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Ian J.

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  1. 1. The more you sell of something, the more profit can be made? I know it's anecdotal, but I often read here of people buying one or more additional examples of a model because it really works for them, and fewer when it's not quite right (examples that spring to mind in the more category being the SJW24, the Hornby Peckett, and in the less category, the original Heljan 47). 2. My workings being if it takes an hour to run through the basic checks (and it really shouldn't take much longer than that) every couple of weeks, at say a professional like rate of £50 per hour, that's maybe £75 a week, give or take and remembering that employer's tax and NI have to be taken into account. £75 a week for a set of basic checks shouldn't add even 1.0% to a budget of £100k. 3. I am not, and have never claimed to be, inside the industry (I think I may have mentioned that in my original post, but can't see it right now). I am not even in any production industry. However, I do in my job (database and application design) have to review and check on a regular basis and look for efficiencies in effort as well as usage of resources in my, and occasionally others', work. Such skills aren't unique to software, or to any industry, and any system, be it virtual, mechanical or biological, can always stand to be reviewed for improvements. Normally a measure of an improvement will have a beneficial cost element somewhere along the line. Even if such an improvement can't be applied cost effectively at the time, it can be batched with other review findings for later application.
  2. OK, look, I have not said I'm looking for 'perfection', 'absolute best', etc. I'm just trying to understand why repeated errors occur of similar nature, and trying to think of ways, within reasonable bounds and costs, to reduce the occurence of those errors so that all of us as modellers can benefit, with the added positive that the producers sell more models. The last two replies are still in the 'too difficult, don't bother, civil service' attitude, and make it look like I'm writing in invisible ink!
  3. ...and that's the other systemic problem, 'us'. As long as we are willing to say 'it looks more like 'x' than a brick so I'll buy it' then the producers of the models will work down to that lowest level of spend, regardless of the probability that a better model may make more profit in the long run. What irks me is that the basic checks that I outlined previously wouldn't cost much, and with the reduction (though not eradication) of errors that would follow, could lead to better sales, more profit and better reputation. With my business head on, I'd call it a 'no brainer'.
  4. I am not sure where I said I believe we can eliminate all errors with checking, either in this thread, or at any time either on this forum or otherwise. I am fairly sure I'm been trying to say here that with some basic and carefully thought out checks we can reduce errors to a level where they are infrequent and rarely repeated, and this can, I believe, be done with a not onerous set of basic checks done at the right times throughout the process. The whole reason for this thread was the issue of repeated errors (and arguably of a similar type, mostly related to body shape) and what could possibly be done to help reduce them. Of course, if there are systemic issues at play (producer doesn't want to do corrections no matter what at any stage and just wants to chuck product out into the marketplace no matter what for the least cost possible) then it doesn't matter who's checking, as errors are being let through 'deliberately'. Again, part of the reason for this thread was to try and identify why errors happen, and deliberate systemic issues are one of those.
  5. Warm Trifle Day

    1. Tim V

      Tim V

      Struck me as a fairly important day!

