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Re: Competition is great

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  • Lajos Thek
    ... FIVE years to develop a Z engine?? Heck they built the Queen Elizabeth II in just over two years. Nobody said AZL is doing the development for five
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
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      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, d.f.avila@a... wrote:
      >
      >
      > I am <<NOT>> taking sides here, but curiosity makes me ask what takes
      FIVE years to develop a Z engine?? Heck they built the Queen
      Elizabeth II in just over two years.

      Nobody said AZL is doing the development for five years.
      They started it five years ago, then put it in the drawer,
      because the market was not ready to support the investment.
      I'm greatful to see AZL's brave decision to complete the
      development and start the production. I wish them good
      luck with all the new products.
      (By the way, they'll build one GP7 in about 10 minutes).

      Lajos
    • Vincent Goudreault
      Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 11:05:27 +0100 (CET) From: de Champeaux Dominique Subject: RE: Competition is great Fred you re right, but I think
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
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        Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 11:05:27 +0100 (CET)
        From: de Champeaux Dominique <ddechamp71@...>
        Subject: RE: Competition is great




        Fred you're right, but I think competition is good
        when the market is broad enough. And I don't know if Z
        scale market is broad enough yet. When speaking of the
        previous competition between Marklin and MTL with
        their respective F7s, I think it's a little bit
        different, because:
        -1: Marklin was already a long established Z scale
        manufacturer, and their american line of product was
        (is) only marginal regarding their european line of
        product.
        -2: MTL indeed launched a F7, maybe taking in account
        the Marklin sample was lacking prototypical features
        and tractive effort, they took the risk, and OK, it
        worked. But they stayed very long on this niche, we
        are all aware of this, as this loco had been their
        sole motive power for 20 years.

        But now OK, Z scale is widely expanding and it's
        awesome! But I'm only fearing the market is not broad
        enough to absorb a quickly expanding line of product,
        thus driving some manufacturers to discontinue their
        production (let's remember the topic about Marklin's
        GG1 15 days or so ago).

        But I recognize, I've a trend to be sometimes a little
        bit pessimistic! And anyway, as now we have a
        scheduling, I'm vividly waiting for the SD70s and the
        Cab Fwd!

        Dominique






        Call me an eternal optimist, Dominique, but I see things
        differently. First, there are plenty of other prototypes than
        can make use of the GP35 chassis before having to get to
        the GP7 and GP9 (GP15, GP18, GP20, GP30, and let's
        not forget the GP38, the hood unit originally done by Rogue
        which sort of became AZL later, so technically speaking,
        AZL was there first with that chassis).

        Also, with just a bit of modifications, like the trucks, I am sure
        the MTL chassis could be put to use in similarly sized Alco
        locomotives.

        And even if MTL decided to go for the GP7 and GP9 despite
        AZL being already there, the fact that nearly 7000 GP7 and
        GP9 were produced means that there would be ample road
        names, reporting numbers and colour scheme variations to
        keep everyone off each other toes. Even the way AZL and
        MTL release their gear differs: MTL releases one loco per month
        (if we are lucky) with only one reporting number. If you want to
        run multiple units but insist on different reporting number, you
        must wait for a reprint. AZL releases several reporting numbers
        at the same time, and for several road names, but seems less
        eager to do reruns (I am still hoping for a CN Dash 9 someday,
        I will one day have long grain and long container unit trains
        to move) while MTL keeps its models in production until the
        mould breaks.

        I started in Z in the early 1980's, hoping for hood units to come
        soon. It took 15 years, and then Rogue folded before I could
        get a GP38 (did not have internet back then, and had other
        worries to attend to). So, I am willing to be patient. Z does grow
        because it was starving until now; if I had known it would have
        taken so long to get hood units back in 1985, perhaps I would
        have gone with N scale instead. Today, someone getting on board
        will not have to fear the lack of model, because it is here and it
        is happening. I do not believe the comparatively larger offering of
        late will cause the manufacturers to lose their shirts; actually, it
        allows Z ambassador to show how good it is, and how much better
        it will get. Z will grow because it is the future of model railroading.
        And I am willing to wait a few more years to get all I want
        (although not having to wait so long would be appreciated).


        CBVG
      • Joe DAmato
        Allan, While I can t get into the mind of Hans at AZL I know we have projects we started years and years ago and are just getting around to finishing. Many
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
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          Allan,

          While I can't get into the mind of Hans at AZL I know we have
          projects we started years and years ago and are just getting around
          to finishing. Many reasons to do so, what the market is like and
          what kind of resources we/they have. I wish I could post the cost
          of developing an engine, but can't..if you knew everyone would
          understand sometimes you need to generate some income to pay for the
          tooling.

