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New GWR iron mink


ikcdab
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40 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

What quantity would you have done, by what production method, and at what price? And how would you raise the capital? As you've been involved in a number of magazine commissions, you probably have a more authoritative insight into the economics than the vast majority of other commenters here.

In the end, you can only go on gut feeling and what the economics dictate. As I haven't undertaken a four-wheel van project I can't answer your questions but tooling and production costs for rolling stock are very high at present and that makes the 3D print process an attractive option. 

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2 minutes ago, Wickham Green too said:

If the brass roof is intended to fit the Ratio van, will it be wide enough for an ABS kit ?? 

 

There was a rather vigorous discussion about the dimensions of an Iron Mink some years ago:

 

 

Some time ago I measured the width of a Ratio kit, comparing with dimensions quoted by @Miss Prism:

 

... concluding that it was just a scale 2" too wide. @Miss Prism also affirmed that trimming the top of sides and ends to bring the roof down to the top of the doorframe yielded the right height.

..

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Also, @hmrspaul made an observation (that seems to have vanished) about the diagram in Atkins. Although one cannot use a diagram as a reliable basis for the details of a wagon, it will be correct in the written dimensions, since that was its primary purpose. [EDIT: it's a post in the old thread I linked to in my previous post.]

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Quite a lot of thoughts being raised in what passes for a mind by the posts in this thread, so many that to save you the verbiage, I’ll break them into separate posts.  First the model.

 

There are some criticisms about the model, the brake gear and roof being two specific items mentioned.  But I think we need to be realistic here and consider what the model is and what it is not.

 

It is a bulk produced, fully finished, ready to run plastic model, manufactured using a modern production technique.

 

It is not a high-end craftsman kit, etched in the thinnest practical gauge of metal, that will need to be soldered together to produce an actual model.  A kit that also needs to painted and lettered to complete.

 

The real vehicles were known as “Iron Minks” for a reason, which was that the bodies were produced from sheets of iron.  These sheets were specified to be 11 BWG (Birmingham Wire Gauge) thick.  11 BWG is about ⅛” or a shade over 3mm.

The brake push rods were 2½” x ½” strip, and the safety straps 1½” x ¼” (Ref 1).

 

A plastic model simply isn’t able to replicate the fineness of these items, and still be viable as a useable item.

I would accept that the production process is, perhaps, being pushed beyond its practical capability.  But I don't think that means that Rails/Dapol have skimped on research or failed to consider design issues.

 

If you’re not happy with the Rails production, you don’t have to buy one.

But if you want an Iron Mink for your railway, the only other options are to try and score an ABS white metal kit from somewhere, or purchase the venerable Ratio/Parkside plastic kit.

 

However, neither white metal nor injection moulded plastic will replicate the fineness of the prototype either, and the Ratio kit comes with some dimensional challenges of its own as discussed in this thread, which I might postulate on in a separate post.

 

I do have some reservations over the BR liveried versions, as I don’t think anyone has come up with compelling evidence of a Great Western Iron Mink that’s been repainted into full BR unfitted livery, AND is still in revenue service, as opposed to use as a store somewhere.  Indeed W47120 [RL-BRV6-001) was condemned in 1950 (Ref 2), so is unlikely to have been repainted.  But that’s your choice.

 

Incidentally, neither source available to me (Ref 1, Ref 2) lists an Iron Mink numbered 88331 (RL-GWV6-004).  Can anyone give an informed comment on this?

 

References

1.    GWR Goods Wagons (3rd Edition), Atkins A, Beard W, Tourret R, Tourret Publishing 1998.  See pp 366 for engineering drawing of an Iron Mink, cty Railway Engineer but uncredited.  pp 364-373 for discussion on Iron Minks.

2.    All about GWR Iron Minks, Lewis J, Lloyd M, Metcalf R, Miller N, Historical Model Railway Society 1980, pp 17 for table of selected examples, pp 11-19 for discussion on Iron Minks.

 

Regards

TMc

24/07/2021

 

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7 hours ago, Gordon A said:

 

Thank you. As I suspected poorly researched and executed, a bit like Bachman's 14 ton tanker wagon.

I do not mind paying higher prices for an accurate and well executed model, but not in this case.

When will the likes of Bachman and Rails of Sheffield learn to do the job properly?

