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  • Topic: Hammond European coaches

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    • September 1, 2011 1:49 AM EDT

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      The following should be seen as a personal opinion and not a criticism of the product line. Be aware that I have purchased over forty of these coaches, predominantly for my personal use, with around twelve units as 'factory seconds' due paint flaws. In effect these seconds were almost to the relatively high standard (within reason) of the normally priced cars.

      I would not hesitate to purchase further cars from the manufacturer. Hammonds have the 'rights' to the high arch 'Harz' style roof moulding as opposed to the Saxon style Newqida moulding. They also hold rights to the excellent graphics portrayed on the cars.

      Any criticism must be related to the very low prices that these cars are offered at and opinions expressed by me are my personal opinions and observations based on the forty or so purchases, to date, of the coaches. They are without doubt the best value for money European prototype offerings around and this is why I would recommend them as affordable and relatively well made and finished cars.

      There is, however, a downside to low prices and that is consistency of assembly and finish. Some cars are impeccably presented and others are basically spare part value only. Remember that I am basing my opinion on over forty purchases and have seen a fair cross section of the coaches available. I also purchased non-prototypical paint schemes as a basis for repainting to my requirements and in reality it is indeed a shame to remove these factory finishes as they are indeed very attractive paint schemes.

      Now the downside of multiple purchases. It is indeed essential to purchase more cars than required due inconsistencies in assembly and multiple missing pieces. I really fail to see how an assembly worker could package cars with all roof vents missing, missing underframe trussrods, missing end gates, multiple missing end grab rails, missing walkway platforms, handbrake handles, brakehoses and even missing wheelsets!

      Today, I even received a still factory sealed car that was contaminated with what I really hope was nothing more than coffee stains. I hate to think what other substance it may have been. This car was still sealed and could only have been contaminated on the assembly line.

      A common assembly fault is the end rail mouldings. While they are a different shape on the high-arch Harz style cars, they still suffer incorrect assembly as do the Saxon style cars. These mouldings, while they look similar are actually very different and if one assembles the wrong end rail moulding to the end of the car, then the moulding is squeezed banana style, distorting the endwall vertical bulkheads, plus distroting the vertical grab/supoport bars that extend to the roof edge. The end mouldings are 'handed' but it seems the factory workers have not been instructed as to correct assembly techniques.

      I am not criticising these products as if one receives a well made and presented car, they are receiving a bargain. However, the flip side is that there are many cars packaged with multiple missing items and assembly scratching/marring of the painted finish. Hammonds are well aware of paint inconsistencies and have advised the manufacturer to improve their finish. I overlook the paint finish as I received enough cars to have a reasonably well finished multiple sets of cars in multiple period correct paint finishes, but I did not reckon on the number of cars that will basically require refinishing (these do not include the factory second cars purchased) or scavenging to make up complete cars.

      My opinion may at times seem harsh, but then I am paying for the missing parts that I did not receive due poorly finished/assembled cars and am paying for replacement cars to provide spare parts to complete the cars already received.

      I do hope Hammonds are not offended by my observations but see them as constructive criticisms. As stated several times, they are excellent value for money and generally reasonably well finished. I would definately purchase further cars if needed. My sample cross section is based on many more items than the average modeller would purchase and my findings may seem extreme. If I purchased one car in total and it was an excellent example of the product line, then one would have a very high opinion of the product. I have seen both the best and possibly the worst that could be received. I know that European based modellers have express much disdain as to poor paint finish quality. Hammonds promise that future factory runs will be better. My criticism is more directed to the multiple missing items, which to replace require purchasing further cars purely as donor cars to strip for parts.

      End finding is that these are truly excellent value for money, but keep in mind that the item received may or may not be complete. Also, keep in mind that the clear plastic shipping retainers the car is packaged in, do not really protect the car from intransit damage, thus broken parts may be anticipated. I thoroughly recommend these cars to those who find the prototype fascinating (like myself) but whose budget does not extend to the many hundereds of dollars per car, that better made and finished cars cost.
    • September 1, 2011 5:02 AM EDT
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      Hammonds?

      tac
    • September 1, 2011 5:58 AM EDT

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      Terry,
      Hammonds Toys now do excellent 'DR' and 'HSB' coaches with both the Saxon and high arch roofline. These are excellent cars if one wishes a relatively inexpensive rake of Euro coaches. I will be using some as a basis for kitbashing, plus repainting some to 'DB' roadname. Pity that they do not do the 'DR' red/cream in high arch roof style. They do the incorrect all red 'DR' in the high arch and the red/cream in Saxon style.
    • September 1, 2011 9:12 AM EDT
    • I'd say your review is spot on. It is important to realize what you are getting for the money and I agree there are serious issues with quality, but there is a serious lack of funds required to buy them. A little work can make a beautiful set of rolling stock for what is an exceptionally low cost compared to other brands.

