Author Topic: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???  (Read 1940 times)

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ljudice

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2014, 02:35:27 PM »
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I wouldn't be surprised if it succeeded. The Pendolino is quite iconic (and fairly comfortable) and I wouldn't be surprised if enough modellers stepped up and chipped in.

I'll agree on that point - been on the Pendolino in Finland and it was nice.

On the rest I'm just skeptical that the # of people serious enough to want ONE particular car is big enough in N-scale.
Entirely different than "it's hitting dealer's shelves".

I posted this, however, because it's very interesting and I wondered what others thought.

- Lou

« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 02:43:43 PM by ljudice »

ljudice

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2014, 02:39:19 PM »
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BTW, great ads featuring the Virgin tilting train - too bad Amtrak can't be as imaginative (or hire a better agency):


« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 02:45:39 PM by ljudice »

VonRyan

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2014, 05:31:38 PM »
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I think the crowdfunding idea could be best applied to something like a small resin casting company. I've been toying with the idea to help raise the funds to get started. I have all the equipment at my disposal. It's only a matter of getting the mold making materials and resin.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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ednadolski

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2014, 06:07:22 PM »
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To answer Bryan's point, I don't think you could get 150 people to agree on one freight car...

There is also the risk.  If you take money from people, then you absolutely must deliver - every time, no exceptions.  If you screw up in the process, then you are on the hook for fixing it or returning people's money (with a sheepish apology).   And we are not talking chump change, either.

As soon as money gets involved, the fun goes out of the hobby in a hurry.

Ed







red death

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2014, 01:00:26 PM »
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Hi folks

Thanks for the interest in our project - amazing where the internet can take us to!

I'm one of the project co-ordinators and so I can provide a bit of background on why we've chosen to go for crowdfunding etc.

I won't bore you too much with the detail of the prototype, just to say that the Pendolino is a very iconic, modern express unit which shares some its background from the tilt technology of the APT of the 1980s:
Pendolino http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_390
APT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_370

There are considerable question marks about whether the UK's N gauge market is large enough or interested enough to make tooling something this ambition worthwhile, so Kickstarter seemed like a sensible way of testing the market interest.

Ben and I are experienced in managing commissions through the UK's N gauge manufacturers, so we are working with one of the UK manufacturers - basically we do the work on marketing the project, if we get funding then the rewards to the funders are cheap trains of a prototype that we know the manufacturer's won't take a risk on. If the project gets funded (and that is still a big if!) then the production gets produced and the tooling passes in ownership to the manufacturer who then gets to re-run production as he sees fit (after a period of exclusivity).

The unit is a 9-car unit (though some have been strengthened to 11-cars now) and we envisage it being sold in packs similar to Kato use for their units. The price for backers will be in the region of $400 for a 9-car set (though there will be some cheaper options for those who can't afford or do not have room for a full set), which if it succeeds and the tooling is released to the manufacturer for general retail would retail in the region of $550. Those figures might seem expensive to an American audience, but they are comparable to what you would pay in the UK for a loco and 8 coaches.

Will it succeed? We don't know, but we are prepared to give up our time to try and make it happen.  It is a visually appealing design and livery of the top line express in the UK (the sort of things that generally appeals beyond the committed modeller market).

If you've got any questions about the project or crowdfunding please feel free to fire away!

Cheers, Mike

ljudice

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2014, 01:07:36 PM »
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I think it's amazing you guys are taking this on and wish you the best of luck!

This could open new doors!

One question - I know a fair amount about Continental N-scale,  but not much about British modeling. Is the Virgin model unique or can it be decorated in other roadnames?  How prevalent is modern vs. period modeling?

Again excited about your concept - I am not sure it would work here due to fragmented interests, but who knows?

- Lou

red death

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2014, 01:30:37 PM »
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Hi Lou

Thanks!

At the moment only Virgin, though that is possibly due to change in the reasonably near future with at least one other operator interested in the Pendolino.

Having said which there are 3 or 4 variations to the Virgin livery - a couple vinyled up with the manufacturer's artwork (Alstom), one with some Poppy logos (to commemorate our veterans) and one in a movie advertising livery for the last X-Men film.

As a really rough estimate I would say: 25% steam only, 50% steam-early diesel (late 1940s to early 1970s), 25% diesel and electric (mid 70s to present).  How the latter breaks down into say the last 10-12 years (the Pendolinos were introduced in 2002) I wouldn't like to say.

Incidentally at the moment we are just trying to pre-publicise the project so that as many modellers as possible are aware before we start the Kickstarter process (sometime mid-late October at latest estimate).

Cheers, Mike

ljudice

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2014, 04:23:39 PM »
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Thanks for the info!   The Virgin trains are great looking - I posted two adverts above somewhere...

We need some marketing genius like that at Amtrak, or even better perhaps Sir Richard would like to buy Amtrak and fix it....   :D

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2014, 07:52:01 AM »
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Actually, $400 isn't too far off from what we would pay for a full, prototypical dedicated train. Bachmann's Acela costs about the same for the full train. I think a full Broadway with GG1 engine comes out to about that too. Con-Cor's specialty trains are also quite pricey.
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Leggy

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2014, 08:05:08 AM »
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Don't know why but I keep reading the title of this thread as 'Confounding New Tooling', driving me nuts.  :facepalm:

peteski

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2014, 11:34:14 AM »
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I know what you mean. Crowd-funding would have been much easier on my eyes.  But new English words get created often nowadays. I think I'll go and take some selfies now.  :)
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delamaize

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Re: Crowdfunding New Tooling, Anyone???
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2014, 12:23:39 PM »
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I do agree that with the statement indicating that their wouldn't be enough US modelers focused on one prototype to allow crowdfunding to happen, and the European market is a lot more primed for this idea to work. I'd get on board for either a 1:148 or 1:160 of the Southern Rail Class 377. I'm trying to get a model of every type of train I commonly rode while in Europe.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_377)

BUT......

what about something along the lines of my "ala carte steam locomotive" idea? that could be something that MIGHT have a chance of working with our modelers, due to the appeal to a wider group of modelers. For those who probably didn't see the post, My idea was to have a series of different basic wheel arrangements and wheel diameters, such as a x-6-x with "small," "medium," and "large" wheels, then be able to pick from several leading and trailing truck styles, if needed. At that point, those who plan on scratchbuilding a shell, you could order just a mech. or if you want to continue, their would be several different boiler styles, firebox styles, and cab styles to choose from. and of course pilots, headlights, and other detail parts. the mech would be set up to accept the Bachmann tenders, and of course, we would have to try to convene them, to continue to build said tenders. The idea here wasn't so much to be able to build a prototypical locomotive from the ala carte shop, but be able to get close, and then finish the job yourself, or get a close enough model for those who are not as concerned with being 100% prototypical.

The big problem with the whole idea is the MONSTROUS start up cost, nothing about this adventure would be cheap, thats for sure.
Mike

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