Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

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Mark Tatlow
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Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:22 pm

Copied over from Ulrascale's website (http://www.ultrascale.com/node/37) for those that might be interested:

On this page you will find RTR models that we will be looking at for conversion, some of which are for commissions.

However, unlike previous conversions we have produced, we will only be producing a production conversion, if there is enough interest in it. Therefore, anyone who is interested in a conversion for any of the models shown below should email us at enquiries@ultrascale.co.uk stating their contact details, gauge and quantity required. This will then give us a better idea as to the interest in any of the models listed below.

These models include:

Hornby 4-6-0 'Castle' Class
Hornby 4-6-0 'Star' Class
Bachmann 3000 Class ROD
Hornby 4-4-0 'T9' Class
Bachmann 2-6-0 'Crab'
Bachmann 4-4-0 'Dukedog'
Heljan AC Railcar
Heljan Beyer Garrett 2-6-0 0-6-2
Bachmann Wickham Type 27 trolley and Trailer
Bachmann Class 40


Answers back to Ultrascale if you are interested.
Mark Tatlow

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Fri May 02, 2014 1:24 pm

Just as a point of interest, there is a AG conversion kit for the Star using Castle wheels. I could only see Castle wheels in the wheels section of the AG brochure pdf, so I phoned Colin Seymour, who kindly confirmed this fact to me. This means that only Ultrascale has Star wheels (crank on spoke) as opposed to the cbs Castle wheels, offered by both firms. If that difference does not worry you, then I point out that the AG Star conversion kit is of course already available and much cheaper. Crank pin positions on the AG wheels (from an older tooling) have to be drilled out. In the AG instruction pdf, it recommends using a pin chuck by hand but, as a result of my Pannier conversion experience, I recommend using an accurate vertical drill to do this, with the wheel clamped very firmly. I used a Hobbymat lathe, made up as a vertical drill, and a hands free magnifier and spotlight on the subject, to ensure perfect entry into the pop mark.

In fairness, going back to the Castle vs Star wheels, I'll bet nobody will ever pick up the difference, - it's just whether it bothers you, that's all.

Philip Hall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Philip Hall » Sat May 03, 2014 7:10 pm

If you want to be really picky, there are actually two different 'Castle' wheels in the Ultrascale catalogue...

Philip

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Sun May 04, 2014 4:53 pm

Philip Hall wrote:If you want to be really picky, there are actually two different 'Castle' wheels in the Ultrascale catalogue...

Philip


Yes that's true, impress us Philip by reminding us at what number the 4073 class changed to cbs. :D

Philip Hall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Philip Hall » Mon May 05, 2014 7:51 pm

HowardGWR wrote:
Yes that's true, impress us Philip by reminding us at what number the 4073 class changed to cbs. :D



I have absolutely no idea! I knew of this simply because two customers wanted Castles converted sometime and I was checking with David Rogers about the wheels, and he asked me which ones I wanted... I do believe, though, that wheelsets were swapped around, so absolute accuracy as to which loco and when cannot be guaranteed.

Philip

Bulwell Hall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Bulwell Hall » Tue May 06, 2014 6:37 am

Not only did the wheel sets move between batches Philip, but it was also possible to see the different types of wheel sets on the same engine! Early Castles often ran on later wheels and vice versa - a feature easily spotted so it does matter which wheels are ordered - but it was not unusual to see early and later pattern wheels on the same engine. This also applied to other classes as well - an example that comes to mind immediately and which can be easily referenced is the photo of the real 2945 'Hillingdon Court' on pp 38 of 'More 4mm Engines' by Guy Williams (WSP). It all depends on how fussy you want to be but I am sure David Rogers could provide a mixed set if required!

Gerry

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Tue May 06, 2014 10:05 pm

Bulwell Hall wrote:Not only did the wheel sets move between batches Philip, but it was also possible to see the different types of wheel sets on the same engine! Early Castles often ran on later wheels and vice versa - a feature easily spotted so it does matter which wheels are ordered - but it was not unusual to see early and later pattern wheels on the same engine. This also applied to other classes as well - an example that comes to mind immediately and which can be easily referenced is the photo of the real 2945 'Hillingdon Court' on pp 38 of 'More 4mm Engines' by Guy Williams (WSP). It all depends on how fussy you want to be but I am sure David Rogers could provide a mixed set if required!

Gerry


As you gather from my previous post - I had not thought this a huge issue :-) but it's this 'getting it all right' business that gets me going. The crank position may be a subject for we 'cranks', but e.g. putting top feed on an engine when one is modelling a period when it had not been fitted is not on. Much else could be cited, but this is really about whether one has to go for Ultrascale wheels or otherwise. I think 'otherwise' if it's just about crankpin positions.

John Fitton

Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby John Fitton » Wed May 07, 2014 11:13 am

And here was I thinking the GWR had a standard driving wheel!!