 

Gordon A

 

Gordon,

 

Jeremy Suter has done a etched Iron Mink kit and the instructions are on his work bench on the S4 society site. I would suggest looking at this, it is far better than the Ratio kit which looks like an Iron Mink until you look at photos of one.

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

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7 hours ago, Craigw said:

 

Gordon,

 

Jeremy Suter has done a etched Iron Mink kit and the instructions are on his work bench on the S4 society site. I would suggest looking at this, it is far better than the Ratio kit which looks like an Iron Mink until you look at photos of one.

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

I've found the Scalefour Society forum thread describing the construction of the etchings in fantastic detail https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=5530&p=55626&hilit=suter#p55626 but I cannot find any details as to whether the kit is still available. Any pointers?

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7 minutes ago, Nick Holliday said:

I've found the Scalefour Society forum thread describing the construction of the etchings in fantastic detail https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=5530&p=55626&hilit=suter#p55626 but I cannot find any details as to whether the kit is still available. Any pointers?

 

I found this on the S4um:

"As for Iron Mink kits they have been available since Scaleforum last year at £30 each they are not on the stores list but available from me I've Just ordered another 20 kits from the etchers and should be here by Scalefour north."

 

Gordon A

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7 hours ago, watfordtmc said:

Quite a lot of thoughts being raised in what passes for a mind by the posts in this thread, so many that to save you the verbiage, I’ll break them into separate posts.  First the model.

 

There are some criticisms about the model, the brake gear and roof being two specific items mentioned.  But I think we need to be realistic here and consider what the model is and what it is not.

 

It is a bulk produced, fully finished, ready to run plastic model, manufactured using a modern production technique.

 

It is not a high-end craftsman kit, etched in the thinnest practical gauge of metal, that will need to be soldered together to produce an actual model.  A kit that also needs to painted and lettered to complete.

Although it is being manufactured using a modern production technique, if not exactly in bulk production numbers, I wonder whether the process is currently up to achieving the flatness required for a metal sheet bodied vehicle. Experience with the recent SECR vans (I think I was lucky with my one example) showed up the potential failings, with the striations imparted by the process occasionally being visible. Even on a wooden bodied wagon, some people found the effect on their models unacceptable, and the sheer plainness of the Mink's flanks will make them, I suspect, even more noticeable. I just hope the team's experience with the SECR vans will see an improvement. 

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The absence of an RTR V6 has always been something of an inexplicable omission from the mainstream manufacturers (also the absence of an authentic GWR open!), so this Rails announcement is not a surprise.

 

As to the current Rails pictures, I have comments similar to others made here, but the aspect that jumps out at me is the badly incorrect proportions of the door framing. No excuse, really, given the real thing is accessible to a simple tape measure at Didcot.

 

 

 

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Irrespective of Chris Leigh's concern over the cost of producing plastic injection moulded wagons I think the most surprising aspect is that there is a 7mm product, produced in just this way and only pence more expensive. Have BR and post privatisation modellers so overtaken the 4mm hobby that an injection moulded version isn't viable? I agree with Nick Holliday, the finish might be suitable for reproduction of a wooden bodied wagon, but to capture the appearance of these vans a very plain finish is necessary. 

 

As to condemnation details they will be in the tomes of GWR Stock register at the NRM. 

 

Interesting to be reminded of the dispute about 64 and 32nds of an inch back in 2014.

 

Paul Bartlett

 

 

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On 22/07/2021 at 15:26, ikcdab said:

I see that Rail of Sheffield have announced their exclusive new OO iron mink.

The model looks excellent in the photos.

But it is £37 plus £4 p+p.

£41 for a OO wagon? I know it's exclusive, and I know about development costs, but it seems a lot to me. Is it that the only other option is the venerable ratio kit?

 

Am I being overly price-sensitive?

Ian C

 

when you think the minerva o gauge one isn't much different in price 

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3 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

The absence of an RTR V6 has always been something of an inexplicable omission from the mainstream manufacturers (also the absence of an authentic GWR open!), so this Rails announcement is not a surprise.

 

As to the current Rails pictures, I have comments similar to others made here, but the aspect that jumps out at me is the badly incorrect proportions of the door framing. No excuse, really, given the real thing is accessible to a simple tape measure at Didcot.

 

 

 

Good to see normal service has resumed!:) Glad to see you are on the mend.

