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Showing content with the highest reputation on 26/05/21 in all areas

  1. Just a quick few words from me and mine. Haha, me and a quick few words are not really synonymous. Thank you to everyone who has given us support over the past 24 hours. The PM’s, emails, telephone calls but especially the support on this Forum has been fantastic. Might be a good time to mention our ‘noisy neighbours’ in Widnes. A lot of comments on here, for and against Hattons. Yes, as others have pointed out their physical shop is still closed. I believe the owner made a commitment to keep his staff as safe as possible. No one can dare criticise that ethos. What most won’t know is that during the time Hattons shop has been closed a banner has been placed at the entrance gate. The banner reads to the effect that the store is closed. Order online or by telephoning the Call Centre. It then reads again paraphrasing, The nearest model shop is Widnes Model Centre about ten minutes from here. Complete with our contact details including our full address. Hattons actually contacted me to ask if it was okay to put the banner up! Didn’t have to think about that for very long! Hopefully that will put a smile on your face and certainly worthy of a round of applause? Now that is a company helping their local model shop. Thank you Richard Davies of Hattons you made sure we have reached this point in the Covid pandemic.
    37 points
  2. It is probably worth noting that Hornby handle enterprise level business separately from independent retail business Tesco, Lidl, Argos and John Lewis are not going to be tiered... These are huge contracts. Hornby probably sell more flying Scotsman train sets to Argos than all sets of all descriptions to all the independent retailers combined. And do you know what, I’m more than happy for that to continue. If a chance purchase of a train set in a large multiple sparks an interest, then I can look forward to the potential lifetime of follow up sales. I got my first train set from a supermarket (a French one at that!) but it was my local model shops that benefited in the long term.
    31 points
  3. Looks like the local bike club has turned up! Oh dear, it looks like I’ve lost another door!
    28 points
  4. Well, first we had the decision to stop supplying Rails (frustrating many customer pre-orders). That led me to the decision to scale back Hornby purchases because my appetite was simply taken away, I found, by the bad taste in my mouth; I was simply not motivated to re-order elsewhere. It's stopped me overdoing it on the Pecketts for one thing! Now Hattons appear to have been demoted, again frustrating many customer pre-orders. I hope those who excoriated Hattons over cancelled pre-orders will feel somewhat abashed and place the blame where it truly lies. I haven't the patience for the platitudinous guff articulated in explanation for the tier system. It seems obvious from a mile away that this is a further way of sticking it to large retailers who have the temerity to commission their own models, which is evidently a weird and unattractive obsession of the current management that rather let's down all those fine and talented people in the Hornby workforce who, rather than engage in spiteful stupidity, simply get on producing some very fine products. Their efforts, and a fine brand, for me, are being needlessly tarnished by egregious management antics. Once again. Still, in the UK we're used to an integrity vacuum at the top, and, apparently, we don't much care.
    26 points
  5. Bradley Manor, no less, pulling the early morning passenger service races into the station
    26 points
  6. Once again Mike, you have distracted me from what l should be doing. In short, just told what Band we were in. Excellent points raised. We have had numerous poor quality websites. We have been unlucky in our choices. We paid £7000 for an all singing and dancing website. It was more like a broken record. So much so the Director gave us all our money back. That’s how bad it was! Not sure why but he left and set up his own business. The current website he donated by way of an apology. He became a friend. We have been operating with an online presence for more than ten years. Mail order to us is picking up the telephone or answering an email. We have one customer who does write to us and that’s refreshing that people haven’t forgotten how to write a nice letter. We have a Facebook page with nearly 7,000 followers. We post regular updates and orders come flooding in, especially on Friday evening when we put any new arrivals into stock. The vast majority of which are collected very quickly. I know we spend less than a £100 a year on advertising, all on Facebook. Proof of the pudding was during Lockdown. Notes stuck through the door, shop phone redirected to my mobile. Had to have it plugged in to keep the battery topped up. If l am being totally honest it was exhausting. It was practically 24/7 and often customers just wanted to talk. Especially those who were on their own. Financially it wasn’t great for the hours we were putting in, but it was something coming in rather than nothing. Blowing our our own Trumpet? Yes, because we were providing real customer service and at times it was real fun. Nothing can take away the pleasure of handing over a parcel with paints etc or whatever to a customer who hadn’t seen anyone for days, possibly months. You cant do that even with the best website in the world.
