I think I suggested emailing TOR/BBB not that long ago.
I might be wrong but I doubt if TOR/BBB is going to the trouble of getting the problem resolved that it would mean the replacement is going to be problem, although I could well be wrong.
I still wonder how many other models from both TOR as well as the competition has this problem, & are the owners doing anything about it, or just laughing as the prospect of selling replacement models?
I've shot off a detailed email to Trainorama tonight.....I'll let you know if I get a response.
In the meantime, I thought it'd be nice to see out 2013 knowing that I've done all I can to cure my 6 locos......so I've just spent an hour or so in the shed, adding the little pieces of styrene to the bogies of all of them. That's 72 little squares of plastic, each one slid into position with a small dab of Aileens Sticky Glue to hold it against the inside of the bogie side frame.
Running a double-header (4429 + 4306) I could not see/hear any evidence of the jumping/clicking. These were the first 2 locos I added this styrene to a few days ago. I had previously added much thinner shims of plastic to one of the bogies of 44100 and it made no difference. But that was styrene that was left over from my kit building days; the plastic that is provided by DJH to glue to the underside of the fall plate between loco and tender for insulation purposes. On 44100 I left that thin styrene in place and added another layer of thicker styrene to it, so that the wheels have virtually no side play within the bogie, without being so tight that the wheels cannot turn.
So, 44100, 4473, 4494 and 4401 are sitting waiting for the glue to dry before testing tomorrow.
I will report my findings on those locos after I have a chance to give them a good shake-down.
PS: In case anybody is wondering what I said to Trainorama in my email; here it is:EMAIL:
G’day Bob and others,
I am one of the many modellers who own a number of your brilliant 44 class models and who has been experiencing substantial issues and frustrations with the wheelsets.
There has been a lot of correspondence on the “Railpage” web site in relation to this matter……initiated by myself on 23 June 2012:http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11369209-0-asc-s0.htm
In summary, my not inconsiderable investigations into the problems I have been experiencing has resulted in me coming to the conclusion that there are actually 2 distinct problems. I believe one of the problems is relatively rare, but that the other problem is likely to be universal.
The relatively rare issue is that some of the locos have cracked their muff/s. This, in itself, is not necessarily the cause of any failure of the loco to perform and it may not even be obvious that the loco has a cracked muff until the bogie has been disassembled. (see below)…..
However, the “other” (universal?) problem I speak of relates to the relationship between 2 factors: the width of the gear cog portion of each muff versus the large degree of lateral side play that each wheelset has available to it. There is far too much lateral play available to each wheelset, such that as the wheelset moves to either extreme side of the frame, the gear cog of the muff moves to the very edge of the corresponding idler cog, which is located in a fixed position between the frames. For example, I reckon the width of the gear cog portion of the muff is about 2mm wide….but the amount of lateral play in each wheelset exceeds that figure.
The result is that as the wheelset moves to either side of the frame (most noticeable as the loco negotiates a curve), the cogs cease to mesh properly, causing the much-talked-about “clicking”.
I believe I have solved this latter issue by cutting small squares (about 3mm x 3mm) of suitable thickness styrene sheet and gluing them to the inner side of the bogie frame, adjacent to the end of the axles. Each loco requires 12 of these pieces of styrene to be glued in position (I use Aileens Tacky Glue for this task). By using black styrene, the presence of these bits of plastic is not really noticeable.
Adding these styrene pieces effectively prevents the wheelsets from moving from side to side, so that the muff stays on the same plane as the idler cog that drives it; IE they stay properly meshed.
This brings me to your long-awaited proposed “fix” from the Chinese factory…...
I have 2 questions:
Will the cog portion
of the muff be wider than the width of the cog portion of the original muff? If not, then I put it to you that you are wasting your time providing these new wheelsets, as (unless they have some other built-in means of preventing the sideways movement of the wheelset inside the frame such as a protruding extension of the steel axle that will effectively do what I have done with my method above), the clicking problems will just continue unabated. If the width of the COG is doubled from about 2mm to 4mm or so, then hopefully the cogs will stay enmeshed even if the wheels retain their overly generous amount of side play.
Will you be providing some sort of subsidised service for those modellers who are unable to cope with the dismantling of the bogies? I consider myself to be a reasonably competent modeller, having built around 260 DJH steam loco kits in my younger days. However, try as I may, I’m stuffed if I can work out the correct way to dismantle one of these 44 class bogies without causing major damage to it. It seems I am not alone in this frustration.
I do hope you have had the patience to read this long-winded epistle…..it is my only method of venting my frustrations. I was hoping that your factory “fix” may have been to provide complete new bogies that we could “drop-in”. I would have no problem with that type of “fix”, as removing and re-installing the bogies is a relatively easy (if somewhat time consuming) task. I have a total of 6 locos that require these “fixes”; one is a Mansfield 43 class to which I have fitted a pair of bogies and motor from a 44 class I cannibalised.
Hope you have a Happy New Year and that during 2014 we can look forward to the 48/830 and the 44 class “fix”.