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S.A.C Martin

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S.A.C Martin last won the day on November 4 2011

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    Writer, modeller, film maker.

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  1. There's an excellent model of the Gresley A4 Pacific available in OO from Hornby. But it never really did it for me. So I tried doing something different and using cheap body shells from a magazine coupled with a variety of chassis to get a model A4 in the form I wanted for my model railway. Additions include after market buffers, washout plug and access hatch etches, handrails, my own formulated paint, Fox Transfers lining out and many more besides. Tony' seen my first and second attempts first hand, here's the fifth and probably last as I'm happy with the colour, the chassis choice, the parts used and the etches I commissioned to get it to be the right model exactly. The question is, what do you think of the colour of Empire of India, Tony? Different pictures give different shades. Compared to the original Silver Fox - darker, but not much darker. Those videos above are fantastic by the way. Really enjoy seeing trains running on Little Bytham.
  2. I base my view quite firmly on the fact that are very few and far between examples of Hornby retooling models at this stage of the game and this is much less likely after release. The heavy tanks are the exception to the rule. In any event, only Hornby and DJ Models are producing the Class 71. So Hornby are DJ Models' only competitors for would-be purchasers of that model. They are the only games in town if you want a class 71. They are competitors for people buying a class 71. Hornby is DJ Model's only competitor in this area: and vice versa. What exactly is not factual about that?
  3. It seems to be a fair assumption: they have a working Class 71 model and they have cut metal for the tooling. Would you not agree that their development is further ahead? And Dave Jones has just announced a six month delay on the J94 model too. I'd everyone has production problems. But being first to tool their model up puts them at an advantage to getting to market. Given the priority given to newer models than catalogue models currently Hornby's Class 71 will come out sooner rather than later, if we look at the overall releases recently. I did not deny that in any way, shape or form. But they're not at the first EP stage - they've cut metal for the tools. They are past the EP stage and I can't see Hornby making any tooling changes now - because very rarely have they done so in the past. So again - to who does it benefit not putting forward all of the information now? Based on the info being held back it could change people's minds. Of more concern to me is that it's okay to say that Hornby would copy Dave Jones' work to better their own? Is that a fair comment for anyone to make? I don't believe it is. A very disappointing response to what is a fair question, put constructively.
  4. Your only competitor is Hornby, and they've already tooled their model up to a running sample Hornby Class 71 - May Update. So, with respect, they are going to be first to market. Why would they take notice of your CAD drawings any more than they've taken notice of Oxford Rail's Radial Tank in the development of theirs? I think it's great you're doing variations and the CAD drawings look good. Some in fact look excellent - and there have been some fair and critical observations too. But let's call a spade a spade, Hornby are in front of you on development of a model of this prototype. They have in fact tooled theirs up a number of months ago. They're not going to change their tooling at great cost now. So what do you have to gain by hiding anything at this late stage of the game?
  5. Looking at Robin Brasher's set above against these photographs, the surprises just keep rolling in from Hornby. I personally think the way they're engaging with and talking to people in the hobby and with the general public is better than it's ever been. It creates intrigue, answers questions directly and gives everyone a glimpse at the development of models as they progress. Frankly - given how critical I myself was a few years back with design clever - we all need to applaud them for turning it around. The newest models are absolutely excellent and the return to quality must be underlined and praised. Their interaction too is brilliant on social media. The Radial Tank itself is also exquisite. I wonder how similar it is to a T3 - can you make a reasonable T3 from a Radial tank?
  6. My apologies for the late reply Tony. I had thought I had posted a reply but perhaps it has been caught up in the ether. Thank you kindly Tony, that means a lot to me. I shall certainly try and come up this summer now that I am mobile with my own vehicle again. Personally speaking Tony, regarding the book, though it needs an update as you say, I find it's the modelling which is of interest, not the RTR subject matter. What you've done to the RTR models and the kits is far more interesting than just the record of the RTR models available. I think my favourite of your models in there is the hybrid Lord Farringdon Bachmann/SE Finecast A4 model, purely because it really looks the part despite coming from humble beginnings. It's what I've tried to emulate with my A4s albeit you'll be glad to know I've changed the shade of blue I am using!