    24 points
  7. Photos of the Tyne and Wear Metro again for today. Pelaw Junction T&W Metro to South Shields 15th Aug 85 C7134.jpg Backworth 4004 Pelaw to St James 21st Feb 96 C20765.jpg Backworth 4035 Braathens livery St James to Pelaw 21st Feb 96 C20766.jpg Whitley Bay 4029 Pelaw to St James Feb 92 J12993.jpg Tynemouth Metro 4012 St James to Pelaw 24th April 93 C18594.jpg David
    23 points
  8. Meanwhile back over on the main line an express can be heard approaching
    23 points
  9. Just a few from last night New st Stafford Crewe same job again tonight
    20 points
  10. Unfortunately, I don't think the owner will ever be his old self again. The gentleman in question has been suffering declining health for several years and only just survived a near-fatal heart problem a few years ago. Had he not already been in an ambulance or with paramedics at the time, he would not have survived. It's good to know there is some interest in these kits. The kits are the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is as I'm charged with selling the RTR stock as well. Most of it appears to be models made in 2000-2010 or thereabouts. Lots of old dark blue with red line Bachmann boxes, plus other makes. I need to sort it all out and will probably then sell most to dealers. A further twist, which may yield some more kits, is that there is a self-storage unit that the family has yet to empty out. Apart from knowing it's full, they have no idea what is in it. It could be more models, kits or something else entirely. Another friend is in charge of sorting out the railway documents, such as working timetables and special traffic notices, which are going to a society. There are probably several thousand individual documents. All this has made me wonder what poor, unfortunate person will need to deal with all my stuff when I eventually fall off the perch. As I'm only 55, hopefully that won't be for a while yet.
    20 points
  11. Still cold, still cloudy. Tim arriving today though, so I must get on. We have the arrival of the Colchester-Glasgow, and a B2. The class would be more common at PN by now, as they had all moved to Cambridge a couple of years ago, but withdrawals had already begun.
    19 points
  12. My Grandfather grew up in a dirt floored shack on a farm in the Louisiana bayou. After they sold the best milk cow (yes, really) to put him through medical school he eventually became one of the first pathologists in Oklahoma, and after he semi retired built himself a modern woodworking shop in a new build victorian looking "garage." He made hundreds of things in there, such as my crib. I think from memory he had two lathes, one a very modern one and the other a giant ancient cast iron thing which I think was made in Sheffield. Both were wood lathes. I only remember the modern one operating, but I do remember pretending I was driving a deltic with the cast iron one as it had a handle for locking the carriage that looked just like the throttle on a deltic. I think the cast iron one did work as I remember one summer he and my other grandfather (the scouser) spent several days getting the motor to a good height as it was having belting problems. The motor looked like it had come from the bottom of a EMU. He died when I was 7, and two years later the majority of what was in the shop was sold off, bar stuff needed for maintenance of the property. We do have one significant piece in our garage, a enormous and very heavy carpenters bench he carved from a solid tree trunk it appears. Fantastic thing. I also have a wooden model of a bobcat or "skid steer" we made together. Had I been a few years older though, I would have made a valiant attempt to save one of the lathes, or some of the nicer hand tools. His chisel collection from memory was kept in a highly polished state in a velvet line drawers! ramble over. Douglas
    19 points
  13. I may be in a minority of one here, but I agree with what lies behind Hornby's tier system, that is not to say that I agree with what tiers any particular retailer has been put. Is Hornby not simply wanting to ensure that the large number of small retailers spread around the country actually have the stock to sell to their customers? If a few retailers, with a significant internet presence, manage to corner the market by ordering large numbers of popular items, possibly even the whole run of a certain item, and can guarantee to have those orders fulfilled, then they are in a position to undercut local suppliers due to the economies of scale, or the item simply not being available locally due to those particular retailers having secured all the stock. In the long run, this will mean that shoppers are drawn to those specific retailers and other outlets suffer a drop in sales, possibly leading to closure. This in turn forces more people towards those retailers with a significant online presence and the process starts again. Is Hornby not simply protecting the smaller local supplier by trying to limit the influence of the larger internet suppliers? They would be able to tell from the size of orders received whether the majority of sales are likely to be on