N Gauge Forum

General Category => N Gauge Discussion => Topic started by: D9020 Nimbus on January 08, 2019, 04:33:21 PM

Title: State of British N Gauge
Post by: D9020 Nimbus on January 08, 2019, 04:33:21 PM
This post was partly inspired by the recent Farish cancellations. I thought I'd look at coverage of models in the steam and diesel eras.

BR diesels: all the main loco classes have been modelled to modern standards (or a model is very close) with the exception of the class 25/3. Also all of the diesel hydraulics apart from the two types of NBL Warship have been done. There are many DMUs still untouched.

BR standard steam: the 9F, Britannia, 5MT, 4MT 2-6-0 and the 4MT and 3MT tanks have been done. However the 4MT 4-6-0 has not, nor have the Clans nor the smaller classes yet to be made in OO either. The 4MT 4-6-0 seems a big omission.

GWR locos have been well covered—of the main classes only the 56xx, Mogul and King are missing, but are planned. A new "large Prairie" would be welcome though, as would a better running "small Prairie".

LMS locos are reasonably well covered—of the "big" locos only the "Princess" is missing. The 8F is on its way. However the only 2-6-4T is the Fairburn one—a Fowler version would be nice.

LNER coverage is patchy. All of the main Pacifics apart from the A2/3 have been done, but the V2 hasn't been done to modern standards. There at a B17 and there have been two B1s. But there have been no LNER-design tank engines other than the old Farish J94. It seems unlikely that the DJM J94 or Q6 will ever be seen. Union Mills have done several models, particularly NER and GER, but not as yet a J15.

SR coverage is patchier still. Only the original Merchant Navy, the "N", "Q1", "C", "Terrier" and M7 have been made by the major manufacturers, although Union Mills have done the "T9" and some ex-LSW 0-6-0s.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: martyn on January 08, 2019, 05:13:34 PM
This partly links in to another topic on the Forum;

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=40937.msg547149#msg547149 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=40937.msg547149#msg547149)

'Are we over the golden age of N gauge?'

My main interest and knowledge is in ex LNER/GE section, so a couple of thoughts, some of which are in the aforementioned thread; I'm ignoring kits for the purpose of this post.

BR Steam;

'Clans' (and 71000) had relatively limited areas of operation.


LNER steam;

Part of the problem here is that even into nationalisation, the LNER pre-grouping locos tended to stay in their originating areas, so for a manufacturer, there is dificulty in providing a system wide loco. LNER standard designs tended to be ordered in small numbers for specific needs, rather than multiplied widely to replace older designs; the LNER couldn't afford to. However, I do agree about tank engines. But what would be the choice?
V1/V3 had noticeable detail differences.
 Thompson L1 was a very late entrant, and again had noticeable detail variation. Neither of these classes would normally be considered an average branch engine.
The now delayed J72-tended to be retained in ex NER area, though there was a more widespread BR built order; but rapidly withdrawn or re-allocated as diesel shunters were built.
N2-did get to other areas, Scotland and ex GE section, but not NER area.
N7-which I'd like-wasn't as widespread even as the N2-mainly the ex GER, with some GNR, and southern GCR. Round top or Belpaire boiler?
J67+69-actually, widespread, mainly after being replaced by N7s in the London area; allocated from Perth to London, Lowestoft to Wrexham, but again, NOT the ex NER area. Then which version? There were differences not only in side tanks but also boiler details between the two classes; even Stratford had a hard time keeping up with the variations! Then there were chimney and dome differences......And even more variation with Scottish area loco modifications-or lack of.
J39-produced-but all RTR are the 4200 gallon tender version. Possible 3500 gal tender? But this would be limiting for tender drives.
J38-basically Scottish.
K3-widespread throughout the LNER main lines, and I would have thought a good candidate, particularly as an OO model exists; but once again, lots of variations amongst a 'standard' class.
Some of the ex NER 060s could be considered, as at times, they did get away from the NER area; but frequently, they went back there.
The other frequent request-J15 and E4; small locos by any standard, so motorising the loco or a tender drive would be difficult. A GOOD GER 3000 gall tender drive could give B17 'Sandringhams', J17-J20; B12 (three versions); D14-D16 'Clauds', but these had many variations. At least the B17, B12, and Clauds got around the Southern area of the LNER a bit, and two versions of the B12 to Scotland.
J94-post war only; also tended to be allocated to specific areas, not generally (eg none on the ex GE section).

That's probably more than enough for now.

BR DMUs-agreed that many missing. I would have liked the Cravens and Derby lightweight two car, especially as Bachmann did them in OO, but it seems it is not to be.

BR diesels-mainly the first generation Bo Bos missing, but again, these tended to be localised allocations. I would have thought there was a case for the ex LMS 'Twins', but I'll let others stake the claim; likewise the Bullied diesels.

I'll let those with better knowledge than me comment on the other Grouping Company locos, but I would have though that there must be at least a couple of LMS passenger tanks with widespread allocation and appeal.

Martyn




Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: MacRat on January 08, 2019, 05:44:01 PM
Tongue in check, I find it remarkable, that the analysis in OP starts with BR era and than goes backwards in time, seemingly cutting out anything post-BR ;)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: NeMo on January 08, 2019, 06:06:07 PM
But in fairness, how many types of locomotive do you need? A 66, a second 66, then maybe another 66, oh, and another 66 is some other godawful garish livery that looks like something a 5-year-old came up with. Once you've got them, the important classes, you could mix things up with a 66, then a 66, and another 66 if you've got some spending money left over. Some people doing different layouts would also need a 66, unless they were doing a lot of maintenance trains, in which case they'd need a 66.

Cheers, NeMo

Edit: forgot they'd need a 66.

Tongue in check, I find it remarkable, that the analysis in OP starts with BR era and than goes backwards in time, seemingly cutting out anything post-BR ;)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: davidinyork on January 08, 2019, 06:22:40 PM
This post was partly inspired by the recent Farish cancellations.

What are those then? Not seen any mention of cancellations so I must have missed it.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: jacowin80 on January 08, 2019, 06:25:36 PM
To be fair no mater what era you model i'm sure that there will always be something that you want that isn't manufactured.  It all comes down to the amount that the model will sell, if it is felt something will not sell well it just simply won't be made.  Even if there are a vocal few that feel it would sell.  In a short amount of time how many models have Revolution tested the waters with then felt that the product wasn't viable.  I'm pretty sure that it has always been like this.  For me N gives me the most value for money and I know that I just simply couldn't have an OO layout, yes there is much more choice of models but with a bit of scratch building and kits I can get what I want from N without the train set look that you get with the cheaper OO gauge models.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: ntpntpntp on January 08, 2019, 06:31:56 PM
This post was partly inspired by the recent Farish cancellations.

What are those then? Not seen any mention of cancellations so I must have missed it.

Presume a reference to this thread:
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=44056.0 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=44056.0)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: RailGooner on January 08, 2019, 07:24:06 PM
But in fairness, how many types of locomotive do you need? A 66, a second 66, then maybe another 66, oh, and another 66 is some other godawful garish livery that looks like something a 5-year-old came up with. Once you've got them, the important classes, you could mix things up with a 66, then a 66, and another 66 if you've got some spending money left over. Some people doing different layouts would also need a 66, unless they were doing a lot of maintenance trains, in which case they'd need a 66.

Cheers, NeMo

Edit: forgot they'd need a 66.

How did you get to be so familiar with my collection? :hmmm: Mind, you forgot my 59. :D
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Newportnobby on January 08, 2019, 09:32:18 PM
All I'll say is if the EM1/2s were released in N I'd have to build another layout which won't get finished, and if someone turned on the taps for other WR/LMR/ER DMUs then my wallet would commit hari-kiri :worried:
As it is I have 9 items of motive power on pre-order or waiting for them to appear on websites so I can pre-order, 2 wagons (same status) and one set of coaches. This is the most I've had interest in for about 5 years.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: PLD on January 08, 2019, 10:02:07 PM
What the O/Ps list shows is how far we have come in the 15 or so years since Dapol's entry to the scale and Farish was rescued by Kader, and how much more is available now than was then... Despite the set-backs of delays and cancellations of a few specific products we now have more available than even the most optimistic would have imagined back then. We've got used to a constant stream of new models so we're disappointed when that rate slows a little...

With regard to the commented gaps in the BR Standards, perhaps given their provenance it is no coincidence that we are missing the Class 2s but have the LMS progenitors, whereas for class 4s we do have the BR standard 2-6-0 but are missing the LMS Ivatt version...
Are they considered 'too similar' to generate sufficient additional sales??

I would agree that the LNER is the poorest served of the big 4, but also agree with Martyn's summing up of the reasons for that. The LMS and GW standardisation programs make them so much easier to cover.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 08, 2019, 10:35:10 PM
Obviously people get annoyed when the cancelled loco or stock being developed is the 'One they want' And they there's the people that view any cancellation as two fingers to N gauge Modellers.

I'm after the long awaited Dapol WC class and they've been a very long time coming BUT like many point out,

Do we want a model to run and admire? Or a temperamental piece of tat that couldn't pull the skin off the proverbial rice pudding. Models hit snags, anyone can scan a loco and promise every detail in the world but if the motor doesn't fit and then doesn't even work what do we want?

I would like to think the scale back on these models is to allow them to catch up with current planned and delayed projects, get them out on the shelves and turn some much needed cash.

Who knows, just because theirs no great publicity shots what they get upto everyday. Jaguar don't announce every single concept their working on for the simple fact many fail so much they would be pulled apart for showing us things that can never be built.

Wouldn't it be great for GF or Dapol to showcase the pre-production items at Warley 2019 and 100% guarantee that as of Feb / March 2020 you could buy each one off the shelf like a 2020 product catalogue should do??

I'm impressed with the stock we have been able to acquire over the last 10 years, yes theres plenty missing I WANT but that's the case for everyone.

Let's be glad with the current manufacturers we have, the current and guaranteed products coming and enjoy N gauge for Our Great Hobby!!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 09, 2019, 12:02:01 AM
V1/V3 had noticeable detail differences.
Thompson L1 was a very late entrant, 
N2-did get to other areas, Scotland and ex GE section, but not NER area.

Why do we always have to consider only RTR? @Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213) offers 3D print kits of all of the above, and all are good quality and realistic builds. Also, Langley offers the N2 as a whitemetal kit aswell.

N7-which I'd like

Langley offer the N7 as a whitemetal kit.

J39-produced-but all RTR are the 4200 gallon tender version. Possible 3500 gal tender? But this would be limiting for tender drives.

Farish offer the J39 already, with different tender types. Union Mills also have a J39.

J38-basically Scottish.

Union Mills also offer a J38.

K3-widespread throughout the LNER main lines, and I would have thought a good candidate, particularly as an OO model exists; but once again, lots of variations amongst a 'standard' class.

@Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213) offers 3D print kit of this one....

B12 (three versions);D16 'Clauds',

UM do these also....

...what this shows is that you severely restrict yourself if only looking at the mainstream RTR manufacturers. If willing to actually builds, a lot more opens up. I'm sure this is the same for other regions aswell.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: emjaybee on January 09, 2019, 12:14:24 AM


...what this shows is that you severely restrict yourself if only looking at the mainstream RTR manufacturers. If willing to actually builds, a lot more opens up. I'm sure this is the same for other regions aswell.

Cheers,
Alan

I take issue with this statement (only a little bit, mind).

It's not a case of whether you are willing to build, but if you can build. There aren't that many people who can produce a finished kit loco that comes up to the latest standards of detail and finish of a RTR loco. I used to class myself as a reasonably good modeller, but I can't match the likes of a Farish Jubilee or the like. I'd love to be able to, but I can't. So anything which doesn't come up to those standards looks frankly quite naff when stood next to one. I'd imagine that a Patriot kit made by myself pulling a rake of Farish 'Blue Riband' coaches would look bloody awful!

Many of us don't have the skill or dexterity to manage it, but we do have a desire for a nice range of locos, so it would be great to see more variety from all the manufacturers.

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 09, 2019, 12:26:49 AM
It's not a case of whether you are willing to build, but if you can build. There aren't that many people who can produce a finished kit loco that comes up to the latest standards of detail and finish of a RTR loco.

Nobody said build to that standard - you can build to any standard you so desire, or that your current skills allow. Moreover, there's a lack of consistency there anyway - UM locos do not match Farish RTR, but I've heard relatively little criticism there.... (mostly being my own when I detail them!).

I'm sorry, but so many folk just say they can't do it - maybe in some cases that is genuinely true, but I think a lot of folk are capable of more. And remember, it take time to build the skills. How do you build those very skills? Err....by building stuff!

