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Pete the Elaner

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    Milton Keynes
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    It's a fun hobby. Please remind me if I appear to forget.
    My home layout: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/120795-south-hampstead/#entry3387669

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  1. I cannot remember a time when a brand new model from Hornby using new tooling has ever been released as per their initial release date. This is not unique to the APT. The same can be said of other manufacturers, which it probably why Bachmann have changed to a "coming in the next 3 months" announcement policy. The HST tooling is not a good comparison because it is not an all new tooling. It may get slight revisions from time to time, but is otherwise just a re-livery of an existing model, so the sign off & re-engineering process for a test model will be much less complicated. Models go through many stages from idea to finished product. If something wrong is noticed, this will usually put it back several months. The alternative is to release a model with known errors then keyboard warriors (plenty of us about) will complain on public forums about them. There is not a huge amount of factory space just ready to go. That would make poor economical sense. The factories have several months lead time. If they didn't, then a sudden drop in orders would cause lots of downtime. Since the model was announced, we have also been battling an epidemic. Our models are made in China, who refused to publish their figures some time ago. It is reasonable to assume that they have been affected just like everybody else. Forget about the APT for now. Worrying about it won't get it here any quicker.
  2. Is it just the timbering which would be the problem for short radius turnouts? The existing (large) bullhead turnouts use a 1 piece point blade, rather than the hinged design used for streamline so the blade itself needs to bend. Would this cause a problem for short radius? The correct rail height for 4mm is 82 thou so 75 is actually sightly underscale (but we are discussing OO so the gauge is also underscale). Regarding plain track, most seem to be assuming that bullhead is required, but the OP does not state this. Flatbottom rail on wooden or concrete sleepers have been common for many years on running lines. Re-spacing sleepers is easy but tedious, so I can understand why many prefer to avoid it.
  3. I would agree (& we have 2 nice HAAs on the way so hopefully an equally good HEA is in development somewhere), but the OP is modelling the longer bogie HHA wagons, not 4-wheeler HAAs.
  4. I know. I have 3 87s myself & a Loksound Micro barely fits, but my point is that Hornby would almost certainly refuse to acknowledge this & claim that their model can be operated with their own decoder. Just don't mention the fact that you can't actually fit the body on! Don't get me started on the speaker location for this model either. There is a location marked for a speaker but it will only fit once you have removed a cardan shaft.
  5. Simon Kohler answered this in a video a while back. His response was that they don't want to back a loser. We have 21 pin but I heard 4-5 years ago that it was out of date & Plux18 would be the new standard....but this has not happened. So which should Hornby use? 21 or 18? Their decision was to wait & see but, in the mean time, stick with 8 pins & the limited functionality it allows. The 8 pin interface really holds things back, but if they switched, then they would have to make a new decoder because they will not sell a model in which their own decoder will not work.
  6. The top half looks great. Regarding the chassis, it looks great if you are trying to depict a wagon which has been dumped in a siding for a while. I feel one in regular service would have a dusting of brown from brake usage. Lighting can make a big difference too. Tungsten bulbs are slightly yellow, standard fluorescent tubes are green & daylight is blue. Your eyes adjust to ambient lighting much better than a camera does, so a photograph is more heavily influenced by lighting. I have added some colour correction to your photo below, but without having seen it for myself, this is just a guess. Colour correction & photography is another topic though...one which I know less about than I would like!
  7. Very true. We also rarely look down on the real railway like we do on models. I found this noticeable in the helicopter shots used for the Michael Portillo TV programmes. I felt they looked a much lighter brown, particularly in the 4'.
  8. I found that funny to be honest because as I was taking the photos, I wondered if they would be much help at all. I'm glad they were though. My scale length HST seems to look far too long, perhaps this is exaggerated because all the coaches are so similar? I should have a 14-coach APT on it by the end of the year. That will seem to go on forever.
  9. At just ove 7', the scenic section on my layout is short, but it is a scale length section of the WCML. My camera was placed on the bridge at one end of the scenic section. I don't know if this is useful for what you had in mind. You can see the train needed 3 shots to capture it all. The tanker in the foreground of pic 2 is only just visible in the tunnel of pic 1 & the containers in pic 3 are just under the bridge in the background of pic 2. This train only has 10 flat wagons but I feel the compact nature of the layout makes it look like more, but maybe not the 20-30 in a typical train.
  10. Sounds like a good excuse for some layout photography. I'll be back shortly.
  11. Run what looks reasonable. Most layouts are either compressed or based on a closed-in location, so correct length trains can look too long. If you are using 20m wagons, then these probably compare with freightliner flats or TEA tankers. I have 2 sets of 5 freightliners. I would rather keep them in sets of 5 because this is correct, but 15 is too long for my fiddle yard. For my tankers, 12 seems to look long, but not too long.
  12. Yes, flexi track would have a habit of springing back into shape. I chose to glue mine rather than pin it, but that was to avoid track pins, which make more of a difference on concrete sleeper track (you can't get concrete sleeper settrack) & also because I cut the sleeper webbing in order to space them out a little*, which makes the track a little more fragile, requiring you to compensate by fixing more sleepers in place. A pin into the track bed once every 6-12" should hold it loosely in place while you decide if it exactly where you want it. *re-spacing sleepers is something I chose to do after seeing how much better the track looks. This is quite a tedious task but also something you cannot "un-see".
  13. I find streamline it much easier to work with. It gives much closer spacing between the tracks, which is a huge improvement but that is not why I find it easier. You can mark out where you want your sidings then just bend the track to shape. You don't need to buy a selection of different track. Plain track is plain track, not different straights & different length/radius curves. You can alter the design as you need. No matter how careful you are when designing in scale or on a computer, it always looks different on the layout & you may notice something you had overlooked. You can just bend or straighten flexi track as required. If you have the space, the longer, more gentle streamline points look way better.
  14. It is easier, but more expensive, to keep a machine in good order compared to minimum working order. Prototypes illustrate another issue. The LMS Turbomotive spent long periods out of use after failures. The failures themselves did not seem any more frequent than for a typical locomotive, but it was not possible to just swap in a spare because they had to be made as required. For a black 5, it would have been practical to keep 1 or 2 spares of virtually everything which can fail.
  15. They were very communicative about their first batch but it was delayed several times, which caused a negative reaction. They found out why other manufacturers are less communicative: because they don't want to make promises they cannot keep. If there is a second batch (& I believe there will be), I expect it to be announced far less in advance that previously. The first batch had several well known issues which need(ed) to be reviewed before a second batch can be commissioned, then there is a significant lead time between order & manufacture.
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