Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby Marquette » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:05 pm

If we all stuck to 1930-1960 era there would be no problems! ;)

I agree with Ben for the most part except that we *don't* need to all model the same railway, we just need to ensure that widespread equipment is available - locomotives, cars, etc.

If we all collectively disposed of the "good enough" attitude - like making a TT model of the MDC boxcar - and we embraced the idea of wanting accuracy over quantity, then TT could promote itself as "the RPM scale". And for the RPM approach TT really would be perfect: the rail equipment is big enough to work on and detail up to a high level, but the environment is small enough to make modelling a specific location accurately much more viable (or, perhaps better put, you can do more of it) than in HO.

And there's the added advantage that RPMers are already going into this endeavour with the understanding that they will have to do a lot of kitbashing and scratchbuilding, so there's that problem dealt with.

NA proto TT will never be even just a minority-mainstream scale like S is; we may as well start working in 1:69.

How can we attract the RPMers? The things TTTerrific mentioned and I have said multiple times: a good variety of trucks (bogies), hand brake wheels, running boards, brake details, ladders, boxcar doors and ends, and other detail parts, not forgetting environmental/scenery details like windows and doors for structures, road vehicles, track-related details, etc - the things that are the most difficult to scratchbuild. Models of a few common types of locomotive and freight car in RTR or kit form (the SW and the GC boxcars are good examples of choosing the right subjects from this perspective).

I'm sure that if we get basic things like that covered, we *will* attract some converts from amongst the RPM types.

At shows I've had people ask me, "so what all is available?", to which I've always replied fairly bluntly, "well, if you're not willing to build things for yourself, this isn't the scale for you." Despite all our "if I win the lottery" daydreams, NA proto TT will never be something for the RTR crowd. We can attain a little bit of growth, though, if we were to embrace the RPM approach, otherwise we will remain simply a curiosity.
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:44 pm

@ Marquette

Interesting post. It's not your first making these points.

I've always believed that RTR is the key. I still do. However, you don't go from zero to RTR overnight. Therefore I think your argument is very valid. Perhaps "scaling down" and thinking in terms of important parts vs. rtr models is the way to go (and an EASIER way to go).

I'll have to put some more thought into this.....
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby dileTTante » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:15 am

Bernd wrote:I came to TT because of a thread in Model Railroad Hobbyist. Then bought a Sazmodel SW and I was hooked.
Note that it wasn't brake wheels and trucks that got him hooked. It was RTR.
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:26 am

dileTTante wrote:
Bernd wrote:I came to TT because of a thread in Model Railroad Hobbyist. Then bought a Sazmodel SW and I was hooked.
Note that it wasn't brake wheels and trucks that got him hooked. It was RTR.


True, true.........
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby ctxmf74 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:30 am

"NA proto TT will never be even just a minority-mainstream scale like S is"

But there's no physical reason it couldn't or shouldn't. TT is a mainstream scale in Europe so why should it be left out over here? The simple answer is because no one makes enough for it to be a main stream scale. That's simple physics just like the size advantage of TT is simple physics. Folks can't buy what's not for sale. On30 was less than a minor scale before Bachman started making their line. so if it can work for an obscure oddball gauge it can work better for a standard gauge line of affordable well sized trains.The way it's always done is an excuse for never improving a situation, the way it's always been done needs to be examined to see why it's always been done that way and if those old why's are still relevant.This is not the 1950's so 1950's whys might not apply.....DaveB
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby Richard-B » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:48 am

If say, we, all 25 of us, got together and agreed that from here on, we all modelled, say, the NYC 1940-1960

In general agreement... but restated:
"If say, we, all 2500 of us, got together and agreed that from here on, we all modelled, say, the D&RGW 1935-1955 in Hon3"
Then SAZmodel would be Blackstone... and we wouldn't be having this discussion!
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby Marquette » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:02 am

dileTTante wrote:
Bernd wrote:I came to TT because of a thread in Model Railroad Hobbyist. Then bought a Sazmodel SW and I was hooked.
Note that it wasn't brake wheels and trucks that got him hooked. It was RTR.


Because there aren't any brake wheels and trucks. :P But more seriously, yes: an RTR locomotive *is* key for snagging people in... but then what? You have a locomotive. You need stuff to pull behind it. Either that means *lots* of RTR selection (which isn't gonna happen), or making it easy, by means of trucks and detail parts, to build one's own rolling stock. If neither of those options are available then... at best people will get one locomotive for curiosity's sake, and that's that.

ctxmf74 wrote:"NA proto TT will never be even just a minority-mainstream scale like S is"

But there's no physical reason it couldn't or shouldn't. TT is a mainstream scale in Europe so why should it be left out over here? The simple answer is because no one makes enough for it to be a main stream scale. That's simple physics just like the size advantage of TT is simple physics. Folks can't buy what's not for sale. On30 was less than a minor scale before Bachman started making their line. so if it can work for an obscure oddball gauge it can work better for a standard gauge line of affordable well sized trains.The way it's always done is an excuse for never improving a situation, the way it's always been done needs to be examined to see why it's always been done that way and if those old why's are still relevant.This is not the 1950's so 1950's whys might not apply.....DaveB



Nobody makes it because... there is no guarantee it will be a success. The risk is absolutely immense and the gain is honestly pretty marginal. Scales in North America are quite entrenched. If a major company were to get involved in a *serious* way - and by serious I mean a full array of products (locomotives, rolling stock, track, etc etc) - we may snag some converts, we may snag some newbies, and we may even get as big as S scale. Which... is not worth the effort and investment. If it were, you'd see Bachmann and Athearn and Atlas and whoever else producing S scale models.

