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Author Topic: Dapol - Class 50  (Read 48287 times)

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Offline Zunnan

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2014, 05:42:32 PM »
The recent Dapol 'O' Gauge releases have received a lot of approbium from a member on RMWeb called 'adrianbs' (I'll leave the reader to decide what the two letters at the end of his username mean). Mostly detail errors (and mainly to do with number and positioning of rivets - a true 'rivet-counter'), but it's the attitude that goes with the posts that have been rubbing people the wrong way...

Although I don't want to get drawn into this argument, I thought it a good idea to point out that 'adrianbs' is the proprietor of ABS Models, it is his job to know the ins and outs of what goes into making an accurate model. His research over the years in producing some very fine kits gives him access to the reference material needed (and used), he has acted as an adviser to the main manufacturers on occasion, and quite often lately the models which Crapol have been churning out have been a facsimile of kits with some quite glaring errors being added (the much chastised O Gauge SR Pillbox certainly). 'adrianbs' is in the perfect position to say what is right and wrong about a model, it is just the abrasive and unrelenting nature of his comments that is out of place. Personally I highly dislike the manner taken by the 'it looks right to me' brigade far more than the comments on what is wrong with a model, at least with the info outlining the glut of errors you are in a much better position to correct the mistakes made in an RTR model. With the 'it looks right to me' brigade all you are getting is encouragement to continue botching research and churning out poor models. Very often a lemon of a model has appeared, and people have jumped on the 'its perfect' bandwagon and quite viciously chastised anyone who dare say otherwise; I have been on the receiving end myself with a model that is now widely regarded as a bit of a dog.

Back on topic though, I thought the CAD for the class 50 was looking pretty much there over a year ago, quite what is going through Dapols mind in redoing everything that had DJs fingerprints on is beyond me. They seem to me to be in some financial hole where they've announced more than they can afford to develop, I'd have thought that they would have held on to the R&D which DJ had done while in their employ rather than seemingly bin it and start over.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 05:44:31 PM by Zunnan »
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Online NeMo

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2014, 06:37:41 PM »
Personally I highly dislike the manner taken by the 'it looks right to me' brigade far more than the comments on what is wrong with a model, at least with the info outlining the glut of errors you are in a much better position to correct the mistakes made in an RTR model. With the 'it looks right to me' brigade all you are getting is encouragement to continue botching research and churning out poor models.
That's an interesting point of view. Perhaps the thing to do is recognise that any ready-to-run model lies somewhere on a continuum:
  • At one end is: Cheap, but numerous compromises made to get the model done on time/in budget.
  • At the other end is: Expensive, took a long time to develop, but no significant errors.
For some folks, what they want is a modern model that gets into the shops soon and at a relatively low cost. They're looking forward to a new Class 50, a DCC-ready model with definite improvements over the venerable Farish one, but won't notice (or won't care about) slight compromises (which in their eyes are trivial).

Other folks want the definitive model; they want a Class 50 that fixes every single one of the flaws they hated in the Farish model. They don't care when it is released so long as it's worth the wait. They want near-finescale standards and are happy to pay for them. Compromises stick out like a sort thumb to these hobbyists, and however good the rest of the model might be, if there's a flaw in it somewhere, they'll be disappointed. Price is a secondary issue, and they're prepared to pay a premium for a decent model accurate in every practical way.

You can't have both. It's like the old project management saying "quick, good and cheap: pick two". Manufacturers get slated if they miss out on one of these aspects, but in reality, that's often unavoidable. So Dapol's O-gauge stuff might not be perfect, but it's cheap and it's available. The upcoming Class 50 might well be good and cheap, but it's lost out on being quick because quite clearly Dapol doesn't have all the resources (or people) to develop all their projects at the best possible speed.

Perhaps the deeper problem is that people at the two extremes of the views outlined above can't understand the other. If you want a reasonably accurate model delivered quickly and cheaply, endless arguments about barely-visible rivets or arcane livery details seem stupid. Better to have a slightly compromised model now than a perfect one two years from now. But if you want a perfect model, those hobbyists that buy flawed models do nothing to improve the quality of the models manufacturers produce.

To be honest I'm closer to the first camp than the second. At the end of the day people who buy models have more impact on manufacturers than people who merely criticise models on forums. For all the criticism levelled at Dapol and Bachmann-Farish, most of their products are somewhere on a scale of "okay" to "excellent" with very little remaining from either company that's irredeemably bad. This is a big advance from, say, 20 years ago when discussing the older Farish and Lima stuff.