the internet or by footfall. For example, if I was a model shop in Alligin (look it up, it's near Torridon) and ordered 100 APTs, I am sure that Hornby would know that I was going to sell them all on line and not to passing trade. If because of low overheads, I was able to sell at a discount and offer free extras, such as storage and postage, then I would be taking sales away from other shops. Would anyone, as a manufacturer, want to aid the destruction of their seller network by assisting a few retailers to dominate the market? Once the seller network is destroyed, those few retailers remaining can then exert pressure to reduce the price they pay for Hornby's products, and Hornby have little option but to agree, as there are no local shops to sell to now, leading to a fall in income for Hornby, a reduction in research and new models and, eventually, the closing of the company. Whilst I may not agree with exactly how Hornby are going around the process, and I do hope that there is a way that retailers can ask for a review of their tier placement, I can understand why Hornby feel the need to do something. I have no personal experience of selling but my dad was a director of a small publishing company, which he and a few friends started from scratch, and I remember his complaints about major booksellers exerting pressure for more and more discounts, credit facilities etc. which they were unable to refuse due to the influence of those particular sellers in the market place. This was in the days before internet sales when most people visited shops to buy books. In the end, they had to sell the company as they could not make sufficient income to afford to pay staff as they got older and less able to do all the work themselves. If certain retailers are allowed to get into a near monopoly position, then I am sure that exactly the same will happen in the model rail market. I can understand why those that are used to ordering from Hattons are disappointed by Hornby's move, I do order from Hattons and Rails if a product is not available locally, but I can equally understand why Hornby feel that they have to prevent a small number of very large retailers dominating the market, to the detriment of others. I apologies if my views upset anyone, that is not my intention, but any manufacturer has to protect their seller network if they want to survive. Regards Roddy
    18 points
  14. Very early start for today, but here's a quick pic. 33012 Passing over Yard Lane on its way to Dore End with a Short Train of one OAA and then mainly VAA's.
    17 points
  15. The 15 wagon Motorail flat train is now complete with 50 x 1:43 weathered and detailed cars. Most are from IXO models and the Corgi Vanguard range. As previously mentioned I file the tyres at the bottom so they sit better and given its winter the windscreen wiper marks are modelled too. I also added a working tail lamp using a CR2032 battery holder, resistor and a Dapol lamp. Looks a bit messy underneath but it works well. Couldn’t resist doing an ‘Italian Job’ flat with 4 minis and a Lamborghini Miura I’m hoping two Heljan 31’s will haul this lot, if not two tractors. I hadn’t realised how expensive these model cars are. After buying 50 I do now!
    17 points
  16. Hi everyone, We will have a full update on the 37s very soon but as intimated by another manufacturer in an official statement yesterday everything coming out of China is delayed due to post pandemic catching up. We will also provide updates on our other outstanding projects over the next couple of weeks and of course share them with you here. Cheers! Fran
    16 points
  17. Evening all Two weeks have passed so a little update. Last week some Celotex was acquired from Kevin's shed and it was positioned along the back of the platform and up to the existing Dawlishy bit. You can see the trains will disappear into darkness and off-scene. The reason for the darkness, the MDF 'blackhole' constructed one evening. View through the station showing the built up embankment along the back that will gain a stone retaining wall in due course. Looking the other way the embankment up to the start of the curve. The same view tonight after the application of a coat of Sculptamould. The coated embankment at the station. So not much but another small step in the right direction.
    15 points
  18. In the news .... Apparently Australians are being eaten alive in their beds by mice, for which my profound sympathies (to the Australians, not the mice, obviously), Belarus has an Evil Dictator (my friends in Poland have been hosting a trail of political refugees this week; they're not taking the 'plane, apparently), and God seems to be moving in a particularly mysterious way in that He is currently working through the Egregious Cummings to shine a light in dark places. Exactly the sort of incompetence I had inferred watching HMG from the outside is now confirmed by someone who was on the inside. Which reminds me, I must 'phone my GP and get my Confirmation Bias looked at. In the meantime, I received the second jab a couple of hours ago, and am only slightly dizzy! Or will be in a fortnight or so.
