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New & Improved Class 33


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As reported and advertised in Model Rail 155 Phil Sutton of Rail Exclusive is to commission to improve and update the Class 33.

 

  • New 33/0 with correct roof profile and corrected windscreen positions
  • As built version with original roof panels and silencer.
  • Photo-etched parts and see-through radiator grilles and internal framing
  • factory installed DCC sound option
  • Range of liveries: Green, GSYP, BR Blue, Railfreight Construction, Dutch and DRS
  • Variations in fuel tank & battery box types, headlights and radio pods
  • Range of printed headcodes
  • Stainless steel worksplates, arrows, nameplates and headboards where appropriate.
  • Delivery is expected by the end of the year.

Sounds good I wonder if Heljan will up grade the lights from the grain of wheat/rice bulbs to LED'S. (all the information say's is working illuminated directional head/marker/tail lights).

 

I guess afterwards they will start to make runs that are not limited editions that we will be able to pick up from our favourite retailers slightly cheaper.

 

 

Shame they wouldnt mix the locos up so you could purchase a construction livery and dutch livery

 

Regards

 

Ant

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To add to my last post, there are other ways of producing prototype models but I'm not certain that people like Sanda Kan ( who used to make Hornby products ) or Kader ( who own Bachmann ) use them.

 

The area of Rapid Prototyping is a very recent development, and investment in these Rapid Prototyping machines is also very expensive ( and far beyond the ability of someone like Roderick Bruce at OO works to invest in at the moment ). Essentially they use a scanning laser to cure a mix of resin and glass beads, and the model is built up from the 3D computer model in thousands of very thin layers, each one only microns thick. This way you end up with a solid lump, but you can't easily reproduce re-entrant detail this way, as you can with a moulding tool. The material is also quite brittle and inflexible, so again it's only really suitable for checking basic shapes, not for producing something that has to be flexible enough that someone can bend it over chassis lugs, or tap it with a screw thread. But you never know, these things do have a tendancy to become cheaper over time. Maybe we will see a return to manufacturing R-T-R products in the UK in the not-to-distant future.

 

However I am digressing away from the thread topic here, so I'll shut up.

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I also think that the Vi Trains Class 47 is worse than the Bachmann one, but Mr Sutton seems to think that they are the superior product - again I disagree because for me, reliability performance, and running qualities, are more important than the accuracy of the shape. For me the Heljan 47 is fine, because of it's bomb proof build quality and performance.

Red rag, meet bull... ;)

 

Whilst I agree about running qualities being important, the look and proportions are hugely important - I can easily fine tune a mechanism or swap components. But correcting looks takes an awful lot more.

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After a few hundred items this type of tooling is worn out - it is not suitable for manufacturing large batch sizes. This is why Bachmann and Hornby always specify a minimum quantity of around 500 for each limited edition. The accountants have told them that this is how many that they have to produce ( and sell ) to pay back the investment in the metal tooling ( and all the other things like raw material, labour costs, design and development, production of artwork for tampo printing the livery, but that's true for every model produced by them ).

 

Sorry to say this is not actually correct. I haven't heard of any Hornby runs of 500 but I can advise that the quantity of 504 in the Bachmann context refers to carton quantities. This isn't to do with tooling life at all but more the commercial viabilities from the manufacturer/retailer relationship. Dapol produce shorter print runs on certain wagons and it is just that, a paint and print run of an existing tooling.

 

Different manufacturers use different materials for tooling, broadly speaking spending more on quality materials will produce a tooling with longer life and production return. Some companies compromise on tooling to use a tooling which costs less and giving a shorter run. Outside of resin cating and similar techniques the production capabilities are far in excess of the volumes you've mentioned.

 

 

 

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I'm very surprised that carton quantities are the overiding concern on the size of the production run. Manufacturers put all their locomotives in a range of standard size cardboard outer boxes, only the internal polystyrene or nowadays polythene insert is special, but again that is a vacuum formed item, which has to be produced using a special metal mould tooling ( albeit one that is a lot less expensive to produce than one for an injection moulded locomotive body ). Labels can be printed in any quantity you like using a cheap HP desktop printer to a bespoke offset litho printed self adhesive label depending on how ' fancy ' you want the box to look.

 

If the modeller is only concerned about the locomotive, then the box will most likely end up in the recycling along with all the other household waste ( or at least it could well do in my household ). Lets face it, why on earth did the NRM pack a pointless piece of blue perspex with their Deltic ltd edition, it was utterly unnecessary and pointless if you plan to use your locomotive on a layout. It was also an incredibly expensive piece of blue perspex as well. If I want a display track for a locomotive then I can nail a bit of track to a piece of wood, ballast it myself, and hey-presto, for a fraction of the price of that blue thing.

