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nscaler711

Locate Kato parts?

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railsquid
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Japanese companies don't continually produce the same model. They have "production cycles" with limited release of models at somewhat regular, but not fixed intervals. If you want a train, you have to wait until the company announces it's future release, and then pre-order it. When the model is released, you get charged and the model is sent to you. You need to pre-order the spare part when the release is announced. For some trains the spare parts are available for a while after release, but you can't rely on it.

 

Umm, this is batch production, which is how most model railway producers operate, at least from observing Japanese and European release cycles. I don't know much about the North American market - maybe there's a smaller variety of trains/liveries which stay in service longer?

 

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There is however, one more obstacle that you may not be aware of. There's a big difference between US/western and Japanese practices regarding spare parts. In the west, companies tend to stockpile spare parts in anticipation of post production demand. In Japan, at least concerning model trains the practice is different. Perhaps because of the high cost of warehousing in Japan, train companies tend to not keep spare parts stock piles.

 

 

If that was the case, where are the spare part stockpiles for my British trains? Again, here maybe it's the North American market which is different - if you have a large market with a relatively small range of models which don't change much over time, it's more economical to keep stockpiles of spares.

 

Quote

If you need a spare part for a train that isn't "in production" there's a good chance that it'll be difficult to find, and can't be ordered. Quite often the part can be found at one of the various auction houses (a topic in itself). If it can't be found, then basically you have to wait until the train is "in production" again. When the train comes into production again, you need to order (actually pre-order) the spare part, at that time.

 

Generic spares (generic couplings, traction tyres, wheelsets etc.) are pretty much always available. The particular issue with the Japanese market is that there's a huge number of trains and variations; model-specific spares will be produced at the same time as a new batch of models, but presumably Kato and Tomix do their sums and work out what amount of spares it's economically viable to produce, and once they're gone, they're gone.

Edited by railsquid
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gavino200
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, railsquid said:

 

Umm, this is batch production, which is how most model railway producers operate, at least from observing Japanese and European release cycles. I don't know much about the North American market - maybe there's a smaller variety of trains/liveries which stay in service longer?

 

 

If that was the case, where are the spare part stockpiles for my British trains? Again, here maybe it's the North American market which is different - if you have a large market with a relatively small range of models which don't change much over time, it's more economical to keep stockpiles of spares.

 

 

Generic spares (generic couplings, traction tyres, wheelsets etc.) are pretty much always. available. The particular issue with the Japanese market is that there's a huge number of trains and variations; model-specific spares will be produced at the same time as a new batch of models, but presumably Kato and Tomix do their sums and work out what amount of spares it's economically viable to produce, and once they're gone, they're gone.

 

Likely I went form knowing nothing about any market (but assuming I knew something) to knowing a bit about the Japanese market and assuming it was different than others. Probably because I found it to be strange and unintuitive. 

 

It didn't take me long to go from US --> KatoUSA --> Kato Japan --> Japan. For American trains I was usually able to get spare parts by calling the companies. But probably those "parts" were more generic than I remember. At that time I hadn't progressed to pulling locos completely apart and tinkering with them. 

 

Thanks for the info. 

Edited by gavino200

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nscaler711
Posted (edited)

@railsquid 

There's actually alot more out there in terms of NA equipment. 

We'll take the SD70ACe as an example. 

Kato had produced 4 different varients of this loco. All four use the same body, walkway, sill and  trucks but need 4 different cabs based on what a prototype company uses in real life. 

Between antenna arrangements and even headlight locations each company has different requirements. 

Then you have other locomotives like the SD40 and SD40-2 which Kato produced up to 7 different versions. Which I could go on about. As for obtaining parts I think manufactures of NA equipment know that modelers like to kitbash their own stuff to make the models more like a specific Locomotive. So they produce extra parts to meet that demand.

Or we are rough on our stuff lol.

 

That and the production numbers of the real thing are well above 1000... So people here want a fleet of the same locomotive, of the same RR just with a different running number. 

 

Edited by nscaler711

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railsquid

I'd still hazard you don't get the insane variety of trains you do in Japan. The list of NA locomotives in production looks pretty compact: https://www.katousa.com/N/locomotive.html; you could probably count up the Kato Japanese locomotives in production and the list wouldn't be much different, but locomotives are just one aspect and are massively outnumbered by multiple units...

