Ultrascale now closed to new orders

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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Horsetan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:41 pm

andrew jukes wrote:....A problem we have had with a few Exactoscale driving wheels using this process is finding that the tyre is not accurately square to the axle. This is almost certainly because, when the tyre is placed in position in the mould, it is too tight and does not seat properly. As part of reintroducing the driving wheel range, I want to be sure we have sorted this out. I also would like to have some stub axles made in stainless steel so we can replace the plastic ones used previously....


OT, but one thing I did wonder about Exactoscale driving axles was whether they could be made to work with cranks and eccentrics for working inside motion.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

billbedford
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby billbedford » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:05 am

Le Corbusier wrote:Someone mentioned 3d printing of wheels earlier. I assumed that this was for the centres and not the tyres. I was vaguely wondering if you could 3d print a master from which a mould could be made? Of course it depends on whether the main expense lies in the production of the master or the mould ... or in both.


You can 3D print moulds, but they have a short life. Though for the sort numbers required for P4 wheels it is a possible route.
Bill Bedford
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Crepello
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Crepello » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:50 am

nigelcliffe wrote:more recently I've seen some directly printed steel wheels of superb quality for 2mm scale (metal printing at iMaterialise.com).


So, I wonder what the quality and longevity of an injection mould produced this way might be? Could be fine for the cosmetic variations in driving wheels, which I would have thought the trickier part of tooling, even if the tolerance for fitting called for a touch of machine finishing.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:12 pm

billbedford wrote:You can 3D print moulds, but they have a short life. Though for the sort numbers required for P4 wheels it is a possible route.


Does that mean that the making of a mould from a master is expensive? I can see that the making of a master by traditional methods would be highly skilled and time consuming ... but wondered if 3d printing might short cut this.
Tim Lee

billbedford
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby billbedford » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:51 am

If the moulds are printed then masters are not needed, however the surface on metal prints is not good and the cavities would have to be polished by hand. This is a skilled and fairly laborious operation, and would represent a good proportion of the cost of moulds. My understanding is that Sharman, Gibson and Ultrascale machined the cavities directly into the tool blanks which would have given a better finish, and thus needing less polishing.

Tools could be printed from resin, aluminium or stainless steel. The resin ones have a live reckoned in tens of shots using styrene or possibly ABS. The metal printed tools would be almost as robust a machined ones, but the extra cost of producing stainless steel would be make them uneconomic for the likely volumes of 4mm wheels.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
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Terry Bendall
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:32 pm

RichardS wrote:The issue is not whether there are suppliers - it is rather the fragility of those supplies that needs to be considered by anybody wishing to pursue a long term project in P4.


I tried to make a post on this topic at the end of last week but it seems to have got lost somewhere.

The situation that we have with Ultrascale is no different to what has happened in the past. In the beginning there was Studiolith who were going to supply everything that the P4 modeller needed. Well that did not work and it was only because of the efforts of Alan Gibson and Mike Sharman that wheels were made available. When Alan Gibson announced that he was going to retire there was much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth but Colin Seymore came along and kept the business going. We now know that Andrew Jukes is taking steps to ensure that the supply of Exactoscale wheels will resume and hopefully the track system will not be far behind

To my mind the most useful thing about the Ultrascale range is the direct replacement wheels for ready to run models. However conversions can be done without this facility but it will need a bit more work and effort. Converting most diesel and electric outline models is easy using the 14 mm coach wheels sold by Branchlines. Steam outline models are a bit more difficult but not impossible.

There will always be a fragile market for the supply of what we need since there is not the volume of business to support more than one or two suppliers. We just have to get used to the fact that things may involve more work on our part and the development of a greater range of skills. None of that is impossible but it will take a bit more time and effort.

The fact that Ultrascale wheels will not be available for a few months does not herald the end of P4. Build what you have got in stock and by the time all those kits, scratch built projects or RTR conversions are assembled, painted, lettered and weathered to your satisfaction, and the layout built, Ultrascale will be back in action. :)

Terry Bendall

Terry Bendall

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Noel
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Noel » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:17 pm

Terry Bendall wrote: We just have to get used to the fact that things may involve more work on our part and the development of a greater range of skills.


But what if you just want to play trains with locos and stock on track that all look as good as possible, given your skillset or likely improvements thereto within a reasonable timescale? P4 isn't straightforward, so if it gets more difficult some will 'fall by the wayside' because it's taking too much time or money or both. I'd probably be amongst them; I don't have that many years left and my current skillset isn't that comprehensive.
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Noel

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:45 pm

But what if you just want to play trains with locos and stock on track that all look as good as possible, given your skillset or likely improvements thereto within a reasonable timescale? P4 isn't straightforward, so if it gets more difficult some will 'fall by the wayside' because it's taking too much time or money or both.
Always has been the case, and always will, everyone has a different tolerance to hair shirts. :)
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Flymo748
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:46 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:The fact that Ultrascale wheels will not be available for a few months does not herald the end of P4. Build what you have got in stock and by the time all those kits, scratch built projects or RTR conversions are assembled, painted, lettered and weathered to your satisfaction, and the layout built, Ultrascale will be back in action. :)


That... ;-)

How many of us are *really* waiting for a set of locomotive wheels to be able to do *any* modelling at all ?!?