 

Hornby get away with it by putting a specially printed cardboard collar over a standard box, Modelzone just stick a triangular label on a standard box, Heljan do absolutely sweet FA to the box ( and use a simple but very effective foam insert which should be the way every loco is packaged ), but print a special inner card for that particular locomotive ( as do Bachmann ) but none of this packaging is absolutely necessary. It could just as easily come in a brown cardboard kraft box stapled together for all I care ( and you can get these from any box supplier ).

 

If people were happy to accept their locomotives hand packaged with polystyrene chips or bubble wrap to protect them ( like kit manufacturers do ), then the issue about producing cartons goes away.

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It could just as easily come in a brown cardboard kraft box stapled together for all I care ( and you can get these from any box supplier ).

 

If people were happy to accept their locomotives hand packaged with polystyrene chips or bubble wrap to protect them ( like kit manufacturers do ), then the issue about producing cartons goes away.

 

Ah, but then what would collectors, for some of whom the box can be more valuable than the contents :blink: :blink: , do? :D :P

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Lets face it, why on earth did the NRM pack a pointless piece of blue perspex with their Deltic ltd edition, it was utterly unnecessary and pointless if you plan to use your locomotive on a layout. It was also an incredibly expensive piece of blue perspex as well. If I want a display track for a locomotive then I can nail a bit of track to a piece of wood, ballast it myself, and hey-presto, for a fraction of the price of that blue thing.

Ah but then the NRM can charge a big collectors premium for a fancy piece of plastic lol ;)

Thats why they did a standard version without the fancy bits and fancy price tag.

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Ah, but then what would collectors, for some of whom the box can be more valuable than the contents :blink: :blink: , do? :D :P

 

Do you remember that bloke on James Mays Toy Stories who showed off his Wrenn collection to Mr May, but refused to let him get any out of the box and moaned about the fact that locomotives had actually been used instead of left untouched in their boxes - these are the kind of people who frankly, need to ' get out more '.

 

I did some research, apparantly he is Chairman of the Wrenn collectors club.

 

I watched the Antiques Roadshow yesterday, and Henry Sandon, the porcelain expert, said much the same about ' Franklin Mint ' collectors plates.

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Jeremy, are you sure it's not what will easily fit in packing boxes in a container? That probably affects the size of batches for all sorts of mass produced products.

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I'm very surprised that carton quantities are the overiding concern on the size of the production run.

 

They're not, the overiding concern is (presumably) to sell the minimum quantity of locos required to break even as easily and quickly as possible. By promoting the double packs they reduce the quantity of sales needed to reach that point. Obviously there is some risk that folks who don't want a double pack won't buy any locos at all, but Phil & Co. have decided that's a risk worth taking.

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He is also one very sad man .........

 

That's an opinion; whether I agree or disagree is immaterial but it is derogatory, insulting and inappropriate here.

 

My earlier post obviously missed the mark; it's nothing to do with the production of cartons and their components but the number of boxes that fit within outer cartons/packaging or pallets as James says.

 

Anyway, this is a distraction and irrelevance in relation to this topic's subject matter.

 

 

 

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Do you remember that bloke on James Mays Toy Stories who showed off his Wrenn collection to Mr May, but refused to let him get any out of the box and moaned about the fact that locomotives had actually been used instead of left untouched in their boxes - these are the kind of people who frankly, need to ' get out more '.

 

I did some research, apparantly he is Chairman of the Wrenn collectors club. He is also one very sad man .........

 

I watched the Antiques Roadshow yesterday, and Henry Sandon, the porcelain expert, said much the same about ' Franklin Mint ' collectors plates.

 

I remember when James May bought a 'collectors item' (some old Tri-ang?) and then played with it and threw away the box! :D :D

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Jeremy, are you sure it's not what will easily fit in packing boxes in a container? That probably affects the size of batches for all sorts of mass produced products.

 

You don't have to fill the container, nor do you have to package the model singly, it can be delivered in combination with other items. Most of these ltd editions will be air-freighted anyway, so they'd have to be unpacked from the lorry container into an aircraft hold at some point.

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We seem to have wandered way off line here, but having spent time in manufacturing, particularly with off shore plants, standardisation of box/carton/pallet/container sizes is very important. Goods will be charged on a volumetric basis and I suspect freight will be by sea and not air and booked well in advance. Moving outside standardised sizes can impact the costs considerably as there will be all sorts of handling charges etc based on the number of cartons and the volumetric weight of the shipment.

