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DLDude
6th May 2010, 02:52 PM
Hey everyone! I work for a company called CoasterDynamix. We currently produce stuff in HO and O scales, but we decided to jump into the N-Scale as well :D
We know you guys like classic looking stuff so we're coming out with a beautiful wooden coaster model
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u180/coasterdynamix/5-6n-scale003.jpg

The model is 7"Wide, 15" long, and 4.5" tall. It does not actually run (due to size issues), however it is made of real wood, stained to look weathered and classic, and designed after the classic coasters that still exist today. Since the product is still in development, we want to hear from you all to see what you do and don't like about it. The price point will be somewhere near $35 and it will come as a kit (pre-stained). We would love to hear some feedback about the model so we can make it even better before it is released!

Thanks!

MooseID
6th May 2010, 03:32 PM
This is a model railroading forum.

Having said that here are some suggestions:

It needs N scale car sets. (Roller coaster cars, not freight cars. LOL) I can not see the rails you are using very well in the photo, but what I see does not appear to be prototypical. (I may be wrong about that, but I suggest that you look at Micro Engineering's code 40 rail and narrow guage track.)

The structural members appear to be dimentionally too large for N scale. Prototype roller coasters have a more 'spidery' appearance.

It needs to run.....automatically. Without animation it becomes a very large paper weight. (My granddaughter says it is too hard to keep dusted for a static display.)

The wood's color makes it appear like new construction. That is not a bad thing if that is the intent. If you want to pre-color it for model railroaders, make it appear older and weathered. (Model railroaders love weathering.)

TwinDad
6th May 2010, 03:50 PM
Well, if you're looking for criticism or things to improve, I agree with Moose. The superstructure... the wood is too big and there's not enough of it. You may need to go to styrene or even metal to get it to look right.

I'd have to see a closer-up view of the rails to make a judgement.

And yes, having actual roller coaster cars that really do run would be a HUGE plus.

DLDude
6th May 2010, 04:47 PM
We are thinking about moving to a 1/16th inch wood to make it seem less... 'chunky'. Problem is the price of that wood is much higher than 1/8th inch. Since this is more of a 'structure' than anything, we wanted to keep it at a reasonable price (near $35). What would you be willing to pay for a more accurate model?

This issue of price is reflected on the coaster not being a working model. If we had working trains, and a lift hill that works automatically, there is no way this thing would sell for under $100 (The HO wooden coaster we sell that DOES work goes for $160 retail and includes nearly the same amount of parts).

Making it out of metal/styrene also increases the price (quite considerably).

Keep the suggestions coming!

dcswift
6th May 2010, 04:55 PM
Like Moose said, your product is not dimensional to N Scale standards.

dcswift
6th May 2010, 05:05 PM
Looking at the picture it looks like a very small ride .

I was thinking the same thing.

CodyO
6th May 2010, 05:18 PM
Have you guys thought of making both a static and working model?
Have to say A bigger ride would be better
I personal would not mind paying $180-$200+ for a fully working model roller coaster
Also not to be mean but It looks like more of a cool thing to have on your desk then an model bigger is better!

I`ve Always looked at your kits and I have to say Thanks for coming into N

Taylure
6th May 2010, 05:19 PM
For a good model that works, I would pay more.

DrifterNL
6th May 2010, 05:32 PM
Here is the approximate footprint of the roller coaster compared to a GE AC4400CW and Alco RS2.

BryanC (RIP)
6th May 2010, 05:38 PM
Here is the footprint compared to a GE AC4400CW and Alco RS2.Eh, Drifter, did you get the right thread! Your images do not seem roller coaster related!

CodyO
6th May 2010, 05:40 PM
I think he did
Hes showing off the size of the models base

BryanC (RIP)
6th May 2010, 06:01 PM
I think he did
Hes showing off the size of the models baseYeah you are probably right - I just didn't read it correctly! Still, I'm not quite sure of what was being said!

dcswift
6th May 2010, 06:19 PM
Here is the approximate footprint of the roller coaster compared to a GE AC4400CW and Alco RS2.

