"plastik" or brass modells ?

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"plastik" or brass modells ?

Postby roco on 20 Dec 2010, 10:03

Hallo

I like to start a discussion "plastik" or brass modells .
Bachmann China and Haidar dilivered both a brass DF4D or DF4C engine . I like to know , was it worth it ? The prices are allmost 2-2,5 times then a "plastik" one . How is the performance of the brass ones in compare to the "plastik" ones . Level of noise they produce , what they can pull etc .
I ask it because for 2011 there are many more modelss coming in brass .
BachmannChina : KF1 , RM , JF , JSb
Haidar : SS3 , BJ
I don't know if all this models will be made of brass . Personally I hope of not .

regards Jos
roco
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Re: "plastik" or brass modells ?

Postby maxa1 on 21 Dec 2010, 02:53

Hi Jos,

The plastic models nowadays are pretty good, especially if they have brass hand rails and using brass/nickel silver and stainless etchings for other small parts. There is a limit how small plastic parts can be, before they easily break during handling plus what can be done with injection molding.
It also depends on what you want of your model, I guess we all have different ideas about that :) The Bachmann brass DF4 (not made by Bachmann!) was a flop due shoddy paintwork and poor drive arrangement. The Haidar one is much better.
Price wise they are still cheap compared to Brass models from other makers.
The ideal solution would be a plastic/brass hybrid, both cost wise and in appearance. Some makers have already gone that way,mostly in the US.
Of course, pizza cutter wheels will ruin any model....I'm wondering why Bachmann China/Haidar/etc have not yet adapted RP25 wheel profile for their models.

Cheers

Max
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Re: "plastik" or brass modells ?

Postby roco on 21 Dec 2010, 18:50

Hallo Max

I see you point . But brass models , I still have my thinking of it . We have in the Netherlands at this time Philotrain , Etchmodels , MK modelbouw , Werps modelbouw . They make very nice models . But the Philotrain are real , so real that they can't drive through the most curves of the current curved tracks , specialy the R1 and R2 . They have bad performances on the tracks . ( I don't want to give a bad review of this brand but give just an example how it can work out . Philotrain has his own group of buyers , most of the time just for the show ) .
I agree that they are ( still ) cheaper than other brands .
Pizza cutters are not wanted under trainmodels .
Other members please give your opinion .

regards Jos
roco
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Re: "plastik" or brass modells ?

Postby maxa1 on 22 Dec 2010, 03:30

Jos, most, if not all brass models are scale models, with details like body mounted ladders fitted as per prototype.R1,R2 radius curves are nowhere near the minimum radius of the real thing, so even a commercial plastic model designed to traverse a small radius will look odd with the body pointing one way, the bogies the other way plus extreme overhang.Steamers most likely will jump of the rails.
A SS8 with boxcars might get away with extremely small curves :)
Brass models cost more due they cannot be mass produced like plastic models.
As to new models please have a look at http://www.chinesemodeltrains.com/news.html .There you can see what is planned as brass model........you better start saving money :)
I personal like both plastic and brass models,subject to, that they are well done in all aspects(looks and driving ability). I wish there were brass kits available for China models.......probably never due low turnover.

Cheers

Max
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Re: "plastik" or brass modells ?

Postby DongFeng7 on 12 Feb 2016, 16:35

This is a good discussion. There seems to be a lean towards brass models in the far east, however European as well as USA model makers have been manufacturing in vacuum cast plastics for decades. Most highly detailed or what is referred to as museum quality models in the USA are plastic. Considering DCC and the risk of shorts if paintwork rubs off on a brass model, plastic is preferred. I also model SAR and own a number of brass and metal built locomotives (DJH), that were cumbersome to convert to dcc and as soon as it goes in to regular use, some shorts out at places where metal losses paint- a complete nightmare. I would urge Chinese manufacturers to adopt the same practices as Roco, Marklin, Fleischmann etc and make their models in precision cast plastics. Plastics are mode resilient to shock and temperatures and should be a no brainer. Our aeroplanes and cars are now more composite materials than steel - the fact that a model is heavy does not translate into quality.
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