Jump to content

What if you worked for Kato/Tomix/etc.. would you design/do?


Hobby Dreamer

Recommended Posts

Obviously any new items represent additional SKUs and any SKUs to be produced on a regular basis like track will require overhead from the manufacturer, distributor and dealer who must now deal with it.

 

There are 2 items I could use. The first, more important, and easier, is a 'small' 15 left and right degree crossing. The current crossing is designed to match the geometry of the #6 switch and it's 49.5mm spacing. A smaller crossover, with cutouts in the ballast, could be used to create a crossing from a #4 switch over an adjoining track. This would for example allow a double track mainline to easily diverge, with the outside track crossing over the inside track.

 

The other item is a Y turnout, based on the same curve radius as the #4 switch (it would like a left and right #4 overlapped, with the middle track removed). Because of the wider divergence between the tracks you would not need the ballast cut outs. There are a number of interesting situations it could be used in, including an island station - with 2x 481mm curves you would get 66mm spacing for a platform. To fully utilize the space a new end cap would be needed, but only one mold instead of two would be required (since both ends are identical).

Link to post
marknewton
Yes, indeed....The bonus of having a D51 and D50 with modular parts that can swapped would be that D61 and D60 types can be produced rather easily- just a matter of adding a two axle bogie under the firebox, as the prototype had these to reduce axle loads for use on secondary/branch lines, not to support a larger grate.

 

Great idea, bb, one I hadn't considered. That's one area where the Japanese manufacturers seem to lag a bit behind, at least as far as steam-outline models are concerned.

 

EDIT: I see that Kato are bringing out an ED16 in N - I'd do one in HO as well. Beautiful loco, but not as overwhelmingly big as some of it's 1-C-C-1 brethren.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

Link to post

Obviously any new items represent additional SKUs and any SKUs to be produced on a regular basis like track will require overhead from the manufacturer, distributor and dealer who must now deal with it.

 

There are 2 items I could use. The first, more important, and easier, is a 'small' 15 left and right degree crossing. The current crossing is designed to match the geometry of the #6 switch and it's 49.5mm spacing. A smaller crossover, with cutouts in the ballast, could be used to create a crossing from a #4 switch over an adjoining track. This would for example allow a double track mainline to easily diverge, with the outside track crossing over the inside track.

 

The other item is a Y turnout, based on the same curve radius as the #4 switch (it would like a left and right #4 overlapped, with the middle track removed). Because of the wider divergence between the tracks you would not need the ballast cut outs. There are a number of interesting situations it could be used in, including an island station - with 2x 481mm curves you would get 66mm spacing for a platform. To fully utilize the space a new end cap would be needed, but only one mold instead of two would be required (since both ends are identical).

The Japanese, or Kato at least, must use different thought processes to us, some of the things needed in the unitrack range sound so obvious.

Link to post
marknewton
Obviously any new items represent additional SKUs...

 

What are SKUs?

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

Link to post
Hobby Dreamer
The future will probably (and hopefully) bring more clever (tram-related) things...

 

Hi Rich, thanks for the clarification. In truth, I forgot about the original Tomix track covers. Even though they are more versatile than the Kato tram track, there is something not altogether appealing, as least for me. The new Tomix stuff can be used as single track. That is their appeal for me!

 

I don't have an idea of how well the trams and track sell in Japan but for a few months I would google "unitram" and get a number of Japanese language sites which looked like the Japanese were both enthused (although it could have really been a small number) and wanting more track variation.

 

I love trams. To me they are perfect for so many reasons. First, they are low cost. Then, you can buy shells without the motor so save a bundle. You can run this in a small space and even point to point..

 

I'm very optimistic about the future of trams and tram track. I don't think it coincidental that the Peter Witt tram was released in N, and there are rumours for a new PCC. Trams make a lot of sense when money is tight!

 

Thanks

Rick

Link to post

I've just sort of something as I've been packing trains away in an old 12 drawer metal filing cabinet I found being thrown away at work a couple of nights ago.

 

I'd get every manufacturer to use a standard box to make it easier to store them.

Link to post
Martijn Meerts

I'd probably design whatever makes the most profit, pretty much what they're all already doing now. It only makes sense form a business point of view :)

 

If I was given freedom to do whatever I wanted, I'd say more steam era stuff. Not just rolling stock, but more buildings/trackside structures from the period as well.

Link to post

As for me, I'd go for more Tomix FineTrack/Road parts, such as:

- Small crossing with according geometry to realise a double junction with mini-points;

- Level crossing for the bus system;

- Road embedded mini-points.

 

Next to that, more focus on smaller EMU/trams/engines, such as other Meitetsu, Fukui RR, Keihan, articulated Hiroshima stock, etc. This as these kind of models are really popular and the standard size train market seems somewhat saturated. Apart from that, I'd also focus on motor concealing as much as possible, like with the KATO Portram mechanism. This to encourage the decoration of the interior and lighting, making models even more enjoyable.

 

Also, more focus on landscaping parts, as this also seems to be a trend amongst modellers in Japan.

Link to post

I have been watching this thread and was going to suggest the monorail, but I thought I'd get laughed at.  Since you like Keitaro's suggestion here are a few of my own:

 

1. Operating catenary.  I've seen it in HO.

2. Escalators.  I'm about to scratch build my own.

3. More steam from Kato.

4. Operable doors on models!  This might include a decoder upgrade to add an extra function to control this. 

5. It might be a sensitive point but did Japan have ANY military rolling stock during WWII? Surely it must be an inclusion in any 1930's - 40's layout.