John

MPR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby MPR » Wed May 07, 2014 11:38 am

It's a process that seems to be carrying on into the 21st century too, as the new build 47xx, 4709 will have a new 5'8" CBS wheel set. As far as I can tell, the previous nine locomotives were all COS throughout their working lives. (The other three coupled wheelsets, ex-4115, are also CBS)


Martin

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Wed May 07, 2014 7:56 pm

I worked out the total cost of the AG conversion kit for the 40xx as £40.40. Interpolating for Ultrascale (using their 68xx Grange price, also a 4-6-0) is about £80. Where they get their price for the 2-8-0 at £126 is confounding my sense of interpolation, as it's the same number of wheels. I could see a £15 (say) difference for a driver instead of a bogie wheel, but I don't get the £46 difference.

Perhaps Philip may have better insight.

The other difference is that you can order the AG kit now and get it immediately, whereas there is as yet no commitment to the Star, perhaps it will be there within a year.

Food for thought.

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Craig Warton
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Craig Warton » Wed May 07, 2014 10:12 pm

Howard,

One part of the difference is that the Ultrascale wheels are supplied "ready to go". They have the gear fitted to the axle ad the wheel set are quartered. I think only the front pony wheel needs to be fitted.

Ultrascale are pricy, but the quality is good which is the reason I am prepared to pay the difference. I know some people are happy to pull other wheels apart and clean them up to reassemble but not this little black duck.

If you ever wanted to see eye watering prices, you should have seen the cost of a set of machined Alan Harris wheels in 7mm scale. Absolutely gorgeous but they made Ultrascale look cheap.

regards,

Craig

John Duffy
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby John Duffy » Thu May 08, 2014 7:18 am

Are you required to order these wheels several decades in advance as per their diesel wheels or will they be available?

John

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Thu May 08, 2014 11:43 am

Craig, yes appreciated. I may yet report myself for the Ultrascale Star waiting list, but more relevant to modelling effort is whether one can live with RTR superstructure, which makes a little trouble drilling a few crank pin holes in AG wheels, but a bagatelle. Having just, with huge care to avoid rivet detail, scraped off the top feed which festoons the Bachmann Pannier, (just for starters), I have a new viewpoint on 'RTR conversion'.

John Fitton

Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby John Fitton » Thu May 08, 2014 12:33 pm

A bit off-topic, but I order Ultrascale wheels before I buy the locomotive, and my workshop has such a backlog that the delivery doesn't bother me at all. I think we should also realize that our baby boom bubble will not last much longer, and even though I am (only?) 61, I see a time coming when we will be bemoaning the absence of any correct P4 wheels, Gibson, Ultrascale, or other. Certainly for my own modelling capabilities, the ready to go feature of Ultrascale has been a boon, but equally the quality of the Gibson wheels has risen to such a standard, IMHO, that they are now my choice for all rolling stock.

John

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Thu May 08, 2014 8:53 pm

Nail hit on head John. Not only that but not much time left before what one will have achieved becomes academic anyway. I see a huge market in 2040 on eBay for stuff being disposed of by long-suffering (great) grandchildren clearing out the lofts. Should be some good deals going for the great (great) grandsons.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Terry Bendall » Fri May 09, 2014 6:13 am

HowardGWR wrote:Having just, with huge care to avoid rivet detail, scraped off the top feed which festoons the Bachmann Pannier, (just for starters), I have a new viewpoint on 'RTR conversion'.


HowardGWR wrote: I had not thought this a huge issue but it's this 'getting it all right' business that gets me going.


I think these two comments show show the problems that we face in using RTR models. The general quality and level of detail is now far superior to what was available 10 years ago, but in some instances, what the trade offers may not be sufficiently exact for our purposes. We then have the choice of:

(a) living with that;
(b) making the appropriate changes if we can;
(c) finding a kit;
(d) scratch building.

The other issue is that although the quality of RTR is much improved, the range of what is offered is still limited, and that of course is quite understandable from the perspective of a RTR manufacturer. If you model the BR period from around 1950 to the end of steam, or almost aspect of the D&E period there is lots to be had. The choice is much more limited if you model the Grouping or pre-Grouping periods. If for example you are interested in the Great Eastern, the Great Central, the LNWR, or the LNER, just to take a few very large organisations, then RTR is far more limited and for smaller companies such as the L&Y or the LBSC, RTR is almost non-existant.

In the end the modeller has to decide what he or she wants. Do you want easily available, good quality RTR models which are generally pretty close to the prototype and drop in wheels that are usually correct, but where some things may have to be lived with or corrected, or do you want some thing where it is "all right" and where the wheels and chassis will need more work. Its your choice but in most cases you cannot have it both ways. :)

Terry Bendall

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Fri May 09, 2014 7:34 am

Almost right Terry, but the LNWR, given it's size as the largest revenue earning pre group railway and the largest joint stock business in the world at one time, actually has no locos, carriages or wagons available from the 4mm RTR manufacturers. The only "LNWR" loco is produced on LMS and BR condition and probably isn't suitable for back dating as the Belpaire firebox needs replacing. The only item available AFAIK, a signal box, is inaccurate.

