I am confused by many of the preceeding posts. Are we talking about SMS vs Lima or is there some other brand involved? The obfuscation is baffling.
We should only be comparing models of equivalent value. A model costing twice as much should be twice as good. How do you measure value for money?
I think it is good to provide lower cost (and usually lower quality) locos and rollingstock to help younger modellers get into the hobby. Why should a new entrant to the hobby be forced to pay for a belts and whistles model? A lower standard and cheaper model makes much more sense.
Some years back I had a Lima 38cl, some of the aspects regarding it which were pretty much toy market quality was the simplified valve gear, poor motor, which could not be seen, and the other primary area was the tender and wheel flanges. In many ways the overall body did not do a bad job of representing what the 38cl actually looked like.
Fast forwarding to the SMS latest edition, the question regarding the model especially in this day and age is how much harder would it have been to have gotten the model closer to even the Lima model at least Loco side of things? The team behind this model must have had some idea as the general shape of the body in itself is presentable but, its the clunky items that kill it, along with more than enough poor replications of many areas on it.
I have no idea where the people who were involved in its design are located but, if they are on the Eastern side of Oz, they could have readily sought permission from the people at Thirlmere to go there and take measurements and detail items on 2 non streamlined 38's that are at that location. That aside there are any number of books that are available that have quality photo's of the loco's that could have utilised.
Finally, is it easier or harder when in the design stages, and sample production point to get the product that would have a big demand produced with correct detail, rather than with incorrect detail? In looking at that point, how much extra, (if any) would it have cost to get the finish done correctly?
I would be pretty sure that even if it cost another $100.00 for that as against the $299.00 asked for, there would be much more demand and likely sales.
I just noticed on the previous page that the model is now being promoted by Hornby/Lima, did not see this post before I put this reply out. It does not however alter my view of the model, but showing the model from the fireman's side certainly provides a more favourable view than the drivers side. Still the primary areas of concern are there to see and would not have cost more to have the detail correct rather than how it comes.https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/shop/brands/lima-h0-1-87.html