Crowd funding sought for Gopher N Scale RTR AD60

 
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

"Gopher Models are proud to announce the world's first Ready-To-Run (RTR) NSWGR AD60 in N scale.

There is no Australian RTR N scale NSWGR AD60 available.  This is an iconic locomotive in Australia and, although there have been many HO scale versions produced in brass and RTR plastic, none have been produced in N scale.

In another innovation, crowd-funding using Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1560185090/1122497060?token=52da1c8b) is being sought to produce this model.  If the funding goal is reached, then the production process in China will commence and it is expected that the models will be delivered in 18-24 months after the funding goal is met. This project will produce an exceptionally high-quality, injection moulded RTR model.  It will not be a rapid 3D prototype or a 3D printed model.

Gopher Models are produced by BadgerBits who have an enviable track record of producing quality Australian N scale locomotives and rolling stock.  The Gopher 48 class (Alco DL531 export model) has been an outstanding success and is indicative of the quality that can be expected from the AD60.

The AD60 has been in design stage for a long time and is now ready for production; all it requires is YOUR funding to make it happen.  The Kickstarter preview link may be found at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1560185090/1122497060?token=52da1c8b so you can see what the project is like.

The project will "go live" to accept pledges from 1st May 2014 and there is only 60 days in which to pledge money for the project.  If the funding goal isn't met within the 60 days, the project will NOT go ahead AND nobody will have money debited.  If the funding goal is met, then money will be debited and the model will be delivered according to schedule."

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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
So what sort of costs are involved ?

N gauge is as cheap/dear as HO so it must be $600+ ??

If anyone was going to do it, Mr Badger is the one  !

Regards,
David Head
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

So what sort of costs are involved ?

N gauge is as cheap/dear as HO so it must be $600+ ??

If anyone was going to do it, Mr Badger is the one !

Regards,
David Head
dthead

The cost for the AD60, RTR and ready to roll is a $500 pledge.  If the required number of people pledge $500 each, then the project will be funded and the production process will start.  No money will be debited until the project starts, so if not enough people pledge to support it, no AD60 and no funds debited.

Please have a look at the Kickstarter "preview" site, it shows a prototype running and also outlines the project process and the cost.  It is a "preview" site as Kickstarter rules only allow for a 60 day funding timeframe, so the site will go "live" on 1 May and cease on 30 June.

The Crowd funding request has also been posted on US and UK rail forums.
  allambee Chief Train Controller

Lets see, a minimum production run, 1000 units, $500 a pop equates to $500,000 dollars.
For $500 dollars I would expect clockwork Kato precision from the Chinese factory. Are they up to it?
Has that factory been doing any recent N steam? I heard MicroAce stopped doing steam in that factory.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Can you even fit a clockwork mechanism into an N scale AD60?

Anyway, who do you mean by 'that factory', the name has not been mentioned.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Can you even fit a clockwork mechanism into an N scale AD60?
TheBlacksmith

Ha ha Smile
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Lets see, a minimum production run, 1000 units, $500 a pop equates to $500,000 dollars.
For $500 dollars I would expect clockwork Kato precision from the Chinese factory. Are they up to it?
Has that factory been doing any recent N steam? I heard MicroAce stopped doing steam in that factory.
allambee

Have you taken the opportunity to visit the Kickstarter preview site Smile ?

You will see from the site that the project will go ahead if only 220 people pledge, so clearly 1000 is not a minimum production run in this case.

I am led to believe that the factory has good experience with steam in N scale and the low minimum run means that the barrier to production is low - it also means that the opportunity to get an AD60 may be limited by low production numbers.

If you consider that the Gopher 48 Class has an excellent mechanism and design, then you should expect similar quality and precision for the AD60.

The short message is - if people are interested, then they should consider pledging $500 when the project goes live on 1st May.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Almost 10 days have passed since the announcement was made and there have been nearly 900 views of the announcement on various forums, as well as the preview of the project itself!

What we need is some more feedback on the the project, there have been a few responses on the preview site and in forums, and it seems that there is general interest.  What we would like to know is, what else do *you* need to know to commit to the project?

