ON30 Puffing Billy NA locomotive

 
  model man Beginner

Location: Melbourne
Hi Every one this is my first post and I'm glad to see so much interest in VR Narrow-gauge.

Some History of the Models

My love of these locomotives started 50 years ago in Beaumoris when I used to go to the playground where 8A was preserved. For any young boy the Model Dockyard was “the” hobby shop for trains. Specializing in brass trains they had the largest display in Australia.

Around 1965 they announced that they would release the NA to be produced by PFM but it didn’t arrive until the 1970’s. By then I had moved away from model railways, then my interest was aroused when 8A was restored. Around 1986 Alco (Ajin) released the NA in HO n2 1/2 and Ho n3 and my desire for a narrow gauge railway was rekindled and I started building my long awaited railway based on the NA. Alco also released a O n2 1/2 model but I believe that the number was around 10 units and over a $1000 ea. There was a Ho Kit but I can't remember the company who produced it and there was the Broard Gauge O scale model.

My eyesight started to diminished with age and Ho was becoming too small so I decided to move to O scale. I started drawing these plans in 2000 for such a project. With the plans three quarters finished BGM released their On 2 1⁄2 NA and the plans remained unfinished. With the recent release of the On 2 1⁄2 NA by Haskell, I have decided to finish the plans. This time I have included the compound locomotive 2A. These plans are to help with some super detailing.

I'm hoping to release these through Brunel Hobbies soon but have to discuss whether they want to take them on and price. There are 5 A3 sheets with notes and bibliography. As for the colour I am a little disappointed with the brown used on the "Canadian Red and Chocolate Brown". These colors are a XX!!!XX to match and I accept Kieren Haskell's reasoning for the colors that have been chosen and say well done especially for the price. Nothing wrong with a bit of kit bashing and a re paint. I will get a green NA as well as the red one and my old BGM kit is due for a rebuild into 2A.

Cheers JD

How about a G41/42 Kieren?

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  model man Beginner

Location: Melbourne
A further note about the plans. My personal interest in VR is pre-1922 therefor the plans represent these delightful little engines prior to this period i.e no speedometer or generator. The accompanying notes include some of the changes during their VR years. Ill let you know how I get on with Brunel and may end up supplying the plans directly.

Cheers JD
  Prof_Klyzlr Station Staff

Cheers JD

How about a G41/42 Kieren?
model man

Dear Model Man,

1 - If you're up for a On30 G4x, google the Paul Martin EDM website from the UK, they are looking to have you covered shortly.

2 - If you are looking for fellow NGers and the best possible market for your plan sheets, consider attending the Aust NG Convention, slated for Easter 2015 in Bowral NSW... (website and info coming soon!)

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr
  model man Beginner

Location: Melbourne


I strongly suspect they fade over time. Likewise for the red, gree and even black fading. The colours we have used are perhaps not so on the glossy side/more like faded ones but I don't know this is completely wrong. I guess on one level I have been surprised as in my past experience usually many modelers prefer models with a worn/weathered appearance and I think this is probably more like how they were most of the time pre-preservation.

Kieren Haskell
naguoning

Hi Every one,
The correct colours for early VR locos and rolling stock has been in discussion for some time. Frank Kelly is considered an authority on these colours and suggests that that the correct colours for the Canadian Red & Chocolate Brown are similar to the Canadian Pacific Railways. His reason is that Thomas James Tait became commissioner of VR in 1903. It is believed that he ordered the change from the green to red livery for all of the motive power as he had been manager of transport with the Canadian Pacific Railways and favored this colour scheme.

When 14A was first painted in the early scheme it was with the CPR colours with bright red under the tanks and cab as well as the buffers like 6A. Subsequent re paints are much brighter giving a more cheerful appearance to the public. This is what Kieren has copied and it is quiet correct for 2014.

If you are like me and are interested in this early period, the rolling stock or at least the passenger stock probably should be Dark chocolate brown as all VR main line passenger stock was brown. These are the colours used by John Sargent of PSM for all their pre 1922 colour schemes.

Hope this clears up a few things
Cheers JD
  MtBeenak Train Controller

Got my two locos from Brunel the other day.  After all of the criticism I was a little apprehensive. I took them home and ran each one on the test track.  I had to adjust the headlamp on one and there is some work to be done fitting cowcatchers and all sorts of details, including crew members.  They both ran really well out of the box.  I would not complain in any way about the loco, the mechanism or the detail if it was a $999.00 loco, but for the $449 price, I think it is brilliant.  I look forward to more from Haskell.