  7. Since I sense the pitchforks are coming out, perhaps I should qualify my posting and address the points made to me. We have never met; however if you are referring to a PM change then obviously I would prefer - as it was at the time - that it remains a private exchange. I gave you that courtesy, after all. Absolutely, we agree: a meal has been made of it. To what end: I don't know, but I thought it was a rather good video and it was on the whole a very positive review. You see, I disagree. I don't think owning a model is the only way to a balanced assessment. You can borrow one, inspect one, and you can form a viewpoint based on the observations of others. There's several different mediums and happily through the internet, models can be looked at closely and discussed. Just because I don't own a Bachmann Modified Hall, for example, does not mean I can't be objective in assessing its positives and negatives known to me: otherwise you are putting forward quite an elitist view that only those who buy models can in fact have discussions about them. Can everyone afford to buy every model to assess it for their interests? Well from the video there are a couple of minor issues, one of which the video maker rectified himself and explained how he did it in a constructive manner, and the other is a missing coupling hook (which as he said himself, is a minor issue). Unless you're suggesting Mr Simpson has an ulterior motive for making his video I really do not understand what the problem is with someone reporting his own experiences with a model he bought? Because - by your own definition Ian - that's the exact and only kind of review that has any merit: buying the model and then giving an opinion on it accordingly. If you are referring to Mr Simpson again, perhaps because he didn't own the model until recently and chose to air it on his YouTube channel - which to be frank is a medium much used by other reviewers in other hobbies and in mainstream commercialism? Nothing out of the ordinary as far as I can see. However I sense I am speaking for someone out of turn - so perhaps you should direct the questions toward the gentleman in question? As he is more likely to know than I. Indeed. You are quite capable of giving an opinion Ian. I don't believe I need to explain myself other than I think Ivan's post above is amusing
  8. You have my apologies in fact - gone back to listen and you are quite right, he does indeed say that. I retract the earlier statement quite happily. However - that is his view: he has quantified it to an extent in what he says, and he's entitled to express it. He's expressed it in a manner which is polite and constructive - surely there's nothing wrong in that?
  9. Absolutely - but, being fair to Mr Simpson (who has posted a very polite and fair comment above) he never actually said in 27 minutes of footage anything approaching "there is room for improvement". If he had done, I would agree with you in principle that producing a statement like that without evidence is wrong. But he never actually did that, so it's disingenuous to state that.
  10. James you are very welcome, and kind. Please keep up the reviews. May I say, more power to your elbow. A better first post on a forum you could not have.
  11. I really am a bit flummoxed by this post. What exactly are you criticising Ian? The criticism on this thread was towards a review video. You've intimated that owning the model is the only way to review it. Which basically describes the video in question. In fact we should be encouraging more review videos like the one in question because it was: 1) honest 2) fair 3) informative and 4) detailed. It was 27 minutes long and he covered almost everyone bar taking the body shell off to look at the chassis. It wasn't aimed at a specific audience, it wasn't attacking anyone or unduly criticising the manufacturer and spouting diatribe. It was a video made by a young man, who is passionate about model trains, talking about one he'd bought, and how he wanted to share his experience with other like minded people on social media. He was polite, he was apologetic where he didn't know something or where he had a criticism, and it was - as far as I can see by own yardstick of how I'd like someone to criticise products I make (model railway and children's books) - absolutely fair and balanced. Now, if you're saying I can't or I'm not allowed to form an opinion on DJmodels' products because I don't currently own any, then you're very much mistaken. I intend to form my view based on that I read and observe of other's experiences and whatever I can muster myself. A spade is a spade - if something is wrong, it is wrong, and it does not matter who's saying it or what intent is behind it - a salient point is a salient point, and that is something Mr Simpson did very well I feel in his review. I will get off my soap box now!
