RTR P4

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Tor Giffard
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RTR P4

Postby Tor Giffard » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:03 pm

Aft'noon all,

We now have the first RTR P4 loco launched but not yet widely available. My feelings are that this can only be good for the Scalefour Society in terms of making the excellence of P4 more accessible to a much wider audience.

Dave
Last edited by Tor Giffard on Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John Fitton

Re: RTR P4

Postby John Fitton » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:42 pm

I think this can only be good for the promotion of P4 as an operating standard in OO scale. Personally I am not a very skilled modeller and rely 100% on RTR models, although I can make soldered turnouts and track, and of course CCUs, by the dozen. So seeing what appears to be a super model I think may encourage more modellers to bite the bullet, so to speak, and have a go. If I were to get one of the class 24's the first think I would have to do would be do hack off the dead-scale screw couplings and install Kadees, and install crew at both ends, so there is no pleasing everyone!

I hope they bring out a steam engine, my current nemesis!

John Fitton

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:56 pm

I think it would be too easy to assume that one (or even several) RTR P4 loco will have much impact on modellers taking up P4.

The introduction of pre-group RTR locos doesn't appear to have had much impact on the numbers modelling the pre-group period. Undoubtedly those locos have sold well, but largely to people who want to add an unusual/attractive/different loco to their collection, rather than use it as the foundations of a period model railway.

To model P4 or pre-group requires a greater commitment to building things than many modellers have. A perusal of the wish list and frothing topics on RMweb and other forums is, to my view, a very strong indication that anything much more than opening a box is outside many people's idea of railway modelling.

Jol

Derek
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Derek » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:02 pm

I agree with whatever the moderators tell me.

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iak
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Re: RTR P4

Postby iak » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:20 pm

:o
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Mark Forrest
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Mark Forrest » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:48 pm

While I do think it is a good step forwards to have a RTR P4 loco available, I'm not sure it will have a massive impact on the number of modellers adopting P4 standards.
Most of the existing RTR diesels (and electrics) are so simple to convert, I would think that track (in particular turnouts) would be the biggest barrier preventing the more widespread adoption of the standards. I guess what I'm saying is that the skill involved to pop a replacement wheelset in is less than that (or at least different to that) required to build turnouts.

Knuckles
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Knuckles » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:08 pm

I think if Hornby and such like would take the plunge with a launch range of a few loco's, both steam and diesel, a selection of RTP turnouts and such like it'd possibly do well. Promote it tactically with good video's and magazine features etc.

Then again it is a risk I fear no one has the bottle to try.
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Philip Hall
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:37 pm

Knuckles,

I think you are kind to wish this Utopia upon us but I fear that the logistics are against us. Realistically those of us who pursue close to scale track standards and similar 'hi-fi' aspirations are very much in the minority. Alan Gibson (the previous one, before Colin Seymour) told me once that he estimated his market was something like 95% 00, 3% EM and the remainder P4. I doubt much has changed in the intervening years.

I might also say that understanding the engineering requirements of P4 is quite a different ball game. Providing unsprung wheelsets for a RTR P4 diesel which will run well is relatively easy. Not so for a steam engine. Witness all the varying ways of building a RTR steam engine chassis which the RTR manufacturers use, and of which only Hornby and Bachmann seem to have any idea of what makes things half way possible for us. Witness some of the crazy odd axle sizes we get sometimes!

The sales of P4 models must be counted as minimal, as much as we would like it to be more. And the price of such bespoke items, should we be able to be assured of even such things as the wheel profile, would be an awful lot more than many would be prepared to contemplate.

As Jol says, it really seems to be a box openers' hobby these days, apart from those of us who (thankfully) enjoy making things or adapting them.