I think the only comment is the colour of the smoke box and ash chute in front of the smoke box door.  The smoke box could be darker.  I have a bottle of paste for colouring cast iron stoves and electric stove elements.  It leaves a great russian iron appearance on plastic models.  I will colour the smoke box with this, while the ash chute needs to look more like galvanised iron. However, these are my ideas for improvements, not criticisms.  

Mick
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
To suppliment the NA's and you want more On30 stock, try going to shapeways, browse PBRmand find more 1:48 offering that were not offered before.

Me want the peckett and nrt1, for starters.

Regards,
David Headf

ps have 4 Haskill NA's now and love 'em

update: ordered  5 items, and will show 'em off in June, when they hopefully arrive....
  gonzo Beginner

Brougght 2 at ipswitch train show a red and a green oneprice $449 from wiskie models intend to put sound dcc, what a great model, have not heard a rumble of any misgivings , adam bring out a rtr diesel loco in feb not beening into anyting not steam i dont know anythingabout it so modeling qld stuff ,
I ramble the na runs great untill it hit a bridge on logan ho track DC atthe show
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Welcome gonzo, on my HO layout I can easily run my DCC equiped NA. Untl platforms and other right of way  restrictions go in I can virctally run theNs the full mainline, as long as there are no trains on adjacent tracks !

Mind you the single loco converted is a failure on my part. When I put in  a DCC decoder, I forgot to check the voltage for the headlights, so  now have two blownglobes. must work out if they are replaceable. but for now it's ok to run......

Regards,
David Head
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Puffing Billy on30 on ho layout




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIuplfHkeKk&feature=youtu.be

...Is the Youtube link to a ON30 PBR train under test on my HO layout.  The Haskill NA has just had DCC Sound fitted by Mike at DCCSound.  The rollingstock I purchased 2nd hand from the Buffer Stop over 8 years ago, this is the first timne I have seen them on rails and being pulled along. Track is of course code 83 and because there is so little scenery there is a lot of room to run the wider On30 on much of the layout, though a bridge was removed, seen in the last 3min plonked out of the way !

The end of the video compares two eureka R class locos with whistles and headlghts....

I'm not considering changing to ON30, the layout would make a great space for that as well.
http://dth.railpage.org.au/trainroom/index.html


The train is destined for a layout based on Emerald in 2010/2015.
http://dth.railpage.org.au/pbr_emerald/index.html

Regards,
David Head
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
There is a strong rumour doing the rounds that a local manufacturer will be producing 1/48 scale Fox bogies, moulded in Delrin and complete with wheels, Ready-To-Roll. Due out before the end of the year.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Hmmm, interesting.  Certainly keen to know more about that little bit of information.  Perhaps one of the key elements that could have been detering a number of modellers from having a go at mor VR NG scratch builds.  A reliable and affordable set of Fox Trucks would be most welcomed.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  MtBeenak Train Controller

Hmmm, interesting.  Certainly keen to know more about that little bit of information.  Perhaps one of the key elements that could have been detering a number of modellers from having a go at mor VR NG scratch builds.  A reliable and affordable set of Fox Trucks would be most welcomed.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
"danpickard"

In the 1980's I used to buy MDC Roundhouse bogies from the Buffer Stop.  They were HO fox pattern bogies in black Delrin.  They scaled out to be almost perfect for On30 VR NG, although the wheelsets had to be replaced.  I recently tried to find them again, but they are no longer produced.  I have since bought 3d printed bogies from Shapeways.  I used a Micro Mark tool to drill out the pinpoint bearings and fitted SEM 10.5 mm wheelsets and they work quite well.  Not quite as free rolling as the delrin ones, but acceptable.

I too would be interested in using a locally sourced, delrin bogie, provided it was a close match to the VR originals.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
I did have a good look at the 3D printed Fox Trucks that Dave from VR Casts http://www.vrcasts.com/index.html  had on show up at the Stawell exhibition the other week.  Nicely detailed little prints with some good bolt details on the frames, however probably a bit outside my price bracket at $35 with wheels & bearings.  With nothing much else to compare them against at this point, I would say they are a good product if you can afford multiple sets of them to stick under your fleet of wagons.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  naguoning Locomotive Driver

