Who is winning The RACE (part 2)?

 
  DQ2004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Hobart -where the rain has lumps in it
It’s a new year and a renewed Railpage so we here at The RACE have decided to start afresh.
The previous RACE thread is here: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1268591.htm#1268591
And, lets face it, in the last four months or so lots has happened.

…actually, no it hasn’t.
Not very much at all, in fact, has happened.
BUT some things have happened SINCE The RACE was last revised, so we do need to talk about that.
Not only that, we actually do have at least two real RACES on the go in the model railway world of Australia.  Two of our model producers (since almost all models are actually made in China, The RACE regards these importers as producers, rather than manufacturers) are competing to produce a model of the NSWGR 48 class, and another combination of two producers are racing to produce new or revised models of the Clyde/GM 81/BL/G class locomotives.  Who will actually win these races and get their model out first, is as yet unknown...

Now, this edition of the RACE has actually been in preparation for some time, and there have been a number of revisions, so that may explain the general rambling nonsense at the start.

The Australian Model Railway market & the Problems

According an Austrains newsletter in late 2009, most of the engineers at one of the factories in China have been either fired or quit, resulting in huge delays and problems for producers here in Oz.  Whilst according to the newsletter this has now been largely resolved, and things are proceeding back on course, it does raise a few interesting points and food for thought.

Firstly, whilst things may have been sorted now, it doesn’t mean that this sort of thing won’t happen again.
Secondly, it explains some of the big delays particularly at the other customers of the same factory as Austrains, in particular Eureka and TrainOrama, who have noticeably failed to come up with much stuff in the last two years, despite expectations.

Given how many products have recently been appearing from Auscision, plus how many more are shortly to arrive, it seems very clear that their factory hasn’t had the same sorts of problems.

Another question that has occurred to me is the longevity of our existing producers.  Reading through an older Austrains newsletter I was reminded of the fact that some of these company’s principals are not quite as young as they once were.  Whilst there’s probably no reason to panic just now, there’s no doubt that not all of the producers around at the moment will be around for ever, and possibly not even in ten years time.
How this change will come about is obviously unclear, but could take the form of one producer purchasing the tooling of another, as happened when Tom Fisher died and Austrains’ tooling was split between what is now TrainOrama & Austrains.
Now I’m not suggesting that such a dramatic end is likely, I certainly hope not, but inevitably there will come a point when some of our current company principals will decide that they’ve enough.
When that happens the Australian market will change yet again.  It is going to be fascinating to watch.

In other news, it has recently been revealed that the long rumoured 73 class is now close to happening, only it is not coming from TrainOrama, as had been strongly rumoured, nor Austrains, as had been vehemently claimed by some (despite Austrains’ own denial), but Auscision!
Extraordinary.
We honestly don’t know what happened to the supposed announcement from TrainOrama on another forum, but certainly there was never any such announcement in their official newsletters (which is the only thing The RACE Officials ever rely upon).

2009 arrivals:
Eureka NSW CPH/CTH railmotors (non-sound)
Auscision Vic A class
Eureka NSWGR class C38
Powerline VR T class (re-release)
Powerline VR H class
Austrains NR class (upgraded re-release)
Austrains 80 class (re-release)
TrainOrama VR S class
Auscision Vic B class


2010
Arrivals so far:
Minimodels Clyde Standard suburban cars
TrainOrama NSWGR 42 class

June:
Auscision V/Line N class –first painted samples seen, due next month if no further delays advised

July:

August:
Austrains NR class (re-release)
Austrains C class (re-release)

September:
TrainOrama 44 class (re-release) –this is a total guess
TrainOrama 49 class (re-release) –so is this

October:
Eureka NSWGR C38 class (re-release)

November:
Eureka NSW 40 class –first painted samples seen, model not far away

December:
Eureka NSWGR AD60 class (short-bunker) –pilot model seen but factory painted samples not seen

2011
1st Quarter:
Um...

