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Ian Wigglesworth
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having skimmed through Ebay, I found some very old Aifix plastic kits of some locos.

Thinking about this a little, and with Airfix now being owned by Hornby, would it not be possible for Airfix to produce some loco kits that could be fitted to the appropriate Hornby rolling chassis?

I would have thought that this could be a good option to produce those niche locos that Hornby itself wouldn't really want to do as they wouldn't sell enough as RTR.

Airfix though, could produce a kit of parts which once assembled could be fitted to the corresponding Hornby chassis/drive mechanism.
The correct chassis could be included as part of the kit, I'm sure that any available chassis now could be used on different models upto a point obviously.
There's always Puffer's who supply chassis kits anyway.

I just thought it might be a good cheaper way of building the loco that may never be released as a RTR.
As it's a plastic kit, it should be more attractive to those who don't have the money or are reluctant to get the soldering iron out to build a brass kit.

Would Airfix/Hornby go for it though?
 

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I would suspect that the sales of a kit would be vastly less than that of a ready to run, finished model, but that the tooling costs would be of the same sort of order, so I wouldn't expect it to happen....

Mike D
 

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Hornby/Airfix do not own the railway series. The molds were bought by Dapol who still produce the kits.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 3 Jun 2008, 16:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hornby/Airfix do not own the railway series. The molds were bought by Dapol who still produce the kits.

My understanding of the original post was that it would be an option for Airfix to produce new kits of less popular locomotives, not the now very primitive and long in the tooth ex kitmasters.

However I could be wrong!

Regards
 

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I think that the only way you'd see Airfix producing loco kits again would be if Hornby were to buy Revell, which with the way Hornby are eating other companies might not be impossible. :)
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (BRITHO @ 3 Jun 2008, 15:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My understanding of the original post was that it would be an option for Airfix to produce new kits of less popular locomotives, not the now very primitive and long in the tooth ex kitmasters.

However I could be wrong!

Regards

Nope your correct.

I believe that it would have to be new moulds to get the detail and accuracy.
I'm sure it's something thats possible, and could add to the business.
As ever it would all come down to tooling costs.

Then there is the same old problem.....

Which kit to make?

Answers on a postcard to Hornby/Airfix
 

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Personnally, I would buy a couple of these kits as kit-building is one of my other hobbies(planes though).
I suppose Hornby would do it if there was enough selling potential.
Regards
Ben
 

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Several of those kits are already available ready to run in Hornby's and Bachmann's ranges. Ones that come to mind are the Schools (Hornby, revised model due this year), 61xx (Hornby, ex-Airfix GMR), J94 (Hornby, ex-Airfix GMR), Evening Star/Standard 9F 2-10-0 (Bachmann and Hornby), Deltic (Bachmann NRM), Stephenson's Rocket (Triang Hornby, obsolete but still able to be found if you look), class 04 Drewry SHunter (Bachmann), BR Standard 2-6-0 4MT (Bachmann), City of Truro (no one ... yet!).

I might have the origins of a couple of those wrong but you get the idea; there would be nothing to gain fom manufacturing these kits with rtr chassis.

Now, if those old Kitmaster Blue Pullman moulds had survived, your idea might have taken on a new life.


Sorry, I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic. Many of the locomotives represented by those kits are simply already available to buy and run.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes I know what you're saying which is why I said:-

I just thought it might be a good cheaper way of building the loco that may never be released as a RTR.

Like you say it's not worth it with locos that are already available, but there are still quite a few that have never been made or will be, these are the ones that could be possible.
 

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OK

To start the ball rolling for possible suggestions: Kirtley 0-6-0 (for Richard)

The thing is these need not be highly detailed, purchasers could in fact do their own detailing and other mods as required.

Regards
 

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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 4 Jun 2008, 17:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK

To start the ball rolling for possible suggestions: Kirtley 0-6-0 (for Richard)

The thing is these need not be highly detailed, purchasers could in fact do their own detailing and other mods as required.

Regards

***Yer a luvverly man Britho
. A Kirtley would be a nice choice - they'd have to make a good job of it though, and an outside frame chassis might make it a cost and quality challenge for them!

I appreciate the thought that led to this thread however unless it was a body to accurately fit an existing chassis what would the cost saving really be.

