Is there a market for US TT?

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby MacG » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:23 pm

@Bernd: What do you mean with "If European companies can't supply this type of modeler ..."?

In the pictures, I see nothing, which could not be done by a modeler in TT-scale. Okay, we have no Walthers Cornerstore Kits in our scale, but enough sources, ideas, and skills to built structures and layouts. For e.g. laser-cut kits. We can use N- or HO-kits and materials also. Large radius curves (flex-track) and turnouts are available from Tillig and Kuehn.

As an addition to my post about coupler and long locomotives. The ML-4000 with a freight train roll through 15" curves without any problems. The length over the coupler pulling faces is slightly longer than the prototype.

@krokodil: I think the number of pieces of produced SW1200s is lower, 400? I have only four of them. But for a new locomotive, it is planned with a minimum number of 500pcs. This is hard to sell all.
Lok-n-Roll.de - we send worldwide :wink:
User avatar
MacG
 
Posts: 909
Images: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:19 pm
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Bernd » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:54 pm

krokodil wrote:It would be nice when it would be the real situation. I know very well the US conditions and the possibilities. But when it would be the market for models, than I do not know why most of US manufacturers went into bankrupcy in the last 20-30 years.
Just an interesting experience, in one of the big towns (about 6 mil) in the last 20 years from almost 20 modelshops just two left over.

We see also here, when I correctly remember MTB produced some 500 pcs of SW1200 for this "huge market". J.P in Prague has probably more US locomotives in TT as many of TTnut members.
I do not have TT models of US prototypes, but on my Us logging layout in H0 I have over 20 logging locos!
I am now involved in one US home layout in N scale of some 20x1.8m, (Arizona) what is huge from European point of view.
The friend of mine, owner of the layout is buying almost everthing on ebay, mostly from European and from Japanese sources. Where are the US suppliers? The N scale is definitively more popular, than our lovely TTscale.


Why did H.P. Products shut down? Could it have had something to do with the crudeness of his models, while other companies were updating to plastic and better detail while Hal continued with stamped out parts. Name some American companies that have gone out of business do to bankruptcies.
Hobby shops have been closing down because the owners are getting older. Some don’t want to keep up with the times and sell on line. Plus the cost of keeping a hobby shop open is higher than the money the owner makes on selling product do to the fact of direct internet sales. Here’s a link I started about hobby shops closing. Perhaps if you read this you’ll understand why the shops went from 20 to just 2 left open.

https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/16421

We see also here, when I correctly remember MTB produced some 500 pcs of SW1200 for this "huge market". J.P in Prague has probably more US locomotives in TT as many of TTnut members.
I do not have TT models of US prototypes, but on my Us logging layout in H0 I have over 20 logging locos!


Don’t quite understand what you are trying to say here.

If I figured correctly 20m X 1.8m is approximately 65 feet X 6 feet correct? Are you saying the length of the layout is approximately 65 feet long or approximately 390 square feet? Rather average for the American layout. If your friend is in TT scale I can understand why he’s buying on E-bay. Can’t buy TT scale items if there are no products to buy that fit the North American modelers taste. The overseas shipping has got cost him a small fortune.

Take a look a some of the American forums and read what is talked about. You should get an idea of what the American Modeler expects from suppliers of model railroad equipment today.

Bernd
Image
User avatar
Bernd
 
Posts: 969
Images: 27
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:43 am
Location: Rochester, New York

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby krokodil » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:23 pm

Sorry Bernd, my English is just one of the 6 languages I am trying to speak. Of course no one is perfect, any more :boohoo:

I just wanted to say that the 500 (somebody corrected me, just 400) pieces of SW1200 are not a business case for any manufacturer. On top of that not all models were sold on the targeted market (J.P. outside of USA has surelly several SWs on his layout.)
The layout of my friend in Arizona is in N scale, and for a single person its size is very big. Try to imagin a wiring of such layout when nobody can give you a hand to pull the wire across the base plate.
i spent lot of times ( alltogether many years) in USA and have several friends involved in model railroad, so I have very good information. I read regularly the MRH, and over 30 years I had an MR subscription.
What I would like to hear here is also a bigger TT scale layout project. Right now you are talking regularly about a modular set, but nothing close to the typical sized US layout in TT scale.
Many years ago few of us were in similar situation as you are. If we did not wanted to model the German Railroads, we had no options. That time I built from scratch over 20 locomotives (metal, mostly brass) that time without CNC machines or 3D printers. Those locomotives are still running on my new TT layout, together with the latest commercial models. One sees the diffrence in the age, but the running quality is still OK.
Greetings from Austria
E.T.
User avatar
krokodil
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:46 pm

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Bernd » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:22 pm

krokodil wrote:Sorry Bernd, my English is just one of the 6 languages I am trying to speak. Of course no one is perfect, any more :boohoo:


I can just imagine trying to speak 50 languages if all 50 states had different languages.

