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Should Hornby re-introduce TT ?

TT Arnold 12mm gauge 3mm scale 1/120 scale 1/100 scale Blue Tooth digital




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#1 siltec

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 17:32

I was surprised recently browsing the Hornby International site to find that Arnold are introducing a range of continental TT stock. Scale 1/120 which means that 12mm gauge track is spot on for standard gauge.

 

UK TT used to be 3mm = 1 foot or 1/100 which means like 00 the track represents nearer 4' than true standard gauge. As the motor argument no no longer applies is there an opportunity ro 1/120 scale TT British outlines.

 

TT say it all as TT supposedly means Table Top. A decent compromise between N and 00.

 

I am not really interested in big 00 layouts as I do not have the room. However I find N a bit small. Something in between would do nicely.

 

It could be introduced fully digital from day one, tied in with computer operation as an option. Maybe even Blue tooth for an element of wireless control.

 

Am I a lone voice?


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#2 Ravenser

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 17:39

They looked at the idea in conjunction with the 3mm Society about 18 months ago and decided it wouldn't be viable (Which is not surprising). I suspect that this was about the time they started thinking about doing TT in Arnold. There is a significant market for TT focused on Eastern Germany, the Czech Republic and other bits of the former Eastern Bloc (because the Communists decided there was no need to introduce N when they already made a smaller gauge than HO , and therefore RTR TT continued and has a reasonable amount of support)


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#3 37114

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 18:10

I think it is a great scale and if there was some ready to run BR stock available I would give it a go,sadly I can't see that changing for a while
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#4 JSpencer

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 18:20

In general I think 1/100th scale would make for the best all round scale worldwide and could be used for any modelling. There already exists some tanks, aircraft and ships in this scale so why not?

It should use 14.2mm track from the start though.

British TT is actually 101 or something but close enough (3mm to 1ft).
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#5 MartinWales

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 18:32

Agree with you there!

 

As one who dabbles in 14.2mm gauge myself I hope there would be a viable case for it's reintroduction but as not to duplicate the 00/EM/P4 situation that exists in 4mm scale.

 

The 3mm Society has already introduced a 14.2mm track base so no problem there, it would be a matter of pointwork and a basic range of stock say a Class 24/25/31/47 diesel and say a couple of Standard BR locos with possibly a Black 5/B1 or similar.

 

The Society also had in mind when drawing up it's 5 Year Plan to provide a closed van open wagon and brake van for each of the Big Four as well as the BR perennials, so maybe if this template is used there may be some take up from the public


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#6 plarailfan

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 18:49

With Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites on the internet these days, chances are that someone will, one day lauch a UK outline, ready to run, TT project.

Maybe a common type of wagon, that had a life spanning decades, would be a good place to test the water - maybe an LNER 13t open, or, some kind of goods van !

500 individuals, putting, say £15 each, into the scheme would surely be workable.  


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#7 pointstaken

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 18:55

I cannot honestly see the justification for re-introducing TT to the British scene, particularly in view of the vast amounts invested in other scales. Don't assume I am anti TT, I'm definitely not. I just cannot see the economic point of it.

 

Dennis


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#8 jjb1970

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 19:15

If we were starting with a blank sheet then in many ways TT is the perfect model railway scale however we are where we are and given the depth and quality of British outline OO and N I really can't see TT ever being more than a small niche. Which is sad as like I say I'd rate it as pretty much the ideal scale if looking at it in isolation, if it is hard to justify a move from OO to HO where you at least could run two scales alongside each other as part of a transition then it is massively harder to argue a case for TT I think.


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#9 Dunsignalling

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 19:37

3mm scale is very much thriving in this country as something that is made rather than bought - I enjoyed looking at several layouts earlier today at Southampton show.

 

I don't think there is much chance of TT being revived as a commercial r-t-r scale in the foreseeable future for two main reasons:

 

1. Since its earlier demise N has become established in the preferred "smaller than OO" niche which was previously the domain of Tri-ang TT. When the ongoing revival of r-t-r O Gauge is added to the mix, I doubt the UK market is big enough for another "mainstream" scale to stand much chance of getting (re)established.     