So why not try? Options for starting can range anywhere from the most basic Peco wagon kit, to some of the basic whitemetal shells out there (Langley 4MT 4-6-0 is perfect - body has 9 parts only, tender has 2(!) and sits on a completely unmodified RTR chassis) or basic 3D prints that go straight on an unmodified RTR chassis. You've relatively little to loose and a lot of satisfaction to be gained, whether that be from the build, the completion or knowing your model is really yours and there's not another like it, anywhere.

Maybe my opinions are increasingly swayed by threads like that of Tony Wright on RMweb, but something built by someone (to whatever standard) is somewhat more interesting that a dull RTR only world....

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Intercity on January 09, 2019, 12:55:08 AM
Personally I’d like to see the AL1 to AL5 electrics done (81-85), however I might need a time warped class 66 to pull them  :-\

I think the OHLE locomotives and MUs are seriously under represented and are something our younger modelers can associate with.

Are modelers asking for non-OHLE stuff because it’s easier to model, or are companies selling what they think the current market associates with, if the latter how do we bring young blood into the hobby if they can’t associate with the available market (not many young uns will have experienced a steamer at full speed either from a platform or on board the train)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: railsquid on January 09, 2019, 01:39:56 AM
Personally I’d like to see the AL1 to AL5 electrics done (81-85), however I might need a time warped class 66 to pull them  :-\

I think the OHLE locomotives and MUs are seriously under represented and are something our younger modelers can associate with.

Are modelers asking for non-OHLE stuff because it’s easier to model, or are companies selling what they think the current market associates with, if the latter how do we bring young blood into the hobby if they can’t associate with the available market (not many young uns will have experienced a steamer at full speed either from a platform or on board the train)

I applaud your definition of "young"  :claphappy:

I suppose one issue with British OHLE electrics is that they were historically limited to certain (albeit quite large) areas (WCML, and in later BR days ECML and East Anglia IIRC) which makes them not as ubiquitous as diesels/kettles.

All I'm asking for is a class 85, updated class 87, and a class 304 EMU (all in BR blue). 

(Yes I could theoretically do something about those myself, but I am aware of my limitations, the most pressing of which for the forseeable future will be time).

Oh, and Dapol to hurry up with their promised 86s.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Stevie DC on January 09, 2019, 06:44:07 AM
Thanks to Dr Al for the heads up about this thread.

Given that the N Gauge market is apparently somewhere between 15% and 25% of the OO market and that the costs of design, tooling and assembly of an N Gauge model is comparable to that for a OO Gauge model, it is likely that the N Gauge market will never be as developed as OO - the returns on investment aren't there.

My 3D printed range came about due to my own requirements for locomotives to represent my chosen location. The lack of expansion into other company's locos and stock is mainly due to the very low sales numbers - my Patriot and V1/V3 models are currently tied for as the best sellers with fifteen models of each sold.

Some of the LNER scratch aids mentioned by Dr Al are below for those wanting to have a go.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/48/213-130217224308.jpeg)

LNER N2 designed to fit a modified Farish 3MT chassis.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/66/213-150618194518.jpeg)

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/213-181218180806.jpeg)

Examples of the V1 and V3 bodies fitted to Farish N class chassis - both are 'pre-production' prototypes, the dome is a better shape on the model on sale.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/55/213-090917183444.jpeg)

K3/3 on a V2 chassis an powered by a spare J39 tender drive.

I've been working on a replacement body to fit on the N class chassis, hopefully this will be available sometime this year - the lack of spare V2 tender chassis/frames has delayed this as I need to CAD replacements now.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/54/213-170817193314.jpeg)

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/56/213-131017165542.jpeg)

The L1 has been withdrawn for my range for an upgrade. The original design was my first effort designing for, the then new, FUD material - now Fine/Finest Detail Plastic. The current test model of the new model is below.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/213-301218113514.jpeg)

With regard to making things for oneself, I though I would show a bit of my own progression over the last ten years. There have been many more models and techniques studies, attempted and learnt to get from the first of these pictures to the last.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/213-090119055111.jpeg)

One of my earliest attempts at a C1 Atlantic (c.2008/9) built out of cardboard! It did get painted but I can't find a picture of it in that state. The chassis is from a Jubilee and the tender for Union Mills.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/213-090119055317.jpeg)

C. 2012/14. The unique C1, 3279. This time a 3D print done on my first home printer (a B9Creator) with the same Jubilee chassis as above (spare valve gear and cylinders fitted), a chopped up Farish A3 tender top, V2 frames and a Union Mills tender drive and lined with Fox Transfers. This model has since been retired and the parts recycled as I would like to have another try at it.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/213-181218180442.jpeg)

The latest model nearing completion. Again it has a 3D printed body and uses the frames from a Dapol hall as it's starting point (and parts from another two locos). The tender is to scale this time and is much smaller than the one that ended up behind 3279. This locomotive is completely hand lined. Admittedly, this is the extreme end of using a donor chassis/parts to build a model.

I hope these last three pictures do show that, over time, it is possible to learn/improve techniques and produce something that isn't too out of place compared to modern RTR. There are many useful books and references out there and all I've done is to copy and practice the methods outlined in these.

The hand lining has been done using a bow pen (ruling pen). Following a career as a competitive free skater (solo figure skating), I now have nerve damage in my left arm and hand (I'm left handed) which results in pain, numbness and intermittent shakes (my back and knees are also in a bad state now). My right hand lacks the movement required in my thumb to hold a pen or brush due to being born with a deformity so learning how to be right handed isn't an option. I've found that by supporting my wrist while working, I can keep my hand steady enough for most detail work.

Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: martyn on January 09, 2019, 08:30:13 AM
Dr Al;

reply #11.

I did state at the very beginning that I would ignore kits for the purpose of my post.

I am well aware of the availability of the kits you mentioned, and indeed, with the exception of Steve/Atso's kits I have examples of nearly all you mentioned. But many of these are over twenty years old, and, I think, show it. I have to say that my interpretation of the original post was weighted towards RTR. I have also built some Foxhunter kits, which always were a step above Langley, but sadly, I think no longer available; likewise Hughes kits. I am awaiting Atso's L1-the chassis is waiting!

I have built many kit locos, wagons, and coaches, as twenty years ago it was the only way to get the prototype you required, but even though some won prizes in their day, they do not compare to modern RTR, and, personally, due to aging eyesight, I'm not sure if I could do it again.

On another thread on the Forum, Mike/Red Death asks for steam prototypes to be considered for production; my post was also partly in answer to this, as a 'standard' LNER loco which would sell 1000 units may be difficult to find, because of the problems I have mentioned.

I appreciate that Farish do two versions of the LNER J39 tender-but they are both 4200 gallon tenders, not 3500 gallon. My 3500 gallon version is from Foxhunter, but shows its age due to the Poole chassis under the loco. I believe the Union Mills is also 4200 gallon. I also have the Union Mills 'Claud'-which I have lined-and their B12/3-which, prototypically, I haven't-but these both have issues with size, especially the tender. My Foxhunter K3 runs with a Uniion Mills 4200 gallon tender.

I didn't mention LNER 280s; the main Gresley version (O3) came in two distinct versions at least, and the 'standard' LNER 280, the ex GCR Robinson ROD/O4, went to at least 8 sub classes, not to mention rebuilds to Thompson O1! Nor did I mention the Thompson/Peppercorn K1; this could also be produced using the Farish tender drive, but again, was really a BR built design and allocated in blocks to very few sheds.

Whilst I admire, and envy, the standard of your work, I think that many members of this forum lean towards RTR-which was where my post was aimed. I personally didn't mind building older kits using 'standard' RTR chassis, and accepted the resulting compromise; I would be quite reluctant to try altering more modern RTR chassis to fit kits, for a number of reasons, one of them being eyesight.

Martyn
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Bealman on January 09, 2019, 08:36:38 AM
An informative, lucid and thoughtful reply. Posts like this make this thread useful and worthwhile.

Thanks for posting!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Madann01 on January 09, 2019, 10:27:22 AM
Personally I’d like to see the AL1 to AL5 electrics done (81-85), however I might need a time warped class 66 to pull them  :-\

I think the OHLE locomotives and MUs are seriously under represented and are something our younger modelers can associate with.

Are modelers asking for non-OHLE stuff because it’s easier to model, or are companies selling what they think the current market associates with, if the latter how do we bring young blood into the hobby if they can’t associate with the available market (not many young uns will have experienced a steamer at full speed either from a platform or on board the train)
[/quote

Not just the young ones having not experienced the era of the steam train, I am nearly 60 years young and my only recollections of steam trains was watching them in the 60s as a child on the local section of the now named west coast main line. Not a clue on what locos and rolling stock were running and didn't really care if truth be known. My modelling aspirations are founded on what I see around me at this present time and I can only assume youngsters of today will only want to model what they have memories of ( when they can afford to ) just like the followers of steam are doing now. Manufacturers need to start planning for the future customers requirements. As memories of the 'Golden age of steam' are fast diminishing

Note I have nothing but admiration for those that do produce wonderful accurate portrayals' of the steam era :thankyousign: For the inspiration.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Madann01 on January 09, 2019, 10:33:00 AM
Not just the young ones having not experienced the era of the steam train, I am nearly 60 years young and my only recollections of steam trains was watching them in the 60s as a child on the local section of the now named west coast main line. Not a clue on what locos and rolling stock were running and didn't really care if truth be known. My modelling aspirations are founded on what I see around me at this present time and I can only assume youngsters of today will only want to model what they have memories of ( when they can afford to ) just like the followers of steam are doing now. Manufacturers need to start planning for the future customers requirements. As memories of the 'Golden age of steam' are fast diminishing

Note I have nothing but admiration for those that do produce wonderful accurate portrayals' of the steam era  :thankyousign: For the inspiration.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 09, 2019, 10:50:55 AM
I must say I loathe the "well build a kit then" attitude, it's only a short step to the derogatory term "box openers". Kits definitely have a place, and it's great to have something that not everyone does, but when talking about a lack of RTR availability the answer should not be "it's available as a kit, so why not do some modelling?".

As a comparative youngster (I don't recall ever seeing a BR blue loco, I only just remember loco-hauled trains on the SWML, let alone steam!) I've always been interested in the contemporary scene. I'm maybe generally about 3-5 years 'in arrears', I don't tend to buy stuff as soon as it's available on the 1:1 scale railway, but when I look at my collection now it's gradually shifted more and more modern. This comes up periodically though, and there are plenty of people modelling an era they have no recollection of. Let's be honest there are very few people with any living memory of the 1930s, let alone earlier.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Ben A on January 09, 2019, 12:15:08 PM
In a short amount of time how many models have Revolution tested the waters with then felt that the product wasn't viable.

Hi there,

Revolution has cancelled just one proposed model after it failed to generate adequate interest - the Class 21/29 diesel.

The Class B tankers struggled for a while, but got there and have now been delivered to supporters.

The Class 320/321 EMU enjoyed an an early surge, stalled for a while, but is now about to go to tooling.

We expected the APT-E in N to take a while to reach required numbers to make it viable, but it is already almost there and development work with Rapido has started.

Cheers

Ben A.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Stevie DC on January 09, 2019, 12:27:47 PM
I must say I loathe the "well build a kit then" attitude, it's only a short step to the derogatory term "box openers". Kits definitely have a place, and it's great to have something that not everyone does, but when talking about a lack of RTR availability the answer should not be "it's available as a kit, so why not do some modelling?".

njee, while I agree that there can occasionally (and unfortunately) be an element of elitism within our hobby, I disagree with your statement that somebody suggesting that a modeller build a kit/scratch aid that is available is only a short step from using the derogatory term 'box openers'.

As somebody struggling to try and make a living in the industry, I would say that roughly 50% of my sales come from people who have referred others to the fact I offer a print of a prototype they would like that isn't available RTR. With the best will in the world, the RTR manufacturers cannot hope to invest in producing a model of every item of stock that was ever made (certainly not without our lifetimes, anyway). In those situations it really does come down to having a go at kit building (if a kit is available), scratch building or doing without. I am very grateful to those who have suggested that people buy and finish my prints as they have helped to offset development costs for new designs.

I find one of the most gratifying things is when somebody emails me, or posts on a forum, a picture of something they made from one of my prints. The standard of the finish doesn't matter, the fact that they made the purchase and gained enjoyment from it means the world to me - maybe one day I'll be able to make a living wage out of designing as well.

We are fortunate that our hobby is a very broad church and it is very much up to the individual in what direction they take their own involvement. There will inevitably be differences of opinions and sometimes these can lead to unfortunate, heated, exchanges. One particular approach may not appeal to an individual but please don't shoot somebody down for suggesting another option or referring them to a small supplier.

