Author Topic: Loco Builders?  (Read 8547 times)

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Offline Geoff Nicholls

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2014, 08:38:04 PM »
I apologise for my ignorance. I read the wrong Rev Awdry books when a child and spent 40 years in the narrow gauge world. I'm back on the straight and....standard gauge now.
Would it be better to consider aids to modellers? If the newcomers are upgraders from 'O' gauge, they might already have some kit-building experience. Would it be possible to produce a 'BR standard' starter kit, with cylinders and Walschearts valve gear that is easily screwable together and adaptable to a wide range of locos?
For me, the part below the footplate is the scary bit, it is expensive and HAS to work. Above the footplate, you can always scrap it and try again.
Geoff.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2014, 09:32:33 PM »
I completely agree with Richard, who put into words so nicely some of the problems of scaling up kits designed for smaller scales.  Unfortunately a number of manufacturers don't bother with any of this, just increase the scale with no changes whatsoever, and the fact that the fold lines are indistinct and nothing quite fits, is irrelevant to them.  What is more frustrating is that people BUY the part-kits in substantial numbers because the headline price is attractive.

I agree with all of the above members about price - £5K for a scratch built loco of quality, including professional painting and all the electronics currently available, is probably not unreasonable.  But, as in the smaller scales. there need to be alternatives.

I have another suggestion.  The T9 mentioned was built by a professional using a pantograph milling machine and a set of patterns he previously used in the smaller scales.  The result is in no way a kit, but it does provide all the flat platework for the model and finding somebody who has scratch built one of the locos you want in a smaller scale might make that a possibility.  Compared with etching there is no minimum quantity and no setup cost.

So, John, you might try contacting that well known professional, or Midnight Miller, and see if they know of any suitable patterns for any of those engines you want.  Alternatively, select one engine as a sample, ask if anyone else would come in with you, and collectively make the patterns for milling a small batch.
 
Mike

Offline 454

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2014, 10:27:17 PM »
Geoff,

Like your idea about a BR standard starter kit.
After building my Peak diesel from scratch to Chris Barron drawings so far has taken me 10 months.  I have considered obtaining a set of drawings for the BR standard 2-6-4 T loco that he has designed. The "80000" type loco was my favourite Hornby Dublo 3 rail model when I was a lad, so it does have claim on my interest. It would have been my intention to build it as a RC battery electric & build it from regular modelling materials. The steamy bits would be ignored. There are other BR standards in his portfolio of designs, so a lot of the groundwork has been done. These plans should be considered as a source of inspiration & exist in our gauge. Although care should be taken to ensure the bits that one makes fit together sensibly. If anybody has built from these drawings is reading this they will know what I mean. The chassis metal bits can be obtained easily as laser cut metal. There are castings available & machining should not be that difficult if the steam driven design is not followed. No pumps, gauges, valves, pipes, glands, leaks, boiler certs, boiler making, cylinders & valve timing, steam oil, messy coal, smelly meths or hissy gas. What Joy!

Just because these are steam designs does not mean one has to spend huge amounts building them as steam driven & all the consequences arising. I would love to hear from someone who has built a non-steam loco from any of Chris Barron's plans. He advertises in our Newsletter regularly.

Sadly will not be able to undertake this project at this time as I have been told by SWMBO that I must not start something else until I have completed something.

Dave
454


Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2014, 10:34:19 PM »
If I am going to make patterns (rather than scratchbuild a single model) then the biggest problem will be finding a prototype that will be wanted by several people.
The GWR is reckoned to be the most popular (according to GRS) but I don't want any more GW locos.
BR standards (sorry, Geoff and Dave) are too late for my needs, while the Southern (which is popular in certain quarters) is another "no go" area for me.

I have no requirement for Pacifics and other top link classes......mixed traffic tender locos and passenger tanks (LMS/LNER) are what I need.

Possible passenger tanks acceptable to me would be:-
MR 1P 0-4-4T ; LNWR Coal Tank ; LNWR Webb 5ft 6ins 2-4-2T ; LT&SR "Tilbury Tank" 4-4-2T ; GNR 4-4-2T (LNER C12) ; GCR 4-4-2T (LNER C13/C14)

Tender locos :-
MR Class 2 or 3 4-4-0 ; LNWR G1/G2 0-8-0 ; LNWR 19in Goods 4-6-0 ; LMS Stanier 2-6-0 ; LMS Stanier "Black 5" 4-6-0 ; GNR 2-6-0 (LNER K2 or K3) ; GCR 4-6-0 (LNER B7 or B8) ; GCR 4-4-0 (LNER D9/D10/D11) ; GCR/ROD (LNER O4) 2-8-0

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Richard T

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2014, 11:44:37 PM »
I'm a bit puzzled what this thread is discussing, I thought John was running out of time/enthusiasm to build his list of locos, and asked if there was anyone who'd build battery locos at a reasonable price.
Are we talking a batch of RTR, highly detailed K3s, or a one off, or a blown up kit and someone to build it for a song ?
Or are we now looking for a suitable prototypes to lure new members from the other scales.

The other puzzling thing is the price for a RTR J39 on the RPM website, this is the same loco that has been developed from Richard Toplis's B1, using many of the same high quality parts.
RT Models price ready to run is £1995.00 ( as advertised in the Newsletter)
I suspect the price is a misprint as he charges £8-900 for a tender 0-6-0 in Gauge 1.

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2014, 06:16:29 AM »
Richard,

Thanks for your input........the thread has rather strayed away from the original topic!

I originally was looking at a "one off" loco but have been told that 5K+ is the likely cost and that a "quasi kit" is the probable solution.

