Page 1 of 1

Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:10 pm
by sjb3300
Hello everybody,
Still new to model raiwaying,and for a variety of reasons,am begining to lose heart a little.
Have just purchased a Hornby Princess Class loco 'city of coventry' complete with sound.
When i came to open the box I found the following,
loco and tender, a leaflet refering to authentic brake rod details ???
a leaflet about lubrication,body removal and an operating manual for digital sound for the Duchess class although the box states it is a Princess class perhaps its the same thing?
However there was a bag of bits containing grub screws-pipes-couplings and other things I can't identify or know where to fit.
I can't believe that with a model costing £200 I am being forced to pour over the picture on the box to identify bits which look like objects in the polythene bag enclosed with the loco.Perhaps I am missing some assembly and identification instructions but I suspect not.
I don't know what they are,I don't know where they go and I don't think its good enough!

Regards
Steve

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:22 pm
by Brianetta
The brake rod detail is the long multi-pronged bit, which goes under the locomotive, between all the wheels. When we bought my wife her train, we got a super detailed Royal Scot, which had the same sort of detailing pack. Basically, it seems that the entirety of the extra details is optional, depending on how much like the original you want the locomotive to look.

Trouble is, the more parts you add, the more they can get in the way of wheels, etc, and the fewer tight curves the locomotive will be able to run over. The couplings are a compromise, too. They look just like real word ones, but you'd have to take off the Hornby couplings to fit them. You'd have to choose between it looking right, and being able to back up to coaches and then tow them away. Also, as you add detail, the more fragile it becomes - they're very easy to break once attached, so you might want to think about the nature of your layout, who will be handling your trains, and so on.

Hornby don't want to make these decisions for you, so they provide many of the danglies in a bag.

It's likely that the different classes of locomotive are functionally very similar. Although the original locomotives might have had a variety of differences in the innards, models of those locomotives could well be identical underneath the shell. My 0-6-0 Jinty is identical, inside, to my class 08 shunter. This could be why you had a leaflet describing a different class of loco.

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:55 pm
by Bushey Troughs
Hi Steve. the correct title of your 'City of Coventry' is Princess Coronation class, but everyone calls them Duchesses. Which is strange really as there were more named after Cities than Duchesses!.
I haven't a sound loco at the moment just 'City of Leeds' and 'City of Nottingham' I leave the super detailing parts in the packet they just get in the way IMO......

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:11 pm
by Bigmet
Steve,

It is something of a complicated hobby. The name for that class of loco for a start. Officially they were 'Princess Coronation' class, but are more usually referred to as 'Duchesses'; and BTW if you ever hear a UK loco called a 'Biggun' that's the same thing, also a 'Semi' if it still has the sloping smokebox top following the removal of the streamlining.

As for the add on parts, as explained above the manufacturers are in something of a cleft stick over whether to fit them or not, but that doesn't let them off the hook from providing proper instructions. It is all very well trusting that most of your customers will know their way about a loco well enough to not have too much trouble deciding what to fit and where, but if they want new customers they had better get with the programme. I would suggest you let Hornby know by e-mail what you think they should do better. http://www.hornby.com/customer-support/

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:18 pm
by sjb3300
Hi everybody,
Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.
I think i've got my head around this and I think I can see a solution for people like myself who aren't as knowledgable as others.
Wouldn't it be simple to add a note to the bag of plastic bits saying something like 'the loco is complete as supplied,but the enclosed parts are extra and optional'
That way people like myself wouldn't go mad trying to see what they are and where they fit.
Just a thought.
steve

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:53 pm
by BR125
Aahh but that would be the logical thing to do,how often do companies do things logicaly? :wink: :lol:

Regards
Daz

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:38 pm
by Brianetta
sjb3300 wrote:Wouldn't it be simple to add a note to the bag of plastic bits saying something like 'the loco is complete as supplied,but the enclosed parts are extra and optional'

My wife's loco had a note to that effect with it.

Re: Hornby instructions apalling

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:00 pm
by Bigglesof266
Fifteen months in and too many locos later, I'm inured to it now, but I agree with the original poster's stated view about the quality of their quasi-generic instruction sheets. I've seen better instructions included in a 1960's three bob bagged Airfix kit! :roll:

Hornby's enclosed loco instruction sheets are truly shabby, ranking on a par with what one might expect from a Chinglish afterthought production. In 2010, especially considering the SRP of a detailed loco, carriage or pack, it's downright shameful, an absurdity exacerbated when you consider their demand pricing model pushed to extremes with ever increasing deployment of an exploitive "pre-order/better be quick to buy! (so you won't miss out)" Limited Edition nonsense to maximise demand pricing through exclusivity, drip feeding each in limited availability to market. It is notable that this year, nearly all their LEs locos and packs are just 1000 units instead of the 1500 through 2500 units offered in '08 & '09.

Even for those with a PC and sufficient gumption to help themselves, the downloadable service sheet PDFs can be confusing in trying to hunt down which specific Castle/West/Country/et al sheet is applicable for which particular R number of a model, and far too often containing errata or unannounced modification therein. Arguably Bachmann Branchline's are a better, but still leave much to be desired.