Cylindrical hoppers

Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby CFRiad » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:38 am

To continue my previous post:

I think we are the wrong people to do this large scale operation. We are modellers, so we are good at making stuff. A sales person/team and a good research/design group are what's needed. After that Rapido's factory in China can churn out thousands of units at respectable quality in no time.

Please do not take this as criticism towards any person here who has done a lot in making models available in our small artisanal world. You have done excellent jobs and I am grateful. And to prove this, I keep buying stuff, as much as my finances allow.
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby CFRiad » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:51 am

Part three, last one before going to bed...

An most likely that big scale operation will have to have other product streams to survive: TT scale for Europe, H0 scale, models other than trains (planes, automobiles).

OR they would set up a hostile take-over of Tillig and create the Tillig North-America division. Based in Vancouver, obviously.
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby Taxari » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:15 am

Some words about Lok-n-Roll. At first: we speek about a one man company (and some friends). At second: it's not Mikes first business and definitely not the business to earn the money for living. He planned, organized and build all the models in the time additional to the normal 8h working day; especially between 05.00 and 08:00 in the morning (or better at night?); including the weekends. Why? Because it is his hobby too.

The Cylindrical Hopper is not a plastic injected molded model, it's a nearly perfect plastic casting. We found a caster, who can realize such "wonders". Together with the cost for the mold, the etched parts, the couplers, the trucks, the tax, the decals and the additional material for building, painting and decaling makes that price.
And please believe me (i'm his tax consultant): the real profit is minimal. Is there one at all?

All over the world the market for US TT is about 100 (maybe 150) active modelers, scattered on individual interests in periods, railroad companys and prefered models. So we think, there is no market for a large series of any model. We ever plan with max. 100 - 150 pieces per car; and 30 pieces per locomotive. And that is often a optimistic estimation.

So enjoy your model and the time to play!
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:42 am

Yup ^^^ there you have it. Same reason my U Boat is still not finished. Not because I can't finish it but because I can't finish it without loosing money on just 30 customers. So I'm endlessly searching for ways to reduce the costs but there is only so far you can go.
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby dileTTante » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:06 pm

Harold Joyce started TT scale when there were no TT modelers at all. The market is potentially bigger than 30 - 100, because many people express interest at the train shows, and that's when there's hardly any product to show.
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby areibel » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:10 pm

That's the Catch 22 that TT has been in for 30+ years. There have always been some people active in the scale, but not enough to attract the interest of any manufacturer, big or small. And there's not much available so it's hard to generate interest. But I'm optimistic, I think we are growing be it slowly.

Thanks to the guys up north that haul modules around to show TT off, and everyone that posts on any board it's more likely that other modelers have at least heard of TT. I took some TT to an NMRA meet (my RS3, a Gold Coast boxcar and a SW and tank car from MTB) and the guys there (mostly HO and N) were blown away- they might have seen classic TT, but they had no idea what was out there now. Any publicity helps!

I've heard arguments that On30 was a "new" scale, started from scratch, so we should bug Bachmann and they would probably do TT. All we have to do is call them and ask. My response was always to go ahead, but no one ever did (that I know of). If you were lucky they wouldn't start laughing until after they hung up! It's one thing to start a new scale when you can use existing track and mechanisms vs. starting from the ground up. TT was started from scratch, but it was never big. I think it originally survived because of the novelty of being the smallest operating scale at the time, but talking to the guys like Larry Sayre and John Harmon that know the history it didn't boom- The original HP Products "factory" was Hal Joyce's garage and the max workforce was probably 6 or 8 people. All the other classic TT names were similar- TT was a sideline for Kemtron that didn't really last long, Gandy Dancer was a very small operation, same with Christoph and Everett Smith. I've always wondered what it would be like if Irv Athearn or Gordon Varney decided to get into TT, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. But history didn't happen that way.

If it weren't for guys like Mike from Lok N Roll, Michael from A&D, Ingo and Christian (I'm sure I missed some, sorry!) and even back to Felix Verser, Elmer from Possum Valley and Jim O'Brien from Coastal Engineering- we wouldn't be here. They didn't quit their day jobs, they probably don't make much of a profit (if any) but I'm glad they decided to keep making something new in TT. Yeah, the prices aren't cheap but look at what you're getting, basically hand built model that would cost as much or more if it was produced the same way in any other scale. I consider it to be the TT version of HO brass. And after my limited experience with putting something out in TT, I'm glad someone else is doing it- it was a big P.I.T.A.

I think we need to quit bickering and keep grinding. If you think something is too expensive or the wrong era or you don't like the color, don't buy it. But at the same time show a little courtesy to the guys that are trying, don't post here just to complain about it. And if it's not 100% prototypically accurate, same deal. I'd rather have a nice looking car that might not be perfect instead of nothing, especially when most people wouldn't know it was wrong. Yeah, it would be great if everything could be done exactly right but sometimes that just doesn't happen and when it becomes a contest between Google Geniuses to see who can find the most faults, don't bother. You want something better? Make it, and sell it. you'll see how much fun it is!

Off the soapbox now,
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby ctxmf74 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:32 pm

"But I'm optimistic, I think we are growing be it slowly"

Good points Al. More stuff like the Gold Coast cars and the Saz model switchers are what we need but with the stamina to last thru the discovery period when they would become mainstream products. Before the great masses of other scales modelers can find them TT products seem to wither on the vine or die an early death. The two products I've mentioned were better than many models that flourished in other scales but these didn't get to reach their full potential.I often have people look at my TT models and ask where they can buy them and I have to answer they can't, Saz models went out of business and Gold coast molds are somewhere over seas now.If I could tell them that MB Klein has lots in stock TT would have many more new modelers.......DaveB
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:19 pm

Yep that's the ultimate problem - "where can I buy them?".
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Re: Cylindrical hoppers

Postby Taxari » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:43 pm

And some more (already sold, but mostly buildable again): http://lok-n-roll.de/galerie/
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