 

2. Now is not a good time for Hornby to embark on anything that might cause a distraction from the task of restoring their core business to health.

 

John


Edited by Dunsignalling, 25 January 2015 - 19:38 .

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#10 Neil

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 19:54

As Hornby (through Arnold) have produced the Brighton Belle in n gauge, then I can see where the thought of British TT through Arnold has come from. All the arguments why Hornby shouldn't look at British outline TT could equally apply to continental TT, but they obviously can see a case for proceeding. It's an intriguing idea; I've just started dabbling in HO (Italian and Belgian) and I rather like the slightly more delicate proportions that a reduction of 0.5mm to the foot gives. I could see TT having that same sort of attraction. Given that there is no current UK TT rtr to fit in with I'd suggest that 1/120 scale makes more sense given that vehicles from overseas can be found on the UK network having travelled through the channel tunnel or previously on train ferries. I like the idea of a clean slate approach, and not building in the compromises and restrictions which OO has had to live with.


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#11 JBM

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 02:40

I'd personally love to see British TT done in RTR form. I'm more of a modern chap in terms of locos and rolling stock. So I think a Class 08, Class 37, Class 47 and Mk1s will be great to start off with.


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#12 Dava

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 03:51

Commercial RTR UK outline TT is very unlikely. Back in the 70's in my youth I modeled in TT, back then it was mainly Triang chassis with Bec whitemetal body kits & GEM track with wagon & coach kits from the sainted Ian Kirk.

When I see 3mm layouts these days the quality & accuracy of models is so much higher with etched, resin and no doubt 3D printed items. It will always be a niche scale but more satisfactory from a modeling perspective than 2mm scale.

Dava
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#13 Forester

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:51

I find myself looking seriously at N gauge every two or three years but the answer is always the same. No matter how much improvement there has been since the last time, usually considerable progress, N gauge just doesn't satisfy me. But if RTR TT were available I would move over to it in a heartbeat.

 

Scale is an issue peculiar to model railways. Other hobbies like model aircraft and ships have always come in a range of scales. Indeed new ones appear all the time. For model ships the traditional scale was 1 inch to 100 feet, 1/1200 (think Bassett-Lowke) or 1/600 for smaller vessels. No-one was bothered when the continentals came up with a (metric) 1/1250. The war-gamers decided 1/2400 was preferable but occasional series were produced in 1/1500 (sounds nice until you start to measure off official plans). Now there is 1/2000 and 1/1700 to muddy the waters. For model aircraft the old standards of 1/72 and 1/144 are joined by 1/400 and 1/200 and more every year.

 

In the days of scanning and 3D printing, models can be made in any scale by the flick of a switch. Given the current disregard for traditional scale by new hi-tech producers I think a small run of around-TT scale railway product is inevitable, probably by one of the successful new model producers, albeit perhaps new to railways.  Funding for it will come from the huge profits likely from 3D printing when that settles down. This leaves someone else to provide the track and accessories.

 

I'm sure it will be done. Whether it will catch on is another matter but for sheer practicality around-TT scale is hard to beat and increasing dissatisfaction with the compromises of 00-gauge and its main manufacturers would give it a strong start. I'd go for it.


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#14 JZ

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:57

My Father bought Tri-ang TT when it was introduced and ended up with a pretty extensive range. I always thought it was a good balance between scale and detail and if it had continued as an RTR scale, I would probably be modelling it today.


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#15 Hroth

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:09

There's no reason why rtr TT shouldn't make a comeback from a technical point of view.

 

Mechanisms can be made small enough using N gauge technology to fit inside British outline at the continental 1:120 scale ratio, and track is readily available on the European market. 

 

However, Hornby taking up the game which Triang dropped in the 60s?  Probably not, given the difficulties they're having sustaining OO gauge in terms of sustainibility of supply. One of Hornbys European arms might take it on as a toe-tester, to see if the UK marketplace is ready for such a resurrection, but I don't think its likely to happen any time soon.



#16 raymw

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:40

 

In the days of scanning and 3D printing, models can be made in any scale by the flick of a switch.

 

Please give details of the switch.


