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34theletterbetweenB&D last won the day on December 20 2011

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  1. So that's at least 7 regular steam loco releases from Hornby with largely diecast bodies (typically footplate, boiler, smokebox; cab in plastic) any further specimens in their range? Why this is not promoted does appear to be lost opportunity to me. Or do some see this construction as undesireable?
  2. Allow me to restructure that: We have to live with this virus permanently, it's established. Vaccination: it is unreasonable to expect a Cov19 vaccination programme to be any more effective than that for influenza. The influenza programme requires an annual vaccination round formulated by expert best guess for the mutations most likely to be prevalent, and is far from completely effective. Then the question becomes what evidence do 'we' collectively have to see, before large public gatherings once again become an acceptable risk for the majority to confidently participate in? (For myself, annual mortality stable within a normalised <1% excess compared to the pre covid rate.)
  3. On the basis of already owning four Hornby steam models with largely die cast body shells, (B12/3, D16/3, J15, J36) this has already moved well beyond limited editions of previous Dublo products. There's been no price increment for this desireable feature, appearance compared to plastic mouldings is not compromised, and the benefit for traction is clear; the small B12/3 4-6-0 beats any plastic bodied 4-6-0 I have sampled for pulling a realistic load, and the other three are all good in this respect too. It will be a little sad if Hornby twig that they can ask more for this 'winning formula', but given their commercial position I am a little surprised that they haven't already been promoting this as a premium product.
  4. If the design remains unchanged with the wheels both gear and rod coupled the problem is likely to remain. Either coupling system individually will work well: rod coupled with drive typically on one axle; all gear coupled and no rods. But unless properly designed for assembly, there is a potential problem when both are employed. It's very simple indeed: just as the rod coupling demands the same 'quartering' on each of the wheelsets to give of its best, the axle gear tooth positions must also be uniform over all the wheelsets relative to the crankpin position if they are also to be rod coupled. That must be designed for at assembly; and my guess is that it isn't, because this gear alignment is simply not required in well proven solely gear coupled drives which work perfectly well, because there is no second coupling system. (Secondary to this, any slack in the gear coupling arrangements; but the primary problem is enough to be going on with.) The effect of small variations in gear alignment relative to the crankpins can be somewhat compensated for by having the crankpins slack in the crankpin holes, and allowing the rods to be cosmetic rather than working items 'going along as passengers' assuming whatever angle is required to prevent them binding too badly. Some models will by chance receive happily well matched wheelsets, others, not so good; something of a lottery. Whether adjustment is possible I don't know, never having had the chance to properly examine one. (I first saw this effect in model railway when long ago asked to look at a Lima 08, which was a reliable but jerky runner, the only previous OO loco example I have seen rod and gear coupled. It would run smoothly either with the rods off, or with the intermediate gears between the wheelsets removed. The latter was naturally chosen.)
  5. Pound to penny there's a bridged connection either in the decoder socket or elsewhere in the circuits on the mechanism, and track power is connected to a decoder output. The suggestion @dasatcopthorne makes is one good way, or you can go for the @34theletterbetweenB&D 'total impatience method' of rip out the socket and any board it is mounted on, test that there is full isolation of motor and all light connections from track supply, and then hardwire the decoder.
  6. These not only look good, as in overall close fidelity to the prototype, but also are the best performing of any RTR OO 4-6-0 I have compared to. The large proportion of cast metal in the body places ample weight on the coupled wheelbase, this combined with a very smooth running drive train means it will pull any realistic load. It leaves Hornby's B1 and B17 which it will run alongside on my layout for dead. Hornby's Castle, 7P's, Black 5, N15; Bachmann's B1 and BR std 5 likewise: for that matter models of eight coupled goods such as the Stanier 8F and Robinson O4, are outclassed. Hornby should only apply this construction to all their steam models so great is the advantage.
  7. I am fully onside with all this, especially the bravery required of the promoter, and the extreme wailing and moaning that would result at a premium price grade exhibition, but that's no reason not to consider it. The best things always cost more, and I would not consider it outrageous to be asked for £50 to see 20 or so top class layouts (all guaranteed to be operating!) , all able to be seen in comfort; followed by a dedicated high quality retail area of specialist suppliers, strictly after the exhibition section due to the one way flow enforcement. But then, I am a 'couple of shows a year tops' man, and the show I want is the cream of larger prototype faithful layouts, with a wide choice of retail supplies, and a comfortable experience throughout. There might be a clientele for such a thing. When the restrictions were first eased to allowing meeting a few members of another family in your garden we got on with a long delayed event for a god-daughter in our garden. In the midst of which it emerged that g-d had earlier that day totally breached guidelines despite her highly responsible parents very clear guidance. (As g-p present for the defence, it fell to me to remind her biological parents of several irresponsibly loony things they had done in their mis-spent teens and post medical qualifications obtained twenties even, and happily escaped with no serious consequences.) This is what happens. There's no way to totally eliminate risk. You are going to become a crumbling wreck and die some day. Accept this, take care to reduce risk, but don't hobble yourself while still living is my attitude.
