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ptmvarsityfan

Why are there so few plastic kits of locos?

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I think a part of the reason is model rail builders mainly moving to brass kits.  More resilient and finer detail, especially in oo, or P4 scale.  Like these from DJH

 

https://www.djhmodelloco.co.uk/oo-gauge-list/

 

Check out the 7mm O gauge kits too.

 

Plastic kits with plastic wheels have a bad reputation for spreading dirt on rail surfaces too.  And they need balasting to run well.

 

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Have seen this - brass kits needs some quite a bit of skill to put together well. This is really a completely separate market. 

 

Will

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On 8/25/2019 at 6:36 PM, Tim R-T-C said:

Unfortunately railway modelling has become more of a collectors hobby - almost everything is made ready to run and even preweathered in many cases.

 

Given the popularity of 1/35 rail vehicle kits, perhaps some locomotives will eventually appear.

RTR may be true for some countries/prototypes but it is definitely not universal.  RTR is popular with model railroaders who aren't interested in building, or don't have the time to build their electric mice.  I have been a railway modeller all my life but I don't have a single piece of RTR rolling stock due to the prototypes I choose to model. 1/35 military themed railway and urban tram modelling definitely has quite a following.  If your on Facebook have a look at this group.  All static models/diorama. https://www.facebook.com/groups/483076225394624/  Edit.  Sorry I just realised it is a closed group so here is an example of the modelling.  Like this diorama the trains in many cases are definitely not the main focus of the scenes.

 

48907441851_6866b8e36d_c.jpg18033375_1281367891941458_4205716038609623620_n by tankienz, on Flickr

Edited by dcrfan
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On 9/15/2019 at 5:50 PM, Scimitar F1 said:

Look at it another way -static kits are being tooled of most other forms of transport. Trains are hugely popular but there is nothing new. 

I count the German 1/35 stuff as AFV as all are WW2

Yes there is. Have a look at recent Miniart releases such as Russian trams and rail wagons.  Not a piece of German, armour, fighting or vehicle in those kits.

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Not sure I agree with you. The railway stuff is all WW2 for instance and in 1/35 - an armour scale? 
 

This discussion was really about British railways and I am not aware of anything new.

 

Will
 

 

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1 hour ago, Scimitar F1 said:

Not sure I agree with you. The railway stuff is all WW2 for instance and in 1/35 - an armour scale? 
 

This discussion was really about British railways and I am not aware of anything new.

 

Will
 

 

1/35 is definitely primarily a vehicle scale but not exclusively.  In the colonies that use 3' 6" gauge, 1/34 is used to build that gauge using 32mm gauge track (standard gauge track of UK O scale).  I agree there is currently no British rail in 1/35 but just a few months ago there was nothing Russian so who knows what will appear. 

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A USATC S160 2-8-0 in 1/35 might make sense... appeals to US and European modellers and could be used in Allied dioramas the same way the existing German and Russian locos can be used for Eastern Front or Normandy/Bulge models...

best,

M.

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I agree there would appear to be a market for USA and UK austerity type locos in 1/35th.  I cannot understand the fascination for everything German.  Even the things they are proposed but did not build are now subject of kit sets.

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Don't even go there. The cattle truck/covered wagon is also a step too far for good taste as well. It makes you wonder what is coming next.

 

Will

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Hi all, to return to my original point, aircraft enthusiasts make static scale models as do armour, Formula 1, vehicle and truck fans to name a few. . I love loco designs and would like to be able to model them in plastic as scale construction kits of which there have been none since Dapol etc half a century ago. WWII 1/35 kits as Scimitar F1 has said belong in the realm of armour/diorama modelling.

Cheers, Paul

Edited by ptmvarsityfan
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I am sufficiently interested in model railways to do bits of collecting/modelling and I think that a lot of railway modellers look at their hobby with different eyes and a loco that actually does something seems to be the thing, even with lights and sound, which is much easier with a small scale loco than a plane. My guess would be that if you a building a well detailed model of a loco with valve gear etc,  you might as well have it running. One of the reasons that railway modellers built kits as that the standard Hornby efforts were pretty dreadful and in the UK it was the coming of Airfix and Mainline that upped the standard of RTR. 

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I have endeavoured to build a Battle of Britain class locomotive from Dapol.  Thorughly enjoyed the exercise despite mistakes in construction and paint job.  It has however inspired me to try again with the large prairie kit from Dapol. 

I don't need running models , just to place in display case.  it would be nice to have a larger range to choose from representing  the major rail companies in the days of steam.  (yes I know I am ancient).  The brass is interesting but does seem too require skills

I don't have.  so look forward to some company to produce more variety of locomotives and Rolling stock.

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There are quite a few rolling stock kits around. Peco now own the Parkside range and Cambrian do some interesting kits. Dapol do some LMS coaches as CKD. Ratio also some rolling stock kits. 

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The old Kirk Gresley coaches are often still about too

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In this thread no one has yet said "there is no market (for British outline loco's)" in plastic, Kitmaster went out of business in 1962 and Airfix sold both their moulds and the Kitmaster ones to Dapol in 1982. British "00" gauge, worldwide, is an extremely niche market, whereas German "HO" will have many more customers which is why Revell have produced loco's in the scale. In addition many UK modellers narrow their purchases down to one company/time/location. For example I would we interested in "00" kits but would only purchase one that fitted my location. One great loss was that Dapol suffered a fire and one of the moulds lost was the 0-6-0 Austerity and I wooudl certainly have been in the market for a number of these.