          I also believe in competition, but hope that we can all work
          together as manufacturers to provide the best variety of subject and
          the best prices. I can tell you the motor in our GP-35 was a huge
          part of the cost, but we decided it was better to absorb some of the
          margin on that to keep intrest high and sales the same. I would
          imagion that AZL saw the cost of tooling brass engines vs doing them
          in Plastic forcing unit prices above what the "normal" modeler can
          pay. I want to grow the scale, and have committed to it at MTL, and
          to do that I need to provide product that is affordable and what the
          most want.

          Joe
          MTL

          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Miller" <almiller@v...> wrote:
          >
          > I was kind of wondering the same thing. I can understand a couple
          of
          > years, but five years seems an inordinate amount of time for what
          is
          > admittedly a new design, but one which does not incorporate
          anything
          > really revolutionary in terms of the technology involved.
          >
          > But I wish them--and all Z manufacturers--well as they try to
          cater to
          > our diverse tastes and interests. And I'll likely buy one or more
          of
          > the AZL GEEPS if they produce it in a roadname that interest me
          and at
          > a price that I think is appropriate for such a model (as MT
          managed to
          > do).
          >
          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, d.f.avila@a... wrote:
          > >
          > > I am <<NOT>> taking sides here, but curiosity makes me ask what
          > takes FIVE years to develop a Z engine?? Heck they built the
          Queen
          > Elizabeth II in just over two years.
          > >
          >
        • randy smidt
          What I am interested in seeing is performance versus price. If two different manufacturers produce the same model, how do performance and price compare. For
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
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            What I am interested in seeing is performance versus price. If two different manufacturers produce the same model, how do performance and price compare. For example, Marklin's F7 costs more and doesn't perform as well as the MTL F7 (I know the performance issue may start a flame war, so I'll say "in my opinion"). Take this a step further, IF both AZL and MTL were to produce GP7's and GP9's, would the AZL perform better than or cost more than MTL's? Would the AZL GP7/9 be able to run with an MTL F7 as a matched set like they did on prototype railroads? Might one be more detailed (but possibly accordingly more expensive)? Who knows. May be MTL will pursure a GP7 still, may be not, may be 15 years from now (after Z scale has taken over the model railroading world ;-) and the market is bigger. And I think the Gp7 and 9 may have worn more paint schemes than any other loco to have ridden the rails. Don't forget rebuilds. I think there are probably more GP9 rebuilds still running
            on the rails today than there are GP35's still running.

            It's all speculation at this point.

            There are plenty of other locos that MTL could do with the GP35 (or slightly modified) chassis. And Vincent, you left out all those GE's like U boats. An Alco road switcher would be pretty cool though. Anyone for a Century?

            Randy Smidt

            Vincent Goudreault <vgoudreault@...> wrote:

            Call me an eternal optimist, Dominique, but I see things
            differently. First, there are plenty of other prototypes than
            can make use of the GP35 chassis before having to get to
            the GP7 and GP9 (GP15, GP18, GP20, GP30, and let's
            not forget the GP38, the hood unit originally done by Rogue
            which sort of became AZL later, so technically speaking,
            AZL was there first with that chassis).

            Also, with just a bit of modifications, like the trucks, I am sure
            the MTL chassis could be put to use in similarly sized Alco
            locomotives.

            And even if MTL decided to go for the GP7 and GP9 despite
            AZL being already there, the fact that nearly 7000 GP7 and
            GP9 were produced means that there would be ample road
            names, reporting numbers and colour scheme variations to
            keep everyone off each other toes. Even the way AZL and
            MTL release their gear differs: MTL releases one loco per month
            (if we are lucky) with only one reporting number. If you want to
            run multiple units but insist on different reporting number, you
            must wait for a reprint. AZL releases several reporting numbers
            at the same time, and for several road names, but seems less
            eager to do reruns (I am still hoping for a CN Dash 9 someday,
            I will one day have long grain and long container unit trains
            to move) while MTL keeps its models in production until the
            mould breaks.

            CBVG


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Vincent Goudreault
            Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 19:50:35 -0800 (PST) From: randy smidt Subject: Re: Re: RE: Competition is great (...) There are plenty of other
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 3, 2006
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              Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 19:50:35 -0800 (PST)
              From: randy smidt <randy@...>
              Subject: Re: Re: RE: Competition is great

              (...)


              There are plenty of other locos that MTL could do with the GP35 (or
              slightly modified) chassis. And Vincent, you left out all those GE's like U
              boats. An Alco road switcher would be pretty cool though. Anyone for a
              Century?

              Randy Smidt



              On purpose. I am under the impression that GE's U units are longer, and that
              the trucks wheelbase is greater; not so with the Alco. I'd love to see some
              U's, but they may require a bit more work than the Alco's.


              CBVG
            • de Champeaux Dominique
              ... Unless maybe the U18B, but as far as I know it s a very small series, only a few samples.... Dominique
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 6, 2006
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                > On purpose. I am under the impression that GE's U
                > units are longer, and that
                > the trucks wheelbase is greater;
                >
                > CBVG

                Unless maybe the U18B, but as far as I know it's a
                very small series, only a few samples....

                Dominique






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