If the scale is correct and I don't doubt it is, this coaster is small.

DLDude
6th May 2010, 06:54 PM
The coaster actually IS done to N-scale. It is close to the same scaled height as the HO Comet model we make.

It is 55ft scaled, which is accurate to the types of coasters made in the 30s and 40s. The wood beams are thicker so that it does not get crushed when assembling.

The size of the coaster is driven by ease of assembly and cost. We are working on an O-scale model similar to this, and the major complain is "We can't fit it in our layout". What we are offering is a very realistic roller coaster model for a low price that is easy to assemble. It's nice to want a big model, but we know from experience that train guys don't want to spend 10+hrs building something with tiny parts that are breakable.

If we wanted to sell an N-scale, working, HYPER-realistic model, it would cost northward of $150, be REALLY hard to build, and probably not work well due to dust and other factors. Remember, roller coasters are gravity-driven, not electrically. If you get just a spec of dust in an axle, you really hurt the efficiency of the whole train. Our HO model displays some of these problems, and if we went to an N-scale working model, you would only amplify these problems.

TwinDad
6th May 2010, 08:11 PM
It is 55ft scaled, which is accurate to the types of coasters made in the 30s and 40s. The wood beams are thicker so that it does not get crushed when assembling.

It actually reminds me very much of an old, smaller amusement park near where I grew up. I like it, except for the size of the timbers.

How hard would it be to repaint it in white with red trim?


It's nice to want a big model, but we know from experience that train guys don't want to spend 10+hrs building something with tiny parts that are breakable.

LOL. You haven't been around N-Scalers much, have you? :D


If we wanted to sell an N-scale, working, HYPER-realistic model, it would cost northward of $150, be REALLY hard to build, and probably not work well due to dust and other factors. Remember, roller coasters are gravity-driven, not electrically. If you get just a spec of dust in an axle, you really hurt the efficiency of the whole train. Our HO model displays some of these problems, and if we went to an N-scale working model, you would only amplify these problems.

Here, you have a point. A purely gravity-driven N scale roller coaster would be really hard to make work without some precision miniature components.

Allegheny Pappy
7th May 2010, 12:33 AM
Personally, if it don't have an engine or a loco there be no interest under my roofs.
OK, it's 9mm....so is my Glock, and it's not going to be worked into the layout either :rolleyes:.
Maybe i just don't get it

TwinDad
7th May 2010, 12:42 AM
Pappy,

I think it's supposed to be a structure or scenery element, like a building. So your train could run past an amusement park.

Like here (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Camden+Park,+WV&sll=38.443371,-82.095337&sspn=0.094652,0.229683&gl=us&safe=on&ie=UTF8&hq=Camden+Park,&hnear=West+Virginia&ll=38.397568,-82.530284&spn=0.004431,0.008154&t=h&z=17).

BryanC (RIP)
7th May 2010, 07:52 AM
Pappy,

I think it's supposed to be a structure or scenery element, like a building. So your train could run past an amusement park.

Like here (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Camden+Park,+WV&sll=38.443371,-82.095337&sspn=0.094652,0.229683&gl=us&safe=on&ie=UTF8&hq=Camden+Park,&hnear=West+Virginia&ll=38.397568,-82.530284&spn=0.004431,0.008154&t=h&z=17).I think that is exactly it! A purely scenic element!

I have heard lots of discussions over the year about people wanting to include an amusement park in their layouts!

Many decried the lack of roller coasters!

jpwisc
7th May 2010, 07:57 AM
I could see someone using this in a small amusement park or on an N-Trak module. Not my cup of tea, but I do know several people who would buy it if it came with roller coaster cars (working or not)

DLDude
7th May 2010, 08:50 AM
We are also considering doing a couple other basic kits (such as a ferris wheel and Euclid Beach Rockets [http://www.therocketcar.com/images/rocket2.jpg]). Again, making these working models becomes problematic (and drives up price), however those models would be a bit easier to throw a motor on than a coaster. There really isnt much available in terms on N-Scale amusement park stuff. Does this kind of stuff sound interesting?