Happy modelling in whatever form, period or location it may be.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 09, 2019, 12:36:22 PM
I totally agree Steve, and my post wasn't aimed at anyone particular on this thread, it's just a general disliking of the way that is often phrased, you can hear the sneering! There's a nuance between "have you considered building a kit?" and "there are kits available, get back in your box and stop whinging!".

Kits definitely have a place, that is to supplement RTR offerings and help to fill the gaps particularly of the more esoteric prototypes. What I don't like is the attitude that people need to shut up and buy kits rather than lament the lack of availability of RTR models. It's akin to people complaining about a manufacturer being rebutted with "well why don't you do it better?". It's just not helpful, and it is furiously elitist.

I'm most definitely not saying that I think manufacturers should release everything, and I think a lot of people have unrealistic expectations - there was something on RMWeb recently where someone was lamenting the fact that some forthcoming model, of which he wanted a good number was not available in the exact permutation he wanted (Dapol 50 maybe?) and thus he wouldn't buy any. That's excessive - if you're going to be sufficiently picky as to want a certain running number and condition as at a specific point in time then you need to break out the tools and sort it yourself.

I've got several repaints I've done which are alright. They're not RTR standard, but I like that I have them, because others don't. I've got a few kit built wagons, principally 3D printed as not much needs doing. I tried my hand at a brass wagon kit, but I was too ambitious with my first attempt. I'll likely have another go at some point. I keep trying to teach myself CAD because I'd like to try printing some wagons myself, it's not going well!

I will, however, defend people's right to say "I really want one of x", meaning a RTR version, because I'll continue to do it too!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Skyline2uk on January 09, 2019, 12:47:24 PM
Touched on briefly but to add my two pence to the “gaps” in BR Diesel / Electric RTR:

AC electric

81-85
87 (Farish one old and out of production)
90 (Farish one old and out of production, surely the imminent 00 needs a shrink ray?)
91 (Farish one old and out of production)

Diesel

Class 59. Been mentioned as long as the 142s and much further behind in development.

I admit that’s a small amount of locos and therefore I have little to moan about (and I cant afford many anyway).

Ref kits: I have started a few and my biggest problem is time. I would love to run a rake of tipplers (behind a 59!) and say “yes I made those”, but a full time job and approaching 5 week old junior mean that’s an aspiration.

At least with RTR stuff I can admire it.

Skyline2uk
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Stevie DC on January 09, 2019, 12:52:34 PM
I totally agree Steve, and my post wasn't aimed at anyone particular on this thread, it's just a general disliking of the way that is often phrased, you can hear the sneering! There's a nuance between "have you considered building a kit?" and "there are kits available, get back in your box and stop whinging!".

Kits definitely have a place, that is to supplement RTR offerings and help to fill the gaps particularly of the more esoteric prototypes. What I don't like is the attitude that people need to shut up and buy kits rather than lament the lack of availability of RTR models. It's akin to people complaining about a manufacturer being rebutted with "well why don't you do it better?". It's just not helpful, and it is furiously elitist.

I'm most definitely not saying that I think manufacturers should release everything, and I think a lot of people have unrealistic expectations - there was something on RMWeb recently where someone was lamenting the fact that some forthcoming model, of which he wanted a good number was not available in the exact permutation he wanted (Dapol 50 maybe?) and thus he wouldn't buy any. That's excessive - if you're going to be sufficiently picky as to want a certain running number and condition as at a specific point in time then you need to break out the tools and sort it yourself.

I've got several repaints I've done which are alright. They're not RTR standard, but I like that I have them, because others don't. I've got a few kit built wagons, principally 3D printed as not much needs doing. I tried my hand at a brass wagon kit, but I was too ambitious with my first attempt. I'll likely have another go at some point. I keep trying to teach myself CAD because I'd like to try printing some wagons myself, it's not going well!

I will, however, defend people's right to say "I really want one of x", meaning a RTR version, because I'll continue to do it too!

Thank you for clarifying njee.  :)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: PaulCheffus on January 09, 2019, 12:58:37 PM
Hi

The one thing that winds me up are the people who say "I can't do that" when they then state they have never tried.

Like anything worthwhile in life it requires an investment in time and accepting that the first few items will be rejected.

Cheers

Paul
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: ohlavache on January 09, 2019, 01:09:40 PM
Touched on briefly but to add my two pence to the “gaps” in BR Diesel / Electric RTR:

AC electric

81-85
87 (Farish one old and out of production)
90 (Farish one old and out of production, surely the imminent 00 needs a shrink ray?)
91 (Farish one old and out of production)

Diesel

Class 59. Been mentioned as long as the 142s and much further behind in development.

I admit that’s a small amount of locos and therefore I have little to moan about (and I cant afford many anyway).

Ref kits: I have started a few and my biggest problem is time. I would love to run a rake of tipplers (behind a 59!) and say “yes I made those”, but a full time job and approaching 5 week old junior mean that’s an aspiration.

At least with RTR stuff I can admire it.

Skyline2uk

Question from a non-British guy.
My wish list for RTR models is as follows:
- diesel: classes 07, 17 and 23
- electric: class 71
- steam: class W4 Peckett 0-4-0ST (or at least class B2 Peckett 0-6-0ST), 4-4-2 'Atlantic' class H2/C1
- multiple units: underground stock 1938, Derby Leightweight (single unit or 2-car)
I can't figure out if they are part of the gaps or if some, not to say all, of them are "unrealistic expectations" as said by njee20.
What's your view?
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 09, 2019, 01:21:03 PM
Hi

The one thing that winds me up are the people who say "I can't do that" when they then state they have never tried.

Like anything worthwhile in life it requires an investment in time and accepting that the first few items will be rejected.


I principally agree with people saying "I can't" if they've not tried, although that could mean "I'm not prepared to throw the money at it to find out because my previous experience tells me it won't go well", which is basically the same. I've flirted with O gauge since forever, and have nearly bought several Heljan 60s. I'm not going to buy an O gauge kit because I'll massacre it, but I've never tried one. To that end "I can't" build an O gauge loco!

Question from a non-British guy.
My wish list for RTR models is as follows:
- diesel: classes 07, 17 and 23
- electric: class 71
- steam: class W4 Peckett 0-4-0ST (or at least class B2 Peckett 0-6-0ST), 4-4-2 'Atlantic' class H2/C1
- multiple units: underground stock 1938, Derby Leightweight (single unit or 2-car)
I can't figure out if they are part of the gaps or if some, not to say all, of them are "unrealistic expectations" as said by njee20.
What's your view?

I don't know what any of them are, so can't really help, but my comment was about someone who complained that the exact model they wanted wasn't being released. Ie the running number they wanted, with a specific livery variation.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: NeMo on January 09, 2019, 01:37:33 PM
- multiple units: underground stock 1938, Derby Leightweight (single unit or 2-car)

The Derby Lightweight is an interesting choice, but I don't really think a priority. Why? For the BR era at least, we already have 4 different rural (low density seating) DMUs in the forms of classes 101, 108, 121, and 122.

What we're obviously lacking are the high density units that worked the suburban runs, like the 117s for the Paddington services or the 116s for the Birmingham services.

Put another way, it's easy enough to model a BR-era branchline but much more difficult to properly model a BR-era suburban line.

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Paddy on January 09, 2019, 01:39:11 PM
Please Sir, can I have a Graham Farish Class 47/0 in 1964 XP64 livery?  ;)

Paddy
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Thorpe Parva on January 09, 2019, 02:10:23 PM
I think that the Class 28 is a notable omission from the range of RTR Diesels. Given the D5705 restoration project at the East Lancs Railway it seems like a missed opportunity so far.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: PaulCheffus on January 09, 2019, 02:42:39 PM
I principally agree with people saying "I can't" if they've not tried, although that could mean "I'm not prepared to throw the money at it to find out because my previous experience tells me it won't go well", which is basically the same. I've flirted with O gauge since forever, and have nearly bought several Heljan 60s. I'm not going to buy an O gauge kit because I'll massacre it, but I've never tried one. To that end "I can't" build an O gauge loco!

Hi

This is not a go at you but taking your example of not buying an O gauge loco kit. Start with something a lot simpler such as a wagon and build the confidence.

When I was sixteen I bought a 4mm Craftsman C12 etched loco kit. I had no idea what I was doing and didn't manage to get very far. I sold the kit and vowed never to touch etched brass again. At the age of thirty five I rejoined the NGS and noticed they did a kit for the Cartic 4 but it involved etched components.

I bought some 2mm SA chassis kits and practiced taking advice about the way I was soldering. A year later I then built my first Cartic 4. Since then I have built numerous etched kits including the N'Thusiasts Tamper and they no longer hold any fear for me.

My problem was not using a separate flux and had I known about liquid flux when I was younger that C12 may have got built.

We seem to live in an era of want it now. Some of my models have taken years to build as I get stuck with a particular aspect and I put it away until I think of a solution. Sometimes I get bored so my rake of eight Anhydrous Ammonia tankers took me ten years to complete after the initial flurry of building four.

I realise that kit building is not for everyone but people should at least give it a go if there is something they want as they might surprise themselves.

Cheers

Paul
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 09, 2019, 02:50:55 PM
Mine was (sort of) just an example. I don't have an O gauge layout, and if I did then it would be something fairly loco-heavy, as so many are, so acquiring rakes of wagons to improve seems a largely pointless task.

There's still a massive leap before you spend £700 on a JLTRT loco kit, no matter how many wagons you've built in preparation.

O isn't the best example, as I think the majority of participants are more happy to build a kit than in OO or N gauge, but the point still stands. It may just be time related too. Just as many people buy baseboards or use other pre-built items you could scratchbuild, "can't" can simply mean "don't want to because it's not something I enjoy/want to spend limited time doing", which is also fine.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Skyline2uk on January 09, 2019, 03:16:37 PM
Touched on briefly but to add my two pence to the “gaps” in BR Diesel / Electric RTR:

AC electric

81-85
87 (Farish one old and out of production)
90 (Farish one old and out of production, surely the imminent 00 needs a shrink ray?)
91 (Farish one old and out of production)

Diesel

Class 59. Been mentioned as long as the 142s and much further behind in development.

I admit that’s a small amount of locos and therefore I have little to moan about (and I cant afford many anyway).

Ref kits: I have started a few and my biggest problem is time. I would love to run a rake of tipplers (behind a 59!) and say “yes I made those”, but a full time job and approaching 5 week old junior mean that’s an aspiration.

At least with RTR stuff I can admire it.

Skyline2uk

Question from a non-British guy.
My wish list for RTR models is as follows:
- diesel: classes 07, 17 and 23
- electric: class 71
- steam: class W4 Peckett 0-4-0ST (or at least class B2 Peckett 0-6-0ST), 4-4-2 'Atlantic' class H2/C1
- multiple units: underground stock 1938, Derby Leightweight (single unit or 2-car)
I can't figure out if they are part of the gaps or if some, not to say all, of them are "unrealistic expectations" as said by njee20.
What's your view?

Just my thoughts on your diesel picks (await better educated response from the collective);

My initial statement was regarding the holes as I see them in BR mainline locos that have or still exists and have done for 20 years plus (actually the class 83s barely meet that criteria if I am being honest).

Class 07: 14 units, mainly used in one area, 15 years. Actually, as 7 were preserved this might be of interest to somebody.

Class 17: 117 units but lasted as little as 5 years(!). Attempted by at least one manufacture, who knows if another will pick it up.

Class 23: 10 units, lasted 12 years. Probably the most limited of the three but again picked up by one manufacture (DJM? Not sure of status).

So as it happens, on the diesel front, I don’t think these are that unrealistic at all.

No idea on Steam!

Skyline2uk
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Leon on January 09, 2019, 04:19:17 PM
... something built by someone (to whatever standard) is somewhat more interesting that a dull RTR only world....

With respect, some of us just don't want to build locomotives! We are willing to model landscape and buildings, maybe (to the necessary extent), but we can love locomotives and rolling stock and want to have models of the real thing without building them.

I've been an art collector all my life. Early on, I read an opinion that a good reproduction was better than a poor original.  Being interested in collecting originals, I wasn't convinced. After forty years I absolutely DO agree. While you may be satisfied with your locomotive build (which is perfectly acceptable), many of us would not be satisfied. I don't recall ever seeing a Kit-built locomotive that satisfied my visual sensitivities.

Leon
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: emjaybee on January 09, 2019, 04:56:02 PM
... something built by someone (to whatever standard) is somewhat more interesting that a dull RTR only world....

With respect, some of us just don't want to build locomotives! We are willing to model landscape and buildings, maybe (to the necessary extent), but we can love locomotives and rolling stock and want to have models of the real thing without building them.

I've been an art collector all my life. Early on, I read an opinion that a good reproduction was better than a poor original.  Being interested in collecting originals, I wasn't convinced. After forty years I absolutely DO agree. While you may be satisfied with your locomotive build (which is perfectly acceptable), many of us would not be satisfied. I don't recall ever seeing a Kit-built locomotive that satisfied my visual sensitivities.