    15 points
  19. Nothing very exciting but I have been trotting along with the Platform surfaces and some bits and bobs. I shall start at the east (London) end and work my way down to the west end (Exeter). Catch/Trap Pits by the Road Bridge. I don't like the one I have done, hence the empty one, awaiting my decision on material to use. This is almost the east end scenic break. Part built Tavern Car (Modified for late 50s/early 60s version) for clearance duties. I have just completed the basic Platform ends here. A mixture of Basswood and Plasticard. Branch Platform end at the back; gap where the Down side Cutting side is; Down Platform that needs a little more infill to the left of the far Footbridge Step Support; I need to check my Pics for the actual space required. Foreground is where the Station Building is going to sit, either on the baseboard/in a hole 'in the platform' as requested of the builder, or on the Platform. If the latter I shall have to ensure not 'seating gaps' where building meets surface. Hence the temporary Sheet Wood and Card placements so I can check the 'fit' when I get the Building later this year. The footprint of the Building sits on the baseboard. Thanks Stu. The Foot bridge is almost where it will sit. The off set, central support, leaves room for the run of Point Rodding. The west end shows the barrow Crossing made from Coffee Stir Sticks and bits of scarp (and it shows sadly) and the Box sitting in its' nest/hole. Stu's lovely Store Hut on the Up Platform; the very long Public Footpath Bridge passes over just to the left of this hut! The Tanker sits approximately where the Tanker Pump-out and Washout Plants will be constructed. Up sidings 'Trap Drag' just to middle/bottom right. Busted Dapol UQ signal sits in it's place; will I mend it or just work out a manual way of ops? Who knows? That's about it for now and the main Station area work plan for now is more or less complete. P
    14 points
  20. As I reported yesterday, the furniture got shifted and the curtain rails were put up in the now completed spare room. Of course, nothing is ever totally straightforward, and whilst working on one of the beds I found that one of the lathes that support the mattress had fractured. I suspect that a child bouncing on the bed may have caused this to happen. Had the bed not been in bits, it would not have been noticed, so the complete set of lathes (connected together by some form of strapping to which they are stapled) has been removed for repair. If I have a suitable length of wood, I'll cut a new lather, although PVA glue and some cramps to hold everything together whilst it sets will probably make a repair that will last a few more years. I now have to get the 4 wheel trolley out of the roof as we are taking a collection of unwanted books to Attingham Park for their second hand book shop. This will be followed by a walk around the grounds. This afternoon, as the weather has improved over the past 24 hours, will see the lawns finally get a cut after about a month of rain (well it feels like that). On the subject of lawn cutting out next door neighbour's son cut the grass that separated the road from MH(F). He also came up our part of the drive and cut some of our verge. Unfortunately he also managed to mow down 50% of the hawthorn plants and cut down all the long grass where the snowdrops had been planted in March. Fortunately we bought extra just in case there were some failures, so they can be transplanted. But you do have to question why, knowing how I am fastidious about strimming and mowing, why I had put in marker stakes along the edge of the new hedge and why I'd left all this island of long grass, where the area around it was clipped reasonably short. As you can imagine, it will be me who has to dig out the clipped hawthorn plants and replace them with new ones. So that will be the best part of a morning's work. I'm turning into a right grumpy old git!.
    14 points
  21. That's precisely how Hornby would present the argument, but the converse is that they simply don't want any retailer getting/being big enough to stand up to them.... Get rid of them, make sure the medium-sized ones can't grow to replace them, and you can treat the rest exactly how you like. Moreover, putting a large, well-run and prosperous business like Hatton's under such pressure isn't without risk. Even before they arrive, it already seems clear that their generic 4-and-6-wheel coaches will be noticeably superior to the ones Hornby rushed to market in response to their announcement. It's also clear that the Hornby ones could have been rather better than they are, had they followed the normal development process. A competitive attitude is good for all, a combative one often backfires. Placing Hatton's in a position where growing their own-brand range becomes necessary rather than a business choice may not be altogether sensible. If nothing else, it will exacerbate the scrummage for scarce production capacity in China. John
    14 points
  22. The photographer takes his photo and quickly retreats as the next service train gently drifts around the curve heading for the 25mph post.
    14 points
  23. I remember once at Derby, when trains were running by the calendar, the announcer was just repeating what the controller was telling her in real time: "The xx.xx to London St Pancras will now depart from platform 4. First class accommodation is at the ar$e end of the train".