Jack Rimer
7th May 2010, 09:36 AM
A couple things:
1)The coaster "rail" is much more prototypical than using train rail. Coaster tracks are made from wood laminations and are not shaped like rail. I really don't see this being a deal breaker.
2)This model was designed by an engineer who designs real wooden roller coasters. The structure, while admitedly not scale, is in fact accurate. Some rides are more "spidery", but these are typically larger or taller coasters that need extra support.
3)We intend for this model to primarily be sold as a novelty item. Thus, it is imperative that the components be "beefy" enough to be handled by novice modelers. This is why the structure is cut from 1/8" instead of 1/16" wood. We can make a more scale model, but the cost will rise due to the high price of super thin plywood.
4)A working model at this scale is not practical. Reliability issues increase as the scale size decreases. We have discovered this with our other kits, unfortunately.
5)This kit needs to be evaluated for what it is, not what it isn't. It is a compromise of scale, for sure, but considering the fact that NO N gauge roller coasters exist, is it too much of a deviation from scale to outweigh the fact that it is a one of a kind?
These are the types of conceptual questions we need answered. To some, this kit is obviously blasphemous....with its disproportionate timbers and "paper weight" utility. However, based on feedback we get on our site, many N gauge modelers just want a coaster to build an amusement or trolley park around.
We value any and all feedback, but just keep in mind that to create an exact scale replica of a roller coaster at this scale presents a lot of challenges. If it was easy, there would already be one on the market.

musicman
7th May 2010, 10:33 AM
I think that it would have to have cars with it. I can see the argument for making it a static display because of the already given explanation but it would have to have the cars.

Personally, it would not fit in my current theme but I can see it being used by others for sure.

I agree that the timbers are too big by a bit. I would have to disagree with the perception that n-scalers don't like to spend many hours looking (with cataracts) through magnifiers at parts so small and fragile that if you cough you can kiss them good-bye. Contrary to popular belief, we thrive on it. (Demented lot, we are! :nope: )

subwayaz
7th May 2010, 11:17 AM
I think that the project is neat and much needed in n scale. A product not before offered. I will agree that you need to at least offer rollercoaster cars, otherwise it falls short of the scenery piece intended to be.

Looks good though and I always have liked your HO scale version

seanm
7th May 2010, 12:09 PM
I will weigh in on this. First, I would like to say i am not in the market for such an item on my layout, so my opinions may not represent your intended market.

I don't know if you have looked at craftsman scale kits in N-Scale lately, but this one would not hit the mark for someone working in that sort of mode. I also do not know how your mfging this, but the laser cutting technologies and design techniques (tab and groove) can make some incredibly spindly yet strong models. Aside from the over sized timbers, I also cant for the life of me remember seeing a wood colored wooden roller coaster. Most seem to have been painted. I am on the west coast and have been to Santa Cruz back in the 60's and 70's as well as some coasters in the LA area.

I do think you will sell some of these, but you are cutting out a lot your market by not attempting a more scale appearance.

Allegheny Pappy
7th May 2010, 12:36 PM
Ok guys, Thank you. I see that some may be interested in this type of thing.

BTW what happened to the Thanks button?

Jack Rimer
7th May 2010, 01:07 PM
Almost all the wooden roller coasters built in recent years are wood colored. Obviously, those who pride themselves on what they feel represents realism would have no problem with painting the model.
The problem with using thinner wood is not creating a finished model with sufficient strength, but making the individual components strong enough to be handled and assembled.

DLDude
7th May 2010, 01:22 PM
Over the past couple days we have looked at 1/16th inch wood to cut (and would allow for a more accurate timber), and it would more than triple the cost. You'd be looking at a $100 structure pieces... for JUST the coaster. Though we are cutting out some of the market by not doing 100% scale, I think we would cut out a HUGE part of the market by charging $100 for a small structure model that may be hard to put together and may break in manufacturing/shipping. We definitely understand the attention to detail N-scale people pay, however when you see this model, whether on a layout or on a shelf, it is instantly recognizable as a roller coaster. Throw some trees around it and a ticket booth and it's still the best N-scale amusement park item out there.

