6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

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6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Steam Traction World on Tue 15 May 2012, 1:56 am

Hi Guys,

Before anyone gets excited this is just a question (well a couple of questions actually!).....no more currently.....


Burrell Single Cylinder Agricultural, Burrell DCC Road Loco, Burrell DCC Showmans.

If we were to do a small batch of 6" Burrell's, assuming you could afford it, which one of the three above would be your preference?

Secondly.........Bearing in mind the cost (bloody expensive whichever option you chose!)......has any one any thoughts on how we could do it so it is affordable? The monthly payment options is a good thing but when it starts becoming 1000+ per month for 5 years for example it suddenly doesn't become realistic. Any one got any ideas they think would work for everyone?

We realise if we went down the 6" route we would need to change the nature of the business for this product (and this is something we would consider) as shipping would be a nightmare every month.

Steve came up with the idea that we build rolling chassis' for a lump payment and then supply everything after the rolling chassis as kits on the monthly basis. This in itself isn't easy as painting etc would need to be considered. Any thoughts or other ideas would be welcomed.

Dean


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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  lynnr on Tue 15 May 2012, 2:35 am

I take it you would still be producing 1/3 & 1/6 scale replica's. As that is your core business and you have built a very very excellent reputation with these affordable products. I for one could not build a 1/2 scale even though I would love to on 2 major counts. 1st the cost. Yes 1000 every month for 5 years is a lot. 2nd the space to build and store the engine. If you went exclusively into the 1/2 scale a lot of the market base would be excluded. How many kits out there today live in 2up2down surburbia. 2" scale living in front of the fireplace and 4" living in the shed or modern shoebox garage. I for one would have walked straight past if the display was half size engines no matter the price, on the storage issue.

One option for financing would be 1/3 to 1/2 deposit and 500 per month for the build duration, guessing that would still be 5 years.
The banks do not give much interest now a days so you could catch people with savings to spend.

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Steam Traction World on Tue 15 May 2012, 3:27 am

Lynn

Our main business will continue to be the 4" market (mostly on a monthly basis) as this is our bread and butter and i believe the range we do appeals to the majority, however with Dave Page Engineering recently going bust we believe there is a market for a 6" engine as a proper kit.

If cost to customers was no issue i'm sure we could still do a batch of 6" engines over a 2 - 3 year period if they were scheduled in properly around other things finishing. Problem i see is even if a basic agricultural kit ran out at 40K plus over 2 years you'd be talking then 1500 per month minimum with a 10% deposit. I doubt we could even do it for that price though.

Dean

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  lynnr on Tue 15 May 2012, 3:42 am

If cost was no problem.

The Road Loco would do very well. Not quite as complex as the Showman but stands much bigger than the Agricultural. Perceived as the road work horse so would not be out of place working hard on the farm or dragging a big road load. Where the showman does look odd pulling an industrial trailer and not a fair ride, so limits its prototypical use.

The single Agricultural, well there appears to be lots of them about on the rally field and in production in garage workshops. So may not tempt the individual looking for something different. But being a single will also have the appeal of being much simpler, fewer part count, hence lower build time and cost.

Need to win the lottery. Want one. (Lottery win = commission to build 2 off full size one for STW and one for me.) Dream dream dream snoooooze

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Six inch

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 15 May 2012, 4:23 am

6 inch engines will always be a limited market compared to 4". 4" is big enougth to go nicely on a rally field, pull whatever you want & is easy to push around & put in your shed. With 6" one would have the same problems that you have with a full size engine. It's too big to push around, you need thumping great vehicles to move it and they can be awkward to ride on/in. Anyone with that sort of money would probably prefer to go the full size route with a roller and not be stuck with the miniature label.
I've seen the 6" guys trundling around the miniature section then going off with the full size but really there's never enough of them to form their own group so they usually look a bit lonely really. I'm talking of the two & half ton 6" engines here & not the smaller types.
I've seen how much hassle the full size are & unless you are in the haulage business or own a farm they don't appeal at all. Also hasn't everyone who has tried to 'mass' produce 6" engines eventually gone bust!

