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Author Topic: State of British N Gauge  (Read 2253 times)

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Offline Bealman

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #60 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.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Steven B

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #61 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!

Online njee20

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #62 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.

Online Paddy

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #63 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
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 09:43:37 AM by Paddy »
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Online emjaybee

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #64 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.

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Online njee20

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #65 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!

Offline Dr Al

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #66 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  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  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 's thread, @Snowwolflair , and @Ozymandias, 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 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 . 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
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 12:06:16 PM by Dr Al »
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline joe cassidy

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #67 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

Offline Dr Al

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #68 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
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Online njee20

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #69 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.

Offline joe cassidy

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #70 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

Offline PaulCheffus

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #71 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

Offline Dr Al

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #72 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 '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
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline joe cassidy

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #73 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

Online njee20

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #74 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 '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!

 

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