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1 hour ago, hmrspaul said:

Irrespective of Chris Leigh's concern over the cost of producing plastic injection moulded wagons I think the most surprising aspect is that there is a 7mm product, produced in just this way and only pence more expensive. Have BR and post privatisation modellers so overtaken the 4mm hobby that an injection moulded version isn't viable? I agree with Nick Holliday, the finish might be suitable for reproduction of a wooden bodied wagon, but to capture the appearance of these vans a very plain finish is necessary. 

 

As to condemnation details they will be in the tomes of GWR Stock register at the NRM. 

 

Interesting to be reminded of the dispute about 64 and 32nds of an inch back in 2014.

 

Paul Bartlett

 

 

I don't think I said that an injection moulded model wouldn't be viable but if I did, that's not what I meant to say. Anything can be viable if you can get enough people to buy enough at a high enough price. That, I suspect is largely why most wagon models are now being sold in multi-packs - in order to squeeze a bit more margin. Tooling costs are now VERY high but there are ways they can be justified. A couple of years ago Rapido said that making freightcars was no longer viable due to manufacturing costs. However, later, they found that freightcars were a useful item to manufacture in the gaps between locos, when assembly lines would otherwise be idle. Costs have also been pushed up by the need to make a new chassis for virtually every model in order to satisfy the requirement for accurate detail for every variation. I wonder who will make the most from their model - a precise Iron Mink to 21st century standards with every detail spot-on, or the Hornby-Dublo/Wrenn/Dapol dynasty that put GWR gunpowder van bodies on a generic chassis, pretended they were Iron Minks and made them in every known livery and a few invented ones? (CJL)

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2 hours ago, hmrspaul said:

Irrespective of Chris Leigh's concern over the cost of producing plastic injection moulded wagons

 

I see Chris has replied, and I don't think he said he was concerned, rather just he could understand the potential attraction of going the 3D printed route.

 

That said, I agree with his first statement where he believed that the Iron Mink would sell enough to be done in traditional plastic RTR.

 

2 hours ago, hmrspaul said:

I think the most surprising aspect is that there is a 7mm product, produced in just this way and only pence more expensive.

 

Thus the danger of comparing a 4 year old model, tooled at 4 year old prices, with a current model.

 

Rails is selling the OO Iron Mink for £36.95 - Minerva sold the Iron Mink for £42 4 years ago, and the price 3 years later for the Wooden Mink had increased to £48.

 

So a better comparison would appear to be £48 to £37 - so a difference of £11 which is substantially more than "only pence more expensive" - and with Minerva charging £4 per wagon for shipping that also needs to be factored in vs. Rails £4 for up to 2kg.

 

2 hours ago, hmrspaul said:

Have BR and post privatisation modellers so overtaken the 4mm hobby that an injection moulded version isn't viable?

 

It doesn't appear that way - Rapido for example are doing the Gunpowder van and the SECR open wagons, and we are seeing more earlier locos being done.

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1 hour ago, dibber25 said:

A couple of years ago Rapido said that making freightcars was no longer viable due to manufacturing costs. However, later, they found that freightcars were a useful item to manufacture in the gaps between locos, when assembly lines would otherwise be idle.

 

The North American market has also seen some substantial increases in prices.

 

As I posted yesterday in a different topic a newly tooled freight car now has a retail price (taking the US price, converting to £'s and adding the VAT) of about £48 for HO (higher for larger freight cars) - and obviously older tooled models are also seeing price increases.

 

So the manufacturers over there have increased the prices to make the models continue to viable, and by most accounts the customers are accepting them.

 

(the other advantage of freight cars for someone like Rapido is that additional runs can also be done much more frequently than a lot of their passenger items / niche locos, making that tooling cost look a lot better over the long run).

Edited by mdvle
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23 hours ago, hmrspaul said:

Irrespective of Chris Leigh's concern over the cost of producing plastic injection moulded wagons I think the most surprising aspect is that there is a 7mm product, produced in just this way and only pence more expensive. Have BR and post privatisation modellers so overtaken the 4mm hobby that an injection moulded version isn't viable? I agree with Nick Holliday, the finish might be suitable for reproduction of a wooden bodied wagon, but to capture the appearance of these vans a very plain finish is necessary. 