Leon

Amen brother, eloquently put.

Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: scottmitchell74 on January 09, 2019, 05:00:37 PM
... something built by someone (to whatever standard) is somewhat more interesting that a dull RTR only world....

 While you may be satisfied with your locomotive build (which is perfectly acceptable), many of us would not be satisfied. I don't recall ever seeing a Kit-built locomotive that satisfied my visual sensitivities.

Leon


This! I have no interest in kit building, and believe only a small portion of the modelling community have the skill to do it passably.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Madann01 on January 09, 2019, 05:33:05 PM
At the risk of straying slightly off the 'British' N Gauge title of this topic, Can I ask our overseas members if Steam railway modelling is as strongly catered for where they live ? And what proportion of modelling is of a modern day as opposed to Steam? :hmmm:
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Stevie DC on January 09, 2019, 05:55:05 PM
At the risk of straying slightly off the 'British' N Gauge title of this topic, Can I ask our overseas members if Steam railway modelling is as strongly catered for where they live ? And what proportion of modelling is of a modern day as opposed to Steam? :hmmm:


It would appear that Japanese railways are reasonably well catered for with regard to kits. The site/blog below is in Japanese but Chrome does a reasonable job of translating it and it shows some interesting builds.

http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm (http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm)

If only we had someone capable/willing to manufacture locomotive wheels...  :(
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Newportnobby on January 09, 2019, 06:03:38 PM
Since an operation 3 years ago (time flies, eh?) I have shaky hands so while I might attempt a wagon build, painting and the like, I cannot manage soldering or small work like that. There is a world of difference between buying a wagon kit and buying a loco body and sourcing/buying a chassis for it to go on.
I don't have the knowledge to know what size wheels, wheel spacing etc is required.
I don't have the necessary skill to buy a poor runner for the chassis and then fix the chassis.
I don't have the physical needs for building a loco.
I do have the disposable income to buy RTR or commission someone for a build if they are willing.
I know their results will far exceed anything I can even attempt.

The experts also ought to consider this. If shedloads of us started trying to build our own locos your source of chassis might potentially dry up!

Like njee20 I tire of being preached at to build my own, the editor of a certain journal being one of the main offenders. I know my limits.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: dannyboy on January 09, 2019, 06:18:13 PM
I have been following this thread with interest. I have no real opinion on how things have progressed in n gauge over the years, as I have only been involved for the last three years. However, I am inclined to agree with Mick @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) . I do not have the necessary skills at the moment to build my own locomotives, although I am okay with things like 'Metcalfe' kits and the 'Peco' wagon kits, although who knows what the future might bring? Having said that, although an extremely young 67, ( ;)), I have to wear glasses when doing anything close at hand and am starting with arthritis in both hands, so I can not see things getting any better. I am fortunate that I also have some disposable income that allows me to buy RTR as and when something catches my eye.  But good luck and well done to those who are capable of building their own models.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Stevie DC on January 09, 2019, 06:36:40 PM
I had no idea that there was this much apathy and, in some cases, hostility towards kit/scratch building and/or those who take the time to try and encourage others to have a go at these things - some (not necessarily here) admittedly, need to work on their delivery from time to time.

While I can only speak for myself, I post my own efforts on here for two reasons; one to get feedback on what I can do better and, two, to try and inspire others that they can progress and learn new skills. Go back ten years and I would have never dreamed that I would be doing what I'm doing now. Similarly with the prints I offer for sale, I try and make these as straight forward as possible (always test building and making refinements as necessary) and, if something requires too much modification or too many donor parts from many models, I don't offer it for sale.

The experts also ought to consider this. If shedloads of us started trying to build our own locos your source of chassis might potentially dry up!

As I understand it, the reason why Farish stopped selling chassis separately is that there wasn't the demand to make such a product commercially viable. Perhaps if more people were building and asking for them, they might consider revising this policy.

While I do appreciate that there are those who find no appeal in kit/scratch building or physically cannot build, I am deeply saddened that attempts to try to inspire others to attempt things they would otherwise not tried, is looked on so negatively and has created such a strong reaction.

My apologies if any attempts in the past to encourage on my part have been taken negatively by others.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 09, 2019, 06:42:22 PM
At the risk of straying slightly off the 'British' N Gauge title of this topic, Can I ask our overseas members if Steam railway modelling is as strongly catered for where they live ? And what proportion of modelling is of a modern day as opposed to Steam? :hmmm:


It would appear that Japanese railways are reasonably well catered for with regard to kits. The site/blog below is in Japanese but Chrome does a reasonable job of translating it and it shows some interesting builds.

[url]http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm[/url] ([url]http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm[/url])

If only we had someone capable/willing to manufacture locomotive wheels...  :(


What a wonderful website, I just spent the last hour just browsing and I have already come away with half a dozen technical ideas  :)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Leon on January 09, 2019, 06:55:46 PM
At the risk of straying slightly off the 'British' N Gauge title of this topic, Can I ask our overseas members if Steam railway modelling is as strongly catered for where they live ? And what proportion of modelling is of a modern day as opposed to Steam? :hmmm:
I've not observed enough layouts in the US to respond definitively, but as we have few operating vintage railways compared to the UK, my impression is that most RR modellers here are modelling modern day. That's more a hunch than anything more. I've been modelling for less than a year and my previous exposure to rail was in the UK, so I've chosen to model UK steam with maybe a diesel rail car.

Leon
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Leon on January 09, 2019, 07:14:33 PM
My apologies if any attempts in the past to encourage on my part have been taken negatively by others.
Atso, I cannot disagree with anything you've said, and you owe me no apology! I posted because sometimes I feel inferior in this hobby for choosing to enjoy RTR rolling stock and ready-built layout components. It needs to be acknowledged there are multiple types of modellers, including those who like to do as much as possible from scratch and those (like me) who want to buy ready-made to integrate into an original layout design and landscape creation. There's space for all of us in the hobby and things to learn from each other. Advocating for more people to attempt building from scratch is a worthy cause, also. If I were younger, I might be a disciple, though like others who have commented, I know I don't have the talent and would not likely be able to learn the skills required. That's why I've bought paintings rather than paint my own (I have taken lessons and proven my ineptitude!).

Leon
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 09, 2019, 07:33:09 PM
I am not a prolific kit builder. I buy a rake of 10 peco wagons probably every 6 - 8 weeks but glueing a chassis to a 4 sided box isn't kit building. The only reason I do this is to allow me rakes of 15-20 wagons, yes they get painted, they get the right decals, they get weathered. They look passable as a rake of wagons.

I modify our original GF locos with Buffer beam and Headcode discs, I have renumbered a few of them and weathered them but don't fancy repainting one or even building 1. Hopefully a friend in the process will be building a couple of near impossibles for us.

I dont even fancy building coach kits yet, im scared of them not running true and as much as I want Bulleid Kitchen cars they might as well be Mk3 Virgin coaches they'll be so obvious in our rakes of Farish RTR.

I am a carpenter and roofer by trade, I love nothing more then scaling photos, producing drawings and my own scale version of the build. I usually use brass windows and plasticard, plastruct and brick papers but know how buildings are built and what each part is and should be.

ALL of the boards, trackwork, wiring, landscaping and every building from a store shed to the engine shed and water tower have been built by me. I can build a good building for my RTR locos and stock to sit in.

I'm happy with my RTR as long as my buildings are accurate, I know them!! I think the only loco ill try to build this year will be the old Airfix Merchant Navy for £10, I can justify ruining that.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: emjaybee on January 09, 2019, 07:58:24 PM
I had no idea that there was this much apathy and, in some cases, hostility towards kit/scratch building and/or those who take the time to try and encourage others to have a go at these things - some (not necessarily here) admittedly, need to work on their delivery from time to time.

Its funny how different people interpret the same conversation in an entirely different way.

I don't see any apathy toward kit building. I don't see any hostility towards kit builders.

I do 'feel' a degree of dismissive attitude towards non kit builders, to the degree that some comments seem to belittle those that choose not to build or indeed can't build.

I hope that those that CAN build continue to post examples of their work and continue to answer questions from the rest of us. The forum would be a lesser place without their input and knowledge, but please be patient with us of a lesser talent.

 :NGF:
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: PLD on January 09, 2019, 08:16:12 PM
As I see it, the hobby is broad enough for those who wish to scratchbuild miniature marvels and those who are happy to simply 'play' with ready to use equipment. I would not decry either extreme for enjoying the hobby as they wish, but I do take issue with anyone using derogatory names for anyone who follows a different path or criticises an approach they haven't attempted themselves.

Personally I'm not afraid to tackle a kit build (yet to successfully complete a scratch built chassis but doesn't stop the occasional dabbling/experimenting). For me Ready to Run is a 'convenience' product - a short cut and a timesaver.
If there is a decent quality ready to run version of something I want, that's great - I'll almost certainly buy it, chances are I wouldn't be able to do better for the same cost, and it saves hours of time that can then be put into other areas such as scenery or items of stock that aren't available off the shelf. But if there isn't one ready to run - well it's not the end of the world...
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 09, 2019, 09:21:09 PM
I had no idea that there was this much apathy and, in some cases, hostility towards kit/scratch building and/or those who take the time to try and encourage others to have a go at these things - some (not necessarily here) admittedly, need to work on their delivery from time to time.

While I can only speak for myself, I post my own efforts on here for two reasons; one to get feedback on what I can do better and, two, to try and inspire others that they can progress and learn new skills. Go back ten years and I would have never dreamed that I would be doing what I'm doing now. Similarly with the prints I offer for sale, I try and make these as straight forward as possible (always test building and making refinements as necessary) and, if something requires too much modification or too many donor parts from many models, I don't offer it for sale.
...

While I do appreciate that there are those who find no appeal in kit/scratch building or physically cannot build, I am deeply saddened that attempts to try to inspire others to attempt things they would otherwise not tried, is looked on so negatively and has created such a strong reaction.

My apologies if any attempts in the past to encourage on my part have been taken negatively by others.

That seems more than a little disproportionate, and I presume is aimed at me. Inspiring people is great, and no one, least of all me, has said that you shouldn't post pictures, continuing inspiring people, promoting kit building etc. I always enjoy seeing the work of others who achieve things far beyond what I can, or am ever likely to be able to do. I said, and I reiterate, that I've not particularly seen it on this thread, but a common response to anyone saying "I'd like x, y,z RTR" is that a kit is available, often said in a sneering and disparaging tone, and often with things like "you could do some modelling *rolls eyes*". This is no more helpful than calling people rivet counters if they say they want things correct. The kit builders are generally the dismissive ones, not the non-kit builders. I've never heard of people who want RTR stuff denigrating those who build kits as you suggest, whilst "box openers" is a commonly levelled term for those who just want RTR, for whatever reason, as is their prerogative.

Again, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with saying "y'know so and so does a kit of that?", I'm specifically talking about the overt negativity that can accompany an "I wish this model was available RTR", please stop trying so hard to be offended!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Newportnobby on January 09, 2019, 09:33:04 PM
I had no idea that there was this much apathy and, in some cases, hostility towards kit/scratch building and/or those who take the time to try and encourage others to have a go at these things - some (not necessarily here) admittedly, need to work on their delivery from time to time.

While I do appreciate that there are those who find no appeal in kit/scratch building or physically cannot build, I am deeply saddened that attempts to try to inspire others to attempt things they would otherwise not tried, is looked on so negatively and has created such a strong reaction.

My apologies if any attempts in the past to encourage on my part have been taken negatively by others.
@Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213)
I don't believe my post showed any apathy or hostility. It was merely an explanation of why I cannot go as far as loco building. I'm happy to buy a Peco wagon kit and bin it if I large chicken it up but not a loco body + chassis. I have always been extremely supportive of loco builders such as yourself, Dr Al and the others on the forum who produce such masterpieces. Apart from a train set when I was aged 8-10 my modelling has always been in N but sadly I have watched my capabilities ebb away. Despite this I have no intention of going over to 'the dark side' whilever I can create a track plan and landscape for my purchased stock to run through. When I can't I'll know I'm fit only for the knackers yard and buy that one way ticket to Switzerland.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: NeMo on January 09, 2019, 09:37:21 PM
I don't see any apathy toward kit building. I don't see any hostility towards kit builders.

Nor did I.

I do 'feel' a degree of dismissive attitude towards non kit builders, to the degree that some comments seem to belittle those that choose not to build or indeed can't build.