Remember, the project goes live on 1st May and runs for only 60 days - the time limit is a requirement of the Kickstarter rules.
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Gremlin,

Will it take a DCC chip? Do the lights work? Can it take a sound module?


Hendo
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hi

It will have a DCC socket, lights are expected to work (headlights/marker lights) and there will be space for a speaker.  It will be up to the purchaser to fit a sound-compatible DCC chip, and then one with the correct sounds!

Cheers
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

The project is now LIVE!!

Crowd funding site is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1560185090/n-scale-nswgr-ad60-garratt-locomotive and the project will close on 30th June 2014.

This is the opportunity to get your own N scale AD60 Garratt locomotive. Remember that no funds will be taken from your credit card unless the project reaches its funding goal by 30th June.
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Hi

It will have a DCC socket, lights are expected to work (headlights/marker lights) and there will be space for a speaker. It will be up to the purchaser to fit a sound-compatible DCC chip, and then one with the correct sounds!

Cheers
Gremlin

Gremlin,

Can you or Phil update the Kickstarter page with the information about DCC, Lights and Sound. I think it is important for the punters who may invest to know what can be fitted/it is ready for. Also, is the loco being fitted with NEM pockets? Or just a straight Microtrains couple fit.


Cheers,
Hendo
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Thanks Hendo, have updated the FAQ.  Please feel free to suggest any other questions that require answers Smile
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Thanks Hendo, have updated the FAQ. Please feel free to suggest any other questions that require answers Smile
Gremlin

Gremlin,

Thank you. You say in the FAQ that either Microtrains or Rapido couplers could be used. I think the point about the NEM coupler pocket is important for the international (non-US) modellers as it is a European standard, for which both Microtrain and Rapido couplers are available, can you clear this one up with Phil?


Cheers,
Hendo
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hendo
Thanks for making that clear for me, I will get a clarification from Phil and update the FAQ accordingly Smile

Cheers
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Hendo
Thanks for making that clear for me, I will get a clarification from Phil and update the FAQ accordingly Smile

Cheers
Gremlin

http://www.miba.de/morop/nem355_d.pdf

http://www.miba.de/morop/index.htm
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

FAQs just updated to answer the questions posed by interested parties.

Must say, the uptake rate is somewhat slower than imagined...perhaps there is actually little interest in owning a RTR AD60 in N scale?  Please feel free to provide any feedback Smile
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

FAQs just updated to answer the questions posed by interested parties.

Must say, the uptake rate is somewhat slower than imagined...perhaps there is actually little interest in owning a RTR AD60 in N scale? Please feel free to provide any feedback Smile
Gremlin

Much of the interest will be a generational thing, it has been 40 years since the AD60's regularly ran. Once AD 6029 is out doing fan trips the interest will increase, but this won't be enough for your Kickstarter program.

Too often I think niche manufacturers put their own fan interest ahead of what is commercially sound today. Do you create a model of something that hasn't run for a long time like a 44 or 38? Or do you do a large run of modern outline, such as an NR (120 in class) or UGL's C44ACi (at least 128 in class so far) in its seven liveries (so far), that will keep selling for quite a number of years, at an internationally competitive price, and use it as the funding for the nice to haves from the past? I think the shops and resellers would be happy to see C44ACi's sitting on their shelves for the next ten to twenty years, with periodic changes in colour scheme like KatoUSA does for the SD70ACe.

The other point is the incentives for the investors who can't make the full $500 asking price. Have a look at the incentives other Kickstarter projects do. How about investors around the $250 are guaranteed the basic locomotive at the introductory price, whilst the full investor gets one with DCC/and sound. Those who invest say $1,000 or more get specifically numbered (numbered 1 of 100) models with the number engraved/stamped and a certificate of authenticity proving theirs came from the first 100. These sort of things may help you capture the collectors market, both in Australia and overseas.