2nd Quarter:
Austrains CL/CLP/CLF class (re-release)
TrainOrama NSWGR 48 class –pilot models seen no painted samples
TrainOrama SAR 830 class –pilot models seen no painted samples
Railmotor SCT class -full pilot model not yet seen
Minimodels Bradfield suburban cars

3rd Quarter:
Austrains X class (re-release)
Powerline NSW 48 class –first pilot models seen
TrainOrama CR GM class –first pilot models seen but still incomplete
Eureka NSW 620/720 class (re-release)

4th Quarter:
Auscision NSWGR 422 class –pilot models due soon
Austrains 442 class (upgraded re-release)

2012
Auscision NSW 73 class –pilot models due soon
Austrains NSW 81 class –pilot models due at end of year
Austrains Vic G class –ditto
Austrains BL class –ditto
Auscision AN class –pilot models due hopefully by end of year
Auscision NSW 46 class –pilot models due hopefully by end of year
Eureka Vic R class –pilot models well overdue, who knows
Eureka NSW D59 class –pilot models still some way away, arrival in 2012 doubtful
Austrains Vic T class (flat-top) –tooling not begun, arrival in 2012 very doubtful
Austrains Vic P class –as above

2013
Eureka NSW DEB set –tooling set to begin soon?
TrainOrama NSW 45 class –no news is bad news
TrainOrama SA 600 class –as above
Auscision NSW 86 class –delayed due to difficulties in obtaining good drawings (they had to go out & measure one themselves!)
Eureka NSW 43 class –no news
Eureka Vic K class –tooling underway soon
Austrains NSW Z19 class –waiting to hear if it will proceed. If you want one, email Austrains NOW.
Austrains NSW Z20 class –as above

2014 and BEYOND
Auscision CFCLA GL class –no news
TrainOrama NSW 82 class –no news whatsoever
TrainOrama WA L class –still no news
TrainOrama NSW D50 class –not a mention
TrainOrama NSW D53 class –not even a peep
Eureka NSW C30 class –design drawing underway
Eureka NSW D57 class –no news
Eureka NSW D58 class –and again, no news
Eureka NSW Silver City Comet –nope. I got nothing.
_________________________________________________

Notes:
After a record year of a multitude of arrivals in 2008, 2009 was a lot quieter with some notable non-achievements.
TrainOrama, for one, managed to sneak in one part of its Bulldog project, which unsurprisingly shattered into the three separate classes that were part of the project.  However a large number of wagon projects have still not appeared (even though the RACE officials aren’t officially tracking this), nor have a number of projected re-runs.  Of the remaining parts of the Bulldog project, the 42’s have just arrived, and the GM’s are now due next year, if we’re lucky.
The 48 class was looking good for this year –but not anymore.  The previously announced 45, 600, 82 and L classes now look even further away than Betelgeuse.  The rumoured 73 has turned out to be completely incorrect, as Auscision are doing that, and the other rumour the 90, well, given all the delays with the Bulldogs whether TrainOrama are doing the 90 or not they obviously felt there was little point in talking about a release that is still a number of years away.
Austrains got two re-releases (the 80’s & the NRs) out, and have also managed to keep us in the dark about whether they really are going to do a Z19 & Z20 for more than twelve months now.  The suspense is killing the Officials…  
Powerline also managed only to get out a re-run of the T class, and now appears only just behind TrainOrama in getting their 48 class out.  Who will win this race, is now open for bets.  Currently the Officials private prediction is that TrainOrama will win by just a few months, which is not a huge margin.
Eureka finally managed to get hold of their C38s, but then took an appalling six months to get them all distributed.  Work needs to be done here, think the Officials.  Its possible that they can be accused of bias in this matter, however.

Auscision became the pacesetter last year, delivering the Victorian A & B class project, along with a number of wagons.  According to their blog all Auscision announcements will now be made with relatively minimal notice, once tooling has commenced.  Even so, this will mean at least two years before projects arrive, in all likelihood.  For example, for the very recently announced 73, samples are due in May/June.  History shows that it will be at least 18 months AFTER that when the model actually arrives.  Therefore, early 2012 is the most likely prognosis, even if we are optimistic.

Due to this, anything that has NOT had pre-production samples arrive simply cannot possibly get to your mailbox within two years time, therefore the RACE officials have had to be even more ruthless with the schedule.  If you go back to previous editions of the RACE you will see that we have previously been unbe-smegging-lievably optimistic.  We will try to do better...
As another example, the Austrains 81/BL/G class project (a sizeable one without question) has recently had many delays, according to Austrains newsletters.  However, in the latest newsletter, it claims that the project is now due for a ‘late 2010 release’.  This is almost certainly a typo, and we believe that it actually should read 2011, with test shots expected late 2010.  Such a schedule is still overoptimistic, according to our calculations, which is why the RACE has allocated their arrival to 2012.  This could easily blow out, and also could easily become split into almost separate projects with quite different arrival times, as has already happened with TrainOrama & Auscision's bulldogs.