Cheers
Flymo
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grovenor-2685
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:07 pm

How many of us are *really* waiting for a set of locomotive wheels to be able to do *any* modelling at all ?!?

Always handy to have an excuse for prevarication.
Regards

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David Thorpe
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby David Thorpe » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:36 pm

Personally, I've managed to build all my locos without having to bother with Ultrascale (whiose business model I have always found incomprehensible) and they all seem to run fine. Rather than put yourself on a waiting list that will mean that you'll get your goods quite a few months later, it's much easier to give Colin Seymour a ring and the required wheels will arrive virtually by return, and consideably cheaper, something to be born in mind when funds are tight. If you haven't tried Gibson wheels recently, now is perhaps the time to give them a try - you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Otherwise, I agree with Noel. Thanks largely to the efforts of our suppliers, P4 has in fact got a little easier over the last few years which is just as well as it is currently at about the limit of my ability. If, as Terry suggests, we may "have to get used to the fact that things may involve more work on our part and the development of a greater range of skills (that)........will take a bit more time and effort" I might as well just go and buy some of that nice new Peco 00 bullhead track, and I doubt if I'd be alone. Like others, I would hope that if there was a danger iof essential supplies becoming unavailable, the Society would take such steps as it could to ensure their continuation.

DT

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Craig Warton
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Craig Warton » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:05 pm

I have always work on the idea that when I order a kit I order the wheels from Ultrascale at the same time. Like many, I have (far) more than enough to keep me occupied already so the waiting time is not really an issue for me. Using the same system, I also have good stocks of carriage and wagon wheels too - I simply order a few every few months.

Instant gratification is a wonderful thing, Ultrascale just involves planning. Not that big a deal honestly.

Regards,

Craig Warton

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Mike Garwood » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:39 pm

For the last few years, for all the chassis I've wanted (but not having time to build right now) I've ordered wheels ahead of the build. The only wheels I need right now - and I'm in no particular rush - is for a Royal Scot and a Duchess...and I may decide to get rid of these kits as they don't fit with my layout plans. But planning ahead has proved fruitful...sorry if this feels like gloating. But, as Paul says, having no wheels is not a reason not to build. Hopefully these exceptional products will be available again shortly.

Mike

Terry Bendall
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:04 pm

Noel wrote:But what if you just want to play trains with locos and stock on track that all look as good as possible, given your skillset or likely improvements thereto within a reasonable timescale? P4 isn't straightforward, so if it gets more difficult some will 'fall by the wayside' because it's taking too much time or money or both. I'd probably be amongst them; I don't have that many years left and my current skillset isn't that comprehensive.


In the early days there were probably quite a lot of people who decided that they did not have the skills or the time to work to P4 standards and will have chosen another path. Equally there are others, and probably the same number if not more, who worked on their skills and put in the time and had success. No one is born knowing how to be a skilled modeller - we all had to learn, just as skilled musicians or sports people have to learn their "trade".

The recent development of things like drop in wheels sets and turnout kits have made working to P4 standards easier but it is still not as easy as working in OO and using things straight out of the box. That is a fact of life and anyone who is considering using P4 standards has to accept that.

David Thorpe wrote:I would hope that if there was a danger of essential supplies becoming unavailable, the Society would take such steps as it could to ensure their continuation.


That has been discussed at committee meetings in the past and if it was really going to be a problem than the Society would consider what could be done. However setting up arrangements to do what Ultrascale do is unlikely to be realistic or possible.

Terry Bendall

John Duffy
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby John Duffy » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:26 pm

Terry Bendall wrote: just as skilled musicians or sports people have to learn their "trade".



To become a skilled musician, one does not need to first develop the skills to build the instruments.

Terry Bendall wrote:
That has been discussed at committee meetings in the past and if it was really going to be a problem than the Society would consider what could be done. However setting up arrangements to do what Ultrascale do is unlikely to be realistic or possible.

Terry Bendall


I think this quote is the reassurance that many of us are seeking. Not specifically for Ultrascale or any other current manufacturer, but rather more generally I would think it sensible for the Committee to discuss the resilience of supply of fundamental parts.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:53 pm

John Duffy wrote:
Terry Bendall wrote: just as skilled musicians or sports people have to learn their "trade".



To become a skilled musician, one does not need to first develop the skills to build the instruments.



Hmmm!

