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Coopercraft business put up for sale


salop89a
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On another forum, Paul Dunn has announced that the Coopercraft business including the Blacksmith range is for sale. Apparently he now has a full-time job so has decided to sell up.

 

If anyone is interested, I saw the announcement on the Great Western Study Group forum.

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I doubt there is much that can be sold now.  It would be a brave person to take on the moulds he holds AFAIK there isn't a machine capable of holding them now and moulding expertise is slowly disappearing.

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Just now, chris p bacon said:

I doubt there is much that can be sold now.  It would be a brave person to take on the moulds he holds AFAIK there isn't a machine capable of holding them now and moulding expertise is slowly disappearing.

 

Hopefully these newfangled 3D printers can be used to replace the castings in white metal, however I wouldn't have a clue about drawing the 'masters'?

 

Cheers

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8 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

An opportunity for an RMweb collective? So many members would be grateful for the re-emergence of these products. 

 

If not then maybe the range could be split between various traders/manufacturers if that's what Mr Dunn wants.  If not, I suspect if it's an all or nothing sale then it might be too much work to get all the various ranges back into production for the buyer(s).

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3 minutes ago, Tim Dubya said:

 

Hopefully these newfangled 3D printers can be used to replace the castings in white metal, however I wouldn't have a clue about drawing the 'masters'?

 

Cheers

 

IIRC it's the plastic moulding which has always been an issue,  I'm not sure that Dunn did any WM casting.

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The ex Ian Kirk items should be recoverable as the IK Maunsell and Bulleid kits have been in production with Colin Ashby and now Precision, so presumably their tooling has been adapted for current injection moulding, or didn't need to be adapted. 

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Just now, rembrow said:

The ex Ian Kirk items should be recoverable as the IK Maunsell and Bulleid kits have been in production with Colin Ashby and now Precision, so presumably their tooling has been adapted for current injection moulding, or didn't need to be adapted. 

 

There's the answer.

 

They do say on their website that they would be interested in them. 

 

Quote

 

Thank you for visiting the homepage for Ex Kirk Model Railway Kits.

Currently we are only able to offer the 4mm (OO, EM, S4) Southern range of kits.

Maybe, oneday, we will be able to offer more. 

 

 

https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/exkirk

 

 

Jason

 

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I wonder what percentage of the asking price is being asked for "Reputation" and "Goodwill"?

And does this mean that any creditors will receive their money at long last?

:jester:

Edited by polybear
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45 minutes ago, MarkC said:

ISTR that it was reported that he had tried to modify the moulds to fit the (obsolete) machine that he had, and that action has now rendered them unusable?

 

Possibly. But if anyone does bite, I hope it's a manufacturer with experience of that method of production such as Phoenix as they will know whether it's a forlorn hope or not.

 

The worst thing is a well meaning amateur gets it and we are still back at square one and that individual has probably wasted his money.

 

 

Jason

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2 hours ago, Tim Dubya said:

 

Hopefully these newfangled 3D printers can be used to replace the castings in white metal, however I wouldn't have a clue about drawing the 'masters'?

 

Cheers

 

If you are going to recreate the range from scratch, there's no point in buying the company surely?

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2 hours ago, Tim Dubya said:

Would @Major Clanger be interested in the Blacksmith range to complement the Comet range I wonder? ;) 

 

He's savvy enough to be able to distinguish a smouldering bomb crater from a viable business proposition.

 

What's on offer?

Minimal stock 

No apparent means of production 

Moulds that, by his admission, he hasn't been able to use.

Negative goodwill.

 

Only the brand name and branding has (affected) value, less any grumpy blood-thirsty creditors.

 

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

If you are going to recreate the range from scratch, there's no point in buying the company surely?

 

I wasn't sure if Mr Dunn had all moulds(?) for the Blacksmith/Models white metal bits.  I thought it might be a solution to missing parts or another way to make masters, I suppose that would be done in a CAD program, IDK and a decision made about whether they could be cast or printed.

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tim Dubya
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2 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

 

He's savvy enough to be able to distinguish a smouldering bomb crater from a viable business proposition.

 

What's on offer?

Minimal stock 

No apparent means of production 

Moulds that, by his admission, he hasn't been able to use.

Negative goodwill.

 

Only the brand name and branding has (affected) value, less any grumpy blood-thirsty creditors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was wondering whether Mr Dunn would be willing to sell parts of the Cooper Craft empire separately.  I understand he has some artwork from the Blacksmith/Mallard kits and was purely thinking out loud about whether they could be split. 

