Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

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Re6/6
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Re6/6 » Wed May 21, 2014 6:19 pm

Thank you for that information Ivan.

I hope that it will lay to rest all the perpetual moaning about the long delivery times. Better to have the superb product in six or eight months than not at all.
John

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Tim V
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tim V » Wed May 21, 2014 6:34 pm

A lot less than an Alan Harris set....
Tim V
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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Horsetan » Thu May 22, 2014 10:10 am

Re6/6 wrote:...I hope that it will lay to rest all the perpetual moaning about the long delivery times.


It won't. Internet shopping has conditioned everyone to "want it now, want it yesterday".

Better to have the superb product in six or eight months than not at all.


There will come a day when there will be no product. That is the day when David Rogers decides he's had enough. And, as I wrote, there appears to be nobody in the wings willing to learn the process with a view to taking up the reins when that day comes.

You need to take a very long term view - 10 years is a good start - about where Ultrascale (and indeed all the other top-notch brands) will be, just as you take a long-term view about when you receive those lovely wheels, gear sets and associated parts. Advancements in medical science still can't make people live forever.

Start thinking now.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tor Giffard » Thu May 22, 2014 11:36 am

Horsetan wrote: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.



Ultrascale are not expensive. Well, compared to Exactoscale, anyway.[/quote]

Aft'noon all,

....yes I paid £230 to have my first Dapol Beattie well tank converted...having exhausted other avenues for alternatives. The model is a pig to convert, therefore, the potential for me to waste enough of my time (yes I place a value on it) to dramatically add to this price was real and likely. Those at the Notts area group who have seen the loco undressed and understand the work done feel that I got a bargain, as each wheel has to be quartered individually by David Rodgers on its axle, to match the then position of the gears in the drivetrain (both rear axles being driven). Thus, these wheelsets can only be fitted to one loco...and yes I've tried them in my other well tank and they won't fit for this reason.

The wheelsets from the 2nd loco will shortly be going to Ultrascale for the same conversion....because it works and I can see no other sensible alternative.

Therefore H, please ensure that you are in possession of all of the facts before spouting about value for money on public forums.

Regards

Dave
Last edited by Tor Giffard on Fri May 23, 2014 5:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Horsetan » Thu May 22, 2014 11:59 am

Tor Giffard wrote:....Therefore H, please ensure that you are in possession of all of the facts before spouting about value for money on public forums.


I'm not having a go at you....yet.

Not all of us are in your income bracket.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Philip Hall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Philip Hall » Thu May 22, 2014 12:09 pm

Dave,

I think you did very well in having your well tank converted. I had been asked a couple of times to consider one but demurred, because I didn't feel confident about either the solution or the outcome. David (Ultrascale) had the machinery and engineering ability to do the job, and for the hours and skill involved at a reasonable price.

As for value for money, I did not get the impression that Horsetan was querying that aspect at all, merely quoting potential costs for something out of the ordinary. It is also unfortunately true that many folk in all walks of life (not just model railways) these days seem to expect low prices but not low quality. I think on this forum most of us do recognise value; of good workmanship and quality products.

Philip

Bulwell Hall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Bulwell Hall » Thu May 22, 2014 4:01 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


Why should David Rogers - or Alan Harris - or anybody else for that matter use their undoubted miniature engineering skills for a pittance? Unless you do everything for yourself, fine scale railway modelling in either 4mm or 7mm scales is expensive. £230 to machine a set of wheels to the high standards of Ultrascale and fit them to the locomotive sounds very reasonable to me - whether I can afford it is another matter entirely of course.

I understand that Alan Harris has now ceased production and his castings are no longer available. I have already heard of sets of machined wheels going for quite remarkable prices and the same would happen were Ultrascale to pack up - and at the moment I don't see any one else coming along who could fill the gap.