      It is tough to review fairly, in the end I want to know if I will get value for my money. I do not expect a $69.00 Big Hauler set to run as well, or last as long as a multi-thousand dollar Accucraft loco. Nor do I expect LGB level of quality with the "Hammond" line. I do however find a great value with these cars. I think you gave a fair assesment.
    • September 1, 2011 9:52 AM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      http://www.hammondtoy.com/shop/agora.cgi?product=NEWQIDA%20TOYS%20FACTORY
    • September 6, 2011 9:53 AM EDT
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      Ah, you mean Newqida!

      Hammond's is the dealership, not the maker, as I thought you meant by using the name.

      That means that you haven't seen the conversion jobs I did to two of the passenger cars - making them into old-style MAV cars...

      Looks like you won't get the chance either, as the publisher in the US is not interested, and the publisher in the UK says that he is unable to print the images. Real shame, that, they look really good, everybody tells me. You can see them on youtube, being hauled nice and easy behind my 'Earl'.

      If you are interested, look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jojwy8rDFHA

      tac
    • September 6, 2011 3:56 PM EDT

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      Terry,
      yes, Newqida is the contracted manufacturer, however, Hammonds have the rights to the newly designed high arched roof moulding plus all the 'DR'/'HSB' roadname graphics. Thus these cars are designated as 'Hammond' cars since they do not bear the Newqida 'TB' fictional roadname, plus Hammonds exclusive high arch roofline, not available to other suppliers. These cars look to be more prototypical than the earlier red/blue green cars.
    • September 6, 2011 6:49 PM EDT

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      Timmy,

      Do they come with metal wheels ? I was thinking of picking

      up 3 of these to run behind James the red Engine for show

      purposes. Price is rite and they should look OK, I think.

      Nicky
    • September 6, 2011 6:56 PM EDT

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      Nick,
      stock plastic wheels fitted (seem better quality than the first released Newqida wheels). The red cars do look good behind James.
    • September 7, 2011 4:54 AM EDT
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      The first wheels were only approximations - as though they had heard of the idea of a wheel, but were not too sure on the exact meaning. All of the wheels on my cars had sprues sticking out and sink-holes sticking in and ran behind my loco like a couple of dogs with broken legs.

      tac
    • September 7, 2011 10:49 AM EDT

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      Has anyone switched to Metal wheels yet ? If so what kind did you use and can i get them in the states.

      I run metal wheels only on my rolling stock, less aggravation that way.

      Nick
    • September 7, 2011 11:10 AM EDT
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      I got a few sets made by Liliput for my two cars - they were substantially less expensive than LGB wheels, now a stunning $36 for four axles here in UK.....

      They are very heavy and have perfect gauging - they run very well as a result, tracking through everybody's make of switch in my experience.

      tac
    • September 7, 2011 11:40 AM EDT

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      I wonder if Bachmann spoked wheels like the ones that come on annie the coach would work.

      Nick
    • September 7, 2011 6:40 PM EDT

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      Nick,
      just your usual standard issue wheelsets. The truck is 'based' on the LGB Saschen truck so any wheel that fits LGB will also fit. I like the look of the smaller Bachmann (24.5mm dia.) wheels on these cars as it gives the low down look of the prototype. Otherwise, use the stock Bachmann 31mm wheelsets or similar. The spoked Bachmann wheels are too large in diameter. While not a fan of plastic wheels, the latest Newqida version of a wheel actually runs true with no loping down the rails.
    • September 7, 2011 7:49 PM EDT

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      Thanks Tim,

      Nick
    • September 8, 2011 4:45 PM EDT
    • I replaced the truck side-frames with LGB 687370 sideframes (had to keep the coupler center portion for proper fit) and replaced the wheels with SanVal bright nickel ones. They roll as well as any other car I own. The Newqida ones were just too "oily" looking with poor definition.
    • September 12, 2011 11:56 AM EDT
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      Wish I could post pics here, me. :(

      I could show you what I did with a couple of Newqida cars to convert them to MAV NG cars as running formerly on the Szuszi RR in Eastern Hungary and now in mid-Wales.

      tac
    • September 12, 2011 2:31 PM EDT

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      This is probably a silly question but are these anywhere near 1:20 scale?
      Dave
    • September 12, 2011 5:14 PM EDT
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      Kind of - they are actually ~1:22.5 - same as much of LGB on which they are based, but they look OK with my 19th scale AccuCraft 'Earl', as you can see if you lood at the youttube clip...

      tac
    • September 13, 2011 9:52 AM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      tac said:
      Wish I could post pics here, me. :( I could show you what I did with a couple of Newqida cars to convert them to MAV NG cars as running formerly on the Szuszi RR in Eastern Hungary and now in mid-Wales. tac
      Send them to me and I'll post them for you, Terry.
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