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Quality issues - Greenmax Plasser & Theurer Tie Tamper


velotrain

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I had ordered the Totetsu version, but unsure of how close the color would be to the proto, also ordered the yellow as a backup.  They arrived today.

 

Does anyone know what the function of the sliding windows is on the prototype? 

 

I question the wisdom of replicating this on the model.  It seems more prevalent on the 4709 than the 4710, but it looks to me that there is a swayback effect in the roofline - perhaps related to the Greenmax decision to model the sliding window component.  For those not familiar with the term "swayback", it's original RR usage was to describe rolling stock having a wood chassis after many years of use - I'm sure a Google image search will turn up many examples.

 

 

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You can also detect this to a greater extent in a photo on the Greenmax site:

 

http://tinyurl.com/hth9v2a

 

I tried saving just the photo, but it distorts when subsequently pasted.

 

I have no idea why, but this doesn't seem to impact the yellow cars.

 

 

When I picked up the main unit to look at it, one of the non-driving axles fell out.

 

To my eyes, the tip of the axle is much shorter and generally smaller than the majority of N-scale models.

 

It's so small, that you can just barely distinguish it in a photograph.

 

 

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Also, I noticed a small piece of brass floating around behind the sliding window, and then it came out.  I didn't try to disassemble anything to determine just what it is and where it should go.

 

 

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I haven't tried running it yet, but my initial reaction is one of disappointment.  I was expecting they'd do a better job with a two-year wait.

 

What are the experiences of others?

 

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Does anyone know what the function of the sliding windows is on the prototype? 

 

 

 

The sliding windows are described in the literature as "防音シャッター" or sound-proofing shutters.  I guess in real life they're lowered while the tamper is operating so as not to annoy the neighbours.
 
I've been waiting to read some reviews of this model, so thank you for the post.
 
I'm still deciding whether or not to order one, but I'm concerned that some of the pictures make it look a bit plastic and toy-like compared to recent releases from Tomix and Kato (who seem to be really outdoing each other raising the bar in quality and detail).
 
Plus, I found a clip on YouTube that shows noticeable bleeding from the internal lights through the sides and roof.
 
 
And this reviewer commented in huge bold letters that the model "is well below his expectations" - and also mentioned the light bleed-through and poor running characteristics:
 
- mrp
Edited by mrp
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Wow.. it's definitely not a good news for a fresh release... hope you can ask the supplier for repair at soonest.. Based on the packaging, was it made in Japan or other country (China)?

 

I decided to go with yellow model as I thought the green Totetsu color doesn't come close to the photo on their poster..

 

with light bleeding I already expected it.. any idea how to solve this without making it look weird, example added black paint which will not work or adding weathering on outside of body?

 

Hope my model will have better condition... Will share once have it in hand..

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Looks like the usual use the led at full blast and have the meltdown glow... Some resistors should help. Mine are coming Sal so will be a couple of weeks.

 

I was surprised the price was as low as it was for two specialty cars from greenmax. One issue with these models is they have more details than the standard train car to try to reproduce in pretty small sizes.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
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Claude_Dreyfus

I have one making its way over to the UK, if it arrives by next Friday, it will get a thorough workout at our club. Already some concerns, but will wait and see.

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And this reviewer commented in huge bold letters that the model "is well below his expectations" - and also mentioned the . . . .  poor running characteristics:
 

 

 

That's disappointing - they claimed they had developed a special slow-running chassis to provide realistic speeds for this model.

 

> "I found a clip on YouTube that shows noticeable bleeding from the internal lights through the sides and roof."

 

That's not so much "bleeding" as gushing ;-)

 

I think I'll be very tempted just to disable all of the lights.

 

Sounds like they're not building much consumer confidence for their future releases.

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On the other hand, I guess my Tomix Finetrack will only need tamping every two or three years - so maybe most of the time the equipment can be parked in a siding.  And it really is a unique model.  What are the alternatives?  The only other N-scale Plasser & Theurer model I'm aware of is the now-discontinued Hobbytrain 23500, and reviews of that make pretty scary reading.