That said, constructive criticism can be useful. The Dapol 'Western' is a classic example, and the recent (if sporadic) trend among manufacturers to consult with hobbyists is surely helpful.

Cheers, NeMo
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Offline Zunnan

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2014, 07:26:44 PM »
I'm sorry, but I don't buy into that argument. It costs pretty much the same to produce an accurate set of CAD images as it does for an inaccurate set, you have the same reference material to hand for either scenario, the main difference in cost comes down to the assembly and the decorating stages, especially where detail differences exist in the prototype; the Black 5 with boiler and chassis differences for example, or the class 25 with a plethora of detail differences. The number of units produced proportionately affects the cost per unit in R&D as well. Dapol quite obviously leave out some paint stages on some of their models (BR arrows and insignia on their sectorisation liveried models for example) and they produce smaller batches, so the return is smaller. Hornby (with their now abandoned 'design clever' mantra) favour moulded detail over separately fitted parts, Farish go the extra moulded detail route as well. Compromises, if thought about properly, should be what can be produced within the available funding, Farish did exactly this with the class 25 and only did the 25/1 and 25/2 variants that share the same body and produced a cracking model that doesn't cover half of the class. On the flip side, this very compromise harmed their Stanier coach range (IMHO) as they went for the 57ft coaches and didn't tool up a 60ft chassis, thus leaving out perhaps the most important and common coach that the LMS had, corridor composites; Hornby did exactly the same. Bachmann did learn from this with their Porthole range however.

Compromises that harm the integrity of components on cost grounds or turn a model into a mongrel of parts that is accurate for nothing are more harmful than good, the milk tanks are a case in point, it would have cost the same to produce a proper tank to a recognised diagram as it did to produce the model they released. Because of the inaccuracies they're garnering a poor reputation and sales are quite possibly being lost as a direct result, with a knock on effect being that potential customers for other as yet unreleased models are being put off pre-ordering until they can see if what interests them has been compromised too. I'm quite guilty of this with Dapol products nowdays, after the 9F and misshapen class 56 along with a track record of poor motor performance and PCB failures. I have not bought a steamer from them since the 9F even though the club layout needs a couple of Brits and 9Fs to cover historical records of operations in the area we model, and won't entertain the thought of pre ordering a thing. I insist on test running everything extensively in the shop before purchase, and I certainly own less Grids than I would do if the model was as good as it could have been. I may have pre-ordered the class 50 on the grounds of DJs CAD work had the HST not taken two shops worth of stock to find an adequate performer and both of my 56's not needed repair twice for blown PCB components.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 07:30:13 PM by Zunnan »
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Offline captainelectra

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2014, 09:20:31 PM »
I've been following some of the posts on RMWeb regarding Dapol's 7mm offerings. AdrianBS,ias actually the owner of ABS Models, who happen to producer rather a lot of 7mm kits, including some of the duplicated items. I couldn't possibly comment on his reasons for dissecting Dapol's new releases and CAD images...

It's not just Dapol who have been in the wars - Hornby have recently released some new Mk2e coaches that have some glaring livery errors and build issues that have given the coaches a solebar!

With prices rising and manufacturers cutting costs, they do need to get a tight grip on the quality before the containers are unloaded at Felixstowe.
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Offline Paddy

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2014, 09:21:50 PM »
Hi Zunnan,

I agree with you that accuracy is important but I would also add to that mechanical reliability, robustness and quality of finish of the model.  Like you I have not bought many Dapol steamers as they have just been too unreliable in my experience.  I totally accept that others have bought many Dapol locos without problems but sadly my confidence has been severely dented.

Dapol's recent N gauge releases seem to be focused on sweating the assets of previous models rather than bringing new models to market.  From a business perspective this is not necessarily a bad short term decision as it falls in to the "sell what you have" argument.

Paddy
 
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Offline Zunnan

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2014, 09:59:20 PM »
I agree with you that accuracy is important but I would also add to that mechanical reliability, robustness and quality of finish of the model.

