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Graham Farish announces changes to programme


Andy Y

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Bachmann Europe has today announced changes to its Graham Farish N scale range. This follows consultation with our trade customers regarding production of the 9F 2-10-0 locomotive and the Class 222 Meridian / Pioneer high speed diesel multiple unit.

 

David Haarhaus, Sales & Marketing Manager said “It has become apparent that the present market cannot support a second N scale 9F 2-10-0 or Class 222, which is in many people’s eyes too similar to the Class 220 Voyager units now operated by Virgin Trains and Arriva Cross Country and are included in the current Graham Farish range. We appreciate that there are many detail differences between the Bombardier designed 222 units from the original Class 220 but unfortunately that is not enough to justify moving from design to production at this time .

 

David continued “We have after much soul searching decided to withdraw these items from the 2011 catalogue and put them on a back burner. If and when the market develops and it is time to look at them again, we will do so. In a Worldwide recession, we are better to put our efforts and considerable resources into bringing new models into the range. We want to reassure N scale modellers that we are working on suitable replacements, details of which will be released once these exciting new models have progressed through the tooling process”.

 

David explained “the Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 is now, therefore, the only previously announced locomotive yet to appear. This model is not affected by today’s announcement and work is well underway to deliver this into the range”.

 

David concluded “we appreciate that some N scale modellers will be disappointed by today’s news but I am sure they will appreciate our honesty in this situation. There is absolutely no point in producing these models in the challenging financial climate we are all facing. We have a fantastic selection of new models already under development which will more than make up for any short term disappointment. Graham Farish is the leading manufacturer of British outline N scale trains and it is our intention to continue to build on the foundations that have been laid over the past 40 years (see note 1)”

 

The models affected are

 

371-676 Class 222 4 car Meridian DMU No. 222011 in Midland Mainline livery

 

371-677 Class 222 4 car Pioneer DMU No. 222101 in Hull Trains livery

 

371-679 Class 222 4 car Meridian DMU No. 222017 in East Midlands Trains livery

 

372-425 BR Standard Class 9F No. 92220 ‘Evening Star’ in BR lined green livery

 

372-426 BR Standard Class 9F No. 92002 in BR black with early emblem

 

372-427 BR Standard Class 9F No. 92205 in BR black with late crest

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That's a shame about the 222, I was looking forward to that, but given the already lengthy delay, I was half expecting that. The 9F makes sense though, as Dapol did get there first.

 

It sounds like N gauge is suffering while OO is growing in the recession then, given the explosion of new announcements in that scale. This matches my view of the age group modelling N - given its modern image focus, there's a younger bias, whle OO has plenty of retired citizens less affected by the downturn.

 

Hopefully Farish has some nice new things to tempt us with at the N gauge show then? Disapointing that there was nothing at all new announced today to offset this news

 

David

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[

It sounds like N gauge is suffering while OO is growing in the recession then, given the explosion of new announcements in that scale. This matches my view of the age group modelling N - given its modern image focus, there's a younger bias, whle OO has plenty of retired citizens less affected by the downturn.

 

Hopefully Farish has some nice new things to tempt us with at the N gauge show then? Disapointing that there was nothing at all new announced today to offset this news

 

David

 

 

Hi David

 

I have been modelling in British N for many years and have never seen so many (Or such good) new products, both in steam and Modern Image. The 00 Market is very much larger is certainly true and will certainly support more, more marginal/obscure new products and indeed acommodate more duplication. However as I see it the deferring (Probably scrapping) of these two models (9F especially) makes sound commercial sense as the smaller N Market would struggle to make a duplicate 9F viable. Much better as they have said that other products are substituted instead, which to me that does not suggest the scale is suffering (Well relative to any other scale anyway)

in the current economic climate.

 

I'm also not so sure about any particularly younger bias either, you have to only people watch at The "N Gauge Show" in Warwick to see an older age profile than might be expected overall - maybe that will be a blight on all scales in time though? That's not to say that there aren't a lot of excellent "modern" modellers, products and layouts, there certainly are, but most of those I know who model in the scale are 40 plus and model 1950s/60's steam diesel transition period, and I am told by the Dealers I know that sales fitting this particular era are really quite strong.