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Weston on Tue 15 May 2012, 5:29 am

interesting one this, I for one would love to see you guys put together a 1/2 size kit. BUT, as Steve has said when its starts getting down to it the money and shear size of the machine start becoming a real problem. Even if the money was available to me I would then be in the dilemma of do I have a 1/2 size road loco or a full size roller as both are around the same price. And again a lot of the 6in builders have gone bust, but that could be for other reasons.You have got a good customer base, but I suspect most of them would be happy with staying with the 4in kit and not going any further. Added stress on the core business may cause problems if a 6in production run was made. I think you guys would have more luck in offering other types of 4in engine, like a fowler single, or a little nippy fowler tiger. something that there are not many models of Very Happy I think you would be supprised how many existing customers would return for another build if other engines where available (other than the road loco and showmans)

Regards

Ryan

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6" engines

Post  Tony King on Tue 15 May 2012, 5:42 am

If cost wasn't an issue, I personally would like a 6" Showmans!! Very Happy However I think the Road Loco would probably be the best to produce as a single option.
Having said that, I wouldn't go down the six inch route Sad As Steve Trail points out, it's well beyond the "domestic" person to actually be able to transport this kind of weight around & as STW have admitted, delivery to customers may also be an issue. I reckon that STW customers would prefere to have two 4" engines (Different types of course!!) rather than one 6" at far greater cost!!
I shudder to think of the implications for machining stuff like cylinder castings at this scale Shocked
The way forward is to concider diferent options on your very well designed current range............. Crane engines seem to be popular ....Ploughing engines have been mentioned , possibly a staem roller etc etc!!
Regards,
Tony

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Steam Traction World on Tue 15 May 2012, 6:48 am

Guys and Girls,

Thanks for your input so far.

We're not considering stopping producing 4" engines (far from it), nor are we saying we will not produce a different type of 4" engine in the future (ploughing/roller/crane etc), we basically asking if you could have a 6" engine from the 3 above which would your preference be and bearing in mind the cost has anyone got any suggestions on a way of being able to do it that makes it more affordable.

We all know the pros and cons of a 6" engine but just like a builder of a 2" engine might not want to consider a 4" due to cost and size (doesn't fit in boot of car , can't be built on kitchen table etc), we realise that a 4" builder might not want to consider anything bigger either. That doesn't mean there isn't a market though even if the market is only small, it also doesn't mean it has to impact on the core business. (It could be done with new staff for example utilising the down time on the machines that stand idol for 2/3rds of the day)

We seem to get more and more enquiries for a 6" engine and just like the locomotive market has grown over the years from 2.5" gauge to 3.5" to 5" and to 7.5" gauge, some people (not all) do seem to want bigger. On a similar vain are the Fodens, years ago the 3" was what everyone wanted or built, this increased to 4.5" scale over the last decade and now when you look on the rally field there are a fair number of 6" Fodens appearing.

No one is saying we will ever do a half scale engine but before we can even start to consider it posting it on the forum and getting everyone's opinions, then working out an option that might make it affordable for those who want one, is a good start.

Dean

P.S. A batch of 6" Hornsby Track Engines will be appearing in kit form shortly!! lol..............NOT!




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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Weston on Tue 15 May 2012, 7:16 am

Thats fair comment Dean,

Wow 6in chain tractor........ that would be a machine!

I agree that the trend over the years has seen people get bigger and bigger engines, I suspect this is because the price of machining and availability of second hand machinery for the model maker is far more affordable. Also the precision and speed of CNC machines has has led to high volume, low cost manufacture.

