UPDATE July 2021:

I am very pleased to say that Factory Direct Hobbies have now fully refunded me the costs of this locomotive after I sent it back to North Carolina, including return postage. I am very happy about the outcome and glad that we could resolve this in a civil and polite manner. I'd like to thank Joe at FDH for his understanding and cooperation.



Original post:

In March 2021, I saw a print ad for a H0 scale Plymouth Switcher locomotive, exclusively made by Broadway Limited Imports for the retailer Factory Direct Hobbies with an announced release date of March 2021. Excited for it and enticed by the $99 preorder price, I submitted my preorder at Factory Direct Hobbies. The model I preordered was "BLI 6552 Plymouth W-Series 35-Ton Switcher, Unlettered, Yellow w/ Safety Stripes, WEATHERED, DC/DCC, HO - Factory Direct Hobbies Exclusive". Conveniently, they have since removed the product page on their website (https://factorydirecthobbies.com/products/preorder-bli-6552-plymouth-w-series-35-ton-switcher-unlettered-yellow-w-safety-stripes-weathered-dc-dcc-ho?variant=33222221004863)


It would take until mid June 2021 that the model finally was available to be shipped. I promptly paid (including $55.96 postage to the UK) and then this arrived:



The model arrived in an unacceptable state. This is not what I call weathering. It instead looks like a five-year-old scribbled on it with a silver marker and splatted some red paint on the roof. My assumption is that in the months leading up to the delivery of the models, the manufacturer was running already late so they decided to rush the "weathering" to not cause any further delays, resulting in this defaced model.


I have since contacted Factory Direct Hobbies who refuse to refund me the full amount (including shipping) and told me that they are "sorry I don't like the weathering".


If you look at their preview videos, it shows the weathering as you would expect it, very nicely applied:


Comparing what you can see in the video with what I actually got, I am extremely disappointed.


I will return the model either way as I will not let them get away with this and I'd rather be out "only" ~$70 (with return postage) than ~$170.


Whatever the outcome, I will not be buying from Factory Direct Hobbies anymore.


- Max

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