Roy

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To be expected regarding the 9F, especially bearing in mind that there is already one available - so a sensible decision over that, and one that frees up development time and cost for something else, but what else?

 

Not so sure about the Meridian though - there is no alternative exact same unit produced although perhaps their decision to replicate the Voyager in competition with another companies Voyager was the start of the problems for those units. But I wonder who these people are that think a Meridian looks the same as a Voyager. On that wolly thinking (or perhaps dodgy eyesight) there must be doubt over anymore steam 0-6-0 tender locos as 'they all look the same' or the possiblity of completely different liveries being applied to existing bog carts as 'no-one can tell the colours apart'. :blink:

 

Overall a bit of a shame, but let's hope this is only a slight temporary blip in the market for N gauge, and that other manufacturers don't start to announce reductions to their intended ranges/developments. Roll on the promised positive new announcements due at TINGS.

 

G.

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Shame, but completely undertstandable :(

 

I do expect when the 222 makes a comeback, it'll be in N and OO at the same time. With the 9F going away, perhaps Farish could cherry pick other BR standards before Dapol get to them, I'm thinking the 5MT might be obvious low hanging fruit at this time.

 

Oh, and the LMS and LNER pacifics...

 

And one day, we'll find out who blinks first between Bachmann and Dapol on the class 59 :)

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Perhaps not too surprising that the MML and Hull versions of the 222 have been dropped, as the prototypes have been and gone between the announcement and the cancellation of the models, but the EMT version is more worrying.

 

Although the 222 probably requires new tooling for all bodyshells, it does at least use the chassis and bogies from the 220. Taken with the 00 gauge Blue Pullman and the DP1 Deltic previously announced in N, they seem to see rare prototypes from the transition era, sold at premium prices, as having more potential than more common prototypes of the modern era.

 

In doing this they risk a flank attack from Dapol, who haven't announced a 222 but could readily produce one based on their own 220 - hopefully using the better mechanism from the 221. In turn this would make it more difficult for Bachmann to reap the economies of scale by producing the 222 in both gauges. This is rather contradictory to the Blue Pullman where everyone expects Olivias/Heljan to withdraw gracefully from their previoius announcement.

 

It is also (I think) the first time they have dropped a model from the catalogue without actually producing it. Having set the precedent I wouldn't be suprised if the 101 disappeared too, as this also requires new tooling and Hornby already produces it in 00.

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am not an N gauge moddeler, but the press statement seems to make a lot of sense when you think about what else they could be working on.

 

David Haarhaus seems to crop up from time to time on this sort of sensible statement.

 

 

Bachmann really seem to be getting their act together on what to and what not to produce.

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Well the shelving of a 9F could prompt Dapol to do another run? I have no personal interest in the Voyager type units. But if these announcements mean the 2MT gets to the shops at long last, then about time too. I am canabilising my two Minitrix examples to keep one working loco - and that is sick and they never did pull much.

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Its good common sense to drop the 9F, it just a shame they had left in their catalogue for past couple of years giving everyone an expectation of a different version. No doubt there are some out there who have missed out on a 9F, preferring to wait for a Farish one than to get a Dapol one. The fact that they have said work on the Ivatt 2MT is underway is good news. It's been sitting in the catalogue along with the 9F for a while now. Once it was announced, it put a stop to Dapol doing one as a follow-up to there Ivatt 2MT tank loco. One wonders if Dapol could have had this out and finished by now! As we await the latest Standard 4MT with BR2 tender, we will get see if they can get make a smaller tender drive. Hopefully from here we will see a progression Fowler tender.

 

 

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Its good common sense to drop the 9F, it just a shame they had left in their catalogue for past couple of years giving everyone an expectation of a different version. No doubt there are some out there who have missed out on a 9F, preferring to wait for a Farish one than to get a Dapol one.

