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Nick-L

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  1. First, thank you for taking the time to reply and provide your current outlook on these projects. Would you mind elaborating on what you thought needed fettling on the much-anticipated 25? Thanks again for your response - it's appreciated.
  2. Very nice indeed. How long before these drop on to the door mat?
  3. With all these announcements and more scheduled at Warley, I have been contemplating a little wider analysis of model types could be started, admittedly covering my particular interest in OO gauge diesel and electric locomotives. I will admit I thought a bit before posting this… being as I have been a more of a lurker. Having thought a fair bit around recent developments and chatted a fair bit ‘offline’, I thought it worth a shot to see what others think about this. And with thanks to newbyford who was perhaps thinking the same way as myself: So, what started off as a pub table discussion about Accurascale’s Class 37 with a couple of mates over a pint has become more wide-ranging. I find the way the model market is shape-shifting absolutely fascinating. Those into aircraft construction kits, like myself, will find many parallels with new entrants coming all the time, and a fair bit of duplication to boot. Accurascale are clearly well resourced, undoubtedly enthusiastic, are full of optimism and have significant marketing clout (counting a PR professional amongst their ranks) with very eye-catching stands at Ally Pally and the NEC. They have picked-up where the Canadian’s left off it seems, after Rapido seem to have come to the conclusion that the UK was not paved with gold… With four AS/IRM locomotives announced (Deltic – Due Q4 2019; IR A Class – Due Q4 2019; Class 92 – Due Q1 2020; Class 37 – Due Q4 2020) it is a shame that two of these are already seeing some slippage and a third (Class 92), a significant delay. Still, those of us relying on manufacturer’s announcements are more than familiar (happy?) with long delays… I’m personally mindful of where this can lead having seen a large sum disappear with a now defunct company. Success breeds success and looking back at the early days of Accurascale they said project announcements will only be made when the models are only 10-16 weeks months away from delivery, that now seems to have shifted somewhat. The direct-to-market sale model also seems to have been re-interpreted. Maybe we should cut them some slack though? The pre-work on new releases looks great, and the HUO’s I have are certainly top drawer. More importantly, what will be the effect on the Big Four? There was a post somewhere that suggested that Bachmann might not be best pleased with recent developments. As Bjørge Lillelien might have said, the Barwell boys are taking ‘one hell of a beating’ as the information below bears out. I’d have loved to have been a fly-on-the-wall when they heard that their core diesel loco models (37, 47, 66) had all been announced by other companies. They are seeing core product picked off all over with Heljan taking a big chunk (47, 45, 25) and Accurascale taking on on two long-term popular sellers (37, 55). Hattons’ (66) will make a significant effect in the next few months. This must be especially concerning for those at Barwell because both Hattons and Accurascale will have models with numerous livery options and are currently developing and expanding their own retail networks to extend their market reach. Let’s also not forget that retailer commissions are also risk-free revenue that may be lost to Bachmann. There is, however, a protective defence being mounted, with several recent revamps having taken place recently or pending (20, 24/25, 40, 45, 42). Having had its large range chipped-away ineffectively by several new but very small entrants, my thinking is that Bachmann simply cannot ignore so many of its core products (popular diesels) to be rendered obsolete by bigger concerns in the immediate future. Will there be a fight back very soon, and at express speed, with a majorly revamped Class 37, Deltic or even a Class 47. Probably after a final big push of the existing toolings with an accompanying price incentive a la Class 66! Can they afford not to react? Surely, at least, they should try and make a race of it? Hornby are in a different position, having concentrated on steam locos of late. Many of their diesels are from their early-2000s purple-patch and are pretty good (older doesn’t automatically translate to bad). The Accurascale Class 37 could be a cause for concern at Hornby as it also provides the bogies for a certain Class 50… Could the Hoover be vulnerable (see below also)? Their electric locos are being picked off (admittedly these were very old tooling) with only its hold on the Class 87 tightened due to last year’s all-new model. However, the Margate team have always said they want core items in the range that have longevity (the explanation given for the Class 08 duplication way back) so who would bet against them having a bash at a decent Class 37 or 47 on January 6th. Both of these have a long Tri-ang/early-Hornby sentimental heritage which will help with the marketing, not that they need it with such a strong brand name. As someone else on here put it, I cannot help thinking the timing of the Irish Class 37 reveal was unscheduled and seemed a bit pre-emptive – could this be the real reason? The news was the worst kept secret in the diesel modelling community due to a lot of gossiping. The Danes – Heljan - have been prolific in recent years and have become even more active in the last few months with an incredible number of announcements in both OO and O gauges, all heavily promoted by their agent in the UK. They are not afraid of bold duplication or going up against Bachmann as shown by the recent big announcements (47, 45, 25) which sees them explore a more competitive market than the odd-balls they were previously fond of. They also seem market aware with several protectionist revamps taking place (86, 33) and minor rejigs to other classes to keep them fresh and off anybody else’s radar. The new items seem to be making use of O gauge development work (research and CAD) to sensibly save time and money. What have they got in the senior scale that could make major impact in the OO market? 