and I found posed no problems all the way down to 2nd radius curves. They fit on and come off easily - which is necessary when taking the body shell off Roof details included separate metal grab rails and cooling pipes. The details look very good to the eye. Cab handrails are metal. The windscreen wipers are plastic and quite chunky but separate details - so I suppose you have the option of etched wipers if you are unhappy with them. There are no drivers in the cab. The cabs are very basic one unpainted one piece mouldings and very plasticky. There is no representation of the characteristic window heating elements. The directional lighting by LED's is bright and the bleed through into the cab is obvious in the case of the headlights, although this may be an intentional suggestion of cab lighting. The top headlight has no lighting I think this summarises the Rivarossi approach which is a mixture of cheap shortcuts and areas of quality in order to bring in the best detail for a price point - which currently is heading towards £170 Some of the printing is incredible sharp - the all important caiman and works number plate for example, as well as solebar details Bogies look very good with 3 or 4 levels of detail, however no speedometer cables The bodyside windows highlight some of the internal problems - namely very little space for manouevre. You will see the motor flywheel and the wires of your decoder The removal of the body shell is simple in principle - relying only on clips but difficult to release them The lighting arrangement and glazing shows the economy approach, I don't like lenses like these as they break too easily and then spares are hard to find. The decoder installation is awkward. The 8 pin slot is on top of the PCB and then you have to loop the wiring and put the decoder in a slot underneath. There is no apparent space for a sound decoder but it must be possible because factory fitted sound is available - however after market installation is not going to be straightforward. Also not shown is an internal switch for running the locomotive from overhead catenary. The motor is powerful and the locomotive is quite heavy, so I don't understand the need for traction tyres. There is one each front bogie on opposite sides and you are supplied with spares (I have already had to use one). The sides of the bogies come off very easily, so that is not a problem. It would also make weathering the bogies and wheels very easy. I am not a fun of traction tyres because you don't want to reach the day when the last one breaks and spares are no longer available. Overall this is a nice loco, lots of pleasing details but then some shortcuts but apart from the windscreen wipers most are hidden away. Best of all this is a locomotive you can handle without worries and it also runs for hours, smoothly, reliably, good hauling power and in the end those last 3 points are the most important for playing
  6. Due to some chance purchases I found myself in a situation of owning 3 (more or less) identical classes of FS locomotive but by 3 different manufacturers. More information about Class E656 can be found here on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FS_Class_E.656 This is a really popular prototype in Italy as it is a powerful almost mean looking locomotive and then you can see the grinning cartoon caiman on the cab side. The HO models can be hard to find - often selling out on pre sales. Further frustration is that side by side reviews are hard to find. The odd one out in this review is the ROCO model, as I have the E636 Camilla which was repaired after a fatal accident. However it had E656 cab ends put into place for testing, so there will be a significant amount of like for like comparison.
  7. As the title says this will be a side by side comparison of the E656 as produced by these 3 manufacturers, which has arisen from some chance purchases here and abroad. Details of this locomotive can be found here on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FS_Class_E.656 A very interesting and unusual locomotive, the protoype has a mean and powerul presence balanced by a a grinning cartoon Caiman emblem on the cab side My first purchase is the Rivarossi, which was all I could find in the UK second hand. Brand new items seem to sell out immediately on pre-orders on the Hornby website. This was followed by the ACME. The ROCO is the odd one out because it is actually the Class 636 Camila, which was damaged in a fatal accident and had E656 cab ends installed for testing purposes - so this won't quite be an exact comparison but hopefully other readers will find this useful when they are thinking about the price, detail and quality of these 3 brands.
  8. I would happily pay up to £30 for a repair - if you have the tools and expertise it would be worthwhile at those rates. I don't have the tools and I don't fancy finding out the hard way how steady my hands and eyes are!
  9. Let's see my Bachmann Class 90 decoder failed and was sent back to Zimo - that was fixed for free as it was obviosuly within the warranty period. That was before BRexit so no problem The problem is -even though repair items are supposed to be VAT exempt (and model trains as well) - if there is any error in your customs declaration then you will have to pay around £15 processing fee to collect VAT / Duty of £1 and that processing fee can NEVER be clawed back. So fixing in the UK is preferable for piece of mind alone
  10. I don't know if it has been covered earlier in this thread but the response from Bachmann was that the decoder is circuitry integrated into the light bar, as such they were unable to offer a straightforward solution for fitting a capacitor and to their advice to solve is to improve the track and pickup cleanliness.
  11. I don't think this is quite right. If the unit has a DCC decoder then you would connect the capacitor after the decoder and in parallel at that, I haven't seen the decoder but it may have pads for a capacitor?
  12. Thanks for sharing - I wasn't even aware these were out
  13. Not since they have moved on to the newer versions also you have to send them to Austria I have once seen advertised someone in the UK who does these repairs but can't now track them down
  14. I have an ESU DCC Sound chip failed in normal use All functions are fine but the power transistor has failed. No warranty Can anyone direct me to someone who can do repairs? Thanks
  15. Good idea - and less expensive!
  16. Excellent work Jerry. Surely Bachmann have missed a trick by overlooking the EWS livery. C'mon Bachmann - WE WANT AN EWS 90 FOR CHRSTMAS!
  17. When I spoke with Dapol staff at Alexandra Palace in 2019 - they had decorated samples and I held them - but they rightly wanted to correct the livery. At that point in time they were 6 months from a production run and I am sure that they are probably more frustrated than their customers at not being able to have brought them to market quickly. The problem for me with the Bachmann approach is .... well nearly £500 for a BEP...what can I say?
  18. Dapol are a smaller company and have had to contend with increased labour costs in China, then Brexit and Covid and they also had a bad time with the livery and PCB of the Class 73 (which otherwise could have been highly celebrated as a model) On top of that they have a potential danger that Hornby could retool their 59 That is a LOT of risk Fools rush in where angels fear to tread...
  19. Thanks. That looks a great set, let me know if you ever want to sell it.
  20. I am interested in modelling the Italian railways and currently interested in buying an E444 ACME, Rivarossi and Roco models are currently available new and second hand. I know from experience ACME have the finest level of detail (perhaps too much as pieces can fall off) The Hornby / Rivarossi and Roco models are also looking well detailed but I want to know if either of them use traction tyres Any help from members on here would be appreciated. Also there doesn't seem to be a section on Italian Railways in the overseas section atm
  21. Funny - there were complaints on this forum at £60 a coach but they sold out fast. The DBSO goes for £120 second hand and are hard to get.
  22. Bachmann Mk2f coaches with DCC decoders fitted retail around £70, so it can and has been done
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