 

I seem to recall that the only other attempt at a plastic model of a "regular" loco' was a 'OO' LMS (EX Midland) Johnson 4-4-0 Loco produced by Ratio - probably in the 1970's.

 

 

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A minor correction; Airfix sold their railway moulds to Dapol in 1985 :smartass:

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5 hours ago, Ratch said:

Airfix sold their railway moulds to Dapol in 1985 

I took my "facts" from Wikipedia "All of the moulds for the kits produced by Rosebud Dolls Ltd under the Kitmaster name were sold to Airfix Products Ltd in 1962, and later in 1982 some of them were sold to Dapol Model Railways. "

 

Looking further

 

http://www.airfixrailways.co.uk/History.htm

 

says "In 1984 Airfix sold all the rolling stock, trackside accessories and railway buildings range to Dapol, they have re-released these and they can still be bought from them."

 

The Kitmaster collector club sites says "Dapol initially acquired eight moulds in Spring 1981. The mould tools for the remaining Airfix trackside range remained with Palitoy, the Airfix range was then sold to Humbrol. Production of the famous aircraft kits remaining in France. Dapol set about releasing all of the Airfix trackside models in a second deal with Palitoy.". This being in an article in Model Railway Enthusiast Magazine (April 1995) reproduced on their site.

 

So the truth is probably it was a process that started in 1981 and ended in (or after 1985)

 

 

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Yes, the railway range last appeared in the 1980 catalogue. The Railway Workmen had hardly appeared in Airfix packaging before they were withdrawn. Maybe it took some time to finalise the deal. I know Trun were reluctant to release the moulds when Hornby bought Airfix and Humbrol in 2006.

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Sorry, @ptmvarsityfan but while we have the model railway brains trust here, may I ask a quick question? I hope you don't mind. PM me and I'll delete it if you do.

Does anyone have any knowledge of Crown Line models based in Maidstone. Possibly early '70's late '60's?

I have acquired a Crown line Crosti 9F conversion kit (mostly white metal). It's meant for the Hornby model. I'm curious and would like to know more.

Many thanks, Pete

 

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@Pete in Lincs

 

Sorry using a device where I can't cut and paste links. If you Google "crownline model railways" and follow the link to rmweb "what happened to crownline" you should get the answer you ask for.

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Mystery solved. many thanks. And now back to our regular programme.

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If you are interested in British engines in a fairly small scale then you could do much worse than picking up a resin / photo etch kit and giving it a crack. Most kits come without motor, gearbox and wheels so are essentially already in static model mode...

Soldered construction isn't actually *that* hard and is easy to pull apart and restart if you mess it up. If you have dealt with aftermarket resin then everything else will already be in your experience base. 

*I have made some working versions with no skill or special tools so it can't be too bad.

 

A good starting point if you do go down this route is to pick up the aldi tempterature controlled soldering iron (about ten quid) some lead solder from screwfix and some kits from Severn models (they do photoetched kits for dolls-house stuff and model railway structures and detailling bits which pretty much fall together).

If you enjoy it you can then try a loco kit and if you dont, you are only out £30 or so...

 

The only other thing to note is that wheels are supprisingly expensive.

Edited by OutcastJoel
Clarity

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Thank you I’ll have look at these sites, perhaps consider a new soldering iron, I have a couple of cheap ones I use when playing  with electronic kit. At 76 my hand isn’t as steady as it once was so  A few botched jobs but they say practice makes perfect.  
I presume they ship overseas to Australia.

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On 26/10/2019 at 07:53, Herbert said:

Thank you I’ll have look at these sites, perhaps consider a new soldering iron, I have a couple of cheap ones I use when playing  with electronic kit. At 76 my hand isn’t as steady as it once was so  A few botched jobs but they say practice makes perfect.  
I presume they ship overseas to Australia.

To be honest a basic soldering iron took me through many years of modelling so it isnt a necessity. But (I think you Aldi in oz?) if there is a retailer like Aldi doing them cheaply then they do make it easier.

 

There are a good few Auzzies doing British rail modelling so I guess most of the companies do ship there. Postage might be steep though...

Edited by OutcastJoel

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I build models of all kinds these days, its varied and ranges from Games Workshops Space Marines, airplane, armour and car models (Tamiya, Fujimi etc) and yet Ive never considered building a model of a loco.
I built a couple of the wagon kits in the past but they are in all honesty a waste of money. They are either not detailed enough to be worth displaying, not stable enough to be used on a layout or so expensive (A  Mk1 FO coach would be about £260 in O gauge and it would be a brass kit and it makes just a basic coach, very nicely detailed but...)

 

OO is a happy medium between level of detail and price. a passenger train of a loco and 9 coaches would be fun to build for some Im sure but it would be the best part of £100 at least based on the kits costing £10 each, which you aint got a chance in hell of getting the prices that lot so more like £20 for a coach and £35 for the motive power and built up it would be about 3 meters long, which is fine too but the level of detail wouldnt be what you would expect having spent about £250

Sure RTR is detailed enough but it balances it would being robust enough to run on a layout and a static wouldnt need to be but the scale limits what you can add and there isnt much scope as there really isnt a lot of detail to add in some cases.

 

O scale prices range from £330 to about £530 for a single loco. 

 

The only kits you are going to find are from our rather amazing cottage industry companies that give us conversion parts. They are some fun to make, Ive got myself a kit to make up a Class 124 DMU, which when finished will be 5 coaches long (about 1.5 meters long) and in the end will be motorised too but they are the only kits I would ever consider building railway wise.

 

Theres no market to warrent the cost of the moulds for injection plastic trains

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