TT Scale Buisness

Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby richardedmonds » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:43 am

If I ever see Mark again I'd like to buy him a beer.

Buy him two for me if you do, I will paypal you the costs

I am really sorry that this was probably a disaster for Mark, his products were really really good and to my mind were the the way forward for TT scale at present time. Looking in front of me I have a turnout a gear tower and some drain covers and tie strips. Everything an excellent article that would assist me greatly in building a layout and thats the problem as I see it, This is really still a scratchbuilders scale well American profile is anyway.
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby j p » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:29 am

Bernd, that is correct only for additional paint schemes. But the model has to be correct for some prototype. Simply because a wrong model cost exactly the same as a correct model. Why making something wrong on purpose? And yet some of the "big" European manufactures keep doing that mistake...
You can make a 95% correct Hudson and then paint some of them as "Polar Express". But making a Polar Express engine which cannot be used for anything else than Polar Express would be wrong. The 5% is for the details which cannot be made in TT.
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby Rob M » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:03 pm

The accuracy part of this discussion is kind of silly. I doubt anyone is going to try and pass off something like this for a new TT model. (unless anyone is interested, all you want for $10 each :lol: )
Dead image links removed.


It is kind of funny though since the first thing I made with my machine was a very generic gondola. It quickly transformed into the G-31 gondola but the first attempt was just to see what was possible machining-wise.

Anyway, back to the original question. If Brian is planning on making engines, track and rolling stock then he will basically have the items needed for a starter kit. And that is something the scale could definitely use and would probably be a good seller.
Last edited by Rob M on Wed May 02, 2018 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby j p » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:40 pm

It depends on the technology.
It does not matter really if your gondola was correct or not because you used a technology which does not require any expensive tools. And you made one of them, not one thousand of them. As you have mentioned, it was a test, not a product you'd want to sell.
Making your "very generic" gondola as an injection molded model would be wrong. Injection molded model just has to be correct. Otherwise you are wasting your time and money.
We do not need more models of nothing. Plenty of those are available already, some even from Shapeways.
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby richardedmonds » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:18 pm

Well we did hear all this before didn't we? Prior to TTnut we had TTSMR TT_IMS then the Nut and those of you as old as me will remember this same argument from back then. The truth is though we are in a far better position now than we was back then. We do acutally have some pretty good ready to run models now and beleive it or not Rob D has just put some new tankers out there. To my mind it is my duty to support whoever tries to make something in TT purely as encouragment to them. I don't care if it is an inch too short as long as it looks realistic enough. See that earlier post with Rob M's boxcar, thats great as long as the box is accurate you can detail that box to any degree of accuracy you want yourself, the parts are available from a couple of suppliers and surprisingly you can draw your own if needs be.But I would say that the end game is for accurate and correct models as near scale as can be possible. Thing is with TT is not to give up, you got to plug away LOL even if the box you get is the wrong one at about 6 feet long
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby Rob M » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:24 pm

I see 8 highly detailed models. When I say generic I mean a plain box on wheels.

Whether or not any of those are close to correct for any prototype I will leave to the experts :lol:
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:50 pm

The problem with "generic that the masses don't mind" is that you first have to have a viable mass produced product. No one is going to invest several million $$$ to make that happen. So you have to start with the core group you have and expand from there. The core group is generally not interested generics.

This is exactly what Mark did and what Rob D is in the middle of doing. I suggest if you are going to produce something, partner with someone across the ocean. That could result in starter sets if the partners are doing different models. It also guarantees distribution around the globe. And while shipping is required, one big shipment is much cheaper than a bunch of small ones.
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby modorney » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:27 pm

I hear what everyone is saying - here's what I see:

Lots of modelers are retiring - old eyes don't see N scale stuff very well. They want something bigger.

Half a century ago, an operating session was mostly 40 foot boxcars, etc. Nowadays, those modeling contemporary trains have to deal with 50 and 60 foot cars. In HO, 40 feet is over 5 inches, in TT it is 4 inches. HO trains of 1965 are the same length as 2015, if you switch to TT.

Between the internet and the general maturation of society (at least the right half of the bell curve), more modelers interact with each other - either operating sessions, round robins or meetings.

Given all that, there is a market for TT.

Now, if you look at two "paradigms" - the S gauge people and On30

S Gauge has an organization, and they organize the inside cover of RMC. Since there are about 1500 to 3000 modelers in this scale, the market is there to produce 25 or 50 models at a time. Given that this marketing effort costs about $ 20 k a year, it amounts to about 2 bucks a modeler. It certainly helps that there are a handful of writers that present articles and keep the magazines full.

On30 took off when a large corporation started marketing models. It is the fastest growing scale right now, and a swath of smaller manufacturers follow in its wake. Narrow gauge has been around a long time, and there is a convention that represents these modelers.

Either or both of these scales offer methods to increase sales and popularity of TT.

As far as manufacturing goes, I would like to see a central administration and fulfillment organization, and a collection of manufacturers who wholesale, or consignment sell to the central. That way I can go out and make some Shapeways bodies for F40's and keep a stock of five different roadnames at the central. And when they get ordered, make up another dozen and send them off to replenish the inventory. If someone proposed making a kit of my loco and someone else's cars, then I would commit to a few dozen, etc.

I would probably steer clear of developing motors and gears, there seems to be plenty of Mashima stuff out there, but I cluld be wrong. And I would not worry to much about prototype, since operators will run with anything, and if a "Proto 120" guy wants a special boxcar, then tweak the shapeway model/sketchup file.

As mentioned, include the Europeans - a lot of them like American prototypes, and some of the popular European stuff would sell - Crocodiles, German Pacifics, Flying Scotsman.

Shipping costs are a challenge, especially between countries - it would be good to have a system where a bulk order is shipped to/from Canada or Europe, and it is split out at the distant country. Some Canadian operations just drive a shipment across the border and UPS it in the US, etc.
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby j p » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:22 am

Bernd,
Your pictures look good and models made to that level of detail in TT would be OK for me.
I don't count the rivets - as long as the rivet rows are where they are supposed to be. The dimension accuracy has some tolerance, of course. It should not be off too much. E.g. if you can see by naked eye and without any measurement that it is off, then it is too much off.
Unfortunately, you can find some examples here on the board of how not to make models. There was a resin cast 2 bay hopper, where N scale rivets were used instead of TT (I would tolerate that), but some of them were also made at a wrong place - suggesting that the person who made the master either did not care or did not understand the function of those rivets.
Even the "ancient" hopper from HP Products had the placement of rivets correct. The resin hoppers were also too narrow. Even that I could live with if they were supplied as kits to make it possible to adjust the width. Those are "details" which hurt the heart of a mechanical engineer like me. The intention was good but the 3rd party supplier who made the masters, the resin cast and gluing did not do his job very well.

Jan
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Re: TT Scale Buisness

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:00 pm

Gents, the only thing left of this dead horse is dust.

My suggestion to all: try something. Try making and selling a model. When you succeed or fail, share insights with the rest. While we can go round and round till pigs fly out of our a$$ses, until there is actual evidence of what does and does not work, it's all speculation and conjecture and ultimately useless.

So, if you have intentions of doing something, just do it.

I'll share my experiences in this regard later (have meetings to go to). You can do whatever you want with them but you may at least be a bit better informed.
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