Aster

Madman

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Greg Elmassian

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I think a little research before giving GNRail such a hard time....

He asked about an Aster Northern on another thread, and TAC said:

"Not a hope. Aster, as we knew it, are gone, Jim. If you didn't gots one already, you sure are not going to get one unless you buy a used model."

Given that response by TAC, a little more explanation would be in order... I would have pursued it on the thread where there was context, but a legit question given that response.

So the answer was the shrinking market and the high prices of Aster killed the company in its previous form.

The "partnership" between Aster and Accucraft seems OK, they have released a "joint product" where the blending of Aster design and quality is merged with Accucraft's lower manufacturing costs.

I am by no means a live steam expert, but perhaps someone could comment on the resultant product quality, etc.

Given an upsurge in the economy, I don't think it is quite that bleak for the company, but for the specific loco you asked about, given the number produced and the history of not making multiple runs of the same loco, the outlook for the Northern to be re-run is most likely as TAC said on the other thread.

Greg

p.s. Dan, I've learned long ago, never make assumptions about someone else's financial state, besides being somewhat rude, you are often proven wrong. I saw you put the smiley, but sometimes even a smiley does not stop a person from taking offense.
 

tac foley

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Greg, as a frequent poster on the G1 FB page, which is attended, as you might imagine, by many of us who have earlier Aster products, as well as recent and current Aster products, the general consensus among those customers with the latest joint product, the LNER Thompson B1 ten-wheeler, is very favourable indeed. Whether in black or green [as 'Mayflower' currently running in preservation], they all seem to be great and powerful runners with a long running times, often exceeding an hour. Many have been sold in kit form as well as RTR and no complaints so far. I'd love one...... :)

Here it is as 'Mayflower' - running on Dutch dealer Bram Hengevld's 'layout in the sky' as he calls it -


And here it is. built and running by Geoff Calver of Rushford Barn Models near Newmarket -

 
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Greg Elmassian

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Thanks TAC, that is what I have read, so it's good news that the first "joint" product is well received.

Accucraft is still actively making new stuff, the long awaited GP-60 is going to be released most likely in January, a working pre-production prototype is in the hands of my Bay Area friends.

So this is all around good news.

Greg
 

tac foley

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Greg, it not the first joint project - that was the re-hash of the former Aster 2-10-0 Class 9F - image courtesy of Accucraft/Aster UK.

1607728354122.png
and that was followed by the 5MT, a 4-6-0, again originally by Aster.
1607728438032.png


Both seem to have been somewhat less than up to comparison with the original Aster products, although the little problems seem to have been easily sorted out by the application of a number of replacement parts made to finer tolerances. Since they are all outside my purchasing scale my interest is simply peripheral, but the green loco has really caught my eye......

Over here we see little or nothing of the US side of Accucraft, although I vaguely recall talking about it to Bing Cheng a couple of years back. The GP60 project has been a seriously long time a'coming to fruition - long enough for a number of folks I knew stateside to have gone to the Great Layout in the Sky meanbetimes. I wish you great joy of it, in all seriousness. Since the demise of Aristocraft and the accompanying massive price hike for USA Trains products, having even the one choice of a new loco is to be greatly welcomed. :)
 

Greg Elmassian

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Thanks for the update TAC, so there have been several joint projects, and clearly some "teething problems" on the joint venture, to be expected.

Just nice to see someone building, but you probably know the Aristo Dash 9 will be sold next year by Bachmann, but I digress.

I remain hopeful, I think the "fad" part of the hobby in the US has died out, and once the oversupply has pretty much petered out, I'm sure Bachmann (actually Kader) will produce more and more of the original Aristo stuff.

Greg
 
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tac foley

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That would be good if we started to see new Aristo stuff on the shelves. My own collection - little used these days - especially this year for sure - is going to be disposed of in the near future. The new USA Trains heavyweights are not available in CPR or CN, and even then, the $500 a pop is a bit of a off-putter, especially since there is only the one dealer in the entire UK to go collect them from.

Take care over there.
 

Fred2179G

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Since the demise of Aristocraft and the accompanying massive price hike for USA Trains products, having even the one choice of a new loco is to be greatly welcomed
There is also the re-issued Light and Heavy Mikados, which were originally an Aster product.

ffb7f4_2244123b96ab4e0bb63114e1c04123c2~mv2.webp
 

tac foley

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Ah, right. As this forum is UK-centric, I was concentrating on the Accucraft UK models of which I had experience. Apologies to all those in the USA who may have been offended by my omission.
 

Greg Elmassian

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I always look at the country of the OP for just that reason. When I first came here, there were very few people from the US, now there are a lot, and many of them forget most of the users here are in the UK.

Too often a suggestion is made of where to get this or that and the suggestion cannot work due to the distance/taxes/shipping/etc.

Greg

p.s. TAC, Bachmann announced the Dash 9 will be available this year, with that, they will be in production of both types of motor blocks, yay!
 
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tac foley

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Thanks for that Greg - it was a long time a'coming, for sure!!!! No point in posting details yet, no doubt Mr Langer of Accucraft UK will keep us up to the news with it. I must do some research on the roads that used this loco.......................as you may recall, I'm a great GN/BN fan from way back.
 

maxi-model

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I always look at the country of the OP for just that reason. When I first came here, there were very few people from the US, now there are a lot, and many of them forget most of the users here are in the UK.

Too often a suggestion is made of where to get this or that and the suggestion cannot work due to the distance/taxes/shipping/etc.

Greg


I was taught very early on in my working life, do not assume anything - for assume read, makes an ASS of yoU and ME. That little mnemonic has served me very well for many years in B2B sales and most other areas ones own endevours. However, like all humans I tend forget or willfully break my own rules.

The materials requirements remain the same in any language, its just the terminology and branding that changes. Physics & chemistry are usually a given, unless you are at the forefront of quantum research.

Personally I have in the last month imported 3 items from the US, a remnant of cloth that matches my needs for a 16 mm coach interior (via Itsy), a set of vinyls for my growing US lumber co. operation (G Scale Graphics) and lots of lovely rivets apply and count (Archer). And there is the little matter of some kit from Australia that will aid me in my track to battery power conversions. Looks like I am going to busy for a while. Seems like things are getting a bit cosmopolitan round here these days. Max
 
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