The only way I could see you guys getting the cost down, and I hate to say it..... but is to send it abroad. Being a production engineer myself I face these decisions everyday. There are places you can get good quality work produced for cheaper than the UK, but the shipping would still be an issue. you would also need a way of confirming quality control.

the only other way is to increase numbers, as you guys know. how much would the price come down by if you made 50 engines at once?

another thing I can think of, is to do away with the some of the castings and get a machining centre to start making things from solid? not sure if there will be much saving there though....... ?

just some ideas... hope this helps Very Happy

Ryan

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  sonick45 on Tue 15 May 2012, 8:04 am

My six shillings for what it's worth.

Having been involved with the full size stuff it's a logistical nightmare unless you road it in however you then have to concider support vehicles.

I also look after a 6" Burrell which I don't operate but purely maintain.
This is treated just like a full size and it is huge and very heavy.
We pull it around the yard with a tractor and lift stuff off it with a fork lift.

The idea sounds great until you boil it down to actually affording one, housing it and running it.

I'm sure there are the fortunate few who will fork out for one but as Tim hinted at, the market will be small and why buy a 6" when you can buy a full size roller for the same. You will have then same transport issues with both.

I recon you should stick to the 4" market place but expand the collection.

4" showmans living wagon replica
4" roller
4" ploughing engines
4" double ended plough with cable.

The four above would sell very well
Especially the ploughers as very few exist especially with ploughing tackle.
I know just the man to get plans as photos from
too. Smile

Whatever you decide to do it will be with much thought and the outcome will be sound however as has already been said. Amost others that went big went bust.

Nick



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Something different!

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 15 May 2012, 8:16 am

There's still a vast scope of interesting 4" engines to replicate, here's one that would be different on the rally field!

It's the very first 'traction engine' built by Richard Trevithick as an experiment to see if high pressure steam could be used to move an engine. High pressure then was 60lbs! It worked well and Trevithick & his crew immediately celebrated in the local pub with the engine out the back. They forgot about the engine once the beer got flowing & it blew up, it still proved that Trevithick was right and high pressure steam was then used for road transport.
It would need to be in 5" or 6" scale as it's not very big. In 6" scale it would be about the size of the Road Loco.
Anyone interested?!!!

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Graeme81 on Tue 15 May 2012, 8:31 am

i have to agree with weston...increase in numbers will obviously keep costs down. a 40,000 pound machine with only 20 units made would be 2000 per unit overhead costs whereas 50 units would be 800 pounds. then there would obviously be material and labor costs so getting the most efficient manufacturing process worked out with the equipment and staff available and cheapest but best quality materials will be crucial.
out sourcing on the more difficult pieces (china) maybe the way to go.
then what may be necessary in the 6inch market especially on a first batch run would be low profit, high turn over, which also ties in well with increase in numbers. it seems anyone in the past making 6inch scale models has built them in ones and twos and with very high costs (75k+ road locos) and i have no idea of the profits but i am assuming that the profit from selling one or two engines at a time kept them going for as long as it did, but ultimately they failed.

From an interest in steam engines I would love to own a 6inch showmans, in 4inch i have choosen the road loco for practical reasons (not to say there is anything wrong with the 4inch showmans, before i get my head bitten off! just each to their own!) there is something majestic about watching a showmans at night generating that would out weigh any other non financial reason not to choose it, for me.
from a financial point of view i would have to say the single (how about a marshall, ransomes, garrett or mclaren just to be different, as long as its not a fowler!! Wink ) she would be easier to move around at around 1.5 - 2 tons.
i think in todays economy ppl will find it easier to invest in a shorter term project than a long term just due to the number of companies going bust so keeping the over all time to below 4 years will be critical.
im sure whichever way ye go about this it will be a top notch engine and i look forward to hearing more...

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Tim Watson on Tue 15 May 2012, 10:40 am

Rather than going for the big engines, it would be feasible to make 6" tractors such as the Burrell GM / Fowler Tiger etc. These scale out at a much more manageable size and still have the cache of being half size - more free coal at rallys.

Having said that, the space in my garage is at an absolute premium with the SRL(S): just as well I am used to working in small spaces!

