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Andy Y

British Model Railway Awards 2017 – The Winners!

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Well done to all the winners. I can't say I disagree with any of them, although it's interesting that the OO steam loco category was dominated by what could be described as "top link" locos. I wonder whether that's a reflection of our actual modelling preferences, or more of a general appreciation for the classics of the steam era.

 

If I had one teeny, tiny criticism, it would be allowing retailers two dibs at awards in both their specialist category and under "websites", Given that all retailers of any size have a website these days, their website is a core part of their customer retail offering and shouldn't really be considered as a standalone entity. I'd prefer to see the website award being contested by sites that provide information and resources rather than selling things. 

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Bump

 

Don't drink so much at lunchtime then !  :jester:

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If I had one teeny, tiny criticism, it would be allowing retailers two dibs at awards in both their specialist category and under "websites", Given that all retailers of any size have a website these days, their website is a core part of their customer retail offering and shouldn't really be considered as a standalone entity. I'd prefer to see the website award being contested by sites that provide information and resources rather than selling things. 

 

I won't disagree with this as the intention was certainly for informative websites but both major retailers received several nominations at that stage in the process and as there was no caveat regrading qualification it was right that they were entered into the final process. It's probably valid to say that more grazing time is spent on such sites by modellers overall than on prototype reference or actual modelling related websites. This will be considered next year. Previously UK Model Shops had won the title but arguably that's about going to shows and model shops more than information relating to modelling.

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Well done to all the winners. I can't say I disagree with any of them, although it's interesting that the OO steam loco category was dominated by what could be described as "top link" locos. I wonder whether that's a reflection of our actual modelling preferences, or more of a general appreciation for the classics of the steam era.

 

If I had one teeny, tiny criticism, it would be allowing retailers two dibs at awards in both their specialist category and under "websites", Given that all retailers of any size have a website these days, their website is a core part of their customer retail offering and shouldn't really be considered as a standalone entity. I'd prefer to see the website award being contested by sites that provide information and resources rather than selling things.

 

I found this split helpful, It enabled me to differentiate between the website I use to research, and the retailer with the best customer service. This year my experience was very different for the two.

 

More confusing for me is the section on manufacturers. For example, if Hattons commission a model that is manufactured for them by DJ Models, surely the manufacturer is DJ - not Hattons? Maybe a separate category for commissioners might be appropriate now, given the growing trend in this direction.

 

Well done to all the winners though... and all who gave a good showing!

 

Phil.

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My takeaway (and I don't do N) is that Dapol didn't place anywhere in the N categories.  Perhaps Dapol should focus more on 0 gauge, after all they did win all the 0 gauge categories.  OK so I am a bit biased.

 

John

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I found this split helpful, It enabled me to differentiate between the website I use to research, and the retailer with the best customer service. This year my experience was very different for the two.

 

More confusing for me is the section on manufacturers. For example, if Hattons commission a model that is manufactured for them by DJ Models, surely the manufacturer is DJ - not Hattons? Maybe a separate category for commissioners might be appropriate now, given the growing trend in this direction.

 

Well done to all the winners though... and all who gave a good showing!

 

Phil.

 

If you look at the concerns listed in the 'manufacturers' list relatively few of them actually manufactured the things they have been nominated, and won plaudits, for in the various loco and rolling stock categories.   'Manufacturer' clearly nowadays means something very different from its old meaning in the context of British outline model railways because very little is made in a factory even partially owned by the name on the box the model comes.  So it might perhaps be not unreasonable to count as a 'manufacturer' those who have researched and specified, developed, and ultimately approved, a model for production while either dealing directly with a factory in China which actually makes the mode  or even doing so via an intermediary.

 

If you wanted to play things the 'traditional way'. I think there would only have been one entrant (and arguably a second) in the 00 gauge steam category (although we could debate further over Bachmann perhaps) and there would have been, again arguably, only two in the 00 gauge modern traction category.  And so on in various other categories.  

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 if Hattons commission a model that is manufactured for them by DJ Models,

 

 In that case it would be but Hatton's are also dealing direct with factories so any vote in that context should be evaluated in conjunction with specific models.

 

In the context of the 2017 vote Kernow MRC would be a better example to consider who brought models to market through both channels.

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... it's interesting that the OO steam loco category was dominated by what could be described as "top link" locos...

I'd argue that it wasn't! There were models of 3 ever popular pacific classes in the list, and between them they scraped together well under half the votes cast, 41%. The majority of the votes cast went to much smaller locos: and the H 0-4-4T result isn't statistically significantly different from what the winner and runner-up scored. I don't recall any previous year with 3 pacifics listed, and yet they did not between them get close to exceeding the total voting for the alternative smaller locos in the list.

 

If that really reflects purchasing decisions, it is very good news: significant demand for models of the more workaday classes.

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I’m glad to see Dapol get the top award in Diesel and Electric for the 68. Absolutely deserved. They must also be happy that they got three out of the top four places .

 

Hattons must also be chuffed with Retailer and Website accolades but they were also third in manufacturers . Changing times .

 

Well done both

Edited by Legend

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Hattons must also be chuffed with Retailer and Website accolades but they were also third in manufacturers . Changing times .

