Author Topic: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?  (Read 12494 times)

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u18b

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2014, 09:20:36 AM »
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This might be a totally wild guess..... but I'm guessing the reason this kit is based on the Arnold model is because the Kato model was not in existence years and years ago when Gregg Scott made this.

If he were to do it today.... I'm sure he would base it on the Kato model.

Ron Bearden
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"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

randgust

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2014, 11:04:03 AM »
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Even though I'm not in a position to need one, the same problem extends through a lot of projects I'm either contemplating or have already done - where the issue becomes the availability of kitbash 'parts' for a project NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. 

I've had a lot of interest in my 'bigfoot' Heisler, that took a Roco GP30 chassis (shortened) from the 70's, and Roco 0-6-0 switcher wheels, rods, etc.  None available as parts, takes 2 ancient 0-6-0's and a GP30 or GP9 from the 70's.    Nope, not going there.    I can probably do a Heisler kit from a Kato NW-2, but all I really want is the gearbox, plus two critters and a lot of etchings..... nope, not going there either.    I designed an 0-6-4t that requires an old Bachmann 4-4-0 tender truck AND the Atlas 2-6-0 to scrap out, nope.... or a Lima 2-6-0 that requires about $200 worth of parts, kato trucks that aren't available anymore.....brass etchings.... nope....

The CF7 survived the cut because the Atlas GP chassis, both old and new, work fine, and you can rob the long hood, and parts are still available...or you can horse in a GP15 chassis if you can't stand that 6" wheelbase difference, AND all the brass etchings work for RP down the road.    Meanwhile, the little Climax A  kits just keep going and going because Kato still sells the critter chassis, even if only via Japan, but they are available via mailorder.

So, anytime I'm looking at a potential kit project, this same issue is the hot button.  Do you DARE try to come up with anything that requires substantial purchases of donor units for harvesting parts?  What if they aren't currently made?   There's a substantial risk here for the kitbuilder doing the necessary designwork and up-front investment (RP, resin molds, brass etch, whatever, they don't come free) only to have it panned because of issues like these, and the cheap way out is simply not to do it at all.   Or, you can get elephant-stomped by the 'big guys', which happened to me with the GE 70-tonner and Bachmann, I had a long enough production run not to loose money, but I only sold ONE more kit after it was introduced, and that was to a purist that agreed with me on the cab contours!

You really need to think, and think hard, on responses like these because that's the basic question... not, 'can you make it six different ways, fix this, fix that, etc.', but given these circumstances, will you preorder or buy?'   It's purely a matter of coming up with enough units to cover the up-front cost of the toolwork and time.    And the reward for sufficient non-interest or negativity may not be a better model, it very well may be nothing, so think carefully. 

And if you need to think about this, remember, the South Shore Little Joe is sitting up at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, PA, beside the CSXT and NS main line, great place to railfan, pay it a visit.   It's not just for Milwaukee fans guys.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=139458&nseq=5

And it all hinges around the mechanisms guys, the best RP project in the world is a display model unless you get past the design specific to work with a mechanism.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:13:29 AM by randgust »

C855B

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2014, 11:14:32 AM »
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This is the very same issue I encountered repeatedly in ham radio. Well-designed projects, detailed instructions, excellent reports of finished work... yet almost to a one they were engineered around surplus electronics parts only available locally to the designer. Add to it the delays of magazine (...usually...) editorial and publication lead times, and it was impossible to reproduce the work. At least not without a major redesign.

I almost found myself in that same trap, building a project with "how-to" aspirations, then realized - given my penchant for stretching projects out to 5X my initial timeframe - that using less-than-prime electronics were going to doom it to the same fate. Heck, nowadays there is so much turnover in electronics manufacturing that even using new parts from major suppliers is no guarantee that the exact part will be available two years down the road. :|
...mike

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Wake me when it's over.

tom mann

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2014, 11:15:14 AM »
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It's not just for Milwaukee fans guys.

Don't forget the Companhia Paulista de Estradas de Ferro modelers, too. :trollface:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_Road_class_EF-4_and_EP-4

mmagliaro

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2014, 01:45:30 PM »
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Whether the old GG-1 is a problem depends on how many people are going to make this thing.  Maybe that's
why this inquiry was made to the forum in the first place.