  12. What puzzles me most about the reaction to this video review is that the negative response all seem to have derided it without actually watching it all of the way through. Taking Dave Jone's comments on board of course (and thank you for that further reply Dave) surely it's time to leave it at: It was a video review from a young modeller. It was honest, it was full of praise for the model, it offered practical advice for a problem which had occurred with his own and made some criticisms (which looked at in the cold light of day are fair and salient) but overall the modeller was happy and satisfied with his purchase overall. And can we please put to bed this nonsense about the only reviews of any merit that we should read are in the railway magazines. It's an absurdity. If someone makes a salient and fair criticism about a model, then it doesn't matter who the source is - either the criticism is right or it's wrong. The reviewer here was right to address problems he found, that was his experience, and we should be mindful of that when forming our own views. As we know from the recent Bachmann Modified Hall release the magazines aren't infallible. They, like any of us, is subject to getting things wrong. Model Rail was the only one of the monthly magazines who addressed the model's shortcomings in a wholly constructive fashion, being the only one to actually identify the problems that model has. The fact remains that, separate to Model Rail, Brian Kirkby had identified this as well and also taken steps to correct his. Nobody else has done that thus far: would you say Brian Kirkby's opinion wasn't as important as Richard Fosters when both reviewers were right?
  13. Nick - not everyone is a history buff, much in the same way that not everyone is a modeller. The reviewer was honest enough to say that and it takes guts to admit a flaw, not least on camera. He praised the historical notes provided with the model in his review, so at least he provided some balance to his own (and freely admitted) lack of knowledge in that area. He's a young modeller and everyone starts somewhere. The problem is, looking at this subjectively for prices, he's perhaps got his own opinions on the price based on other models he has in his collection. That's reasonable: everyone has differences of opinion on price. Kit building doesn't come into it because he didn't mention it at all. It was a general observation, looking specifically at this model, probably with an eye on other models he has bought previously. It's not as if he's a young Electric Nose gents. He's provided a reasonable and balanced review - perhaps some reasonable and balanced observations would be fair to the lad to help him improve, rather than condemning him outright just because his opinion doesn't line up with your own.
  14. Good afternoon Dave. Thank you for responding so promptly. Okay - but the link here says it's a "Kernow/Dapol" model. In fact the exact paragraph states: I think that's a fair summation of events. Fair enough, my apologies. I am going off the review made. However the point about who has manufactured the model still stands: just having that card in the box would confuse someone not clued up on the well tank's origins. The card itself is also business card sized and shaped so perhaps the reviewer made an assumption he should not have done based on societal practice. That's fine and I accept that - that looks to be the case from the video now I look at it a second time. Getting both sides of the story here and getting a reasonable response is key to getting a fair and balanced response. If you've not watched the whole video, you'll have missed out on a lot of praise for the well tank. I personally think as far as reviews go this was better than some professional reviews produced because it got to the crux of the problems with his specific model and offered practical advice should anyone else have a problem with theirs in the manner he did. That, and though he had criticisms, he put them across in an apologetic manner. Nobody's perfect: but I think I will agree to disagree on your summation. I thought it to be a very fair practical review which actually gave a lot of a praise to the product in question. You seem to assume that he'd be aware of DJ Models. As I say, aside from the updates on here and sporadically in the railway magazines, DJ Models is not a household name outside of here so perhaps it's a case of not being aware he had to look for DJ Models. He seems to be aware of Dapol and assumed throughout that it was Dapol made. With nothing on the box indicating it was manufactured by DJ Models and probably nothing at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway indicating it either, how could have have known to look for DJ Models? Absolutely agree it's subjective. The one thing I am getting from the negativity on here to this review is that for some, any criticism of a model is akin to dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. I am astonished by the reaction to a video where the appraisal of the model is, in the main and more than broadly speaking, gushingly positive for the Beattie Well Tank with a number of well observed criticisms which are put in an apologetic fashion. I must ask - because it feels a fair question to ask - did you all watch the video all the way? I watched all 27 minutes of it. I thought the reviewer did a good and fair job and more power to his elbow.