2009 was also quite sharply divided into two parts –the first half of the year, which had stuff not arriving, whereas in the second half of the year, all the stuff did arrive.  The only exception to this was the Eureka CPH/CTH railmotors, albeit without sound.  Those who did order sound, are still waiting, bizarrely enough.

2010 promises a little more excitement but only a little, with the most notable new release being the N class from Auscision, but with a few re-runs happening.  Some of these, especially those from Eureka, could easily be further delayed, and its very likely that 2011 will go down as the Year of the Re-run.  Only in 2012 can we really be confident that exciting hitherto unavailable locos will be arriving en-masse.  Maybe.

To illustrate how things have been going, in 2008 there were EIGHT new projects released.  In 2009 only five new projects were released and two of them used the same chassis (Auscision’s A & B classes).
In 2010 there will be only four, and two of them have already arrived.
In 2011 we are projecting six.  If we are lucky, 2012 will be a lot more exciting.

Warm regards,
The Boys at The RACE

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  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
Some months ago now I found a report on the AGM of Hornby in which the General Manager discussed delays to their projects due to the changes in the factory in China so this seems to be a universal problem.
  Albert Chief Commissioner


2011
3rd Quarter:
TrainOrama CR GM class –first pilot models seen but still incomplete


That's going to chap some butts.

Atleast the wallet get a breather inbetween runs.

Thanks to The Race Team  Smile
  emddl41 Train Controller

Location: Here, there & everywhere
As for no or little news, I think we are going to have to get used to it, given the delays out of China in recent years, most of the suppliers are sick of us impatient modelers trying to knock down the door, demanding "where is my model, you said it would be here by now", something that I am guilty of.

Eureka and Austrains have already stated that all detail & payment plans for future projects will be released once the first test shots have arrived, and I think TrainO is doing the same
  bagus70 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wanting to revisit Australia again.
And why no one willing to make the good quality model of Indian Pacific cars?
Also, is there any "truce" between the manufacturers, which prevent two different manufacturers from making similar model?
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Toby old mate,

You left out the sound version of Eureka's tin hare.  Should be here sometime in 2010.  Incredibly late, but think it will come along this year.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
You are right Bagus70 about good quality IP type cars though, Lima (Hornby International) ones here are $70 for a basic box on wheels where for another $20 or so you can get something like a Walthers passenger car with full inside detail and detail parts to attach.

These cars from Lima are way over priced for a simple change of graphics though, yes the body mould is still reasonable and the graphics in most cases are superb, but neither would bump up the cost of these models like they have.

I personally witnessed a person in a hobby shop that wanted these Lima IP cars, he did what most people on a limited budget did he bought some of the Frateschi cars as he could get more bang for his buck. You get two of these cars for one Lima car and the Frateschi even comes with inside detail!

He will now be running his version of the IP quite happily for a much cheaper price!
  bjviper Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisvegas
Bagus70 and David, this thread is for loco's only going by the list, not rollingstock. Also manufacturers are slowly starting to delay announcing new models until they are well into the project. So it may yet be on someones list, as such it is a bit silly to say that no one is willing to make them.

Enough of the off topic stuff, back to locos.

I also noticed no sound CPH on the list either. Oversight perhaps?
  bagus70 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wanting to revisit Australia again.
Bagus70 and David, this thread is for loco's only going by the list, not rollingstock.

Enough of the off topic stuff, back to locos.
"bjviper"


Ohhh... I'm sorry, I didn't realize that.

Talking about locos, when will someone start to manufacture the model of NR-loco "descendants"? I don't think Austrains could keep up with such demand.
  thelastname Photo Overlord

Location: Somewhere
Talking about locos, when will someone start to manufacture the model of NR-loco "descendants"? I don't think Austrains could keep up with such demand.
"bagus70"


The SCT class is in the pipe line, that's a start.

I'm glad things have slowed down a bit, give us a chance for the finances to catch up.
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

The SCT should be a long term winner for RailMotorModels, as it is also the basis of the LDP and TT classes.


Cheers,
Hendo
  thelastname Photo Overlord

Location: Somewhere
The problem with the LDP is getting the rights to use the QR National logo and colours. I can't see it happening any time soon.

In the latest news release from Austrains, QR National has allowed it for 1 run only on the CLP, G, and X class.
  r707 Chief Commissioner

Location: Here
There's always LDP001-3 in EDI livery (001 having EDI lettering as well).
  catchpoint Assistant Commissioner

Location: At the end of a loop
In regards to the Auscission NSWR 73 class.