Cheers,
Hendo
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Thanks for your great comments and suggestions. Leaving the very interesting and valid comments about what should be modelled, your comments about rewards have been very helpful. Unfortunately, the ability to offer a "basic" loco at a substantially reduced price doesn't exist, but I like your thinking about specifically numbered units and/or a certificate of authenticity. They are both great incentives but would only apply to those who have committed to a loco.

The challenge is, what to offer for less than a full commitment? As I noted, a basic loco or even loco parts is not not available...what would you consider worthwhile as a reward for a lesser contribution?
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Thanks for your great comments and suggestions. Leaving the very interesting and valid comments about what should be modelled, your comments about rewards have been very helpful. Unfortunately, the ability to offer a "basic" loco at a substantially reduced price doesn't exist, but I like your thinking about specifically numbered units and/or a certificate of authenticity. They are both great incentives but would only apply to those who have committed to a loco.

The challenge is, what to offer for less than a full commitment? As I noted, a basic loco or even loco parts is not not available...what would you consider worthwhile as a reward for a lesser contribution?
Gremlin

I wasn't suggesting that someone who stumps up $250 gets a loco at that price, that simply once the full paying commitments are met, they are guaranteed a "basic locomotive" at the introductory price which is $500.

Have a look at the incentives on Kickstarter that others give out, possibly you could do:

  • $1-$50 a thank you email and inclusion on the website investors list;

  • $51-$100, the small amount of Newcastle coal suggested by someone else and an individual Thank You card with a picture of an AD60, inclusion on the website investors Bronze list and so on.

  • $101 to $499, a thank you on the investors Silver list, a card with coal and a lapel pin with a picture of an AD60, a guaranteed model on full payment of outstanding cost after full investors have been supplied;

  • $500 to 1,000, a thank you on the investors Gold list, a card with coal and a lapel pin with a picture of an AD60, a guaranteed model DCC etc, weathering if wanted

  • $1,001 or more all of the Gold investors incentives, plus an exclusive footplate photo opportunity at an ARHS (ACT) steaming day.

  • $10,000 to $30,000 exclusive region/country sales for model shops for a specified period of say 6-9 months



The key is to look at, and adapt, the incentives other Kickstarters offer.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hi

Excellent suggestions!  We did run some similar things past Kickstarter who rejected most of them as we are not allowed to offer "guaranteed" sales later, cut price later, or incentives that are not part of the actual production project, such as the last two options.  One reason the project took so long to start was the emails backwards and forwards discussing/arguing about what we could offer.

So, we can do something similar to...

  • $1-$50 a thank you email and inclusion on the website investors list;


  • $51-$100, the small amount of Newcastle coal suggested by someone else and an individual Thank You card with a picture of an AD60, inclusion on the website investors Bronze list and so on.


  • $101 to $499, a thank you on the investors Silver list, a card with coal and a lapel pin with a picture of an AD60, but NOT (a guaranteed model on full payment of outstanding cost after full investors have been supplied);


  • $500 to 1,000, a thank you on the investors Gold list, a card with coal and a lapel pin with a picture of an AD60, but NOT (a guaranteed model DCC etc,) but we can do weathering if wanted





Sadly, a little restricted but I will suggest these to Phil Smile
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Pricing for the AD60, if Kickstarter funding is met, will be around $600; therefore someone pledging to the project at $500 will save 16% on the expected retail price Smile
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

I thought a NSW garratt would be complicated for N gauge.

I'm curious of what the minimum radius would be like.

PS: Any chance I can 'offer' Gremlin a bottle of wine instead? LaughingExclamation
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Gremlin, what if I 'offered' you a bottle of wine instead?Laughing
Newcastle Express

Thanks Barry.....a couple of cases for purely evaluation purposes would be well received... Smile
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Gremlin,

Can you or Phil update the Kickstarter page with the information about DCC, Lights and Sound. I think it is important for the punters who may invest to know what can be fitted/it is ready for. Also, is the loco being fitted with NEM pockets? Or just a straight Microtrains couple fit.


Cheers,
Hendo
Hendo

Are these NEM pockets body mounted or truck mounted. For $500 + I would expect body mounts.

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