Are RTR models 'really' that good?

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John Bateson
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Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby John Bateson » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:24 pm

I have a couple of RTR models and have also been following an interesting discussion on RMWEB in which kits v rtr were the main topic. The green Bachmann dome is part of a RTR that has had rave reviews, the black Bachmann dome has also been enthusiastically received.
While I have a particular interest in this discussion, now that I have had time to look at the Bachmanns I am beginning to wonder. Just have a look at these domes, some real, some on Bachmanns. Am I the only one here who wants to replace the domes (and the chimneys) with alternative versions - or am I just being a little or a lot picky?
I won't comment on the logitudinal lines on the boiler or the thickness of the boiler bands or the fact that hand rails don't actually go into the cab and the cab opening handrail isn't stayed at the lower part of the opening.
Bachmann 2.jpg
The overlap on the bottom edge must be 3" deep
Bachmann 2.jpg (43.62 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
Bachmann 1.jpg
Not quite 3" deep on this one though
Bachmann 1.jpg (16.54 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
63601 (2).jpg
What overlap, almost flush to the boiler, must be 1/8" steel maximum
63601 (2).jpg (7.62 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
6100.jpg
6100.jpg (10.49 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
104.jpg
104.jpg (5.52 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
8C.jpg
8C.jpg (43.71 KiB) Viewed 6815 times

In particularly grumpy mode today!
John
Attachments
B4.jpg
B4.jpg (45.32 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
Slaving away still on GCR stuff ...
Avoiding the soaps ...
http://www.greatcentralmodels.co.uk

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Tim V
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Tim V » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:04 pm

You've missed the wheels John...

I would agree about the domes. However, there are still manufacturing problems. And there is still the "fun" of upgrading RTR models.

How much more would you be prepared to pay for a better dome?
Tim V

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:30 pm

John,

I think that for most customers of todays RTR stuff, it's so far ahead of what they have been used to that they are as happy as pigs in the proverbial. Comments such as yours would be seen as nitpicking and typical of P4 rivet counters. ;)

Fortunately I am not troubled by the quality or otherwise of RTR as I choose to model the LNWR. :thumb

Jol

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jim s-w
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby jim s-w » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:12 pm

Hi john

You have to remember that a lot of modellers only view of the world is RMweb so many have a somewhat limited view of what 'good' is (rmweb itself is a lot dumber now than it used to be as a lot of very knowledgeable contributors appear to have moved on). Only recently we had someone claiming that bachmanns mk1 coaches are the pinnicle of 4mm scale coaches. Dunno what the people from comet thought about that.

Cheers

Jim

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Tim V
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Tim V » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:19 pm

I think you are being a little unfair there Jim in your critique of RMweb.

Also it's important to view all "reviews" from your own perspective, and make your your own mind. As John says, those domes don't satisfy, but it's not the end of the world.

There was scathing criticism of the new Dapol pannier tank on RMweb -it's in N gauge and the pictures were about eight times the real size of the model.

A sense of perspective is always useful.
Tim V

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steamraiser
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby steamraiser » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:03 pm

If you take into account huge improvement in the rtr bodies compared to twenty years ago then yes they are that good.
Most people do not have the time needed to learn the skills to make a good job of building and painting a kit to the standard of an rtr model, or the cash to pay someone else.

As someone who does not have as much time as he would like to devote to model railways or the cash to pay for all my stock to be built by someone else then I find the current rtr bodies very acceptable with a little tweeking at a later date to correct various imperfections.
I am still of the mind that while some steam outline 00 chassis's have improved the vast majority locomotives can be improved by replacing the running gear with an etched brass chassis, a decent gearbox and can motor.

Gordon A
Bristol

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Mark Tatlow » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:08 pm

Not only would I say there are plenty of kit built locos with dome or chimney flanges that are very thick and/or flying in mid air, I would go so far to say most of them........

It is something that bugs me and clearly John too. I am pleased I am not alone!
Mark Tatlow

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jim s-w
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby jim s-w » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:27 pm

Tim V wrote:I think you are being a little unfair there Jim in your critique of RMweb.

Also it's important to view all "reviews" from your own perspective, and make your your own mind.


Thats what I did with my review of RMweb Tim ;)

Cheers

Jim
Last edited by jim s-w on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Philip Hall
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:31 pm

I think that yes, in large measure, RTR really is that good these days. But there are always going to be limitations in what can be done for a price, and as Tim says, we enjoy ourselves improving things. If you think that we now have (mostly) models the correct size, with the correct buffer height, wheels the right size and with the correct crank throw and number of spokes, stuff you'd only have dreamed of years ago. True, we happy band of nutters who model to EM and P4 would have changed the wheels and put in a new chassis, but isn't it nice that you don't have to do that these days? If you model in 00 you're nearly there, and if you don't, some of the RTR runs so well these days there's a strong case for trying to use the mechanism you're given if you've a mind to. I have.