  15. Just watched the video. I personally am glad to see an open and honest review and whilst I disagree with some points in it, I'm left with a number of fair and sensible questions off the back of it. Here's how I saw the review's points, in the interests of balance. 1. It states "model of the year" on the side. Well, that was the Dapol Well Tank that won that award, wasn't it? This one has been made through DJ Models and Kernow. Might be being a bit pedantic, but if there's been changes to the model - whether internally or externally - since that award winning release, then is it actually the same award winning model - and if it was under the Dapol brand in the first instance where it won the award, is it reasonable or fair to put that on the box? Dapol were given the award for the model, as I recall, not DJ Models or Kernow? 2. The question of "down south" - well since the reviewer mentions he is in the far north of the country, the Bodmin and Wenford Railway is certainly south of his location (and yes, west too). So he's not wrong in stating it's south. 3. The business card. Nowhere on the exterior of the box does it say "DJ Models". The reviewer is unaware that DJ models has manufactured this model for Kernow, so is surprised to find a business card in the box for this manufacturer. That seems fair and logical to me. How would he - or anyone - know that the model has changed manufacturer purely by looking at the outside of the box? Particularly if he is not an RMweb member (which, outside of sporadic updates in the model railway press, is the only way you'd know that the Beattie Well Tank has changed manufacturer) and given DJ Models isn't shown anyone on the outer packaging. 4. Instructions - reviewer praises them. Fair play to him - and I agree, looking from the outside in, they look very well designed and clear. Like the parts list. 5. Lack of couplings - reviewer mentions he hasn't got any of the aesthetic metal couplings in the box. That's an oversight on a bought model. Missing part. Fair enough criticism surely? 6. Praises the research portion of the history section in the model. 7. Praises the exploded diagram and parts list. 8. Praises the fire iron extras. 9. Praises the inclusion of the white lamp discs. 10. Calls the model "beautiful" a number of times. 11. "Amazing detail in the cab", "Rivets everywhere". 12. Praises the smokebox door design, with the magnets. I like that too and I liked it on the original model. 13. Praises the printing of the numerals and text on the model. 14. Doesn't like the finish. Says it looks "plasticky". I have to agree, doesn't look painted but just the coloured black plastic. For balance, the reviewer says "you don't notice it much". 15. Criticises the mould line on the top of the boiler. Says it's a minor fault but that it bothers him. Fair enough. 16. Extra details on boiler - all plastic. Criticises this as he states that for £100, some of these should be metal. This criticism has been made elsewhere on other manufacturer's models including that of Hornby's Star and Heavy Tanks. 17. He states the coupling rods are plastic and are a shiny silver. He shows several closeups. They don't look like metal to me from looking at the video. 18. Praises separately fitted handrails, guard irons and similar. 19. Praises the fact the lamp brackets and lamp head code discs work. 20. Shows a picture of the model not being level on a flat surface. Explains what the problem is - axle bearing not put in properly. Explains how to fix problem. 21. Explains the brake rigging is fragile - managed to break a portion of it when taking the model apart to fix point 20. However states it was an easy fix. He then shows a number of bits of footage showing the model in motion. Mr Simpson's review seems quite balanced and fair to me. He's honest, goes into a lot of detail about what he likes about the model, and shows the model from all angles and praises a number of things about it. The only major point of contention seems to be whether the coupling and piston rods are plastic or not. A simple clarification by the manufacturer would address that directly. So Mr Jones - what material are the coupling and piston rods made out of? Otherwise not sure why others are so dismissive. It's a much more informative review than the vast majority of online reviews. Isn't that we want - a balanced and honest appraisal of a model?
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