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                                       Exactoscale track parts and turnout kits
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1st message | this message only posted: 16 May 2018 14:54
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Announcement today from Andrew Jukes:

 https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=60948#p60948

from which:

"Exactoscale track and turnout kits will also be taken away from C&L and will form a separate product group, also overseen by one person.Timescales here are likely to be long as there is a large volume of stock to be disentangled, sorted and organised. Some components may need to be ordered, with the lead time that implies. I am pressing for priority to be given to the sorting out even if that means more products being unavailable in the short term."


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2nd message | this message only posted: 16 May 2018 18:42
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi,

Would some kind Scalefour Society member ( ie who can post on their forum ) like to ask the following of Andrew Jukes to give some guidance to users of his track components :

What are the timescales involved in moving the range away from Phil ?

Does he intend to sell BH rail ?

Does Phil currently have remaining stocks of parts ?

Are future sales likely to be just mail order ?

Thank you.
  I am glad Andrew will be taking steps to ensure the future supply of Exactoscale parts ( Thanks to Martin for relaying the info today )

Rob




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3rd message | this message only posted: 16 May 2018 20:44
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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I suspect, judging from his recent posts, Andrew Jukes will let everybody know as soon as he knows himself. Things are obviously in a very fluid situation at the moment, with a lot of detail to sort out.

Nigel
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4th message | this message only posted: 16 May 2018 22:13
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from:
Paul Willis
 

 

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Nigel Brown wrote: I suspect, judging from his recent posts, Andrew Jukes will let everybody know as soon as he knows himself. Things are obviously in a very fluid situation at the moment, with a lot of detail to sort out.

Nigel

Exactly. 

Having had a discussion about this subject earlier this evening, the best thing that everyone can do is just let Andrew get on with sorting everything out in his own time and not having to deal with lots of speculative questions.

Cheers
Paul Willis
Scalefour Society Deputy Chairman


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5th message | this message only posted: 16 May 2018 22:32
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Paul,

Quite right about Andrew. Questions withdrawn.

Regards
Rob


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6th message | this message only posted: 17 May 2018 06:39
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from:
Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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I would add that it is EMGS Expo this weekend (I think) when C&L will be there. Perhaps EMGS stores will be re-stocking?

I know I've bought the last 2 bags of S1s, which should be with me shortly. So I think I should have enough for the current projects (including the chairs received from C&L).
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7th message | this message only posted: 18 May 2018 10:10
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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IM a Scalefour member, The post he pointed refers to wheel sets only , as I think it was becoming clear that Phil was unable to cope with this aspect
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8th message | this message only posted: 18 May 2018 10:17
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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I stand correct as I just checked the forum

It would seem that virtually the complete ExactoScale range is being taken back by Andrew



"Initially, priority is being given to making carriage and wagon wheels available. "

...."Lead times are not certain but new wheels are unlikely to be available before the end of July."

.



"
Exactoscale track and turnout kits will also be taken away from C&L and will form a separate product group, also overseen by one person.


I am pressing for priority to be given to the sorting out even if that means more products being unavailable in the short term.
"
"
A third group of products consists of items that have been dropped from the Exactoscale range at various stages along the way."

When asked if this includes exactoscale track components , he answered yes


This does not look good for Phil quite frankly , even as purely damage to his reputation
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9th message | this message only posted: 18 Jul 2018 22:41
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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10th message | this message only posted: 19 Jul 2018 09:01
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Its good to see Mr Jukes has gone public in the EM Gauge Society newsletter this quarter, with a brief confirmation of his new plans for Exactoscale track range, hopefully during the transition away from C&L continued supplies will be available via the two societies.

Being the owner of some of the Exactoscale products I can understand his protective attitude towards his products, and that until new arrangements are confirmed its difficult to comment on matters.