I just wanted to say that the 500 (somebody corrected me, just 400) pieces of SW1200 are not a business case for any manufacturer. On top of that not all models were sold on the targeted market (J.P. outside of USA has surelly several SWs on his layout.)


Yes 500 units is not enough to sustain a business. I own two myself.

The layout of my friend in Arizona is in N scale, and for a single person its size is very big. Try to imagin a wiring of such layout when nobody can give you a hand to pull the wire across the base plate.


Modelers are finding out that wanting and then building a large layout is quite different than what they thought it would be. The worst part is finding out there's an aspect of building such a large layout that they absolutely hate to do, like wiring.

i spent lot of times ( alltogether many years) in USA and have several friends involved in model railroad, so I have very good information. I read regularly the MRH, and over 30 years I had an MR subscription.
What I would like to hear here is also a bigger TT scale layout project. Right now you are talking regularly about a modular set, but nothing close to the typical sized US layout in TT scale.


Nice to know you keep up with reading MRH and MR. There's more.

Perhaps one reason you don't see bigger TT scale layouts is very few new modelers have heard of TT scale. Not "much" in the model magazines about this scale.

Right now I'm working on one of five modules that can be taken to shows. If I ever get all built they probably represent a layout much larger than one could comfortably set up in a bedroom or spare space. I'll still have room to build my HO layout. Which is main scale I'm working on also. In order to build a large layout it would be helpful to have flex track that doesn't cost what Tillig or Kuehn track costs. I did a comparison to HOn3 flex track from Micro Engineering. I believe it would be the closest to TT scale track in raw materials used, Code 55 to be exact. Tillig track costs $9.06USD for a 26" length, Kuehn costs $5.06 for 25" length and lets include shipping of $29.95USD. That's a no starter for me since I can hand lay my own track way cheaper. So it will take a while to build a TT scale empire.

Many years ago few of us were in similar situation as you are. If we did not wanted to model the German Railroads, we had no options. That time I built from scratch over 20 locomotives (metal, mostly brass) that time without CNC machines or 3D printers. Those locomotives are still running on my new TT layout, together with the latest commercial models. One sees the diffrence in the age, but the running quality is still OK.


They didn't have table top CNC machines back in the 70's. There were some very nice models built just using hand tools. In my opinion modelers from the 30's to perhaps the 60's were much more skilled in using hand tools than any modeler today. I can see that by the posts on MRH. Everybody wants to buy RTR products because they have no time to build anything.

It would be nice to see some close up pictures of those scratch built models. Are they on TTnut by any chance? I sure would love to see them.

Bernd
Image
User avatar
Bernd
 
Posts: 969
Images: 27
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:43 am
Location: Rochester, New York

Is there a market for US TT?

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:06 pm

Bernd wrote:In order to build a large layout it would be helpful to have flex track that doesn't cost what Tillig or Kuehn track costs. I did a comparison to HOn3 flex track from Micro Engineering. I believe it would be the closest to TT scale track in raw materials used, Code 55 to be exact. Tillig track costs $9.06USD for a 26" length, Kuehn costs $5.06 for 25" length and lets include shipping of $29.95USD.


I'm trying to get a better understanding of this problem. What are the prices for comparable length pieces of HO and N track?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
What people think: "liberals/conservatives are ruining my country"
What the powerful know: divide and conquer
User avatar
ConducTTor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8464
Images: 13
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 4:52 pm
Location: Atlanta GA USA

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Richard-B » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:31 pm

Bernd wrote:<snip>Why did H.P. Products shut down? Could it have had something to do with the crudeness of his models, while other companies were updating to plastic and better detail while Hal continued with stamped out parts.
Answering the rhetorical question: H.P Products never DID shut down...
http://www.hp4stamping.com/History

I agree that the economic reality of competing in the model train business in the 1960s-1970s, as it changed to become primarily injection-molded plastic shells over die-cast frames, was probably just too far outside the HP's core expertise to keep on going.

As you've pointed out... HP was, and still is, a metal STAMPING company:
Stamped engine shells, stamped passenger cars, stamped power and freight truck sideframes... etc.
(albeit with some white-metal castings, and brass parts).

...and then in the early 1960s, Arnold introduced N-scale using better, smaller motors, which was subsequently brought over to the US with a major marketing push. This took away the obvious "Smaller than HO" niche...

