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Kato announces Class 800 in N


Mike Harvey
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On 13/06/2021 at 18:35, TomE said:

Provision for sound is the weak spot of the Kato 800 in that there isn't any, or at least not for the usual way that we are now accustomed to in the UK. 

 

I have seen one example fitted with sound, but it uses several loksound decoders which I can only assume are hard wired as the ESU Kato 'slip in' type are seemingly not available in the uk yet. Even then you'll still need 3 decoders to control the sound & motor functions and end lights, or perhaps even 5 if you want control of the lighting in all coaches. That makes it a fairly costly endeavour. 

 

When it comes to fitting DCC, sound or otherwise, and keeping the cost of doing so to a minimum Farish are currently at the front of the pack. 

 

Tom. 

I've seen many 800s go past using diesel power. The only sound I am aware of from these trains is the wheels going over the points. I can't see what a sound unit will add to the realism of these locos. Likewise you really shouldn't have any interior lights switched on during daylight hours if you want your train to look realistic - if you don't believe me, just look at the windows when you see one go past; they are dark. This is because it is brighter outside than inside and the windows are tinted.

 

The only area Farish are at the front of the pack is in very high pricing; they certainly lead the field in that. The only reason they love sound etc is that it is a form of upselling and allows them to get extra mark up on their sales.

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15 minutes ago, Chris M said:

 

In my experience, the quality of recent Dapol models is every bit as good as Farish.

 

I think it cuts both ways. Both can, and do, sometimes have poor design features, flaws, quality issues and can produce Friday afternoon poorly assembled models as well as design and produce fine quality ones. But, somehow, I don't think the issues are deliberate. 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, fezza said:

 

Profit targets - or a polite word for corporate greed?

 

There is nothing wrong with profits and they are essential for reinvestment, but the only reason Farish can charge these very excessive prices is lack of competition. Lights and speakers are upsells - most modellers I know don't want them. How many locos on a average layout have sound? 5 per cent or fewer? 

 

And it's not just about the volume of sales.

 

Dapol can deliver good quality at sensible prices. Their HST  comes in at around £175 and most of their 2 car DMUs lower than £130. Farish new 4 car EMU is hitting £329 RRP so even with discounts will be over £100 more than the Dapol HST of equivalent size. 

I take it to make such a statement about excessive prices is you are aware of the complete costs Bachmann, or rather, Kader incur in producing the Farish range?  From research to final product including tooling, raw materials, printing, assembly, advertising, shipping, and who knows what else is involved.  Not forgetting wages - their staff certainly aren't all driving around in Bentleys.  

 

Lights and speakers with associated circuitry add practically nothing to the overall cost

 

Would you rather the staff all took a pay cut? 

 

Dapol are a very very small company compared to Bachmann, who are a global brand, and incur costs which are part of being a global company.  Therefore they most probably have lower overheads and thus can afford to charge lower prices.

 

Companies are allowed to charge what they want, model railways are not essential items, nor are we forced to buy them

 

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1 hour ago, grahame said:

 

I think it cuts both ways. Both can, and do, sometimes have poor design features, flaws, quality issues and can produce Friday afternoon poorly assembled models as well as design and produce fine quality ones. But, somehow, I don't think the issues are deliberate. 

 

 

 

 

I think both have their issues but my personal experience over two decades is that Farish have more reliability problems. Some are hard to forgive - for example the shoddy pickups on Farish  47s, despite so many versions being made.

 

I have heard very few complaints about the reliability of Kato over the years. The quality of assembly and design seems streets ahead. They also have an excellent reputation in the US where reviewers and customers are particularly picky.

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4 hours ago, fezza said:

 

Profit targets - or a polite word for corporate greed?

 

There is nothing wrong with profits and they are essential for reinvestment, but the only reason Farish can charge these very excessive prices is lack of competition. Lights and speakers are upsells - most modellers I know don't want them. How many locos on a average layout have sound? 5 per cent or fewer? 

 

And it's not just about the volume of sales.

 

Dapol can deliver good quality at sensible prices. Their HST  comes in at around £175 and most of their 2 car DMUs lower than £130. Farish new 4 car EMU is hitting £329 RRP so even with discounts will be over £100 more than the Dapol HST of equivalent size. 

All companies have profit targets, it not about greed it's just a fact of life.