As noted within the Auscission Blog on their website that a pilot model it is for the 73 is expected in May / June 2010.

It also notes that the model of the 73 class is expected in 2011 and not 2012 as noted above in your list. I seem to recall Auscission saying that a model would not be announced until they have (or close enough too) a pilot model underway?

Looking forward to this model being released !

Regards,

Catchpoint
  bagus70 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wanting to revisit Australia again.
What about the class 5000, 6000, or AC4300? Would there be any model manufacturer that would built them?
  M636C Minister for Railways

What about the class 5000, 6000, or AC4300? Would there be any model manufacturer that would build them?
"bagus70"


The problem is that these locomotives are very similar to an NR in general appearance but have different bogies (one different type for 5000 and soon 5020, and another different type for 92, AC and 6000)

The steps and handrails are different from an NR as well.

The 92, AC 5020 and 6000 have a bigger radiator as well.

On all the AC locomotives the dynamic brakes are larger and further back.

One manufacturer did express interest in the 92 but as far as I know haven't said they'll make it.

Somebody skilled at kitbashing could make these locomotives starting with an NR but it wouldn't be simple.

You could use bogies from an AC4400 or ES44AC for the 5000 or 5020 but it wouldn't be easy either.

The Bachmann China HXN3 bogies might suit a 92/AC/6000.

A lazy person could just repaint an NR and change the bogie frames and rear steps (and radiator if required).

M636C
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Such conversions would be a good way to use the old NR models, rather than selling them to get the new ones!
  DQ2004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Hobart -where the rain has lumps in it
In regards to the Auscission NSWR 73 class.

As noted within the Auscission Blog on their website that a pilot model it is for the 73 is expected in May / June 2010.

It also notes that the model of the 73 class is expected in 2011 and not 2012 as noted above in your list. I seem to recall Auscission saying that a model would not be announced until they have (or close enough too) a pilot model underway?
"catchpoint"

Its a fair question but it is pretty simple.
Models (including Auscision's) take about 18 months or sometimes more from when the first pilot models are shown.
So if the pilot models are arriving in June, 18 months from then is when?
Auscision are being optimistic, I am not.
That is all.

Also, this is not a simple model with only a few colour schemes. Auscision are doing no less than 11 different colour schemes. You only need for the factory to get one or two of those wrong and there you have a delay of another month or more.
Realistically, they will not get here until mid to late 2012 IMHO. If you want to convince yourself that they will be here sooner, that is fine, but I would advise you to prepare to be disappointed.

There are far too many examples of models taking a long time to arrive that I care to name, that proves this to be true, than models arriving quickly.
I previously considered it to be a year, but this kept resulting in predictions that were completely wrong.  When I looked at how long it had actually taken for some models, the real figure came up.  Bear in mind too that many models (particularly steam locos) are taking longer (I'm sure most people know that by now!).

So using the 18 month formula, all you need to do is consider whether a model has pilot samples released already or not.  If not, then it won't be appearing before 2012, because that is now 18 months away (well, plus 2 weeks, which hardly counts).  If samples don't arrive this year, then it won't be appearing until sometime after June 2012.

Warm regards,

Toby
  a6et Minister for Railways

Sadly I have to agree in many ways with Toby on this as it does not take much to cause a delay.  From what has been said by each of the producers re the China factory problems, I would suspect that they are only telling the edges of the problems they encountered over there.

One only has to read the Eureka news of around last years Liverpool exhibition to see the frustration of Ron Cunningham, take what John Eassie also has posted in the Austrains news, & you can get a fair idea about it all.

Given that Eureka has had the 40class samples for some time now, the reality is that they should be on the water by now, or very close to it, likewise the sound CPH.

One can only hope that things have actually improved at their factory, otherwise many of us may be looking at how to have our models in retirement villages or gereatric centres for the aged.
  james13 Chief Commissioner

Location: At the Skunk Works
Auscision have a tooling sample of the 73 class up on their blog page now. Looks great even for a loco from north of the border. Laughing
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
So using the 18 month formula, all you need to do is consider whether a model has pilot samples released already or not.  If not, then it won't be appearing before 2012, because that is now 18 months away (well, plus 2 weeks, which hardly counts).  If samples don't arrive this year, then it won't be appearing until sometime after June 2012.