Philip

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grovenor-2685
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Re: RTR P4

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:42 pm

Providing unsprung wheelsets for a RTR P4 diesel which will run well is relatively easy.
Provided it is a Bo-Bo/B-B and not something with more axles.
Regards

MikeH
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Re: RTR P4

Postby MikeH » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:40 pm

What rtr P4 loco is this and where? lol. I myself am in the same boat as John Fitton above, I can quite comfortably make track but my first attempt to convert a small loco to P4 didn't go so well (probably a bad choice of one) so I would quite happily purchase rtr P4 loco's and as John says, It can only be good thing for the society and for those looking to at least give it a go and give them an entry into P4 in which over time they may get more comfortable in attempting to build/convert themselves

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Tor Giffard
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Tor Giffard » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:00 pm

Have a look at the locked Ready to Run P4 class 24 thread Mike. There is a picture of the loco and a link to the website.

Rgds

Dave

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Flymo748
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:29 pm

Tor Giffard wrote:Have a look at the locked Ready to Run P4 class 24 thread Mike. There is a picture of the loco and a link to the website.

Rgds

Dave


Rather than having to refer to another thread, here's the link: http://www.sulzertype2.com/index.php

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:36 pm

Jol Wilkinson wrote:I think it would be too easy to assume that one (or even several) RTR P4 loco will have much impact on modellers taking up P4.

The introduction of pre-group RTR locos doesn't appear to have had much impact on the numbers modelling the pre-group period. Undoubtedly those locos have sold well, but largely to people who want to add an unusual/attractive/different loco to their collection, rather than use it as the foundations of a period model railway.


Jol,

I think that you are unduly pessimistic :-)

Even if for every one loco sold to a pre-Grouping modeller, there are four sold to a "collector", then at least it means that there are some examples being produced.

I'm hardly whinging about the Hornby J15 only being in LNER and BR variants, because I'm really waiting for the GER Y14 one to come out...

And with reference to RTR diesels, even though I build kits of Victorian/Edwardian locomotives, I still have two converted RTR diesel locos that i picked up cheaply from Ebay for testing purposes. One's a Warship, and the other one is Blue! However they are good enough for what I want to use them for.

So if having RTR P4 available, of whatever quality, helps people with their modelling it can only be a Good Thing (tm).

Cheer,
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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Knuckles
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Knuckles » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:30 am

Philip Hall wrote:Knuckles,

I think you are kind to wish this Utopia upon us but I fear that the logistics are against us. Realistically those of us who pursue close to scale track standards and similar 'hi-fi' aspirations are very much in the minority. Alan Gibson (the previous one, before Colin Seymour) told me once that he estimated his market was something like 95% 00, 3% EM and the remainder P4. I doubt much has changed in the intervening years.

I might also say that understanding the engineering requirements of P4 is quite a different ball game. Providing unsprung wheelsets for a RTR P4 diesel which will run well is relatively easy. Not so for a steam engine. Witness all the varying ways of building a RTR steam engine chassis which the RTR manufacturers use, and of which only Hornby and Bachmann seem to have any idea of what makes things half way possible for us. Witness some of the crazy odd axle sizes we get sometimes!

The sales of P4 models must be counted as minimal, as much as we would like it to be more. And the price of such bespoke items, should we be able to be assured of even such things as the wheel profile, would be an awful lot more than many would be prepared to contemplate.

As Jol says, it really seems to be a box openers' hobby these days, apart from those of us who (thankfully) enjoy making things or adapting them.

Philip



I know, I don't disagree with you which is why I said they haven't the bottle to try. I was thinking of a profit loss when I said that, although I must admit I didn't know we were much less than 3%, that's a kicker. Plus I learnt a few things from your post so thankyou for that.

I just feel that if a few things were offered as a launch range by someone the P4 wheel could start rolling more. Then it's all uphill from there....er....or is that downhill?

Maybe down hill if it ends up being a flop.
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:08 am

Jol,

I think that you are unduly pessimistic :-)

Even if for every one loco sold to a pre-Grouping modeller, there are four sold to a "collector", then at least it means that there are some examples being produced.

I'm hardly whinging about the Hornby J15 only being in LNER and BR variants, because I'm really waiting for the GER Y14 one to come out...

And with reference to RTR diesels, even though I build kits of Victorian/Edwardian locomotives, I still have two converted RTR diesel locos that i picked up cheaply from Ebay for testing purposes. One's a Warship, and the other one is Blue! However they are good enough for what I want to use them for.

