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  1. As I am between layouts, any items I have have had at the most a gentle test run to confirm operation. I do not purchase to collect but as one previous poster stated, to "future proof" myself. How many times have we kicked ourselves for not buying a specific model only to have a manufacturer no longer reissue that model? How many times has a retailer offered a firesale loco only to later increase the price to full retail when stock levels drop? Many opportunities were missed because of a reluctance to make an immediate purchase thinking that I would buy it later. While not in the potential "collecting" category, a case in point is the recent Hattons bundle pack on the Golden Valley Hobbies "ICI" Janus pack with matching open wagons. I purchased two packs as it was more cost effective to get additional wagons and thinking once they arrive then I may consider additional packs. Well, the items arrived and well exceeded expectations. Alas, the "more than 10 instock" quickly evaporated and the sale pack vanished from stock. A missed opportunity for more.
  2. Lima did a few Australian outline diesels in "h.o.", that in a time when nothing of super detail quality was available locally, the Lima bodies were more than adequate when repowered with Athearn or Kato drives. Probably the most detailed body as regards applied livery, was the class 42 NSWGR diesel in the 125 year anniversary of rail in NSW. The candy coloured liveries were also very attractive.
  3. Something that I have done on several dozen Lima coaches to be fitted with normal Hornby 14.1 mm metal wheels is to remove the bogie, fit the Hornby wheels (26.5 mm axle length) and then lay the bogie on its sideframe on the solid heel of a vyce. With a hammer, tap the axlebox cap several times and check the wheels for rotation. It may take several taps on both sides to enable free running. The Lima bogies are generally a soft pliable plastic allowing the axle pinpoint to make an indentation further inside the axlebox recess. Generally, due the flexible nature of the bogie, the axlebox detail is not harmed. That said, just yesterday I had several Lima "B1" bogies that were a rigid material so that when I attempted to gain pinpoint clearance the axlebox split. I had not experienced this previously. Of cause I had tried the method of drilling out the internal recess on the axlebox to gain clearance but found this method hit or miss and the chance of the drill bit biting into the plastic and exiting the axlebox bearing cap.
  4. That is true for private sellers or those stores with insufficient sales to gain favourable rates from Royal Mail. I receive multiple shipments most weeks from the U.K. and avoided UK eBay sellers a long time ago due the extremely high postage costs. I tend to keep the majority of my purchases from Hattons, but due the embargo on new Bachmann products, I need to look to Rails for my purchases unable to be fulfilled by Hattons. With Hattons I actually pay less to ship a loco to Australia from the UK than I do to ship the same loco just one suburb away from me. Rails shipping is almost comparable to Hattons for small items around 1 kg maximum. What no one picked up on was my package weighed 2.260 kg, whereas I paid for a package weighing 4.790 kg. Does Parcelforce use volumetric weight when calculating international shipping, i.e., the volume of the package rather than the actual weight should it be less than the calculated weight?
  5. GWR-fan

    EBay madness

    Supply and Demand . Stephenson's Rocket https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Hornby-OO-R3809-STEAM-LOCO-STEPHENSON-S-ROCKET-HRR3809/303604618173?hash=item46b03ed3bd:g:Mp8AAOSwy-le9C6-
  6. My expensive almost GBP60.00 postage package by Parcelforce global priority arrived this afternoon. I was expecting a very heavy package given the quoted postage price, however, when weighed on arrival the total package weight was 2.260 kg. Now a store such as Hattons would have offered the three items included on the order as shipped in two packages and the total postage cost would have been less than GBP30.00 and the shipping time the same. The invoiced weight was 4.790 kg. Now one must assume that Parcelforce charge a "volumetric weight" based on the volume of the package, given the actual weight was half the invoiced weight. The contents of the box barely filled 2/3 of the package volume. For almost GBP60.00 postage cost I would have expected 2 - 6 day delivery, not over two weeks. The store in question, Rails, will only receive small orders from me in future , less than 1.0 kg, given that I have no confidence in getting the "best postage" price as they state on their emails. In hindsight I should have cancelled the order and then ordered the items separately.
  7. Some years ago I was making masters for coal loads for a manufacturer of "O" scale kits downunder and was using unused kitty litter to represent the contents of the hoppers. I mixed the kitty litter with a 50/50 mix of waterproof builder's PVA and water. Alas as the mix dried out the kitty litter would keep shrinking, so over a period of many days it was a case of continually adding kitty litter and PVA mix to the hopper. Even after many days when I thought the masters were dry they continued to shrink, making the masters basically useless.
  8. Very odd. Last night after seeing the motor sparking and tripping the power supply with power applied directly to the motor terminals, I sprayed the commutator with electrical contact cleaner. I dried it thoroughly and then retested the motor. Same condition, sparks and power tripping. 24 hours later with nothing to lose I tried power once again on the motor. It works perfectly.
