June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby MacG » Fri May 06, 2016 1:53 pm

modorney wrote:This means we need lots of cars for 15 bucks apiece, or something like that. They don't have to look special (think Athearn blue box); just run well. A hundred cars for $1500 would make for a decent op session. Box cars, reefers and flat cars would be cheaper, and they would make up the bulk of the fleet. Gons, hoppers and tank cars could be a few bucks more - but total less than a third of the fleet. Injection molding or resin could get these car bodies down to the $10 range.


But you have to sell more than 20,000 piece of a model, so that it is profitable. Multiply it with 6 (box cars, reefers, flat cars, gons, hoppers and tank cars) and you will see, there is no TT-market for 120,000 cars. TT is a small series market and it will be years remain so. See the last six years. To save money, you should switch to HO or N.

Nice MR article, but I miss also the history after 1995.
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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby Bernd » Fri May 06, 2016 5:50 pm

But you have to sell more than 20,000 piece of a model, so that it is profitable.


The table top equipment for plastic injection today would allow for small runs of 100 or so pieces. There is no need to produce 20,000 units to sell to a small population of TT scale modelers. You have to crawl first before you can run. 3D printed masters to be used in epoxy molds can be easily used to produce a run of 100 to 200 units. Etched metal is also available to the entrepreneur. The investment in tooling is small compared to the larger equipment used by the Chinese companies making railroad products. Take a look at the history of Irv Athearn and Cliff Grant. They started out small. Look at there products today.

Every time this discussion comes up the talk goes to producing thousands of units. Hasn't any body heard of the garage type operations or mom & pop operations producing limited run kits. That's where it should start, not thousands of units.

To save money, you should switch to HO or N.


Well now, isn't that an encouraging statement on getting TT to grow. Makes me ask the question, "Why do I bother to try making products for TT scale?"

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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby ctxmf74 » Fri May 06, 2016 6:23 pm

Cost and quantity?

Anyone know the production numbers for the Gold Coast freight cars? They along with the Saz Model switcher are the kind of product TT needs to grow. Apparently neither made enough profit to keep them going which makes me wonder how Micro Trains can do it since the materials cost difference between TT versus N scales would be minimal.
I question the claim that switching to HO or N would save someone money, there's way more things to buy and restraint is not common among railroad modelers. I'm pretty sure one could buy everything they see in TT scale and still spend less than they would modeling in HO or even N (Those little trains are not dirt cheap and it takes a lot of them to fill up a space.) .....DaveB
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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby TiTan downunder » Sat May 07, 2016 6:33 am

>> even though we are getting a little bit off of the designated topic. <<

Yes, sorry about that.

What I was eluding to, was that before the end of this year there will be several more TT US items available to generate a bit of noise about. Some will be VERY limited runs, others will be permanently available.

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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby Bernd » Sat May 07, 2016 7:17 am

TiTan downunder wrote:>> even though we are getting a little bit off of the designated topic. <<

Yes, sorry about that.

What I was eluding to, was that before the end of this year there will be several more TT US items available to generate a bit of noise about. Some will be VERY limited runs, others will be permanently available.

Ian


Well now that sounds interesting. Guess I'll sit back, shut up and see what happens.

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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby Bernd » Sat May 07, 2016 10:16 am

This post http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/256411/2869694.aspx#2869694 has gained some flame. I added a bit more fuel to the fire. Lets see what happens.

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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby MacG » Sat May 07, 2016 1:57 pm

Here my last posting to plastic injection, at this topic.

Bernd wrote:Hasn't any body heard of the garage type operations or mom & pop operations producing limited run kits. That's where it should start, not thousands of units.


That are the methods, which are used by Gold Coast, Lok-n-Roll and MTB. The latter is known to be greater and GC has let produce in China. But look at the price per piece.

With using of 3D printed masters, you are lowering the quality of the model. Who want that? I know nobody at HO, who buy a cheap car for his layout. Only for a long train. But then he has each car improved and painted and lettered by hand. Intermountain or Exactrail are there state of the art.

Cheap molds, for a run of 20,000 parts, cost round about 15.000€ - per part 0,75€.
A small series mold costs 1.500€. Per part, if you produce 200 pieces, is that 7,50€.
Then you have costs for injection molding, assembling, painting, lettering cliche and tampon printing. Therefore it is an illusion to produce a RTR freight car for 15$ or for twice of it.

I know what I'm saying. I'm looking for ways to produce for a low price a Krauss Maffei ML-4000 and a 40' AAR stock car. It is a impossible mission, if you know, you won't sell more then 20 or 300 pieces.
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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby modorney » Sat May 07, 2016 2:56 pm

The reality today is that TT cars sell for about $40. And that's with production runs in the 100-200 range.

A fully etched flat car, like Lok-n-Roll's - but without the plastic molded framing - could sell in the under $20 range.

Production runs for injection molding can be around 1000 cars - this may be competitive?
http://hobbymolds.com/
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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby Bernd » Sat May 07, 2016 8:42 pm

This will be my last post on this subject.

Here's a company run by a husband and wife that makes resin HO scale equipment. I've talked to the owner personally. He described how he made the cars. He does not make large quantities of kits. Yet he has a large selection.

http://www.fandckits.com/index.html

Here's two of his kits. 423

The two car flat car kit parts showing one flatcar. 424

These are two cars I'd like to see in TT scale. Once I get going I'm going to see if it's possible to use epoxy molds for injection molding. Cost? I'm not worried about cost. Financial gain is not important to me. I'm doing this for TT scale in hopes it can be a major scale one day. If I break even I'd be happy.

End of my posts concerning this topic. I'll keep plugging away on my own to see what I can produce. I have the tools, technology and talent to bring this to fruition.

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Re: June 2016 Model Railroader magazine

Postby ctxmf74 » Sun May 08, 2016 2:37 pm

"Here's a company run by a husband and wife that makes resin HO scale equipment. I've talked to the owner personally. He described how he made the cars. He does not make large quantities of kits. Yet he has a large selection."

F&C has been around a long time. Did he tell you how he makes his molds? Must be pretty efficient to make that many types of cars. Did he show any interest in making some TT kits, seems like they'd make sense due to the shortage of TT products and the surplus of HO stuff made now days.......DaveB
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