 

As to condemnation details they will be in the tomes of GWR Stock register at the NRM. 

 

Interesting to be reminded of the dispute about 64 and 32nds of an inch back in 2014.

 

Paul Bartlett

 

 

 

I think the crux is, Rails "probably" don't want to commit to injection moulded tooling and the vast production run required to recover the cost if they want to keep the end price viable.

But such vans as this mink and some of the midland types that appeared everywhere (which was quoted on the SECR van thread) - would indeed - to my mind be perfectly viable as a mass produced RTR model by one of the mainstream RTR players (Hornby, Bachmann, Rapido, Accurascale etc...). 

 

Given Rapido already doing SECR types (even if late ones which reached BR), I suspect that they are heading that way anyway. And it is just a question of time as the number of pre-grouping locos increase (a sharp rise in recent years) causing a demand for correct rolling stock (not later types painted in pre-grouping colours) to run with them.

Maybe the Rails Mink is merely a stop gap until an injection moulded one appears. The 1424 type, though common on the SECR itself were less so elsewhere and after grouping.

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29 minutes ago, JSpencer said:

The 1424 type, though common on the SECR itself were less so elsewhere and after grouping.

 

They were, as far as I'm aware, subject to the pooling arrangements for covered goods wagons, so could appear anywhere. But being few in number relative to, say, the Iron Mink, the Midland D362/3 16'6" vans, or (might I suggest) LNWR D88, the chances of seeing one anywhere would have been slim.

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On 22/07/2021 at 20:20, Compound2632 said:

You are quite right, I should, and ought to have done so long since.

 

I have now done so, though @watfordtmc has already given the gist.

 

I have seen nothing to alter my opinion that Rails and Minerva before them are practising on the credulity of the modelling public in offering models of Iron Minks in ordinary BR grey goods livery. 

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On 24/07/2021 at 19:45, watfordtmc said:

I do have some reservations over the BR liveried versions, as I don’t think anyone has come up with compelling evidence of a Great Western Iron Mink that’s been repainted into full BR unfitted livery, AND is still in revenue service, as opposed to use as a store somewhere.  Indeed W47120 [RL-BRV6-001) was condemned in 1950 (Ref 2), so is unlikely to have been repainted.  But that’s your choice.

 

1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

I have seen nothing to alter my opinion that Rails and Minerva before them are practising on the credulity of the modelling public in offering models of Iron Minks in ordinary BR grey goods livery. 

 

Which brings up 2 points:

 

1) 80% or more of the people in this hobby don't care about accuracy - they run what they think looks good to them

 

2) as the retailers/manufacturers move into more niche prototypes and/or move into pre-grouping items where the market doesn't necessarily exist to sell enough units when done only using correct paint schemes the choice is going to become:

  • offer the model with a BR paint scheme to attract those who just want to model something resembling BR, thus ensuring sufficient sales to make the project viable
  • don't offer BR, and thus don't proceed with the model, so nobody gets a model.

Everyone will have different views on which of the 2 options should be taken.

 

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2 minutes ago, mdvle said:

1) 80% or more of the people in this hobby don't care about accuracy - they run what they think looks good to them

 

If that is the case, why has the commercial RTR offering moved from the simple and robust toys of the 1960s-80s to the highly detailed models of today?

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12 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

If that is the case, why has the commercial RTR offering moved from the simple and robust toys of the 1960s-80s to the highly detailed models of today?

Perceived value, there's more money to be made from highly detailed models.

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It's @mdvle's statistic I'm questioning. What is the evidence for it? Or has he just plucked a number out of the air? We live in an age of disinformation which makes it incumbent upon us as responsible members of society to question the evidence behind such sweeping statements. Nullius in verba.

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1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

 

If that is the case, why has the commercial RTR offering moved from the simple and robust toys of the 1960s-80s to the highly detailed models of today?

 

If that is the case why are people lapping up freelance passenger coaches?

 

Craig W

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7 minutes ago, Craigw said:

If that is the case why are people lapping up freelance passenger coaches?

 

Better than nothing...

 

I should say, I haven't lapped up any myself and don't intend to do so. My attitude all along has been, if the thing is to be done, better it be done well. To that extent, Minerva and Rails are to be complemented on the accuracy and neatness of application of their fictional livery. If it had been applied to the prototype, it would, the evidence suggests, have looked like that...

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