John's specific point about the seating of domes and chimneys is quite valid; his examples were Bachmann and having looked through the pictures of all the engines I've converted over the years, it is true that the Hornby ones are much better in this regard. We now have technology (and the inclination of the manufacturers to use it) which means that we can have variations in cabs, footplates, fireboxes, chimneys and domes within the same class and that's a country mile away from the days when you just had one body moulding painted in different colours. So a little better fitting of chimneys and domes would improve things here, something we can easily do.

When it comes to carriages, I think it gets even better. I'm pottering about right now with a Hornby Maunsell Pull-Push set, and the quality and delicacy of the moulding is quite staggering, far and away beyond what I could achieve with a kit. Neither do I think I'm running down my own abilities when I say this. Ditto the recent GWR Horsebox, which has an unbelievable amount of underframe detail.

As always, you have a choice. RTR gets you there more quickly if you wish, and to a very high standard.

Philip

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Horsetan
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Horsetan » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:33 pm

jim s-w wrote:....rmweb itself is a lot dumber now than it used to be as a lot of very knowledgeable contributors appear to have moved on...


Perhaps they saw it for what it really is :?:
That would be an ecumenical matter.

billbedford
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby billbedford » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:37 am

Philip Hall wrote:John's specific point about the seating of domes and chimneys is quite valid; his examples were Bachmann and having looked through the pictures of all the engines I've converted over the years, it is true that the Hornby ones are much better in this regard. We now have technology (and the inclination of the manufacturers to use it) which means that we can have variations in cabs, footplates, fireboxes, chimneys and domes within the same class and that's a country mile away from the days when you just had one body moulding painted in different colours. So a little better fitting of chimneys and domes would improve things here, something we can easily do.


The only way to get the thin edges on domes and chimneys is to mould them in place.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

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Andy C
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Andy C » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:09 am

Simple answer is no they are not that good if its perfection you are looking for. And neither is any kit, and that's before its built :D

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Hardwicke
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Hardwicke » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:36 am

I think a lot of modellers have no idea what the real thing looks like or how it operates ( I saw someone rub the cylinder of 'Britannia' at Norwich a few years ago. Yes. Steam engines are very hot!)
I had someone swear blind he saw LMS diesel 10000 in 1972 at Derby. Even though it was scrapped in the 1960's. Yeah mate it was a Peak you saw. Or the Baby Deltic.
RMweb is full of people like that which is why I'm not a member of it. Like swimming in treacle.
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".

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Hardwicke
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Hardwicke » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:38 am

I make mistakes myself though, but I joined the Scalefour Society because I want to get it right. Starting with the wheel/track relationship. (Don't get me started on running EM on P4 rails)
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".

Philip Hall
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:03 pm

Bill Bedford wrote:

The only way to get the thin edges on domes and chimneys is to mould them in place


Not the only way, it depends on how good the mouldings are. I have just looked at a Hornby M7 where the seatings are extremely fine and both chimney and dome are separate mouldings glued on. The T9 chimney is almost as good. The T9 dome, though, does seem to be cast in place as the boiler is diecast.

Philip

TEZBEDZ
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby TEZBEDZ » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:02 pm

Hardwick wrote:I think a lot of modellers have no idea what the real thing looks like or how it operates ( I saw someone rub the cylinder of 'Britannia' at Norwich a few years ago. Yes. Steam engines are very hot!)
I had someone swear blind he saw LMS diesel 10000 in 1972 at Derby. Even though it was scrapped in the 1960's. Yeah mate it was a Peak you saw. Or the Baby Deltic.
RMweb is full of people like that which is why I'm not a member of it. Like swimming in treacle.


I am a member of RMWEB and have been for many years, (when there were only a couple of hundred members) There seem to be a lot of younger people as members who are starting in modelling, their only experience of Railways may be preserved Lines. They do however ask a lot of questions and (usually) get of sensible answers.

I am in my mid 50's and can vaguely remember steam on mainline railways as a young boy at Ludlow (my father was a booking clerk), Church Stretton or Ledbury area. I am modelling a Cambrian/GWR Branch line, which I have researched and visited the location. However I do not know everything about procedures and practice of operating a Railway, I find RMWEB very useful for asking questions about signalling practice, specific modelling questions. I think more people have joined RMWEB and as a resource it is an excellent way of promoting the hobby, I know some experienced modellers left because of altercation or confrontation on the internet, which unfortunately, is a result of the progress of social communication. A shame really, but, even in our hobby there are trolls.
Regards

Terry

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David Thorpe
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby David Thorpe » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:52 pm

Good for you, Terry - my feelings exactly. I've had a lot of helpful advice from people on RMWeb and regard it as a valuable resource.