On30 isn't really a good example because it uses readily available track and mechanisms (from HO scale) and for any scenery/structures/etc there is all the O scale stuff readily available.

In NA TT we have - in terms relative to the other scales - virtually *nothing* available. We have one RTR locomotive and we have a couple of mass-production freight cars. We've got a number of nice short-run freight car kits, a very small handful of nice road vehicles from RailTT (an automobile, a bus and a few trucks), we have some laser cut wood structure kits. Which adds up, comparatively, to zero.

In order for TT to even *begin* to become viable as a minor-mainstream scale we are going to need more road vehicles, more injection-moulded structure kits (a la Auhagen but NA proto), a full range of ready-to-use NA track, a broader range of locomotives and rolling stock in RTR and (mass-produced, injection-moulded) kit form, etc. etc... all of those things that modellers in other scales can simply take for granted, which we simply do not even have in NA TT.

But as it stands, we have nothing and if Smoky Mountain couldn't find enough reason to get into NA TT, Athearn or Atlas or Bachmann have even less reason to do so. NA TT will grow as a labour of love of those of us involved, and we may successfully recruit a few people along the way who may also get involved as their resources and time and skills permit - so long as they're willing to work on such a basis where one's very best hope is to break even, but more likely will recoup only a portion of expenses.

For the big guys, breaking even is unacceptable. There is no profit in TT right now for them, and there is no incentive to open the field up in hopes of future sales because they are already making money with HO and N. They have zero reason to even notice our existence, never mind produce something. That MTB did so is, plain and simple, a gift from the goodness of his heart.
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby ctxmf74 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:17 am

"there is no incentive to open the field up in hopes of future sales because they are already making money with HO and N."

Then we need one of the big guys who doesn't make HO or N scales? Lionel comes to mind and MTH has a limited amount of HO and no N production and given their history would probably enjoy raiding some buyers from the N manufacturers. . Weaver also is a player in O scale that could use a new direction to a wide open market. and I'd love to see MTB someday end up selling more trains in the US than the established US companies just to reward them for taking a chance on US TT scale.....DaveB
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby j p » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:15 am

Bernd wrote:I came to TT because of a thread in Model Railroad Hobbyist. Then bought a Sazmodel SW and I was hooked. Still will be modeling in HO but TT is giving me an excuse to scratchbuild. Not that I couldn't in HO. It's just that the more popular model scale guys seem to frown on guys that build from scratch. Got a pretty good razing on MRH about scratchbuilding. Didn't bother me. Got a thick skin. So here I am.

Bernd


Bernd, would it be easier for you to get interested in TT if there was a starter set available?
Marquette made a long list of things "we don't have" (most of it we do have, but the selection is very limited).
What we really need to be able to change that is "hundreds of Bernds"!
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Re: Huge gathering of TT-scalers in California!!!

Postby scaro » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:44 am

Richard-B wrote:
If say, we, all 25 of us, got together and agreed that from here on, we all modelled, say, the NYC 1940-1960

In general agreement... but restated:
"If say, we, all 2500 of us, got together and agreed that from here on, we all modelled, say, the D&RGW 1935-1955 in Hon3"
Then SAZmodel would be Blackstone... and we wouldn't be having this discussion!


true, but looking at what is, even 25 modellers in a prototype does enable you to do a bit of stuff. it would make getting runs of boxcar roofwalks, castings, viable. we'd be beating a path to mr rail graphics door, for runs of NYC and subsidiary car lettering. resin car sides, a bit of 3D, would be viable. trucks etc. a manufacturer might start to look, because he sees people all committed to one thing, nice models winning prizes at shows, and he's got more of a chance to sell a craftsman kit of an NYC rebuilt boxcar, for example.

the collective's members would want erie, EL, PRR cars, a Wabash car, Nickel Plate ... so a market for decals and later, kits for wagons from those roads too, and you start to grow outward from the basis of an initial, collective focus.

but here's the thing ... it would have to be a collective ... all working to a similar standard. a high one, to have any hope of getting outside interest.

australia had about 5 guys modelling the NSW railways in TT-3 (3mm). they had a greater range of products than american TT does. that huge, clanging lesson from the 3mm society ... there are indeed 'great committees', their society meetings awash with nice product. acting in concert divides winners from losers when you are on the margins.

smoky mountain showed, when it came to committing to one car, let alone one railroad, people balked. things have been very subdued since, so i think we all know it. success, if it meant yielding a little and going down a road we did not want, wasn't on the radar for TT.
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