Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why have you stopped putting the crankpin holes in some of the wheels?
A. We haven't! The older tools, which were the first ones developed for some reason were made with a pip. (2015) We have since found out that these tools were made by a process that could not produce a parallel sided, free standing pin to create the hole in the crank boss, the hole for the axle being made by a separte pin. The process also rendered the material too hard to drill without excesive risk of damaging the tool
Just to re-iterate, we are not removing crankpin holes from wheels, in fact if anything we will be adding them as we convert to self-quartering. It is a shame the gossips out there jump to the assumption that we'd take such a backward step!
Q. Why don't you have an online shop and why don't you take paypal?
A. We are 80% manufacturer and 20% retailer. You can order by phone, mail, email and fax, isn't that enough? We don't want to add ways of selling that require additional management, resources and oversight. For instancewithin the day to day paperwork of running the business and producing each month end we reconcile the bank and our credit card terminal, if we added Paypal that would be a whole new time consuming additional reconciliation. Now that Paypal have started doing a card processing service (using a bluetooth cardreader and smartphone) we may look at it again as we good replace one reconciliation with another and add some value, but the fees would need to come down. If someone must buy online then should use one of the online retailers that stock our range such as Mainly Trains.
Q. Your tyres have gone rusty !!
A. They're made out of steel, don't keep them in the fish tank. Seriously, they are made out of steel and will suffer from a degree of corrosion depending how damp it might be. The sooner you protect them with paint or something the better, that said this doesn't protect the treads. I don't think that I'm stretching it too far if I say that if your tyres are rusting the deampness probaly isn't doing your layout much good generally. The other thing we often see is rusty fingerprints either from sweaty (sweat contains salts and minerals) fingers or from flux and nothing willcause a problem quicker than that.
Q. Your tyres have rusted in the bag?!
A. This one we have a problem with. Firstly it could be mistaken identity, when the tyres are made they're proected and stored in bags. It can be the case that the tyres in the bottom of the bag are submerged in the preservative. If, during the assembly process the tyre still has excess liquid on it, when its packed it can, for want of a better word, caramelise, and this looks like rust. This can be cleaned off with something like WD40. For it to actually rust I think they must be stored really, really inappropriately. The reason for this thinking is that as I sit here toward the end of 2015 we have some packets of wheels in the stock trays that date back to pre October 2007 (particularly S4) with no rust, we know this because they're packed with Alan's "The Bungalow" header cards. If you think about it we've done 8 shows a year for 8 years then they have been in and out of the workshop/van/exhibition venue 128 times and have not suffered any adverse effects due to te changes in temperature and climate.
Q. I have bought a 2nd hand kit and it has the wrong wheels for my gauge, will you exchange them for P4/EM/OO?
A. It depends. The chances are that Alan manufactured the kit and hence had the profit, therefore any time we spend sorting things out is straight loss rather than a reduction in profit (we are a business after all). Also, Alan seems to have gone through several slightly different manufacturing regimes including twisting the plastic centres from the sprue, which when inserted in the tyre leaves an unsightly lump on the back. We don't do this and any wheels like this would have to be reworked before being put in to stock. In truth the only parts that could be reused would be the tyre and axles. The bag, lables, card and plastic centres would all need to be replaced, when the labour is added it becomes as expensive as producing a new set of wheels. Therefore there is little difference between doing exchanges and dropping wheels down the grid!
We review each request case by case.
Q. What is the criteria for adding items to the website?
A. If we're getting a lot of similar questions and the information isn't available elsewhere.
Q.Alan had a reputation for packing up and being one of the first away from a show, you’re not, why?
A.Simply because we're not Alan. It has to be said that the people who ask this question are generally the ones who come talking to us 10/15 minutes before the end of a show, being polite we talk to them, so when it comes to packing up we’re going from a standing start. Hands up if you think I'm getting bored with these comments.