  6. Thank you for such a selective quoting of my post to make it look like I didn't say something about that... I really think there is a mentality here of 'make it hard'. I feel there needs to be a more open attitude to the possibilities, rather than a 'don't want to do it so make it look as difficult as possible' approach. It feels very 'civil service', like Sir Humphrey in 'Yes, Minister'.
  7. I agree that there are thousands of things that you could measure, but you simply don't need to check every single one. You can group dimensions in a related fashion so you'd only need to check maybe a hundred or so to know that the basic L/W/H and GA were right, and still include a fait bit of checking of detail positions while doing so. Then there are notable risk areas, most models won't have hundreds, let alone thousands, of those in respect to the body shape. There may even be single digit risk areas, which could/would include things like roof curves, cab front shape, etc. For those, if care is taken with a virtual and/or physical 'master stencil/template/gauge' right at the outset, then they should be straightforward enough to check repeatedly.
  8. I have to, respectfully, disagree. With regards to individuals not seeing an error, I would expect a professional designer, if shown an error, to be able to see it, accept it, and correct it. If they can't do that, then, IMO, harsh though it might be, they shouldn't be a designer. With regards to checking, if we were to follow your argument to its logical conclusion, we'd never check anything in any industry. In regards to models, some simple, basic checks would not consume vast amounts of time and money, and would catch a good proportion of body and detail errors, enough to satisfy even me. Maybe not everything would be caught, but there are three places where these checks could be done to catch as much as possible: upon completion of CAD; on presentation of 3D print; on presentation of tooling sample. This isn't rocket science, and doesn't need to be unduly onerous. The upshot of such checks is less risk for the product and improved reputation, things worth actual money to businesses.
  9. I don't think it was laser scanned, but I could be wrong. I thought Hornby had made some changes to the VEP's chassis for a later run to make it better?
  10. Agreed, I don't think any producer, RTR or kit, has got that end right yet. With Hornby's VEP coming out before the Kernow/Bachmann 4TC, I had hoped Bachmann would concentrate on getting the front right, but for some reason, they didn't. I still prefer to have separately fitted handrails, especially a significant one as on the BR(S) Mark 1 units cab front. To my eye the moulded one does look moulded.
  11. The cab front windows are a bit too large, mucking up the very recognizable 'face' of a standard BR(S) Mark 1 EMU (or in this case, TMU). They were worse initially and Kernow did try to get them corrected and the end result is better than it would have been. However, I have tried to 'love' the Kernow/Bachmann 4TC, but I just can't quite get over that 'face not being quite right' issue. As regards detail, the wrap round handrail has been done by Heljan successfully enough on their 33/0 and 33/2, and they're not particularly fragile, so it can be done.
  12. I (mostly) do without. Much to my disappointment, I'm at least doing without 4VEPs, 4TCs, 33/0s, and others. The Hornby 700 handrail error I've managed to learn to live with, but I still notice it. Given enough time and space, I suppose I could try and correct it, but it's a faff and something I don't really want to tackle. Anything sufficiently significant in body shape I cannot fix. The cab fronts of the 4VEP and 4TC are currently too much for me to do anything about. If I take the plunge later this year (funds allowing) and get a 3D resin printer, I may have a go at doing up a replacement cab front, and see if I can get it to fit, but I'm suspicious that there are body shape issues with the models that might mean a 'correct' cab front can't fit.
  13. Deliberate errors as a copyright trap, in the case of the models we're talking about, would hopefully be in a minor detail or two, not in a significant and noticeable body shape. To sum up my feelings for this thread so far, I feel that there are systematic and systemic issues that lead to CAD errors. The systematic is a lack of checking vital dimensions and risky areas of a model against a carefully thought through list of checks before committing to tooling. These checks should probably be done against CAD, and against 3D prints. Painting of the 3D print should be possible as a rough guide, but colouring up a CAD model is certainly possible. Systemically, I think we're seeing producers put too little budget aside for the CAD work, and are committing to tooling either knowing that errors exist, or due to the systematic failure above, being unaware of the errors. But there is another issue that I feel is influencing these decisions: 'us', the buyers. 'We' seem to be somewhat too willing, in my opinion, to accept an error on the basis of 'it looks more like an 'x' than a brick, so it'll do in my book'. Obviously I don't feel that way. I can only hope that there is more willingness to do checks in CAD and produce better models, and consequently gain more sales. I don't like naming any producer where errors are concerned without mentioning that all the others also make mistakes. Now I will name producers who have done well, starting with three recent producers who I know I for one appreciate their approach to their models: Accurascale, Rails of Sheffield and Rapido. I mention them because I'm seeing them care about at least trying to get the basics right despite any other issues they might be dealing with. I think also Kernow and Hattons deserve mention. But I will also mention the four majors, Hornby, Bachmann, Heljan and Dapol again here, as for every model they've produced that has a flaw, they have produced some right crackers. For all producers, I say we know you can do models well. I really hope you're willing to look at whatever issues are in your systems that cause errors to get in, and to try and weedle them early on and consequently get us to give you our money.
  14. I think I'm seeing your position now - with a fixed CAD budget, you're wanting the money to cover basic shape first, and not waste money in the CAD work with lots of little details? Yes, I would disagree, but only to a point. Basic shape is still the number one priority, but I just feel it shouldn't rule out decent detail as well. To not go the extra mile, is, to my mind, as false economy. A case in point - the Heljan 35 remains a firm favourite of mine, and has none of the extras models seem to get these days. ?? That's still an unfair argument, and it's bad it's still fallen back on when issues with a model are found. I can't design and build a car, I can't design and build a smartphone, or a house, or who knows how many things. But does that mean I have no view on the quality of those things? Really, that argument needs to die.
  15. Personal attacks are not warranted, no matter what the issue. I hope Ben feels able to continue engaging with people here on RMweb. As for errors, all manufacturers have been making them and I am always at pains never to single out any one for criticism without also mentioning the others. It is, however, getting difficult not to. I hope that the 45 roof profile can be fixed, but as tooling is already being cut, I doubt this can be done cost effectively.
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