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As the silly season starts (with those anticipating new announcements and those who feel it's a beat up) it's interesting to see what's gone by this year.
Duplication irritates some but I believe that for popular classes there's probably more in it for the manufacturers with a shared market than an obscure one modelled exclusively. It also gives the chance of having a descent amount of liveries available before we die! I did chuckle at Bachmann's 'sadness' at the LMS 4-6-0 situation when the year before they did the 9F! I suppose it depends which side of a fence you're on!!
Hornby had a good year and probably increased market share. For most the Southern coaches will be the highlight (actually good it's not a loco) but the real success may well be the Tri...oops Railroad range. They are in reality the only manufacturer with the range to do this.
Bachmann in steam did what they do best - cater for the transitional scale modeller. Their diesels did not have the market to themselves but for me that's not a problem. Is Scenecraft a case of "me too"?
Heljan won many friends by doing less likely classes. Good on them but I'd still like them to persevere with the 47. I wonder what they'll do next year?
Vi seem to have done ok with the 37 and some seem to think the next one will be the 47. Again no problems from here but with Italian manufacture can they keep prices keen and still make a profit?
Peco defying the notion that they're a bunch of fuddy-duddies beat Hornby to a 4th radius set track. For rivet counters this may be mystifying but we know the trainset market still dwarfs the scale one.
 

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"I did chuckle at Bachmann's 'sadness' at the LMS 4-6-0 situation when the year before they did the 9F! I suppose it depends which side of a fence you're on!!"

I always chuckle at Bachmanns stance on the duplication issue and you are so right on the 9F.

Fuddy Duddy Peco did one other good thing and that is to bring out a fully DCC compatible(chip fitted) N Scale Locomotive - so much for the accusations often made that they are in the dark ages.
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior @ 10 Dec 2007, 16:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Peco defying the notion that they're a bunch of fuddy-duddies beat Hornby to a 4th radius set track. For rivet counters this may be mystifying but we know the trainset market still dwarfs the scale one.


*** No, I'd not think we rivet counters are mystified at all.... I do think Peco would have been far better off investing their time and money in a re-birthing of their pointwork but its irrelevant to those who choose to model to scale because we'd make our own turnouts and track and never dream of using set-track in the first place.... SO - mystified, no - we really just don't care if others choose to use set-track and as long as it brings you pleasure then that's just fine.

Each to his own way of enjoying the hobby.

As to one market dwarfing the other, whatever pushes your buttons, but the knowledge is improved, the history retained, the techniques refined and the overall standards of RTR are advanced by those you curse, so tread carefully.

Which begs the question Oz Warrior - You protest often about labelling but seem to have double standards.

What gives you the right to label other modellers? If I'd made a post which stated "Peco have wasted their time and made a 4th radius point, why don't those train-set modellers understand" You'd be right annoyed and rightly so.

Richard
 

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Peco are the only manufacturer worldwide of a very large number of model railway accessories and cater very well for those who want to build little Englander layouts . They are said to be in the dark ages by those who feel that Peco do not pamper to their obscure whims however as far as UK narrow gauge goes Peco are number one and arguably offer the best looking narrow gauge track in the world. How is it possible to update their portfolio of products when their kits for example are outstanding!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Dec 2007, 13:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Peco are the only manufacturer worldwide of a very large number of model railway accessories and cater very well for those who want to build little Englander layouts .
really??

I dont think anyone is denying that their trackwork is good. but its also stale. many of the kits in their catalouge have been in there for as long as i can remember.

i like Peco. i like Peco's products, but i am in my 20's now and i am soo bored with them. Tillig looks nicer. they are fresh. they have innovative designs and different trackwork that we have never before seen RTR in the UK. their narrow gauge trackwork is also just as good if not better than Peco.

I hate looking at a layout and having thoughts like "oah there's that Peco catch point" or "oah yes they have used that ratio signal box i have seen on 7 other layouts today"...

I think Tillig need to take their marketing finger out and take advantage of the situation.

On the kits front it will be interesting to see what Hairfix come up with.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Dec 2007, 22:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Peco are the only manufacturer worldwide of a very large number of model railway accessories and cater very well for those who want to build little Englander layouts . They are said to be in the dark ages by those who feel that Peco do not pamper to their obscure whims however as far as UK narrow gauge goes Peco are number one and arguably offer the best looking narrow gauge track in the world. How is it possible to update their portfolio of products when their kits for example are outstanding!

Happy modelling
Gary

***Exactly which kits are outstanding? They have made some very creditable models over the years, and without them many a layout would be sadly in need of a turntable etc.... but outstanding is a bold word - have you REALLY looked at the quality of detail and mouldings in kits by other manufacturers - Many of Peco's offerings are tired, poorly tooled (with poor tool manintenance or QC on the injection process) and very "low-fi" in comparison to other manufacturers.

As to the Wills sheet materials, they are appalling - differing thicknesses in the same pack, match badly, far too small etc etc.