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HowardGWR
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby HowardGWR » Thu May 22, 2014 7:09 pm

As an interesting aside, I decided, looking at the balance weight range that Ultrascale produce, to order the blooming lot, even though i don't have all the GWR prototypes on my planned list at present. David Rogers phoned back in response to my query, (as to whether these also would take at least 6 months), and I felt so guilty talking to him, when he could have been getting on with other customers' requirements!!
What a very helpful man and I was so impressed when my balance weights arrived (after two months by the way), beautifully packed and on inspection equally carefully modelled. He explained that he starts work at 0630 and thus only had time to ring me after 1530. I am still gobsmacked at the professionalism and dedication of this man.

Order what you need now and be grateful you were in time. Usual disclaimer.

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tor Giffard » Thu May 22, 2014 10:11 pm

Evenin' all,

I fully understood that I was 'signing up' for additional expenditure, more work in pursuing niche conversions etc and more demanding track & wheel standards when I first chose the P4 route. If my shekel supply had been tight then I would have stuck with 'OO' and headed for the most finescale options available. Given that there are so many scales and gauges to fit all pockets and demands I can't see why people whine about what they can't afford...if I had more disposable income for model railways then I could commission an expert model maker to build each loco, wagon and coach from brass/nickel silver etc...but I don't have the money and so don't waste my time banging on about it. I'm simply doing the best I can with the resources which are available to me...that should be the best that any of us can aim for.

Dave

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Andy W
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Andy W » Fri May 23, 2014 8:57 am

I know many "modellers" who spend a lot more buying boxes of rtr stock than I do buying materials and kits for P4. Even if I were rolling in money I'd still build my own models - from the rail upwards. It's what I enjoy doing. To pay someone else to do that would be perverse. However, I understand others have a different attitude. Nothing wrong with that.
Make Worcestershire great again.
Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

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Craig Warton
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Craig Warton » Sat May 24, 2014 4:48 am

Tor Giffard wrote:Evenin' all,

I fully understood that I was 'signing up' for additional expenditure, more work in pursuing niche conversions etc and more demanding track & wheel standards when I first chose the P4 route. If my shekel supply had been tight then I would have stuck with 'OO' and headed for the most finescale options available. Given that there are so many scales and gauges to fit all pockets and demands I can't see why people whine about what they can't afford...if I had more disposable income for model railways then I could commission an expert model maker to build each loco, wagon and coach from brass/nickel silver etc...but I don't have the money and so don't waste my time banging on about it. I'm simply doing the best I can with the resources which are available to me...that should be the best that any of us can aim for.

Dave


Very well said Dave. I have several hobbies (railway modelling, photography and an interest in German WW2 military history). I have spent a fair bit on each, but what is important to me is quality rather than quality. I have built up quite a stash of Finney and Mitchell kits in particular (GWR modeller) but, when I buy one I order a set of Ultrascale wheels for them. In addition, every few months I buy a few sets of their wagon and carriage wheels. Doing it that way lessens the financial impact and mor importantly means that I have the parts there should I feel like starting on a particular model. We all have our points that we won't go past, what ever our disposable income. I don't feel envious of others who can afford more than me. I am happy that they give people like Tom Mallard the opportunity to build things I can admire.

Craig Warton

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sat May 24, 2014 8:02 am

I hope that this topic give any non-member guest/other 4mm gauge visitors the impression that P4 is very expensive, that components are scarce or likely to become unobtainable. There are other sources of wheels, some less expensive and quite acceptable. Those of us that model the the pre group era find little or no succour in the Ultrascale and Exactoscale driving wheel ranges and have to look elsewhere. Thanks to Colin (AG) we can still get suitable wheels for our models. Long may he continue.

The vociferous and ignorant (as in not knowing much) anti P4 modellers don't need any more ammunition with which to denigrate modelling in 18.83 gauge.

Jol

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tor Giffard » Sat May 24, 2014 12:33 pm

Aft'noon all,

The option to make any hobby, at any level, as cheap/budget conscious as you like is always on the table Jol. However, once expectation of the end result is heightened/you start wanting things done quickly and to tight tolerances, then the price will invariably rise. This can of course be countered by being prepared to wait or seek lower prices, do some of the 'spadework' yourself or else be prepared to learn/become skilled or equipped to do more of the actual project. Of course lower tolerances (non P4) are always an option to reduce the price too.

This is in no way unique to model railways...it is a blatant common sense formula.

