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seeseerider

UK Prototype RTR quality and detail vs German Manufacturers - please can we sort it out

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Dear All fellow modellers,

 

In the O gauge and 1 gauge worlds - is there any hope of raising the bar in quality and detail of the Ready-To-Run UK prototype offerings out there? Is anyone else standing by hoping for more?

 

i have a small collection of Gauge 1 RTR German stock from companies such as Wunder, KM-1 and Kiss. I would dearly love a similar level of quality on offer for British stock. I tolerate the two ‚big‘ names in the o gauge RTR market - simply because there isn't anyone else out there and I love British trains too much not to have any models.

 

i get very sad when I am looking at my astonishingly detailed Wunder DRG passenger coaches and think what could be possible for a BR Mark 1 coach. I would do anything to see what Wunder could do with a Mark 1 coach model! I, for one, would be an enthusiastic supporter of any new enterprise. What is on the market now isn’t good enough to my eyes. Yes I know a direct comparison of o gauge and 1 gauge isn’t totally on the level but still - it’s clear the quality is way off.    O gauge is big enough to get A LOT more detail in there and a lot less plastic than the guys are currently putting in. I cannot believe that there isn’t a chance of at least a bit of a higher level/price Point. 

 

Im sure any other fellow German Spur 1 guys who also love British trains will have noticed the shocking difference.

 

give me a Wunder Class 31, or a Dingler K2 class, and I’ll give you all my current German stock happily! Haha.

 

 

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Instead of complaining, why not have a go yourself at manufacturing? 

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Looking at the price of the manufacturers models you are referring to, I see that this:

 

image.png.b58ffc62600caf8ac8d8f8391b01777d.png

 

Retails for over £3200!

 

If you want British outline models to these prices, just go along and commission the likes of Loveless or Marsh to serve your needs.

 

At least if I drop any of my Dapol or Minerva stuff on the floor, I'll just cry.

 

At the prices you seem to want to pay I'd probably do myself a serious injury.

 

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
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47 minutes ago, 81A Oldoak said:

Instead of complaining, why not have a go yourself at manufacturing? 

How about a crowd-funded start-up?

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11 hours ago, seeseerider said:

Dear All fellow modellers,

 

In the O gauge and 1 gauge worlds - is there any hope of raising the bar in quality and detail of the Ready-To-Run UK prototype offerings out there? Is anyone else standing by hoping for more?

 

i have a small collection of Gauge 1 RTR German stock from companies such as Wunder, KM-1 and Kiss. I would dearly love a similar level of quality on offer for British stock. I tolerate the two ‚big‘ names in the o gauge RTR market - simply because there isn't anyone else out there and I love British trains too much not to have any models.

 

i get very sad when I am looking at my astonishingly detailed Wunder DRG passenger coaches and think what could be possible for a BR Mark 1 coach. I would do anything to see what Wunder could do with a Mark 1 coach model! I, for one, would be an enthusiastic supporter of any new enterprise. What is on the market now isn’t good enough to my eyes. Yes I know a direct comparison of o gauge and 1 gauge isn’t totally on the level but still - it’s clear the quality is way off.    O gauge is big enough to get A LOT more detail in there and a lot less plastic than the guys are currently putting in. I cannot believe that there isn’t a chance of at least a bit of a higher level/price Point. 

 

Im sure any other fellow German Spur 1 guys who also love British trains will have noticed the shocking difference.

 

give me a Wunder Class 31, or a Dingler K2 class, and I’ll give you all my current German stock happily! Haha.

 

 


I don't mean to be rude or anything, but you seem very confident in your observation and I just wanted to know if you've studied the market and found out whether there's enough demand for such big models in such a big scale?

 

Secondly, what to produce? How much to produce? What compromises to make and what liveries to produce them in?

 

Yes we know the best sellers will be things like the Class 08, Class 37, Class 47, Class 50, LNER A1, LNER A3, LNER A4, GWR King, LMS Princess, LMS Duchess etc etc. But then again, is there a market? How many of each will make a viable production run? Are customers happy to accept a compromise on smaller details that vary from sub-classes?

 

Another thing to consider...where to have them manufactured? China? UK? Elsewhere? How does it affect the cost? What technologies can be used to lower the production cost? What can be done to make smaller runs more viable? Will something like 3D printing and resin casting help?

 

 

Hope you don't mind answering those questions, but I personally think that UK O gauge models from the likes of Dapol, Minerva, Heljan etc are quite good. Dapol seem to be excelling in this gauge currently. As for Gauge 1, I've honestly not come across a single British Gauge 1 model, in my defence it's not a gauge I'd ever model and therefore not in my interest, but one does usually come across such content and so far I haven't.