    14 points
  24. The vice on my main workbench belonged to my grandfather. I was chatting to the local priest one Sunday morning after church about model engineering and just as the local Mary Whitehouse type walked past I said something like, "Of course, the best vices are the old ones handed down in the family." The look she gave us was something to behold and I don't think she ever spoke to me again. Dave
    14 points
  25. I think everyone is reading a lot more into this than is the case... we only know what we have been told and what we have been told is what is shown on page 1 of this thread. Sales volume will be one of the factors in determining tier levels along with the others listed (this much was hinted at in the original communication in January) If Retailer sales volumes were plotted on a graph, the pattern would almost certainly have a hockey-stick shape, with lots of similar sized retailers, ramping up quickly to the biggest with some serious volumes We are probably somewhere on the lower half of the sharply upturning curve, bigger than perhaps 80% of the other retailers out there, but still miles behind the biggest retailers who are in turn a good 20 x or more bigger than us. And for the avoidance of doubt, T1 retailers do exist. We are one of them (and we are by no means one of the biggest out there)
    13 points
  26. I will try to bring the thread back round to a more uplifting tone. This is my latest ‘indulgent’ acquisition - a 7mm brass kit of an A3. I had been tempted by the Hattons examples but they seem to have a reputation for breaking down, so when I saw this on eBay I went for it and got it for less than a Hattons equivalent. It seems to me to be very well built and painted, although I suspect one of our more discerning contributors will tell me it’s in ‘mushy mint’ livery. The execution of the paint job is too good for me to consider repainting, so it will have to stay. It runs beautifully with a Portescap RG7 motor. The only fault I’ve found so far is the missing vac pipe at the front. However, I’m sure I’ve missed something, so if anyone can spot other tweaks required, please let me know. Also, if anyone has any idea of the provenance of the kit I’d love to know. The ad stated ‘Probably made by DJH’. It’s built to what I would call a professional standard but probably not DJH factory standard, so while it may be a DJH kit, I don’t think it was built by them. Andy
    13 points
  27. The interesting thing for me in the announcement is the explicit calling out about retailers doing their own competing products as putting you in tier 3; you don't hear of Coke or Heinz not prioritising volume to sell to Tesco / Sainsbury's because they sell their own brand products. The reason behind this is the supplier has capacity to service both markets and they are focussed on top line sales and margin. The key underlying thing behind this is that Hornby have supply chain issues which means they can't meet market demand so have decided to instead protect margin by saying - I would rather sell 100 items to 10 retailers at higher margin than sell 100 items to 1 retailer at a lower margin which is understandable.... however if you can make 200 and supply both markets (assuming there is 200 units worth of demand) then everyone is a winner. One also has to look at why Rails and Hattons amongst others decided to commission their own models as it is a huge commercial risk to them and others have failed in this space. If Hornby (and Bachmann amongst others) had been on top of their game a few years ago, reinvesting in upgrading their products, ensuring the supply chain could meet demand, would those retailers really have gone it alone? It does feel that the problem is of Hornby's making and some of the phrasing of the announcement feels like it adds fuel to the fire rather than give hope for the future. I recall in the James May program a clip where Simon K is talking to the Hattons guy as he is leaving Margate and the guy from Hattons said something like " Thanks Simon, we both need to be better at communicating, lets make sure we talk more going forward" and Simon acknowledged this which gave hope for a more collaborative relationship going forward which sadly does not seem to have happened.
    13 points
  28. Well, had chance to read all of this. Despite what you might think, we are very much in Hornby’s camp. Am l going to return all my items that l have treasured for so many years? No. If l wanted l certainly would, but as Binns Road has gone certainly not driving down to Margate. Family history of connections to Binns Road would have my mother and aunts turning in their graves. Thinking aloud, why was it the women in the family that worked there? Communication from Hornby needs work. I suspect they know that. Openness, honesty and integrity are big in our business. We expect the same, no matter who we are dealing with, be it customers or suppliers. We would like to get to the bottom of the Tier System, metaphorically speaking. It seems to us a tad flawed. As a family run business we are all in agreement. This is last year or so has seen challenges that l suspect none of us could ever have envisaged. As a model shop, we have to be grateful that we are still in business. We have seen too many businesses go to the wall and the jobs that go with them. Calls to boycott Hornby? Why would anyone want to see the company that has fulfilled our childhood dreams in various guises disappear? Tired now, still got work to do on a promotion. If l don’t get it right my wife Gill will have me in Tiers. Final word, who saw their first model railway in a Department store? I did.