6. Kato decoder for points (plug and pray) preferably using their headlight decoder (FL-12) - even though I use Tomix track I've often wondered why Kato hasn't done this.

7.  Solder terminals on underside and outside of track for permanent layout.  Again, seems to be a no-brainer to me!

8.  More foreign language documentation.

9.  Tomix to go DCC friendly to AMRA standard.  Plug and pray with an allocated decoder position. 

 

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

Link to post
Martijn Meerts

Hmm.. Operating catenary is available for N-scale as well (all Fleischmann, minitrix, etc. come with functional pantographs) and even for Z-scale. The problem is, pantographs become yet another part which needs regular replacement, which also means they need to be kept in stock at all times. Especially when keeping the pantographs prototypical, they won't last very long. Also, the wire would be very fine, which means that needs to be replaced often as well. I've scratch built catenary for N-scale a while ago, and you either end up with something that looks completely off due to the wires being way out of scale, or you end up with the wires snapping if you keep them as prototypical as possible. (It sure does look good though :))

 

Operating doors is another one of those questionable things.. We have moving trains, and with the Tomix/Faller car system, we have moving cars/busses. You could have operating doors (Roco has done it in H0), but the problem then is, a train/bus stops at a station, doors open, no one gets on or off even though there's plenty people waiting, doors close, trains/bus continues driving... No one will ever get on or off the trains :) This is mainly a personal taste kinda thing, but at some point it starts looking wrong when certain things are "animated" (why do only busses drive, and none of the cars? ;))

 

Oh, Marklin also has various locomotives that have operating pantographs. Looks really nice to see them go up and down all nice and smooth. Only problem is, they tend to snap unless the catenary wire is installed absolutely perfect, which it never is, and even if it is, the pantographs still seem to snap after moving up and down a few times :)

 

Theoretically all that stuff is great, in practice not quite so great ;)

Link to post
...

Plug and pray

...

 

That's what I did the first time I plugged my Power Unit on the 220V when I came back from Japan!  :grin

;-)

Link to post

Yes but kato microace and tomix don't do working catenary

 

I was reading a ho model thread on some forum long ago. The guy got every car with catenary and placed them completely around the whole track.

 

Then wired carefully all the way around.

 

Didn't have tunnels but I'd imagine there was a great reason for that LOL that would be such a pain in the ass to replace if snapped.

 

I think city rail in aus did a similar thing in the chatswood to epping tunnel link.

Link to post

A simple thing I would do if in charge at Kato to greatly improve the appearance of Untrack (and Tomix could do it as well) is chemically weathered rails. Wouldn't involve any retooling, just dipping the rail in a vat. But the Japanese seem to like nice shiny silver wheels and rails so I might lose sales in Japan.

Link to post
Mudkip Orange

I'll take the bait....what would you do if you worked at Greenmax?  :cheesy

 

Well for starters, I'd release ALL the Keihan stuff as a pre-assembled model, even stuff that was previously released as pre-colored kit.

 

If y'all asked nicely I'd do the same for Hankyu, since I know they get a lot of love on this board.

Link to post

I'll take the bait....what would you do if you worked at Greenmax?  :cheesy

 

Well for starters, I'd release ALL the Keihan stuff as a pre-assembled model, even stuff that was previously released as pre-colored kit.

 

If y'all asked nicely I'd do the same for Hankyu, since I know they get a lot of love on this board.

 

Oh come now. Why not just all the Kansai major private railway trains? (Keihan, Hanshin, Hankyu, Kintetsu, Nankai)

  • Like 1
Link to post
i would definately do a run of this beast http://www.heritageexpress.com.au/pages/legendsofsteam/3801/default.htm

it's almost impossible to do get in N,

 

http://www.badgerbits.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=1&category_id=5&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=69

 

Here you go!  Although I'd rather you didn't refer to my big green girlfriend as a beast... :grin

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

Link to post

Does anyone know if Kato Japan has an equivalent of Kato USA's suggest a model form?

 

I been thinking about it and I would really like to see Kato take care of some of the lose ends (they just announced the E233-5000 which takes care of one) for it's DCC ready modern JR Tokyo series by producing the E231-0 Sobu line (they have already 99% of the tooling - just need different stickers, yellow stripe on the E231-0 Joban molds, and then build the 6-door car out of the E231-0 Saha roof and E231-500 6-door body). Or failing that at least rerun the 209-500 Sobu.

Link to post

I agree with a better DCC support (NEM 651 would be marvellous) and also concrete sleepers in all kind of tracks and turnouts. This last thing recommended for almost all track builders. Peco has flex trax with concrete sleepers, but not the turnouts!!!

 

Cheers,

 

Dani.

Link to post
Martijn Meerts

Peco's concrete sleepers aren't that much different from their wooden sleepers, especially not from a distance. Also, on turnouts they usually use a different type of concrete sleepers.

 

Keeping those in mind, I think you could just give the Peco turnout sleepers a concrete color, and after some weathering and ballast they'd probably look quite good. Of course, painting them is tedious :)

Link to post

It's not uncommon in territory where concrete sleepers are used for turnouts to use wooden ones. It doesn't look so neat on our models but it's the way it was usually done on the real railways until recently.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...