  9. A few weeks ago I purchased a non runner Bachmann class 47 #32-800 from a well known store. I thought it worthwhile to see if a simple fix or maybe something major to get my brain working. Well, the item arrived yesterday and after moving forward about 60 cms it stopped and tripped off my power supply. After stripping the motor out and testing directly to the motor terminals, sparks emitted from the commutator end and my power supply tripped again. I suppose if I had the time and the money I could await a replacement motor from Bachmann Europe, but I decided to look in my spares box. I found a Hornby X9863 motor from a class 43. This is a black motor with dual flywheels. Comparing to the Bachmann Buhler motor, the motor case length and width were the same and even the overall shaft length identical. The Buhler motor clips into a saddle mount whereas the Hornby motor is screwed down with mounts at each corner. After a little head scratching the Hornby motor mount pads were cut off and width trimmed slightly to fit inside the Bachmann chassis casting. The original Bachmann saddle mount needs to be removed. A 0.040" styrene mount pad was glued to replace the Bachmann saddle mount and the motor glued in position, ensuring it was aligned both laterally and longitudinally. When I went to hook up the driveshafts it became obvious that the shafts were slightly too short as the shaft recess in the Hornby drive coupling is deeper than the Bachmann coupling, so the shaft could slide further inside the coupling thus disconnecting the shaft from the bogie coupling. Now in hindsight what I should have done is most likely moved the flywheel coupling each end of the motor further away from the motor casing, thus reducing the distance to the bogie coupling to compensate for the deeper recess in the coupling, however, given the late hour and my need to get up very early the next morning I did not think of this. What I did was by trial and error, insert styrene shim pieces inside the motor coupling until I arrived at the correct size. The bogies were then hooked up and the drive tested. Only hiccup was reversing the motor wire terminals on the circuit board to achieve correct direction response and directional light function. The loco runs beautifully. Of cause, a replacement Bachmann motor would have been nice but I did not have one in my spares box. I feel the quality Hornby motor just as good (well maybe not as good as the original Buhler motor) and with a little ingenuity I have rescued what would have been a pile of spare parts.
  10. Recently I was slugged a very large amount for a parcelforce global priority package when purchasing several items from a well known store. If I was able to buy the same items from another store then the store would have automatically broken the order down into smaller packages reducing the cost significantly by keeping each package less than 2 kg and saving me around GBP30.00 in postage cost. The total weight of the combined package would have been less than 2.5 kg. The cost to ship the package was almost GBP60.00 with the value of the contents less than GBP100.00. If broken down into two packages then the cost would have been close to GBP30.00 total. Also with the other store I could have chosen to have my items shipped by DHL on a single package exceeding 2 kg (with 2-6 days shipping time) for little more than two packages with Royal Mail with the same combined weight. I do not believe that parceforce global priority is any quicker than a standard Royal Mail package. In future when purchasing from the initial store I will place an order with a single item only or be sure that the items ordered weigh less than 2kg. Unlike another well known store this store does not list the weight of an item when ordering, so for items such as resin cast structures one has little idea of the actual weight of the item.
  11. I had to personally contact eBay to get them to alter my records to reflect that I do offer combined postage. I kept getting messages from buyers that eBay would not allow a buyer to request a combined invoice. I tried to explain to use the Add to cart and then request, but I believe with many these days using a mobile phone app the option is not there to request a combined postage, so the buyer makes multiple purchases, paying multiple postage charges and then requests a combined postage cost and refund of the amount he has paid. Little do buyers know that eBay charges the seller a fee of around 12% on each postage cost paid plus in Australia a 10% GST fee on the postage. I refund the difference in cost but eBay never refunds me the additional fees paid and buyers get peeved off when the amount they pay for postage is not the same as the post office receipt on the received package. As regards offers, I see my listed prices as far lower than any others and so refuse any offer request. I do not increase my price to reflect the possible acceptance of an offer.
  12. I have been selling items on Australian eBay for close to twenty years and up until recently buyers would always post feedback. My policy is that once a buyer has paid then he deserves his feedback which I do immediately after returning from posting his purchase. Lately though I rarely receive feedback on items. I do not wish feedback to increase my tally points but I see the posting of feedback by the bidder as proof of receipt of the item. Some rural areas that I post to do not record delivery of the item by way of tracking which accompanies every package delivered by Australia Post. When an item is not showing delivered after a couple of weeks and reciprocal feedback has not been posted, then I am left wondering if the item has actually been delivered and whether the bidder is going to raise a dispute for an item not delivered. From my perspective I see reciprocal feedback as a common courtesy acknowledging receipt of the item and confirming the condition that the item was sent in. I feel that the inception of the eBay mobile phone app makes it possibly too inconvenient for the bidder to post feedback or perhaps they simply do not care to. EBay used to be a community, however, it seems that the community spirit has broken down with eBay these days strenuously pushing the platform as a business model and not a "community service".
  13. Rob, I feel your pain, have been there a few times, however, in my case the darts have never usually still been in the box. Sometimes sheared off like yours or simply missing leaving just a hole. On one loco the part was so cleanly sheared off it was hard to tell if a part should have actually fitted there (the sheared off dart was in the packaging). Fortunately, I was able to cobble together something to represent the part in each case as the cost of a replacement brass or white metal part was not worth the trouble. I recently returned a failed loco (first time ever in all my years) and return postage to the UK cost me almost $30.00 (not refunded). It was a small saddle tank. If a larger express loco then the cost would have been over $50.00 and the store (one of the big ones) does not refund return postage on international sales.
  14. With the going price of this train pack in Australia at several outlets being less than GBP210.00 and prices in the UK being around GBP30.00 less than full retail (GBP299.99), this train pack seems to be a little difficult to shift downunder. Given the intense interest in UK trains in Australia I am wondering if perhaps today's modeller is more discerning and not willing to simply accept a cobbled together train pack, no matter how attractive it may be. The loco alone retails downunder for around GBP145.00, making the coaches in the pack relatively inexpensive. To purchase the pack in the UK from one of the big discounters would cost GBP250.00 including airmail shipping to Australia. Note: prices calculated using the current exchange rate $1.00Aud = GBP0.52.
  15. Many thanks. Edit: it would seem that the area that is set aside for goods handling is a "staging" area and so no actual shed.
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