Hi Col,Linton in on of my earlier posts I mentioned pretty well the problem of length loads on grades, likewise the sharpness of curves that the average modeller has to contend with.
I didn't realise the American stuff still had traction tyres! I guess some of the American stuff is cheap compared to Aussie stuff. How do the German manufacturers go I wonder. There models can be quite expensive, maybe on par with Australian outline items. They certainly look very nice.
I don't think it's so much what the prototype can pull although the Bachman Jubilee model would of showed up my previous plastic steam purchase. I think it comes down to it being a model train and being used on layouts of which track plans and grades are more extreme that those in real life. It comes down to somebody wanting to haul a seven car passenger train, like the real one around their layout for the visual pleasure. The poor model locomotive has to negotiate tight curves, sharp grades, small radius point work, bad grade transitions and god knows what else. The requirements when building a model should have addressed these known problems and then been validated. The model should be able to pull more than prototypically possible due to it operating on a model railway, while its up to the modeller to do what he chooses with it. The R Class is not a small locomotive. If it were a Z13 class I could understand why there may be some issues.
Anyway I am not a R Class purchaser. I can imagine how some feel after handing over so much money. Six hundred dollars is not cheap.
Hope somebody comes up with a decent solution.
I have minimums of 28'' radius curves an improvement on the old 22" although that radius is found in only a couple of spots the remainder over that & probably close to 34-36". I have heard from some modellers that 36" should be the baseline of any layout curves, which is great if you have the room, & not a lot of modellers have the space for that.
My longest straight run is around 5 metres, which is good but still restrictive, the grades on them are over 1:75 so it does not tax any of the models I have, with the loads I put on them. I am pretty sure though the 1:40/28"radius section would tax it if I was to try & run a standard type of long distance train that the real ones hauled in Victoria by themselves.
Thus compromise is needed but the thing is, just like you suggested at first & what I also said earlier that the importers need to get it right, & so does the factories, to ensure the models that we purchase can do an affective job out of the box, at least as far as possible. Most modellers have some basic skills that help improve them, & many tips are put out & found here on RP, maybe some sort of sticky could set up, that allows for those who have found successful methods to improve models, especially the simple ones but also at various difficulty levels which also help the modeller improve their skills.
However, my only concern with that is, it could be an easy out for the importers to not do their jobs as they should be.