If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

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Mountain
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If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Mountain » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:21 pm

For me it would have to concentrate on a budget trainset and accessories. It would have to work with other systems so 16.5mm track width is the best solution.
It would have to be made to a price that kids can afford but would appeal to adults as well.
I'd also offer a range of easy to use parts to build items like rolling stock with them.
The chief motive is to produce model/toy railways at affordable prices which can run on 00/H0 track if required.

What would you make and why?

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End2end
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby End2end » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:11 pm

P.O. wagons that can run together for/from the same area.
Main manufacturers seem to release P.O. wagons that are miles/counties apart.
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby burnie » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:41 pm

OO 16 Ton mineral wagons for steam era that don't bankrupt the purchaser

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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Puffingbill » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:34 pm

I am with Mountain reasonable quality models with reliable mechanisms at an affordable price and target my range to people that actually run trains not shove them in a glass case and look at them.

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alex3410
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby alex3410 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:32 pm

pre painted coach and wagon kits, like the CKD kits Triang/Hornby used to make, quality level along the lines of RailRoad coaches.

I know Dapol have kits but i wasn't overly impressed with the quality vs RailRoad coaches.

This would hopefully enable a decent/attractive price point & prove useful for people wanting them for projects such as repainting etc


Added to this, CKD locos that all use the same motor across the range thats based on the X03 - reasons for this 1)provide spares/drop in replacement for older locos 2)provide a kit that will help kids/adults getting into the hobby learn the basics of putting a loco together - my time spent playing with old locos like this taught me so many skills that are invaluable.

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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Bigmet » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:37 pm

Mountain wrote:... The chief motive is to produce model/toy railways at affordable prices which can run on 00/H0 track if required.

Define affordable. The difficulty is model and toy. Model is a lot more expensive than toy, where 'anything goes'.

Here's your current competitor. Cheap anough for a good toy, adequate starting points for a model. I doubt Dapol get rich on these. http://www.hattons.co.uk/36650/Dapol_A0 ... etail.aspx
Scroll down and you will see the other similarly economical wagon types. The bodies alone are £1.50, can go on old chassis if you have some.
Complete RTR OO wagons, simpler than a kit, all you have to do is paint them, the wooden private owner mineral types can be painted into exactly your home area liveries that you choose.

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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:24 pm

Sub £80 models of various steam and diesel locos to the sort of detail standards that bachmann put out in the mid 90s. Oh the riveters would scream and cry in anguish but the silent vast majority would love such things to be available.

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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:03 pm

Another vote for rolling stock kits, and working chassis in various popular sizes.
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Ironduke » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:39 pm

I would make up a whole new railway modelling scale:1/100 or 'c' scale, c as in centi ('c' must be lower case so I can be pedantic on fora).
Scale made to 1% tolerance (1 in 100 see?)
So standard track gauge would be 14.35mm ± 0.14mm
None of this English making-things-slightly-bigger-than-100th-scale-because-of-their-tiny-loading-gauge rubbish either, it's 1 in 100 whether the trains are from UK or Asia or Europe or America.
How big is a metre in c scale? 1cm of course.
"But Wait" I hear you ask,
"how many mm to the foot is that?"

"Don't be ridiculous" I answer,
"who mixes Imperial with Metric?"

Also, I vote +1 on the availability of rolling stock kits.
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Mountain
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Mountain » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:39 am

The old Airfix kits Bigmet.

Lots of interesting replies. :) Surprising how preprinted wagon and coach kits are not popular today. They should be very cheap to manufacture and therefore the retail price should be very attractive.
I seem to remember Peco used to do card sides, but whole precoloured easy to build kits should take off even if they have plastic wheels to keep costs down. (One can always buy metal wheels later).
The Ex. Airfix 16 ton wagon kits seem more attractive now as they almost dont need paint as they have grey bodies. Just transfers. (Were transfers provided. I dont think they were). If they were about 50p cheaper.... Though maybe I'm asking too much!

Its surprising how since RTR wagon prices have gone so high, how kits at a budget price seem very attractive all of a sudden. I guess the key to selling these is to keep the prices of a complete kit a good bit lower then a RTR model.

Decent cheap mechanisms. Bachmann made a move in this direction when they first came in on the UK market but then their supply of replacement chassis (Ideal for old Mainline models, kits or scratchbuilding projects) but unfortunately the supply dried up.
Also Vitrains started this idea and they then discontinued the idea. Was it some deal done somewhere to prevent these sales as the chassis only supplies were always in short supply at my local retail shops. A similar story goes for metal replacement wheels, especially 10.5mm.

[RTR means ready to run... In other words a ready made model].