Absolutely. Kit building is an art that takes time to develop, and no everyone will get good at it, any more than not everyone will be a great dancer or cook. This hobby has many facets, and not everyone is good at all of them -- and that's fine. We do this for fun, and we should only be expected to do the bits we enjoy -- otherwise it stops being a fun hobby. Everyone should have a go at a simple wagon kit, yes, but expecting "real" modelling to involve something beyond strikes me as overambitious.

Anyone who thinks kit-building is the solution to the lack of a ready to run model of, say, some DMU or steam locomotive is (if we're being honest) delusional. Not saying these aren't laudable projects for some modellers, but they're not easy! The skills required take years to master, the tool kits needed are expensive to assemble, and by the time you factor in tools, paint and transfers, the cost easily exceeds that of a ready to run locomotive.

It's kind of like when people say you can avoid expensive garage bills by just fixing your car yourself. Well, yes, you could, but realistically it's not going to be a practical solution for most motorists.

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: captainelectra on January 09, 2019, 09:54:15 PM
Not all kits are complicated or difficult - some of my conversions are as easy as applying stickers to a coach. 3D Printing has also opened up a huge range of possibilities for locos and units that would be uneconomic for the big RTR producers to manage. 
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: dannyboy on January 09, 2019, 10:10:55 PM
This hobby has many facets, and not everyone is good at all of them

Just to take the comment by @NeMo (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=945) a bit further -

Can we not all agree that some people are good at doing somethings, whereas others are good at doing something else - we are all different  ???. That's what makes this world a nice place to be in, (normally!).
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 09, 2019, 10:38:24 PM
Didn't someone famous say

'If we educated everyone  who would empty our bins

Now not suggesting bin men or Refuse Collection Operatives are the uneducated sort BUT we all have our own skill set, this comment simply meant some people are very clever acadmically and others are clever practically. I can build you an extension and fix your roof but I can't do open heart surgery. I might be able to but I'm never going to try. I know my limits

 I can build a replica building BUT dcc wiring and programming scares me immensely. I read all these thing that people suggest doing with all kinds of electric wizardry and understand none of it.

We aren't producing OUR layout for anyone but ourselves and we passify running a steam hauled Pullman beside a pendilino beside a 4cep as RULE 1. As long as OUR layout pleases US many can agree it's good, some may suggest brilliant others may say it's the biggest piece of s#$@ ever seen but it's OUR hobby not OUR business. Manufacturers have to be good to survive we don't have to be 100% accurate.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: railsquid on January 10, 2019, 12:10:35 AM
At the risk of straying slightly off the 'British' N Gauge title of this topic, Can I ask our overseas members if Steam railway modelling is as strongly catered for where they live ? And what proportion of modelling is of a modern day as opposed to Steam? :hmmm:


It would appear that Japanese railways are reasonably well catered for with regard to kits. The site/blog below is in Japanese but Chrome does a reasonable job of translating it and it shows some interesting builds.

[url]http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm[/url] ([url]http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm[/url])



There does see to be a relatively large market for kits here, and even one annual exhibition heavily orientated around kits, accessories/afterparts etc.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Michael Shillabeer on January 10, 2019, 08:24:15 AM
[url]http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm[/url] ([url]http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/handycrafts.htm[/url])


Further searching finds that a lot of kits are sold out. I've found this though which is rather tempting https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10312401 (https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10312401) however, how do you roll a brass boiler? Substitute a brass tube?

Cheers
Michael
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: port perran on January 10, 2019, 08:50:53 AM
Didn't someone famous say

'If we educated everyone  who would empty our bins

Now not suggesting bin men or Refuse Collection Operatives are the uneducated sort BUT we all have our own skill set, this comment simply meant some people are very clever acadmically and others are clever practically. I can build you an extension and fix your roof but I can't do open heart surgery. I might be able to but I'm never going to try. I know my limits

 I can build a replica building BUT dcc wiring and programming scares me immensely. I read all these thing that people suggest doing with all kinds of electric wizardry and understand none of it.

We aren't producing OUR layout for anyone but ourselves and we passify running a steam hauled Pullman beside a pendilino beside a 4cep as RULE 1. As long as OUR layout pleases US many can agree it's good, some may suggest brilliant others may say it's the biggest piece of s#$@ ever seen but it's OUR hobby not OUR business. Manufacturers have to be good to survive we don't have to be 100% accurate.
Very well put indeed.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Paddy on January 10, 2019, 09:25:44 AM
... something built by someone (to whatever standard) is somewhat more interesting that a dull RTR only world....

With respect, some of us just don't want to build locomotives! We are willing to model landscape and buildings, maybe (to the necessary extent), but we can love locomotives and rolling stock and want to have models of the real thing without building them.

I've been an art collector all my life. Early on, I read an opinion that a good reproduction was better than a poor original.  Being interested in collecting originals, I wasn't convinced. After forty years I absolutely DO agree. While you may be satisfied with your locomotive build (which is perfectly acceptable), many of us would not be satisfied. I don't recall ever seeing a Kit-built locomotive that satisfied my visual sensitivities.

Leon

Hi Leon,

Whilst I agree that a considerable number of kit built models can and do lack the finesse of RTR there are some master craftsmen out there.  I marvel at some of the models that Tony Wright creates and Ian Rathbone paint.  IMHO these are the equal if not better than a lot of RTR (although they are in OO).

When I was a child, a neighbour who was an engineer built all his own locomotives and rolling stock from scratch.  It took him ages to create a model (especially a locomotive) but the results were mind blowing.  He even built all his own track!  This was all in Gauge 1.

No doubt there are modellers in N gauge who can create models from kits/scratch that rival RTR.  At the end of the day, ones level of acceptance is a personal thing.  Like you, I love RTR as the fidelity and finish these days is wonderful.  Having said that, I have modified and improved some rolling stock for my personal enjoyment.

Collecting, modelling - it is all the same to me.  If you are enjoying your N gauge hobby then great.

Paddy
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Bealman on January 10, 2019, 09:28:16 AM
I must admit I don't really follow the new releases, though I do read the odd review of a new model in RM or the NGS journal.

However, any new purchases I make must fit into the time frame I'm modelling, although I'm very flexible when it comes to regions.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Steven B on January 10, 2019, 09:29:40 AM
There's still a massive leap before you spend £700 on a JLTRT loco kit, no matter how many wagons you've built in preparation.

The only difference between a £7 kit and one costing £700 is the number of parts. You still only ever glue or solder one part to another.

Look at it another way; Having built a £20 Lego kit, would you be able to build a £200 one? Probably.

There's been much comment about kit and scratch builders looking down on those who only run RTR models. Disparaging comments go the other way too - how many times have you seen the words "rivet counter" used towards someone aiming for a closer representation of the prototype than it possible with RTR.

There's plenty fo space for both ends of the spectrum - from train set users to those modelling Ashburton on the 27th July 1962.

That said, personally I do get frustrated by people who claim not to be able to do something (kit building, wiring, painting etc) without having tried it. Once upon a time you couldn't walk, talk, read, write or use a computer. Having a go and practise usually leads to some improvements!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 09:39:39 AM
That isn't really the point I was trying to make. If I buy a £10 wagon kit and it looks 90% of a RTR one then I'm happy. Perhaps after building 30 of them I'd be 95% of RTR. Lego doesn't compare because you don't get RTR Lego. Would you build your own house? You could buy a house built by a group of tradesmen, or you could DIY. You could start with a shed, and move to a conservatory, then build a house, it's exactly the same. But would you? Or would you know that you'd never actually get something quite as good as if you let professional tradespeople do it?

I wouldn't want to spend £700 on a kit unless I knew I could at least get to 100% of RTR quality - ie indistinguishable. That is extremely unlikely because it's just not where my skills lie. As said above, I'll also never be a restaurant chef or olympic diver. That doesn't mean I don't want to enjoy good food or watch sport on television! I'd get better with practice, for sure, but sufficiently to want to spend that money.

It also doesn't mean I don't want to enjoy the work of others. I love the workbench threads on RMWeb - I follow James Makin's avidly. I'll never achieve even 10% of what he does, but I take inspiration from it.

There's been much comment about kit and scratch builders looking down on those who only run RTR models. Disparaging comments go the other way too - how many times have you seen the words "rivet counter" used towards someone aiming for a closer representation of the prototype than it possible with RTR.

I made that exact point, but I don't think rivet counter is reserved for those who build kits, more generally it's about those who seek accuracy (beyond a level desired by the name-caller). I've been called a rivet counter for observing that someone's HST formation was wrong. I've literally never seen a single disparaging comment toward those who build kits or scratchbuild.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Paddy on January 10, 2019, 09:42:06 AM
Sadly I believe JLTRT is no longer in business as Pete Waterman closed it down.  However, some of the kits will be made available in short runs through MM1 models.

Paddy
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: emjaybee on January 10, 2019, 09:44:47 AM
There's still a massive leap before you spend £700 on a JLTRT loco kit, no matter how many wagons you've built in preparation.

The only difference between a £7 kit and one costing £700 is the number of parts. You still only ever glue or solder one part to another.

Look at it another way; Having built a £20 Lego kit, would you be able to build a £200 one? Probably.


Not exactly a great analogy though.

A Lego kit is precisely engineered to exceptionally fine tolerances, doesn't need painting, will un-snap if incorrectly assembled, and comes with extremely accurate instructions.

Whereas white-metal, etched brass, resin, and 3D kits have a LOT of tolerance, need prepping and painting, are a pain to disassemble, and generally come with a few rough diagrams and a brief description of assembly.

Oh yes, and before anyone levels anymore criticism at myself, I have built plenty of ALL of the above (and 'Airfix' kits), and to quite a good standard, but still not good enough to pass muster next to a modern RTR N gauge steam loco.

Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 11:38:49 AM
Sadly I believe JLTRT is no longer in business as Pete Waterman closed it down.  However, some of the kits will be made available in short runs through MM1 models.

Indeed, which was where I got the quote for £700 per kit!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 11:39:47 AM
*warning - potentially inane personal thoughts and ramblings, not intended to offend, but instead encourage*

I've not seen much of this thread since last posting, but readin has been interesting. I think Steve @Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213)  can be too apologetic here - everything he's brought to this hobby is overwhelmingly positive. If some folks see that as elitism then that's their problem I'd say - there's just no need to even coin such terms.

My approach is encouragement, and I've said so many times "Why not give it try?" I've not ever pushed a "well build a kit then" attitude. It's a journey to go on, and folks need encouragement to try. I think a lot of folk look at the end goal ("I want an RTR standard equivalent from this kit") which IMHO is the wrong approach and attitude. Your first kits won't be - that's no big deal - the point is you are on a journey of gaining skills, learning things (that will be very transferrable to the rest of your layout) and ending up with something unique that nobody else on the planet has. It won't be the same as an RTR model, but.......so what? You made it, it's unique and you learned a lot doing so - worth a lot more than 90 quids worth of stock Bachmann IMHO.

In terms of getting in to gaining modelling skills, as well as those I clearly pointed out (Peco kits, building kits, the Langley 4MT (11 parts for goodness sake!)), there are other routes in that are even more affordable, if that is an issue. Look carefully at what folks like @Ozymandias (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3534)  do - RTR restorations. Buy a cheap crummy RTR loco and practice painting, fixing, modifying on it. If it isn't successful then your outlay is minimal (it can always be resold again for spare parts) or you can strip it back and try again. It's an old scrapper, so no worrys if the absolute worst that happens is that it ends up in the bin. I've posted how I do so many things. The vast minority don't read it - everyone's so busy moaning about some RTR.

I do feel compelled to address excuses of (this is not a dig at OP, but it does need a  counterargument):
"white-metal, etched brass, resin, and 3D kits have a LOT of tolerance, need prepping and painting, are a pain to disassemble"
are IMHO precisely that. There ARE bad kits out there, no doubt, but that's in the minority.

To address these precisely:
- tolerance - this is largely factually inaccurate from my experience. 3D prints have extremely high tolerances by design so it's just fundamentally untrue (unless the design is wrong, and that's not the process's fault), brass is the same (comes from an etchers, with very high tolerances), resin and whitemetal are the ones this may most pertain to, and has some more credibility, but again, in my experience the worst is slightly bent or mishapen components (bend them back) or mould lines that need some sanding, or filling. But these are basic modelling skills and as such a kit like that is a perfect way to learn said skills.
- prep - this can be very simple. Clean the surface in water. Allow to dry. Spray with primer (etch primer generally - U-POL spray cans Halfords, £14, last you years). After a few hours you can inspect, and tidy any rough areas - sanding, filing (again, basic skills, again this process is how to learn them). Worst case, IPA will take it all off and leave you a bare casting to try again on.
- disassemble - well we're talking kit assembly, so this seems irrelevant, but if so and you join with superglue, a bath in Nitro-mors will return it to kit form easily and swiftly. Solder - you just re-heat the joints (everyone who's soldered anything has taken as much apart as they've put together, and can verify this).

