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Andy Y

C&L Finescale

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...and appears to be cheaper than the injection-moulded components. I admit to having a bit of a turn when looking at the prices of some of the top-grade full turnout kits; I'm not a track builder, so I shouldn't really be worrying but, if I were, I'd certainly be giving serious thought to the prices.

Ivan,

 

they are the most accurate trackwork kits on the market, and probably costly to produce in low volume.

 

You can produce something that works as well much more cheaply but it may not look quite so good and will take a little bit more time. Arguably, other than for the most fastidious, that wouldn't matter. 

 

Rivet and ply has its advocates and has some small benefits in terms of strength and "adjust-ability".  Building accurate plain track from ply sleepers and plastic chairs to model a specific prototype is also easy.

 

I find it ironic that people get so excited about the accuracy of the latest RTR products and then happily run it on toy train like, out of the box, track. The attached shows the only significant trackwork I've ever built, using ply sleepers, C&L or Exactoscale plastic chairs and some rivets in "high stress"  locations. Provided the components continue to be available, then the low cost option will enable us to produce some reasonable looking models at reasonable costs. What is shown in the photo probably cost less than it would using PECO products.

 

post-1191-0-18175900-1488817422_thumb.jpg

 

Jol

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They are indeed good if very expensive but do have all the 'bells and whistles' if one requires detail to the nth degree. l have built a couple and they have turned out well but we do not require the absolute fine detail. Our main need is for consistent performance all the time. l suppose that one has to think about the 'cruel' lens nowadays but at shows faultless running is more important than fine detail considering that they are seen from 'normal viewing distance'

 

My preference is for copper clad construction with small slivers of brass cut to fit under the rail allowing C & L or Exacto chairs to be cut and cosmetically glued. For me this method produces alterable (if necessary) and 'bomb proof' turnouts. I guess that one of these days l should try out the ply and rivet method. I have the rivets etc but life is too short!

 

 

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...and appears to be cheaper than the injection-moulded components. I admit to having a bit of a turn when looking at the prices of some of the top-grade full turnout kits; I'm not a track builder, so I shouldn't really be worrying but, if I were, I'd certainly be giving serious thought to the prices.

 

Ivan

 

Like all things when you buy a kit in a bag with pre-formed items things will get expensive. On the other hand making these parts yourself will reduce the parts to a fraction of the cost

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They are indeed good if very expensive but do have all the 'bells and whistles' if one requires detail to the nth degree. l have built a couple and they have turned out well but we do not require the absolute fine detail. Our main need is for consistent performance all the time. l suppose that one has to think about the 'cruel' lens nowadays but at shows faultless running is more important than fine detail considering that they are seen from 'normal viewing distance'

 

My preference is for copper clad construction with small slivers of brass cut to fit under the rail allowing C & L or Exacto chairs to be cut and cosmetically glued. For me this method produces alterable (if necessary) and 'bomb proof' turnouts. I guess that one of these days l should try out the ply and rivet method. I have the rivets etc but life is too short!

 

I would by pass the ply and rivet method and go straight to plastic on plastic timbers, just as bomb proof

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I would by pass the ply and rivet method and go straight to plastic on plastic timbers, just as bomb proof

But without the ability to make minor adjustments as you can with ply and rivet or with plastic on ply.

 

So far I've found the plain track with plastic chairs "solvent" glued to ply sleepers perfectly robust (on an exhibition layout). Points were made with a mix of rivets at specific locations such as under the nose of the vee, etc, with plastic chairs elsewhere.

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Are you saying that the societies should manufacture the components themselves, or store and resell stock from other manufacturers?

 

I'm not sure quite how that would work when the 4mm range is mostly (except for items with pre-set check-rails, track bases and the paper templates) equally applicable to all three common gauges - would DOGA, EMGS and S4Society have to form some sort of consortium to supply them?

 

If one is to try to do finescale track modelling, I don't think it should be a requirement that one joins a society to be able to obtain parts. 

 

Edit: forgot about the track bases

 

no I meant the various societies should ensure that such components are sourced from the original suppliers, I doubt C&L were  drawing track or moulding chairs.   but the societies have the buying power and the financials to order in larger quantities 

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I'm not clear what is the problem that the last few posts are trying to solve?

 

The press release from C&L says that the new owner is familiar with and will be concentrating on the trackwork items. So the chairs, etc., will continue to be available as now. More problematic is the future of the Carrs range of specialist fluxes, etc.

 

What is not easy to answer is which will be the more important in future? A slick online mail-order operation, or a workshop and skills to maintain the tools and develop new products? It is difficult to have both as a cottage industry. While operating a milling machine you can't just leave it to answer the phone or dash to the post office with an armful of jiffy bags. Been there, got the T-shirt. 

 

Martin.

 

are you seriously suggesting that a business of whatever calibre, would have no online presence .........???. seriously , business is about sales , end of 

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Are you saying that the societies should manufacture the components themselves, or store and resell stock from other manufacturers?

