Is there a market for US TT?

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RodTT
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by RodTT »

CFRiad wrote:
krokodil wrote:Most of today modellers have troubles to open the new model, not to mention the maintenance etc. Of course most of them never get any experience with model construction and also not the skills to work with miniature parts.
I do not know what is the exact reason that none on the global market is interested in kits and part production for the "real" modellers, who want to put something together and enjoy the final self made vehicle on the layout
Different people have different preferences. Some people like assembling models from kits, painting, weathering. Others like creating beautiful realistic scenery. Other like operating layouts. Neither is more of a "real" modeller than the others. These preferences can come from pure interest and experience, or from constraints such as age, dexterity level, vision acuity, etc.
I quite agree. A small set of RTR loco options (or even just the one) would suit some people very well, including me. But if people can't agree what they want, and MTB haven't even been asked what they would be prepared to produce, I can't see that happening any time soon.
Maybe it would be better to focus on building on what is already being done by one or two people in the kit or component area. If a complete kit of motor, chassis, trucks, etches and a limited choice of decals were to be made available, all from one source, in small numbers, for one or more of the 3D print loco shells that are already available, I'm sure they would be snapped up. As second best to RTR, it's the lack of any kind of complete chassis/decal/etch package that's the problem, for me at least.
Failing that, some kind of list detailing who to get what from to make up your own chassis for a handful of different locos would be useful. As things are, I'm finding it difficult to know who to source different parts from if I decided to go down that route. It seems like a minefield.

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CSD
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by CSD »

I think I can answer the subject header of this topic with some insight given my experience. My opinion is offered grudgingly as I do not wish to rain on anybody’s parade, however; most of the proposed path forward in this discussion is already well trodden ground and been put into practise. So…

Is there a market for US TT?

No.

The problem with TT in the US is inherent in the question; the discussions center on marketing TT instead of actually modeling it.
Mark
//S

TTTerrific
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by TTTerrific »

CSD wrote:I think I can answer the subject header of this topic with some insight given my experience. My opinion is offered grudgingly as I do not wish to rain on anybody’s parade, however; most of the proposed path forward in this discussion is already well trodden ground and been put into practise. So…

Is there a market for US TT?

No.

The problem with TT in the US is inherent in the question; the discussions center on marketing TT instead of actually modeling it.
Thanks CSD for not "raining on anybody's parade." It's more like you "pissed on everybodies' parade." Good for you! It's about time that everyone realize (and accept) that TT is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD -- in the good 'ole USofA. The interests in motive power, rolling stock, structures, scenery, etc., etc. are broad and deep and highly varied. Where would any prospective manufacturer/marketer/distributor even start!? I get that there are like 4-5 "epochs" in Euro model railroading? Well, the same or similar can be said of NA railroads as well--with --what: 3-4 "generations" of diesel locomotives alone!

At 72 years I have no interest in or concerns about anything past the first generation of diesels and remember quite well the last five years of steam power on the SP. Much younger model rails have very little interst in steam and early diesels. I suspect we all have romanticized to some extent our childhood experience with real railroads that carryover to our modelling interests. The TT train left the station decades ago and has chugged down the line to obscurity, never to return.

The fun for me is to see how many of you have done what you can with with you've got to build rolling stock, power models, lay track, etc. in this OBSCURE scale. Such efforts are truly UNIQUE and greatly appreciated by at least one member (me) who is so JADED by nearly everything in ALL the other scales (okay--excepting the proto-48 tribe--maybe).

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CSD
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by CSD »

TTTerrific wrote:... The fun for me is to see how many of you have done what you can with what you've got to build rolling stock, power models, lay track, etc. in this OBSCURE scale. Such efforts are truly UNIQUE...
We share the same opinion, so relax. Obviously, I’ve miscommunicated and should expand on my thoughts.

Is there a market for US TT?