What I did find surprising though was the attitude of of some of the participants on the Scaleforum thread. With few exceptions I have found the P4 modellers I have met to be exceptionally nice and helpful people. Reading some of the replies though gives the impression of a bunch of elitists. Makes me feel glad the EMGS receives my subscriptions
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11th message | this message only posted: 19 Jul 2018 13:11
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from:
Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Hayfield wrote: What I did find surprising though was the attitude of of some of the participants on the Scaleforum thread. With few exceptions I have found the P4 modellers I have met to be exceptionally nice and helpful people. Reading some of the replies though gives the impression of a bunch of elitists. Makes me feel glad the EMGS receives my subscriptionsI feel much the same.  When I had to cut back a bit, it was EMGS that I maintained, not S4Soc.  Again though, P4 modellers in person seemed to be a nice bunch!
I'll add though that I too read the announcement in the EMGS mag as it would be Andrew Jukes setting up online ordering and it didn't occur to me then that it could mean anything different.  It's now apparent that the "we" in the announcement is actually EMGS.  They really should clarify that on their website as soon as possible, and certainly in the next magazine.  Andrew Jukes' comments about RMWeb were unwarranted as people were quoting from the EMGS magazine in good faith.

Cheers,
Paul

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12th message | this message only posted: 19 Jul 2018 17:40
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Paul,

I mentioned this on RMweb yesterday. Page 217-9 of the July EMGS mag carries "An Announcement from Andrew Jukes". Without quoting the whole lot it says that initially sales of products wil be via the EM/S4 stores route but adds that we intend shortly to create our own ordering facilities. Surely the "we" is Andrew and his team as it is in his announcement ? Anyway whatever happens we should have access again to track parts which is the main thing.

I raised the question of EM/S4 society benefits with people running the EMGS shows last year and the attitude wasn't great. I won't go into details for fear of starting people ranting and maybe it didn't help when I mentioned the IPMS membership benefits ( International Plastic Modellers Society for those not into planes and tanks ) that include free entry to their annual Telford show in November and numerous supplier discounts. Different membership model I suspect....

Rob


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13th message | this message only posted: 19 Jul 2018 17:50
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: I mentioned this on RMweb yesterday. Page 217-9 of the July EMGS mag carries "An Announcement from Andrew Jukes". Without quoting the whole lot it says that initially sales of products wil be via the EM/S4 stores route but adds that we intend shortly to create our own ordering facilities. Surely the "we" is Andrew and his team as it is in his announcement ? Hi Rob, Paul,

I agree. I think Andrew is objecting to the substitution on RMweb of "he" for "we" causing hurt feelings in other members of the team. I don't think he has said anything to suggest that they won't be setting up an ordering facility of some kind.

cheers,

Martin.

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14th message | this message only posted: 19 Jul 2018 21:14
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Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Well, I’m clearly not the only one confused by Andrew
Jukes’ and his team’s sensitive egos! Why can’t he just say what he means? I’m afraid Exactoscale has never been the same since the sad death of Bernard Weller.
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15th message | this message only posted: 20 Jul 2018 08:40
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin

Not wanting to upset anyone but just for clarity. Initially the track parts will be available from either of the two societies

Later there will be one supplier selling the track parts via mail order, plus another supplier(s) selling other parts previously supplied by Exactoscale.

Anyway which ever way it goes its good news if supplies are to be maintained
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16th message | this message only posted: 5 Aug 2018 11:19
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DerekStuart
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Sorry to resurrect this topic, but I notice the C&L home page has now disappeared and just the menus exist.

I know the bloke is on holiday but is he coming back after? It's not normal to just blank a website like this.

I can understand why Exactoscale would not wish CL to be the only outlet for their products, but taking it away from him entirely? That's extreme. (observation only, neither approve/disapprove)
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17th message | this message only posted: 5 Aug 2018 12:05
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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DerekStuart wrote: Sorry to resurrect this topic, but I notice the C&L home page has now disappeared and just the menus exist.

I know the bloke is on holiday but is he coming back after? It's not normal to just blank a website like this.
Hi Derek,

Phil at C&L is obviously completely out of his depth with computers.

At present he is on holiday, and says he has found someone to fix his website. In recent days the C&L web site has been all over the place, so it seems that whoever is fixing it is working on the live site and not a development copy. And doesn't have the sense to put up a "sorry for any inconvenience" message.