I did add this, albeit very briefly and as an immediate afterthought (hence my edit a few minutes after posting) regarding compromises to the integrity of components. And I agree with you entirely. This is perhaps my biggest concern with models and is the main cause of my spending habits these days, penny pinching with components that are sometimes critical for it to be deemed as 'fit for purpose'. If a model blows its PCB because components are specified too close to maximum operating potential with a highly variable tolerance, it is not fit for purpose and the likelihood is that a high proportion will fail when compared to components that are specified to operate comfortably within limits and at a reasonable tolerance. In a worst case scenario you can get say a 1k resistor that is actually 10% below 1k (because you've ordered the cheap 10% tolerance component) feeding a diode that requires that 1k but because the diode is also on the low side its own tolerance range actually needs something closer to a 1.1k resistor to function correctly. Because the specification is operating tight to the limit and the components are poor quality, the chances are something will emit a puff of smoke and cease working, and the chances of duff components meeting one another are increased because the specification includes the cheap 10% parts. It fails by design.

If a model is designed to be produced cheaply, so has moulded handrails, less printing, less separately fitted details etc. but fundamentally the model is the correct shape, I am fine with that. I can always add the finer detail and repaint to my hearts content. Get the shape wrong (Farish class 56!!!, Heljan 'Western', Heljan class 33, Poole era Farish Black 5, anything from Lima! etc) and it takes a lot of effort to refine a model, in some cases it is impossible or simply not worth doing.

Dapol's recent N gauge releases seem to be focused on sweating the assets of previous models rather than bringing new models to market.  From a business perspective this is not necessarily a bad short term decision as it falls in to the "sell what you have" argument.

Paddy

Sound policy IMHO when you need to recoup funds in order to progress future projects. Its a pity that the backlog is now so long that I think they should publicly announce delays based on what will bring the best returns in order to fund those lower projected return models at a later date. Some of the higher risk models should be officially put on the back burner. Dave Jones has been quite openly honest on this front with his own range, the majority of his work is commission based and nothing of his own range will progress far until the J94 pays for itself. Dapol should really take a leaf and stop hiding behind a very closed door.
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Offline scruff

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2015, 08:21:43 PM »
Latest from Dapol is a mid 2016 release for the Class 50.

Cheers
Mark

Offline Skyline2uk

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2015, 09:35:21 AM »
Test shot 3D print on show at TINGS (sorry, not a good pair of photos):

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)

Skyline2uk

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2015, 09:38:22 AM »
"Refurbished and refurbished liveries"? I suspect an "un" got dropped there.

Also "Additional liveries for late 2016" - does that imply there will be at least one version available before that?

 :hmmm:
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Offline scruff

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2015, 12:23:53 PM »
Unless it means there will be a second batch..?

Thanks for posting the pictures Skyline..

Cheers
Mark

Offline Skyline2uk

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2015, 12:57:16 PM »
No problem  :thumbsup:

Skyline2uk

Offline scruff

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2015, 08:05:46 PM »
"Refurbished and refurbished liveries"? I suspect an "un" got dropped there.

Also "Additional liveries for late 2016" - does that imply there will be at least one version available before that?

 :hmmm:
It doesn't look like it, Dapol have said the 50 is now due in the " latter half of next year".

Cheers
Mark

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #57 on: September 22, 2015, 02:54:06 PM »
A quote from Dapol.... "the Class 33 are now in the decoration stage and should be on show at Warley with a release date early 2016. The class 50 is still a way behind and we are looking at the latter end of next year."

So, 2016 may not happen either.

Offline STEVE44

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #58 on: September 22, 2015, 03:05:18 PM »
Hi, cant believe its taking this long to get the class 50 out. July 2012 was when I found out that Dapol were doing the class 50. I understand it takes time but come on end of 2016 now that's taking the biscuit. They shouldn't of release there info on new models until the latter stages , then I wouldn't get my hopes up.
  Steve44

Offline Karhedron

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Re: Dapol - Class 50
« Reply #59 on: September 22, 2015, 03:26:26 PM »
The risk with not announcing stuff until late on is that Farish may do the same and both manufacturers do not find out until they have spent time and money on development work. They are then faced with the unpleasant choice of dropping their plans (and writing off the money spent to date) or both pressing ahead but splitting the market between 2 models.

This was what happened with the B1. The 2 models came out within months of each other. Although both were good, the consensus was that the Farish offering was better which resulted in the Dapol models being largely consigned to the bargain basements.
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

 

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