    13 points
  29. Am I the only one wondering where Dominic Cummings went after leaving the Government .... !!! Al.
    12 points
  30. In that case, it sounds like Hornby is a perfect fit.
    12 points
  31. Jockeys are always amongst us, but they're so small we don't see them
    12 points
  32. When Jill came home yesterday my score on the JG marking system* was only par. Either I'm getting better at SP** or she is mellowing significantly. Dave * The Jamie Guest system of post-SWMBO absence fault finding. ** SWMBO pleasing - a little known ability of husbands to avoid hyper-critical assessment of performance during SWMBO absences.
    12 points
  33. Willie is less than half a mile north of Gloucester, just north of the GWR's bridge over the Eastern leg of the Severn, moored on the West bank. Following the caption, she was photographed soon after launch (1893), built by Francis Hipwood, presumably at one of these yards: Britain from Above, NLS. More Pre-Grouping Trucks'n'Trows from today's reading, for general interest: How light does a railway need to be before it floats?! Taken from a much larger photo of Chepstow's farcical developing shipyard in the early 1920s. The 'box trow'* is bringing in coal for use around the yard, distributed by rail. Both locos which worked the yard, an ogee Neilson and a Kerr Stuart well tank, are both preserved. Pleasing. *the hold is boxed in with timber, vs. the canvas sidecloths (on metal stanchions) of the open trows, as visible in the photo. Another zoomed-in corner of a larger photo. No prizes for guessing the location, but the dating is rather loosely 'before the Great War'. Further proof of Stephen's Theorem (that no yard is complete without a D299)? The boats are interesting too, not least because it's not far off the mix I'm aiming to represent: Fame is an up-river (small) 'open trow', perfect for my needs, Unity is a thumping great dumb-barge, but if you reverse the proportions so she's smaller than Fame and sharpen the ends up a bit then you end up with something like a Stroud barge (like Perseverence and Ila seen before). The relative size of the narrow boats ('long boats' in Severn parlance) is obvious. To complete the set*, the ketch ahead of Fame and Unity is a 'flush-decked' trow. *Of general types that is, but let's not get into local variations tonight. Closer to home: I'm still waiting on 'kin points (well over six months now), nothing is finished or fastened etc etc etc, but for the first time I've got a real sense of it as a layout. Getting there, come on now Peco!
    12 points
  34. I have never considered how much my model railway stuff is, to me it is priceless as it gives me a lot of pleasure. If when I am gone the vultures think they are sitting on a fortune it is up to them how the dispose of it and how much they can flog it for. Its monetary value to me while I am alive is meaningless and it will be more so when I am not around.
    11 points
  35. I've been doing a little digging with Hornby and it seems that that John Lewis space and staff support was provided for free, in return for the layout. JL sell a limited range of sets, but put the name in a prominent location, in addition to a huge amount of press and publicity. From this article in the Scotsman.
    11 points
  36. Some random ones for today Crewe North Junction, 21 April 1982 Douglas, Isle of Man, 21 April 1982. Edit - No! that's another one of Crewe North Junc'n, Douglas ended up further down the post. St Pancras, 20 Feb 1983 Marley Hill, Tanfield Railway, 17 Sept 1995 Edit - This is Douglas IoM
    11 points
  37. Turning? Dave
    11 points
  38. I posed these two to emulate a photo recently posted on the diesel hydraulics Facebook group. The camera is cruel, especially in N gauge. The link for the Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/BRDH19571979/permalink/10160797361614573/
    11 points
  39. I’ve tried this and either they don’t have what I want in stock, or completely ignore because I’m not male so I’ve given up.
    10 points
  40. Apologies for setting off a death-related discussion. it is important though that those who inevitably have to sort things out have some idea of what to do and whether things might have value. In the case I am assisting with, which is not a death, the family had absolutely no idea what might be important or valuable. Fortunately, I was able to help, especially regarding the railway documents, with the simple message that if it's old, brown or yellowing and looks a bit tatty, it's probably important and not to be thrown away. Similarly with all the model railway stock, there was some surprise when I mentioned some ballpark numbers about what it might sell for if dealt with sensibly, and that was an underestimate as there is a lot more stock than I thought there was initially. I'm writing this surrounded by boxes containing 38 maroon Bachmann Mark 1s for example. All are the older ones with ribbed roofs but the maroon livery was better on those. They are all boxed and look as good as new apart from one where the glazing has fallen out - not an uncommon problem and easily fixed.