The rest, as they say, is History!
Richard Brennan - http://www.tt-west.com
Somewhere between Shenzhen and Budapest...
User avatar
Richard-B
 
Posts: 887
Images: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: San Leandro, CA

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby krokodil » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:49 pm

It is funny when somebody starts to discuss about the cost of the track for the layout. Yes, it is not cheap, but a layout will be anyway a bigger investment, and when you calculate a bit deeper you will see that the cost of the tracks is often peanuts against other materials, time and work, what you have to invest into the layout.
For my recent layout I purchased at the beginning track material including switches in value of about 2-3 model steam locomotives. It was enough, I still have few meters of spare tracks.
After that I purchased about 50 servos and electronics to drive them - it was also a value of about a single steam engine.
Meanwhile MTB came out with their MP1 drives I immediately ordered some 30 units at the introduction price. ( it was a very good deal :thumbup: )
That is just a trackwork. Now I can place and run on that layout closely 50-60 vehicles, simultaneosly max about 10 trains could run, usually 3-4 are running what is more realistic. If you go to the real yard you will probably also not see more than 2-3 moving trains.
And there are even more critical cost issues, nobody mentioned yet. Those are the cables and connectors. If you buy them from model suppliers, this material will cost you a fortune. I was lucky to find an industry surplus source offering a thick 96 way cables of 3-6 meters each. I have got them, cut them up for the single color coded wires and already installed over 1000 m into the layout ( it is designed as analog with an option to switch once to digital.). All connectors came from electronic shops (DB25) and the screw types from China. The connector between the control panel and the layout is a special expensive one (50€ EDAC) for 90 wires. Etc. those costs are very often hidden as nobody is doing deep accounting for every bits and pieces. :grin:

If you compare the price of the trackwork with the price of the vehicles and probably also building etc on the layout you will mostly see that the trackwork was the cheapest part of your new model world. And I was not talking about the modern electronic (DCC components). :whistle:
Greetings from Austria
E.T.
User avatar
krokodil
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:46 pm

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby j p » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:10 am

Richard-B wrote:
Bernd wrote:<snip>Why did H.P. Products shut down? Could it have had something to do with the crudeness of his models, while other companies were updating to plastic and better detail while Hal continued with stamped out parts.
Answering the rhetorical question: H.P Products never DID shut down...
http://www.hp4stamping.com/History

I agree that the economic reality of competing in the model train business in the 1960s-1970s, as it changed to become primarily injection-molded plastic shells over die-cast frames, was probably just too far outside the HP's core expertise to keep on going.

As you've pointed out... HP was, and still is, a metal STAMPING company:
Stamped engine shells, stamped passenger cars, stamped power and freight truck sideframes... etc.
(albeit with some white-metal castings, and brass parts).

...and then in the early 1960s, Arnold introduced N-scale using better, smaller motors, which was subsequently brought over to the US with a major marketing push. This took away the obvious "Smaller than HO" niche...

The rest, as they say, is History!


Wasn't it rather the lack of production capacity? H.P. got some large orders for the defense industry and had to adjust their production set-up.
Smaller trains were brought to US already in 1947 - the original MTL from Sweden, H00 scale (1/148), later sold to Kadee.
j p
 
Posts: 1244
Images: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:08 pm
Location: Struer, Denmark

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Richard-B » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:05 am

j p wrote:Wasn't it rather the lack of production capacity? H.P. got some large orders for the defense industry and had to adjust their production set-up.
I think it may have been the other way around:
A drop-off in wartime production may have given HP the capacity to indulge in Hal Joyce's hobby...
Richard Brennan - http://www.tt-west.com
Somewhere between Shenzhen and Budapest...
User avatar
Richard-B
 
Posts: 887
Images: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: San Leandro, CA

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby j p » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:00 am

Richard-B wrote:
j p wrote:Wasn't it rather the lack of production capacity? H.P. got some large orders for the defense industry and had to adjust their production set-up.
I think it may have been the other way around:
A drop-off in wartime production may have given HP the capacity to indulge in Hal Joyce's hobby...


No, there were no more trains manufactured by HP after that war (after 1973).

In September 1963 this Ominous ad appears:
”TT Scale
SPECIAL NOTICE
We sincerely regret our inability to
properly service our many TT customers
due to urgent defense work.
We will do our best but for several
months power units will be scarce.
Should anyone be interested in manufacturing
TT equipment and capble of
properly servicing and financing, contact
H. P. Products, Hartford City, Ind.
Phone 317-348-2710.”
j p
 
Posts: 1244
Images: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:08 pm
Location: Struer, Denmark

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests