1/32 New Northern Finescale Brake Van

Discussion in 'G1/32' started by Simon, 20 December 2016.

  1. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    A gratuitous snap from the garden earlier this evening, looks quite good but one of the wheel sets has more or less seized up, more work required:rolleyes:


  2. D816Foxhound

    D816Foxhound Western Thunderer


    It's definitely looking the part.

  3. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    I had another chat with Chris Arundell, UK agent for NFS, on 22 April 17.
    He will soon be very expert at assembling these kits, because he's had orders for quite a lot of built-up ones.
    I believe that the first batch of BR Brakevans was 50, and response has been so strong that a second batch of 100 is planned, and possibly underway. Chris mentioned that some modifications were being made, but couldn't tell me what.

    Did Our Simon's dimensional corrections reach Roger Leigh before he started cutting? David
    isambardme likes this.
  4. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    I sent Roger an email with the dimensional "issues" and had a conversation about the too high ends and so I'd hope the new batch will be better. It would lovely if they could be correct, leaving detail freaks to tweak but the stock kit cutting the basic mustard.
  5. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    Following chats with Chris Arundell, I've had a kind email from Roger Leigh, who has seen or heard about this thread. I asked his permission to post some or all of it here, and as that was a while ago and I haven't heard back, this is a paraphrase in my own words:

    - Northern Finescale kits are designed to be reasonably priced and robust, both for carrying around and for running out of doors. Parts are made from styrene for consistent glueing (a weakness of multimedia kits). Hence some delicate parts are deliberately oversized, such as W irons and brackets.
    - The kits were never intended as museum quality, though people are welcome to use them as scratch-aids.
    - The second batch of brake vans will have the concrete ends modified, but that is all. They will have the 32mm diameter wheels. Additional modifications would affect the price unduly in such a small market.
    - 98% of first-batch guards van purchasers (i.e. all but one, DH) are very pleased with it.

    isambardme likes this.
  6. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer

    98% of first-batch guards van purchasers (i.e. all but one, DH) are very pleased with it.

    Well........., actually..........., make that (i.e. all but one,DH) - all but two........

    Just because I went quiet doesn't mean that I'm happy with it - far from it......
  7. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    Had the basic dimensions been more accurate their small market would have been bigger, by one at least. (Me). It would have gone nicely behind my Phipps van.

    Thank goodness G3 has Williams Models!
    Mike W likes this.
  8. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    These are kits, lankytank - almost all of them will still be in their boxes :)
    So who knows the true satisfaction rate?​

    Customer Complaints are the quickest and cheapest form of Marketing Research - but only as long as the customers actually complain.

    Once the tooling investment has already been made, it's too late twice over:
    - not only can the manufacturer not make improvements without starting from scratch and devaluing existing stocks,
    - nobody else is going to duplicate that wagon properly.

    Therefore we must aim to get in early in the process, with help for manufacturers at the design and pre-production prototyping stages.
    And that means staying friendly with people to whom we have an urge to give a good dose of Constructive Criticism.​

    isambardme likes this.
  9. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    As a bystander, it would be interesting to know what form the tooling might be in.

    I get the impression, which may well be wrong, that the kit is CNC machined or perhaps laser cut. In either case the tooling investment is low; just the developer's time. If it involves hard tooling then I concede that costs will be somewhat higher.

  10. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    You're right Steph, the kit is largely CNC milled.
    Even so, Roger feels that the cost of reprogramming is not cost effective given:
    - the small number of kits,
    - the fall in Sterling since pricing,
    - only one customer in fifty is bothered.

    Meanwhile, Chris's comment is that he and Roger are also rushed off their feet fulfilling demand, both for the kits and for a substantial number of ready-to-run orders, which would indicate that production is a higher priority than taking time out to reprogram.

    Chris also believes that the enthusiastic demand for the brake van will encourage NFS to use 1:32 Scale for all future products.

    isambardme likes this.
  11. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I have to admit that if the response from the kit producer is as you suggest, it would not be enough to distract me from my current scale of 7mm or 1:48. A full kit to scale dimensions might, as I could then see potential for a full train in 1:32 with items produced by other players.

  12. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    That's a bit disappointing really, I would have thought that a re-program of CNC cutting would have been an achievable improvement from Roger's point of view:(

    It's great that future NFS models will be 1/32 scale, but hopefully basic dimensions and proportions will be got right on future products.

    This brake van is actually quite a complicated set of shapes, I Wonder if Fred could do a really good representation in resin? His 5 plank is really coming on and I think he might be pondering another production:)

  13. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Well, future productions notwithstanding, I'm now considering mine finished and ready for paint. Latest work has been cobbling representations of the brakes together, in the end I used the shoes supplied in the kit but heavily cut about, re-shaped and with extra bits stuck on. I have also completed the safety rails on the verandah doorways, brake van spotters please note that I have modelled the "later" design that Dan kindly flagged up on my workbench thread about 5 years ago:confused: And I finished off with a representation of the label clips. This doesn't have vacuum pipes fitted but will be in bauxite. Hmmm, perhaps they've been removed, perhaps I'll add some, but then it wouldn't be finished…..


    Oh, and the keeps on the axle guards need fitting too:rolleyes:

    Southern plywood van in background next, I want to finish this before getting stuck in to Fred's BR vans.

    isambardme, Rob R, unklian and 11 others like this.
  14. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    That's a lot of worthwhile work, Simon.
    For anyone wishing to emulate, Chris sold the last of Batch 1 at The Fosse this month, Batch 2 is already committed to Ready to Run orders, and Batch 3 is expected in the UK maybe August.

    Today I happened to speak to somebody who has finished one, modifying only where essential to secure a fit. He was pleased with how well it went together and, while acknowledging inaccuracies, is happy with it at a distance.

  15. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    As of last night the van has acquired its first basic paint job.


    It's come off a bit gloss on the underframe which I will have to attend to and I intend to tone down the red oxide into shades of brown, but it makes a pleasing companion to its elder brass brother, in a similar paint finish.


  16. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    I have now fitted Ken Martin's low vacuum pipes and rather belatedly painted the handrails white, I painted the brass van's handrails too.


    Lettering and more weathering required next.

  17. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    Here, for those still contemplating a purchase, is what £200 buys you from the current batch, in front of Simon's brakevan before the most recent details, above.


    Even though improvements since Simon's early version - mainly the concrete platform weight - and despite all his struggles here recorded, Simon is gracious enough to say it's not bad for what it is - a deliberately all-styrene Ready to Run tail to any string of ready-to-run 1:32 scale wagons.

    The most obvious difference is the body ironwork, and the most obvious question is, "How do they assemble and paint a kit, then add a lamp, for only £65?"

    I hope you'll be seeing more of that green tablecloth over the next week or two . . .
    Just harvesting pictures from other people.

    Last edited: 26 October 2017
  18. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Just to bring this thread to a close, coincident with the news that Northern Finescale are considering making another batch of the kit, which they withdrew from sale over a year ago.

    Here is the finished kit out on my garden line this afternoon.

    DSCN9462.jpg DSCN9465.jpg

    I think I prefer it over the one built from an etch (pictured below) although quite which one is the more "accurate" I wouldn't like to say...

    DSCN9457.jpg DSCN9445.jpg
  19. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    Lovely pictures of a smashing brake, Simon.
    What a contrast to the Stock Item pictured immediately above :)

    NFS make really quite small batches, using appropriate tech for quite small batches.
    It seems to me that this approach is vindicated by how this has unfolded.
    And if so, maybe we need more Small Batch tech to give Finescale products wings.
    Hoping to show further examples at the public G1MRA Spring Meeting:
    13th April 2019 - Shepshed
    Iveshead School, Forest Street, Shepshed. LE12 9DB 10.30am - 4pm​