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  • RMweb Gold

I think the moral of this sorry tale is only to buy from an exhibition - if it's on the stand, buy it.

 

I think bubbles2 was quite lucky - but I too find it unacceptable to have to chase for the order....

 

May 24th ... hmm... mind you, I have fancied for ages adding some more Slater carriages, but I guess they won't be in stock....

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I think the moral of this sorry tale is only to buy from an exhibition - if it's on the stand, buy it.

 

I think bubbles2 was quite lucky - but I too find it unacceptable to have to chase for the order....

 

May 24th ... hmm... mind you, I have fancied for ages adding some more Slater carriages, but I guess they won't be in stock....

 

When I have seen him at shows, he usually has the sides on display, but not complete kits as he does not have the moulds for the castings.

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I managed to speak to Mr P Dunn yesterday at 14.20, and politely asked for a full refund of my monies and the cancellation of my order, he eventually said he could refund me using 'worldpay' - which is the third party that grabbed my money in the first place!

Shall have to wait and see if his word is that good, not holding my breath though...

Ironically, there are articles in this months 'Railway Modeller' - building and incorporating Cooper Craft items and advertising his products, one of which I know from my own experience is not available via his website ( I obtained mine from Gaugemaster .com and Ebay!!!)

My credit card company whom I asked to try to 'clawback' the money does not want to know - apparently too long a time period has elapsed since the original transaction!!

 

Regards

 

SIGTECH (Steve)

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, unfortunately I too have sent a few emails about the LNER Coronation coaches, and have received no reply at all. It is a shame, as although its a bad kit, I would have purchased a whole set just to have a go. Alternatives seem hard to come by. I also emailed Osbournes several times as they have the items on their website, but alas no reply either. 

 

I appreciate (going off topic here) that many of the companies we deal with are very small owner run enterprises and therefore are often not able to donate the time or money to running a good website or indeed replying to emails. However, if we are to secure the future of the hobby, I believe even small suppliers and retailers should have good websites and use web communications effectively. The internet is how many people shop and communicate these days, and saying "call us for a quote" or "send an SAE for a catalogue" is not how business is done in the 21st Century. Younger entrants to the hobby (I am 32) will only be versed in using the internet, and will find it hard to locate what they want if its not online, and therefore potentially lose interest. I would urge all suppliers big or small to become web savvy, it will be good for business and will help to secure the future of model railways. End of soap box speech!!

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The latest Vectis auction newsletter lists a couple of kits for the Coronation set by 'Sydnope Scale Models'.  Anyone ever heard of them?

 

The photographs just show the boxed kits so it's hard to know what kind of kit it might be.

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Sydnope Models were based in Crich towards the end of their existance. They produced ready to run rakes and kits in etched brass for the Coronation set ( including the original Beavertail coach) as well as the Silver Jubilee rake. I seem to recall there were other coaches also, possibly for the Tourist Stock. I still have their order forms somewhere.

They exhibited at the Derby Model Rail exhibition acouple of times when it was based at the Assembly Rooms. I seem to recall that the bulit coaches were of extremely high (exhibition class) quality.

 

SteveT  

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I have just returned from the Nottingham Exhibition, which included a stand of Coopercraft, manned by the proprietor.  He had a decent selection of the 4mm Kirk coach kits for sale, plus some from the other brands, as well as some of the road vehicle kits. From conversation, I think most if not all of this was old stock, as he is still to purchase a moulding machine, but is actively engaged in looking for a second hand one. I came away with a couple of the Gresley suburban coach kits, and very few of these remained. So all is not lost, clearly, but visitors tomorrow would be advised to make the most of this opportunity!

 

John.

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  • RMweb Gold

Does it seem to anyone else strange how calm he seems in peoples accounts of him at exhibitions?

As if 3 year old machine issues are a common thing.

I'm sure they are if you don't have the funds to invest in a new one.

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Hi,

I don't know what kind of moulding machine he wants but generally speaking second hand machines can be picked up quite cheaply.  Most commercial moulding work is farmed out to India or China these days so most of the little moulding shops have gone.  Small automatic machines, when they were still being made in the UK cost as much as a small car to buy new.  A few years ago I bought 3 in working order for £750. I donated one to Parkside and dismantled the other two to provide plentiful spare parts for the one machine that I had kept when I sold off the factory. I have had this from new since the 1980s and the manufacturer is long gone. Last I heard Colin Ashby had a garage full of similar machines to keep one or two going strong. As far as I know Colin still has the "special" that I designed to do coach roofs and sides. I am sure that it would still be possible to get the kits moulded (unless the new owner has altered the moulds).  Where there is a will as they say.

 

best wishes,

 

Ian

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The thing is, Ian, you know about such things. A few years back, a good friend of mine closed his injection moulding shop and all his excellent machines went for scrap - nobody wanted to buy them, nor pay the transport/installation costs. I guess it's now like pianos - If you have one, you can't sell it, if you want one, you can't find one to buy. I would personally be very surprised if the Coopercraft situation improves under current ownership, and I can't see him wanting to sell off any of the kits/brands, and if he did, they realistically would not be worth much. It is currently the best option, as has been said here many times before, to buy only at the shows, or from the few retailers who have some bits. Unfortunately, some people you just can not help.