Without someone in the firm who actually knows what they are doing with IT, I think you may do better to stick to stamped addressed envelopes and phone calls. Folks who do that report excellent service.

Exactoscale have a new web site at:

 https://exactoscale.com/

which takes up to 5 minutes to appear. :(

The present situation at both C&L and Exactoscale is in flux. I'm sure it will all settle down in time.

cheers,

Martin.

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18th message | this message only posted: 6 Aug 2018 07:43
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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The C&L site is up and running, with the exception of the home page which has the up to date news items. Phil has said IT is not his bag, so a step forward with the website being updated, which is what has been asked for.

I thought Phil was back as of the 1st of August, though it may have been the 1st week of August.

Again good to see Exactoscale has a new website, and with the exception of perhaps some RMwebbers misrepresenting the odd word seems to confirm what has been reported on RMweb. And I think a welcome bit of news for all 4 mm scale modellers whichever gauge they work in.

In my opinion competition is good and the more manufacturers in the mix the better it is for the modeller. Like others I eagerly await further details from Mr Dukes and his fellow cooperative about their products

As for C&L Phil seems to have some good ideas on how to move C&L range forward and hopefully his plans to extend the range of the products will come to fruition

Thanks to both companies to what seems a positive step forward
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19th message | this message only posted: 6 Aug 2018 15:58
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DerekStuart
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Hi Martin
Thanks for your reply. I've not really been following anything hobby based lately so I maybe have a little catching up to do.

Hi John
I'm not sure what part(s) of the website has been updated as it looks broadly the same as the last CL website. Of course, I have no idea what Phil is trying to achieve.

I don't share your optimism regarding competition. Not in this case anyway. Whilst track parts are in great demand, that demand in the grand scheme of things is quite small, and given that the majority have previously opted for Exactoscale over CL components, I'm not sure where that leaves CL.

I do not mean that as criticism, just an observation. I have to say though that when/ if I return to modelling, I cannot say I would be enthusiastic about dealing with CL at all.

I wish both parties well.
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20th message | this message only posted: 6 Aug 2018 16:36
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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DerekStuart wrote:given that the majority have previously opted for Exactoscale over CL components, I'm not sure where that leaves CL.Hi Derek,

Andrew Jukes has made clear that he is interested only in EM and P4, and won't be having anything to do with 00.

That leaves C&L with the entire 00 market, and the copper-clad market, and 0 gauge. All of which is an order of magnitude larger than EM/P4. Or at least it used to be, no doubt the arrival of the new Peco 00 bullhead range has changed things a bit.

The addition of the Exactoscale range to C&L was a fairly recent development (since Brian Lewis's time), so its removal still leaves C&L where they were before.

The big difference from Brian Lewis's time is that in those days the web site worked, and delivery was same-day despatch.

cheers,

Martin.

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21st message | this message only posted: 6 Aug 2018 18:49
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Martin Wynne wrote:
That leaves C&L with the entire 00 market, and the copper-clad market, and 0 gauge. All of which is an order of magnitude larger than EM/P4. Or at least it used to be, no doubt the arrival of the new Peco 00 bullhead range has changed things a bit.

Martin.
Hi Martin,

Until somebody modelling in 16.5/16.2 gauges wants proper crossing chairs ? Some Exactoscale chairs ( excepting items like check rail chairs ) were designed for 18.83 but can be used in narrower gauges with a little imagination over the geometry.

Where does it leave the Exactoscale 7mm chairs ? I find them to be more detailed mouldings than the C&L ones. We shall see.

Rob


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22nd message | this message only posted: 6 Aug 2018 19:43
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote:Until somebody modelling in 16.5/16.2 gauges wants proper crossing chairs ? Some Exactoscale chairs ( excepting items like check rail chairs ) were designed for 18.83 but can be used in narrower gauges with a little imagination over the geometry.Hi Rob,

Andrew Jukes hasn't said he won't supply known 00 modellers. Just that he won't be supplying any 00-specific parts.

