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Author Topic: 2020 Large Scale offerings...  (Read 1454 times)
tweetsie12

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« on: February 21, 2020, 09:51:54 PM »

Dear Mr. Bach-Man.
I’ve went through the 2020 catalog just today, and I must say that I am very disappointed with the Large Scale offerings this year. In my eyes, the large scale range is a shell of what it once was. The only thing I was happy to see was the addition of Diesel to the Thomas the Tank Engine items, but that's about it. Everything else was just kind of a letdown. So, I'm going to explain what I had particular issues with:
•The DCC-Equipped Thomas the Tank Engine seems to have been discontinued, with Percy now being the only engine with DCC fitted. I was honestly hoping see another DCC-Equipped Engine, such as Toby.
•The roster of starter sets is literally the saddest thing on the planet. All we have is the Ringling Bros. L'il Big Haulers Set, The North Woods Logger, and the Night Before Christmas Set. Every other set, including the Percy Set, have seemed to have the way of the dodo. I don't seem to understand the logic of discontinuing the Thomas starter set, as Thomas is the one character EVERYBODY wants for their layouts, and yet, we can only get Thomas as a separate sale item.
•The Motive Power Department is severely lacking. We are lacking some of the quintessential engines, such as the Shay, Outside-Frame 2-8-0, 44-Tonner, Gas-Powered “Diesel”, etc...
•Rolling Stock is even more lacking, as our selection seems severely limited compared to what we had in previous years.
Bachmann, I really desire to see more from your G Scale Line. You're the leading manufacturer of G-Scale Narrow Gauge Equipment. I desire to see you give us a little more thah what we currently have.
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Chastity

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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 11:51:10 PM »

And I suspect it will stay that way.  Mr. Riley was the big champion of 1:20.3.  In a way you can not fault Bachmann.  Everyone wanted this or that but waited until basically Trainworld or similar blew them out at very low prices.  Guessing not too much return for example on a Climax at MSRP 1299 and blow out of 200.
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Chris9017

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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 04:55:17 AM »

I am also dissappointed with the Large scale parts division offerings.

If we can't get the new engines, we should at least be able to get the parts needed to keep our older Bachmann engines running otherwise we are looking for dead donor engines to pop up on ebay or having to buy a second new engine to cannibalize for parts and that's a waste.
Otherwise we're looking at possibly having to build the parts ourselves from scratch which takes a lot of time and labor like on the real engines.

For the Bachmann Spectrum Climax, Shay, Heisler, and 45-ton Diesel, replacement trucks should be readily available, circuit boards should be readily available, for the 2-8-0s, 4-4-0s and 2-6-0s, the new metal gearboxes and axles should be readily available along with replacement metal pilot and tender trucks now that North West Shortline is out of business.
Cosmetic parts such as bells whistles, smoke stacks, and headlamps, domes, cabs, cross head pumps, and handrails would be nice to have readily available, but not as essential as drive train components, structural components, and circuit boards like cylinder assemblies, boiler assemblies, power trucks, motors, gear box assemblies, pilot, and tender trucks. 
I understand the lack of new inventory, but at the very least, we can have replacement parts readily available to keep our older engines in working order as parts and components wear out over time.  And some of those parts that have run out of stock, are not being re-stocked, and the parts department is almost never helpful over the phone, so it's very disappointing that not only the new inventory is lacking, but the lack of availability of replacement parts inventory. 
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Greg Elmassian


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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 07:03:14 PM »

Kader (who own Bachmann) normally does not make detail parts except at time of a full manufacturing run. The exceptions are normally "consumables" like couplers, wheelsets, etc. (and the way they are "consumed" this should include drive gears).

With the slowdown in production of G scale, so go the parts.

It's unfortunate, since I believe the parts business can be made profitable, but as in the last post, people want a wide selection of parts, and it most likely does not make economic sense. (One could argue in fact it makes perfect sense, Kader has determined parts only is not profitable as evidenced by their decision to not have all parts available all the time).

