Jump to content




Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Should Hornby re-introduce TT ?

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




  • Please log in to reply
312 replies to this topic

#26 MartinWales

MartinWales

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 9,836 posts
  • LocationSunny Snowdonia

Posted 26 January 2015 - 16:01

Ron-I may be a glass half full kind of person and possibly an optimist!

 

First of all in 1954 we still had rationing, so a commercial decision then would have been much braver one to make than today with as you imply 60+ years of technology advancements-as mentioned before in this thread 3D printing could play a part in any possible future developments. 

 

As mentioned above 009 has recently become a similar RTR scale and unless you were able to build your own locos and stock, you would have been in a much the same situation.

 

Similar but not identical, but hasn't more than one major manufacturer taken the plunge?  


Edited by MartinWales, 26 January 2015 - 16:18 .




#27 Forester

Forester

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 873 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 16:03

Please give details of the switch.

 

Shapeways now does exactly that!

 

Printing models in HO, N and Z. Not perhaps yet as sophisticated as ours, but the technology is already here.


  • Agree x 1

#28 Joseph_Pestell

Joseph_Pestell

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,188 posts
  • LocationNorth Dorset

Posted 26 January 2015 - 16:08

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.

 

It is indeed a very different world.

 

On the downside, there is no longer the mass-market trainset volume to subsidise the modelling fraternity.

 

On the upside, modern CADCAM design and tooling have made it possible to produce models in much smaller batches and recoup development costs.

 

In making high-quality models, the latter can outweigh the former (look at all the new small commissioning "manufacturing" firms that have sprung up, here and in Europe and Canada). I think that it ought therefore to be possible to produce r-t-r British outline TT profitably. But only on the basis that it is to 1:120/12mm so that there is maximum use of common components (axles, wheels, track, scenic accessories, etc) with the larger European market. Arnold might want to design some of their European loco chassis carefully (e.g. not fill up the whole body with metal block) so that they can be used under a UK body in the future.



#29 Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,760 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 16:12

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


I'm not sure about that - there are new companies appearing, and more importantly new manufacturing techniques with the potential of bringing prices down and variety up.....
 

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.......


My point being that the RTR British standard gauge hobby is well served with the current two scales. Straying into 009 is not too much of a stretch as OO modellers will have plenty of 4mm items and could consider adding an 009 section or even building a new layout. In contrast N gauge modellers will have suitable mechanisms for use in 009 bodies and probably somewhere to run them initially......

#30 34theletterbetweenB&D

34theletterbetweenB&D

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 8,872 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 16:46

With N well established for smaller space modelling, chances for something RTR intermediate in scale between N and OO in the UK strike me as poor. It will be interesting to see how OO9 works out. I reckon it will be remaindered inside a decade, it won't sell enough to justify continuation; especially against the expanding choice in both OO and N.

 

Regarding TT I have fairly recently had the chance to see much of the Triang product range and operate it. Triang really gave it their best shot when compared to their contemporary OO productions: superior mechanisms, and some finesse in the body mouldings. The only real blooper I could see in the range was a four wheel mineral exactly unlike anything which ran on UK rails, everything else said 'scale model'. So it did get a fair trial, by being noticeably better than the OO product. How did it do on price comparison?


  • Agree x 1

#31 Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,760 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 16:58

Didn't the Triang TT range also include some US outline - or is my memory playing tricks?

#32 Phil Parker

Phil Parker

    Member


  • Administrators
  • 1,367 posts
  • LocationLeamington Spa

Posted 26 January 2015 - 17:01

Didn't the Triang TT range also include some US outline - or is my memory playing tricks?

 Not US - French outline.



#33 Vistiaen

Vistiaen

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 517 posts
  • LocationDenmark

Posted 26 January 2015 - 17:06

No



#34 woodenhead

woodenhead

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,148 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 17:09

N gauge was almost dead, Dapol entered with some nice niche BLT models and here we are in 2015 with a Pendolino months away.

 

Perhaps if a similar slant was taken in 3mm - either your basic BLT again or perhaps a Scottish theme 26/27/47 with Mk1 coaches and some basic wagons and you have the beginnings of a range.

 

Peco have just produced their first rtr uk outline stock and got Heljan to do the locomotive prompting Bachmann to enter so who knows what a niche 3mm range might generate.