We are not back to the days of Peter Elsee. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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23rd message | this message only posted: 6 Aug 2018 20:41
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Martin Wynne wrote:
We are not back to the days of Peter Elsee. :)

cheers,

Martin.
Martin,

Do you wish to expound on him ?

Rob

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote:Martin,

Do you wish to expound on him ?

Rob
 
Better not. It's all such a long time ago. :)

You could click this for a flavour of the times:

 https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13849#p13849

(starting at 3rd post on the page, anchors don't work properly on that site).

Martin.

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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Thanks Martin,

Best to leave the can of worms sealed up I suspect. I remember Studiolith, either couldn't afford the bits or didn't know what to do with them :( In those days I was more into Keyser loco kits in the orange boxes with all the parts attached to boards with clear plastic - actually a good idea as it prevented damaged-in-transit castings and made parts easy to find.

Rob


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26th message | this message only posted: 7 Aug 2018 02:08
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Andrew Barrowman
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Rob Manchester wrote: In those days I was more into Keyser loco kits in the orange boxes
Hi Rob,

I'm still aging one of those. It defeated a work colleague so he gave it to me. It's defeated me for more than forty years :)

Andy

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Jim Guthrie
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Martin Wynne wrote: Rob Manchester wrote:Martin,

Do you wish to expound on him ?

Rob
 
Better not. It's all such a long time ago. :)

You could click this for a flavour of the times:

 https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13849#p13849

(starting at 3rd post on the page, anchors don't work properly on that site).

I can remember having to buy parts from the Studiolith stand at the Glasgow show for friends who had got on the wrong side of him.  The man who caused the creation of the ScaleFour society without realising it. :)

Jim.

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Hayfield
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DerekStuart wrote: Hi Martin
Thanks for your reply. I've not really been following anything hobby based lately so I maybe have a little catching up to do.

Hi John
I'm not sure what part(s) of the website has been updated as it looks broadly the same as the last CL website. Of course, I have no idea what Phil is trying to achieve.

I don't share your optimism regarding competition. Not in this case anyway. Whilst track parts are in great demand, that demand in the grand scheme of things is quite small, and given that the majority have previously opted for Exactoscale over CL components, I'm not sure where that leaves CL.

I do not mean that as criticism, just an observation. I have to say though that when/ if I return to modelling, I cannot say I would be enthusiastic about dealing with CL at all.

I wish both parties well.
Derek
I have no real axe to grind with either company, I started using C&L and migrated to Exactoscale parts mainly for the availability of the special chairs and the P4 plastic track bases

As far as the special chairs are concerned, all with the exception of the check chairs can be used as are, The P4 slide chairs are a bit small for EM & OO, the check chairs after modification (cutting into two parts) can be used for EM and 00SF without any noticeable visual issues

The P4 track bases can be used for EM turnouts simply by removing the outer pips on the timbers slips and diamonds can be used but do need a slight compression between the Vees, must be room for a sales expansion at no cost !!

C&L do need to make up for the problems with the mail order system over the past few months, the saving of the physical space needed to house the Exactoscale products will make C&L's stock keeping far easier as at a guess it reduces the product range by 3/5ths, should help improve the service level

On its own it will be very difficult to run a business which is solely dependant on track parts sales, something going back over the years which the last 3 owners have found, Freeing up the display stand space of quite a lot of duplications will allow space for new products (both track and non track ). As for C&L track parts not selling, for the past few years I have helped both Peter and Phil at shows local to me, despite my personal preference to Exactoscale products, believe it or not many customers stayed loyal to C&L products. Also being both sides of the counter many customers still have an aversion to buying on line, or wish to view the product range in person before committing to buy. In the past Exactoscale had a very limited presence at shows, will this change ?