Tim

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Robfishman on Tue 15 May 2012, 12:06 pm

Lots of ideas here, and I can't really add much more except to say I would love a 6" build but for many of the reasons above 4" is really as big as I can get in and out of the garden safely and I don't have the infrastructure and logistical support necessary for moving anything much bigger at the moment. I think Ill be building another 4" once this one is finished for the daughter if she is still interested in a few years, and there are plenty of other projects which will go nicely with the current project.

The Trevithick engine would make an interesting project, have seen several smaller models over the years, one of the best was at the STW open day last year. I think this would be a limited market, but of course many of them are.

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Rickster on Tue 15 May 2012, 12:26 pm

I'm pretty much in the same boat as Rob. A 6" whilst a very nice idea, logistically and the practicality of actually building the engine is more than I would want to take on.

If you were going to offer long term monthly payments to customers, in the current climate lots can change very quickly and you guys could find that due job cuts could lead to people not being able to make the payments that could quite easily cause STW a cashflow issue if you've laid out for castings and get the cash in. Everyone starts out with the best intentions but the higher up you go with the money tree, the more dangerous it can get - that could jeopardize the rest of the builders in other scales if you stretch yourselves too far too soon. I'm not suggesting you have, but it is a bit of a risk.

Personally I think there is still loads of scope in 4" with different models, and several have already been mentioned, but I'd like to see a ploughing engine in 4" (I have a set of drawings for a BB1 if you want to borrow them!). You could, as already mentioned by Steve build on this with water carts, poughs, living vans, mole drainers etc........

Rick

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Julia on Wed 16 May 2012, 12:53 am

As many of you know I am building a 6" Gold Medal tractor. At the start I did not want to build a 6" engine but went that way as an alternative to a 4" Mac or 4" Burrell DCC from LSM (similar to STW DCC). The original reason for the choice was down to I preferred the GMT supplier and there was nothing in it on weight.

Now that I have got my eye in I really like 6" scale. The parts are a decent size and there is greater scope to make everything work like full size. Compared to my 4" agg the 6" GMT is taller and chunkier but occupies only a slightly larger footprint in the garage. Given the size of the parts it is hard to believe that the 6" GMT engine comes in at 800Kg but one has already been on the weigh bridge. The point I am making is that by picking a smaller prototype eg 5 ton tractor, a 6" model could be offered without huge material/transports cost.

I don't see much merit in a kit for a 6" agricultural. You get the problems of weight and cost in abundance with none of the appeal. Agree that any one contemplating that (at the expected kit price) would consider fullsize. Therefore to be viable must be road loco with showman's option. Pick a small prototype to keep material cost down and make it something the builder can live with. There are a lot of suitable prototypes the problem I suspect for Steve is that he does not have the basic design on his CAD system and so it would be a big leap into the unknown.

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  bjwlancashire on Thu 17 May 2012, 5:02 pm

Dean/Steve

Look at and market this from another angle, full size engine owners are downsizing to half size for cost and managability, possibly a smaller market but still could be viable - just needs marketing the right way maybe. This seems a strange argument compared to everyone elses comments here but most responses are from people owning 4" engines or smaller. Dave Bennion downsized to a half size Gold Medal Tractor and a very nice engine it is too and it still fits in a large van. The 6" Garrett 4CD is starting to apear as a scratchbuilt model and is a nice size too, fits in a Jumbo size van and is very fast. There is a guy I met a couple of times (Adrian) who made a showmans tractor version and it flys. Julia's point about the prototype chosen is a valid one. A 6" tractor has a bigger boiler and cylinders than a 4" road loco (just) and would have a bigger presence on the road should you choose to take it there.

A big agricultural engine might be pushing it regarding weight with a Jumbo van, a trailer is probably required with a Landrover Discovery up front but it is still managable to transport.

Rempstone rally seems to have a good number of 6" scale engines, as many as the 4" ones if I remember from our last visit.