Edited by MGR Hooper!
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You asked "In the O gauge and 1 gauge worlds - is there any hope of raising the bar in quality and detail of the Ready-To-Run UK prototype offerings out there?". 

 

Have you actually looked at the quality of the offerings from Minerva where you will find prototype fidelity, high standards of detail, excellent smooth running together with affordability?

 

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I believe there is a importer and commisioner of very fine scale locos and coaches in O gauge .jusdging by the cover of RM this month .I forget their name but they will cater for your spending lust .So put down your Hornby clockwork and get spending.

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3 hours ago, 81A Oldoak said:

Instead of complaining, why not have a go yourself at manufacturing? 

 

Yes! Or even, god forbid, build a kit!!!

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14 minutes ago, djparkins said:

 

Yes! Or even, god forbid, build a kit!!!

Ah yes, the smug satisfaction that briefly overwhelms the soul when you hear the click of brass against brass as two components of brake rigging meet with sublime accuracy in one of your superb offerings Mr Parkins is not often beaten.

Edited by woodyfox
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O Gauge RTR is quite good, about the same as a moderate-difficulty kit build.


1 Gauge on the other hand seems to still be a scale which is the realm of kit-builders and miniature engineers.

 

The question is really over the price-point. If you make model locomotives which sell for 200-300 pounds, you'll sell hundreds and maybe a few thousand of them. If you make model locomotives which sell for 2,000-3,000 pounds, you'll sell maybe a hundred of them all up over several years.

 

You do have to watch what kind of product you put on the market. 

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Thank you all for the spirited replies. I think I've indirectly got the answers I was looking for. I gather you don't see the need for such a market as you are content with what's on offer currently. That's all I needed to hear.

 

Yes of course I realize it would mean a higher price point, hence the better quality. No, of course I don't 'want to try it myself', I'm a consumer, I just buy the products, I'm not a manufacturer (!) . I specifically asked about Ready to Run models, I'm not interested in kit-building. The market I allude to does exist in Germany and it's been there for quite a while. I guess it's just not in England, or we haven't identified it yet. That's a shame. Thank you again.

 

 

 

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So how much more detail you want? Take for example the Class 08 from Dapol. What more do you think can be added?

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1 hour ago, MGR Hooper! said:

So how much more detail you want? Take for example the Class 08 from Dapol. What more do you think can be added?

 

Hello MGR Hooper,

 

Full disclosure - I don’t own a Dapol 08 (I know it’s ironic) but I think i own an example of every other Dapol O gauge loco. Out of the two big RTR manufacturers Dapol is the clear winner in my opinion. I would say they put in more detail than the other manufacturer, I think I would personally pay the premium to have all their models made with a metal body. Excellent and useful case in point is when you put the 57xx alongside the ex-Lionheart 64xx/74xx. The general appearance of the paint work over the metal body on the one is very pleasing and adds a lot of realism to the whole thing, in my opinion. The plasticky Matt finish on the other is a let down. However, the 57xx redeems itself with the higher level of detail and the delightful internal working motion. Dapol is trying hard clearly. I have the 121 and 122 pre-ordered - I will not judge them until I see them - but I am worried about the detail of the interior and underframe- I will wait and see. The other big manufacturers diesel Locos - I personally feel - are generally lacking in detail. They are and what’s worse - they look very plasticky - the cab interiors are often poorly executed. Body side grills and windows which should often look thru into some internal compartment often is a solid piece or blacked out so you can’t look thru (the Class 60 is a delight and a personal fav - but i still would have personally paid more for a better cab, less plastic and better engine compartment. 

 

Generally the bogies and underframe of all the o gauge models of the two companies could be more finely detailed.

 

coaching stock is a let down - I am looking forward to Dapol‘s efforts. What was there before for the Mark 1s, and those new Gresley Teaks that are coming just look like big pieces of plastic without any real details. The interiors are a joke. I personally would pay 500 for an O gauge coach if it had a proper interior with era correct details. O gauge is big enough in scale to do it, but look at the current offerings - just pieces of single colored plastic. I’d personally like to see attempts to show correct upholstery designs on the seats, correct wall coverings and lighting etc for the specific variant of the prototype (sorry, I happen to particularly be into passenger coaches).

 

I hope that makes some sense. So in summary - generally don’t have the plastic look of bodies, and more details on the interior and underframe. And yes I’d pay double for that happily.