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#17 Dunsignalling

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:42

I find myself looking seriously at N gauge every two or three years but the answer is always the same. No matter how much improvement there has been since the last time, usually considerable progress, N gauge just doesn't satisfy me. But if RTR TT were available I would move over to it in a heartbeat.

 

Scale is an issue peculiar to model railways. Other hobbies like model aircraft and ships have always come in a range of scales. Indeed new ones appear all the time. For model ships the traditional scale was 1 inch to 100 feet, 1/1200 (think Bassett-Lowke) or 1/600 for smaller vessels. No-one was bothered when the continentals came up with a (metric) 1/1250. The war-gamers decided 1/2400 was preferable but occasional series were produced in 1/1500 (sounds nice until you start to measure off official plans). Now there is 1/2000 and 1/1700 to muddy the waters. For model aircraft the old standards of 1/72 and 1/144 are joined by 1/400 and 1/200 and more every year.

 

In the days of scanning and 3D printing, models can be made in any scale by the flick of a switch. Given the current disregard for traditional scale by new hi-tech producers I think a small run of around-TT scale railway product is inevitable, probably by one of the successful new model producers, albeit perhaps new to railways.  Funding for it will come from the huge profits likely from 3D printing when that settles down. This leaves someone else to provide the track and accessories.

 

I'm sure it will be done. Whether it will catch on is another matter but for sheer practicality around-TT scale is hard to beat and increasing dissatisfaction with the compromises of 00-gauge and its main manufacturers would give it a strong start. I'd go for it.

The reason scale is so much more important in railway modelling is that each individual vehicle has to work (gauge) and fit visually (scale) with others in order to produce a whole model, the layout. I can't think of any other modelling activity that requires this so rigidly.

 

Even slot car racers can run more than one scale if they make their tracks wide enough and scale constancy, whilst it may be desirable, is not vital in fields (e.g. aircraft modelling) where each model is generally complete of itself.

 

Tri-ang TT3 (3mm scale on 12mm track) actually suffered slightly greater compromises than British OO, so any revival would need to be on 14.2mm gauge to have any credibility as an alternative for those discontented with OO.

 

Such people already have a much easier escape route in the form of EM if they are really that bothered, with the advantage that the range of OO models they can convert outnumbers any conceivable TT start-up range a hundredfold.  

 

John


Edited by Dunsignalling, 26 January 2015 - 11:46 .

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#18 Forester

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 12:57

The argument is often put forward that to change a collection to a new scale entails huge cost.

 

But many of us have already completely re-equipped at least once since the rise of Super-Detail. I have almost nothing left of my old collection: Lima, Airfix, Mainline, Replica, Wrenn. split-chassis Bachmann, old Triang-Hornby, non-super-detail Hornby ...... all gone. Just a few old buildings remain. Even the track had to be changed to larger radius.

It was eBay that came to the rescue. I found I was getting prices for my old stock within a whisker of the super-detail new prices. In fact I made an overall profit (!) -  but I admit the Wrenn collection was responsible for that.

 

OK eBay is not what it was. It is more expensive to sell stuff and the big bids for ordinary stock are not there any more but I reckon if a true 3mm scale RTR alternative was available I could repeat the exercise. This time the Limited Editions (Exeter, Manston etc) would take the place of Wrenn in covering any shortfall.

I'm ready to go.........


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#19 Stevelewis

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 13:12

I  had  a  Tri-Ang TT layout  when  i  was  young(er)!!,  initially  I suppose   I started  to get involved in  the  scale  as  it  was  NEW!!  ( I also   had 00 also at the  time)  It  was  OK  but after a  few  short  yeas  the  range  was  quietly  dropped  and  that was  that,  I eventually diswposed of  my TT  and  If  I remember correctly  in  those days it  did not raise much  as  people   were not interested.

I appreciate that  this  was  not  the  end  of  the  scale,  3mm continued  with some  enthusuasm  some  readers  may  remember  Llong & Padeswood  ( station on  the  Chester - Mold Line)  which  my  barber  here in  Buckley  was  involved  with  that layout  was  still being  exhibited into  the  90s I believe.

