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  1. Agree Chris - Can there be a sadder epitaph to anyone than 'he mean't no harm', or equivalent? We need people who tell it like it is, and Adrian certainly did that!
  2. It is with great regret I must report the passing of Adrian Swain earlier today. He had battled long and hard with cancer in recent years. I first met him in 1971, and a little later in my father's model shop, as he used to stock Adrian's 4mm kits, right from when he first started out as a manufacturer. His name was known to me before this however, as I enthused over an article in the October 1965 Model Railway Constructor on detailing the first two vehicles for his parcels train. I was 13 at the time and read the article on a bus, travelling home from a hard day's trainspotting at Bournemouth Central! In recent years, after he had placed his business in suspended animation due to his health, and we would have periodic two hour phone calls. The first hour would be about models and the second about politics and reptiles [in which we both shared an iterest]. Although banned from this forum for a period in recent years, he takes with him an almost unrivalled knowledge of some areas of our hobby, particularly perhaps, that of freight stock from a certain era. No doubt details about the procurement of his ranges of kits will appear on the model forums in the coming weeks and months, and in this regard I will have an announcement of my own to make reasonably soon. Meanwhile, a very sad day for many of us. David Parkins Modern Motive Power
  3. As I posted on another forum, this is very sad. Fred was indeed a pioneer of the etched kit - that went on to have such a large effect on our hobby over many years. As a professional carriage builder in the late 1970s I remember always being pleased if a commission included the construction of a Mallard kit, as you knew it was of sound design and would go together well. My sympathies, David Parkins
  4. I fully agree. The newly refurbished shortened GWR sets are the best looking ones I've ever seen, and make a shorter train. To lend some balance however, when these kits were first introduced in 1985 the coaches were £37.50 each and the power cars were £45.00. The cost was a little higher by the time RJH purchased the range, but all they did was cast from submasters and squashed the bodies during forming - and raise the prices over by over 200% for the priviledge. Neither the power cars or the coaches [either as Mk.3 HST or Mk.3a Loco Hauled] sold then, and I'm sure they wouldn't sell now! Whereas locos like the 47 sold well over 500 copies. Mind you if there was a state of the art refurbished GWR one on the market now, I'd buy one like a shot, as I do now have the space. David Parkins
  5. Fully agree - going to have to do repaints both to standard GBRF and the Europort version + no DB Schenker Red/Grey! Also an idea to sell the applicable ones without numbers. In a way an unpainted version would be very useful, given the sheer amount of schemes they carry. Must admit I do like the Biffa livery though!
  6. Without some modern items [and even Class 66s have been around a long time now] O gauge has no long term future. We surely have enough stuff from nineteen hundred and frozen to death. I loved steam, and grew up with the last years of it, but today's scene is every bit as interesting to me. Saw a Class 66 a few weeks back hauling ONE four wheeled Dept. wagon - train length not much more than a 14xx tank & an autocoach! There is a prototype for everything. This is the best news O gauge has had in a long time IMHO.
  7. Hang on in there Jeff! And perhaps, especially given your current circumstances, others might wish to retract/modify their comments - both on this forum and on the other one. I agree with Miss Prism - we shouldn't be kicking anyone off of this forum [or WT for that matter]. There is too much authoritarianism in the world as it is these days! It gets too easy for people to 'fire from the hip' on these forums. A little bit of tolerance is now required please. David Parkins
  8. Yes - I do take your point - but around six-hundred kits, sets and packs over four ranges do require constant stock monitoring and renewal - especially when they range in price from £1.50 to over £300.00. Lots of casting too!
  9. Thank you for a very interesting post. Perhaps I can share one from a manufacturer who took a very different route but ended up with possibly similar results! Years ago we reached a point where we were spending so much time answering phone calls and responding to emails and doing shows, at the expense of a significant amount of product-creation work, so we took the decision to change more or less completely to being an online company, including giving up shows. We also serve the military modelling/aircraft market and so more than half of our orders were going overseas anyway. To do this successfully, it is in my view absolutely essential that you link your stock levels to your web site, so that you never get orders for something you haven't got. We also did not want to operate a back-order system - hassle for both the supplier and the customer IMHO. We then added the shopping cart facility and a virtual card terminal + PayPal facilities. All this has costs of course, and we have to endure quarterly scans by the card payment provider's agent, in order to test the integrity of the site. It is not an overnight job to set it all up and there is quite a 'pain barrier' to go through + you have to have all your stock packed and ready to go and carry higher quantities of it, since we try to send out all orders with 24 hours, or 48 at the most. Try keeping an American waiting for several weeks for his order and see what kind of reaction you get! However - it worked. The phone calls virtually stopped overnight and most of the emails too. We obviously answer any enquiry emails, but with most things explained on the web site, we don't get many of those either. All emails that relate to orders placed are fully automated and the web site knows the weight of every product, adds it up at checkout and works out the postage when the customer enters their shipping country. At that point it will also deduct the VAT if it is a non-EU sale. I think we made this decision based upon our own preferences for online shopping. It is just so much easier if you can 'add to basket' and go to the check out! Also, as has been said on this thread, increasingly people will insist on shopping this way. The thought of writing out a cheque and posting it off would frighten most of them to death. I will do it for something I really want, but it always makes me pause to see if I really want the item that much. Anyway, the outcome is possibly not that different, in that it doesn't make the market for specialist items and kits any larger! But for this very reason, you do not want to do anything to stand in the way of making it easier for the customer to place an order! The one positive outcome of running the business through a stock-level linked online store though, is that it completely avoids the risk of having an RMWeb thread like this one devoted to you. Attention you do not need! David Parkins Modern Motive Power www.djparkins.com
  10. But by the same token it doesn't stop the large steam loco types such as 9Fs, Duchess, Brittania, King and Castle being very popular in 7mm!
  11. But is a loco introduced in the mid-1970s modern modern image? IMHO it is not even that modern if you really get down to it. And If to most 7mm modellers it is, then I'm afraid it only illustrates just how stuck in the past 7mm scale is. I suspect modern modern image might be defined as any diesel that was not in green livery or that initially worked alongside steam in revenue-earning service. If that is the case, then I fear for the longer-term future of O Gauge. DJP
  12. Wise choice. What a book! The first section 'Under Steam to Devon' must rank among the greatest-ever pieces of prose about railways. Driver Pistell calmly rolling himself a cigarette as 35014 gathers speed! Great stuff. Regards David Parkins
  13. As has been said elsewhere in relation to the Britannia kit - the MMP steam loco kits were highly-detailed for their time but would not hold up against the MOK 9F [one of which I own]. They were pre-CAD, and are kits from a very different era. They ceased to be part of the MMP range in 1992. Go for the MOK kit! David Parkins/MMP
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