1. You have to be willing to shell out the money
2. You need the skills to be able to do an intense craftsman-style locomotive project
3. You have to be interested in this particular model enough to invest the time, even if you have the skill

#3 is what rules me out.   I cannot believe that hundreds of these would be made from these parts, or even
100.  So I can't see the availability of the old GG-1 being an issue.   If this were the sort of thing that could
possibly sell hundreds of units, then it becomes a big problem.   GG-1's are always around.   I always see them
on eBay and I always see them at swap meets.  And when I say "always" I mean "always".   They are very common.

But if 200 people suddenly needed one, they would become UNcommon overnight.

reinhardtjh

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2014, 04:34:37 AM »
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But if 200 people suddenly needed one, they would become UNcommon overnight.

Even 50 people might cause a problem since:

4) You need to buy 3 Arnold/Rapido GG1s to create 2 Little Joes (You just need the extra axles from a donor unit).

Means you need at least 2 donors for each Little Joe. (Even given that some people might share the half GG1).
John H. Reinhardt
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nkalanaga

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2014, 03:00:49 AM »
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I'd rather have the boxcab. 
N Kalanaga
Be well

u18b

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2014, 10:53:27 AM »
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I want a Quill!
Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

sirenwerks

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2014, 11:32:45 AM »
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I really want a streamlined bi-polar.
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

SD452XR

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2014, 02:02:39 PM »
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I want medication.  :D

Miles

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2014, 04:02:47 PM »
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Well, it's not good business practice to offer a new product that relies on the purchase/hunt for an obsolete and OOP component, especially something as obscure as a decades old N scale model.

That said, it's very beautifully done. Is there some modern Japanese Mechanism that can be used in the place of an ancient Arnold drive? Having a MILW Little Joe would be a very welcome addition to N scale, but it should be up to date the moment it leaves the factory.

randgust

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2014, 04:53:34 PM »
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On the other hand.... playing the advocate here.....

If you have any official or unofficial contacts back into Kato, find out what the 'status' is of their GG1.    If it's like several models I've heard of (headed by the RDC), there were a lot more made than sold, and they may still have a lot in the warehouse.   I was even jokingly asked by a Kato rep if there was anything I could make out of an RDC..   I suspect that's how the M1001 project started with Kobo.

Which means, if you've come up with something to help them move inventory, they can be rather cooperative.   And, you can be relatively assured there's more out there than you think, and prices may even come down.

On the other hand, you could end up with a 2-8-2 situation, and discover they are pretty much all-out of their own inventory, and ebay prices will be going up until another rerun, maybe, someday.   Just sayin', when you're doing a project like this you need to use whatever you can find out about the base material and make your plans accordingly.   

Rapido GG1's are in the $50-$60 range on Ebay, Katos are in the $70-$80 range and there's a lot unsold at even $10 more.   Just an observation.

u18b

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2014, 07:03:34 PM »
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Well, it's not good business practice to offer a new product that relies on the purchase/hunt for an obsolete and OOP component, especially something as obscure as a decades old N scale model.

That said, it's very beautifully done. Is there some modern Japanese Mechanism that can be used in the place of an ancient Arnold drive? Having a MILW Little Joe would be a very welcome addition to N scale, but it should be up to date the moment it leaves the factory.

You are exactly right.

But I don't think that's what's going on here.

What you said would apply if GHQ as a company offered this as a GHQ product.

But that's not what's going on here.  In fact, we were told this is not a GHQ product in one of the earlier posts.

Gregg Scott is a fantastic modeller.  And when he builds things, he apparently makes molds of the parts he crafts.

Someone probably saw his Little Joes and begged him for a long time.... please, please, I want one.

So I think this is just a modeller offering his molds for a limited production.

And we all know what we're getting going in  (except for price- I haven't heard that yet).

Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

Greyryder

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2014, 07:40:04 PM »
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My budget's stretched too thin across too many hobbies. Otherwise, I would love one of these. Knowing me, I'd try (and probably fail) to cobble the trucks together from some Bachmann Geep trucks. Those can be had nice and cheap.

peteski

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Re: The N-scale Milwaukee Little Joe is done! Is it worth the effort?
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2014, 11:17:38 PM »
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Is there some modern Japanese Mechanism that can be used in the place of an ancient Arnold drive? Having a MILW Little Joe would be a very welcome addition to N scale, but it should be up to date the moment it leaves the factory.

There is a smooth running Kato (Japanese) GG1 mechanism readily available...  :trollface:
But we won't go there.
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