As for the color, we do plan to mess around with some white-wash paints. Many of these classic coasters are painted white. Many are also wood. Personally I think the wood gives it a natural look.

seanm
7th May 2010, 01:54 PM
Please have a look at these lasercut kits, particularly the icing platform or the barn under construction.
http://www.gclaser.com/NCatalog.pdf

I venture to say that these kits are buildable and the components are able to be handled and assembled and use much closer to scale lumber. This is laser cut micro plywood. Has that been considered as a building medium?

TwinDad
7th May 2010, 02:02 PM
I've been thinking about this a little more.

First, you CoasterDynamix guys, please don't get us wrong. It's a beautiful model, and I'm sure we're all thrilled to have you interested in modeling our scale. But you DID ask for critiques and feedback on what you don't like about it, so that's what we're providing. Just please don't take those critiques as an indication that we don't like the product!

I understand the technical limitations you're working under at this scale and with the materials and such, and why it likely wouldn't work as an operating model. And I don't mean to suggest anything about your market research...

BUT.

(And what follows is strictly my opinion and observation based largely on what I've seen on the internets)

I think the N (and Z) scale crowd has a higher proportion of people who would be considered "scale modelers" vs. "toy train" folk. That is, of the N scalers out there, more of us care about the scale accuracy than one might find at the higher scales.

And, I think we're willing to pay for it. I look at that model and think, $35 is cheap. We regularly pay hundreds of dollars for highly detailed locomotives. We'll pay $35+ for a high-detail BOXCAR. $35 buys you a run of the mill decent sized structure kit. A model the size and complexity of that coaster could go for 2 or 3 times what you're asking, if it has the scale accuracy. In some quantities, we even pay hundreds of dollars for scale-accurate bridges with structural members much finer size than that coaster.

So unless you're saying that usable scale-accurate timber materials would cost 100x your current price, you should seriously consider looking at it, and re-float the coaster at the higher price. You might be surprised. :D




Also, Musicman is correct, I think. Functional or not, some coaster trains to park on the tracks would complete the picture.

dcswift
7th May 2010, 03:17 PM
TD,

As far as I am concerned you hit the nail on the head.



Gentlemen,

Please don't be offended, but I think you will find that the views represented here are typical of the type of people that get into N and Z scale.

Also by means of demographics, we have individuals in high school through retirees from all over the world represented on this board. I think we are a good cross section of the N scale society.

BryanC (RIP)
7th May 2010, 03:41 PM
TD,

As far as I am concerned you hit the nail on the head.



Gentlemen,

Please don't be offended, but I think you will find that the views represented here are typical of the type of people that get into N and Z scale.

Also by means of demographics, we have individuals in high school through retirees from all over the world represented on this board. I think we are a good cross section of the N scale society.Thumbs up to you, Doug! :thumbs-up::thumbs-up::thumbs-up:

Komata
7th May 2010, 05:48 PM
FWIW

May I, someone somewhat removed from the whole roller-coaster phenomenon, offer the following observation: The structure as it is currently presented is bare - it needs its cars!!

The essence of any roller coaster has to be the cars carrying screaming fans around and over its length. To NOT include the cars is to remove the very point of the exercise; without them you merely have a most curiously-shaped group of wood poles and bracings. the cars are, if you will, the absolutely-essential, must have ingredient.

In this connection, any cars would have to have actual seats in place - seats wide enough to accommodate the 'people' available in the 'Preiser' range (arguably the world's best) 'People' are essential!!.

As will have by now become clear, N-scale modellers are very definitely 'detail' modellers - it's part of the scale. To ignore this, or not recognise its existence or its importance, is to ignore the facts (we even fit windscreen wipers to our locomotives - and that's the easy bit), and will probably loose any manufacturer 'market share' as a result We love detail, and are quite prepared to pay for it (if we can't make it ourselves).