So if having RTR P4 available, of whatever quality, helps people with their modelling it can only be a Good Thing (tm).

Cheer,
Flymo


Paul

moi, pessimistic, no!

I didn't say it won't help people with their modelling. I just don't believe one RTR P4 BR diesel loco is likely to attract many new diners to the P4 table.

The comparison with pre-group modelling is where I draw that conclusion. Has the Bachman L&Y Radial Tank brought about a flood of L&Y modellers, or the LBSC E4 started a wealth of London Brighton layouts? I don't think so - in the case of the L&Y it doesn't seem to have caused increased sales of London Road Models six wheel L&Y carriages. There have been several other example of attractive pre-group RTR models but I doubt that many of them were the spur to move into modelling the Victoran/Edwardian period railways.

These models sell because they are good/different/pretty. In the case of this new Class D24, will it sell because it is a better model (allegedly) than previously available RTR. Will it attract anyone to P4 modelling because the manufacturer has been taken care of one aspect of the P4 modelling (and a relatively easy one at that)? Until ready to lay EM and P4 track is available, then very few will be tempted away from OO.

If this is such an important step, then why wasn't the Society's action several years ago in converting a number of locos to P4 and putting them on sale at S4um repeated. How many of those sold to prospective P4 modellers as opposed to existing ones?

Jol

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iak
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Re: RTR P4

Postby iak » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:22 am

I can only be positive as there is now the availability of an option.
If one wishes to purchase the beast with P4 wheels, then you can. The choice is yours :thumb
That has to be a move forwards?
I look forwards to taking delivery of my own, in P4 and with all the dings, dongs and burbles...
Right now its back to the housework and then more grotty wagon building - this is a hobby with fun to be had... :D
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jim s-w
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Re: RTR P4

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:45 am

Hi Jol

I don't think there's any question that this is the best RTR class 24, it's clearly a step above the bachmann one. I do agree though that most people who buy the p4 one will already be modelling in p4. From countless shows with several layouts once you get outside of the finescale world a lot of people still don't know what p4 is (even if they have heard of it). While RTR p4 is great for us and saves us buying new wheels I can't see it being a game changer really.

From the depths of my tiny mind ISTR RTR p4 has been done before. I think it was the engine shed back in the 80s who supplied RTR P4 Lima locos when they briefly owned the tooling for some of the range.

Genuine question, not a criticism but Im just curious. If these are factory supplied in p4 why is there said to be a £20 surcharge?

Cheers

Jim
Last edited by jim s-w on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Tor Giffard
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Tor Giffard » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:58 am

....where have you read of this JIm? I've just read on RMWeb that the price for overseas customers is reduced so that with insured postage it still only adds up to £160.

Your comment seems to go against this.

Dave

Satisfied owner of a SLW 24 and commenting only as a modeller/enthusiast

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jim s-w
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Re: RTR P4

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:10 am

A friend at the launch was told that there was a surcharge for p4 and EM versions. Great news if that's not the case.

Cheers

Jim

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Re: RTR P4

Postby dal-t » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:12 am

Having invited this topic to get rolling I feel I should at least chip in my tu'pence worth, but I do have somewhat mixed feelings on the subject. I agree the release of one (or even two or three) RTR diesels is unlikely to have a big practical difference on our 'end' of the hobby (particularly if prototypes are indeed limited to two-axle bogie designs, since in my mind that rules out many of the 'interesting' smelly boxes). If converting a standard (narrow!) gauge OO product with drop-in wheelsets is as straightforward as many of the tutorials on the subject suggest (as a dedicated kit-builder I admit I've never done it myself), it seems only a small step to be able to purchase the item already set to 'proper' gauge - although I know there are people who feel a strong inhibition from separating a freshly bought body from its chassis, so it would at least avoid that anxiety.