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....I guess it's now like pianos - If you have one, you can't sell it, if you want one, you can't find one to buy. ....

It took ages, but I finally picked up a Yamaha Clavinova last year for 50 quid, full 88-key and portable. It meant going all the way to Uckfield to pick it up, but it was worth it!

 

If Ray's assessment is correct, then the Coopercraft brand, along with Blacksmith, etc. will probably die with the present owner. It will merely be the latest in a growing line of lost brands.

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Again we have a lot of speculation!

If there were machines available who is to say he had the finances available at the time.

I know a lot have had issues getting refunds etc but he still appears to be trying, and frankly that is better than closing the doors and saying it is all finished.

Ian kirk touched on something that may or may not be an issue: namely if he has altered moulds to suit.

That said not all moulding machines are the same, so it is a matter of sourceing a suitable machine to work with the moulds he has!

 

khris

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My thought wasnt to buy the tools, but to make new ones, improve on what there is, but use it as a starting point.

And yes I realize moulds are expensive. My idea wasnt for everyone, but for someone with manufacturing experience.

Edited by Spitfire2865
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Trevor

 

I have a friend who had some parts cast for his own use from parts taken from a whitemetal kit. They came out very well, but you really need the masters which I believe are made fractionally larger to take into consideration the shrinkage which happens with whitemetal casting. May work in resin casting better ?

 

Secondly the chap who owns the moulds still has the copyright on the kits. Would be best if you bought the masters, but then the cost of re-introducing the kits may be uneconomical. SEF have with another company bought the Nucast range of kits between them for re-introduction. Looks initially they will be bodyline kits and may take some time before any are available owing to mew moulds being required 

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  • RMweb Gold

I don't know what kind of moulding machine he wants but generally speaking second hand machines can be picked up quite cheaply. 

[...]

I am sure that it would still be possible to get the kits moulded (unless the new owner has altered the moulds).  Where there is a will as they say.

Maybe there is also the thought that 3D printing is coming along by leaps and bounds these days, and if a new moulding machine is bought and set up it will end up redundant before it has paid for itself and made a reasonable profit.

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Just got the agreement for a new Mac for me - now to look at 3D printing capability.

 

I know we're straying off topic (as the topic is not responsive) but as I see it:

 

  • In order to make a new kit for 3D printing you'd have to draw it out.
  • By doing so you're creating something new and not venturing into copyright areas
  • By using the unsatisfied demand for kits that were produced you're undertaking a marketing exercise
  • You could use the kit as purchased (but remembering that the quality, according to a model shop, is dire) to compare your production.
  • You can sell it, maybe for more than the kits (not) being produced but it exists.
  • Productions runs do not have to be huge.
  • You can buy a complete and highly detailed 3D printing set up for jewellers for about 6 grand
  • You could also use the 3D print stuff to produce masters for lost wax castings - so maybe solving the Malcolm Mitchell Grange (or is it Manor) problem for Ivan.
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My thought wasnt to buy the tools, but to make new ones, improve on what there is, but use it as a starting point.

And yes I realize moulds are expensive. My idea wasnt for everyone, but for someone with manufacturing experience.

 

With the Blacksmith range, Fred Blackman's hand drawn original films are now over 50 years old .Nothing wrong with hand drawn but continued exposure to light softens the edges as can be seen from more recent etched from the older films. In reality, they need redrawing, preferably via Cad so new films can continually be produced from the datafile.

 

With the range, it has to be asked, would you bring it all back anyway? For instance the C29 was been upgraded by another manufacturer and is far better quality than the dear old Blacksmith. There appear to be many unbuilt original kits appearing for sale on a regular basis. With unbuilt original kits, what does this say about the market for reintroducing the range. Several of the Blacksmith etched GWR coaches are duplicated by the Slater's range. So in reality. he is in competition with himself for the same coaches.

 

One manufacturer counts the sales of brass coach kits in the tens, not hundreds and struggles to recoup development costs. How many of the Blacksmith/Slaters range can confidentally be predicted to sell? There were only a couple of Blacksmith's I wanted, and I have just acquired them both secondhand, unbuilt with replacement 247 Development bogies...result!

 

I read, on this thread, that Coopercraft had been selling the Blacksmith range as etches only at shows. Personally I think this is a positive step. All the cast parts required to complete can be sourced elsewhere, and mostly of a far higher quality compared to the original Blacksmith moulds.

 

Posted Today, 15:21

He doesn't even need to buy a machine. There are plenty of contract moulders who could take his tools and run some injections off for him

 

Meil's point is valid but there is the added question of contractors willing to deal with him. I know of of two who will not.

 

Mike Wiltshire

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If he lets it die, legally, who owns it? Would it be possible for someone with unbuilt kits to make moulds from them and restart the brands, hopefully with intent to keep them?

Legally, I believe that the "rights" remain with him (or even his estate) - of course there is very little to stop you making a copy of anything but try to sell that copy and you open yourself to being sued. Remember that the best kept secret is one that is never passed to anyone.

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