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Coopercraft business put up for sale


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20 minutes ago, drduncan said:

If I were to want accurate kits of the GWR wagons I think 3d printed resin masters and then white metal might be the way ahead.

 

The problem is, there's nothing stopping anyone making these kits right now - but they aren't. The question would be, are the Coopercraft kits so bad that the hobby is better off without them entirely? Or would be be better with some cheap plastic kits (assuming you can get the mould in a machine, the production would be cheap) that need work.

 

1 hour ago, Wheatley said:

Not sure what went wrong with the Bedford lorry though !

 

When I talked to the original owner (now running Union Mills models) the Bedford was bought in. Hopefully, VERY cheaply as it's not very good.

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28 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

The problem is, there's nothing stopping anyone making these kits right now - but they aren't. The question would be, are the Coopercraft kits so bad that the hobby is better off without them entirely? Or would be be better with some cheap plastic kits (assuming you can get the mould in a machine, the production would be cheap) that need work.

 

 

When I talked to the original owner (now running Union Mills models) the Bedford was bought in. Hopefully, VERY cheaply as it's not very good.

 

I can't understand some of the comments in this thread - from my personal considerable experience of Coopercraft wagon kits I can say that they were some of the best on the market; much better than Parkside.

 

I suspect that much of the negative comment here is by members who have read much about Coopercraft under its current owner, but have zero knowledge of the products themselves.

 

If a future owner can produce kits of the standard of the originals, they are assured of an eager reception.

 

John Isherwood.

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15 minutes ago, cctransuk said:

 

I can't understand some of the comments in this thread - from my personal considerable experience of Coopercraft wagon kits I can say that they were some of the best on the market; much better than Parkside.

 

I suspect that much of the negative comment here is by members who have read much about Coopercraft under its current owner, but have zero knowledge of the products themselves.

 

If a future owner can produce kits of the standard of the originals, they are assured of an eager reception.

 

John Isherwood.

 

I agree, I visited the original Coopercraft works at Watchet some time during the 1970's and was very impressed, and over the years I have made many of their 00 gauge models, some of which are not produced (AFIK) by any other Kit manufacturers. The Kits always went together easily, without very much (if any) trimming etc. If the company is resurected, I will certainly be buying some of their GWR and LMS wagon kits.

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I visited his 'works' some years ago. It was a cow barn with leaking roofs. It was apparent that whatever he had bought, he had no clue. There was a strigon pantograph machine, I have a later model. My intention was to show him how to use it. The condition was such that I suggested he traded it in as scrap metal. There was quite a decent myford lathe, in the corner, rain dripping on it. He didn't know how to use - he tried to demonstrate it to me by grabbing a rusty 6 inch nail, shoving it in the 3 jaw, and jamming in the tool. Stacks of soggy cardboard boxes for kits, two injection moulding machines, one not working, the other 'leaking a bit', numerous brass mould plates, with nice green patinas. The floor of the shed was the usual stone and compressed cow muck, in the usual agricultural setting. Back then, what he had was pretty worthless, and I expect he's made it more so. There is no way that you can earn a living from any of it. From the very beginning, it was completely beyond help, imnsho. The photo on his website, was either a stock photo, or from a previous coopercraft. I dread to think of how much of his and other folks' money was wasted.

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1 hour ago, Izzy said:

Forgive me for I know nothing of SR EMU’s but Worsley Works do a couple of Bullied sets it seems and wondered if they might be a better proposition.

The Bulleid 4-SUBs are one of the few units Allen doesn't do in 4mm (although he does it in other scales, so it might be worth asking....). 

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42 minutes ago, raymw said:

I visited his 'works' some years ago. It was a cow barn with leaking roofs. It was apparent that whatever he had bought, he had no clue. There was a strigon pantograph machine, I have a later model. My intention was to show him how to use it. The condition was such that I suggested he traded it in as scrap metal. There was quite a decent myford lathe, in the corner, rain dripping on it. He didn't know how to use - he tried to demonstrate it to me by grabbing a rusty 6 inch nail, shoving it in the 3 jaw, and jamming in the tool. Stacks of soggy cardboard boxes for kits, two injection moulding machines, one not working, the other 'leaking a bit', numerous brass mould plates, with nice green patinas. The floor of the shed was the usual stone and compressed cow muck, in the usual agricultural setting. Back then, what he had was pretty worthless, and I expect he's made it more so. There is no way that you can earn a living from any of it. From the very beginning, it was completely beyond help, imnsho. The photo on his website, was either a stock photo, or from a previous coopercraft. I dread to think of how much of his and other folks' money was wasted.

 

 

The works I visited were very close to the old harbour This may not be the actual building, but was very similar, and certainly was not an old cow shed. Whilst it was clearly an old building. it was very clan and tidy.

 

image.png.8db8ece7b10871d6dd99d21861d5049e.png

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

That was old Cooper Craft though.

 

The current one is on a farm near Taunton.

 

 

 

Jason

 

Broom Farm, between the villages of Oake and Hillfarrance.  It's on streetview but I don't like to post photos of people's homes.

 

Cheers

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I was going to put an Ad in the classifieds over the next few days for a load of kits I have, as these are the Cooper craft ones I'll post them here as well

 

image.png.2fe66e1d59ca15a1c5b7c37d79a9393a.png

 

PM me if anyone is interested.

