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Discussion Starter #1

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Not sure who is making the locomotive but description says all heavy metal construction so guessing it will be all metal with probably cast brass detail parts.


Interesting prototype.
 

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Both Kiss and LGB are coming out with this loco.


The LGB one is a combination of die-cast metal and brass
The Kiss one is all brass


There was a discussion on the net which approach is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
...yes, I know Kiss has it scheduled for release too, LGB seems to be trying to throw a spanner into their works... even worse, Kiss has now filed for bankruptcy protection due to COVID19 so they may actually go belly up and not release this or any other locos (made in China). Kiss castings are excellent and so is their bodywork. The castings on LGB prototype look acceptable but not brilliant. Die-cast metal probably means Zamak which is less than great. Still, I would like to know who is actually building this locomotive for LGB. Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
 

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Filing for bankruptcy may actually save a company, and let them re-start later, or perhaps makes funds available, so I would not interpret this as the end of Kiss.
 

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I am not sure if this is official now, but it looks like LGB/Maerklin's plan to release the locomotive has been scrapped... "Unfortunately, this product is no longer available"
https://www.maerklinshop.de/en/lgb/...ra-vi-class-hg-4/4-cog-wheel-steam-locomotive
I have seen that in the LGB shop before:
"Unfortunately, this product is no longer available"

That just means that availability has been delayed.

In January this loco was supposed to be available in II Quarter 2020, then in III Quarter and now in IV Quarter.

I doubt LGB will cancel that loco - it's too much of a good money maker.
But of course anything is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
KRS, Thanks for the note. These delays are actually an indication of a serious supply problem. A similar situation happened with KISS when they were re-opening their business after the 2007 market crash. It took two or more years to actually release the locomotives they announced then. I remember that they had to scrap an entire production run which was not up to the quality level which Mr Stefan Kiss demanded, he the moved the production to another plant and the final result was magnificent. All the released Kiss locomotives are fantastic. But back to LGB's HG 4/4 this IMHO was a poor marketing move to announce this loco right after KISS announced theirs. Maerklin became bold and tried hard to destroy the competition and capitalise on the brilliant brass market of the last decade. But they probably went a step too far... Of course, I am not a prophet and we may have to wait years for this to clarify, but I will not be surprised to see this plan scrapped. The current crisis wiped away all the money from the flourishing brass market, it will take a decade to recover if ever... It will be a miracle if KISS will survive in their both Swiss and Gerrman restricted forms. But the golden age for Maerklin/LGB is likely over now. They had a chance and they used it well. As you all _do not_ know;-). their first limited edition model - the Swiss rotary was actually meant to be the LGB//Aster model... The prototype was made but then LGB run out of steam... Future will tell, that is what I can say and see at this moment. With best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
 

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Hi Zubi!

I don’t things are as dire as you think in the case of Maerklin’s HG4/4: no supply issues since they are all made and cast in-house, like they did with the snowblowers and they sold out very quickly.
You can see the latest iteration running in the last MaerklinTV episode and I believe it has some minor tweaks like lantern copper colour corrections then it heads for production. I have to say, it looks great. I think they are wise with their limited production...seems to be working for them and they avoid the race to the bottom like Aristo etc.
As for Kiss, they made their bed choosing production in China so no surprise when COVid hit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Cougar Rock Rail, Thank you for correcting me. Limited Editions of LGB sold out very quickly too. First the original ones by what later became Magnus and then the series by Aster. I witnessed the fever myself when the Shay was released, they were selling like hot cakes... As for the HG 4/4 I simply do not understand the business idea behind but if they are all sold out as you say, it must be a very good business model!! Kiss got in trouble, but I think they will release their HG 4/4 albeit probably with delay. Interesting to hear that Maerklin makes their Ltd Eds in house now. I wish I could see the actual models in real life some day!! Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
 

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Interesting to hear that Maerklin makes their Ltd Eds in house now.
Maerklin has always made their high-end models in house.
They use a different technique than the earlier LGB Magnus and Aster models which were basically hand-made models constructed of brass and stainless steel.

The new 'limited edition' LGB models use the Maerklin technique of "Mixed construction die casting / brass centrifugal casting" - on-line translation of
"Mischbauweise Druckguss / Messing-Schleuderguss" which Maerklin has used for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
KRS, thank you for this information. I wonder what the die castings are. This may be Zamak. I guess someone who owns Maerklin metal models in 1:32 could verify. I would say, technically, they are all hand made models in these quantities. Magnus and Aster are not comparable however, although they used the same approach of utilising LGB parts such as motors, wheels and even parts of the drive blocks. Magnus models consist of a lot of white metal glued together with steel and brass while Aster models are extremely strong brass and steel held together by screws and welding. Although there were also a few plastic parts on Aster/LGB, especially on HSB 2-10-2. Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
 
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