37/4 or 50 anyone? Dapol have ramped-up production in recent years and are spread across three gauges. In OO, their Class 68 is impressive and other items are of recent parentage are pretty accurate if not the most reliable of performers. They seem to have enough on their plate with the Class 59 coming to fruition and the Danish challenging them in O gauge. The in 7mm scale Class 66 must be a very big project for them and the attraction of better margins in this scale may mean a scaled-up Class 68 could be on the cards. The Chirk OO range seems safe from threat for the time being - I suspect they are glad to be keeping a low-profile in the current melee. I do expect the dual-mode Class 88 sooner or later, though. There is an awful lot of planned projects here (with more to come). Will it all arrive? On time, very late or at all? Can we afford it all? There are some mighty big log-jams heading our way. For instance, Accurascale’s Class 37 and 92 will now arrive at the same time: Q4 2020. Is this strategy sustainable in the light of DJM, etc.? Are the sales sufficient to support so much duplication? Maybe they are, noting that It is common for the same loco to be available from several different manufacturers in Europe and the US. Perhaps, somebody else can take up the challenge to produce a similar body of work for steam and units. I must admit that much my info is from memory so dates may need changing/correcting in the table below. I apologies in advance for any errors or omissions. Maybe the Mods might want this long piece to move into general discussions if this isn’t the place? Bachmann Class Superseded by 03/04 Bachmann revamped 2012 08 *Hornby 2010 20 Bachmann revamp 2020 24 *SLW 2015 + Bachmann revamp 2020 25 *Heljan 2020 + Bachmann revamp 2020? 37 *Accrascale 2020 40 Bachmann revamped 2014 42/43 Bachmann revamped 2015 44/45/46 *Heljan 2020 Bachmann minor revamp 2020 47 *Heljan 2020 55 *Accurascale 2019 57 (Overtook Heljan in 2008) 66 *Hattons 2019 70 New in 2013 85 New in 2014 90 New in 2019 (targeted Hornby) DP1 New in 200? 10000/1 New in 200? Hornby (recent) Class Superseded by 08/09 New in? (targeted Bachmann) 31 New in? (replaced Lima) 43 HST New in? (replaced Lima) 50 New in? (replaced Lima 56 New in? (replaced Dapol) 60 New in? (replaced Lima) 67 New in? (replaced Lima) 71 New in 2016 73 *Dapol 2017 87 New in 2018 (replace Lima) 91 *Cavalex 2020 90 *Bachmann 2019 92 *Accurascale 2020 Heljan Class Superseded by 05 New in 2015 07 New in 2018 14 New in ? 15 New in ? 16 New in ? 17 New in ? 23 New in ? 25 New Model 2019 (targets Bachmann) 26 New in ? 27 New in ? 28 New in ? (Hattons) 33 Heljan revamp 2014 35 New in 2006 45 New Model 2020 (targets Bachmann) 47 *Bachmann 2012 + Heljan revamp/respond 2020 (targets Bachmann) 52 *Dapol 2014 57 *Bachmann 2012 + Heljan revamp/respond 2020? 58 New in ? DP2 New in ? Falcon New in ? Lion New in ? Kestrel New in ? 76/77 New in 2013 (Olivias) 86 Heljan revamped 2019 Dapol Class Superseded by: 22 New in 2015 21/29 New Model 2019 (targets old Hornby) 52 New in 2014 (targeted Heljan) 59 New Model 2020 (targets Hornby RR) 68 New in 2017 73 New in 2015 (targeted Hornby RR)
  4. Great to see this class being re-done...long overdue.
  5. Hello first post on the forum (I shall have to introduce myself at some point!). Also Interested to see how this progresses. I am doing a similar conversion at the moment and my package of Penbits bits are in the post (to add to the various Brassmasters and Shawplan/EE parts I have stockpiled). Pete Johnson was kind enough to exchange a few emails on this topic with me last year and I have just ordered a back issue of the relevant RE with his article in it. I am using a model from my modelling youth that spent the best part of 25 years in a box and it is very much something I'm pursuing out of nostalgia (as well as it being a nice little modelling project). You have given me pause for thought around some further additions to the bottom of cab front that I need to make. Perusing David Clarke's Class 24/25 book last night also indicated that there is more to the lower body sides than a casual glance would suggest. One area I am in the process of tackling are the mods to the roof panels and various exhaust ports. I have made a start on this and have fitted Brian Hanson's rather nice replacement fan grille but still have quite a bit to do elsewhere. I would be interested in seeing some better reference photographs (I have been relying on Brian Daniel's site and only have my own photos of a different Cl. 25 variant to the one I’m modelling taken while at Grosmont last year). So I’d be interested in seeing how you tackle that.
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