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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent poll carried out on Pat Hammond's Model Railway Express on-line magazine for a 'Wish List' for 2008 came up with ready-made operating semaphore signals as the most desired accessory - indeed they were the overall 1st choice, exceeding any single loco! (See also Model Rail's May issue, page 74.)

Desires expressed in previous years' polls have resulted in both locos and rolling stock being made by the major makers - let's hope they heed the results of this year's poll!

Regards,
John Webb
 

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I'm probably wrong on this but is there not a company called "Model Signal Engineering" producing ready made semaphore's or are they keit form and/or component form ?
 

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Brian, MSE only make parts for signals. Ratio make kits.
To the best of my knowledge, there are no RTR semaphore signals for UK modelling.
 

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You can only but hope that who ever decides to make them look very hard at what Brawa and Viessmann have done.

For a long time Brawa were the Germanic leaders in signals, the detail was excellent, but the mechanisim was very basic.

Viessmann now make signals that are not only the equal of Brawa in terms of detail, but have slow action motors which are fantastic.

John
 

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Hornby do or did some ready made signals...Not much detail but ready to operate via a motor..Could be an interesting detailing project.. Another alternative would be the old Dublo ones which would also be good for detailing...
 

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QUOTE (Sol @ 3 May 2008, 22:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Brian, MSE only make parts for signals. Ratio make kits.

Sol, thanks for letting me know (my lack of knowledge of things UK showing !).

Looks like there is a market for (even) a generic ready to use semaphore then.
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 3 May 2008, 23:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You can only but hope that who ever decides to make them look very hard at what Brawa and Viessmann have done.

For a long time Brawa were the Germanic leaders in signals, the detail was excellent, but the mechanisim was very basic.

Viessmann now make signals that are not only the equal of Brawa in terms of detail, but have slow action motors which are fantastic.

John

Yes John, the Viessmann especially are superb & the slow action is outstanding - just one small point though - there is no "bounce" as German signals do not bounce - AFAIK, if cable operated there are two cables, one to pull on & one to pull off, with some form of "fail safe" built in.
 

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QUOTE (jimmy @ 4 May 2008, 06:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hornby do or did some ready made signals...Not much detail but ready to operate via a motor..Could be an interesting detailing project.. Another alternative would be the old Dublo ones which would also be good for detailing...

Viessmann make a flush mounting slow action solenoid drive Cat.no4551 (retails around £9.50) with auxilary contacts - maybe of use here ?
 

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There maybe some kit makers out there, but they are not mainstream and they are perhaps not cheap. If say Hornby or Bachmann produced a range of ready made (ready to be electrified) signals - mechanical arm and early electrical, I'm sure that they would sell very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The problem with the Ratio kits is that (with the exception of the 'rail post' models) they are all plastic and rather fragile for use on portable layouts or where small eager fingers are around. The signal arms are also rather overthick in scale.
MSE signals are good - being metal made they are not so fragile and the arms are a scale thickness. But you need soldering skills to assemble them.
The Hornby ready-made signals are tough, but a bit overscale and not immediately convertable to remote operation.

If you can find someone selling the old Hornby-Dublo signals you will be amazed at the prices usually asked for them. But they are quite reasonable in appearance and it would be nice if the present Hornby could perhaps get something similar back on the market?

Regards,
John Webb
 

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I'm sure that they would sell very well.

I'm not sure they would. The Veissman single arm signals sell for around £30.00 or more. There are plenty of comments on various forums about how much things should cost, realistic thoughts or otherwise. How many would pay for a simple starter signal of £30.00. When you get into bracket signals the cost would be far greater. I can see a market for a basic semaphore, but can't see the UK market forking out for £30.00 signals when some blanch at the price of Hornby LMS Staniers or Maunsels for example.
 

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QUOTE (papamikepapa @ 4 May 2008, 18:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm not sure they would. The Veissman single arm signals sell for around £30.00 or more.

The max RRP for the VN4500 is £29.50, our price would be nearer to £25.00.
For this you get a precision made model with metal lattice mast, slow action mechanism with auxilary contacts (all out of sight under the baseboard) & correctly illuminated with LED's behind the spectacles.

What would you consider a fair price (that will sell well) for a generic UK equivelent ?
 

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At 15-20 GBP. I would get a few.
By the time one buys a Ratio Kit + a Tortoise together with the time building & installing, having a RTR that may just be 5-8pounds dearer would be good value.
 

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R.T.R semaphore signals have been on my wish list for more years than i wish to remember, and if a single arm signal was to cost near to £30 i would still consider purchasing one or more. i have tried constructing my own signals, they look ok, but would never pass on the exhibition circuits, i have also made the ratio kit signals, but i find them to fiddly, if you take the prices of kits, paints, time taken to build, you would find that £30 (the price mentioned above) not unreasonable by to-days prices. i recently considered building a "Jones heavy goods loco" the cost of all the items required for it was marching on towards £200, and thats before any assembly takes place, add to that the time to assemble, paint etc, and the cost far exceeds a RTR model, if you take all these factors into consideration, the cost of a signal at upto £30 dont seem that bad, plus its a better product than i could produce myself, i wonder who will be first to grasp the nettle? any bets?
 

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Hi Brian,

Your correct. If people baulk at paying GBP100 for a locomotive, they are not likely to pay GBP30 for a signal.

I doubt that Hornby wiould be able to make a signal that is asd good as the viesmann one for half the price (unless of course the English ones do not have lattice masts?).

AFAIK the model train market in Germany is a lot bigger than the market in the UK. It would not surprse me if the Viesmann signals are made in china. Even at EUR50 each, IMHO it is money well spent.

I wonder at times if my strategy of spending as much on my layout infrastructure (track, signals, controller etc) as on the physical trains is out of synch with what is happening in the UK. Does the quantity over quality still rule?

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 5 May 2008, 10:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I wonder at times if my strategy of spending as much on my layout infrastructure (track, signals, controller etc) as on the physical trains is out of synch with what is happening in the UK. Does the quantity over quality still rule?
John
At the risk of starting off the UK/Other quality/quantity debate again - probably yes !
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
QUOTE (john woodall @ 5 May 2008, 11:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>....I doubt that Hornby wiould be able to make a signal that is asd good as the viesmann one for half the price (unless of course the English ones do not have lattice masts?....

Most British railway signals were either square wooden posts with a taper, round metal posts (which eventually became the standard for British Railways) or on the Southern Railway/Region had a post made from two old rails bolted together with spacers. There were lattice posts but they were in the minority. I think many of us would accept the round post type which would suit much of the 1950s/60s British Railways period popular with many modellers. They are still in use today where semaphore signals have not yet been replaced.

Regards,
John Webb
 
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