Warm regards,

Toby
"DQ2004"


You're assuming the old idea of manufacturers showing us the very first samples still applies. eg Is the 73 class sample now on the Auscision blog the very first sample, or are they already a year into checking and modifying samples?

Regards
Michael S
  a6et Minister for Railways

So using the 18 month formula, all you need to do is consider whether a model has pilot samples released already or not.  If not, then it won't be appearing before 2012, because that is now 18 months away (well, plus 2 weeks, which hardly counts).  If samples don't arrive this year, then it won't be appearing until sometime after June 2012.

Warm regards,

Toby
"DQ2004"


You're assuming the old idea of manufacturers showing us the very first samples still applies. eg Is the 73 class sample now on the Auscision blog the very first sample, or are they already a year into checking and modifying samples?

Regards
Michael S
"Poath Junction"


Good point Michael.  

It seems that what is happening in the model process, each time the producers have to make an altheration it costs them big time, thus there is a real effort being put into getting the CAD drawings correct in the first place so as to eliminate these correction issues.

The other aspect is very much as you point out with the Auscision 73cl, & gathering by their comment re the quality I would assume not much needs to be done to the model prior to production, therefore the time lag could well be much shorter before its delivered.

There is one other aspect with this as well & something that Toby has mentioned in the list, & that is the models that have been previously announced as to be done, & no news on any of them.  It sems that all the producers are now keeping the announcements of new models very close to their chests, & that includes previously announced ones, so I would think that we will be fortunate to see any of these pilot samples in the future if this is true, which I suggest is what is going to happen going by what is mentioned on the Austrains latest newsletter.
  catchpoint Assistant Commissioner

Location: At the end of a loop
In regards to the Auscission NSWR 73 class.

As noted within the Auscission Blog on their website that a pilot model it is for the 73 is expected in May / June 2010.

It also notes that the model of the 73 class is expected in 2011 and not 2012 as noted above in your list. I seem to recall Auscission saying that a model would not be announced until they have (or close enough too) a pilot model underway?
"catchpoint"

Its a fair question but it is pretty simple.
Models (including Auscision's) take about 18 months or sometimes more from when the first pilot models are shown.
So if the pilot models are arriving in June, 18 months from then is when?
Auscision are being optimistic, I am not.
That is all.

Also, this is not a simple model with only a few colour schemes. Auscision are doing no less than 11 different colour schemes. You only need for the factory to get one or two of those wrong and there you have a delay of another month or more.
Realistically, they will not get here until mid to late 2012 IMHO. If you want to convince yourself that they will be here sooner, that is fine, but I would advise you to prepare to be disappointed.

There are far too many examples of models taking a long time to arrive that I care to name, that proves this to be true, than models arriving quickly.
I previously considered it to be a year, but this kept resulting in predictions that were completely wrong.  When I looked at how long it had actually taken for some models, the real figure came up.  Bear in mind too that many models (particularly steam locos) are taking longer (I'm sure most people know that by now!).

So using the 18 month formula, all you need to do is consider whether a model has pilot samples released already or not.  If not, then it won't be appearing before 2012, because that is now 18 months away (well, plus 2 weeks, which hardly counts).  If samples don't arrive this year, then it won't be appearing until sometime after June 2012.

Warm regards,

Toby
"DQ2004"


Have noted your comments Toby,

However I am still wanting to give Auscission the benefit of the doubt.

After all they are the ones who have announced the 2011 year date (no actual month given or which 1/4 or 1/3 of the year) on the web site and order forms. It could arrive on the 31st December 2011.

Have also noted this

http://www.auscisionmodels.com.au/73%20Class%20Page.htm

A pilot model on display within the time frame given that they said one would be ready.

Willing to stand corrected but wasn't the 73 class buried down on some other manufacturers to do list?

Lets give all our manufacturers the benefit of the doubt - the models will arrive when they do and we should be grateful.

Regards,

Catchpoint
  kingfisher Chief Train Controller

A forcast delivery date from Auscision should be a lot more reliable than one from Eureka. I still can't believe that Eureka haven't announced the road numbers their 40 class will appear in given the previously announced April 2010 delivery date has passed.
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
I still can't believe that Eureka haven't announced the road numbers their 40 class will appear in given the previously announced April 2010 delivery date has passed.
"kingfisher"


Running numbers were announced in 2008. Full details in the Eureka News dated 20/9/08 available at http://eurekamodels.com.au/news16.html.

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