 

Kato will have them, Dapol will have them but they operate in different ways to Bachmann.

 

Kato sells to a much bigger N gauge market - Japan, therefore it's costs and profit is spread over much greater volumes of product allowing it to be cheaper - the Kato 800 is being sold to two markets UK and Japan, so we are benefiting from that.  The Kato-Peco narrow gauge loco is for the UK 009 market - it is estimated at £150 - smaller market bigger price to recover cost and make profit.  

 

Dapol are slowly making improvements to their mechanisms, but a lot of their product in N is re-running existing models, such a policy allows them to keep costs down and therefore prices.

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Dapol’s prices are going up. Looking at Rails website: 
 

The 56 re-run is coming in at £123.25 on pre order

The Farish 31 is £119.50

 

The Britannia re-run is £123.21 in pre order

The Farish 8F is £136.95


So the price gap is showing signs of narrowing and whilst Dapol have (in most cases) started fitting Next18 sockets, that’s about the limit of their improvements to existing tooling.


Tom. 

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22 hours ago, woodenhead said:

Every item Farish sells raises revenue and it is revenue that drives the brand forward - no revenue, no R&D, no new models.

 

No different to Kato or Dapol then?

 

Comparing prices is somewhat interesting. Particularly new releases to re-runs of existing models:

Dapol DVT - latest batch RRP £60.00 (about £30 when initially released?)

Farish Mk2 DBSO RRP £59.95

 

Same price, but there's a lot more detail in the DBSO. Perhaps a case of Dapol pushing their prices a little?

 

The new Dapol Mk3 Sleeper has a RRP just £4 more than the current FO/SO models (16% rise).

A new Farish Mk1 has RRP of £44.95; approx twice the original RRP - 100% rise?

 

Farish 150/1 £219.95

Farish 170 £179.95

Dapol Class 156 RRP £144.95

 

 

I know what order I'd put these price-wise and it's

 

Steven B.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, fezza said:

 

I think both have their issues but my personal experience over two decades is that Farish have more reliability problems. Some are hard to forgive - for example the shoddy pickups on Farish  47s, despite so many versions being made.

 

I have heard very few complaints about the reliability of Kato over the years. The quality of assembly and design seems streets ahead. They also have an excellent reputation in the US where reviewers and customers are particularly picky.

The end unit to coach couplings on the Kato Euromed were very poor. Hard to undo and one of mine snapped. So very good but mot

perfect all the time.

couplings are much better on the 800 but I worry they might prove fragile over time.

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Well here she is at long last… 

 

I’m so glad I ordered a set now, you really don’t realise how small they are till you see them in person. 

 

now just to wait till I can get to the model club to actually test run her.

 

DC9C7FC7-381E-43DF-837C-A45890A419C5.jpeg.c6e93792ac277159bece991c76877b54.jpeg

 

E21F7BB7-191C-4167-A34C-A37874E18758.jpeg.44c2837c174fcdf1a57053d1b6fc406f.jpeg

 

30F20C78-E3F6-43E0-A433-AF618192AE28.jpeg.fdc7f89e7dac3166dd3483b8593c3e14.jpeg

 

Turns out it’s quite hard to get a full length shot while the sun is working against you. 
 

and finally I thought I’d pose the unit next to Dapols fantastic A4s ( this one was purchased through sentimental reasons unfortunately it was as a spare and repairs loco but I did only part with £30 for her…)

 

07ACD257-BC66-4762-813B-24B2D79E45AA.jpeg.b3cc94f4899bf79a9cfa240b5c9bdb94.jpeg

 

you really do see where the inspiration for the Azumas livery came from… 

 

for the price I’m over the moon. Here’s hoping Kato decide to do some of the other liveries ( either that or I save up for another set and apply Electra’s fantastic vinyls as seen previously within this thread). 
 

great work Kato .

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What a nice model, I'm pleased it's been well received. I used to mod kato chassis to fit farish Poole era models and the transformation was astounding. Most continental stuff run like a dream, looks the part and will negotiate ridiculous curves. UK models are getting there... I don't mind paying continental prices if they come with continental build quality. 

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Mine arrived this morning with one of the motor bogies and driveshaft totally detached. A bit dissapointed considering all the hype around Kato robustness and good design. Speaking of which, it doesn't look very simple to reattach either.