From a cost point of view you may need to spread out the build a little more to keep it affordable.

Cheers

Brian

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Weston on Fri 18 May 2012, 4:17 am

Going back over this post, I think that a lot of people have missed the original point. Dean was asking what engine would we choose to have in a 6in scale, and have we got any ideas to help keep production costs down. We all know that having a larger engine will require a larger vehicle and a reasonable size garage/workshop to keep it in, and as people have said, aim the product at the right market and there will be ...some... customers. Putting the size of the machine and transport to one side, the main issue here is outright cost vs feasibility. We all know this hobby is expensive and the larger you go the more money it is going to cost, which is fine. but from a business point of view how many people are really willing to part with 50-60K for an engine? there are only so many customers out there. which comes back to the original point of how can we get the cost of the machines cheaper.

Spreading the cost out any further than 4 years and I think that people will be put off also, I personally would not want to commit to a project spending that amount of money over for, example a 7 year period. -similar to what GNS offered-
Other than getting fab work and machining done abroad I cant see an alternative, I suppose that one of the biggest outlays is material. Maybe getting material and machined items from china for example, would work out cheaper but shipping big parts across would still add to the expense. not to mention watching for quality.

you should just get a large laser sintering machine and start printing engines..... Razz

I hope a viable solution can be worked out, it would be great to think that a fleet of 1/2 size engines would leave the STW factory


Ryan


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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Steam Traction World on Fri 18 May 2012, 8:20 am

Great input guys cheers.

We're not really worried about the final engine price or how to manufacture it cheaper. If we make one we will be doing it as a buisness and ultimately that will mean we will be intending to make a profit. I'm very confident that should a 6" engine be launched in the future the price we would sell it for would be the cheapest possible price we can get away with while make money however even then it will be way out of some peoples reach.

We now have experience with manufacturing in house, purchasing from the UK and abroad and all sorts of other cost effective methods of manufacture (fabrications etc) and it's by mixing this experience we can achieve some of the prices we do. Even knowing all this and if every single item was made using the most cost effective method for that particular bit available the overall price will still be a substantial amount. If we guessed a price of 40k upwards for even the most basic engine then on a monthly basis the payments are likely to exceed most peoples monthly mortgage payments. With a 4" engines although the monthly figures are still a huge amount of anyone's disposable income they are still just about affordable. This isn't quite the cast on a 6" engine. I can't imagine many people having 1500 per month (36000 plus a 10% deposit for example on a 40k engine) disposable income laying around. This then limits the sales massively in my opinion.

What Steve and I are struggling with is how we can change the way we do things on a 6" engine compared to the rest of our range.

Think about sending a rear wheel by courier for example....it's barely feasible....and then there's the boiler...who's going to want to collect that and have it in the back of their Mondeo....add to this the gear kit...the cylinder block etc and suddenly you ask yourself questions like 'Can it be done?' 'Should we be supplying a rolling chassis as one stage and then the rest in kit form?'. These are the sort of things we'd need to be 100% certain about before even considering something of this scale and any ideas from you guys would be a great help.

This post has really been worthwhile and some interesting ideas are coming up, the 6" Garrett 4CD especially. Keep your thoughts coming please, really enjoying reading all your comments.

All the best

Dean

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Robfishman on Fri 18 May 2012, 10:34 am

I've been giving this some thought over the last few days.....

Making and sending out as a rolling chassis sounded a good idea to me, but you would need to consider how this was done in practice, would they be made to order and shipped out or kept 'in stock'. From a cost point of view is probably more cost effective to build 4 or 5 at a time. This takes up space in the factory, is such space going to be available.

Then there is the issues of cash flow and deposits, i'm not sure what the cost and value of a rolling chassis would be, but will people pay substantial deposits before works start, then wait say 3-4 months or more for delivery. What you don't really want to do is tie up valuable cash, even of you were doing a few at a time this could be a sizeable chunk of money. To my mind 10% deposit if going for a rolling chassis is not going to be enough to cover the cost. Not sure it will be viable to have a 10% deposit and then people pay the monthly payments as you build the chassis, would think you want this built and out the door quicker that the cash would come in.

