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

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

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:11 pm

End2end wrote:
b308 wrote:First thing is to bear in mind that they are one of the few Model Railway Manufacturers who haven't had a takeover or got into financial problems over the 60 years or so they've been trading


Am I correct in thinking that Peco now owns Ratio, Wills, K & M trees and Model Scene?
Their ranges and in the Peco catalogue.
Thanks
End2end


Roger Webster sold Ratio to PECO in 1996 but it is still produced in the Buckfastleigh woolen mill. Looks like production and packaging still carry on as an almost independent business, with PECO having financial control and providing marketing and distribution.

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b308
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby b308 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:28 pm

Yes I believe they are, and the range of Parkside kits as well:

https://www.peco-uk.com/page.asp?id=parkside

I suppose the thing to bear in mind with Peco is that they are a specialist model railway manufacturer, not a general one like Hornby, Bachmann, etc., and bear that in mind when discussing them.

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

Postby Pete » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:03 pm

Why would producing locos make them not "stagnant"? I don't understand... To give you some background, making Locos are the most expensive part of model railway production... And the part that carries the most risk... So if you are a good businessman why would you take that risk when others are willing to, why not just stay with your core business and add to that with items you know you can sell well and there is little risk? They have said that they will not be making locos as they don't make the money their core stuff does and are bigger risks to profit, they tried it once (N Jubilee) and that was enough.


You can stick to the knitting as they say and then totally fail to adapt when true competition comes along. As anyone who has studied production techniques will know, the great Edward Deming said 'you don't have to change. It's not mandatory to survive' ;) a lesson missed by many great British companies... and PECO have the opportunity handed to them on the plate, because they are actually very good at what they do, but they could be great...

To give you some background, making Locos are the most expensive part of model railway production...

They already make bodies, that's the hard bit, Minitrains have demonstrated what simple but effective chassis you can make very easily.

On the track front, they employ their own toolmakers, if they're worth their salt they could knock up a set of dies in less than a week at contribution cost, the injection moulding machines they have... where's the significant cost?

It's laziness, but it's served them well for 1001 years.

I guess returning to the original thread title, if I were a model railway manufacturer, I'd make cool track and I'd be better than PECO ;) But then I would have to deal with model railway enthusiasts who always know everything about everything, and I think that's what would keep me out of the market :|

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

Postby b308 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:08 pm

You really don't like them, do you...

I'd also ask again, why should they, and put at risk a solid business? Why would they?

They HAVE adapted to competition, look at the European and Japanese manufacturers of track, they are still ahead by updating when needed, HOe Mainline track for instance. They've been careful with their development, their latest branching out into OO9 RTR has worked because they've been careful to do their research beforehand and get companies who are experts in the "loco" manufacture involved.

I think you over-simplify loco manufacture, it's nowhere near as easy as you make out as the problems with Heljan's L&B OO9 loco have proved, if they can't get it right what chance does a company who hasn't ever made a loco got? (The jubilee was made by one of the big guys, not Peco.) So perhaps Peco are right to do what they know and do well.

The Minitrains chassis is based on the original Egger prototype and is very simple in construction. However where he has branched out into using chassis of different designs (The Brigadelok and Baldwin) there have been production issues and returns. However his rolling stock has been fine, so I'd suggest with the issues with some Minitrains and Heljan locos prove that loco manufacture is not risk free at all and sometimes it's better not to get involved.
Last edited by b308 on Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby GeraldH » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:14 pm

Cast metal lamps similar to the green Hornby canopy uprights that would plug into Hornby's plastic platform sections. A detectable plug-in base could also be produced to allow the lamps to be used in other areas. Imagine how many Hornby platform sections are in use on layouts around the world with those square holes... You wouldn't have to glue the lamps onto the platforms, they'd be robust and you could remove them non-destructively for dusting...