Fortunately the pre and post group periods are well served by by the kit manufacturers. If you want a model of your choice then you have to build it. If you want to use RTR products then you have to model a railway based on what is in the catalogues. True, there is a much wider range of models available nowadays and to much better standards, but the choice is still very limited for those that want a realistic layout of grouping or BR days.

Jol

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Sat May 10, 2014 6:10 pm

Going back to the OP, one cannot blame Ultrascale for not producing LNWR wheels if they are not lobbied to do so.

I assume from the list provided that GWR is still the favourite choice of both fine scale modellers and more relevantly, the RTR market? After all, no RTR, no request for RTR conversion kits.

I didn't want to give the impression I was moaning about my Pannier surgery, by the way. The current RTR Bachmann and other offerings are in fact usually representing preservation examples that they've managed to measure up. If you look at those preserved for the 57xx, only one currently without top feed is 7714. However, if you are modelling the scene before WW2, then you have to scrape off all the top feed off any of them, as well as examine how the injector overflow winds its way under the footplate steps and the multiplicity of prominent tank rivets or otherwise (some were welded), depending on the implementations of the many manufacturers of the class. Those are just a couple of examples of what you need to be examining, and the foregoing is not even the half of the task ahead of you. :mrgreen:

Wheels? Who's worried about wheels? :D

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Tim V
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tim V » Tue May 13, 2014 4:17 pm

You haven't mentioned the steps on the bunker....

Seriously, you should think yourself lucky that the pannier is such a good representation. Not that long ago I remember getting at first excited, then disappointed by the introduction of the Triang Hornby 8750 pannier tank....
Tim V
Scalefour News Editor

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jim s-w
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby jim s-w » Tue May 13, 2014 5:10 pm

Wasn't that 40 years ago Tim?

Jim

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Tim V
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tim V » Tue May 13, 2014 5:54 pm

Possibly - but how modelling has moved on :D
Tim V
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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Wed May 14, 2014 8:54 pm

Tim V wrote:Possibly - but how modelling has moved on :D
a

On RM Web we have agreed that the K's pannier body was a very good model, and not only that but left the cab and top feed implementations all separate for one to choose. It was my first attempt (1985) and the original bubble pack occasionally comes up on eBay (but for daft prices of course, unfortunately).

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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Horsetan » Wed May 21, 2014 10:57 am

The limted-run batch production which Ultrascale propose has been seen before, with the Dapol "Western", and more recently the Hornby Sentinel. You express your interest, they see how many other people are joining you, and if production goes ahead, you get your wheels in about six to seven months. There may be a discounted price - as there was for the "Western" pack - for a first run.

This of course has to fit into Ultrascale's normal working schedules, and remember that there's only one man - David Rogers - doing all the donkey work, as I was reminded when I visited the Ultrascale workshop last year. It's physically impossible for production to go any quicker unless he lives in the workshop 24/7 and deprives himself of sleep. And there's nobody wanting to offer to be trained - apprentice-style - to assist.

Helps to explain why new Ultrascale wheel designs such as the Bulleid Pacific sets, and BR 6/7/8 and 9F drivers, are not going to happen any time soon. I anticipate 2016/2017 before those start to emerge, if at all.

The RTR list posted at the top of this thread is interesting, though it is to be hoped that they are much friendlier to convert than the Dapol/Kernow Beattie Well Tank, which I think was engineered to make it all but impossible to convert to P4. Ultrascale were asked by one person to work on a conversion set but, as things turned out, he instead paid them to fit P4 tyres to the existing RTR wheel centres, a process which would cost anyone following him the trivial sum of about £230......and no, that's not a misprint. I think quite a few people were scared off converting to P4 when they found out the price - roughly three times the cost of the RTR model itself.

On my next visit to the workshop, I must remember to ask how many other Well Tanks have been converted via the same process so far.

Craig Warton wrote:....If you ever wanted to see eye watering prices, you should have seen the cost of a set of machined Alan Harris wheels in 7mm scale. Absolutely gorgeous but they made Ultrascale look cheap....


Ultrascale are not expensive. Well, compared to Exactoscale, anyway.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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45609
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby 45609 » Wed May 21, 2014 2:44 pm

Horsetan wrote:.....he instead paid them to fit P4 tyres to the existing RTR wheel centres, a process which would cost anyone following him the trivial sum of about £230......


Hmmm.... the price I charged to "pendlenton" a set of 6 driving wheels recently was much less than that. Must have a rethink... :-|

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Mike Garwood » Wed May 21, 2014 6:06 pm

45609 wrote:
Horsetan wrote:.....he instead paid them to fit P4 tyres to the existing RTR wheel centres, a process which would cost anyone following him the trivial sum of about £230......


Hmmm.... the price I charged to "pendlenton" a set of 6 driving wheels recently was much less than that. Must have a rethink... :-|


Gulp!!


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