As for Exactoscale being adverse to supplying 00 gauge modellers, I think this is misreading Mr Dukes statement, with the exception of the 00 gauge fastrack bases Exactoscale do nothing else specifically for 00 gauge. It would be in my opinion a great loss if these bases became unavailable in the future, as in my opinion its the best available in 00 gauge. I can see that with the arrival of Peco to 00 (gauge and scale) track, crossings and turnouts it would be very difficult to recoup set up costs. However Phil who works full time in the business has just ordered a new 00 gauge track tool

I would expect the longer term future will be with 3D printing, but at the moment we have little choice and its still very expensive. Don't forget we have the sleeping giant of Peco in the background with a small range of both 4 & 7 mm items. 3 years ago many said there was no demand for 4 mm scale 00 gauge track and turnouts, how times change. I expect they are keeping an eye on what's going on

I just wish the best for the future to both companies, I believe that having competition will raise the profile of track building and increase the availability of parts, lets hope this new chapter increases modelling activity in this area. The glass is now over half full, not half empty

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29th message | this message only posted: 8 Aug 2018 11:14
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from:
Nigel Fisher
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Is there really nobody else prepared to supply these components?
Having recently moved house, I have been able to start a layout for the first time in many years. However, having retired at the same time I have a small income, so I have been buying the components as I'm able to afford them and need them. Now I have run out and cannot progress any further, with not even a suggestion of a date when these products will become available again I'm looking at so much junk instead of the layout I was looking forward to.
If there were anybody else in the market place now they would get all my present (and future) business to the detriment of Andrew Jukes.
What doesn't help is that I am now committed to an exhibition in October where they expect me to be demonstrating the techniques of track building with these components.
I was fearful when C & L took on a monopolistic view to supplying track components, and the present situation has only proved me right.
I can only apologise if this message sounds negative, but it is a measure of the frustration I feel at the way this has all been handled.
In my working life I was involved with website design and building. May I point out that the situation with the C&L website my be due to the wrong choice of platform when the site was first built, but Mr Jukes is also far from blameless, his previous website (exactoscale.co.uk) is also still available directing people to C&L!
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30th message | this message only posted: 8 Aug 2018 16:22
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Nigel

C&L parts are still available from C&L, there was a 3 month warning that C&L would stop supplying Exactoscale parts and as far as I can remember most of the plastic chairs were in stock.

We were also told there would be a period where Exactoscale chairs would be temporarily unavailable. New supplies will hopefully be available by or during September, albeit you may have to join one of the two societies or get a friendly member to get them for you. Further down the road a new retail supplier will set up, I guess the first stage of this is the new website now set up

When I herd the original C&L company was to cease trading I like many others stocked up, and topped up supplies once Phil took over. There were many warnings of possible hiccups in the supply chain. C&L is now fine and running. Exactoscale will over the coming weeks become available

Don't forget we nearly lost C&L, as Phil was the only team in town willing to take the range over. Exactoscale would have been in a similar situation which they are in now. Whilst Phil cannot supply Exactoscale parts, there is no issue with him supplying C&L components which are suitable for 00, P4 and EM gauge, so your demonstration can go ahead.

We now have two owners committed to supplytrack building parts, Phil has plans to expand the C&L range and Mr Dukes is committed to supporting the P4 & EM gauge modellers, and we know many of these items are suitable for 00 gauge, so the future looks very bright to me
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31st message | this message only posted: 8 Aug 2018 16:33
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DerekStuart
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John

"...it reduces the product range by 3/5ths..." that was really my point about C&L's future. If I lost 3/5 of my sales lines at work I'd be in trouble.

I'm not too sure where this 00 Vs EM/ P4 came from in this thread. There seems to be a association of CL with 00 and Exac. with EM/ P4 from many when of course, as has been pointed out several times, in most cases they are entirely interchangeable.

From what I can see here and 'the other place' is that all else being equal, Exac will get the majority of sales over CL.

John, that is not knocking Phil- we are all aware of the oft repeated comment "...if it wasn't for Phil..." and whilst this is true, I'm sure all of us want to see him succeed for HIS benefit as much as our own.

Business isn't easy; it's even harder to say "I got this wrong and need advice." I can say that from experience.