    10 points
  41. Ah, but when Rails opened their new showroom most of the manufacturers, including some newcomers, were present - apart from anybody from Hornby. So maybe they don't have much idea about the nature of the new Rails showroom? (Not that it matters of course because in the event Rails walked away from Hornby and not vice versa and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm). That is an excellent point Roddy and one which I agree with in many ways having long condemned on here, and elsewhere, the deep discounters who for years distorted the model railway trade in Britain and created false impressions of price levels. (But note that past action on both trade and retail discounts by Hornby has effectively stopped much of that so give them their due in that respect). However if Hornby really do want to support local retailers why do they 'grade' somewhere like Widnes Model Centre in Tier 2? That gives the impression of doing the complete opposite. And it perhaps suggests further - undisclosed - motives in the Tier system which might possibly relate to volume? Doing that is of course, absolutely rightly, a commercial decision for Hornby BUT it hardly counts as 'protecting the smaller supplier' or protecting our 'local' model shops (where we still have one). If it is part of a commercial decision then say so - and don't dress it up as something else. Quite why Hornby have become so afraid of shops commissioning models, even to the extent of rushing their own hastily developed alternatives to market (e.g the Terrier) remains a mystery to me especially as a Hornby person years ago (and I paraphrase) dismissed retailer commissions as 'a flash in the pan that wouldn't last'. Why run seemingly scared of a 'flash in the pan' while at the same time helping yourself to their marketing skills and copying what they are doing or taking advantage of a shop's new release to revive a particular market thus enabling you to re-run some of your own older models at a lower price point (which, incidentally I think was a good idea)? The overall market has a particular size and until lockdown it was probably shrinking but it received a huge boost - 20%+ in the cases i know about (including one retailer who sells by mail order but not online, a good example there, during Lockdown 1. Some of that has continued, to the benefit of all in the market but there are increasing numbers of companies sticking their fingers in the cake to grab a share of it and some of them are actively seeking retailers. You won't compete with that sort of innovation and novelty unless you also innovate and produce something that will. sell and not clog your warehouse for years to come - in short you need really good market intelligence and the ability to see areas which you can tackle before others get there (but then don't milk those areas to death). Hornby has got, compared with others, huge funds to spend on development and ideally not waste on copying but to use those funds properly it has to decide which market areas offer the best return and then innovate and bring novelty to those areas. And those market areas might not be in hi-fi models which appeal to many of us. Once again Hornby seems to have become hoist on the petard of its 'big bang' annual announcement and closely associated ordering system for why else would it be cancelling retailer orders long after they have been accepted?
    10 points
  42. My wise old Dad used to say "Expect to live forever, plan to die tomorrow".
    10 points
  43. I should have thought we'd all had enough of tier systems. Having been stuck Tier 3 since August last year until a week ago, I find the idea rather off-putting! Recent history should have taught us the dangers of casually consigning Liverpool to Tier 3. But how soon we forget. This Hornby announcement smacks of management's Next Big Idea to get the company out of financial Queer Street; grandiose, over-complicated and ill-conceived, redolent of the Next Big Push that will break the stalemate of the trenches (or, more likely, simply prove to be another gargantuan effort to move General Melchett's drinks cabinet 6 inches closer to Berlin).
    10 points
  44. I keep a spreadsheet of all my model railway items, including price paid and modifications, including the make/version of DCC chips installed. My wife knows that I keep this up to date, and how to contact trusted fellow club members who could help her if it ever becomes necessary. All the RTR items original boxes are neatly stored and labelled too. It might sound a bit OCD but I see this as an inherent part of my hobby. Keeping track of stuff like this this has made me very aware of the cost of my indulgence, over the years it runs into tens of thousands of pounds spent, though the second hand value will be much less. Given her long-suffering acceptance and patience with my hobby, the least I can do is not leave her with a bewildering and frustrating task of clearing out my stuff, and give her a reasonable chance of recovering some of its value.