But on the wider psychological front, the emergence of P4 RTR may be a somewhat different matter. Imagine the impact over time if every Bachman and Hornby product said on the box 'Available in OO, EM and P4'. How many 'train set' modellers might ask themselves 'What is this EM/P4 business?' Even if they weren't immediately tempted to convert (and I'll come to the other half of the track/wheel equation in a moment), they might at least appreciate, when encountering a P4 layout at their local show, that 'their' models could have come equipped to run on that - and maybe they would feel the urge to explore the world of greater realism. As an illustration of possible impact, it seems only a short time ago (remember we dinosaurs have remarkably slow memories) that it was next to impossible to purchase a RTR 'O' gauge loco, unless it was a vintage relic or a mortgage-milking piece of Far Eastern brass. So the gauge was seen as restricted to 'builders only', and many thought it was in terminal decline. Then the first modern 'moves from the box' offering came along, then another, then another. Whatever your views on other impacts the manufacturers involved may have had on the hobby, there is no doubt the ability to purchase motive power off the shelf has reinvigorated and revitalised the gauge (and it doesn't seem to have done the suppliers of 'decent' loco kits much harm either). Could the same happen for P4? I'm not sure, but at least having a few RTR models around might drive the final nail in the coffin of the 'elitism' charge - until it comes to the matter of track, which I'll address now.

I think this is the crux of the issue. P4 is a system, deliberately so, and at its heart is the relationship between wheel and track. So 'simply' providing the wheels (and I do appreciate that the obstacles and the development effort needed mean it will have been anything but 'simple') leaves things almost literally hanging in mid-air. Having bought the Bo-Bo, how do I run it? Well, on my not very expertly constructed ply-sleeper and plastic-chair track, of course. Except that I only have that because I'm already a P4 modeller. And I've been through the learning curve of transition from EM copper-clad and solder, where I could throw together quite complex mixed-gauge junctions and run SG and NG stock through them straight away with confidence, to the rather humbling experience of having to tear down and rebuild, repeatedly, testing and testing, trying to get ever more careful in my use of the gauges, until I could reach reliable running with my fully sprung P4 vehicles. How many people 'casually' picking up a P4 loco, who are not yet modelling in the gauge, will prove willing to commit to that? Not very many, I suspect.

As for the economics, they are undoubtedly not favourable, but I think that flows from the practical issues. If there was tremendous demand to adopt P4 from every existing OO modeller, and if the only thing holding them back was the lack of RTR Bo-Bos, those with a commercial eye would have spotted that long ago and seized the opportunity. They haven't, because there isn't, if you see what I mean. So at the end of the day my conclusion is it's an interesting development, but not a world-changing one, and we'll just have to see whether it endures or dies - but my prediction (and you can hold me to it in 10 years time if I'm totally wrong) is it will putter along, achieve a few moments fame (or notoriety) then quietly vanish, growling, into the night - just like the prototype!
David L-T

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Tor Giffard
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Tor Giffard » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:19 am

jim s-w wrote:A friend at the launch was told that there was a surcharge for p4 and EM versions. Great news if that's not the case.

Cheers

Jim


If you can qualify this with evidence from SLW then fine Jim, we'll discuss it....otherwise it is just hearsay.

Dave

Satisfied owner of a SLW 24 but otherwise commenting only as a modeller/enthusiast
Last edited by Tor Giffard on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tor Giffard
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Tor Giffard » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:25 am

dal-t wrote:Having invited this topic to get rolling I feel I should at least chip in my tu'pence worth, but I do have somewhat mixed feelings on the subject. I agree the release of one (or even two or three) RTR diesels is unlikely to have a big practical difference on our 'end' of the hobby (particularly if prototypes are indeed limited to two-axle bogie designs, since in my mind that rules out many of the 'interesting' smelly boxes). If converting a standard (narrow!) gauge OO product with drop-in wheelsets is as straightforward as many of the tutorials on the subject suggest (as a dedicated kit-builder I admit I've never done it myself), it seems only a small step to be able to purchase the item already set to 'proper' gauge - although I know there are people who feel a strong inhibition from separating a freshly bought body from its chassis, so it would at least avoid that anxiety.