If you've got to produce a quality working chassis + an accurate injection moulding tooling and high quality add on detail parts to make it a worthy model anyway, taking the next step and assembling it would be sensible as the add on costs are minor and whilst I'm fortunate enough to be able to paint and line reasonably well, I do think that many would be put off by the need to paint and line a loco so the RTR will always outsell a kit by a country mile.

Sadly, I don't think the idea will stack up commercially, but it IS a very nice idea.... perhaps I'm just looking at it from the wrong angle.

Maybe.... option bodies for D&E may work - much lower tooling committment if a chassis already exists.... such as the original Derby lightweight body for the nice class 108 chassis of Bachmann - or an LMS 10,000 body to shoehorn onto an existing diesel chassis......

Kind regards'
'
Richard
 

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QUOTE (wiggy25 @ 4 Jun 2008, 09:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes I know what you're saying which is why I said:-

I just thought it might be a good cheaper way of building the loco that may never be released as a RTR.

Like you say it's not worth it with locos that are already available, but there are still quite a few that have never been made or will be, these are the ones that could be possible.

I think that the main problem is the price of making the injection moulds for plastic kits. I have looked in to this for a couple of projects I have in mind and it really is horrendous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and this doesn't include the cost of the minimum production run, which has to be quite large otherwise the kit price is astronomical per kit. They wont sell in anything like the quantities needed to break even, let alone make a profit. Probably why there are still a lot of whitemetal/resin/etched kits around is that they can be produced in small batches at reasonable prices.

Regards
David Y
 

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Have often thought that a series of loco kits could be produced that would fit on a generic 0-6-0 or 4-4-0 chassis. In that way a series of models could be produced that may never make it as RTR releases. A Kirtley 0-6-0 could be one. How about NBR 0-6-0s etc . Something like a plastic version of the old GEM kits that fitted onto Rovex 0-6-0 or B12 Chassis .

I am not sure about the relative costs of tooling up a kit v tooling up a RTR model. I had always thought a kit must be less expensive- but I could be completely wrong here.

However this is not going to happen, and perhaps less so since Hornby acquired Airfix , because Hornby can make much more money out of selling the complete unit (with assembly by relatively inexpensive Chinese labour) than selling individual parts .

Hornby is a brilliantly managed company that knows how to extract the maximum from the enthusiast . This makes this idea a complete non starter

Russell
 

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the trouble with them releasing kits of locos that are highly unlikely to be available in rtr is that you have lost a lot of potential purchasers. The reason dapol still sells, city of truros, 9fs etc is that people have heard of them who arent particularly railway modellers. A lot of models that havent been released rtr are either obscure, of a small class or limited in their geographical area. An example being the class 23 baby deltic, would make a great kit for sure but there was only ten of them and i doubt the southern and western modellers would snap them up, your airfix kit modeller would certainly scratch his head and i think there lies the problem - not enough demand to make it practical

paul
 

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K's produced the Kirtley 0-6-0...it could be made into a nice model...I recall drooling over one as a kid, in a central Birmingham model shop...upstairs in a seedy building not far from New St stn..... lovely paint job, so I thought....
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think, the answer is a no then


I didn't realise that Dapol (still) produce the old Airfix kits.
They are cheap, at £8.50 for the kit, but to buy the chassis whacks the price up to more than most RTR.

It's a shame really, as there will always be those modellers that making the kit is the majority of the hobby, as much as for some the scenic side is more than the running of the engines.

It was just a thought to try and maybe provide a cheaper way of making a kit available, than the current brass etched kits that to fully complete will be £200+ and these are of current RTR models.
Hard to justify anything now though when a set of wheels can cost the same as a RTR loco!

Saying that there will be those who kit build, who would no doubt say that if it isn't a full brass etched kit then it's complete rubbish anyway.

I'm progressing slowly with the Airfix Schools kit I won on ebay, the comet models chassis seems to be very good so far, total cost has been about £100 so on top of that the paint.
Yep I could have just bought a RTR for less, but where's the fun in that?