BT (and this is very important) the detail must be that - accurate and of a reasonably-high standard - the equal(at least) of any OO/HO items that are currently available; it is after all our hard-earned 'hobby-money' that we are being asked to part with.

Provide that detail and an item that we all want, and a manufacturer will have a ready sale - lots of them in fact. Ignore that or try to fob us (as modellers)
off with a cheaper variant or substitute, and we will never again purchase from the manufacturer concerned!! Sorry to have to say that but that is the simple, cold hard reality, while whatever is being offered has to pass the MR review with flying colours (and we will STILL be sceptical).

As I said, FWIW - hope that is of interest or use. (bring on the cars :) :))

(And yes, i actually DO know what a roller coaster is and have ridden on them - in case anyone asks)

Bigsparky65
7th May 2010, 10:40 PM
It looks very nice. I have no interest in putting any type of amusement park on my layout. it depends what amusement park you go to, some have painted roller coasters and some don't. I would like to see old mining buildings, old western town stores, that is what era that i'm modeling.:cool:


Sparky(Jeff)

jnevis
7th May 2010, 11:14 PM
I have considered a coaster for a layout element off and on. While I think your product is a good start and I won't rehash what the others have said I will tell you this. Be glad you started asking here rather than some of the other model railroading sites. Some of them, especialy the N scalers, are VERY prototype oriented and will destroy verbally a perfectly good item that a major manufacturer develops because the paint isn't the right shade or schem, or the fans are the wrong shape. Not many on this site are what is refered to as "rivet counters" but have given you an idea as to what N scalers are looking for. Go onto one of those other sites ad you might as well pack it up.

Two Truck Shay
14th May 2010, 11:56 AM
Thanks for sharing this project with us. I am always interested in new N scale products. I'll repeat a few points made in previous posts. The following is intended as constructive criticism.

The only reason to put a roller coaster on a train layout is if it operates.

By it's nature, it will pull in viewers and be a focal point on the layout. As such, it should either operate or look exactly scale, preferably both. The first thing a visitor to your layout will do when they see a roller coaster on your layout is ask "does it run?" When you say "no", you will see the sad disappointment in their eyes, and they will probably be wondering why it is there.

If it is impossible to make it operate and you are only making it as a static display model, it would essential that it be built perfectly to scale in all regards and be complete with cars and other prototypical details such as the chain lift mechanism, etc.

Many N scalers won't buy anything that is "beefed up" for N scale because it looks toy-like. The overall direction in new products for N scale is pushing for accuracy, not for strength or low cost.

As far as cost goes, it would be cheaper and more durable to cover a N scale layout with green felt to represent the earth, but what would be the point?

Thanks again!

REM37411
14th May 2010, 08:32 PM
For those of you who have not seen them, please go to my blog and check out the pictures of the OHIO N scale weekend, I have several shots of N scale amusement parks in there....but do not remember seeing a roller coaster!

BryanC (RIP)
14th May 2010, 08:34 PM
For those of you who have not seen them, please go to my blog and check out the pictures of the OHIO N scale weekend, I have several shots of N scale amusement parks in there....but do not remember seeing a roller coaster!A link to your blog would be nice! :D

REM37411
14th May 2010, 08:36 PM
...............OOPS......:o:o

http://community.webshots.com/album/577604408KKKqVE

davejt
26th May 2010, 03:13 AM
Nice to see this stuff come to n-scale! Thank you for pursuing this!

my comments.

1. I like laser cut kits over 'crafts-men' style.

2. The lumber in the photo seems to large for me. I understand what you are saying about size/strength/fragility etc. But it really needs to look more spindly for me.

3. operation... great but impractical in n-scale I believe do to physics, so I can live without it.

4. Signage/lighting/pennants this would really spiff things up and could possibly be sold as an option/add-on ?

5. Sound - might make up for the lack of motion?

6. coaster trains and people? could not tell if this was in the picture. Again this might be an 'extra'

Appreciate your efforts to keep the price down and assembly easy.

Look forward to the release.

davejt
26th May 2010, 03:16 AM
P.S.