Location: At Escape 41, Kaohsiung, Taiwan!
I still have some rolling stock on my agenda to follow up the NA we (Haskell) made. I should be able to sell bogies too. I can't practically make more than a few different types of VR narrow gauge rolling stock. We keep pushing the rolling stock back, but it will get done. I hope it is the next 16.5 mm gauge thing after the L class (WAGR, HO) that we are working on.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
These will be very accurate, well detailed, run well and will most likely be under $20 for a pair of bogies complete with wheels. They have been designed from the existing VR narrow gauge bogies.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
These will be very accurate, well detailed, run well and will most likely be under $20 for a pair of bogies complete with wheels. They have been designed from the existing VR narrow gauge bogies.
TheBlacksmith
If that's the plan, that ticks all the boxes for me.  If affordable, reliable and accurate, then as a modeller of this theme, can't really ask for much more than that.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
I still have some rolling stock on my agenda to follow up the NA we (Haskell) made. I should be able to sell bogies too. I can't practically make more than a few different types of VR narrow gauge rolling stock. We keep pushing the rolling stock back, but it will get done. I hope it is the next 16.5 mm gauge thing after the L class (WAGR, HO) that we are working on.
naguoning
Pleased to hear that there is still consideration of an expansion of the Haskell On30 range.  There has been a notable number of other manufacturers hitching on the tail end of the Na release with a few different rolling stock and structure opportunities opening up now there is a decent locomotive to utilise (so hats of for this roll on effect that finally producing this RTR loco has created...a surge in VR NG modelling and expansion opportunities for a variety of cottage industry manufacturers - good health for the hobby!)

So should you go ahead with these further VR NG releases Keiran, there is of course the 2017 Australian Narrow Gauge Convention that would be a good launch place for the expanded range, gives you about 18 months to get things sorted Smile (subtle nudge and plug all in one!)

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  MtBeenak Train Controller

Keiran,  If you were to pick two items of rolling stock to model, on a multiple sales basis, you would have to choose the NBH passenger cars which featured in holiday traffic from the early 1920's and are still the most common form of transport at the preserved Puffing Billy, and the ubiquitous NQR open wagon.  Modellers of either pre OR post preservation periods would have to have multiples of both cars.  

I have multiple NQRs from several sources, including scratchbuilt, but no NBHs.  I would need at least six and as many as twelve to model a decent train in my chosen era!

Mick.
  naguoning Locomotive Driver

Location: At Escape 41, Kaohsiung, Taiwan!
Dan thanks for your kind words about the effects of the Haskell NA but I don't want to wait anywhere near so long as to wait for the next narrow gauge convention to release them.
As to Mick's comments yes, I am very aware of the numbers of the NQR, demand for NBHs etc but things are not as simple as they may seem. Yes, quite a few NA customers have asked for NBHs but the cost of the NBH would be horrible or the detail would not be as good as we would like or we would be other problems (eg if it was done as multiple pieces and assembled like a kit it would loose rigidity). The NAs are perhaps the worst pick I have ever made in terms of sales relative to the number produced etc. Hence why we have been slow with making rolling stock to go with them. The NQR and indeed some other wagons are MUCH simpler than the NBH. MUCH, MUCH simpler. And thus the cost of production would be lower.
Kieren Haskell.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Slightly disappointing to hear that sales numbers of the Na's hasn't been as health as hoped.  That loco has been requested for a long time, so would have expected that those that kept asking would in turn support the product.  I'm more than happy with the pair I have, especially as a reasonably affordable model and adequately detailed at that price range (may one day seek a third if the funds allow).

It would be interesting to see if there is a second round surge of interest in the locos if then was then a release of a range of RTR rolling stock to run behind it.  I know there is a decent line of kits available (Ian Lindsay Models), but the RTR aspect obviously appeals to a certain strain of modellers, especially if the range of RTR rolling stock comes in at that competitive price range.  I am happy to hear that if a release was to happen, that it would be aimed for sooner rather than later.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  MtBeenak Train Controller

I have no knowledge whatsoever of the process for designing models for manufacture.  I naively thought that the crude design of the NBH, and the fact that it shared a common underfloor with the rest of the goods and passenger rolling stock (well, 99%) would translate into a simple and cheap model.

I too am sorry to hear that the NA has not sold out.  I have three.  I have not bought the red or green as I model the 1960's, but I could probably afford another two black ones, to keep as spares or to swap in and out of storage (Newport?).  I thought they would be so popular that you may go on and produce G41/42, but I guess that is now a pipe dream.

In any case, I wish Haskell well with future ventures, VRNG or not.