#35 Phil Parker

Phil Parker

    Member


  • Administrators
  • 1,367 posts
  • LocationLeamington Spa

Posted 26 January 2015 - 17:10

With N well established for smaller space modelling, chances for something RTR intermediate in scale between N and OO in the UK strike me as poor. It will be interesting to see how OO9 works out. I reckon it will be remaindered inside a decade, it won't sell enough to justify continuation; especially against the expanding choice in both OO and N.

 

I've talked to retailers who say the Peco 009 stuff is "flying off the shelves" and that's without a RTR loco to pull it. I suspect that it will do OK as it fits in with the 4mm market so people will use it on the same layout. There's also the tourim factor - let's have a little railway like we went on on holiday - to help sales. Don't suppose it will be massive but then who would have thought prototype diesels would be on sale RTR a few years ago?

 

TT - you need a whole new layout, have to tool up an entire range in one go and how many people really want to ditch the OO for it?

 

Anyway, it's an excellent scale for those who like to make things rather than buy them to work in. There's reasonable trade support and plenty of kits already so nothing to stop a keen modeller having a go.

 

Dscf1725.jpg


  • Like x 2

#36 PaulRhB

PaulRhB

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,942 posts
  • LocationSalisbury

Posted 26 January 2015 - 17:34

Plus a decent track range from Peco for starting out.

#37 Dunsignalling

Dunsignalling

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,019 posts
  • LocationMilepost 154 3/4

Posted 26 January 2015 - 19:05

Just spotted that the N-word has at last emerged in this thread - Niche, which is exactly how any TT range would have to start out.

 

Insurmountable problem No.1 is that Hornby is not a niche operator and will never envisage themselves as one.

 

Insurmountable problem No.2 is that even if another manufacturer could be enticed on board, the cost of producing high quality models in small runs (almost certainly in the low hundreds to begin with) would lead to prices significantly above those that Hornby and Bachmann have been getting a lot of stick over. I'm afraid too many UK buyers calculate value on a "pounds-per-inch" basis for that to be helpful.

 

If that's not enough, I refer you all to the fate of the various attempts at launching r-t-r British HO over the decades - is there really any reason to think TT would do any better?

 

If you were in the business, would you invest in a market (albeit a competitive one) that visibly exists and can be quantified, or one that might and can't? Ask Heljan. 

 

If enough of you guys want it that badly, maybe you should consider commissioning a loco through crowd funding to test the water........

 

John


  • Agree x 4

#38 Forester

Forester

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 873 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 22:01


If enough of you guys want it that badly, maybe you should consider commissioning a loco through crowd funding to test the water........

 

 

Anyone launching New TT would play to its obvious strengths, the main one of which is the ability to put a really nice layout on a reasonable sized board.

 

So the first product would be a basic layout and a well-known complete (probably DCC) train, possibly a small goods train in addition, with a (free!) slot together board in sections with the layout and maybe roads/ fields printed on it for easy laying.

 

Make it extremely pretty. Give it a great name. Big advertising budget. First train-set. Most first-time Dads wouldn't worry about there being nothing further available just yet in the scale. It would be hugely attractive just as a single purchase. Perfect scale for kids, fine enough scale for Dads.

 

Plenty of toy and model manufacturers market single project products. Wouldn't interest Hornby/Bachmann of course but I think it would sell.

 

The secret would be in giving very careful thought to the rail quality, gauge, profile, points, so that if it took off it could quickly become the basis for a super-detail follow-on using the same layout with extensions, sidings, whatever to draw in the modellers.

I'd invest.......

....because the scale is just so right.


  • Agree x 1

#39 Dunsignalling

Dunsignalling

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,019 posts
  • LocationMilepost 154 3/4

Posted 26 January 2015 - 22:39

Anyone launching New TT would play to its obvious strengths, the main one of which is the ability to put a really nice layout on a reasonable sized board.

 

So the first product would be a basic layout and a well-known complete (probably DCC) train, possibly a small goods train in addition, with a (free!) slot together board in sections with the layout and maybe roads/ fields printed on it for easy laying.

 

Make it extremely pretty. Give it a great name. Big advertising budget. First train-set. Most first-time Dads wouldn't worry about there being nothing further available just yet in the scale. It would be hugely attractive just as a single purchase. Perfect scale for kids, fine enough scale for Dads.

 

 

Sounds lovely but unless it's very basic it would cost a least as much as the stuff that's already out there in OO.

 

Conservatively: Flying Scotsman £120, four coaches another £120, Basic DCC controller £80. Oval of track with a couple of sidings, a platform, station office and signal box, another £100 or so, expandable clip-fit system baseboard, maybe 4ft x 2ft 6 in 'starter' form, at least another hundred (even if you jack up the price of the rest to make it look "free").