Someone could also make plug-in blanking plates with drains, planters, modern lamps, nameboards etc. etc.. Perhaps someone could 3d print some?
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Mountain » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:07 pm

Apart from those holes where the canopies fit into, the Hornby platforms aren't bad. They do the job well, and look OK as far as a general platform is concerned. Ideally the platforms could do with thin paving on top to disguise the joints between the platforms etc.
Its actually really surprising that there's no platforms to buy from a durable material that are modular and yet realistic.

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

Postby Pete » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:14 pm

You really don't like them, do you...


Ha ha, actually I do like them, very much, they just frustrate me with their product range,
We would be in a poor place if there were no PECO that's for sure.

On the chassis front, we will have to disagree, I see no underlying problems, just the need for good design.

I'm done with PECO now, let's move on, there's far more interesting discussion to be had. :)

3D printed bodies and kit form chassis that don't require soldering, that's the future.

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

Postby End2end » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:42 pm

Mountain wrote:Its actually really surprising that there's no platforms to buy from a durable material that are modular and yet realistic.

Scalecast have just released wide platform moulds as well narrower platform moulds that they already sell.
https://www.scalecast.co.uk/store/p246/ ... d_Kit.html
https://www.scalecast.co.uk/apps/search?q=platform

They also do step moulds and caonpy moulds but I fear that the base of these would need to be rather large to keep them upright and thus not look right.
Plus the whole range is modular, once you've made the tiles.

I have the stone platform moulds and I've made a couple of the platform tiles with left over mix just to see what they look like and they are not bad at all. :)
Thanks
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Mountain
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Mountain » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks End to End. Didnt know about them.

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

Postby mahoganydog » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:38 pm

Additions to my earlier list;

NLR tank loco.

Pre group signals and lineside structures.

Four wheel coaches of various prototypes

Motorcycles that actually look like the bikes they're meant to represent.

Cars and commercial vehicles of pre war design; some limped on well into the sixties and, in the case of one of my bikes 1971; 41 years on the road! Explains why it was utterly knackered....

Crane tanks. I think they're odd enough to attract buyers!

I'll probably think of more...
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Re: If you were a model railway manufacturer, what would you make?

Postby Notanyware » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:59 pm

It depends on how much money I had to spend but a large range of British HO Gauge would to put things right would be my contribution

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

Postby Mountain » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:11 pm

mahoganydog wrote:
Motorcycles that actually look like the bikes they're meant to represent.



And bicycles that look like bicycles. Most bicycles I've seen in model railway form just dont look like a bike I'd want to ride! The pedals are in the wrong place or they have totally wrong frame angles... I know that they are very small to model, but an effort to make them look like bicycles and not something that looks like a bicycle symbol one sees painted on a road would be appreciated.

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

Postby Ken Shabby » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:39 am

A reasonably priced generic tank engine with a 0-6-0 chassis, which would be cheap and robust enough. for a child to play with and have small enough wheels so that It could. be modified and. detailed into a convincing industrial loco or actual prototype of a small loco.
Also. some matching . pregrouping bogie suburban coaches, kind of like Triang. clerestory coaches with normal roofs. These could. be used. with. the tank engine as a starter set , but. would. be cheap enough. for rebuilding. into actual pregrouping designs.

Ken

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

Postby KiwiRailer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:41 am

If I was a Manufacturer, I would produce New Zealand outline models in HOn3.5 /HO12.
NZ's Track Gauge is 3'6" this scaled down is roughly 12 mm (peco HOm track is used here)
my inspiration for this is the Queensland Railway modelling scene where the real world railway always in QLD is also 3'6" and also a local manufacturer there Wuiskemodels.com
but it would such a niche market I'd go broke in 6 months!

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

Postby End2end » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:45 am

How about PRE-WIRED track peices. I mean wire directly soldered to the track not those slip-in nonsense Hornby make.
As I have noticed that most, if not all of us solder our wires directly to the track.
It would probably cost pennies on top of the manufacturing costs of the actual track and possibly more secure/better connectivity than those pre-wired fish plates available.
Thnaks
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