If modelling is akin to actually building the instrument, then the skill of playing that instrument equates to playing trains :D not sure musicians would concur ;)
Tim Lee

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Flymo748
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:24 am

John Duffy wrote:I think this quote is the reassurance that many of us are seeking. Not specifically for Ultrascale or any other current manufacturer, but rather more generally I would think it sensible for the Committee to discuss the resilience of supply of fundamental parts.


John,

Having been on the Society Committee for a few years now, I can say with confidence that whenever we have become aware of changes in the supply of components for P4, whether it is track, wheels, or whatever, there has been a discussion about it. Naturally, this will not be obvious to members, because it is usually along the lines of "contingency" rather than actual involvement in the issue at hand.

However there is usually a consideration of the what, and the how, and because the Society's funds may be called upon, the how much. If you look to the aims of the Society in the Constitution, it includes:

"to undertake or support the design and development of components and materials for use in 4mm fine scale railway modelling; and
to trade on behalf of its members in all matters connected with the Society’s objects. "

HTH
Paul Willis
Deputy Chairman
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

John Duffy
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby John Duffy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:58 am

Flymo748 wrote:
John Duffy wrote:I think this quote is the reassurance that many of us are seeking. Not specifically for Ultrascale or any other current manufacturer, but rather more generally I would think it sensible for the Committee to discuss the resilience of supply of fundamental parts.


John,

Having been on the Society Committee for a few years now, I can say with confidence that whenever we have become aware of changes in the supply of components for P4, whether it is track, wheels, or whatever, there has been a discussion about it. Naturally, this will not be obvious to members, because it is usually along the lines of "contingency" rather than actual involvement in the issue at hand.

However there is usually a consideration of the what, and the how, and because the Society's funds may be called upon, the how much. If you look to the aims of the Society in the Constitution, it includes:

"to undertake or support the design and development of components and materials for use in 4mm fine scale railway modelling; and
to trade on behalf of its members in all matters connected with the Society’s objects. "

HTH
Paul Willis
Deputy Chairman


Thanks for that Paul. Perhaps this posting should have been put out earlier, as I for one find that much more reassuring than some of the "it'll be fine", "it's always been like that", "don't worry, he's a nice guy" or "just learn new skills" comments that have so far been doing the rounds.

Much appreciated

John

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Flymo748
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:48 am

John Duffy wrote:Thanks for that Paul. Perhaps this posting should have been put out earlier, as I for one find that much more reassuring than some of the "it'll be fine", "it's always been like that", "don't worry, he's a nice guy" or "just learn new skills" comments that have so far been doing the rounds.


John,

That's a fair comment to make. I'll give you three reasons why in practice the Committee does take a different stance:

1 - this is the members' Forum. It's not the mouthpiece of the Committee, and although a number of Committee members are active members here, it's generally as modellers, and not to put Committee perspectives about. So we in no way want to stifle healthy debate, and see no harm in members expressing different viewpoints and exploring options. As long as it remains within the normal polite, objective, etc. boundaries that 99.99% of discussions here are.

2 - there are, here and in other examples, real world commercial discussions between third parties. We don't want the Society to be drawn into those, or let slip some information that could prejudice them. So although the Ultrascale situation has been discussed at the last couple of Committee meetings, it really would be inappropriate for us to express views or reveal those internal discussions in public.

3 - the Committee is entrusted by the members to run the Society, and the vast majority of that is done quietly in the background. We are open to receiving comments or questions, either here, by email, or even in person such as at the forthcoming AGM. But the normal course of business is just to "get on with it". We are always answerable to the Society members when it may be necessary.

Cheers
Paul Willis
Deputy Chairman
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Horsetan » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:03 pm

The website has changed in appearance recently, but that's all.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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jim s-w
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby jim s-w » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:40 am

Can I just ask which ultrascale products are essential and not available elsewhere? I can really only think of the old Lima and Hornby pancake motor driving wheels. Most other RTR stuff can just use the original gear and bearings on a 2mm, 3mm or 1/8 axle. Yes not drop in but in reality just an extra few minutes an axle.

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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Horsetan » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:17 pm

jim s-w wrote:Can I just ask which ultrascale products are essential and not available elsewhere? .....


Wheels? Crankpins?
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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jim s-w
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby jim s-w » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:19 am

You read the not available elsewhere bit, yes? :D

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Horsetan
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby Horsetan » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:24 pm

jim s-w wrote:You read the not available elsewhere bit, yes? :D


Ultrascale's crankpin types aren't available elsewhere. Unless of course you've managed to convince AGW to produce something similar?
That would be an ecumenical matter.

ColinMcC
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Re: Ultrascale now closed to new orders

Postby ColinMcC » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:52 pm

Have you all noticed that the "Products" section on Ultrascale's web-site has been enabled again? I would guess that the wheels, etc. are available but with a lead time of 9 months.


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