 

Suddenly we're the wrong side of £500. You might knock a hundred off if you went for Railroad levels of detail but if you wanted to make it all "fine enough scale for dads" AND robust enough to withstand kids without shedding dangerous small parts, you could probably add a hundred.

 

John



#40 Dunsignalling

Dunsignalling

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,019 posts
  • LocationMilepost 154 3/4

Posted 26 January 2015 - 22:51

 

....because the scale is just so right.

I quite agree, it's a lovely size but not enough people thought so to save Tri-ang TT even at a time when there wasn't a well-established selection of N Gauge products out there catering for the space-starved.

 

John


  • Agree x 1

#41 Les1952

Les1952

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,465 posts
  • LocationNottinghamshire

Posted 26 January 2015 - 22:51

Having read this thread, and as someone who started out at age 11 in TT, I think that the market has moved on.

 

HOWEVER, there is a market in Europe for 1:100 scale on 12mm track that is large enough for ready-to-run models, and Arnold do make them.  I've almost bought an Arnold TT loco on eBay by mistake, not realising at first it wasn't N-scale.

 

On the Continent there exist quite a few examples of GM's type JT42CWR, in enough liveries to make a viable model perhaps.  This model would only take minor tweaking to make the UK version of the JT42CWR, otherwise known as the class 66. 

 

To me, that would be the cheapest toe-dipping option.  How likely?  I've no idea......

 

Les


  • Agree x 2

#42 Forester

Forester

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 873 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 23:18

Sounds lovely but unless it's very basic it would cost a least as much as the stuff that's already out there in OO.

 

Conservatively: Flying Scotsman £120, four coaches another £120, Basic DCC controller £80. Oval of track with a couple of sidings, a platform, station office and signal box, another £100 or so, expandable clip-fit system baseboard, maybe 4ft x 2ft 6 in 'starter' form, at least another hundred (even if you jack up the price of the rest to make it look "free").

 

Suddenly we're the wrong side of £500. You might knock a hundred off if you went for Railroad levels of detail but if you wanted to make it all "fine enough scale for dads" AND robust enough to withstand kids without shedding dangerous small parts, you could probably add a hundred.

 

John

No, you're talking Hornby super-detail prices there, John.

 

You'd launch with a couple of nice Railroad-level introductory (but sweet running) locos with rolling stock on a quality track with a quality DCC. You'd make a large number to bring down unit cost, make the whole package really attractive, advertise extensively then see what happens. It would be priced so the manufacturer would make a fair profit from the single project, assuming the majority sold and a small proportion remaining were sold at cost if it didn't take off. If it did excite interest you'd be ready to follow it up with the main event, some super-detail stuff for the Dads at whatever additional price was needed.

 

The whole selling point is that it's NOT 00, but more flexible and convenient because it's smaller, but not so small as to be irritating, as N can sometimes be.



#43 alfsboy

alfsboy

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,000 posts
  • Locationnorfolk

Posted 26 January 2015 - 23:29

I would go for it .Even at a Railroad level .Its fun and a sensible size .N is still a bit fiddly and TT is the perfect size .And its here in Europe so track and infrastructure is there .I would personally go with the euro scale and not bother trying to please a TT  fringe group  as it would moan  any way unless pure total scale down the last sigh   of a virgins blush .


Edited by alfsboy, 26 January 2015 - 23:30 .


#44 Dunsignalling

Dunsignalling

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,019 posts
  • LocationMilepost 154 3/4

Posted 27 January 2015 - 01:11

No, you're talking Hornby super-detail prices there, John.

 

You'd launch with a couple of nice Railroad-level introductory (but sweet running) locos with rolling stock on a quality track with a quality DCC. You'd make a large number to bring down unit cost, make the whole package really attractive, advertise extensively then see what happens. It would be priced so the manufacturer would make a fair profit from the single project, assuming the majority sold and a small proportion remaining were sold at cost if it didn't take off. If it did excite interest you'd be ready to follow it up with the main event, some super-detail stuff for the Dads at whatever additional price was needed.

 

The whole selling point is that it's NOT 00, but more flexible and convenient because it's smaller, but not so small as to be irritating, as N can sometimes be.