Aristo-Craft was make by Kader too and the owner made it clear that the factory did not like making parts, in fact would just provide a few extra locos and let you pull the parts from them, kind of like owning a Jag and having a junker for parts.

Greg
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greevesqub


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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 02:48:43 PM »

I can certainly see why Bachmann is backing off from G scale.  They are not in business to loose money.
  I have a beautiful Buick rail truck that needs a bevel gear that is not available.  I also have a 4-4-0 and the companion 2-6-0 that are absolutely beautiful models.  However I am reluctant to run both as parts are scarce.  I also realize that they can fail in the box (plastic gears splitting on axles).  I have been tempted to purchase one of the Climax locomotives. However, I don't need another dead locomotive when the inevitable happens.  I wouldn't mind paying list price for a model that I could keep running for decades.  I do have several locomotives that have been running on my garden railway, due to the availability of spare parts,  for over 30 years.       
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Fred2179

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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 10:35:45 AM »

I can certainly see why Bachmann is backing off from G scale.  They are not in business to loose money.
  I have a beautiful Buick rail truck that needs a bevel gear that is not available.  I also have a 4-4-0 and the companion 2-6-0 that are absolutely beautiful models.  However I am reluctant to run both as parts are scarce.  I also realize that they can fail in the box (plastic gears splitting on axles).  I have been tempted to purchase one of the Climax locomotives. However, I don't need another dead locomotive when the inevitable happens.  I wouldn't mind paying list price for a model that I could keep running for decades.  I do have several locomotives that have been running on my garden railway, due to the availability of spare parts,  for over 30 years.       
There is a gentleman in MA making replacement gears in Delrin for the most popular/problematic gearboxes.  His email is girotek@rcn.com and he is quite active on Facebook.
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armorsmith


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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 11:20:46 AM »

Fred, therein lies the rub for many of the senior modelers. I, like many, do not get on Facebook. Aside of the fact that my employer HIGHLY RECOMMENDS us NOT open our security to a medium that has many time displayed it's inability or lack of desire to secure folks PII.

Beyond that, Facebook is a 'Gossip Fence' in that it is 'here today gone tomorrow'. There is no effective search feature to locate a single piece of data you are interested in. I don't have hours to scroll through hundreds of posts to find the one item I want. As a hobbyist Facebook is useless to me for finding parts, etc.

Sorry to offend the Facebook foamers, but that is my thoughts. By the way, it would have been nice if you included a means to find this Facebook provider for those who wish to pursue that avenue.
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mickeykelley

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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 10:17:34 AM »

What was a good idea to start, turned into a drama machine that just wants to profile you like Google and the rest.  Don’t waste my time on it.
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armorsmith


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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 10:24:43 AM »

And I thought profiling was illegal  Sad
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prr22


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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 08:21:34 PM »

LOL I completely agree with all those things about Facebook, but let's not stray too far away from the topic in this chat room.  I think it's wonderful that someone has stepped up to provide necessary parts.  Some individuals doing this have been quite successful in the HO scale market abundant with parts, so I can only imagine how successful individuals producing large scale parts can be.
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Modeling the rolling hills from Baltimore to Pittsburg
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2020, 09:03:27 AM »

Hi All,

The aftermarket parts makers are the future for us, and 3d printing makes it all possible.  I see some nice things being made with 3D printers.  But those guys need to make a profit too.   I see some 3D printed detail parts coming out that I would really like to have, but the prices are too high for me right now. 

As for the market for G scale overall I feel that the level of detail on those products now being made lack good detail.  At the same time many long out of production locomotives and cars made by USAT  Aristo and Bachmann are going for much higher prices in the aftermarket than ever.  I wish Bachmann could produce some of the old Aristo models, since Kader owns the dies.  But an inside source told me that Kader has moved their factory to a new location and many of the old dies are lost or damaged.  Seems a shame.  I model the steam to diesel era and would love to see a Baldwin switcher and road unit.

