richard payne
As a current member of both the Scalefour and the EM societies, it seems to me that there is a place in the market for an additional supplier of all track and turnout related items in both P4 and EM, along with  the production of accurate jigs etc to aid in their construction. I have been impressed by the quality of the DCC concepts range of railway items and have in the recent past purchased a back-to-back gauge in P4 which was spot-on.

Now, it's been a while since I have visited the DCC site, and for all I know plans to cover the whole P4 range etc with regard to track-work and gauges may already be in the pipeline? 

I think DCC could make a good-fist of this on all levels,especially in terms of correct detail and accuracy, and of course, in supply.

I guess this post is not so much a discussion topic as maybe one for the controller? but my frustration in sourcing track related components via the usual society routes may be getting the better of me.  I have nothing but praise for the two societies afore mentioned; they have a membership with a wealth of knowledge and I feel privileged to be amongst them. Having said that, I think there is a fairly urgent need for a fresh approach... regards to all, Richard. 
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AHJAY
Hi Richard

When we can do so with any level of commercial reality, I do try to accommodate the finer scale areas, but the sad fact is that it is simply not ever going to be viable for other than cottage industry in many items. 

If their Manufacturing is in common, with things like top quality and very accurate rail then yes, beautiful and reasonably priced brass chairs yes, aspects of our working point rodding (now in new release) yes - but never P4 length sleepers or RTR track or turnouts etc in P4.

Sad reality: P4 and for that matter EM quantities are simply not EVER going to be realistic or commercially viable.

Even gauges, which we DO make, were a struggle, as we had to negotiate very low minimums from our manufacturers as a favour in order to make them for EM and P4. BTW - our gauge manufacturer also makes parts for Rolex, so thats why our gauges are always dead on to my requested spec :-).

Unfortunately, while I MAY be wrong and DO wish them well - I sense that the core supply sources for EM and P4 are in or approaching melt-down right now. I know for sure that there are problems in EM supply in key areas for example. I remember the loss of Sharman wheels which was a real shame, and fear the same fate for most of what you need for P4 etc...

We will keep doing our best, but cannot offer you a solution right now unfortunately.

regards

AHJAY
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LarryG
I have heard friends say that so much good stuff is available ready-to-run these days that it is becoming a pain to have to convert everything to EM or P4 before it can be operated. I suspect age also becomes a factor when we realize we older guys are nearer the end than the beginning and time is running out!
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richard payne
Thank you gentlemen for your replies, the content of which I tend to agree. Firstly, I wish to build my track and point-work using individual chairs and sleepers etc, and the information to do this is provided by the relevant societies. Recently however, and I must be careful here to get my facts correct, the chairs that I had chosen to use from the brand name 'Exactoscale' may, and I only say may, become, in time, more difficult to obtain as the gentleman in control of the production of said chairs has separated from C&L and has taken back full control of his products. It depends upon what you read, but it would appear to be a good thing and the latest issue of the Scalefour Society magazine contains an update issued by said gentleman, explaining, in brief, what the current status is. For your info, the Exactoscale chairs are marketed as offering complete realism as they are produced to replicate all of the different chair types to be found on the real railway and do not have to be 'fudged' to fit. The chairs are functional (not cosmetic) and cater for most of the small differences that were found between different rail companies during the 20th century.

Now, this is my wish and my wish only as I have not spoken to any individual on this subject; but, wouldn't it be wonderful if a supplier like this, producing an excellent product which are mostly produced using plastic techniques, could somehow be linked to a professionally run and far-thinking organization such as DCC Concepts? Too far fetched - perhaps!  I've watched DCC concepts grow and they have always done what they said they were going to do: I think that is exceptional by todays standards! Consider this - many organizations or producers of high-quality products maintain a specialist department to fulfill the need of those that wish to do something different. The P4/EM scales do have a core following measured, I would imagine, in the low thousands, who actually join the societies; but there are probably thousands that still model to those scales and standards that have no society affiliation at all and would be crying-out for a stable supply of products. There; I've made my case and hope that my thoughts are received as intended and do not cause offence to any individual/s...... Sincere regards...Richard. Scalefour no:7075 and EM no: 17012.
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Martin Wynne
Hi Richard,

Technology is changing. Several folks are working on 3D printing their own chairs and other track components.

Before too long, it will be possible to export a file from Templot (it's free), send it to a 3D printing company (or 3D print it yourself, or get a friend to 3D print it), and get back a chaired track base ready to have the rails inserted. This can be in any gauge or scale including P4, and for any size of pointwork, straight or curved.

Here are some progress screenshots which I have been posting on the Templot Club forum. It will be possible to fine tune the fit of the rail in the chairs by adjusting the settings in Templot.
__________________

We now have some outer jaws on the S1 chairs - gold-plated!

(the bright colours are simply to make the detail clear):

[2_061704_070000000]

Notice the random key positions (and random screw heads).

These have not been drawn in a CAD program, the file is generated by Templot and exported with a few clicks and settings. A lot of Templot is now open-source, so anyone will be able to join in the coding and produce a wider range of chairs for pre-grouping companies, say, or flat-bottom baseplates and fixings.

There should be a corner radius around the top of the jaw, but I think I'm going to draw a line at this. I've used as much of the REA drawing as seems reasonable. I'm hoping that the 3D printer will smooth out some of the sharp angles:

[2_061707_200000000]

Now for the inner jaws, L1 chairs, slide chairs, slab & brackets ...

You can follow my progress on the Templot Club forum.

cheers,

Martin.
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richard payne
Hi Martin, I am very grateful for your reply, the content of which I note. I am registered on Templot and have just started to dip my toe into the water. It's reassuring to know that other options are available and I will be following your progress on the Templot forum,

Best Regards,

Richard. 
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Martin Wynne
The P4/EM scales do have a core following measured, I would imagine, in the low thousands, who actually join the societies; but there are probably thousands that still model to those scales and standards that have no society affiliation at all and would be crying-out for a stable supply of products.


Hi Richard,

Andrew Jukes has just announced that the new Exactoscale web site is up and running:

 https://exactoscale.com

Non-members of the Societies will soon be able to order the Exactoscale track components on the site.

Martin.
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AHJAY
That's good news re Exactoscale.... 

Martin that all looks great. It is a seriously positive evolution for Templot which has always been at the leding edge. 

Production itself is a different issue though as 3D costs are not supportable unfortunately: Especially in metals rather than plastics. 

regards

AHJAY
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richard payne
Thanks Martin and AHJAY, this all all very good news.  I'm visiting Scaleforum on Saturday the 22nd September and will call at the Exactoscale stand which I am looking forward to, and, maybe get to speak to Andrew in person if he has been able to attend on that day. I think it will be a busy weekend for Exactoscale,

Regards to all,

Richard.
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IAK
LarryG wrote:
I have heard friends say that so much good stuff is available ready-to-run these days that it is becoming a pain to have to convert everything to EM or P4 before it can be operated. I suspect age also becomes a factor when we realize we older guys are nearer the end than the beginning and time is running out!


I totally agree with Larry's points here.
It is also difficult through illnesses to sail those EM/P4 waters; believe me, I know.
The standard of so much of the new product has led me back to dabble in 00 again, simply to exercise the muse without the disciplines of P4.
Not that I have totally left the P4 world, Mostyn sees to that... 😄
Perfection is impossible; however, I choose to serve perfection - Robert Fripp
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richard payne
I was able to attend Scalefour at Aylesbury last weekend (Saturday 22nd September) and was pleased to see the Exactoscale stand. I was able to obtain everything that I needed and to have some questions answered. They were certainly very busy....
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