    10 points
  45. A little more progress on the 517 over the last few days ... The boiler handrail has been fitted, but before it could be secured in place there was the small matter of fabricating the handrail knob--lamp socket. A piece of 1mm square brass bar was filed down to be 0.75mm square, then a 0.3mm hole was drilled through near the end for the lamp spigot, then a bit further back a further 0.3mm hole was drilled perpendicular to the first for the handrail to pass through. The bit of bar was then transferred to the mini drill, and various escapement files were brought to bear to whittle the thing into the form required - a cube with a hole though it for the lamp socket, a ball with a hole through it for the handrail knob, and a 0.3mm diameter mounting spigot : The finished smokebox front handrail knob--lamp socket (not overly large is it?? ) The next objects of my attention were the outside frames for the trailing wheels. A couple of pieces of 0.006" nickel silver were sweated together, blackened with a sharpie and the required shape scribed on. Piercing saw and fine files were brought to bear before the parts were separated and soldered in place beneath the footplate (I decided that they would be better off as part of the body than part of the chassis). I had already decided to use a couple of the (relatively) new 3D printed GWR Tender Axlebox/Springs now available from the 2mm Association, but because the spring cups are quite vulnerable (as they extend below the frames), I elected to replace these with some small nickel silver turnings soldered in place on the frames (in the event one of the 3D printed spring cups broke away as I removed the part from the base plate that the parts are attached to). I've also added the Vacuum pipe along the footplate valance, and representations of the pipe fittings on the front and rear buffer beams, and the voids in the back ends of the side tanks have been plugged with milliput (I had purposely left the voids there until I soldered the handrail knobs in place as it gave me a way to get a fine pointed soldering bit in there to attach the knobs from inside the tanks). Rainstrips on the cab roof are simply bits fine copper wire added over long then trimmed back once secure. Today's project has been to fabricate the front sandboxes. These are basically a cuboid of solid brass, with extra bits soldered on. The lids are small simple turnings that I left a mounting spigot on to facilitate fitting in the correct place (via a hole) in the sandbox. The slightly trickier bit was the operating lever on the top of the sandbox, I decided to file up a representation of the mount and operating arm as a single piece from 0.018" brass, again with a mounting spigot that allowed it to sit correctly (in another hole) on the top of the sandbox. The holes were filled with solder cream, the parts inserted in their respective holes and a bit of 0.5mm wire was additionally poked into the bottom of the lid hole to provide a mounting spigot for the whole sandbox. Once a hot iron was applied the whole lot soldered up nicely (but rather messily). A piece of 36SWG phosphor bronze wire had an end bent over at 90 degrees, and once that end had been filed back so that it met the operating arm, it too was soldered in place on the side of the sandbox. The excess was snipped off and filed flush with the bottom of the box and there completed sandboxes were cleaned up with a scraper and fibreglass brush. One of the sandbox operating levers--mounting plate The pair of completed sandboxes after a degree of cleaning up. Finally, a couple of shots of the current state of play (the dome, safety valve cover, front sandboxes and buffer heads are attached merely for effect - they are all removable and won't be fixed until after painting) : I'm not happy with the profile of the safety valve cover so that will be remade if I can't correct it. Thanks for looking. Ian
    10 points
  46. You should see the size of the traps I've got to set.
    9 points
  47. My case rests M'Lud......
    9 points
  48. I can't imagine that this combination of a Royal Mail Red Class 128 and a NSE Mk1 BG taken in Manchester was a regular occurrence: [email protected] by Richard Vogel, on Flickr It's very modelable though!
    9 points
  49. Remind me. What happened to the Tri-ang of those days?
    9 points
  50. Excellent summation with a neat and succinct turn of phrase. One minor point though.It was Rails decision unilaterally to cut ties with Hornby last August. Maybe that decision was taken with some prior experience of their relationship with Hornby ( and there is evidence of that ) and a certain amount of crystal grazing of what was to come. In other words...jump before you’re pushed. It appears to have been an astute move on their part. Ironically,the beautifully designed and equipped new store coupled with superb online service should have put them at the top of the tree and a flagship for Hornby. They have effectively alienated the two biggest names in UK retailing. One is left with the simple conclusion that they can’t handle anything that smells of competition .That seems the undeclared part of their marketing model. Such a shame
    9 points
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