 

I'm not sure quite how that would work when the 4mm range is mostly (except for items with pre-set check-rails, track bases and the paper templates) equally applicable to all three common gauges - would DOGA, EMGS and S4Society have to form some sort of consortium to supply them?

 

If one is to try to do finescale track modelling, I don't think it should be a requirement that one joins a society to be able to obtain parts. 

 

Edit: forgot about the track bases

 

i see no reason , why someone building finescale track should not have to join , it they need access to certain components. 

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The problem with Scalefoursoc (double the membership of 2mm scale Association, but difficult to know what proportion actively build track) is that there is still a strong following for the original soldered ply and rivet method, which is what the society sells. The newer plastic base and chair method supplied by C+L (own brand and Excatoscale) which is similar to the 2mmFS stuff, contains a lot of components which would serve for EM and 00 as well, so making and supplying the chairs, frogs, crossings, blades, in-house doesn't make economic sense as only the track bases are particular to P4, and the society hasn't the resources, or the purpose, to supply the users of other 4mm scales. To see the DOGA, EMGS and Scalefoursoc entering into an economic venture partnership seems unlikely and fraught with potential problems.

 

firstly ply and rivet was a option because at the time there was nothing else, except copper clad, but in reality it was merely a form of copper clad on a slightly better looking sleeper. 

chaired track is " where its at " today ( as PECO recently discovered ) and nothing beats it for realism,  If 4mm modelling isnt to decend into a process of opening RTR boxes, we need to do more to endure continuity of specialist parts.

 

There is no reason in this world a society like Scalefour cant stock and supply specialist parts to any modeller that wishes to join it .  Equally the addition stock items in track to support either EM / 00  ( in c&Ls case , this amounts to a few tracks gauges and a longer slide chair ) would be of no consequence to the Society 

 

 

 

ociety hasn't the resources, or the purpose, to supply the users of other 4mm scales.

given this amounts to a handful of different parts ( 2-3 ) , a fail to see this as an issue . what I am talking about is Exactoscale chairs , the vast majority are 00EMP4 ( or simply not available for 00) a few track gauges , all the rest is gauge independant , much of which the Society already supplies ( sleepers, rail etc ) 

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sharris, on 06 Mar 2017 - 12:07, said:

If one is to try to do finescale track modelling, I don't think it should be a requirement that one joins a society to be able to obtain parts. 

 

 

Why not ? the alternatives are that either I as a society member provide the initial capital up front to supply the shop and keep it stocked (via my membership fees) or that a private individual provides the initial capital to supply a shop and keep it stocked, on the off chance that you might want to wander in occasionally and buy a packet of chairs. That doesn't seem fair either.

 

The Scalefour Society clearly show that selling to the public can be viable but it doesn't follow that the other societies should have to follow suit. All the scale and line societies began because like minded individuals got off their a**es and did something about something  they cared deeply about. It's entirely up to them whether they share that with outsiders or not, and how.

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Why not ? the alternatives are that either I as a society member provide the initial capital up front to supply the shop and keep it stocked (via my membership fees) or that a private individual provides the initial capital to supply a shop and keep it stocked, on the off chance that you might want to wander in occasionally and buy a packet of chairs. That doesn't seem fair either.

 

The Scalefour Society clearly show that selling to the public can be viable but it doesn't follow that the other societies should have to follow suit. All the scale and line societies began because like minded individuals got off their a**es and did something about something  they cared deeply about. It's entirely up to them whether they share that with outsiders or not, and how.

And that is precisely why universal track products should not be supplied by societies only.

 

I am a supporter of societies (I help run one) but they should never be the only source of products to the hobby.

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As someone who has inside knowledge as to what is going on at C&L I would like to say that all the speculation is wide of the mark when it comes to who the new prospective owner might be.  Read the website announcement properly and don't just take in the 'spin'.  It's by no means a done deal yet.  None of the existing staff will be engaged and have all been given notice of redundancy.  Rather a kick in the teeth having the rug pulled from beneath them despite all the hard work they have done keeping the business ticking over during Pete''s absence.  Other than that I am not at liberty to say until the new owner finalises negotiations and declares his/her/their hand.

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i see no reason , why someone building finescale track should not have to join , it they need access to certain components. 

 

There are tax advantages to societies selling ONLY to members. If they want to trade normally like a shop, that's fine, but providing a service to members is cheaper and easier which is why that's how most of them work. To be honest, once you desire finescale track, I'd have thought that joining a scale society isn't a big problem.

 

I'd also be wary of the idea that all the scale societies are sitting on vast sums of cash. Some may be but others couldn't hope to raise the funds to start stocking large quantities of track, especially in 4mm scale.

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As someone who has inside knowledge as to what is going on at C&L I would like to say that all the speculation is wide of the mark when it comes to who the new prospective owner might be.  Read the website announcement properly and don't just take in the 'spin'.  It's by no means a done deal yet.  None of the existing staff will be engaged and have all been given notice of redundancy.  Rather a kick in the teeth having the rug pulled from beneath them despite all the hard work they have done keeping the business ticking over during Pete''s absence.  Other than that I am not at liberty to say until the new owner finalises negotiations and declares his/her/their hand.