Rgds

Dave
Last edited by Tor Giffard on Sun May 25, 2014 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun May 25, 2014 7:07 am

Tor Giffard wrote:However, once expectation of the end result is heightened/you start wanting things done quickly and to tight tolerances,


Sorry I totally disagree. :) The tight tolerences to get P4 to work successfully will always be there, regardless of how something is made. Building a successful layout, individual items of stock, or structures will always take time. There are some short cuts that can be made but the physical act of building or assembly of parts, painting and weathering is still there. Anyone who is expert in their field, be it sport, music or model making, has reached that level through constant practice, and no amount of money can speed up achieving that level of skill.

Terry Bendall

JFS
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby JFS » Sun May 25, 2014 9:52 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
Tor Giffard wrote:However, once expectation of the end result is heightened/you start wanting things done quickly and to tight tolerances,


Sorry I totally disagree. :) The tight tolerences to get P4 to work successfully will always be there, regardless of how something is made. Building a successful layout, individual items of stock, or structures will always take time. There are some short cuts that can be made but the physical act of building or assembly of parts, painting and weathering is still there. Anyone who is expert in their field, be it sport, music or model making, has reached that level through constant practice, and no amount of money can speed up achieving that level of skill.

Terry Bendall


I see where you coming from Terry, and I fully agree about that skill dimension which so many overlook. But if I read Dave's post correctly, he was saying that sometimes if time is shorter than cash, it is necessary to pay someone with those skills to do it for you - in his case, getting someone else to do some lathe work for him.

Thinking about the skill aspect, having now done a couple of demos at S4N, I have come to realise that there are lot of people out there who have plenty of ambition but have no idea where to start when it comes to acquiring skill - perhaps as a society, this is something we need to think about - demos at shows are essential, but they only touch a few of the "target market". What about producing some DVDs or webcasts....???

Hope things a going well at Railex!

Best wishes,

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tor Giffard » Sun May 25, 2014 9:58 am

Hi Terry,

...budget conscious implies spreading the cost out over time to make it achievable by more individuals...not trying to reduce the actual price. Wanting things done quickly implies paying an expert to do jobs for you...the alternative to which is to learn how to do more of the work yourself.

I may have worded it poorly but my intention was the same as you describe.

Rgds

Dave

Terry Bendall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun May 25, 2014 8:23 pm

JFS wrote:there are lot of people out there who have plenty of ambition but have no idea where to start when it comes to acquiring skill


That may be true Howard, but surely this has always been the case. Those who have developed skills were all beginners once but they all learnt in some way or other, from reading books or magazines, from friends, in a club or area group, or from demonstrations and informal conversations at exhibitions. All those methods are still available and we now have the internet and forums like this as other sources.

Yes there are people who are able to afford to pay others to do the work, but not everyone is in a position to be able to afford to do this. Those who are in that position either have to do without or learn to do it thermselves. One of the best scratchbuilers I know was once in a position with a young family where he could not afford to pay others so he learnt how to do it himself. The fact that he was modelling the pre-Grouping era where there was litle available in the way of kits was of course another incentive.

Yes the Society could produce DVDs and webcasts - all it needs is someone who is prepared to actually do the demonstrations, record it in some way and it would necessary to find the funds to edit as required and produce the DVDs, if that is what the media is. If someone wants to make such a proposal to the committee then I am sure it will considered. We do of course have some examples on this forum already - Allan Goodwillie's series on loco construction is one and Will Litchfield's CSB thread is another. However I think the majority of things that people need to get started are already covered in books and existing DVDs.

Tor Giffard wrote:Wanting things done quickly implies paying an expert to do jobs for you...the alternative to which is to learn how to do more of the work yourself.
Exactly. "Patience you must have young Jedi" as Yoda might have said. :)

Is there not far more satisfcation to be had from knowing that you have done the work yourself than having paid someone else to do it?! If you have paid others to do the work for you, how much of it is your model?

JFS wrote:Hope things a going well at Railex!


Yes they did but I will put that in another place.