They really DO do well sales wise as there are so few options if any, but with that supposed "leadership" comes a responsibility to stay current.... As Pedro said - they really do need a rebirth and some re-investment.

No obscure whims in the above comment, just pragmatic facts.

Richard
 

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QUOTE Peco are the only manufacturer worldwide of a very large number of model railway accessories and cater very well for those who want to build little Englander layouts . They are said to be in the dark ages by those who feel that Peco do not pamper to their obscure whims however as far as UK narrow gauge goes Peco are number one and arguably offer the best looking narrow gauge track in the world. How is it possible to update their portfolio of products when their kits for example are outstanding!

If you think Peco are good have a look at the Walters Catalogue. Peco offer some narrow gauge track, it could be improved on by offering it in code 83 for instance, or a range of larger turnouts, their range is very restrictive. The Wills range of plastic sheets for scratch building, is a particularly poor material it's brittle and reminds me of recycled plastic that's been through a re grinder more than once and has been over cooked. The range hasn't changed or been expanded for years. Peco suffer from the Canute syndrome, I have never forgiven their approach to the internet and advertising. It's one of the principle reasons why the Railway Toddler was one of the first British Magazines I stopped buying. Yes Peco do some things well, that includes steep annual prices increases without corresponding increases in investment and product range, Just look at the vast range of model building kits available from Faller and the wonderful detail they provide, at very reasonable prices. Only the insane can say this is a this is a world leader. In fact without the track market what do Peco really offer ?, the answer is very little and almost zero innovation. Perhaps they'll go the way of UK car manufacturers.
 

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Sorry I'm getting confused. Are we talking HO or OO?

Peco were strong in OO when I last looked. Faller, Walthers, etc are all HO and all their products look a bit non British to my eyes with the buildings being around 85% of the size of OO buildings.

Again we come back to cost. Peco products are very competitively priced considering the low volumes of production relative to the products of the HO guys mentioned above.

If Faller, etc are so wonderful then why don't they do British OO products?

Maybe OO is such a tiny market these companies simply are not interested.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Dec 2007, 17:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry I'm getting confused. Are we talking HO or OO?. Peco were strong in OO when I last looked.

That's not diffecult - all the so called "OO" products in the Peco catalgue are labeled "OO/HO" !

QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Dec 2007, 17:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Faller, Walthers, etc are all HO and all their products look a bit non British to my eyes with the buildings being around 85% of the size of OO buildings.

Many, many HO buildings & structures are fine with "OO", sometimes with a little modification, often they are used to get some form of perspective & in any case (unless you are modelling 18.83/P4) they are in scale with the track !

QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Dec 2007, 17:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If Faller, etc are so wonderful then why don't they do British OO products?

Maybe OO is such a tiny market these companies simply are not interested.

You answered that one yourself Gary.
 

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Yes I can see all that. Maybe I'm reading it wrong but this seems to be turning into a "lets bash British products" type of thread when ultimately if Peco didn't do it then who would? I'm sure this was not the intention of the author of the topic.

The Ratio catalogue looks as good as any continental kit catalogue to my eyes and if anything the Ratio catalogue presentation look less toy like than the presentation of most continental catalogues. Wills kits permit modellers to personalise the building ad infinitum and they encourage this.

The British institution "St Trinians" returns today. Who else but the Brits enjoy "Hi De Hi" and Carry On films.

The Brits enjoy a certain type of humour and maybe British hobbyists look at things through a different set of eyes?

Absolutely nothing wrong with things not being absolutely perfect and neat and tidy and this is pretty much how the real world shapes up for the artist.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Dec 2007, 19:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Brits enjoy a certain type of humour and maybe British hobbyists look at things through a different set of eyes?

Spend some time in Germany & you will find the German People very, very different to what many (those that have not been there mostly) think - they are warm & friendly, albeit a little "correct" during business - they have a very similar sense of humour to the British as well as being similar in a lot of ways.

The Germans do however, have a greater respect for law & rules than we do - hence no need for fencing on railway lines (except the new high speed ones).

No-one is trying to knock British - all I have seen on this thread is constructive critisism.
 

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|Gary
QUOTE Peco were strong in OO when I last looked. Faller, Walthers, etc are all HO

Whatever Peco's 16.5mm track is, it isn't OO. They politely but firmly decline to make track for the British market while they can secure almost all of it with their US and Continental products

And I think we should quietly discard the concept of the "tiny" British market. Certainly both the Germanic market and the N.American one are several times larger (I'm never quite sure whether "Germany" in model railway usage includes Austria and Switzerland). This doesn't mean the British market is microscopic . Its certainly larger than the French market or the Dutch market, for example, let alone the Australian market

There's also the question of the contraction of the German market. I was told recently by a fellow club member with German connections that he had been chatting to the proprietor of a German model shop on a recent visit, and had been told by the shop owner that German model railway sales had halved in the last 6 years , and that the shop owner never saw a child now. Someone quoted Continental Modeller as claiming 40% of German model shops had gone in the last few years. A recent newsletter of the main pan European federation contains an editorial lamenting the continuing dreadful state of the market.