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Das Steinkopf

I received a 4710 today and have had a good look at the model and it seems to be fine, I haven't run it yet as I will be swapping it for a 4709 that a friend of mine has ordered, he wanted a 4710 but was unable to order it ages ago when the original pre orders started and had ordered two of the 4709's luckily for him I had ordered the 4710 so we can swap, he mainly does JR East so having the Totetsu Kogyo unit is better for him than it is for me.

 

Looking at the colour it seems to look at bit more richer than the Totetsu Kogyo owned units but you must take into account how much the paint has bleached and faded from being exposed to the weather for a number of years, once these units have recieved a decent dose of weathering they may look a lot better. The yellow on the lifting and lining unit and tines is a bit glossy but I will rectify that by some detail painting of the tines and grubbying up the lifting and lining gear, with the roof I will probably paint the insides a matt light grey which will help cut down the light issues, if you have ever seen a Tamping Machine in action during the night they are lit up like the proverbial Christmas Tree, I think Greenmax was trying to replicate that but did it a bit too well.

 

With the "swayback" issue I thought that when I first looked at it but then got a steel rule out to check it and found the body to be fairly straight, a lot of it is optical illusion due to the roof profile as well as the shape of the chassis when you compare it to the solid straight underframes of a passenger car. Running wise I will have to see how it goes but it could be a case of where the motor needs a bit of running in first, I had recently purchased a Greenmax KiHa 75 and it runs fairly nice and smooth without much noise.

 

 

Here are some photos I took of the real thing when travelling to Matsumoto on the Chuo Mainline

 

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Edited by Das Steinkopf
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The only other N-scale Plasser & Theurer model I'm aware of is the now-discontinued Hobbytrain 23500, and reviews of that make pretty scary reading.

 

I'm curious, as I've previously only seen text saying that this was in fact made by Kato for Hobbytown, but he comes out very strongly against that.

 

I also wonder at his using the Mashima motor as evidence that Kato didn't produce it - does Kato manufacture their own motors?

 

I've always thought of Mashima as a quality product, and used by many model producers. 

I believe that they are often recommended for repowering engines built with really crappy motors, and are widely sold separately for just that purpose, as well as building custom chassis.

 

Also - here's some proto photos that I came across.

 

 

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I have also a yellow one on the way to Italy I'll let you know my feedback once I'll get it in 2-3 weeks

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I was surprised the price was as low as it was for two specialty cars from micro ace. One issue with these models is they have more details than the standard train car to try to reproduce in pretty small sizes.

I was thinking this the other day about another model.

 

Since this took 2 years to come out and was originally prices in 2014 prices.  I wonder if they have cheaped out and cut corners as best possible to limit losses?

 

I have the same reservations about my MA Kiha 140+47 if and when it may come out.  15,300 was normal for 2014.  But since all makers, Kato/Tomix/Tomytec/MA/GM all had decent evolutionary price increases in 2015.  what will my 15,300 get me in 2016?

Edited by katoftw
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On the other hand, I guess my Tomix Finetrack will only need tamping every two or three years - so maybe most of the time the equipment can be parked in a siding.  And it really is a unique model.  What are the alternatives?  The only other N-scale Plasser & Theurer model I'm aware of is the now-discontinued Hobbytrain 23500, and reviews of that make pretty scary reading.

  

 

Spookshow can be very opinionated. It's not that bad of a train. He was expecting something much more I think. I am satisfied with mine, not great, but decent and in n scale mow it's BCBC! The price was not horrid for euro equipment and us Modelers always get sticker shock at euro model prices. One problem with spookshow is that it's hard to grade things like this, everyone has different expectations and needs/wants.

 

I'm curious, as I've previously only seen text saying that this was in fact made by Kato for Hobbytown, but he comes out very strongly against that.

 

I also wonder at his using the Mashima motor as evidence that Kato didn't produce it - does Kato manufacture their own motors?

 

I've always thought of Mashima as a quality product, and used by many model producers. 

I believe that they are often recommended for repowering engines built with really crappy motors, and are widely sold separately for just that purpose, as well as building custom chassis.