Terry Bendall

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tor Giffard » Sun May 25, 2014 8:34 pm

Hi Terry,

I might wish for all of Tor Giffard to be my own work but given the number of learning curves involved and sheer amount to be done, I'm realistic enough to say that my only chance of completing enough of it to exhibit (and that is my priority) is by contracting parts out to/accepting assistance from, those with the necessary skills. My pleasure will be from the designing/building stages and also the operation of the layout for and with those who might gain pleasure from it.

My long term aim is for it to be adopted as a club layout but not before I've overseen enough of it to ensure that it fits my spec.

Rgds

Dave

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John McAleely
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby John McAleely » Mon May 26, 2014 8:57 am

Terry Bendall wrote:Yes the Society could produce DVDs and webcasts - all it needs is someone who is prepared to actually do the demonstrations, record it in some way and it would necessary to find the funds to edit as required and produce the DVDs, if that is what the media is.


Adding this sort of thing to the website would be something I'm keen to do. One of my personal goals for my tenure as webmaster is to diversify the formats we use for publishing here on the website. We have the forum today, and some great collections of static pages. I think we will have a wiki soon, and adding video and other sorts of material would be a great next step.

I'm not in a position to help with the demos, camera work and editing (not small tasks, in my view), but I am more than happy to help with getting it online.

JFS
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby JFS » Mon May 26, 2014 9:10 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
JFS wrote:there are lot of people out there who have plenty of ambition but have no idea where to start when it comes to acquiring skill


That may be true Howard, but surely this has always been the case.

...

Terry Bendall


Indeed, but I think we now live in quite different times from those of our youth. I first used a lathe when I was nine years old (my dad was a turner!) and as a 12 year old AT SCHOOL I first, did some proper turning, coppersmithing, siver soldering. At the age of 14 I had made dovetail joints.. etc etc. but given your own background you would know more about that than I!!

Nowadays, people coming into this hobby even in their twenties, having been denied that background, cannot be expected to know one end of file from the other, so we are starting from a much lower level of even basic skills.

Worse, they see those of us who perhaps can do a bit, and because of their complete lack of experience perceive it to be "easy". This is the barrier we need to overcome if the finer end of the hobby is to have a future.

Re actually doing something about it, I for one would be more than happy to do a demo or two for a video, and the MUST be those in the society with the ability to point a camera - after all, these things have never been easier!

I see we have drifted a long way off topic (not unusual when I poke my nose in!)- perhaps John would like to collect these ramblings into another, more appropriately headed thread?

Best wishes,

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Mon May 26, 2014 12:37 pm

Howard,

I think those that want to can find information and advice fairly easily. There is the Right Track range of DVD's, the Wild Swan Publication books, Missenden and Hobby Holidays courses, etc. If the Society were to consider producing more, it would simply be treading old ground.

Most good exhibitions have demonstrations, often by notable modellers. Some clubs are very supportive although there are some where the culture is not very forward looking. There are now several internet Forums with a myriad of topics, although some of those often such contradictory views that getting "sensible" advice can be quite difficult.

Perhaps what might help are inexpensive one day workshops, perhaps held/supported by area groups where those wishing to acquire new skills could do so.

We should also remember that some that say "can't" really mean "won't" or perhaps "can't be bothered"

Jol

Philip Hall
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Philip Hall » Mon May 26, 2014 1:00 pm

Howard is quite right when he says that basic skills with tools seem to be a mystery to many school leavers these days. I well remember metalwork classes where we were introduced to a forge and huge lathes (they were probably only a Myford ML7 sort of size but I was smaller then!) and taught how to use a file. I preferred woodwork, and there again I learnt the basic skills, although here I had a head start because my father was a coachbuilder with London Transport and we made things together. There was a conversation at Railex where it came out that some children these days are unfamiliar with what coal is!

We can pass on these skills, and comprehensive demonstrations at shows are a good way, as they have always been. Perhaps we do need to go a bit further, maybe with videos. Taking them is not too difficult, but my wife can confirm that editing them later (one of her hobbies) is not always straightforward. Workshops, whether at a cost or free to society members, are another way, so here I take advantage of the subject to give a plug for the next Chris Kedgley Memorial Skills Day. Some of you on here went to the first one in Portsmouth, and thanks to his family's kind donation of his models to the EMGS, we are going to continue with another, on the 14th March 2015, this time in Byfleet, Surrey. Further details will follow as things come together. We aim to have all sorts of demonstrations, within the limits of space of course, and some 'hands on' stuff as well.