Derek
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32nd message | this message only posted: 8 Aug 2018 17:01
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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DerekStuart wrote:I'm not too sure where this 00 Vs EM/ P4 came from in this thread. There seems to be a association of CL with 00 and Exac. with EM/ P4 from many when of course, as has been pointed out several times, in most cases they are entirely interchangeable.

From what I can see here and 'the other place' is that all else being equal, Exac will get the majority of sales over CL.
Hi Derek,

That may be true for the chair mouldings, but a lot of other parts are gauge-specific. Flexi-track, turnout kits, assembled crossings, tie-bars/stretcher rods, etc., and of course the gauges. Plus it's doubtful that Exactoscale will be selling rail.

Andrew Jukes said: "There is quite a bit of bleating on RM web about the lack of interest by C&L and Exactoscale in 00. Well, that's unlikely to change much. I do not think Exactoscale will be selling 00 FastTrack in future." See (posted 6th June):

 https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=61473#p61473

I think that leaves C&L with a significant chunk of the market. Copper-clad track-building is still very popular, maybe still more so than fully chaired. Not to mention 0 gauge.

regards,

Martin.

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33rd message | this message only posted: 8 Aug 2018 17:32
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Hayfield
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Derek

As Far as the number of components are concerned you are correct, but once duplicates are taken out of the equation its far lower. With regard to sales figures you are wrong, as I said in a previous reply C&L has a large following in both 7 & 4 mm scales, the loss in revenue will be more than compensated for buy, (1) selling C&L components which were duplicated within the range and (2) new products which take up the sales space

As far as the gauges concerned Martin Has covered in his reply

Where do you get your sales figures from? If you stood behind the counter at shows its a different story, unless Exactoscale go out on the road to shows, C&L will have a clear run. I have no axe to grind, I wish both companies well and I use Exactoscale parts in preference to C&L's

I guess the other place you refer to is RMweb, and a few are making a bit of noise, but its the same few. Track parts do not create enough revenue to stand on their own two feet, its a minority interest, a pity but that's the facts. Availability is king and at the moment there is only one player. initially the second player is limiting its availability to two societies. There is a third player who has a very limited range quietly in the background and has shown it is willing to join in if there is money to be made

As I said I wish both well I would also like this part of the hobby to grow, but its a minority interest many of whom are very conservative and loyal
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34th message | this message only posted: 9 Aug 2018 15:57
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Nigel Fisher
Tibshelf, Alfreton, United Kingdom

 

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Thanks for the reply.

Its not the C&L chairs that I am in need of its the specialist chairs for turnout construction I need. If you read Mr Jukes original statement the only parts available by September would be wheels. Track components would be available sometime after. So no my demonstration cannot go ahead, other than laying a bit of plain track.
I do not see it that we have 2 suppliers, we don't have any at this moment in time. There is a vague promise of one from Mr Jukes, and although C&L has suggested expansion of the range, Phils' ability to deliver that is bound to be impacted by recent events. Until one or other of them is willing to announce a date I cannot see this bright future you suggest.
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35th message | this message only posted: 9 Aug 2018 17:01
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Hayfield
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The communication from Mr Dukes in the EM Gauge Society clearly stated

" Initially mail order sales will exclusively be from Scalefour Society stores and EMGS Society stores"

There is no mention that this relates to either wheels or track components

EMGS Society stores are currently out of stock of both E4CH 501A and E4CH 502A and has a waiting list for members. As there is a waiting list for the items I guess the EMGS are waiting for Mr Jukes to supply them. Up until the end of July both these items were as far as I am aware were available from C&L

Whilst you (like me) are in the minority using these special chairs to build turnouts and crossings, the majority of track builders don't

Phil has plans to develop products for the future and you are right that for special chairs it will not happen in the short term, but these products are a very minority interest and not top priority

I accept we were warned, therefore expected a short term supply issue, but these items will be returning. Both Phil and Mr Jukes seem committed to serve and develop this part of the hobby, far better than 18 months ago.