 

AFAIL Hobbytrain is a side line for Kato with usually more inexpensive trains with a tad less detail and not as fine mechanics. Also used when working with third parties like lemke usually. It's a bit like Tomytec/tomix with trains.

 

I've a few hobbytrain trains and generally good trains and decent runners. Yes not as finely detailed as regular Kato, but also usually odder stuff like this plaster! If you only want the absolute best then don't go to hobbytrain, or Tomytec for that matter, but you will limit what you can get then.

 

Again for the price of both of these models and them being a pretty niche market model you can't expect really finely detailed models. The odd structure make them harder to engineer both the frames and the mechanics and more detail bits than your regular train car. Also it's design and assembly very unlike the usual stuff done so a lot of extra work and cost gets eaten up there (less can be borrowed from regular train designs). To have it finely detailed with lots of etched metal and plastic detail bits would have doubled the price most likely and killed the sales. It's always a tradeoff.

 

I just keep hoping that world kougei does more mow equipment in their hybrid kit line as this is perfect for these odder units and they seem to have it down now to keep their kit production costs low to get a decent price. Plus they are good as small mechs to work in these single car units well. The world kougei KiYa 97 was a very nice start.

 

Looking forward to my greenmaxes getting here, I think I will be satisfied as again BCBC!

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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While looking for something else, I came across a photo of the somewhat different Odakyu version.

 

 

gallery_941_192_94743.jpg

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While looking for something else, I came across a photo of the somewhat different Odakyu version.

 

Oh no.. that is much better color.. haha.. always love to see the white combined with blue stripe.. it reminds me with Tobu 8000series so pretty..

 

With this, I think we can expect something from greenmax in the future.. LoL.. the yellow and the green one is just their first step.. I wouldnt be surprised if later they will re-release the tamper in more colors including this one..

Edited by Robert46
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Oh no.. that is much better color.. haha.. always love to see the white combined with blue stripe.. it reminds me with Tobu 8000series so pretty..

 

With this, I think we can expect something from greenmax in the future.. LoL.. the yellow and the green one is just their first step.. I wouldnt be surprised if later they will re-release the tamper in more colors including this one..

 

Robert, on Greenmax site the tamper is already listed in two additional colors, they were only waiting to fix the production of the model before releasing them

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Robert, on Greenmax site the tamper is already listed in two additional colors, they were only waiting to fix the production of the model before releasing them

 

Hi Melandir, yeah.. I just remember that.. but only knew one additional color though.. their website is in Japanese so couldn't read it. haha

 

And with Odakyu train above, I think it's not the same model as Greenmax tamper 4709/10.. obviously it's different from front window and sound-proofing shutters shape..

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It's the same Plasser & Theurer model number - 09-16 CSM, but there are major differences - enough so that I doubt Greenmax would want to create new molds.

 

There's the front porch on the end we see, and the upper panels at the other end are sloping.

 

The "sound-proofing shutters" would be the easiest issue to fix, as that's a separate part.

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Das Steinkopf

The Odakyu version does not have the material wagon fitted to it and has a drivers cab at the end with the porch, the Greenmax model has a drivers cab fitted to the material wagon, Plasser have a wide variety of models to suit their customers needs and can customise them to suit specific requirements of their users. The units that have material wagons fitted to them generally operate at longer ranges compared to say the Odakyu unit, the material wagons carry extra fuel and water as well as having some of the gear fitted such as tensioning trolleys of the lining measuring system, they can also be fitted with a crew room to provide basic amenities for the staff on long distance jobs.

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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Das Steinkopf

Well today was the moment of truth Edo_San came over with 4709 in hand to partake in a trade for 4710, we ran both models around on a Kato V6 circuit powered by a Gaugemaster Model D which has a radius of 348mm, using the medium length drawbar which gives a realistic distance between the material wagon and the tamper the unit was able to negotiate the curves at ease, any tighter than that would be a problem.