 

Calculations of cost of materials, manufacturing and freight costs will all have a bearing on the resale price. Add currency exchange into the equation as well and you have to standardise on controlled sizes. Step outside that formula and your costs will soar....

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Well, I for one welcome this new venture and wish Mr Sutton all good luck with it. He's been very courageous and "put his money where is mouth is" on the Heljan 33. I have faith that he'll deliver what he's promised and the cheque is in the post. If there were more modellers out there with the balls to take a financial risk like this and do something positive, rather than just whinging at others efforts, the hobby would be so much better off.

At risk of offending Andy by wishlisting, if you're reading this Phil, I'll have some slim jims in original condition too please. :rolleyes:

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Nice idea. I did make the mistake of musing one day, in front of TFMP, whether a model shop would do a wedding list.

 

Suffice to say, it did not go down well!

Yeah, but if you don't ask, you don't get....! :lol:

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However I am digressing away from the thread topic here, so I'll shut up.

 

Hi

 

Sorry to interrupt the discussion but perhaps you could make time to respond to the PM I sent you last Friday?

 

Thanks.

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I received a letter from them today covering all the details that the website has. However there was 2 key differences - they put in the letter that all early pre-orders will be entered into a draw to win a driver experience on a preserved 33, they also have on the order form expressions of interest for single packs of NSE, EWS, BR Blue with grey roof and Eastleigh Green. Did anyone see mention of these two facts online?

 

I had a reply from Rail Express today, copy of the email below.

 

Good morning Mr Farms Thank you for your email.

 

I can confirm that all pre-orders no matter how they are received will qualify for the driving experience draw. So ‘Yes’, you will be entered.

 

I have also registered your interest in the NSE and Eastleigh green models. Should these go ahead I will contact you.

 

If I can be of any further assistance or you would like more information on this or any of our other products please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Best regards

 

Jamie Walsh

 

General Manager

 

RAIL EXCLUSIVE

 

Good news that all of us who have ordered have a chance to win the driver course. May prove a deciding factor for those thinking of ordering too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Duly ordered a pair in 'Chunnel' Construction sector smile.gif

 

I think the amount of balls required for going up to Heljan and saying 'Excuse me, but your current 33 isn't as good as it could be, hows about we do it properly this time and produce a definitive model which therefore won't be bettered by other manufacturers', surely deserves support! Granted, not cheap, but you gets what you pay for!!

 

If that happened for every loco class out there, things would be great laugh.gif

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It is sad that it takes a risky venture like the rail exclusive to sort out out Heljans poor design.

Good luck to them.It will take the same investment and risk to make Heljan change their 52, 86 models in 00 gauge presumably. In O gauge like wise

their class 47.

Did not Bachmann revise their classes 37,45, 47 without such risky intervention?

Seems a bad precedent to pay manufacturers to rework their errors.

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It is sad that it takes a risky venture like the rail exclusive to sort out out Heljans poor design.

Good luck to them.It will take the same investment and risk to make Heljan change their 52, 86 models in 00 gauge presumably. In O gauge like wise

their class 47.

Did not Bachmann revise their classes 37,45, 47 without such risky intervention?

Seems a bad precedent to pay manufacturers to rework their errors.

 

 

 

 

You say that but there have been many "special run" commissions for varients of 37 and 47 for Bachmann that will all have contributed "bits" of detail / improvments allowing more varients like the 37/5 and 37/7s.... We should be grateful that all of the manufacturers give us models to the standard they do! While it would be boring if there was nothing to fix for modellers, at the same time we should take a pause and remember how bad some of the 70s stuff was - Lima 33 for example!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm really looking forward to these new 33s and don't consider that £100 each is unreasonable - many of us who model steam outline have been prepared to pay £100+ for top-end models of our favourite locos (I shudder to think how much my fleet of Bulleids and BR Standards has cost), so why shouldn't a top quality diesel model cost the same? As the "signature" SR diesel, it's well worth the price IMHO, so long as it really is that good!

I agree with Red Baron, that it would be boring if all we had to do was place our models on the track for a running session, but while I'm more than happy to add small details or variations, renumber as desired and then weather my models I really don't fancy having to undertake a major surgery job (altering roof profiles, cab shape etc plus a full repaint) before my new purchase looks the part.

If this is the way forward, I welcome it and will just buy fewer (but hopefully much better) models.

 

Now, how about a definitive class 73 next?

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