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Alexander Court
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:12 am

I'd opt for N gauge, and I'd launch my range with:

N2 in GNR, LNER and BR liveries

Set with LNER N2 and say a Quad-art set with a circle of track and an easy to build card platform and a controller. I'd opt for the Kato system or a british manufactured equivalent (Or at least close to british prototype) because the buggadered fishplates on usual N track after the set has been put up once or twice is a pain in the hole.

LBSC E4 in LBSC, Southern and BR liveries plus suitable LBSC/ex-LBSC coaching stock to form a rake of three or four to allow for a similar train set as before.

LNWR/LMS/BR Webb Coal tank and the same situation with coaches/sets

For the GWR/BR I'd go for the 56xx maybe with a taff vale era verision for pre '23 and a rake of not dissimilar gwr suburban style coaches to the farish offering seen in the past, and the same as before with set potential.

A small range of card and plastic trackside buildings and accessories but nothing beyond the railway, so no houses/churches etc, and each kit could have small variations for different regions.

Brakevans:
LNER/BR Toad B
GWR/Br Toad (generic one that everyone goes "Oh look, a toad")
LBSC/SR/BR brakevan like they used to do in the general purpose tank farish sets .
LMS/BR one similar to the SR one (can't remeber the weight/name).
BR 20 ton Brakevan.

Wagons:
Generic 5 and 7 plank wagons in the all companies there are locos for.
Generic vans/cattle vans in each company there is a loco for.
Private owner wagons would come as a mixed three pack for each region, with a new pack or two released each year maybe.

Coaches (already mentioned) would come in their pregrouping, grouping and nationalised variations.
Generic 4 and 6 wheel coaches in the various liveries of the companies too.
Track system was mentioned before, but a pre-designed layout based on the trackside buildings/kits and rough british railway operating practices would be suggested to the modeller with the train sets much like hornby in a large scale do but more realistic for operation. There would be a choice of radius track produced plus points etc as you'd expect.


Locomotives:
0-6-2s:
N2
E4
Coal Tank
56xx

0-6-0:
J83
E2 (with tank variations)
Fowler dock tank (properly done chassis wise)
1361 class in original livery plus subsequent ones.

If all went well the following year I might develop and release some small diesels.

My emphasis would be on the branchline/suburban to begin with and worry about the big locos later which are already mass produced.

Alex

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allan
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby allan » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:50 am

Anything except 00 scale trains! The marketplace is too small, too fragmented, and underfunded.

Manufacturers need to be able to build long production runs with minimal variation, and then sell them at a profit. The manufacturers are in business to make money, and if that becomes too hard they will either fold or make a product (not model trains) that will make a profit.

Model trains are hardly a necessity, and railway modellers need to be prepared to pay fair prices for their models, or find another hobby.

Pete
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Pete » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:14 am

2mm track. It's an instant win to making a layout go from looking good to looking great.

P.
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:43 am

Given the current market dynamics with most modellers seemingly of advancing years then the current standard of detail seems to be the preferred choice. Yes, there is a market for Railroad type "quality/detail", but if manufacturers thought that a mass market existed for this product then surely they would have catered for it.

Bachmann do not have new production legacy items other than split chassis not yet re-engineered and Hornby only have legacy items by heritage or the buy out of other manufacturers. They do not seem to be even heavily promoting their legacy items like the ex-Lima models. The trend is towards more detailed, more expensive models because there is a market for it. I cannot hear the masses demanding inferior detail models and recent sales from Hattons and Rails seem to suggest that the market trend is for more expensive models, not cheaper.

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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Pete » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:14 am

GWR_fan wrote:Given the current market dynamics with most modellers seemingly of advancing years then the current standard of detail seems to be the preferred choice. Yes, there is a market for Railroad type "quality/detail", but if manufacturers thought that a mass market existed for this product then surely they would have catered for it.


I think there's an element of truth in this, but PECO seem to totally dominate the track scene with little or no innovation. It is of good quality, a reasonably good range and probably suits most needs, but it's a shame they don't innovate a bit and offer a true finescale track. That said PECO still produce those terrible back scenes that look like 1950s jigsaw puzzle pictures, people seem to buy them...

As for the quality/detail bit I think the UK market is waking up to this, but Fleischmann for example have been doing it for years (I will admit their track is crude in comparison to PECO).

I have no idea how much money PECO make from their track, there must be some profit, it's definitely easy to make that's for sure, and dies to produce the track would not be expensive.

That said it's always easy to know best when you don't have to do it, I spent a number of years trying to think of a great product the world needed, none made it off the drawing board :)

Pete
It's the nature of evolution
The dinosaurs went to Hell


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