If you supply as a rolling chassis would the first thing customers have to do be strip it down for painting and final finishing. In which case would it be better to use palletline or similar for delivery, and send out as kits from the off. (to deliver a 1t pallet from your estate to me in Southampton was 60 so not a cheap option but not sure how many would be over the size the courier could handle.)

Personally if I was building one I think I would want to do it all rather than buy a rolling chassis to 'finish off'. So sounds good but really depends what people want, almost certain if I had the option I'd not want a rolling chassis.

There is clearly a market and those who can manage one will. if STW don't fill the demand then someone else will. The 6" Foden is a good measure of interest, not long ago even when the economy was strong you would have struggled to sell them, today when we are in some of the poorest market conditions in 10s of years these have still sold.

In relation to collecting the boiler if it were me I would hire a van with a tail lift for the day, assuming the boiler is not to heavy for the lift, which is not that expensive to so I don't think this would be a problem, and it may be other heavy items are done the same way. It could be customers are given the option of collecting the kits, if more local, or sending them out on pallets.

Edit.....Just thinking of a vulcanised rear wheel turning up, at the same time as paying the deposit we have also better book in for a hernia opp...wow.




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How to pay for a 6" engine

Post  Steve Traill on Fri 18 May 2012, 3:20 pm

As most people in the miniature engine market seem to progress from one engine to another (usually getting bigger) STW could sell a prospective purchaser of a 6" engine a 4" Road Loco/Showmans to build over 33 months and then when it is complete & if it has been built to a reasonable standard that is used to purchase the rolling chassis & then the kit payments continue with the smaller parts needed to complete the 6" engine over the next 30 odd months. STW or the builder would then sell the 4" engine to recoup the cost of the rolling chassis. That way monthly costs are kept within the present figures and the big lump required for the deposit is built up gradually.

The 4" engine build could be looked on as an apprenticeship to the main build!

Just an idea study


Last edited by Steve Traill on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:08 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Robfishman on Fri 18 May 2012, 4:46 pm

Sensible idea Steve, I think I like it.

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

Post  Steam Traction World on Mon 21 May 2012, 12:41 am

Good suggestion Steve, cheers. Keep them coming as that's the sort of input we were hoping for.

Although it is moving away from the title of the thread, please find below a photo of a 6" Garrett 4CD. It was at Poole Quay this weekend and is owned by a friend (and his dad) of Steve and I. Maybe we would be better of considering this size of engine rather than the Burrell Agricultural or Road Loco/Showmans, it would certainly be more affordable and hopefully more managable for potential customers to transport around.

Any further feedback on anything in this topic would be appreciated.

Dean


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The 6" debate

Post  thehawk on Mon 21 May 2012, 3:38 pm

Given that the 6" Foden is successful commercially may be STW should consider expanding that range. How about a Super Sentinel lorry - the full size ones are very impressive on the road, I once followed one at 45mph so a half size would comfortably do half that! So no need for low loaders, you could drive to most rallies, transport a 4" Burrell on the back and tow a living wagon (large enough to camp in) behind. Job done!

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6" Lorry

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 22 May 2012, 6:31 am

I've always thought the Super Sentinel was a nice looking steam lorry, I've got some of the original sales literature for their lorries and it's written in a nice old fashioned sort of way. I did suggest a while back that a simple version was made in 4" for children to drive that was fairly idiot proof ( like a big Willesco ) One gear, good brake, biggish flywheel & lowish pressure, etc. Elf & safety & youngsters driving is another issue though at some rallies.

As a down side to the Sentinel there's not a lot to see with the motion work (and that's what most people like to see) so it has to sell itself on looks alone. Still a nice lorry though.

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Re: 6" Burrell Single...Road Loco...Showmans?

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