7. Does it have a 'grand' entrance (for the people) and a loading/unloading platform?

Thanks again.

And an FYI for those who really want it to run in n-scale

http://www.aglasshalffull.org/article-roller-coaster.html

TwinDad
26th May 2010, 07:18 AM
Wow, Dave! That was really interesting. I hadn't even thought about the scale gravity issue!

MooseID
26th May 2010, 03:33 PM
That is a roller coaster to be proud of.

dcswift
26th May 2010, 06:25 PM
I don't know if the CoasterDynamix guys are still monitoring this thread, but if they are...

I just visited your website and must say it is visually appealing. Good job.

I could not help but to notice that you charge in the $200.00 US range for some of your HO and O scale coasters. If you compare N scale products to HO you will see that there is a lot of price similarity, with that in mind I would like to reiterate what others have said about the price of the N scale coaster you are offering... charging more money for a product that look more realistic will not be a problem and certainly will not cost you market shares. In fact you might even sell more of your n scale product.

Just my 2 cents worth.

DLDude
10th Jun 2010, 10:06 AM
Hey everyone. We do appreciate your input very very much. As a result, we are going to re-evaluate the design. We may be able to make some improvements, however that may require some changes to the actual coaster itself. A question I have for all of you:
Would you prefer to have a long, thin coaster (Think maybe 3ft long by 4" wide) or something compact (think 1.5ft long by 6" wide). The current design we have has an element called a 'crossover'. That means the coaster car would travel under another section. This means we have to make a 'bridge' over it. This is fine and dandy using the 1/8" wood, however, we will need to go to 1/32" if it is to be more realistically scaled. This causes problems at the bridge in terms of rigidity. We still feel very strongly about the ease-of-build factor so that parts dont break during construction, so this bridge concerns us.

I am thinking we could do something like this: http://cache.rcdb.com/pictures/picmax/p140.jpg
We would only do the right half (it wouldnt be a racer like this).

What do you guys think of this?

TwinDad
10th Jun 2010, 10:19 AM
Any chance you could do it so the track could be mirrored - so you could build the Racers out of two kits?

DLDude
10th Jun 2010, 10:23 AM
We could possibly do that is a somewhat custom-order, however I dont think it would be cost-effective to produce 2 separate kits that are essentially the same thing.

TwinDad
10th Jun 2010, 10:37 AM
We could possibly do that is a somewhat custom-order, however I dont think it would be cost-effective to produce 2 separate kits that are essentially the same thing.

Wasn't thinking about two separate kits... was just wondering how hard it would be to make the kit buildable in a "mirrored" fashion. So you could build the one kit either left handed or right handed. If it's feasible, this might also help people fit the coaster into their layout easier depending on which way the amusement park faces...

DLDude
10th Jun 2010, 10:58 AM
I see what you mean. The issue would be that the Base (which will have slots so that the supports fit in) would have to be a unique piece depending on if you mirror it or not. Other than that I believe you could probably just turn each support around and it would mirror it. That being said, the design we would do would not have the 'turnaround' section that is at an angle. It would go straight out, make a small turn (probably to the right), and then come back right next to the outward track. Would take up very little space. to the left or right.

TwinDad
10th Jun 2010, 11:03 AM
I understand. Sounds like a good plan.

I happen to live not too far from that particular coaster, so I'm partial to it... That's a pretty old photo!

XF-15DCC
10th Jun 2010, 11:46 AM
Understanding that it will be hard to make an operating model, maybe a light kit (flashing type) to maybe give the feeling of it operating.

taz-n-rr
12th Jun 2010, 04:14 AM
DLDude & Jack Rimer,

First, thanks for spending time, energy, money and risking more money on model railroading, N scale and this project! I think it looks great!

I have to agree with Davejt on his points 4, 5, 6, 7. The more of this you can research and make available one way or another will help a lot. Like you said, I have a Streetcar amusement park (Narrows Park, La Vale, Md. c. 1915+/-) as my first project from all the research I have been doing the last few years. And a small coaster like this would be great. An original would have been small, there in the mountains of Western Maryland.