While redundancy is not a nice thing to happen to anyone, it is not a "kick in the teeth" but the reality of trying to sell a business on. 

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I doubt C&L were  drawing track or moulding chairs. But the societies have the buying power and the financials to order in larger quantities 

 

Almost certainly C&L own the moulding tools. It's possible they are their most valuable asset. They will be selling them, or making them available, to the new owner.

 

The societies can't order any mouldings from the tools without access to them.

 

Martin.

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It's by no means a done deal yet.

 

Maybe not, but the press release is very positive:

_________

 

The owner of C&L Finescale Modelling Ltd, Pete Llewellyn said:

    “I am very pleased that having been looking for a buyer for some time,

     it has been agreed that the business will carry on under new ownership."

_________

 

From: http://www.finescale.org.uk

 

Martin.

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As someone who has inside knowledge as to what is going on at C&L I would like to say that all the speculation is wide of the mark when it comes to who the new prospective owner might be.  Read the website announcement properly and don't just take in the 'spin'.  It's by no means a done deal yet.  None of the existing staff will be engaged and have all been given notice of redundancy.  Rather a kick in the teeth having the rug pulled from beneath them despite all the hard work they have done keeping the business ticking over during Pete''s absence.  Other than that I am not at liberty to say until the new owner finalises negotiations and declares his/her/their hand.

I understand what you are saying, Rob. I certainly wish the existing four members of staff well and hope that those that will be looking for further employment can do so, very quickly. 

 

 

While redundancy is not a nice thing to happen to anyone, it is not a "kick in the teeth" but the reality of trying to sell a business on. 

If I understand the situation correctly, the 'kick in the teeth' may refer to one aspect of this unfortunate process.

 

As regards the rest of us, I do sincerely hope that the 'prospective owner', as Rob Curnow terms it, does in fact conclude the deal and thus ensures that the products that many of us have come to rely on, continue.

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RESIGNATIONS EXPECTED FOLLOWING CONTROVERSIAL APPOINTMENT OF CAPTAIN KERNOW AS CHAIRMAN OF HORROCKSFORD BLACK PUDDING SCANDAL INQUIRY.

 

Disgraceful. I resign with immediate effect.

 

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Almost certainly C&L own the moulding tools. It's possible they are their most valuable asset. They will be selling them, or making them available, to the new owner.

 

The societies can't order any mouldings from the tools without access to them.

 

Martin.

 

then thats even a more unfortunate situation were products to disappear 

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There are tax advantages to societies selling ONLY to members. If they want to trade normally like a shop, that's fine, but providing a service to members is cheaper and easier which is why that's how most of them work. To be honest, once you desire finescale track, I'd have thought that joining a scale society isn't a big problem.

 

I'd also be wary of the idea that all the scale societies are sitting on vast sums of cash. Some may be but others couldn't hope to raise the funds to start stocking large quantities of track, especially in 4mm scale.

the tax advantages involve VAT, thats about the height of it, and many societies in the UK would be under the VAT exemption limits anyway.  But again I was proposing that members join to access components, the Society should receive something in return for its efforts above and beyond mere sales. 

 

it doesnt take vast amounts of cash , but I think the various gauge societies should ensure that the key components necessary are protected from business failure or arbitrarily disappearance , thats my view 

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As someone who has inside knowledge as to what is going on at C&L I would like to say that all the speculation is wide of the mark when it comes to who the new prospective owner might be.  Read the website announcement properly and don't just take in the 'spin'.  It's by no means a done deal yet.  None of the existing staff will be engaged and have all been given notice of redundancy.  Rather a kick in the teeth having the rug pulled from beneath them despite all the hard work they have done keeping the business ticking over during Pete''s absence.  Other than that I am not at liberty to say until the new owner finalises negotiations and declares his/her/their hand.

Pete is obviously desperate to be shot of the business, because in so acting, he either sells it or it closes, and that puts him in a huge disadvantage in any negotiation.   its a rather strange approach to selling a business, IMHO.

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It most certainly is a kick in the teeth when it puts a roof over your head and food on your table, being told a month earlier that things were going so well that the business would carry on as it is now for at least another year. We are talking about people's livelihoods here.

 

I was always taught that a business' most valuable asset was its staff.  Maybe times have changed!

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it doesnt take vast amounts of cash , but I think the various gauge societies should ensure that the key components necessary are protected from business failure or arbitrarily disappearance , thats my view 

 

Depends on your definition of "vast". We could easily be talking into the low four figures which is a lot for many societies.

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then thats even a more unfortunate situation were products to disappear

it doesnt take vast amounts of cash , but I think the various gauge societies should ensure that the key components necessary are protected from business failure or arbitrarily disappearance , thats my view

It's very noble of you to explain to these societies which you won't join exactly how they should protect your access to things they don't own or control. I'm sure they'll fall over themselves to comply.

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