The fellow I visited yesterday is more than capable of cutting gears. Had been doing this for O scale modellers for years. I would not expect a third party to do this for free, however the NWSL price of US $14.95 is a little excessive. As Bill stated the problem of split gears has been occurring for years with brass models. I have a packet of some intermediate replacement gears, for some Aussie brass locomotive sitting on my bench that were manufactured by my mate year ago. Interestingly the price per gear, written on the bag is $2.50 each. These gears where likely manufactured due to a brass importer seeking a solution decades ago along with the need to keep personal models moving.
I know of another two blokes that can also perform this type of work in a two hundred km radius. Would it be worth their time, probably not. For me though it is and I will be making my own replacements. I like ultimate fixes.
As for injection moulding, I am sure in the Chinese factory changeover (what ever happened) that the original tooling was lost, did not follow or something? This is where a manufacture has to become clever and use similar designs in future products. Maybe the 48 class will use a 0.5, 11 tooth 6.36 gear for the Muff. That way spares would suit future and previous models.
Obviously I am not in the loop and none of us have all the information on how the decision was made. It's not so much how the decision was made but the consequence it will have on prospective consumers. It's obvious talking to people and reading these threads that it's a real issue. Perception can be someone's reality.
I would like to end my input to this thread by acknowledging a manufacture that does actually bend over backwards for the customer. With any of my DJH models if anything fails, falls off or is missing Al will have it sorted. If you support him he seems to support you back.
I guess as the RTR manufactures may not be in total control of the production of these models, it's safe to say that problems will pop up. It is however our right to make the decision whether to buy a product based on our own ideas of what each of us expects. I want a model that will last.
Btw Geoff the boxes arrived safely. Thanks,
Actually Linton, there are not many companies in Australia who are set up to cut gears, and if they did machine replacement muffs, the cost would be far too high. The only practical way to produce them is to injection mould the muff, and there you run into the cost of the tool to produce them, probably worth around $15-20K to have cut.
As for handing them out free, well that is not going to happen, unless the modeller removes the original wheelset and sends it in for exchange.
But as pointed out many times in the past, the problem was not necessarily the muff on the wheel, but rather an intermediate gear that was too narrow, that could miss meshing with the gear before it.
The only practical way of solving this one would have been to offer replacement bogies for the modeller to fit, and dismantling the bogie to replace the faulty gears is beyond the capability of most modellers. Clearly the company in question weighed all this up and decided they could not afford to take this approach, or simply were not willing to take the cost hit.