As such I see all of these as surmountable barriers.

Moreover this brings me to the fear of modifying new tool, high detail RTR. I understand this. The first loco I did this to (Dapol 9F, £90 in its day) I made a total *** of. It ended up scrap. I learned a lot. The monetary value here is the concern rather than anything else - I understand that's a limiter, hence the further suggestions above

However, a new tool RTR model is mechanically NOT complicated. No RTR loco is - they are unbelievably simple in both physical concept and execution. Detail wise, it's finer, but it's still just the same as an old old scrapper as above - plastic mouldings on the whole. Once you get over that and realise that modern RTR is functionally no different than old RTR then you start to gain confidence in attacking it. Modern RTR is more delicate, that is undoubtedly true, and therefore handling needs more care. But this extends to usage in general - they need to be handled with more care even if you just run them. [aside - far too folk do - the number of RTR I've seen with mangled detail is not insignifcant - but again, a perfect way in for folks wanting cheap scrappers to practice on, fettle up, restore....]

In terms of straight unmodified RTR - for me, this is simply the same model as everyone else's. I can look at pics of it on the Hattons website - it's the same - that's (personal opinion) increasingly uninteresting. Looking at models that anyone has modified, built, or even just renumbered is way way more interesting - Steve's @Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213) 's thread, @Snowwolflair (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3761) , and @Ozymandias (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3534), as well as Wrenton are staple reading for me. Tony Wright's RMWeb thread too is gold dust.

But here's the thing - 90% of my fleet too is RTR. 100% of my kitbuilds have RTR parts or mechanisms. HYPOCRITE they scream! There's not even the remote point that RTR isn't still the mainstay of any modeller. Time in life is part of that - building absolutely everything is simply not credible (e.g. track building too - I admire @Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213) for this, but I'll never go there, I don't have the time or patience).

However, there's so much that can be done easily to RTR to differentiate a model, yet so few bother - fit the detail parts (nobody seems to - that hole in the bufferbeam looks awful folks!!!!!), renumber it (very easy to do - I've given a guide to this on my workbench thread - nobody read it clearly), weather it, mechanically tune it (most RTR can benefit from this), close up the couplings (nobody does this either). As such, every one of my locos has had mechanical strip down and improvement, many are renumbered, all have supplied detail parts fitted, weather some, detail some (particularly older ones, again I did some guides on this in the past - the info is all out there for those who bother to look). Coaches all have short shank couplings fitted (trivial with NEM pockets) and all old ones have wheel changes, some having short rapidos fitted. It's all small 10 minute stuff, but all great starters for those beginning the journey.

For those who do have real genuine unfortunate inability to do some of these things (and of course I accept that there are some), there are always modellers like me who can help and do work for others, fit detail parts, weather up - e.g. the Langley 4MT I did for @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) . I understand this is beyond some (but definitely not all who claim so), so doing it for him gave him something unique and me the enjoyment of the build, a few devaluing beer tokens for me to afford that next scrapper - everyone's a winner.

Oh, and would I be able to build an O gauge £700 kit even having a lot of N experience? Quite simply: No.

But why the heck would I try to start with that? It's a comprehensively daft (possibly idiotic) choice for someone starting out - if I went to O I'd start with a £20 plastic wagon kit pulled by an (initially) untouched Dapol RTR Jinty and work up again. Start small, gain skills, work up - the principle is exactly the same as I allude at the start of the post....

...why not give it a try?

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: joe cassidy on January 10, 2019, 12:08:11 PM
I would add Paul Price to the list of inspirational loco modellers/modifiers on this forum.

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 12:15:44 PM
I would add Paul Price to the list of inspirational loco modellers/modifiers on this forum.

Agreed - he's been quiet recently (everything ok, Paul?), which is possibly why I neglected to include him.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 12:19:30 PM
There seem to be a lot of cross porpoises on this thread, with all the kit builders defending against something that was never said by anyone, nor even implied.

People are totally within their rights to want RTR standard from kit built, it's not realistic for 99% of people as Dr Al says, which is why people say "I can't build a kit". What they actually mean is "I can't build a kit to the standard I want", yes, they could get better at it, but would they ever get that good? See my comment on housebuilding. Nothing wrong with encouraging, but also nothing wrong with "I can't do that" IMO.

We're going in a circle now though, with people getting upset about things no one said. I'm out.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: joe cassidy on January 10, 2019, 12:24:05 PM
Some people like building kits or hacking, others don't.

I think it all boils down to that.

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: PaulCheffus on January 10, 2019, 12:37:29 PM
Nothing wrong with encouraging, but also nothing wrong with "I won't do that" IMO.

Hi

I've corrected your statement  :bounce:. Its not that people can't in most cases its that they don't want to and I completely get that.

Cheers

Paul
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 12:37:50 PM
People are totally within their rights to want RTR standard from kit built, it's not realistic for 99% of people as Dr Al says, which is why people say "I can't build a kit". What they actually mean is "I can't build a kit to the standard I want", yes, they could get better at it, but would they ever get that good?

I think this is where it gets strange for me. Why does it need to get "that" good? It's about personal satisfaction, which is uttely subjective - one man's good is another's garbage, is another's amazing. But so what - the only person you should want to satisfy is yourself, and the only time that can then become a conflict is if you have demanding personal standards. I do - but I channel that to try and improve my modelling - pushing myself to try harder or new things. The amount of personal satisfaction gained is massive.

That's not to say it's always easy. I've had part builds sitting for years until a method or solution presents itself. My WD 2-10-0 say for a year and a half before I gained the confidence to hack the chassis. Outcome was easier than I possibly imagined and more successful that I possibly imagined.

So if someone overtly criticises your "good"/"bad" or whatever scratchbuild/kitbuild/mod - I'd say IGNORE them. Otherwise constructive improvement criticism is totally welcome from me (e.g. @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) 's pointing out of a gap between the splashers on my current Patriot build - without that I might have forgot to sort this)  - it's another angle to improve from.

So "that good" doesn't matter IMHO......so why not give it a try? You might surprise yourself.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: joe cassidy on January 10, 2019, 12:40:32 PM
Kit-built buildings can look better than Ready-to-Plant.

I much prefer my Ratio Midland signal box to the Scenecraft equivalent (apart from the wonky staircase).

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 12:55:23 PM
People are totally within their rights to want RTR standard from kit built, it's not realistic for 99% of people as Dr Al says, which is why people say "I can't build a kit". What they actually mean is "I can't build a kit to the standard I want", yes, they could get better at it, but would they ever get that good?

I think this is where it gets strange for me. Why does it need to get "that" good? It's about personal satisfaction, which is uttely subjective - one man's good is another's garbage, is another's amazing. But so what - the only person you should want to satisfy is yourself, and the only time that can then become a conflict is if you have demanding personal standards. I do - but I channel that to try and improve my modelling - pushing myself to try harder or new things. The amount of personal satisfaction gained is massive.

That's not to say it's always easy. I've had part builds sitting for years until a method or solution presents itself. My WD 2-10-0 say for a year and a half before I gained the confidence to hack the chassis. Outcome was easier than I possibly imagined and more successful that I possibly imagined.

So if someone overtly criticises your "good"/"bad" or whatever scratchbuild/kitbuild/mod - I'd say IGNORE them. Otherwise constructive improvement criticism is totally welcome from me (e.g. @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) 's pointing out of a gap between the splashers on my current Patriot build - without that I might have forgot to sort this)  - it's another angle to improve from.

So "that good" doesn't matter IMHO......so why not give it a try? You might surprise yourself.

Because it's entirely their prerogative. We don't all have the same motivations. Some people aren't motivated by personal satisfaction, they want the best model possible, and know that won't come from their hand, nor do they want to spend the years accruing those skills. That's fine, they can do that (or not). It's not about others criticising the quality, it's about perception of the owner (ie you). It's not strange at all. We're just not all the same. It's not a difficult concept.

Dammit I got sucked in again!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 01:13:12 PM
It's not strange at all. We're just not all the same. It's not a difficult concept.

I do find it strange - the idea that building and achieving anything less than current RTR is substandard enough to not even bother trying is something I don't really connect with - nothing I've built is at RTR standard; but so what.

If folks don't find it for them, then fine - but give it a try (with a realistic starter project) first! There's lots of folk out there who can help, encourage and advise when stumbling blocks are reached. IMHO, don't use RTR standards as reason not to have a play and try new things.....you might surprise yourself.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Invicta Alec on January 10, 2019, 01:14:06 PM
Its exactly two years since I returned to model railways after a thirty year gap. During that time a big change was the emergence of DCC. As a newbie with a clean slate I decided to go down that route. My first real topic was when I asked the collective where I should position the track feeds on my first ever layout. To be honest I was more than a little surprised by several argumentative replies. I became bemused by some of the acerbic comments exchanged. Eventually I quietly left by the back door leaving them arguing the toss.

The title of this topic is "State of British N Gauge". I'm not at all confident that the future of the hobby is all that safe with some of the attitudes displayed. Several of the posts have little or nothing to do with the OP's opening statements.

For the record, I'm much nearer the "train set user" than the "rivet counter" end of the scale but I do enjoy running my RTRs and can make a mean Metcalfe cardboard model.  :D
My mate has a fabulous exhibition layout that he's shown all over the UK and Germany. Its standard is mind bogglingly high and yet he makes positive statements about what I'm trying to achieve. By all means enjoy your own areas of interest in the hobby but don't decry what others prefer.

Alec.



Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 01:20:44 PM
Hear, hear! That's all I'm trying to say, it's not an attitude I embody, but I'll ferociously defend anyone who only wants RTR!
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: marco neri on January 10, 2019, 01:35:49 PM
Hi,
Call yourself very very lucky....kits or not kits, handmade, ready made ecc.
Here , who wants modelling Italian style...is forced to open wallet very large...or nothin ...,and  what you pay a lot often is not up to the height of value...seeyou last set of three by ACME - FS X coaches ..
Here only desert!
Cheers

Marco
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 01:42:16 PM
The title of this topic is "State of British N Gauge". I'm not at all confident that the future of the hobby is all that safe with some of the attitudes displayed. Several of the posts have little or nothing to do with the OP's opening statements.

I think the attitudes shown actually demonstrate the health of the hobby - folk passionate enough about it to debate, question, and disagree (fair enough). If nobody bothered to reply then I'd be much more concerned, that'd indicate a decay of interest in the hobby.

The title is very broad, so I think it's all relevant, but the one thing I really don't like are the implicit and explicit discouraging comments with regards trying new things, kitbuilding and the likes - we should be encouraging folks; not putting them off, no matter what standard they're working to or what standard they're first attempts actually attain.**

That encouragement (on all levels) is crucial in growing the hobby or maintaining it IMHO - and that is hugely relevant to the ultimate "state of British N".

Cheers,
Alan

** Interestingly I am a member of several model aircraft forums, and the attitudes are very different in this respect. Virtually no discouraging comments for folks putting up their very first builds, and only oodles of praise, much encouragement and constructive comments on improvements and methods to try next time, no matter what the standard is. Something we should aspire to IMHO....
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 01:55:04 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Literally no one has said "don't try kits", or "you should only have RTR stuff" or anything of that ilk. They really haven't, please find a single remark discouraging people from trying their hand at kits or 'new things' or disparaging those who do? It's really unhelpful people saying that it's being said, because it isn't.

All I've said is that some people want stuff to be up to RTR standard, which is fine, and therefore may be put off kits. Some kitbuilders (not on this thread) can also be disparaging towards those who only want RTR, calling them "box openers". This is unnecessary, as neither is a more 'valid' approach.

I've seen loads of "I've just had a go at x" posts, probably more on Facebook admittedly, and in general people are encouraged, obviously. Look at all the layout topics. You're looking for negativity where none exists.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 02:03:51 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Literally no one has said "don't try kits", or "you should only have RTR stuff" or anything of that ilk. They really haven't, please find a single remark discouraging people from trying their hand at kits or 'new things' or disparaging those who do?

Quote as requested:

That isn't really the point I was trying to make. If I buy a £10 wagon kit and it looks 90% of a RTR one then I'm happy. Perhaps after building 30 of them I'd be 95% of RTR.

....

I wouldn't want to spend £700 on a kit unless I knew I could at least get to 100% of RTR quality - ie indistinguishable.

Sure, that's your personal opinion, but equally, it's discouraging (my interpretation) - people new to the hobby (or new to kitbuilding) reading that may assume that's the norm, especially when bounded by all the others saying " I can't" (more often as Paul said, "I won't"), and that they will be discouraged enough never to get involved in whichever aspect it pertains to.

I say the opposite - try and what ever you attain is a good personal achievement. 90%, 95% RTR - so what!!!!!