  8. But before you get to the number of beats per revolution (which TTS definitely cannot replicate) there's the fundamental sound. Take a pair of two cylinder locos which can still be heard running today, a Terrier and a Britannia. The Terrier makes pop-pop-pop sounds, the Brit woof-woof-woof. All I am suggesting is that for a Q1 something at the 'woof-woof' end of the scale is more appropriate, to differentiate it from a small 0-6-0 which will have more of the pop-pop character.
  9. This was Derby Beyer-Garratt class thinking all over again. A 2,000hp loco with a branchline axle load is a nonsense, there were plentiful 8F rating eight coupled types of low axleload available to work on branchlines. Build 300 6' wheel 2-8-2s with 22T axleload for the same money as 50 Brits and 250 9F's, and there's a machine for the mainline which would have delivered the best of both designs in a single package. No difficulty with 90mph service speeds, long achieved on 6' wheel UK locos, and plentiful adhesion: equally deals with severe gradients in fast service, and slow speed when slogging on freight. It's not as if there were no exemplars to look at: Riddles team cannot have failed to notice the success of the 141R in France, locos which would pretty much see out steam traction there. And on the LNER Unsteady Eddie had fully demonstrated how to degrade tractive performance by converting 2-8-2s to pacifics, with consequent loss of adhesion. The evidence was available if Riddles et al chose to examine it, greatest missed opportunity in BR's standards programme.
  10. What I posted was in the context of the TTS decoder the OP intends using, which doesn't produce the correct number of beats per revolution. The characteristic of the sound made by a steam loco is fundamentally that of the 'organ pipe' of the smokebox and exhaust system, so it is those you want to match as closely as possible. Thereafter comes the speed, valve gear type and setting, and the steam rate, which are akin to the organist playing the instrument. I have yet to hear any sound decoder even vaguely approximate the subtleties this produces. See below. This was one of the features of the ECML, wherefrom of course Bulleid got the idea of powerful fast running three cylinder pacifics. As you sat lineside the first announcement of one of the breed approaching at full express speed was a very deep whumm-whumm-whumm note; which our then church organist - a full on steam fan - demonstrated was approximately 40Hz for a three cylinder loco running at the 90mph line limit. You could sometimes hear the 'organist' (driver) take his foot off the bass pedal (close the regulator) on an up express coming onto Welwyn viaduct*, and the whumm-whumm-whumm would cease, shortly after the exhaust visibly diminished on a rapidly approaching express, still a good half a mile away. And as it roared past we all shouted 'Racehorse' 'Arrer' 'Peppercorn', 'STREAK!' as appropriate. Such a time to be young. *If the train was going at 90 on the viaduct, an express would reputedly coast the last 22 miles to KX, provided there were no significant signal checks, thanks to the steady progression of falling gradients, so the crews claimed.
  11. It's nothing like a 'Railroad' range, but instead an alternative distribution channel. If it brings in target revenue, then why not try some further product from existing tooling that might find customers with broader distribution? (There's nothing like sweating investments as cash cows.) Quite apart from the direct money grubbing, there's a second potential benefit for Heljan. If their product sold via this channel reaches a significant number of completely new customers, some might be persuaded to try further items under Heljan's own label. There is a very conservative element in the customer base, and Heljan's range of UK product has only been around eighteen years or thereabouts...
  12. Never mind adding the exhaust or whatever the cylindrical component on the roof was, there's a far simpler improvement available to add a little more polish. Just don't fit the tension locks! And if screw link couplers are to be provided, fit those in the modelled position for the drawhook.
  13. What you propose is reasonable, except I would suggest for the Q1 which is a much larger machine than a pre-group 0-6-0 and had the Lemaitre exhaust arrangement. More 'boom' than 'bark' at modest power outputs. If there's a BB/WC sound available that's a better bet, same exhaust system and larger smokebox dimension should make it distinctively different to the small 0-6-0, which is as it should be; and hopefully able to produce the terrific row of one working hard.
  14. My opinion has shifted somewhat due to staying in a hotel and visiting a couple of museums. Booked entry / access times, timed duration at exhibits, well laid out fixed route with generous spacing and supervised distancing, 'no mask/no entry' enforced, special item for MR events, turned away if olfactory evidence suggests unfamiliarity with soap, plentiful provision of hand sanitiser. While the objection may be that this would significantly cost - and it will - there is firstly a deal to be done with venue providers: no events, no revenue; so meet us part way there. And for the exhibitors, a calmer experience, less crowding, higher gate fee could mean the same money for fewer show attendances.
  15. Why re-invent the wheel? Because of the detailed bufferbeam pipe fit and features like airdams, strikes me as a good reason. But not by having the coupler - whatever mounting is used - in a location where it will foul these features. Better to make your own decision and go 'off standard' for OO with a body mounted coupler, as long proven in North American HO. A Kadee correctly located in the bufferbeam is what I have gone for, works well and is still actuated by Kadee uncoupler magnets even though over gauge height. Downside is that it is nearly all DIY, albeit relatively simple to do. I did mention early in the Hattons 66 development that they might consider offering a body mount fitting for a Kadee in the bufferbeam, to match the available Bachmann wagons which have bufferbeam mounted EZ-mates, Bachmann's Kadee clones. (IMO the best RTR OO wagon models ever offered: have a coupler bearing a good resemblance to the prototype equipment mounted in the right location; what's not to like in that?)
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