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  1. This thread is separated from "what did you order or ..." as it is more specific. In short: it is a good purchase (to me!). I love this kind of train and any other option was either brass (too expensive if satisfying or "good old 1970ies style) or plastic kit like NEKO Tetsudo-Hobidas Meitetsu Series 7000 (similar prototype). The NEKO takes a fortune if you have all parts together for a train (shells, operable chassis, motor, lighting). The 4 car train makes approx. 10'000 YEN more than the short ENDO 6 car set. Not to forget the NEKO has to be build and painted. O.K. the 7000 painting is a solid color versus the lot of attracting stripes of the 3100. I have slightly put off (your words) due to some quality items. ENDO is cooking with the same far east water as other brands of similar quality are. I decided to buy some intermountain models not as kit to save the paint job but was disappointed about lot of visible "too much glue". Also some Athearn RTR models that had been kits in times before Ive sold his company to Horizon. Same parts, nearly same paintjob but assembled - with more protruding glue on the parts than I produce with one beer above the recommended level for building kits. But why? Keep production cost as low as possible. My answer might become a bit complex. Reason is that I worked in development department of a modelrailroad company from 1984 until 2012. I could "enjoy" all the efforts to move production and also development from Germany to far east (China at that time). By this my view on these things might be a little different to the standard modeller or end-customer. I see and understand the production related solutions and results even if I don't agree. The difference between high volume production designs (Märklin, Fleischmann, Bemo, Roco etc.) and small series designs can easily be spotted. Is it done for machined mass production or hand crafting? Had the designer knowledge of all design aspects of the model. A good example is sound design done my a mechanic engineer. These are two different universes as well as light design done by mechanic or electric engineers. Successfully lighting a LED does not mean to have reached a good optical performance. I have seen a lot of fails and discussed hundreds of hous about these "alien" technologies. I'll do some photos of the details. The train has to be disassembled to do this right But this will last until I have got the other glue to fill the drawbar (just noticed mine is 15 years over best before). Pictures would then show details like below. I took this one was a memo for me about a second version of drawbars when I tried to swap drawbar from coach #4 to #11. Let me first reply to plasticky look. It is painted in super high gloss. A good paint job without poor spots or dirt. Better than lot of our China made stuff in Germany (e.g. by Hornby etc.). Maybe the paint job would have been o.k. with a little less color. But it is premium high gloss that even might not have been on prototype when leaving the factory. The paint surface is what make the look. I saw metal painted to look like plastic and vice versa. A slight clear dull cover would be a great improvement ... BUT - as with most of today's far east made products - all plastic windows are glued to the plastic shells. And I suspect the plstic of windows to be quite delicate. Removing the glued windows puts stress on the material and I know this material to react with visible marks. Märklin once had the Ram TEE with all windows (separate parts, not one piece per side of coach) glued into the shell. For a planned repaint I once planned to removed all windows. I was done after the first coach with 20% visibly broken windows. Shell and windows spent their life in a drawer - untouched again. The traces are where the glue (too much as usual when assembly is done in a hurry) ran into the gap between shell and window. I also experienced similar traces with windows that had been too tight. They had been more or less snap fit but not by intention. Pressing these windows into the shell made white traces by the mechanical stress. I don't know which is the root cause here. I tend to "too much glue of high viscosity". All plastic is glued? The under floor details (made of plastic) are all press fit into holes of the Zamac chassis casting. I alread had to glue the first one and expect some parts to come loose (as with all the Roco details) when operating th train for a while. Lucky me - I have more display case than operation options. More to come: Next time about the design of cable routing and electrics. You know cables have their own will.
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