I was reckoning on Railroad/Design Clever + 25% to allow for the fact that everything would need to be tooled up from scratch in one go. No hidden margins provided by tooling that had paid for itself before the Railroad range was even conceived. "My" coaches may be a little OTT but the track and buildings are probably a bit on the low side. Also, "Quality" DCC isn't going come out even close to my £80 figure which is roughly what Bachmann's entry level controller costs.

 

As a one off there would need to be an absolute minimum run of 10,000 to have any hope of generating significant ongoing interest. Even at cost, that represents an investment of getting on for three million quid and I think 20,000 would be a more appropriate sales target if you really wanted to get established over one Christmas.

 

Moreover that wouldn't include the cost of the very heavy promotion needed to overcome the automatic reaction of the uninitiated that model + train = Hornby.

 

Sorry, but If I were investing that sort of money, I'd be looking for a venture that didn't resemble jumping out of a plane without knowing was inside my rucksack! :jester:

 

John



#45 Oakydoke

Oakydoke

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,325 posts

Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:18

Before wandering off into fantasy areas like, should Hornby do TT, shouldn't there first be a concentration on efforts to improve areas where the supply to the hobby is deficient, e.g. Ready to Lay track.

There are many other things that could be improved such as, better pickups and electrical performance, properly operating, independent lights with realistic levels of brightness, much improved close coupling mechs as standard, easily accessible decoder sockets (without having to remove loco bodies), if they're going to put in working fans (diesels) use a proper micro motor (£2) rather than a kiddies toy effect operated by a rubber band, better quality coach interior detail instead of a crude one colour plastic blob, suitable passenger stock to match the available locos etc, etc.

Edited by Oakydoke, 27 January 2015 - 10:21 .


#46 Titan

Titan

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,880 posts

Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:41

I wonder what would have happened if Your Model Railway Village was done in TT...



#47 PatB

PatB

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,781 posts
  • LocationPerth, Western Australia

Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:00

I wonder what would have happened if Your Model Railway Village was done in TT...

 

Ebay would have folded from lack of revenue.


  • Funny x 1

#48 Hroth

Hroth

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,488 posts

Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:04

I wonder what would have happened if Your Model Railway Village was done in TT...

Well, they would have tried to claim that the "special offer loco" had a "list price" of over 130 quid.  And that you would need a special controller too.



#49 34theletterbetweenB&D

34theletterbetweenB&D

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 8,872 posts

Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:53

I've talked to retailers who say the Peco 009 stuff is "flying off the shelves" and that's without a RTR loco to pull it... 

 

Everything new and different will typically 'fly off the shelves' at first, provided it fills some previously unsupplied want. Hornby's live steam anyone? It's the continuing sales in sufficient volume that's the challenge, and against the variety of stock presently available in N - let alone OO and the juggernaut that is HO - it will be much too expensive to get anywhere close to that variety quickly enough to build and maintain comparable sales volume with the new range. And the analysis will show the ROI as falling below what the longer established scales can offer, and so we stop.

 

That's not to say that OO9 and TT isn't desireable product or flawed in some way, far from it. This is the simple recognition of inertia in a market, very difficult to really disturb an established pattern. Had Triang started with 3mmTT rather than OO, then when H-D went under, I think it would be reasonable to surmise that the UK's model railway would be just as much an oddity today compared to the rest of the world: but in having 3mmTT instead of 4mmOO. It really is a very nice scale, big enough to work on, motors large enough to have the heat sinking required for longevity, small enough to pack significantly more into a given layout space.


  • Agree x 1
  • Like x 1

#50 Joseph_Pestell

Joseph_Pestell

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,188 posts
  • LocationNorth Dorset

Posted 27 January 2015 - 15:37

With N well established for smaller space modelling, chances for something RTR intermediate in scale between N and OO in the UK strike me as poor. It will be interesting to see how OO9 works out. I reckon it will be remaindered inside a decade, it won't sell enough to justify continuation; especially against the expanding choice in both OO and N.

 

Regarding TT I have fairly recently had the chance to see much of the Triang product range and operate it. Triang really gave it their best shot when compared to their contemporary OO productions: superior mechanisms, and some finesse in the body mouldings. The only real blooper I could see in the range was a four wheel mineral exactly unlike anything which ran on UK rails, everything else said 'scale model'. So it did get a fair trial, by being noticeably better than the OO product. How did it do on price comparison?

OO9 has the advantage that it is not an either/or situation with OO, you can have both on the same layout.


  • Agree x 1












Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: TT Arnold, 12mm gauge, 3mm scale, 1/120 scale, 1/100 scale, Blue Tooth, digital