Interestingly it's the Facebook model aircraft groups that are the most positive. Britmodeller can be less so.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: NeMo on January 10, 2019, 02:06:34 PM
Literally no one has said "don't try kits", or "you should only have RTR stuff" or anything of that ilk. They really haven't, please find a single remark discouraging people from trying their hand at kits or 'new things' or disparaging those who do? It's really unhelpful people saying that it's being said, because it isn't.

I share your frustration.

Responses about kits being an alternative to RTR seem to come from two sorts of modellers:

(1) Those who want to encourage people to build kits;   :thumbsup:
(2) Those who see themselves as somehow part of the railway modelling elite.  :thumbsdown:

Nobody here ever has said don't build kits. The flip side thought has to accepted though: not everyone can build kits, or more specifically, will get the standard they want from a model through kit building. It may be they don't have the experience, the skills, the tools, or whatever. Their choice, their circumstances, their hobby.

Can we just accept that there are gaps in the RTR range, and discussions about what these are worth having.

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Invicta Alec on January 10, 2019, 02:06:47 PM

That encouragement (on all levels) is crucial in growing the hobby or maintaining it IMHO - and that is hugely relevant to the ultimate "state of British N".

Cheers,
Alan

** Interestingly I am a member of several model aircraft forums, and the attitudes are very different in this respect. Virtually no discouraging comments for folks putting up their very first builds, and only oodles of praise, much encouragement and constructive comments on improvements and methods to try next time, no matter what the standard is. Something we should aspire to IMHO....


Alan, to echo that, I'm a long time member of an international astronomy forum. It has roughly 125,000 members worldwide. The encouragement and advice particularly to newcomers is inspiring. Yes, a very different attitude prevails there too, that's probably why I was taken aback with some crusty responses to my beginner topic here.

Alec.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 02:09:01 PM
that's probably why I was taken aback with some crusty responses to my beginner topic here.

I think I missed that topic - hope you weren't put off too much - there are folks willling to give advice here - it's still still very positive place for N gauge discussion!

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: NeMo on January 10, 2019, 02:11:14 PM
I say the opposite - try and what ever you attain is a good personal achievement. 90%, 95% RTR - so what!!!!!

Because these are different outcomes for different situations. If I'm great with scenics and operation, and want to buy (and perhaps tweak) RTR stuff to complement my accurate reconstruction of a GWR branchline in steam days, then a whitemetal or plastic kit that's inexpertly made will shatter the illusion. It's not the engineering that matters, but the atmosphere.

But if I'm someone who never quite gets a layout finished, but loves building kits and seeing them run even on plain un-ballasted track across a bit of plywood, then that's something different. I'm enjoying the engineering, not the illusion. It doesn't matter if the loco isn't a perfect replica, just so long as I'm pleased with what I've created.

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: njee20 on January 10, 2019, 02:14:37 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Literally no one has said "don't try kits", or "you should only have RTR stuff" or anything of that ilk. They really haven't, please find a single remark discouraging people from trying their hand at kits or 'new things' or disparaging those who do?

Quote as requested:

That isn't really the point I was trying to make. If I buy a £10 wagon kit and it looks 90% of a RTR one then I'm happy. Perhaps after building 30 of them I'd be 95% of RTR.

....

I wouldn't want to spend £700 on a kit unless I knew I could at least get to 100% of RTR quality - ie indistinguishable.

Sure, that's your personal opinion, but equally, it's discouraging (my interpretation) - people new to the hobby (or new to kitbuilding) reading that may assume that's the norm, especially when bounded by all the others saying " I can't" (more often as Paul said, "I won't"), and that they will be discouraged enough never to get involved in whichever aspect it pertains to.

I say the opposite - try and what ever you attain is a good personal achievement. 90%, 95% RTR - so what!!!!!

Interestingly it's the Facebook model aircraft groups that are the most positive. Britmodeller can be less so.

That's selective quoting, as you well know my comments were specifically in the context of that £700 kit, as an example of why people may not want to build kits, not that they shouldn't, that's a significant distinction.

This is totally stupid, you're trying to find issue where there is none.

I'm happy to build kits. I like repainting things. I apply the extra detail packs. I renumber models. I weather models.

I have no issue with people who don't.

NeMo's got it right.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 02:15:56 PM
Because these are different outcomes for different situations. If I'm great with scenics and operation, and want to buy (and perhaps tweak) RTR stuff to complement my accurate reconstruction of a GWR branchline in steam days, then a whitemetal or plastic kit that's inexpertly made will shatter the illusion. It's not the engineering that matters, but the atmosphere.

I really don't disagree with this. I guess the step that I see being missed out is that you will have to build a number of said kits to gain that experience - everyone was a beginner once. I'm just keen to encourage folk not to be put off taking that first step, as it's clear some are.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 02:20:54 PM
That's selective quoting, as you well know my comments were specifically in the context of that £700 kit, as an example of why people may not want to build kits, not that they shouldn't, that's a significant distinction.

I'm quoting how I interpreted it - so perfectly valid, and relevant as this is how those who could be discouraged could also interpret it.

I have no issues, and am not getting wound up by anything (it seems you are - good to have passion!). My original post only highlighted kits being available so folks know about them, as so many don't (backed up by Steve), 3 pages later (and no further posts from me until 2 hours ago) brought this, so I'm certainly not trying to find issue - it's others that have brought this debate to the fore.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: martyn on January 10, 2019, 03:02:16 PM
I think we have now gone a long way off topic.
 
I read the original post as a summary of what is generally available RTR, and aimed my first post as a reply in that vein; which is why I said I had excluded kits from my post, as I wished to put forward a reasoned 'wish list' for ex LNER locos to be considered in the future for RTR-or why, in the case of the LNER, it would be difficult to justify as RTR. I am aware of the kits mentioned, and have built many, as well as some not mentioned; I appreciate that it is the only way, other than a commission, to obtain items of stock that are not RTR. I was also aware that a number of this forum do not wish to kit build, for whatever reason, and again, that was why it was written with RTR in mind.

I think that this Forum and hobby is wide enough to encompass many aspect of our hobby, so let us agree to disagree, and perhaps someone else can put reasoned wish lists for other Companies/Eras/Areas. Mike/Red Death had asked for potential submissions for him to consider, in another thread; my initial reply was also weighted to this request.

Martyn
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Newportnobby on January 10, 2019, 03:44:14 PM
I think we have now gone a long way off topic.


I wouldn't necessarily agree with 'a long way' but certainly we've gone off on a tangerine.
There remains, to my mind, a lack of RTR 1st generation DMUs and EMUs like the 304s/310s and many of the Southern Region green stock such as those being built by Snowwolflair (BILs and Tadpoles etc). I consider myself to be well provided for as a transition era modeller but do have sympathies for those building layouts set before and after my chosen period/location. There will always be stuff I'd like which the majors are unlikely to consider due to small numbers in the class or potential lack of demand for any particular prototype e.g. Falcon, Lion, Kestrel but I have to suck that up. It sticks in my craw when models I desire like the class 17, class 23 and Bulleid light pacifics get placed on hold (abeyance blah blah) but I have to accept that's the way things are (at least I might see BoB 'Spitfire' on my layout while I still have some hair on my head).
Things are looking up in that, along with RevolutioN Trains, other participants such as Sonic and Accurascale are participating in our chosen gauge and hopefully we'll see an N gauge loco from DJM. I reckon RevolutioN might do well to look at producing models for the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath Woodhead line and/or early WCML. That would make the entire UK my target :)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Intercity on January 10, 2019, 03:55:17 PM
I think the hobby from the modelers side is still very healthy, however as I said before the manufacturers needs to produce stuff that new modelers can associate with, but not forget the life long modelers who have kept the hobby alive.

In this day and age we have so many resources to pull from, there are many forums (NGF being the best of course), videos/you tube, lists of clubs and shows, this helps both RTR modelers and kit builders.

Modelers are also looking for much more accurate models with better details, take a look at the old Lima stuff and early GF stuff and tell me if we are in a much better place these days, the price of that improvement is just that, a price hike in the cost of the model.

We have companies like the guys at Revolution Trains that have seen a gap in the market and are trying to fill it, but without the resources and funding of the big companies the models have to be a sure fire success, at the end of the day we control our destiny, if we don’t voice our opinions and wants, or support the new guys then our future will diminish.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: PaulCheffus on January 10, 2019, 04:21:30 PM
I reckon RevolutioN might do well to look at producing models for the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath Woodhead line.

Hi

That would be nice but I'm not holding my breath.

Cheers

Paul
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Claude Dreyfus on January 10, 2019, 05:28:21 PM

Question from a non-British guy.
My wish list for RTR models is as follows:
- diesel: classes 07, 17 and 23
- electric: class 71
- steam: class W4 Peckett 0-4-0ST (or at least class B2 Peckett 0-6-0ST), 4-4-2 'Atlantic' class H2/C1
- multiple units: underground stock 1938, Derby Leightweight (single unit or 2-car)
I can't figure out if they are part of the gaps or if some, not to say all, of them are "unrealistic expectations" as said by njee20.
What's your view?


In short order,  the 07 isn't on the horizon, nor immediately likely given its limited geographic range (although it ventured a little further afield in its industrial and preservation life). DJM have the 17 and 23, which means they are as likely to see the light of day as an 07. The 71 is also unlikely, for similar reasons to the 07 (unless DJM points the shrink ray at his 71 (but don't count on that).

Pecketts would be nice, but again not likely (especially as one of the reasons given by Bachmann for shelving their J72 was the size of the mechanism). I genuinely believe there is plenty of scope for a small industrial loco in rtr N (there is, of course the Farish 'J94' and the up coming NGS Hunslet).

I for one would love to see the Brighton Atlantic in N...would Bachmann take the plunge? Let's see how the C class turns out.

Tube stock is also unlikely, again given its limited sphere of operations. Derby Lightweights would no doubt be far behind the 117 or cross-country sets (119 or 120), just in terms of longevity...although some Derby Lightweights did live on in departmental use and some were preserved.

So, of that lot, two are promised and several are highly unlikely. The only possibility is the Atlantic.

Would it be remiss to mention that most are available in some shape or form in kit form (I like the Atso C1, very elegant)...some more challenging than others... I have also seen some very reasonable attempts at n gauge tube stock.

I'd love to build more kits, but as more than one here knows, I am not very diligent at things like that (I have spent the last 4 years scratch building a block of H0 half-relief flats (and my inattentiveness is frequently mocked). I have any number of unstarted or half built kits supporting my latest wheeze. One day I may get some discipline, but in the meantime I'll just wait for anything I fancy to turn up rtr. Could Bachmann turn their shrink ray on the E4?
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Dr Al on January 10, 2019, 06:20:32 PM
I read the original post as a summary of what is generally available RTR, and aimed my first post as a reply in that vein; which is why I said I had excluded kits from my post, as I wished to put forward a reasoned 'wish list' for ex LNER locos to be considered in the future for RTR-or why, in the case of the LNER, it would be difficult to justify as RTR.

Personally, I would look at items such as the J72. Bachmann have dropped it now, but I'm sure an enterprising concern could manage it, particularly now with the micro-sized motors we can get.  Failing that, a larger LNER 0-6-0T would be worth considering - J52, or J83 perhaps. There is a very old kit of the J52, but that's very difficult to obtain these days, so has no relevance to first order (hmm...I do have 2 to build....maybe that's why they are hard to find....sorry).

Beyond that, for a larger machine, a B12 might be a strong seller - whilst UM have a decent one, working it to a better standard would tempt me - I plan to detail my UM ones, but getting scale tender will remain impossible.

As a third run of the mill loco, I'd suggest a J36 0-6-0. These have recently been done in OO by Hornby and proved very popular, so that may be an interesting guide datapoint.

My own thoughts would be to avoid RTR versions all the kits I mention - as I think it'd be a crying shame to hit folks like @Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213) who've invested so much in them. Sure, I know no manufacturer would remotely care about this; but I do.

Cheers,
Alan

P.s. As an aside, Revolution would need to give serious reassurances regarding their after-sales service, and attitude however. My Pendolino experience buying experience was excellent, but repair and fault rectification was abysmal, and only rectified after oodles of unsatisfactory communication - once I started a 4 figure credit card dispute with them it suddenly all got sorted (money talks).
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Stevie DC on January 10, 2019, 10:28:33 PM
Dr. Al;

Whilst agree with most of your choices, and why, some of which I'd like, part of my post was to point out that the LNER remained almost as if Grouping hadn't happened, as many of the locos remained on-or very close to-the original parent system.

The J72s generally remained on the ex NER section, with 12 in Scotland, and even the BR build went mainly to the NER, with about eight spread over four other sheds not previously having them; these eight tended to go back to the NER or Scotland after relatively short period.


