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Utterly unacceptable— as someone mentioned old Josh and his Italian crew are spinning in their graves— 

That’s a bit disingenuous. They never attempted anything as intricate as most of the modern, post 1998 engines. Saying differently doesn’t make it so.

Modern companies are producing things with fine detail that wasn’t possible, at the current volume, at a comparable price to Pre-war/Post-war production.

After you're in the hobby awhile and buy trains from various out of state dealers you'll likely get to know the dealers who go the extra-mile and pack the train boxes in EXTRA-cushioned out boxes. They've likely learned, as have I, from experience that the shipping cartons from the importers are not enough to survive real-world handling & shipping. There's three dealers that I know of, and whom get the Lion's share of my business, who most of the time, use outer packing in addition to the shipping carton. Sometimes however, even extra cushioning doesn't help, but it certainly reduces the rate of damage.

From USPS - bullet #1 is key:

Preparing Your Box

Pack your box to protect your contents and to make sure the box arrives intact.

  • Use a sturdy box with enough room to add cushioning for fragile items and to prevent items from shifting.
  • Tape your box so that it closes flat on all sides and reinforce the flaps with 2-inch wide packing tape.
  • If you’re reusing a box, make sure all old logos, shipping labels, and addresses are covered or blacked out.
  • Pack your box to protect your contents and make sure the box arrives intact. Tape your box so that it closes flat on all sides without bulging and reinforce the flaps with 2-inch wide packing tape
@Yojimbo posted:

That’s a bit disingenuous. They never attempted anything as intricate as most of the modern, post 1998 engines. Saying differently doesn’t make it so.

Modern companies are producing things with fine detail that wasn’t possible, at the current volume, at a comparable price to Pre-war/Post-war production.

I'll take a 700 E's fine details over any of the flimsy plastic models they make nowadays.

@dkdkrd posted:

2cents

...IMHO they have a dearth of packaging attention-to-detail.  

Those details in and of themselves have no mass to speak of.  If details like that are provided the freedom to ride in a package without any possible contact with surrounding material....rigid foam, taut clearwrap,  vacuum-formed shells with no clearance pockets, etc...there's minimal chance that shipping stresses should occur to the point of part breakage.   Parts that shake loose without 'breakage' due to inadequate press-fit or adhesive?....that's another thing entirely, and I, for one would give it a 'tsk-tsk' and take care of it myself.  

Here's an idea, though...  Why not return to packaging techniques that folks like Kato learned years ago....for their far less massive N-scale products??  Example: Observation car antenna.  Simply package the antenna separately in a sealed package with any instructions for assembly to the car.   No, Lionel won't reduce the price.  Yes, you're going to have to acquire some basic skills along the road to happiness in this hobby...or find someone who has them.

 

Peace and safety.

KD

If the packaging doesn't touch the roof antenna it doesn't break unless it left the factory that way. It's not like these cars are flopping all over the boxes in shipment.

I can't count the times over the past several years in which people post and comment on receiving damaged or non-working locomotives from our illustrious importers.  This practice has been going on for years now and numerous people have complained about it.  Many have commented that the only way to combat this shoddy business practice is to simply stop buying the stuff and they are spot on.  It takes some restraint, a strong will and a sense of discipline to resist these shiny glitzy models but that is what needs to be done.  If the American consumer doesn't have the good common sense to stop purchasing sub-par train products then they deserve everything they get-SCHLOCK.

@Paul Kallus posted:

After you're in the hobby awhile and buy trains from various out of state dealers you'll likely get to know the dealers who go the extra-mile and pack the train boxes in EXTRA-cushioned out boxes. They've likely learned, as have I, from experience that the shipping cartons from the importers are not enough to survive real-world handling & shipping. There's three dealers that I know of, and whom get the Lion's share of my business, who most of the time, use outer packing in addition to the shipping carton. Sometimes however, even extra cushioning doesn't help, but it certainly reduces the rate of damage.

From USPS - bullet #1 is key:

Preparing Your Box

Pack your box to protect your contents and to make sure the box arrives intact.

  • Use a sturdy box with enough room to add cushioning for fragile items and to prevent items from shifting.
  • Tape your box so that it closes flat on all sides and reinforce the flaps with 2-inch wide packing tape.
  • If you’re reusing a box, make sure all old logos, shipping labels, and addresses are covered or blacked out.
  • Pack your box to protect your contents and make sure the box arrives intact. Tape your box so that it closes flat on all sides without bulging and reinforce the flaps with 2-inch wide packing tape

The cartons themselves, and the amount of cushioning are not the problem.

The problem is that you have multiple-pound (kg for the European folks on the forum) locomotives with very fine, and delicate detail on the outside of them.  If *anything* stiffer than the delicate parts comes into contact with it when the locomotive shifts during shipment, it will deflect the plastic/brass/etc.

You can't rely on the shipper to treat the box like a crystal vase all the way to your door.  Heck, they come across the ocean on pallets inside of intermodal containers.  I'm pretty sure the crane operators and the gods of the sea couldn't care less what's inside.

The key to packaging things of this nature is twofold. 

First you need to find sturdy mounting or bracing points and ensure that the packaging contacts the locomotive ONLY in these points.  Good candidates for this are the metal fuel tanks, driving wheels, metal frame, metal sand and steam domes, and the thickest part of the plastic shells where there is limited or no detail.  Someone else mentioned a screw mount like smaller scales.  That's not a bad idea.

Second, there has to be nothing but AIR around the delicate parts.  The amount of space required is dependent on the weight of the loco, the stiffness of the packaging material, and how much shock the item can take before the packaging yields to sacrifice it's integrity for the item inside.  These are all done in a balance of size, cost, and weight.  The typical foam and plastic wrap that accompanies these inside the Styrofoam cradle is actually detrimental to fine detail.  Sure it can prevent scratches, but it's not going to save a 030 mil piece of wire or plastic when a 4 lbs engine comes screaming at it.

Last edited by rplst8

OK....I don't see much advice here!  This is just another rambling thread complaining about packing and what should be done about it.  Nothing different here than the scores of other threads just like it over the past couple of years or so.  Call and write / email Lionel and speak with your wallet.  Time to go back and play trains.

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

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