Mick
  naguoning Locomotive Driver

Location: At Escape 41, Kaohsiung, Taiwan!
You are correct that the underframe helps, not hinders things. The fundamental problem with the NBH is that the insides are very visible and have shapes on the walls that whilst easy enough on a resin mould become problematic on a one piece body plastic injected mould as if possible at all you would need lots of slides in the tooling (ie expensive) but then you still have a decoration problem.
The obvious simplest solution is to use a number of sides injected separately from simple (and thus relatively cheap) two piece tools. This would also make decoration easy but then you have a structural rigidity problem. If not assembled perfectly the body might affect the chassis or how it sits on it etc.
We think we have a solution but it is not a cheap one. And with the way the Australian $ is going hmmmmm.
As to the sales numbers I think we have two real problems. One is no good seller in the USA (the UK seller on the other hand has done very well for us, against my expectations). The second is whilst we have some fantastic supporters of the model who have purchased several engines the number of Australian 0n30 modelers is simply MUCH smaller than that of HO modelers. Beyond that I
I think our other real problem is that the shop at Puffing Billy does not want to even try selling them. The woman running it seems to think they can only sell sweets, cheap things etc. I think she is wrong. I think they would sell there to the foreign tourists who who would not make it to the hobby shops that may sell the model as they are not aware of the model, don't have the time or the language ability to find it etc. I realize that most of the tourists riding on it are not train fans, but if say one a day is and would buy one that would completely change our sales numbers and the chance of other models beyond a couple of pieces of rolling stock. To me that they don't want to even try is just INSANE (I offered the models to them and no one else on sale or return, ie NO risk). I think that whilst they are the minority, any train enthusiast who visits Melbourne from overseas is likely to choose a tour with a trip to PB or go there independently. And it is the sort of thing they can go to without it bothering their family so much. A case in point my other half actually really enjoyed the ride last time we went there. If I dragged her to hobby shops on a holiday she would probably be kicking and screaming or mumbling something about needing to spend a ludicrous amount of money on shoes, clothes etc...
Kieren Haskell
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I sympathise with your problem in selling in the US, I have been at it for over 10 years and was never able to get an agent there who was worth 2 cents. US Modellers are also the worst, IMO, at 'Yes, I'll buy one' and then disappear when the product is released.

In theory it should sell, as it is American in design, and Bachmann can even manage to sell a model that was fantasy and never built.


But in any event, you might enlists the help of Dan Pickard and his friends, as some of them have good connections over there. Over to you Dan....
  naguoning Locomotive Driver

Location: At Escape 41, Kaohsiung, Taiwan!
I have to admit I was completely fooled by the USA and UK on this model. I thought the USA would do well being a Baldwin tank engine 2-6-2 in 1/48 (ie basically a gap area between the big Bachmann locos and the really little ones). For the UK my brain cell thought it is not 7mm, it is not a UK engine... I was SO wrong. Perhaps partly because the UK agent has done a fantastic job of promoting the model and the price is not too uncompetitive there where as the USA modelers are used to paying very low prices for the Bachmann engines (the prices of which are now rising a lot). The UK people seem to like the red and green ones so perhaps the colour aspect (that I think a lot more UK narrow gauge is not just black) is something that also contributes but may not apply to other models.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Hi Keiran,
The whole Puffing Billy gift shop option is also disappointing to hear, especially given the no risk offer presented to them.  They now have a modelling group developing there as well, and I know some of those members are a bit miffed as to why that model wouldn't be given a spot on the shelves.  My expectation is that the price difference between there common items (disposable cash, touristy cheap items well under $400) would make them think its a dust collector on the shelf, but the thing is, tourist spending can be a bit unpredictable and spur of the moment.  As you mention, one sale a day would make a difference, and given the tourist numbers coming through the PB gates each day, that would be a good possibility.  It only needs one modeller, or a tourist with a pocket full of cash to splurge (thinking of the likes of cruise ship travellers out on a day trip to Puff, they're the sort of tourist to not even think twice about dropping a few hundred dollars on a nice memory of a great day behind a steam train).  I'll speak with my PB connections and see if they can make another plug...having them in the shop would also be a good promotion item for their modelling group.  I expect you would prefer not to speak business in an open forum, but am assuming that if the model could get into the PB gift shop, the same no risk offer would still apply?

Re the American market, I think its probably the comparison of the online street value of Bachmann On30 gear that deters them from getting behind the loco (your call is spot on).  When you can pick up new Bachmann locos via eBay at well below "retail" list prices, its a few hundred dollars price difference, and therefore the Bachmann item comes across as the "better value".  Haven't seen any price change anywhere on the Na yet, and I imagine there would have been a good number of guys expecting the price drop after the first release period (so a reluctance to pay full price, and banking on waiting 12-18 months for a few savings).

Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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