 

 

I hope this will prompt Dapol to upgrade their 9F further (maybe to the standard of the Brit and B1?) - the reason many were waiting for a Farish model (apart from all the problems with the first batch of Dapol 9Fs) is the lack of haulage capacity.

 

For that reason I'm disappointed to see it dropped, but of complete understanding as to why.

 

Cheers,

Alan

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Yup, 9F going not exactly a big surprise it has to be said.

 

I wouldn't mind a move away from big mainline steamers and into some smaller tank locos. There's a good selection of items in the range now to produce a half decent LMS layout but the Jinty is looking increasingly creaky these days alongside them.

 

 

(as an aside, it's interesting to contrast two different RTR situations. You read some people's comments elsewhere about Bachmann's apparent 'bullying tactics' with the release of their Blue Pullman, and yet here we have Dapol bringing out their N gauge 9F after Bachmann/Farish had announced theirs, and now Bachmann have announced they aren't going ahead with their model as a direct result of that. Not quite so high profile I admit, but I suspect we won't get any comments about 'bullying tactics' with regards to the 9F situation).

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Thinking about this overnight, there's actually some 'high profile' steam releases that could be done instead of the 9F - a new A3, A4, and especially the A1 Tornado (I'd have one of those!), as well as updating the southern locos, Tangmere is pretty dire in the old Farish design.

 

For the 222 though, I admit I'm stuck as to what modern releases are left to replace that with - the Class 70 will come eventually (once the OO version is out and Farish have developed a slim-line chassis like Dapol used in the 58), and its highly unlikely we'd see something like the Javelin as Farish are reticent to go back to overhead electrics.

 

If you stick to the 'replacement' theme - another long-haul passenger train, I can only think of the Class 180, but not one I would have thought very likely.

 

With Dapol having 'pre-announced' the 56, 92, pendolino, HST and 143, I will be intrigued by what is left for Farish to bring out from the modern image scene!

 

David

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Bachmann had already produced all the Research & Development when they announced the 9F and Voyager units (of which the 222 is a derivative). From this the OO models were produced. Bachmann announced the 9F and Voyager first but Dapol chose to produce them despite Bachmann / Farish making the first initial announcements. The Class 66 was another IIRC.

There is more to producing a N scale model than simply shrinking a OO one in half. Apart from the R & D element, the engineering processes take exactly the same timescales as any other project, which Bachmann in the last 12 months has explained at length in of a series of extensive articles in the Collectors' Club magazine. I hope to be covering the Collectors' Club mag in a separate topic soon and the sort of content that can be found in there.

The 9F and Class 222 have been held back awaiting a time that was right for the market and listening to retailers. Clearly at the moment, Bachmann have decided it is not and have honestly said so. The N gauge market in comparison to the OO one is still less than a fifth of the OO market despite the substantial improvements in range and quality we have seen in the last few years and Bachmann need to balance probable sales of these items against the rest of the N gauge range and indeed their wider production.

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It is also (I think) the first time they have dropped a model from the catalogue without actually producing it. Having set the precedent I wouldn't be suprised if the 101 disappeared too, as this also requires new tooling and Hornby already produces it in 00.

 

Farish possibly, but in OO Bachmann announced a Vanwide and VEA and didn't pursue them (presume they hadn't realised the chassis' were so very different until after the project was announced)

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Its a real shame not having the EMT meridian - as there is currently a good supporting cast of models to go with it that would help sales - Dapols EMT class 153 , 156 - (a forthcoming hst no doubt) and a forthcoming 158 from farish themselves in this livery too. Could have cashed in while these liveries/models are 'flavour of the month , so to speak.

 

tfn

 

Jon

 

 

 

 

 

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We appreciate that there are many detail differences between the Bombardier designed 222 units from the original Class 220 but unfortunately that is not enough to justify moving from design to production at this time.

 

 

Sorry that does not make sence. I would have thought that the greater the differences the less chance it would of justifying the cost. I have no doubt that Fraish's sales of the 220 would have been affected, particularly the Virgin livery but I would have thought that producing the 222 would have enabled the development cost to be spread over more models.

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