But on the wider psychological front, the emergence of P4 RTR may be a somewhat different matter. Imagine the impact over time if every Bachman and Hornby product said on the box 'Available in OO, EM and P4'. How many 'train set' modellers might ask themselves 'What is this EM/P4 business?' Even if they weren't immediately tempted to convert (and I'll come to the other half of the track/wheel equation in a moment), they might at least appreciate, when encountering a P4 layout at their local show, that 'their' models could have come equipped to run on that - and maybe they would feel the urge to explore the world of greater realism. As an illustration of possible impact, it seems only a short time ago (remember we dinosaurs have remarkably slow memories) that it was next to impossible to purchase a RTR 'O' gauge loco, unless it was a vintage relic or a mortgage-milking piece of Far Eastern brass. So the gauge was seen as restricted to 'builders only', and many thought it was in terminal decline. Then the first modern 'moves from the box' offering came along, then another, then another. Whatever your views on other impacts the manufacturers involved may have had on the hobby, there is no doubt the ability to purchase motive power off the shelf has reinvigorated and revitalised the gauge (and it doesn't seem to have done the suppliers of 'decent' loco kits much harm either). Could the same happen for P4? I'm not sure, but at least having a few RTR models around might drive the final nail in the coffin of the 'elitism' charge - until it comes to the matter of track, which I'll address now.

I think this is the crux of the issue. P4 is a system, deliberately so, and at its heart is the relationship between wheel and track. So 'simply' providing the wheels (and I do appreciate that the obstacles and the development effort needed mean it will have been anything but 'simple') leaves things almost literally hanging in mid-air. Having bought the Bo-Bo, how do I run it? Well, on my not very expertly constructed ply-sleeper and plastic-chair track, of course. Except that I only have that because I'm already a P4 modeller. And I've been through the learning curve of transition from EM copper-clad and solder, where I could throw together quite complex mixed-gauge junctions and run SG and NG stock through them straight away with confidence, to the rather humbling experience of having to tear down and rebuild, repeatedly, testing and testing, trying to get ever more careful in my use of the gauges, until I could reach reliable running with my fully sprung P4 vehicles. How many people 'casually' picking up a P4 loco, who are not yet modelling in the gauge, will prove willing to commit to that? Not very many, I suspect.

As for the economics, they are undoubtedly not favourable, but I think that flows from the practical issues. If there was tremendous demand to adopt P4 from every existing OO modeller, and if the only thing holding them back was the lack of RTR Bo-Bos, those with a commercial eye would have spotted that long ago and seized the opportunity. They haven't, because there isn't, if you see what I mean. So at the end of the day my conclusion is it's an interesting development, but not a world-changing one, and we'll just have to see whether it endures or dies - but my prediction (and you can hold me to it in 10 years time if I'm totally wrong) is it will putter along, achieve a few moments fame (or notoriety) then quietly vanish, growling, into the night - just like the prototype!


I'd be thinking that P4 track is available off the shelf, I'll start by running my P4 ready loco on that and then expand from there.

Once enough stepping stones are in place then more will make the journey.

Dave

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jim s-w
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Re: RTR P4

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:33 am

Tor Giffard wrote:
Satisfied owner of a SLW 24 but otherwise commenting only as a modeller/enthusiast


Could very well be. Hence the reason I asked ;)

Cheers

Jim
Last edited by jim s-w on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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iak
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Re: RTR P4

Postby iak » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:35 am

Tor Giffard wrote:
jim s-w wrote:A friend at the launch was told that there was a surcharge for p4 and EM versions. Great news if that's not the case.

Cheers

Jim


If you can qualify this with evidence from SLW then fine Jim, we'll discuss it....otherwise it is just hearsay.

Dave

Satisfied owner of a SLW 24 but otherwise commenting only as a modeller/enthusiast


Yes there is a charge but you get P4, EM and 00 wheels included.
If then you wish to change gauge or sell the beastie then its gauge is not an issue.
This is what I have been told by Mr Sutton himself...
Can we please get a grip and put the custard pies away.
Or do some people need some of my medication? :shock: :cry: :D
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
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Tor Giffard
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Re: RTR P4

Postby Tor Giffard » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:39 am

....no custard pies around Iain....I knew nothing of this charge and simply asked where the idea of it came from....so as to avoid discussing hypothetical topics.

Dave
Last edited by Tor Giffard on Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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