I think being an engineer for me means I have to have a go to see if I can do it.
I also find it part of the challenge, and the feeling of getting it finished even if it's not upto RTR standards is what makes it worth while, for me anyway!
I will do more, even if it does cost more than a RTR, it will be mine and no one will have one quite like it.....
I don't know if thats a good or bad thing


I'm even tempted with the Deltic kit..and a Hollywood foundry motor drive, just to see if it can be done and what it would be like!....funny that would be much cheaper than what the NRM ones are going for on ebay!

Cheers
 

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QUOTE (wiggy25 @ 20 Jun 2008, 00:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It's a shame really, as there will always be those modellers that making the kit is the majority of the hobby, as much as for some the scenic side is more than the running of the engines.
Recently, at a show talking to a modeler who had a fair amount of excellently made brass locomotives in 4mm scale & a couple in 7mm scale he told me that he is now "moving into 7mm because there is not much point with the quality of current 4mm RTR to produce them".

I think that over time fewer & fewer people will build which is a shame in a way, on the other hand many people can run models that are excellent. A lot of people do not have the skills to produce models to the standard of some of the members here, many could, with practice but time for some is limited or their skills lie elsewhere.

There is still that extra "something" about a nice model that has been assembled from either a kit or raw materials by an individual rather than in a modern clinical factory.
 

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QUOTE (rb277170 @ 4 Jun 2008, 20:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have often thought that a series of loco kits could be produced that would fit on a generic 0-6-0 or 4-4-0 chassis. In that way a series of models could be produced that may never make it as RTR releases. A Kirtley 0-6-0 could be one. How about NBR 0-6-0s etc . Something like a plastic version of the old GEM kits that fitted onto Rovex 0-6-0 or B12 Chassis .

I am not sure about the relative costs of tooling up a kit v tooling up a RTR model. I had always thought a kit must be less expensive- but I could be completely wrong here.
There was some interesting information about this recently. Basically the running chassis is a relatively cheap design and production element in RTR locos. Modern integrated CAD/CAM technique means that once you have the basic specs loaded for the range of chassis types required, only relatively small (cheap) changes to the design are required to produce the correct wheelbase and configuration for a new model. You see this very clearly with twin bogie diesel chassis from Bachmann. The basic layout and components are the same throughout the range, whether the loco is for the US, Europe or China. Steam chassis are a little more expensive because of the greater variability, and detailed patterns required for parts like wheels, but nevertheless they are still economical to produce because the CAD system does much of what once required a lot of skilled input.

Most of the tooling up cost is in the body and detail rendition. That means that a plastic kit is close to equivalent in cost to the RTR loco, in terms of the parts that go to make up the externally visible body and detail. Which means as you surmised that new plastic kit loco bodies are really unlikely, sadly. However RTR plastic loco bodies are fairly easy to modify with components made from plastic or metal. If a manufacturer has done a good job on the difficult stuff like boilers, cabs and footplates it is often possible to make selective combinations to produce bodies not available RTR. Bachmann's B1 body altered to take a J39 cab, running on a Hornby 8F chassis with the B1's cylinders and valve gear on it, makes a Thompson O1 for example. The boiler from that J39 is not going to waste BTW, it has a stripped down K3 chassis under it, and will become a J6 0-6-0 with the addition of a fabricated footplate and cab.

So, my cup is decidedly half full, with the present better RTR developments. I have gone 'hog wild' buying the cheap LNER liveried K3's that have been offered by various traders - simply for the chassis. You cannot make a six coupled powered chassis from parts for twice the cost of an entire loco and tender! (And you can sell the loco body and tender to reduce the price still further.) Likewise with the Hornby 8f and the Bachmann 56xx and 57xx, which have proved useful to power several projects. In my opinion, what UK RTR needs are a few more well selected models of common 0-6-0's and 4-4-0's, as raw material for DIY conversions. Already have my eye on the T9 and Schools, one of whose chassis will probably end up underneath a modified B12 body for a D16/3...
 

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excellent info, 34C....what about a list of locos, RTR, that can be cross-kitted, so to speak...or altered with minimal mods? Anybody [not just you, 34C]??

I suspect we could see a revival of that once common model railway enthusiast trait, of messing about with razor saws, etc, to produce something more ''unique''...?

People will get tired of the super-detailed, RTR dross??
 
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