I have no idea what forums you belong to, but a simple request for help in obtaining these items may be your best route to solve the problem you have
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DerekStuart
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John,

I admire your optimism. If you are right then CL should do very well in the future. Let us hope so.
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37th message | this message only posted: 9 Aug 2018 17:44
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Hayfield
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Derek

15 mths ago talks to take over C&L fell through and potentially we were in the situation we are now with Exactoscale looking for sales outlets, Phil stepped in at very short notice.

Phil would be the first person to hold his hands up and admit to the mistakes he made. Not all of the issues were down to him or within his control, he has learnt the hard way and solved most of the issues.

But for the past 3 years we have been aware of the pending problems, firstly knowing C&L (Bristol) was closing for business in June 2017. Most of us built up stock incase there were issues

Next we were warned at the end of April 2018 that in 3 months time C&L were loosing the Exactoscale agency and that there would be a period that the track parts would be unavailable. See one of my posts at that time !!

Phil has invested his savings into C&L and intends to develop the business and as it happens the range of track parts

Mr Dukes has decided to take back control (selling and marketing) of the Exactoscale range including some items which are not currently available. Once we have two suppliers back in the market we have the competition many have been hoping for.

At this moment the only parts available are from C&L, the societies who still hold some limited Exactoscale parts) and the Peco range, and I am certain that Peco has kept a foothold in this marked for a reason. The only hiccup is the societies (EMGS) are out of most of the special chairs, which is a tiny part of the business which had very low sales figures. I should know as I have been loosing a battle to get modellers to use them and seen the quantity that sold at shows.

I much rather have the problems of a slow mail order system than loose the entire range for ever
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38th message | this message only posted: 10 Aug 2018 14:54
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DerekStuart
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John,

You're a good bloke. Phil is lucky to have supportive people like you around him. From experience of running small businesses, I can say that this is much more important than others would realise.

There is a strange isolation when running a "challenged" business. But sometimes friends can kill a businesses with kind words to the owner.

If only being a nice bloke, wanting to work hard and do the right thing were enough to guarantee success. But it's not.

Best wishes
Derek
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39th message | this message only posted: 10 Aug 2018 15:26
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Hayfield
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Derek

Thanks for the kind words, and I am mighty relieved at not being in a position to have contemplated taking over C&L or apply to distribute Exactoscale track parts. I do understand Phil has lost the confidence of some customers. And I would like to think had I been in his position I would have done things differently, on the other hand I might well have done things a lot worse.

First and foremost I believe its important that this part of the hobby survives and develops, I think that in the long run the two businesses will both benefit by being separate entities, whilst I have limited knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes I have been in a position is seeing first hand customer interaction at shows.

I also would love for those modellers who build their own track start using the special chairs, but I have seen first hand the reluctance of all but a few to take up on this idea, track builders are a very small community within our hobby, those using special chairs then are a small community of those building track.

Looking at the customer demography of model railways is older modellers stuck in their ways and unwilling to change, by in large wanting to buy in person not mail order. Whether its deserved or not C&L is a brand that a majority of its customers enjoy and are deeply loyal to. Granted some are completely hacked off with, but thats life

I have seen a great improvement with C&L over the past few months, losing Exactoscale rather than be a great financial loss in my opinion free up Phil's time by reducing the product range and duplication and open new avenues for the shows

The fact of Exactoscale's temporary unavailability is not a decision made by Phil. Somethings which seem to be financially detrimental end up being a blessing. Hopefully in a few months things will be back to normal, if a bit different. For some the saying of be wary of what you wish for has come to fruition !! I wish for a bright new future and think it is a step in the right direction for all
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

I see Phil has updated his web site with some explanations about Exactoscale:

 http://www.finescale.org.uk/

If you see him, could you suggest that the whole tone and feel of the site is not very welcoming? It needs a bit less of the "don't do this, don't do that, I can't be expected to do something else". And a bit more of the "Thanks for visiting my web site. I hope you find what you are looking for, if not please let me know. I look forward to receiving your orders, which will be dealt with promptly. Happy modelling".

Martin.

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