Cheers

 

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I reported the site to here a couple of weeks ago - https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website

 

And now it's up for sale. I wonder (probably not) if there's a link.

 

I know they act on things as my colleague wrote a phishing email test site with training if you got court and our MD reported it to them and they shut it down :laugh:

 

Valuing the business on goodwill and reputation, if he gives me £20k I'll take it.

Edited by Bucoops
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I see no actual reason that the name needs to be continued with. If we look at what Peco did with the Parkside i.e. add in the Ratio rolling stock kits and their O gauge kits by giving them Parkside numbers....why would the Coopercraft name be needed? If we look at Slaters the O gauge kits are listed as "Formerly Coopercraft." which I'm sure they'll ditch once it gets known that they are in their range.

 

Peco would actually be the ideal company to take on the rolling stock tooling especially if it fits their machines or can be made to.

 

Just my tuppence worth.

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Doesn't seem worth the effort to resuscitate ailing model businesses if the manufacturing base isn't up to scratch. You'd buy a name and nothing else. The Kirk kits would need to be updated, the mouldings on the Gresley coach kits spruced up. The last ones I bought - some years back now - I had to bin several components and replace them with either Comet or MJT ones (white metal/brass (etched or cast, depending what was available and what the components were for). Roofs were often replaced by Comet ones because the Kirk versions were 'lopsided', i.e., wider on one side than the other... Want me to start on the Coopercraft products? It would be different if quality kits were on the table, like Chivers Finelines. Parkside were snapped up quick enough by Peco, if only for the range of kits (some were dropped, taken up in the ready-to-run market such as the steel-bodied, high sided wagons built by the LNER and continued by BR, with timber doors). Likewise Peco snapped up the Ratio range and re-packaged them - as they did the Parkside kits - rolling stock, buildings/structures and signals, although they could've dropped them and left signalling kits to Wizard.     

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20 minutes ago, alancaster149 said:

Doesn't seem worth the effort to resuscitate ailing model businesses if the manufacturing base isn't up to scratch. You'd buy a name and nothing else. The Kirk kits would need to be updated, the mouldings on the Gresley coach kits spruced up. The last ones I bought - some years back now - I had to bin several components and replace them with either Comet or MJT ones (white metal/brass (etched or cast, depending what was available and what the components were for). Roofs were often replaced by Comet ones because the Kirk versions were 'lopsided', i.e., wider on one side than the other... Want me to start on the Coopercraft products? It would be different if quality kits were on the table, like Chivers Finelines. Parkside were snapped up quick enough by Peco, if only for the range of kits (some were dropped, taken up in the ready-to-run market such as the steel-bodied, high sided wagons built by the LNER and continued by BR, with timber doors). Likewise Peco snapped up the Ratio range and re-packaged them - as they did the Parkside kits - rolling stock, buildings/structures and signals, although they could've dropped them and left signalling kits to Wizard.     

 

 

Don't people replace parts as standard though? Half a Parkside kit gets binned in my experience. Proper buffers, pipes, vacuum cylinders, etched brake gear, vents, etc.  Mostly from LMS/MJT/Wizard/etc.

 

Ratio kits the same. Proper bogies for the coaches for example.

 

 

 

May be worth considering that the owner acquired the items,  and then sat on them. The only thing ailing was the owner. We don't even know whether the "broken machine" is true or was it an inability to use it? He apparently got a new machine, yet nothing appeared so I reckon the latter.

 

He was offered help numerous times. Even by the original owner.....

 

I seem to remember at the time quite a few manufacturers wanted them. Phoenix Paints for example, as I alluded to above.

 

If Ian Kirk kits are so rubbish then why are Phoenix still selling the SR ones and they DO sell. Even though there are the Hornby versions.

 

https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/exkirk

 

Why are people paying three figures for a kit on eBay? Yes, people are buying them for those prices. Try and get a Artic set for example. They were going for nearly £200. Likewise for the Coronation vehicles.

 

Demand is there even if you personally might not want any.

 

 

Jason

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1 hour ago, alancaster149 said:

Want me to start on the Coopercraft products?

 

Your critique would be interesting. I've always found that, with the exception of the Bedford lorry, they assembled very well. The tools and platform trolley kits are superb - but if everyone believes they are rubbish, it might depress eBay prices so I can stock up!

 

The 16mm scale wagons are definitely missed.

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