 

The  big  snag  is with  anything  NEW being  launched is  that  something  already  established  usually  loses  out, so If a range of TT products was introduced that  could be used to build a  viable  layout, would  enthuiasts suddenly stop   using  the  scale  they were already 'in to' ( and sell it  off) and purchase  the  New items?  In which  case  the  manufacturer would  then  be losing  sales & revenue  from  the  existing scale.

 

Personally  I dont  think  that  UK outline TT would  prove to  be  all that  popular,  I think  the  investment  would  be  far  to  much  for  any company to  take  on,  but  I  could  be  proved  wrong.


Edited by Stevelewis, 26 January 2015 - 13:22 .


#20 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 13:22

If Hornby found themselves looking to branch out and invest in another scale for the UK market, I don't think it would be TT.

 

Once virtually dead, N-gauge has seen a resurgence and growing UK market over the last 8 years or so. Even though the market is much smaller than for 00, N is doing rather well.

I could see Hornby tapping into this established and growing sector (N), with its ready customer base, rather than venture into a very small niche corner of the model market. The risks would be too high to venture into TT, particularly when you consider the total market is probably relatively stagnant and being diluted by new RTR manufacturers/suppliers entering the fray.

 

Trying to create a new market requires heavy investment and the attendant risk if it doesn't take off. Would the potential volumes be worth that risk?

I'd say no chance.

 

 

.


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#21 Andy Hayter

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 14:33

As Hornby (through Arnold) have produced the Brighton Belle in n gauge, then I can see where the thought of British TT through Arnold has come from. All the arguments why Hornby shouldn't look at British outline TT could equally apply to continental TT, but they obviously can see a case for proceeding.

 

 

There is one very major difference between the continental TT and UK TT - and I am not referring to any potential difference in scale ratio.

 

Hornby TT would be a completely new concept for the rtr market.  The customer base would be zero and would need to be built up over years - I exclude those dedicated members of the 3mm Society who by definition have had to resort to scratch and kit building for virtually everything, and who may or may not be interested in rtr offerings.

 

On the Continent there has been a thriving TT market for many years - small against the totality of the model railway market, but nevertheless existing.  No need to sell the concept to the public.  The public already know and understand what is TT.  Based largely in the former DDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia (as it was) and Hungary, there are still many modellers who have been and are being served by firms such as Piko, Tillig, Zeuke and a number of others - including Arnold.  So Hornby/Arnold is actually not new to the market.


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#22 caradoc

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 15:11

I have modelled in OO since 1960-something. I did buy some N-gauge stock a couple of years ago but found it just too small so part-exchanged it. TT on the other had has always seemed a good balance between size and detail, and I would definitely be interested if RTR British TT was available.


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#23 MartinWales

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 15:35

This mirrors what the 3mm Society was looking at over a decade ago. Approx 2004ish they approached a major manufacturer about the possibility of tooling up for a sevrrClass 24/47 some BR Mk1 coaches and a 16 ton mineral wagon. Now the mineral wagon exists in their range moulded for them by Parkside along with over a hundred other kits, but the other two would have to be resin casted or etched.

 

Nothing more was heard about it possibly due to the financial maelstrom of 2008, but it would be interesting to speculate the success of a venture even if a major RTR manufacturer would just do the stock leaving other items (trackwork as mentioned in my earlier post above) to a range of other model manufacturers.

 

With a strong base since the demise of British TT circa 1968 in the short lived guise of Wrenn TT models, I believe there is a base of modellers out there possibly discontented with the larger scales or just those looking for more to 'bang for their buck'

 

Whether this is financially viable remains to be seen, but it was a similar situation in 1954 that prompted Triang to introduce TT as a commercial scale in the UK, and as a brand leader at the time other firms followed suit.  


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#24 Jeff Smith

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 15:46

Depending on your taste in railways - if OO is too big and N too small perhaps the growing PECO, Heljan, Bachmann RTR 009 range might satisfy.......
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#25 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 15:47

...Whether this is financially viable remains to be seen, but it was a similar situation in 1954 that prompted Triang to introduce TT as a commercial scale in the UK....

 

Martin, I've got some bad news for you.

It isn't 1954.

It isn't even the 1950's.

We're 60 years on and the world is very different, several times over.

 

The scope and opportunity for developing model railway markets is more restricted today.


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