 

Mods- If this is a bit of a cheek delete it.

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17 hours ago, Siberian Snooper said:

At shows that I have attended and Mr Dunn has been trading, I have seen him doing the artwork for the Blacksmith range, so there may be new etch tools, whether they are accurate or not I can't say.

 

 

If he had redrawn or scanned them in then it would be a decent proposition for someone. When the range was sold to the previous owners, before Coopercraft, I got to see the films with a friend who was a potential buyer. He passed due to the condition of the films considering it might be easier to redraw on CAD. They were quite a collection on old style films with lots of editing tape holding sections together, but some of them were approaching 50 years old, even then.

 

Many of the GWR range has now been etched up by other companies so limits the interest. The benefit of the range was the 'complete' status of each kit with castings and roof sections. The moulds will be well past using now and unless the original masters are available with the sale, then the casting will be an issue.

 

Mike Wiltshire

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1 hour ago, pete_mcfarlane said:

The Bulleid 4-SUBs are one of the few units Allen doesn't do in 4mm (although he does it in other scales, so it might be worth asking....). 

 

Well worth asking Allen,

 

He is very amenable to rescaling, or even producing something totally new.

 

I had a chat with him via email about Class 303/AM3 etches, which had been mentioned by someone else.

 

A further chat in person, and an email follow-up, and a few weeks later the etches arrived.

 

Sadly., they are still in my 'To Do' pile, as I am not confident enough in my own skills yet.

 

Their time will come, though

 

Regards

 

Ian

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1 hour ago, Steamport Southport said:

That was old Cooper Craft though.

 

The current one is on a farm near Taunton.

 

 

 

Jason

 

Yes I realise that, but the original Coopercraft kits were very good. I don't know how many times they were sold on, but I became aware of the lack of supply (or replies to enquiries) when I returned to Railway Modelling some fifteen years ago. Incidentally I have just found an original set of assembly instructions, and their address was 25 Swain Street, which is the main shopping street which runs between the Harbour and the Railway Station.

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26 minutes ago, Siberian Snooper said:

I have found that the Coopercraft floors are/were badly under sized and new ones cut from plasticard.

 

 

They were also far too thick on the opens, so you would loose a large chunk of the inside of the wagon.  Fine if you were adding a sheet or a load, but not so good if you wanted an empty.  I’ve rebuilt a few with new floors to correct

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There has been some reference to the original address of Coopercraft. In 2004 the tutor I had for a course lived in Barclay Road in London E11, her house was directly opposite a small lockup factory belonging to Coopercraft. Some online directories, such as this

 

https://london.companycheck-uk.com/159435-cooper_craft.htm

 

still list the company, which would lead to a suprise now as the site on which the building was is now a residential property.

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I have the privilege of knowing the originator of Coopercraft.  He is a meticulous engineer who made all the tooling himself and is still in the model manufacturing business.  Moving from Washford to the IoM in the late 80's the range of plastic kits included the 4mm now with Mr Dunn, the 7mm now with Slaters and 16mm which went to somebody else.  I have a feeling that the range was owned by someone else before Mr Dunn - can anyone confirm?

Ray.

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52 minutes ago, Marshall5 said:

.  I have a feeling that the range was owned by someone else before Mr Dunn - can anyone confirm?

 

It was the guy in London, mentioned a few posts back. I bought a few O gauge kits back then, from a supplier. I wanted to find out more, so i phoned him up a couple of times,  he knew what he was doing, which is probably why he got out of model railway kit manufacturing..

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52 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

I didn't know the 16mm range had gone elsewhere - since it has never reappeared, I'd assumed it was still part of the Coopercraft package.

It is listed on the current coopercraft web site, that is why it no longer exists, I expect. Most likely, it was only the stock, if any that was bought from the previous owner.

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Sorry chaps I must have just assumed that the 16mm range went elsewhere. Hopefully the range can be resurrected by a new owner as the n.g. wagons were excellent representations and good value for money. I suppose a lot depends on the condition of the tooling and the availability of a compatible injection machine.

Ray.

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20 hours ago, Ian Kirk said:

The Chap in London was Tony Brown. He sold the by then combined ranges on when he retired.  

 

I agree that my old LNER Coach range could probably do with up grading if it could be saved. Some of the tooling is now 40 years old and what was considered to be state of the art forty years ago does not compare with now. I continue to be surprised that there is a demand when much of the range is duplicated by RTR from Hornby. Despite being stored in less than satisfactory conditions I am fairly sure the tooling could be polished up again.  If Pheonix were to get them they have I believe a new roof moulding for the 61ft 6 Gresleys and seem to have managed production of the SR ones.  Putting the range back into production would not be easy but by no means impossible.  I made them so I could fix them. Colin Ashby (like me in semi retirement) still has one of the "stretched" Austin Allen machines that I designed especially for the long mouldings so production is certainly possible too.

Interesting Times....

 

best wishes,

 

Ian

During a recent conversation with David Stapleton at PPP he said that he had modified one of his existing machines to use the moulds for the SR kits. He was confident that he could get the others back into production and would be interested in the Coopercraft range. I think however, it would have to be at the right price, properly documented and free of any outstanding debts. Somehow I feel that might not be possible.

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