Enough whining on my part Grin, I think I will go play with my trains Roll Eyes

Loco Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
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prr22


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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2020, 12:12:09 PM »

Bill, exactly!  As an engineering student, I can tell you that CAD files take an enormous time investment to make to particular specifications from new, let alone trying to copy another part exactly.  And the cost of 3D printers, don't even get me started  Shocked ......
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Modeling the rolling hills from Baltimore to Pittsburg
armorsmith


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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2020, 01:11:59 PM »

I take issue with that statement. Obviously you have NEVER spent any time reverse engineering a product on the drawing board with real drafting tools. Try working in india ink on 4 mil mylar in a white shirt and tie....and don't get the ink on the shirt or tie. (Oh wait, you probably don't even know what either one of those mediums are.) I can do in modern CAD in 25% of the time what it took to do engineering on the drawing board.

Yes, doing the reverse engineering to make the models of the parts takes time. I have reverse engineered hundreds of items in my career, and know well what time it takes. It takes more time to engineer the original than the copy. Reverse engineering the parts is only a small part of the cost associated with generating a production part. Cost one - getting the reverse engineered part RIGHT.  When you reverse engineer a part, you are measuring a part that is usually already worn to some degree, and was originally built within some tolerance range to make the part both manufacturable, and cost efficient. Where are the measurements you are taking relative to those unknown numbers.

Next, when you are generating 3D stl files, dependent on the size and shape of the part there will be bridging elements that will be put in by the printing software to keep the part's shape during printing. If there, someone has to remove them after print. Now you test fit you part and hope you guessed right on the critical dimensions the first time. If not, it goes back the the model and adjustment are made and a second round of print and test.

Now add the cost of the printer into the mix. If you are aiming for production level capability you are looking at a moderately priced piece of gear, somewhere in the $20K range (this being for a machine with a large enough bed to produce near anything in one piece or quantities of pieces). Then quantities of parts in one pass requires an assembly model to be produced to move forward with multipart prints.

Oh, and did we discuss the individual who is doing all the work? I will venture a bet that he would like some compensation for his time and investment in the hardware and filament to generate the parts.

I think if you break all that information out and do an honest analysis, the price for those otherwise unobtainable parts is not so steep after all.

I have spent 49 years in the engineering profession. Started in 1971 as a drafter making hand drawn  ink on mylar drawings, and worked my way through AutoCAD, AutoDesk Inventor, Solid Edge, SolidWorks and PTC ProE/Creo. I know how long models take to make, they are a breeze next to board drawings, patterns/casting/machining/welding/etc to get a part.
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prr22


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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 07:58:06 PM »

@armorsmith, as I said I am a student.  I don't have years upon years of experience in the field, so my skills are not as sharp as yours.  I am not looking to stir up controversy, just addressing someone else's concern.

-Jay
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Modeling the rolling hills from Baltimore to Pittsburg
armorsmith


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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2020, 10:25:52 PM »

That was exactly my point. My intent was not to 'call you out' but rather to bring to light that what an item costs vs it's perceived expense sometimes needs clarification for those not knowledgeable in the fields of engineering and manufacturing.

The cost per piece is governed by many factors, but one that is not usually considered is 'how many pieces in a production run. All the costs associated with manufacturing that part are borne out over the number of parts manufactured. The same burden cost (engineering, tooling, machine set up, etc) to manufacture an axle gear for the Bachmann mogul is there regardless of making one piece or 1000 pieces. However when you distribute that cost over 1000 pieces plus the actual part cost (material), the per part cost is much less for the multi part run than for making one.

Considering that the modeling time to generate the file for a 3D printed part is really not readily distributed over a large run, that cost is going to make the part seem expensive. And consider that when someone says an item is expensive, it is based on his perception. You as a student should understand the restrictions of fixed income vs escalation cost of products. Bill's perception of cost relative to his income situation is likely far different from folks still working and making a good living or those in the high income bracket that think $5K for a live steam loco is a drop in the bucket.

Perception IS reality.

I wish you well in your studies, and I would encourage you to continue on to your degree and beyond. As an old fart, I wish schools taught more of the basics I learned oh so many years ago. I believe it would make better designers and engineers of young people.
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