 

I think that is, indeed, very much a sign of changing times. One of the consequences of the established manufacturers outsourcing the actual fabrication of the moulds and models has been to lower the bar to market entry. These days, it isn't necessary to own a factory in order to be a manufacturer. You just need to have an R&D department. And, with design work all computerised now, even that is less financially demanding than it used to be.

 

In one sense, that's a good thing for the hobby, particularly if it enables niche manufacturers to fill gaps that the big names might not have considered (and, of course, Heljan have already blazed that trail with their mission seeming to be to produce every experimental and short-run early diesel ever built). But I also wonder what effect it might have on the existing larger manufacturers. Is the market heading for a fragmentation that will threaten the business model of the established players? We will have to wait and see.

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My takeaway (and I don't do N) is that Dapol didn't place anywhere in the N categories.  Perhaps Dapol should focus more on 0 gauge, after all they did win all the 0 gauge categories.  OK so I am a bit biased.

 

John

They didn’t get nominated in N because they didn’t deliver anything of any significance new in N. They have been focusing on O and had lost interest in N last year. With the 68 just out and the pacer close 2018 should see them back in contention. Maybe we will end this year with the class 50 as well!

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Ah OK Chris.  They're doing what I want them to do then. :jester:

 

John

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My takeaway (and I don't do N) is that Dapol didn't place anywhere in the N categories.  Perhaps Dapol should focus more on 0 gauge, after all they did win all the 0 gauge categories.  OK so I am a bit biased.

 

I don't recall them producing anything new and noteworthy in N in 2017. But already in 2018 they have released a stonking class 68 in N which looks a potential award winner. And they're due to launch some other new N products.

 

They certainly have diversified in other scales over recent years, and rightly so. But I wouldn't right them off in the N market or expect them to focus more on O or any other scale in preference to other potentially profitable sectors.

 

G.

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Quite right Grahame, as long as things are profitable.  I was thinking of resource availability for all 3 scales. Their 0 gauge has a lot of catching up to do.

 

John

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Rather a good year for the MRC , with Copenhagen Fields topping the layouts and Ally Pally second in the shows (and a very creditable showing from DEMU Showcase given it's a specialist show in a modest sized venue)

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Congratulations to the winners, I think all of the winners deserve their gongs and I wouldn't disagree with any of the winners. Nice to see the Dapol 68 pick up the diesel win as it is a stunning model, well deserved.

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Very surprised and honoured that somehow myself and our club Worthing MRC's Loftus Road have made the listings!  :O

 

To sit alongside some of the famous modelling names and layouts from the magazines I was reading as a kid in the 90's is pretty special, so thanks very much guys! 

 

Cheers,

James

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Well done to all the winners. I can't say I disagree with any of them, although it's interesting that the OO steam loco category was dominated by what could be described as "top link" locos. I wonder whether that's a reflection of our actual modelling preferences, or more of a general appreciation for the classics of the steam era.

 

If I had one teeny, tiny criticism, it would be allowing retailers two dibs at awards in both their specialist category and under "websites", Given that all retailers of any size have a website these days, their website is a core part of their customer retail offering and shouldn't really be considered as a standalone entity. I'd prefer to see the website award being contested by sites that provide information and resources rather than selling things.

 

Ditto

Also as Bachman / farish has two bites of the cherry with n and 00 does that not give them an advantage in the overall?

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Congratulations Tony

 

Looking forward to seeing you and Mo later in the year

 

Andrew

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Congratulations to the winners. Have to say I found many of the choices in the listings a close thing in many cases and hard to choose between.

 

An example of this is Hornby taking 1st,2nd and 3rd place in the OO gauge steam category (cannot remember the last time that happened). I have all three and had a very hard time choosing between then (but went for the H in the end personally).

Then Hattons and Kernow sitting in 3rd and 4th place for manufacturer of the year behind Hornby and Bachmann. Their first hand customer experience is allowing them to deliver 1st rate products but more importantly, their first rare communication on their projects. The small manufacturers should take note.

 

I do feel though that the cottege manufacturers should have a category for themselves. They will never have the huge public and production runs of full injection moulded RTR makes so only a small proportion of the 5200 voters will actually taste their products and services. Just a thought!

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Very surprised and honoured that somehow myself and our club Worthing MRC's Loftus Road have made the listings!  :O

 

To sit alongside some of the famous modelling names and layouts from the magazines I was reading as a kid in the 90's is pretty special, so thanks very much guys! 

 

Cheers,

James

 

For a modern image modeller like myself, Loftus Road continues to be a massive source of inspiration.  Absolutely no surprise to see it getting the recognition that it and it's team deserve IMO.

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Thank you very much indeed to all of those who voted for Little Loco Company. Every vote is appreciated more than it can be imagined, and ultimately drives us on to produce better and more accessible models.

 

Thank you,

Steve

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Could I nominate Stafford Show for this year’s awards. With all due respect to the organisers of the Scottish show I thought the quality of the layouts at Stafford was much higher. To be fair the Scottish Show had what I thought was better trade exhibitors and I thoroughly enjoyed the show but the layouts at Stafford this year were exceptionally good.

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