Philip

KK92
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby KK92 » Mon May 26, 2014 1:15 pm

Dear all,

The information is available.

But I suppose the most critical factor in getting a grip on our hobby is time:

Time to learn
Time to practise
Time to repeat
Time to make mistakes


I for myself have a lathe and a milling machine but due to job and family comitments I find not much time to use these tools extensively.

The end result...

Well, just turning that small thing always turns out (sorry no pun intended ;) ) to be a major exercise and spending much more time on that piece than necessary (not to mentionen the first two that have been produced for the scrap bin) :(

Even turning will need practising. The knowledge willnot vanish but has to be digged up when you not doing this very often.

With all the skills that need to go even into a PO wagon practise is the key. It's just like playing an instrument. You might still know the basics but the tones that you produce are not what will come out of the same when you have practised regularly.

I suppose a lot of people underestimate the time that gets into all the exceptional modelling. And no tutorial can actually convey this, it has to be learned the hard way. Just buying (or is amassing the right word?) the components for a P4 layout or locomotive will not get you anyway near what you might have adored so much.

And because this is a hobby, a systematic approach is often not taken as it might take some of the fun out of it.
Cheers

Klaus

Crepello
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Crepello » Mon May 26, 2014 1:52 pm

Horsetan wrote:There will come a day when there will be no product. That is the day when David Rogers decides he's had enough. And, as I wrote, there appears to be nobody in the wings willing to learn the process with a view to taking up the reins when that day comes.

Has he been actively looking for someone?

Horsetan wrote:You need to take a very long term view - 10 years is a good start - about where Ultrascale (and indeed all the other top-notch brands) will be, just as you take a long-term view about when you receive those lovely wheels, gear sets and associated parts. Advancements in medical science still can't make people live forever.

Start thinking now.

I've certainly been aware of this, which is why I was pleased when the Exactoscale wheel range became available. However, the dose of realism injected by Pete Llewellyn's commercial analysis when C&L took over largely dissipated that. I couldn't see any wheels at all on their Railex stand yesterday, and neither could they provide optimistic news about Len, whose health must be a major determinant in any further expansion of that range. I had been hoping for some WD wheels to appear, free of the need for Pendlentonian rebuilding.

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Ultrascale Conversion Proposals

Postby Tor Giffard » Mon May 26, 2014 4:23 pm

Indeed, but I think we now live in quite different times from those of our youth. I first used a lathe when I was nine years old (my dad was a turner!) and as a 12 year old AT SCHOOL I first, did some proper turning, coppersmithing, siver soldering. At the age of 14 I had made dovetail joints.. etc etc. but given your own background you would know more about that than I!!

Nowadays, people coming into this hobby even in their twenties, having been denied that background, cannot be expected to know one end of file from the other, so we are starting from a much lower level of even basic skills.

Worse, they see those of us who perhaps can do a bit, and because of their complete lack of experience perceive it to be "easy". This is the barrier we need to overcome if the finer end of the hobby is to have a future.

,[/quote]

Howard is quite right to observe that the world has moved on, both from his own time at school and from mine too. Maybe, any energies available within the society would be best used identifying exactly where the upcoming Scalefour Society membership of 2020, 2030 etc is to be found. Taking an extreme example, one of our local companies (JCB) wasn't happy with the skillbase of its recent applicants and went on to form its own academy, where schoolchildren are trained for JCBs future requirements as well as receiving education in mainstream subjects. On a similar theme there has to be groups of young people with a yen for working to P4 style tolerances who can be attracted in our direction. Can we offer some form of challenge with an award or recognition etc which such youngsters/students might be able to use in their quest for employment, by demonstrating engineering skills which just happen to be in line with P4. We increase our profile amongst young people by doing so and make our 'in danger of being seen as dated' skills very much 'cutting edge' and valuable.

Just a thought

Dave


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