I still have the enthusiasm to build my own but an enormous amount of time and effort has already been expended on building the garden line and there is still a great deal to do, leaving little time for anything else.

When I have completed my current batch of GRS kits, I will have 13 steam outline locos plus a GWR "Flying Banana" diesel railcar.
Maybe I should just be content with those but I really need a small/medium passenger tank, a Mogul (or 4-6-0) mixed traffic loco. and a heavy goods (0-8-0 or 2-8-0) and they need to be LMS or LNER classes.

I have emailed Malcolm Mills at RPM Models asking about the possibility of up-scaling his G1 models.
I agree that 795GBP for the J39 seems an improbable price (when compared with his smaller gauge offerings) but I wonder whether he just wants to be rid of a hard-to-sell model.

Regards,
John.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline AllWight

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2014, 01:14:27 PM »
Well John

Why do you not work out the specific engines that you want. On 2D CAD you can create the frames and get Model Engineers Laser to do a batch set of frames for the various engines that you want. Their prices are very reasonable or at least they were when they did the frames for my Adams Radial Tank.

Frame spacers are brass 1x2 or 1x1 and can be done easily with milling machines and drills etc. The wheels that are available will also dictate what locos are easier to create than others.

Get this stage complete then see what you can use to create the main body shapes such as plastic tube for parallel boilers and 3D printing for the chimneys and domes or see if a suitable example exist.

It may prove more cost effective to build the say 6 locos at once this way than do 6 on an individual basis. Batch production in effect.

Mark

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders? / RPM Models J39 Update.
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2014, 09:41:43 PM »
I have been in touch with Malcolm Mills at RPM Models and he has confirmed that the price of the RTR J39 has been reduced from 1995GBP to 795GBP, in order to clear the remaining stock.

To say he is disappointed at the response from G3 modellers would be a gross understatement and he will not be venturing again into G3.

At 795GBP the loco is an absolute bargain (a GRS kit for a loco of similar configuration would cost more than that) and, if the remaining J39s are not sold, I shall be very surprised.

To pick up a real bargain (and don't haggle at that price.....he tells me members have tried to knock him down even more.... because you will be wasting your time) go to http://www.rpmmodels.co.uk/RPM_Models/Gauge_3.html

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Gavin_B

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2014, 09:13:34 PM »
Did he say more on why he would not venture into gauge 3 again?

Offline 454

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2014, 09:19:14 PM »
At a guess I don't think he would have any need of saying anything else if he makes stuff & gets little interest from potential G3 clientele. The message came over crystal clear in John's message.    :'(

Dave
454

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2014, 10:34:41 PM »
To avoid speculation, below is the complete text of the message I received explaining the decision not to make further G3 models.

Hi John
The correct price is £795 & has been reduced from £1995 to sell the batch. As a builder earning his living from models sadly I am dissapionted with G3 there is no money in it!!  The members seem to want somthing for nothing. We can all work at 50p per hour. I have even had members hagling below £795! Traders will not support the scale, & it is their loss.
I am relinquishing my membership & destroying the tooling. The bible says the labourer is worthy of his hire.
I am pulled out with G1 work, this membership is excellent & positive & despite having large amounts of non battery live steamers. I am not dipping my toe in G3 again. I really dont know what they want from cottage industries who try to support the scale. I am puzzled with G3.
I know you for one understands & my best wishes to you. If you wish publish this on your G3 site.
 
Happy Modelling
Malcolm Mills (RPM MODEL LOCOMOTIVES)
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Richard T

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 12:48:59 AM »
That's a shame, although I'm not really suprised.

I'm more suprised he built any at all without a deposit, I'm glad I never built a speculative batch of Rustons.

And yet, as with Malcolm's experience, anything I've ever built in G1 has always found a buyer.

Rgds

Richard

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2014, 06:37:01 AM »
Richard,

It is a shame and I wonder why he opted for the J39?
Not ever likely to be the most popular loco (and a bit of an "ugly duckling", to my eyes) : His range of G1 locos includes several locos with (in my view) greater sales potential and classes which I would have been happy to purchase.

I note that in the G3S newsletter they were being advertised/promoted by RT Model Locos (Richard Toplis) and it is not clear what was his involvement in the project.

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline 454

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2014, 07:37:54 AM »
After visiting the Gauge 1 North show at Bakewell last Saturday & seeing the crowds & overhearing conversations & seeing the prices of ready to runs it seems to me from a superficial viewpoint that there are substantially more devotees to gauge 1 & possible more fluid cheque books perhaps. Having said that Kingscale Britannia sold 50 of their Gauge 3 locos & latest indication is that 20 of their Coronation Class Pacifics have already been ordered. This is I guess as a result of worldwide glossy brochure & full page mag advertising.

But, perversely I have it on good authority that the Gresley A4 that they were marketing in various periods/styles in Gauge 1 under the same worldwide advertising process was a UK flop & that many of the locos are still unsold in China & now marketed by Bowande at a reduced price. What a strange world we live in? This is after the major event at NRM of Great Hello's & Last Goodbye re-union events of the epic six remaining stunners of express passenger prestige engineering.

No, I am not turning to Gauge 1.

So what hope for the cottage industries?

Dave
454


Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2014, 07:40:48 AM »
As Dave said, and I think it should be recorded on this public forum, it does seem strange that Malcolm's experience seems to be at odds with other manufacturers who report Gauge 1 being so broken into factions that sales are poor, whereas Gauge 3 seems to work for them.

I certainly don't think its anything to do with the quality of his product, so I have no answers!

Mike