Again, without going through each of my RCTS LNER history books, the ex GNR 060T tended to stay on that system; the J83s were always in Scotland. BTW, my J52 is recently finished.........J36-always in Scotland, or the ex NBR lines in Northumbria; after nationalisation, some went to LMS sheds-in Scotland. J38-I'm aware of the Union Mills loco-Scottish. B12-which I'd very much like, and yes, I do have the Union Mills one-did actually get around a bit, but mainly ex GER and GNSR. They did however work in the ex GNR area around Lincoln and Grantham; Cambridge engines got as far as Oxford. But B12? B12/3?B12/4? The B12 was the original and worked ex GER and GNSR, usually disfigured with ACFI gear; but of the two versions of the rebuild, B12/3 didn't go to Scotland, and B12/4 only worked in Scotland (I've nothing against Scotland, BTW!). D16/3 'Clauds' did also get around a bit, but not until after nationalisation (ex Cheshire Lines and Nottingham/Derby /Grantham on ex GNR routes, the ex M+GN, and routes westward from Peterborough ), and not for long.

The various NER classes-very good locos and very long lived, simple design-tended to stay there. I had thought that some NER 060s moved around the system, but it was limited numbers only to the ex GER, and they had all returned by the end of WW2. Some J21 allocated to GWR during WW2.

Some ex GCR locos moved about-but not many, generally not for long, and most were withdrawn soon after Nationalisation. Exception-previously mentioned Robinson ROD O4-but they went to 04/8, ie 8 sub classes (though some were very minor differences); D9s, which went to the GER and M+GN; D10, which had a spell on the GNR, but all withdrawn by 1955; and most widespread, the D11 'Directors', of which a sub class was built for, and remained, in Scotland, as well as the originals working services on the ex GNR.

Without more examples, it makes the point of my original post that it is difficult to get an LNER class that was

1)Numerous
2)Widespread
3)Didn't have major cab/tender/bunker detail variations
4) reasonably long lived
5)etc, etc.

each of which gives a manufacturer difficulties in deciding what to produce. That was what i had intended to show as part of the post.

So what would I choose? In no particular order;

K3-but many variations; I'm not sure that the OO version sells that well........others may know.
K1-but a late entrant (really BR), but tended to be allocated in batches to a small number of sheds.
V2-updated to moden standards-but this too was allocated, and tended to be restricted to, the ECML and ex GCR London Extension.
D11-an OO model already exists, so potential sales may be gauged.
Tank engines;
V1/V3
L1
N2
N7
J67/69
all for reasons already mentioned, and all with drawbacks.
J50-effectively a Group Standard loco, but most remained on the GNR, with numbers going to other section sheds; bunker differences.
J52 or J57-but tended to stay on the ex GNR; however, they looked quaint!
C12
G5? Small numbers to GER and NBR, but early withdrawal.

The ex GCR and NER areas had a number of classes of 062T, for both passenger and freight workings; but again, they tended to stay on the parent system.

However, part of your post refers to the fact that, eg, the J36, despite its localisation, has been a good seller in OO, and likewise, the J83 has been in the Hornby range for a very long time. So it's quite possible that there would be sales of the classes you have mentioned.


But this is a very wide ranging hobby, and I'm sure that all of us-me included-have at least one or more Rule 1 locos, and I would hope that any LNER class produced would sell; but 1000 units?

Quote from Dr Al;

My own thoughts would be to avoid RTR versions all the kits I mention - as I think it'd be a crying shame to hit folks like @Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213) who've invested so much in them. Sure, I know no manufacturer would remotely care about this; but I do.

End quote.

I wholeheartedly agree, but it hasn't stopped Farish in the past! Especially coaching stock and wagon kits.

Sorry for the long reply, but all I can say is that it is a very fine judgement of what to produce, should an RTR manufacturer decide to do an LNER loco class.

I'm also quite happy for someone to point out a class or classes I've forgotten that WOULD fill the bill-I might like one or more!

I also hope that I'm not being taken as fanatical about allocations and variations; I'm just giving information so that all may make thier own choice.

Hopefully, the final addition to this post; whilst I'm talking about allocations, it is to be remembered that locos may have been on diagrams which took them regularly some distance from theior home shed; and there were always examples of locos being 'borrowed', sometimes more than once, and hence ending up far from home.

Martyn

Having stayed away from this thread and forum all day, after having gotten several email notifications I logged back in to see what I'd been tagged in. I'll be honest, having spent the last year trying to make Atso-Cad fly as more than just a hobby, after being made redundant two years ago, not being able to find a new job and continually battling depression and suicidal thoughts, I really don't know whether I should be laughing or crying right now.

Please can nobody else tag me in this thread, I have found it a very depressing read and will not be participating in it any further.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: martyn on January 11, 2019, 08:16:29 AM
My post #95 has been deleted-probably it was rather pessimistic.

I didn't mean to upset Atso-I regard his kits very highly-and I didn't realise that copy and paste something would result in him being tagged again.

Martyn
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Les1952 on January 11, 2019, 07:37:58 PM
"Anyone can build a kit"

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/73/1473-110119190934.jpeg)

As a result of too many years spent keyboarding and teaching ICT skills to others I now have Repetitive Strain Injury in my right wrist.  This adds to the early arthritis I have in both hands.  If that were not enough I have a (fortunately mild) dyspraxia which manifests itself in an inability to recognise parallel lines and verticals as such- overcome in most areas by teaching myself that certain things are ALWAYS parallel or vertical. Just don't ask me to CREATE parallels as I can't recognise if these are......

In my younger days I built quite a few loco kits in OO, and a few loco body kits in N.  I am not sure that the heartache every time I completed a kit has been worth it, as not one has been good enough by my standards.

That hasn't stopped me concentrating on the things I can do- modifying r-t-r items to get different sub-classes, renumbering, weathering etc.  However to get a decent stock to model a lot of areas you do need the basic types. 

I model the North Eastern Region.  Union Mills are a godsend.
The J25, J26 and J27 are the basic ex- NER 0-6-0s.  Colin will supply the LMS small tender as a seperate item and more recent J27s have them in any case.  N Brass do a set of coal rails that, with a deal of filing and intemperate language, can be fitted to make these tenders more NER-shaped- I ignore the tank fillers being in the wrong place.  The UM J39 appeared at one time with a shorter tender, which is a basic LNER 3500 gallon type- a different sub-class to the Farish.  Likewise coupling a small Midland tender modified as above gives a J39/3, the third sub-class. All of the LNER's biggest class accounted for.  UM also do the D20 4-4-0, which needs a tender change as noted.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/44/main_14023.jpg)


 My pair of DCC-fitted J25s.  The far one done professionally, the near one by me.  As I was unable to ream out the inside of the tender to get the chip in, I put it in the cab and fashioned a storm sheet to hide the wires. 

"I don't build kits"

Les

PS I am lucky enough to have gone to school with a guy who builds professionally, and to have a son who CAN build kits, and who also confiscates my efforts and brings them up to standard.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Les1952 on January 11, 2019, 07:49:54 PM
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/main_1542.jpg)

Union Mills J39 altered to J39/3 by fitting a Midland tender.  Some of the NER tenders on J39/3s had coal rails that sloped down at both ends.  This one has since been renumbered and weathered, and I've also coaled the tender and glazed the cab with liquid glaze, and may be running on "Rise Park" at Doncaster next month. 

A simple modification, and the oversized tender that comes with the J39 can usually be sold on eBay for more than the cost of the Midland tender from UM....

Les
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: JasonBz on January 12, 2019, 01:05:36 AM
It is interesting (to me) and probably quite telling about what the hobby means to people, that after seven pages its still all about locomotives and rolling stock.
The creation of a realistic railway scene in miniature is about so much more than that - Its the infrastructure,  the setting, achieving that feeling  of Time & Place one tries to replicate that separates the good from the not so good.

Modern N gauge RTR is invariably to a very high standard - Make the rest of the scene to match that standard and you will have a layout that both looks and feels the part :)
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: railsquid on January 12, 2019, 01:15:43 AM
*warning - potentially inane personal thoughts and ramblings, not intended to offend, but instead encourage*
....

However, there's so much that can be done easily to RTR to differentiate a model, yet so few bother -

"so few bother" - such an encouraging statement.

fit the detail parts (nobody seems to - that hole in the bufferbeam looks awful folks!!!!!),

Presumably at least some people do? But, Dr. Al, do you know the reason why I have not prioritized this (or "bothered")? It's because these are a pile of tiny parts which I just know will fly everywhere, come loose on the layout, leave me with unfortunate glue stains etc. I have enough other things to be getting on with; maybe at some future date I will look into it. In the meantime I simply do not see that "awful" hole in the buffer beam, in the same way I do not see the massive chunky rapido coupling, or the apparently empty cab, or the overscale flanges or the code 80 track I use.

renumber it (very easy to do - I've given a guide to this on my workbench thread - nobody read it clearly)
How do you know that? I wasn't aware of it (unfortunately I can't read all of every thread), but noted for future reference.

weather it, mechanically tune it (most RTR can benefit from this), close up the couplings (nobody does this either).

"Nobody"? Oh really?

As such, every one of my locos has had mechanical strip down and improvement, many are renumbered, all have supplied detail parts fitted, weather some, detail some (particularly older ones, again I did some guides on this in the past - the info is all out there for those who bother to look). Coaches all have short shank couplings fitted (trivial with NEM pockets)

Last time I tried that, I was stymied by a mismatch between the (newer) Farish short shank couplings and the (older) Farish NEM pockets. Not an insoluble problem I presume, but one I will defer until a later date.

and all old ones have wheel changes, some having short rapidos fitted. It's all small 10 minute stuff, but all great starters for those beginning the journey.

And the "journey" is as short or as far as each individual wants to go. It's a hobby, not a competition.

I should note one of the things I like about this forum is the exposure to a wide range of different aspects of the hobby; just because I or others do not take up certain aspects, doesn't necessarily mean we aren't "bothered" or interested, it's because everyone is different, with different situations.
Title: Re: State of British N Gauge
Post by: Portpatrick on January 12, 2019, 12:15:45 PM
I sympathise Railsquid.  Ultimately we all know what we are prepared to attempt and/or "put up with".  I leave the packs of small parts in the box because I am simply unable to deal with them - ever worsening Essential Tremor being a major factor in that.  And at normal viewing distances what shows?  With stock which is handled regularly, taken to shows etc even some of the fixed detail is fragile, so the small bits would end up all over the place.  I do intend to put crew in more steam engine cabs - I have a few packs in hand - Tacky Wax being good for that.  Just not got round to it.  I also glue real ground coal over the bunkers/tenders.  In my view that is easy and improves appearance.
On residue old stock (around 8 coaches and 40 wagons) I have replaced all the pizza cutters with modern wheellsets, over a period of time.  Though now all my Mk 1s are current issue and I have not felt a need to fit short shank couplings - OK on my straight end to end but not good on the club layout with radii down to 11 ins. 

I am not averse and have done some mild weathering on some but given the fragility of handrails and valve gear etc, and my innate clumsiness I am not inclined to do much. 

Generally I feel N gauge is in a much better place than when I changed to it in 1976.  Standards have gone through the roof.  Though the result of that improvement is the much greater fragility of steam engines in particular and issues over haulage capacity on some.  Also as with motor cars DiY servicing and adjustments is so much more difficult compared to when removing one screw meant the whole body came off in one lump.  I have often compared the price I paid for a Brit in 1976 with the current Dapol offering.  For the last few years prices have risen faster than the RPI so yes real cost has now increased, as have standards of appearance.  I do get a sense that quality control is still an issue.  Not that 80s stuff was always brilliant from the box but it was usually easy to tweak things to improve running.  The range of RTR has been phenomenal.  Though shorter and infrequent runs can be an irritant - you cannot be at all sure of getting what you want when you have the money to buy it.  Basically we have to jump as and when things appear, which is not possible for many.  And it seems to me manufacturers are still announcing new items far to long before they are going to appear in the shops.  Dapol and Farish are both guilty (Farish Ivatt 260 took c 5 years to appear and Dapol's 142 for an example from that stable).  I do wish they would not announce things until we have a reasonable knowledge of availability.

And a small moan about Farish steam locos with leading 4 wheel bogies.  Pick them up to place on track or in John Burman's boxes and the bogie swings round so easily by 90 degrees or more that there is a real risk of it fouling and damaging the valve gear when you place it on the track or in the box.  Another aspect of the greater fragility of modern steam locos.  The old Poole design of bogie could not do that.  It swung no more than necessary to go round a 9 inch curve. 

In the past I have built many wagon and loco kits and a few Ultima coach kits as well.  But these days I am more limited to RTR, doing coupling changes (easi shunt) where I want them.  Neither have I attempted renumbering for a long time. 
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