Author Topic: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?  (Read 1959 times)

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OldEastRR

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Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« on: June 21, 2016, 05:23:32 AM »
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There are tons of houses and shops available, but only a couple of pre-WWII factories. Is this because all those factories were obliterated by Allied bombings,  so there are no prototypes left? :D I would think that modelers of early 20th century Germany/Central Europe would want SOME kind of factories on their layouts. So why so few?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 06:57:50 AM by GaryHinshaw »

Philip H

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OldEastRR

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 08:44:27 PM »
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Kibri has ONE factory that they dress up with different additions and equipment. Faller is where Model Power got all its factory buildings so they've been around a long time -- again, a basic element (one type wall w/ one type window arrangement) arranged variously, in various amounts, in different kits. Minitrix has cardstock kits; I'm looking for plastic.
A European version of Atlas's Middlesex Mill would be a good kit. The style architecture I'd like to get is arch-top multipaned windows close together, no pilasters, V-pitched roofs and plain not ornate end walls with triangular tops to match,  and no fancy brickwork on the face. In plastic. The European style factory is what early New England factories were modeled on.  Scratchbuilding is hard because available windows like above are of only one type, by Tichy. Considering Germany was heavily industrialized by 1900, you'd think there'd be more varieties of models made. I doubt every single factory looked like the Kibri building.

peteski

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 09:03:49 PM »
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Kibri has ONE factory that they dress up with different additions and equipment. Faller is where Model Power got all its factory buildings so they've been around a long time -- again, a basic element (one type wall w/ one type window arrangement) arranged variously, in various amounts, in different kits. Minitrix has cardstock kits; I'm looking for plastic.
A European version of Atlas's Middlesex Mill would be a good kit. The style architecture I'd like to get is arch-top multipaned windows close together, no pilasters, V-pitched roofs and plain not ornate end walls with triangular tops to match,  and no fancy brickwork on the face. In plastic. The European style factory is what early New England factories were modeled on.  Scratchbuilding is hard because available windows like above are of only one type, by Tichy. Considering Germany was heavily industrialized by 1900, you'd think there'd be more varieties of models made. I doubt every single factory looked like the Kibri building.

Unfortunately, what you call cardstock kits is what seems to be future of model kits.  Just don't call them cardstock - they are "craftsman laser-cut" kits.  Seeing how even the large companies like Minitrix are embracing the laser-cut kits (which in the past were the mainstay of small kit manufacturers) I think the industry will slowly switch over to that media.  I also prefer injection-molded styrene kits, but those companies realized that the production costs are so much lower. After all, there is no need for steel molds - all you need is bunch of wood or cardboard stock and a laser.  The old injection-molded kits will still be produced from the existing molds, but I think that most new structure kits will be laser-cut paper products.

Why there aren't more European industrial kits?   Maybe because most European layouts are roundy-round style, so there is not much need for industries and switching puzzles. Most layouts include cute towns (and if you notice, there are plenty of non-industrial houses available in N scale).
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ljudice

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 07:42:55 AM »
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Trix has been doing some giant industries lately.....

sirenwerks

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2016, 10:33:55 AM »
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I think the links provided reinforced what OldEastRR complained about.  A small handful of kits that have been around since the dawn of N scale dressed up with different colors of lipstick.  Trix is the only one with something unique with its breweries, coke plant, and what looks like a regurgitation of Walthers blast furnace.


Really, no factories to speak of, just like with American manufacturers, no real industries in N, just a handful of shrunk down HO scale hand me downs.  And trackside structures.  Plenty of trackside shacks and outhouses.
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basementcalling

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2016, 12:13:58 PM »
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Trix has been doing some giant industries lately.....

At giant prices too.  :D

Would love some of the girder runs in that Trix mine/coke house.  I don't think the problem is finding the main buildings per se, as buying multiples of a scaled down kit is always an option, but the basic kits we get leave out so many details that fill the footprint effectively that our larger scale spaces look toy like without them.
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OldEastRR

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 06:07:12 AM »
-3
Unfortunately, what you call cardstock kits is what seems to be future of model kits.  Just don't call them cardstock - they are "craftsman laser-cut" kits.  Seeing how even the large companies like Minitrix are embracing the laser-cut kits (which in the past were the mainstay of small kit manufacturers) I think the industry will slowly switch over to that media. 

What.  :RUEffinKiddingMe: Now the railroad model companies are going back to WOOD kits? Like in the '1920s (not 2020s)? Humidity-affected, thin, brittle, warping, non-realistic surface (unless it's a wood structure; forget about brick or poured concrete) WOOD kits? Hey, let's put a 3rd rail on N track and use AC transformers!
Anybody who says our civilization isn't in retrograde isn't paying attention.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 08:51:19 AM »
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Laser cutting is allowing for smaller production runs and a lot more variety.  The "cardstock" (aka "laserboard" and other trade names) is definitely NOT the cardboard we grew up with, but a much denser and finer grained product.  I've been very pleased to see the several new manufacturers who have been able to enter the N scale market with this technology.  Several of the offerings in recent years have been just the sort of large, old factory building that we have been asking for.  And given the size of the larger structures, they are price competitive with mass produced plastic.

And for the wood models- well, it takes a lot of work to make plastic look like wood.  So, for a wood prototype, I prefer a wood kit.  Assembly may be more time consuming, but I find the finishing goes faster, and end result is better. 

Tom D.

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peteski

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2016, 09:23:07 PM »
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Just to give you an idea of the price you will pay for a large factory kit, here is a new laser-cut brewery kit Minitrix just came out with:
https://www.dm-toys.de/produktdetails/items/Trix-T66320.html
It will only set you back 162 Euros.  :)
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2016, 09:49:07 AM »
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True, but the alternative to get something the same size would be to buy 6 Walthers buildings at $30-40 each and kitbash them together, or bid online for 2 of the old modular dairies, which as crazy as that has gotten, could run you $150 each.  So the price is not that out of line. 
Tom D.

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Pomperaugrr

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2016, 10:52:20 AM »
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This is a good alternative for anyone wanting a large curtain wall style factory.
I am tempted to get this kit combo for phase two of my layout, when I build Fairfield Processing.

http://thenarch.com/products/curtain-wall-panel-system-twin-pack-kit-n



Eric
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 10:53:51 AM by Pomperaugrr »

peteski

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2016, 06:36:39 PM »
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This is a good alternative for anyone wanting a large curtain wall style factory.
I am tempted to get this kit combo for phase two of my layout, when I build Fairfield Processing.

http://thenarch.com/products/curtain-wall-panel-system-twin-pack-kit-n



Eric

I'm not a fan of that kit. I helped to assemble one of this for a friend's layout and the finished building looks more like a mock-up than a quality building.  I can't quite put my finger on it as to why it looks so rough. Maybe it is the gaps around the parts - it just doesn't look right to me.
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conrail98

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Re: Why don't German N manufacturers make factory kits?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2016, 09:02:53 PM »
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I'm not a fan of that kit. I helped to assemble one of this for a friend's layout and the finished building looks more like a mock-up than a quality building.  I can't quite put my finger on it as to why it looks so rough. Maybe it is the gaps around the parts - it just doesn't look right to me.

Did your friend put an interior in it? That many windows almost begs to need something inside of it. I could see not having something inside maybe drawing your eyes to the other details you may think were off,

Phil
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