Author Topic: Loco Builders?  (Read 8087 times)

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Offline IanT

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2014, 08:37:58 AM »
Membership of G1MRA is much larger than that of the G3 Society (10x) so obviously G1 is a much larger marketplace. There are also more suppliers (commercial & 'cottage') many of whom are well established brands, which also means more competition for anyone new entering G1. For small batches of engines (let's say 6?) the chances of finding buyers who are interested in any one particular model are therefore far higher (10x?) than they will be in G3. There have been several surveys of Members interests and (unsurprisingly) they span a vast ranges of railways and periods, so finding one model of interest to them is going to be difficult, if not impossible.

Against this background, I think anyone trying to sell a high cost 'electric' locomotive has their work cut out, whatever the prototype. There is a market for high value/cost engines but in G3 this has usually been on a pre-commissioned basis. Personally, I wouldn't dream of spending £2K on a RTR electric loco, as apart from money, I would simply prefer to build it myself - a far easier, cheaper and quicker process than building a live steam engine.

I think there is also another issue at play here in terms of residual values. This has already been mentioned but I don't doubt that live steam engines do retain their value much better than electric versions. I suspect there are several other factors operating here but the cost of materials (especially the boiler) and amount of machine work involved are clearly two of them. Hopefully, new technologies (laser/water cutting, 3D printing/lost wax casting) will help to reduce both the time and cost of scratch building in G3 and it might also encourage more 'team' developments of small loco batches. The key in G3 will always be to establish buyer/builder commitment before doing anything else. 

I am a little surprised by the size of the price reduction on this particular engine, as knocking 60% off the asking price in one hit seems a little bit hasty to me and I would have thought it might have been wiser to test a lower price point first? However, I'm not privy to the specific circumstances in this case.

In summary, I don't think there is anything particularly unusual here, apart from the sheer size of this particular reduction. Gauge '3' was very much a scratch builders (or second-user?) gauge until just a few years ago and we should be grateful for the quite wide range of G3 RTR engines (and kits) that are actually now available.

To hope that this situation will change anytime soon is quite frankly, wishful thinking. There may be more choice in G1 but even in G1 there are often complaints about the "lack of choice". It really is all about setting expectations correctly and I would never advise anyone to expect to be able to purchase a 'stable' of their choice of loco's in G3 - they would be better choosing '00' (not G1 or G3) in that case!

Regards,

IanT

Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline 454

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2014, 09:36:19 AM »

"lack of choice". It really is all about setting expectations correctly and I would never advise anyone to expect to be able to purchase a 'stable' of their choice of loco's in G3 - they would be better choosing '00' (not G1 or G3) in that case!
Regards,
IanT


It is for this reason that my stable of locos is more like a multi-period, multi-regional, multi-company, preservation site.
I call it my "Post Preservationist Railway". Because at the time of entry into gauge 3 many years ago, the choice we had thankfully nucleated around GRS products. This is one reason why my attitude to running trains is no fixed period but what appeals to me is "easily" obtainable (kit or RTR). Without having to go to extremes of using sophisticated manufacturing methods having said that I did resort to laser cutting for some bits on my Peak diesel. I am not averse to kit or scratch building but with the limited time we have on this planet there are times when an RTR option has to be taken when the occasion arises, or it could be lost forever. That would be sad.
That is of course if you like running trains now not next year on a waiting list, sometimes it makes me wonder when folks spend huge amounts of money just to stick something in a glass case or on a mantlepiece & never gets its wheels dirty. They probably think it's an investment. The investment they seem to be missing out on is the sheer joy of seeing them run. Come on you "non-runner" Brit owners, knock the shine off it & lets see more of them running.

Yuck, just realised the hardwood blank that I just got cut out from a lump of hardwood for bashing out a pair of boiler flanged copper end plates is too big to be held in my 4 jaw to finish to size.

So that is why I am on the forum this morning, sorry.

Dave
454

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2014, 09:56:07 AM »
Quote
folks spend huge amounts of money just to stick something in a glass case or on a mantlepiece & never gets its wheels dirty. They probably think it's an investment. The investment they seem to be missing out on is the sheer joy of seeing them run. Come on you "non-runner" Brit owners, knock the shine off it & lets see more of them running.

The other danger with not running is that the warranty will expire before you discover any (potentially expensive) manufacturing faults!  You come to sell it, the prospective purchaser asks to see it run and then bits start falling off!

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

Offline IanT

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2014, 09:59:09 AM »
"Yuck, just realised the hardwood blank that I just got cut out from a lump of hardwood for bashing out a pair of boiler flanged copper end plates is too big to be held in my 4 jaw to finish to size. "

Tried using wood screws to fix them to your faceplate Dave?

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline Richard T

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2014, 12:24:48 PM »
As far as I'm aware, Richard Toplis has been developing a kit (maybe RTR as well) for an LNER B1.

He had produced, according to my leaflet some self contained LNER group buffers, some very nice sprung LNER tender axleboxes, commissioned Slaters to produce 6'2" driving wheels and 3'9" tender wheels plus other sundry parts - handrail knobs etc.
Presumably these parts are used for the J39, and no doubt have been the reason for it's choice.

I've not spoken to Richard for a while so not up to date with progress on the B1, or if any other parts are available.

Offline 454

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2014, 02:09:47 PM »
Tried using wood screws to fix them to your faceplate Dave?

Thanks for that Ian. Why had I not thought of that?

Now I know why people like RTR !

Dave
454

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2014, 02:15:01 PM »
Please note that the J39 stock has been sold and no more are available.
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 #37 on: April 14, 2014, 02:32:20 PM »
Will one be gracing your steam outline fleet then John?

Or is it a "mystery buyer"?

Dave
454

Offline IanT

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2014, 02:55:57 PM »
Useful things - Faceplates Dave (as well as bits of wood for mounting things on).

However, this reminded me that last time I did something similar (when "boring" a semi-circle in some frame spacers - see below) the wood backing moved slightly which moved the 'centre' of the frames out of true. I managed to work around it but next time around I will make some thick washers to fit snugly into the faceplate slots, with just enough clearance for the wood screws and slightly shallower than the slots themselves. Large 'penny' washers will complete the set-up and this should make sure nothing shifts under turning loads. A simple turning and drilling job but useful bits to have I think.

Regards,  IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline John Candy

Re: Loco Builders?
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2014, 03:30:57 PM »
Dave,

Not me but the buyer phoned me to give me the good news but I have since received a call from Richard Toplis see...

http://lakes-pages.com/gauge3.co.uk/G3Forum/index.php?topic=1241.msg7200;topicseen#msg7200

Regards,
John.

This thread is now locked...discussion of the J39 can be continued using the link above.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.