My answer is still no. In the face of 2 other widely popular scales, the sheer amount of product available in those scales and the small fan base of TT in North America, creating a profitable market is a real long shot. The few products that have come our way via an established manufacturer (MTB) were a real "stars align" kind of opportunity. I would not be able to reproduce my efforts on the SW1200 and MTB would not be able to provide the same bargain today. Additionally, I’ve had the chance to network with a number of manufacturers and even entered into discussions to produce a number of TT items. Some cottage manufacturer small series products went, but the production numbers and general cost was too great for me to absorb in most cases (we were this --><-- close to having N.A. profile flex track, folks - Too expensive). None of the manufacturers were willing to take a chance with their money having deemed the consumer base too small or not wanting to compete internally with existing product lines. I consider my journey a success in terms of my personal goals, but financially - not so much.

That being said, who cares? I don’t think we need to monetize the scale in order to enjoy and develop it. I sure don’t need a sales pitch. Take what you have, go build something. Snap up those cottage industry productions when they come up. That's where it's at for TT. Your above statement uses just the right word: Fun! Do it for the sake of doing it. The “market” be damned.
Mark
//S

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AstroGoat760
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by AstroGoat760 »

CSD wrote:Fun! Do it for the sake of doing it. The “market” be damned.
I whole-heartedly concur.

While I would love to see a commercial resurgence in TT Scale, part of the appeal would possibly go away for me in that event, as I love having become obsessed with a rare scale that is not only the Ideal Scale, but also is easy to scratch-build in.
Life is short, play with TT Scale Trains!

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ConducTTor
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by ConducTTor »

I suppose I'll chime in.

Over the years I've found that I get the most satisfaction from modifying locomotives to address shortcomings. Specifically in the drivetrain area. I can make a locomotive for myself. But that's not where it ends for me. I want that locomotive to be available to others as well. If it was just about me, I would have cranked out the 4 U30b locos I want a long time ago. The complexity of the project is born out my self defined need to make it available to others who are interested but may not have the time or skills to build one on their own. Ergo - full or semi RTR.

This is where I hit a brick wall. I can spend the money on my own projects. But I can't just burn money so others can have one as well. I don't have the production facilities to bring costs down from efficiencies in scale (no pun intended).

Long story short, only established manufacturers in this business can do that. Hence I want to find a way for that to happen. If someone out there can produce a RTR gp40 or whatever, great!

And don't get me started on cars. You need a LOT of those to run a railroad. Luckily thanks to some members here, we've gotten several new car models over the last few years.




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dileTTante
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by dileTTante »

krokodil wrote:Yesterday I just checked, the TTnut forum has just about 500 members, cca 400 from US. Even among these people there is no real decision what the members really want, and probably less than 100 people will buy anything what will appear on the market. (The 400 SWs are not sold yet - after 6-7 years, i hope MTB has got at least the money!!!).
Judging from our years of 'market research' at train shows, the potential market for TT is greater than the number of people on TT Nut. Many visitors are attracted to TT when they see the trains, but they have never heard of TT Nut. Many would buy TT on the spot if any models were available.

This discussion considers the SW1200 to be the measure of the potential market for TT. It is not.

- Terry C

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RodTT
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by RodTT »

Is there any mileage in crowdfunding?

Tom Dempsey
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by Tom Dempsey »

Only for the guy everyone sends their money to.

It's foolhardy at best to place much credence in what folks at train shows assure you will sell like hotcakes. Of course they're very interested in TT, they're very interested in everything at the train show, sort of why they came. What people tell you they'll buy for sure, and what they actually part with the bucks for are frequently considerably different. One of the biggest and costliest lessons of my first five years in the business.

TTTerrific
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Post by TTTerrific »

Tom Dempsey wrote:Only for the guy everyone sends their money to.

It's foolhardy at best to place much credence in what folks at train shows assure you will sell like hotcakes. Of course they're very interested in TT, they're very interested in everything at the train show, sort of why they came. What people tell you they'll buy for sure, and what they actually part with the bucks for are frequently considerably different. One of the biggest and costliest lessons of my first five years in the business.
Tom is absolutely correct on this point. Anyone on the forum care to revisit RailTech and the then "promised" USRA Consolodation? I bet not. :lol:

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