 

i know it’s not an exact and fair comparison - but for inspiration if nothing else - go have a look at Wunder‘s passenger coach underframes and interiors. They bring tears to the eye. If we could have even half of those details in o gauge it would be an improvement for our coaching stock.

 

kind regards, and thanks for your dialogue.

 

 

Edited by seeseerider
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56 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

I agree that in general RTR O gauge in the UK is pretty poor.

 

But I feel the OP is actually looking more at models worth well into four figures rather than Dapol Terriers. More stuff made by the likes of Aster.

 

https://www.southernsteamtrains.com/duchess.htm

 

 

 

Jason

 

 

Hi Jason,

 

thanks. I‘ll certainly have a look at that site - I personally am not a live steam kind of guy but yes I will look again at Aster.

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8 hours ago, MGR Hooper! said:

So how much more detail you want? Take for example the Class 08 from Dapol. What more do you think can be added?

 

bolts on the buffers for starters

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I'd be interested to see the sales figures for the German manufacturers mentioned, vs those of Dapol, Heljan, Loveless, Masterpiece etc. Do DJH (still?) offer an r-t-r option on their locos? If so, them too. I suspect that the German numbers would look a lot more like the likes of Loveless than Dapol. I'm not convinced that like is being compared with like, TBH. I would suggest that Marklin's gauge 1 products might be a fairer comparison.

Edited by PatB
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I think this is a pointless thread. There is some good stuff out there at a reasonable price. There is some very very good stuff out there at a price I could not afford. Even for one loco. 

The UK ready to run, is in my opinion, most adequate. 

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5 hours ago, PatB said:

I'd be interested to see the sales figures for the German manufacturers mentioned, vs those of Dapol, Heljan, Loveless, Masterpiece etc. Do DJH (still?) offer an r-t-r option on their locos? If so, them too. I suspect that the German numbers would look a lot more like the likes of Loveless than Dapol. I'm not convinced that like is being compared with like, TBH. I would suggest that Marklin's gauge 1 products might be a fairer comparison.

 

Hi there,

 

I don't know the sales figures either but I am sure they are also less than Dapol and Heljan. Wunder and Dingler are pretty small - they are the top end (you can go higher but then it becomes 'made to order', not 'off the shelf'), Kiss and KM-1 (Profi line) are the mid level, and Marklin and older Kiss and KM-1 (Classic line) are the budget end of the market.

 

Marklin is indeed the biggest manufacturer in gauge 1, they have recently been flirting with much higher quality models than their usual game (the class 041/042 is a good example) - sometimes equalling Kiss and KM-1 in certain aspects of their models. However a lot of their stuff is still very much budget quality (like the E10 or E44 classes), in terms of detail you could think of it as Heljan O gauge simply scaled up to 1 gauge (and sometimes even less detail than that), at that bigger size it becomes noticeable and Heljan O gauge looks nicer because of it. Marklin aquired a company called Hübner - or at least the rights to their model designs. The examples of those models have turned out very well (the Silberling coaches are great for the money and way above the detail of Marklin's home grown coaches). Anyway, I like to cherry pick from Marklin's catalogue because a lot of it is sub-par. KM-1 Profi is putting out some great stuff these days, and when I am feeling sporty I pick up the occasional Wunder coach. I don't have a Wunder loco yet sadly.

 

Certainly Kiss, and KM-1 are larger ventures than Loveless, Masterpiece and DJH. 

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The Dapol Mark 1's look as if they will be the best offering in O for a long time in terms of coaches. Good enough for me particulalry at the price point being offerred.

 

You may have a point on paintwork - it always looks better on a metal base but once the loco is weathered you cant tell!

 

And yes as others have pointed out you can get hand built high end stuff at comparable prices to RTR German prototypes. We have never been so well served in this scale and I think the manufacturers have helped grow the market and interest in the senior scales. I do think Heljan is overpriced compared to Dapol but hey you pays your money and makes your choice. I have a number of Heljan diesels and apart from the gear problem that Heljan have still not addressed in respect of its orignal purchasers of class 35.37 and 47,  I will continue to buy them.

 

Paul R

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This is the most recent mass-produced, RTR UK steam locomotive to appear on the market. 

Minerva_MW_Red_weathered_AB-1.jpg

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Just now, 81A Oldoak said:

This is the most recent mass-produced, RTR UK steam locomotive to appear on the market. 

 

 

My point exactly!

 

... and see how beautifully it runs (and sounds). 

 

Stephen

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And what a beauty she is. You cant get much more realistic than that - and at a good price

 

Paul R

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And most of us have room to to let her stretch her legs

 

 

 

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