 

I'm inclined to send it back rather than risk breaking it altogether attempting to fix it.

 

Has anyone else had the same issue?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ash39 said:

Mine arrived this morning with one of the motor bogies and driveshaft totally detached. A bit dissapointed considering all the hype around Kato robustness and good design. Speaking of which, it doesn't look very simple to reattach either.

 

I'm inclined to send it back rather than risk breaking it altogether attempting to fix it.

 

Has anyone else had the same issue?

There is a view of how it should look in this tutorial on decoder fitting.

 

 

https://tramfabriek.nl/kato-800.html

 

Probably worth checking that the driveshaft has not been damaged.

Edited by Mike Harvey
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Ah thanks a lot for that Mike. My concern with refitting it was tricky access, but if the underbody shroud comes off as easily as it appears in that picture it should be a simple fix (as long as nothing has been damaged...)

 

Will report back later!

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3 hours ago, Captain Electra said:

I could not resist a little customisation of the LNER Azuma. I know 800104 should be a 9-car but it looks so nice.

 

 

Scotland 800.jpg

 

Smart. I wonder if they'll follow it up with versions Celebrating Yorkshire, Northumbria or the South East Midlands?

 

Steven B.

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It would be nice for LNER to do some more special liveries for the Azumas. The current worrier with Covid and fleet availability are probably taking precedence, though.

 

800104 was done to mark the launch of the sub-4hr Edinburgh-KX service.

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4 hours ago, ash39 said:

Mine arrived this morning with one of the motor bogies and driveshaft totally detached. A bit dissapointed considering all the hype around Kato robustness and good design. Speaking of which, it doesn't look very simple to reattach either.

 

I'm inclined to send it back rather than risk breaking it altogether attempting to fix it.

 

Has anyone else had the same issue?

It does happen. I had another Kato product (a Japanese EMU) arrive like this, and the fix was simply to push back into place. Kato motor bogies are clipped into place, so occasionally they get detached by all the bumping around in the post.

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50 minutes ago, Claude_Dreyfus said:

It does happen. I had another Kato product (a Japanese EMU) arrive like this, and the fix was simply to push back into place. Kato motor bogies are clipped into place, so occasionally they get detached by all the bumping around in the post.

 

Yep I take back what I said. Using the DCC instructions Mike kindly posted, it was a 2 min job to pop the body and underframe off and reattach the driveshaft and bogie.

 

I had worries it would be like a Dapol 156 (most of my 156 bogies are held in by the weight of the coach!), but everything secures together with satisfying precision and grip. Makes me wonder how much of a whack it must have taken to dislodge the driveshaft, but it runs amazingly straight out of the box so I'm not too concerned.

 

The smoothness of the mechanism is like nothing I've experienced before either in 00 or N gauge. That's before it's even run in! Very impressed.

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1 hour ago, cornish trains jez said:

 

I don't think Kato/Hobbytrain products need running in to be honest. They are ready to go straight out the box.

 

 

 

Mine has just the faintest buzz of gear noise at very low speed in one direction - from experience with other models I think 30 mins or so running to get all the oils warmed up and distributed would clear it up.

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Further to one of my previous posts; I can confirm that you can run a non-DCC chipped cab car on DCC without issue as long as the light switch slider is in the off position.... so that saves a few quid on decoders for those of us running pairs (ie. 10car) on DCC :good: !

 

I also found this Kato motor decoder instruction sheet (in English), which others might find helpful: https://www.katousa.com/PDF/29-351-EM13-English.pdf

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Hi All

I have put together a short video of the LNER Azuma and a Class 802 in TPX livery. I used ElectraRail vinyls for the conversion. I have also included 2 Azumas coupled together.

Here is the link:

 

 

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5 hours ago, gedlee said:

Hi All

I have put together a short video of the LNER Azuma and a Class 802 in TPX livery. I used ElectraRail vinyls for the conversion. I have also included 2 Azumas coupled together.

Here is the link:

 

 

They really do look fantastic - and run well.

 

I have some KATO HO models (and "atlas, powered by KATO" HO) and they too run brilliantly. I wonder if there could be a tie-in with an existing manufacturer that would make sense.

 

On a side note - what a lovely voice you have! (comment from my partner)

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