 

Running cab forward 4710 ran fairly well whislt 4709 was a little rough and needs to be run in, both were able to crawl on the lowest power setting on the controller, when we ran in reverse with the material wagon at the front that is where we saw a noticble change in performance. The unit found it difficult to negotiate curves with the motor struggling to gain traction, the motor is placed under the drivers cab of the tamper, when pulling the train there is no issue with adhesion as the weight of the rest of the unit that it is towing is pulling the wheels down onto the track, however when running in reverse I suspect the rear wheelset of the motor is being forced upwards and losing traction as the weight of the unit is forced back onto it. This is more prevelant when using the medium length drawbar compared with the long drawbar but it is still an issue, I am going to have a look at how to tackle it but I think it will be a case of putting a couple of grams of lead shim in the roof slightly behind the motor to help force it down onto the track and maintain adhesion.

 

Last but not least was the lighting, on 4710 it worked when travelling in both directions but 4709 had issues with the lights in the material wagon working when going in reverse but not when travelling forward, I suspect a loose contact somewhere in the unit and will investigate it further, Edo_San tested the other 4709 he has when he got home and found the lighting worked fine in both directions. In some respects I feel a little let down with the overall performance especially after the wait that most of us endured to get the model, it is a reasonably decent model detail wise and is a somewhat unique item that very few manufacturers would bother with but the overall performance is somewhat lacking, I think Greenmax really needs to work on it's quality control if it wants to compete with Kato and Tomix.

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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Das Steinkopf

Fun night tonight as I decided to inspect the root of the problem with the lighting on the material wagon, firstly I decided to try each axle on some powered track to see if there was an issue with the pickups, in reverse the lights lit up testing each axle but going forward they did not work. I decided to open it up and have a look, to do so you take off the lower front beam at the front, after that you gently work from the rear to the cab gently lifting it out, there are tabs on the chassis that clip on the inside of the cab so you have to prise the sides open gently. After doing that the cab and roof assembly seperate from the chassis, this is where I made the awful discovery of a blown LED, by the looks of it they have placed it in the wrong way and have not properly checked. I will be asking Edo_San to get in contact with Hobby Search and make a complaint and see what they can do about it, luckily I will be able to swap the other 4709 that he has that we know works fine but I don't feel good that he received a dodgy unit, I would have expected much better from Greenmax for a model that is apparently made in Japan.

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Edited by Das Steinkopf
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Hello,

 

Please contact Hobby Search and be prepared to return the model for replacement.  I would expect that you will need to pay the international shipping.

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After doing a swap for the faulty item for the working item with Das Steinkopf today, an email has been sent to Hobby Search advising of the faulty product. Shall wait and see what happens in the next few days.

 
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I received my Tampers a couple of days ago and can report some faults:

 

The 4709 Plasser & Theurer was test ran and proved to have no issues apart from the very bright lights. Slow speed performance was ok but there was a slight stuttering, this may be due to the track which needs a clean.

 

The 4710 Totetsu refused to run at all, I removed the body and out popped a copper strip just as Velotrain had found, the motor was found to be floating about within the body shell. The copper strip was replaced (it looks like it supplies the motor) and the motor pushed in to place. A test run was performed and it ran with no issues. Again it did a good impression of a Christmas tree.

 

The model seems well put together and detailed, the roof line is straight and the shutters operate without sticking.

 

What I will be doing now is a long test run of both units to see if this improves the running then I will probably lubricate the power bogie and worm drive to see if this also helps.

 

All in all the two year wait seems a bit too long but I will certainly be reserving the KSP2002E's when they are released.

 

Dave

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Das Steinkopf

I think the quality assurance has been a bit hit and miss with this model, I got to run the swapped over 4709 from Edo_San the other day and it ran relatively well, there was a little bit of flickering with the LED's which I can put down to the design of the pickups but other than that I can't complain. The whole unit performed reasonably well at low speed in both direction with the medium length drawbar fitted, it was a little bit jerky on the curves but I found this to be more due to slop in the track joints with the UniTrack, once I fixed the track up the running improved, given that I will be running this on a layout with Peco Code 55 I don't think I will be having as many issues track wise compared to a temporary setup of UniTrack.

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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