DT

DougN
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby DougN » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:17 pm

Getting this slightly back on topic, I find that RM web is a good read and I tend to avoid the topics where there is not logic thought. I use RMweb for interesting reading over lunch at work and it is usally the kit building threads and some of the threads in the Layouts P4 and local to me members who are really good modellers PCM's layout is alwasy great to see and he is a good friend. (he is local but still about 70 minutes one way drive!)

I use the RTR threads as a source of information when a model is comming out and if it has any errors or major faults here in Aus. it takes us about 6 to 12 months to receive the models in the flesh in the shops at prices that I am sure would make most of your eyes water! EG, a sound hornby steam loco is about 210 quid in the UK with full mark ups etc. (rough working out it is 340AUD) compared to the local shops if they can get one....comes in around the $450! :evil: So the locals tend to order from Hattons, Rails, or Kernow.

I beleve that the RTR now is really that good. I joined the P4 ranks when I realised I could buy and build kits and track to the same standard as the RTR back in the mid 1990's (gees was it really that long ago :o ) now I use it almost as a bench mark for me to aim at. Luckily I have the room to indulge in both OO and P4, with P4 now kit building NER specific rolling stock and one day a layout. Not for exhibition but for my own enjoyment...yes it may even go to an exhibition one day but that is a long way off. I also look to the RTR to augment the P4 kit built so I can short cut in a few areas! Time is getting to be the resource that I just don't have enough of!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Horsetan
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Horsetan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:13 am

DougN wrote:...I also look to the RTR to augment the P4 kit built so I can short cut in a few areas! Time is getting to be the resource that I just don't have enough of!


Sometimes there's no kit available, so you have to resort to RTR...
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Tim Hale
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Tim Hale » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:25 am

jim s-w wrote:Hi john

You have to remember that a lot of modellers only view of the world is RMweb so many have a somewhat limited view of what 'good' is (rmweb itself is a lot dumber now than it used to be as a lot of very knowledgeable contributors appear to have moved on).

Jim


My apologies for paraphrasing Jim's comments however I would like to endorse his view. As a forum, RMweb is truly excellent with many loyal supporters, however the haemorrhaging of contributors can only be attributed to one cause, as can be ascertained by contact with those involved.

As RMweb seems to be incapable of a truly independent review of all RTR products, then I seriously doubt whether any credence should be attributed to the comments.

Tim

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Andy C
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Andy C » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:56 pm

No review of RTR products in any of the Model Railway Press, or for that matter their websites and forums are independant, purely because a lot of their advertising revenue stream comes from the manufacturers. And thats a quote from a magazine editor, (not BRM) do you seriously expect RM Web, owned by Warners to be any different. Or have you posted that just because you have an axe to grind after being thrown off that forum?

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Tim Hale
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Tim Hale » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:23 pm

Andy C,

Thank you for your comment however if I had an 'axe to grind' then I would be at the far end of a very, very long line.

As for questioning my motives for agreeing with Jim S-W, I wonder why you didn't tackle Jim, too difficult a target?

Tim

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Horsetan
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Horsetan » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Andy C wrote:... you have an axe to grind after being thrown off that forum?


That must rank as an achievement in itself, working on the Groucho Marx principle of whether you'd want to be a member of any club that would have you as a member...
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Craig Warton
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Craig Warton » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:42 pm

In addition to an interest in the GWR, for a long time I was researching and modelling the NSW railways. I wrote a fair number of in depth articles in the local magazine and also wrote a number of reviews.

My experience is that publishing reviews that point out errors in models get you in a lot of trouble.

This comes from two sources:

Many people who buy RTR models do not like being told there is something wrong with it.

Some manufacturers do not like being told things are wrong.

The last review I did was of a NSW steam loco. This was done in conjunction with a friend and we said all the good points, but also the not so good - livery errors, with one being fiction and dimensional errors. The manufacturer withdrew all advertising and the whole saga nearly turned into a court case. in addition, I am still routinely rubbished by them at exhibitions.

This is in Australia, so maybe the UK is different. But there is no way on earth I will ever do a review again - I simply do not need the aggravation.

That is what you face if you give an independent review!

Craig W

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Horsetan
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Re: Are RTR models 'really' that good?

Postby Horsetan » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:54 pm

Craig Warton wrote:.....Some manufacturers do not like being told things are wrong.

....This is in Australia, so maybe the UK is different. ....


Mmmm.....the names "Pete Shepherd", and "ProScale" spring to mind..... :roll:
That would be an ecumenical matter.


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