 

FWIW, looking at the only Kato North American model I own which I have the parts sheet for and is still in production, a C44-9W,  it looks like quite a few parts are sold out, and many of them fit multiple models: http://search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=s-1078&keywords=NC449W&maxhits=100&bool=AND

And I'd have to order them from the US, can't find any sources in Japan.

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nscaler711
51 minutes ago, railsquid said:

I'd still hazard you don't get the insane variety of trains you do in Japan. The list of NA locomotives in production looks pretty compact: https://www.katousa.com/N/locomotive.html; you could probably count up the Kato Japanese locomotives in production and the list wouldn't be much different, but locomotives are just one aspect and are massively outnumbered by multiple units...

 

FWIW, looking at the only Kato North American model I own which I have the parts sheet for and is still in production, a C44-9W,  it looks like quite a few parts are sold out, and many of them fit multiple models: http://search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=s-1078&keywords=NC449W&maxhits=100&bool=AND

And I'd have to order them from the US, can't find any sources in Japan.

Thats because you are just looking at Kato's selection, and N scale is the second most popular scale.

Manufactures we have that produce N scale locomotives. I wont even go into rolling stock... 

Arnold-Rapido

Athearn

Atlas*

Bachmann*

Broadway Limited Imports

Con Cor (kinda dead)

Fox Valley Models*

Intermountain

Kato*

Micro Trains Line*

MRC

Rapido

Scale Trains

 

(* companies that have the best customer service regarding parts)

 

here is a list of every locomotive that was mass produced, yes there are duplicates, because there are multiple companies making that particular locomotive, and may be different variations of that particular locomotive.

http://www.spookshow.net/locolist.php?diesels=6&steam=1&traction=2&nonbrass=3&sortby=4&Submit=Submit

(also a great research tool for NA modelers.)

 

 

 

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brill27mcb

I don't think anyone has said this explicitly: Ask Nariichi at Model Train Plus if he can order for you the list of parts you need. In the past he has done this sort of personal service.

 

Rich K.

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katoftw
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, brill27mcb said:

I don't think anyone has said this explicitly: Ask Nariichi at Model Train Plus if he can order for you the list of parts you need. In the past he has done this sort of personal service.

 

Rich K.

Making contact with MTP was suggested multiple times.

Edited by katoftw

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gavino200
11 hours ago, brill27mcb said:

I don't think anyone has said this explicitly: Ask Nariichi at Model Train Plus if he can order for you the list of parts you need. In the past he has done this sort of personal service.

 

Rich K.

 

I beat you to it, Rich 😜

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railsquid
23 hours ago, nscaler711 said:

Thats because you are just looking at Kato's selection, and N scale is the second most popular scale.

 

 

 

That's because I was specifically comparing Kato.

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ChicagoSammo

I just bought some drive car undertrays from Plaza (completely my fault, I didn't read the booklet before I pulled the couplers apart and sheared off one of the pegs on the undertray that acts as a stay for the coupler).

I had previously checked e-katomodels2.com and saw they had them in stock so reached out to Plaza for help only to find they had them in stock too.

Google Translate is my friend on all of these Japanese market models.

Has anyone replaced the couplers altogether? If so, what did you use and were you happy with the results?

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Yavianice
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ChicagoSammo said:

I just bought some drive car undertrays from Plaza (completely my fault, I didn't read the booklet before I pulled the couplers apart and sheared off one of the pegs on the undertray that acts as a stay for the coupler).

I had previously checked e-katomodels2.com and saw they had them in stock so reached out to Plaza for help only to find they had them in stock too.

Google Translate is my friend on all of these Japanese market models.

Has anyone replaced the couplers altogether? If so, what did you use and were you happy with the results?

 

Of all KATO passenger locos and cars I have replaced the rapido couplers with the knuckle couplers, and of all the TOMIX passenger locos and cars I've done the same to TN couplers. I never found it hard to do, as long as you follow the instructions correctly. What are you struggling with specifically?

Edited by Yavianice

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ChicagoSammo
22 minutes ago, Yavianice said:

 

Of all KATO passenger locos and cars I have replaced the rapido couplers with the knuckle couplers, and of all the TOMIX passenger locos and cars I've done the same to TN couplers. I never found it hard to do, as long as you follow the instructions correctly. What are you struggling with specifically?

 

Once the undertray arrives i'll put the drive car back together but I see it as an achilles heel and if I have problems again i'll look to change coupler design.

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