Whatever the facts behind all this, something is plainly going very wrong over there. Meanwhile in 2007 the British market continued to grow, the main players continued to prosper , we had a continuing stream of new models , show gates held up and the hobby seemingly continued to be pretty healthy. That isn't automatically a given. Maybe next year will be different , maybe there is a recession coming and a downturn , maybe we will see retrenchments , maybe 2007 will be the last of the good years , maybe....- but this year was pretty healthy.

The range of products to modern standards continues to grow - most of the gaps are occupied by older models. I would really quite like to see something that isn't a 47 or a 37 from Vi-Trains - Heljan are already looking wider .

The year seems to have ended with a slightly flat feel. So far so good, but the high -spec RTR boom in 4mm has run for far longer than we have a right to expect. Still , someone is buying all this highly detailed stuff - and I don't think it's the trainset market. Not sure that does dwarf the scale market, if you mean youngsters in their early /mid teens. Certainly not in spending power

This was the year DCC stopped being controversial, expensive, and exotic , and became mainstream , reasonably priced and readily available. We haven't seen a DC/DCC controversy for a while [and no I'm not suggesting anyone start one] It's now a recognised accepted option - though certainly not the only one
 

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I think the problem we have with the track thing is failure to agree on the way ahead. People criticise PECO track but there is no real common consensus with which to replace it. I have started using Tillig track instead of PECO as I prefer it on many accounts. Cost stops me having it on all of my layout due to having to replace all my points. But it is very good.

The discrepancy between HO and OO buildings doesn't really matter when you consider the discrepancy between the scale size of Skaledale buildings which are all supposed to be OO.

Some nice OO models this year, the 9F was fantastic. Bit too much of an emphasis on southern though for my liking. Hopefully we shall see some interesting stuff for next year.
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 11 Dec 2007, 04:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maybe I'm reading it wrong but this seems to be turning into a "lets bash British products" type of thread when ultimately if Peco didn't do it then who would?

***Actually Gary until you raised a comment it had nothing negative about products at all....

Richard
 

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Maybe you are right Richard. When the comparisons started to appear with continental products in what is fundementally a British OO thread it just seemed that way to me. And if it seems that way to me it may well seem that way to other less active vistors.

Also noting a similar topic in the HO continental section has no references to British OO and why should it?

Just a point of view as always.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS I can also see that maybe it was one of my remarks that took the thread down this route with the "outstanding" remark however that was in the context of "OO" and "OO" products and competitors.
 

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The RTR manufacturers kept me happy this year. Managed at last to get a BR late crest on a coal rail tender behind an A3, Bachmann did another 9F with a BR1F tender, and a basically right looking 47 on a good chassis appeared at last. But the really pleasing item was the GUV, something required in quantity for ECML ops circa 1960. That's the stuff I want, common vehicles to a better standard than I can easily kit or scratch build and paint. Wonder if Bachmann will take up my suggestion of issuing some with the 'Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier' branding? If not, will have to hope that a transfer maker takes a punt on issuing a sheet.

Some nice kits as well, of which the best came very recently, the four wheel LNER BY or 'pigeon van' from Chivers Finelines. Such a a characterful vehicle, I will probably end up running many more than are truly justifiable.
 

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Hi

Its people like me in their mid 30s who are supporting the RTR market. I didn't touch a train in 18 years and now I'm back into it with a vengeance.

If its not highly detailed I'm not that interested! and I'm not going to say how much I have spent in the last 10 months in case my wifes sees it! Funny track is one of the things I don't worry about detail wise, spacing etc

I have a very limited edition loco in mint condition never run mint all that, doesn't do a think for me... no detail big chunky running gear don't even know why I still have it!

I come from that generation who still built kits and I was not totally brainwashed by computers, also my working back ground has lead me to appreciate detail. 90% of my stuff it post 2005.

2007 OO I think all have had a good year. Lots of good gear out there simple as that. Manufacturing is getting better in china and better quality control.

Mind you I think Hornby slipped up with their DCC system brought it out too soon not fully tested and with no NMRA compliance. They lost me to Bachmann and their decoders I just hope their good enough for use as function only decoders in my coaches.. Thats the ones of course that have functions some early hornby decoders have none.

I think we have very lucky 2007 was a great year for us modelers!

m
 

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QUOTE (Martin71 @ 11 Dec 2007, 09:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Its people like me in their mid 30s who are supporting the RTR market. I didn't touch a train in 18 years and now I'm back into it with a vengeance.

Probably one of the reasons why the British RTR market is doing so well ?

How many modellers who have remained active are replacing their older/kitbuilt models with high standard RTR ?

Conversly, the German/Austrian/Swiss market may be stagnant because modellers have been spoilt for choice in the past & may already have a lot of what they need ?
 
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