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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perhaps not totally unexpected, given the number of commissions they have executed and underway. There's to be a Rapido UK office and so direct presence in the UK. This information
came out on a recent US podcast, with little further detail, other than having a UK diesel model in development and expected to be announced early 2019.

What got my attention though was the statement that having completed some UK commissions, they now felt it was time to get some credit under their own brand name. Now that
was interesting, because in all the commissions I was aware of Rapido got easily equal billing with the commissioning parties (NRM, RoS, MR). Sooooo... There have been three fairly
recent diesel releases of 'better than anything equivalent previously seen in RTR OO' standard. Could it be that one or more of these were actually commissioned from Rapido?

Whatever the case, on the basis of now owning an example of Rapido's work in the form of the Stirling single, I feel this is all very good news.
 

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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The thread was intended to be about this:
(34C @ 6 Sep 2018, 12:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... on the basis of now owning an example of Rapido's work in the form of the Stirling single, I feel this is all very good news.
Now, I don't expect perfection in this world, and the Stirling single isn't perfect. But what it is without doubt is the finest RTR steam model I have bought,
and more UK subject models in OO of similar quality will be welcomed chez moi.

Rapido have indicated that a UK diesel loco is under development, for announcement in the new year. Given that every significant class now has at least
one RTR model the subject possibilities seem rather limited. Either a prototype or a shunting type yet to get a RTR model, or much as the Dapol 52, SLW
24 and Hattons 66, a significantly better model of a class with a weak or flawed model at present. There's quite a selection available, Hornby's Brush 2
and Bach's EE type 5 would head my list as respectively 'woefully inaccurate' and 'somewhat flabby', leaving room for significantly better models.

Rather interested to see what it will be. Whatever the choice pretty confident that it will be well received.

(34C @ 6 Sep 2018, 12:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...What got my attention though was the statement that having completed some UK commissions, they now felt it was time to get some credit under their
own brand name. Now that was interesting, because in all the commissions I was aware of Rapido got easily equal billing with the commissioning parties (NRM, RoS, MR). Sooooo... There have been three fairly recent diesel releases of 'better than anything equivalent previously seen in RTR OO' standard.
Could it be that one or more of these were actually commissioned from Rapido?...
While probably not news for industry insiders, I see that it is now being acknowledged that Realtrack's product was commissioned from Rapido.
 

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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
(Adrian Swain @ 8 Oct 2018, 12:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...One point I would like to make is that the proliferation of new RTR manufacturers may well seem like a good thing to many but it is having a very adverse
effect on the existing companies whose continued existence is clearly on a knife edge...
Then again business is generally about being on a knife edge, for all except those happy few who currently own the 'money tree'. Possession of the money
tree doesn't last forever: once it was in the hands of the railways, and they got it by ruining the canal owners, and in turn the road vehicle industry grabbed
it. Where next we wonder for the land transport sector?

The disappearance of some 'name' businesses is to be expected in short. The nature of our particular sector is that the worthwhile tooling finds its way to
another owner, so little that is of value is permanently lost. The retailers that have gone into the production side are going to be the candidates for survival.
They are taking steps to ensure they have goods to sell. Better that than be in the group of less enterprising retailers who go to the wall because their main
suppliers on whom they were largely dependent faltered badly.

Personally, I will still be a railway modeller with not a single RTR commercial product available, because it is fun. Since there is a small band of like minded
people in the UK, a total end to RTR supply is unlikely. And roughly fifty years since I started purchasing model railway product myself, the sole company
remaining in business is Peco. None of the other model shops and RTR model makers I bought from back then are in business today. And the RTR product is
vastly superior so there is no downside to such change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The spec for the model rests with the commissioner, but is going to reflect the minimum standard that the contracted manufacturing party is willing to work
to. Without insight into the negotiation between the parties, that's about as precise as it is possible to be.

Bottom line for me is that the commissioning party is responsible for the end product, the manufacturer is following instructions. There's reputational risk in
this for the manufacturing party if they accept a commission to an inadequate standard, thus the manufacturer has an interest in ensuring that the item is
designed and produced to an adequate standard. But as always 'adequate' is capable of broad interpretation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Now the dust has settled a little, I might add a little on the late Adrian Swain.

He was highly regarded in his original career as an aerospace designer at Filton; the couple of his ex-colleagues I knew via my Pa were emphatic that he was demanding, but never without justifiable cause. I met him a couple of times in my teens at shows and he was both charming and full of creative ideas and advice, and I continue to value what I learned from him at that time: and of course the excellent range of kits and bits he produced which I have made much use of. My Pa was amused when visiting me in my first home to see Adrian's products, but considered this underuse of his talent when there was such need for his skill in cutting edge engineering.

Toward the end of his life I understand that he had the difficult task of first caring for his disabled mother, and after she had died, his own seriously deteriorating health to cope with. Not a happy end. RIP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
...We had a mutual dislike of misleading “reviews” in magazines that’s for sure...
I too was on the same page as Adrian in this respect, gave up on the rags - apart from an occasional MRJ - long ago, simply because I wasn't going to pay for slack-jawed-yokel quality 'journalism' that was evident in product reviews. A particularly risible comment on this matter in the original format MREmag, to the effect that I was some kind of terrorist for expecting reviewers to be competent in measurements, appraisal of design quality and assembly standards, told me all I needed to know.That this was easily accomplished by contemporary North American and German product reviewers made any objection ridiculous.

The UK mags had the chance to reset their review criteria when the much superior RTR OO of Chinese manufacture arrived, and totally failed to do so. Happily the internet fora have stepped in and rectified this lack. Not perfectly, but we do now get useful appraisals, and not just of 'as new' but also 'as performing' after significant use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
MY FRIEND!!! Wahoo, I’m very happy indeed to read that, I find it most heartening...
Sadly, this is a minority opinion that we share.

I spent a significant proportion of my working life in competitive evaluation of both products and services; and for my own entertainment, apply the resulting know how to the models I purchase. When I have mooted such methods online, miniscule interest is apparent. My conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of the UK customer base for RTR OO is just not that way inclined.

Remarkably we are increasingly well served in RTR OO by those prepared to invest in manufacturing and to push for better models, even if the customer base isn't sufficiently interested to understand that superior technique - especially in small detail rendition - comes with consequences such as the care required when the model is handled: and that the appropriate track standards and power supply may have to be attended to if the more sophisticated models are to operate successfully..
 
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