I would rather pay $100 for a kit with smaller more scale lumber, than $35 for the thicker lumber. The thickness of the timbers is one of the first things that stand out in a scene. I am not a supper detailer (or rivit counter I suppose), but just the same, some particular details stand out more than others.

Perhaps a basic kit with signs and basic accessories, with add-ons of a) static cars, b) people, c) lights and d) sounds (any scale...), could be possible. Well whatever. I would be very interested in a basic kit with signs and basic accessories, with add-ons of a) static cars, b) people.

Thanks again for your efforts, and for coming here for comments and advice!

All the best,
Charles Sloane

PS, I plan live overhead wire for the streetcars, and the National Road, and two local coal hauling railroads pass through the module, a busy place!

PPS, the 7" x 15" plan would be fine with me...

dcswift
12th Jun 2010, 10:04 AM
Hey everyone. We do appreciate your input very very much. As a result, we are going to re-evaluate the design. We may be able to make some improvements, however that may require some changes to the actual coaster itself. A question I have for all of you:
Would you prefer to have a long, thin coaster (Think maybe 3ft long by 4" wide) or something compact (think 1.5ft long by 6" wide). The current design we have has an element called a 'crossover'. That means the coaster car would travel under another section. This means we have to make a 'bridge' over it. This is fine and dandy using the 1/8" wood, however, we will need to go to 1/32" if it is to be more realistically scaled. This causes problems at the bridge in terms of rigidity. We still feel very strongly about the ease-of-build factor so that parts dont break during construction, so this bridge concerns us.

I am thinking we could do something like this: http://cache.rcdb.com/pictures/picmax/p140.jpg
We would only do the right half (it wouldnt be a racer like this).

What do you guys think of this?

Speaking only for myself, I would prefer a long thin coaster.

Opie
12th Jun 2010, 06:07 PM
Well Hello, CoasterDynamix! Never imagined that the coaster world and the model train world would cross in n scale especially since I have suggested it to ya'll before. I would rather have a coaster like Woodstock Express at Carowinds than a coaster like Racer on my layout mainly because something like Racer is going to use up more space than a compact coaster. I also agree, give me a detailed model with coaster cars(working or static) for $100+ over a $35 structure.

NY Central
12th Jun 2010, 06:34 PM
I dont think it needs to run to be a good model for a train set. The members struck me immediately as a bit too heavy... My mouth is watering a little tho :p

davejt
25th Jun 2010, 02:52 AM
The long thin one is very cool looking and could have some nice placement possibilities on a shelf, or around the room style layout.

I of course am a bit partial to a more local coaster, the giant dipper. there are some small photos here...

http://www.coaster-net.com/ridegallery.php?action=display&id=234

Note the roofed entrance/line area... and the 'crossover' on this coaster is under the loading platform, hidden in the dark. You board on a sloping downhill curve, the train rolls off into the dark, followed by a sudden drop in the track to give you a good boost of speed, curve around then out into the light and up the ramp. General flow of the coaster as I recall is concentric loops from outside (high) to inside (lower) getting back to the outside is accomplished on the hidden track described above, this technique might help with the fragile crossover you were describing.

FWIW.

Edit: More Links

POV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Puc5M41j4x4&feature=related&fmt=22


http://www.thrillride.com/SCBBtr/SCBBtr1.html

Scroll down here a bit and note the Marquee (lit at night) that arches over the boardwalk from the dipper ride to another small structure to the left. Definately a modling opportunity here.

http://santa-cruz-california-guide.com/images/gallery/santa_cruz_beach_boardwalk_giant_dipper_fanturn.jp g

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_OGymN8fFoHI/SkVdR2Vbt7I/AAAAAAAAHYo/zdx6_XtKr3A/s1600-h/SantaCruz_BeachBoardwalk_GiantDipperTrack2_DSCN939 0.jpg

Small Arial:

http://www.hiram.ws/virtualsc/photoa/pages/photoa25.html

http://thingsyoushoulddo.com/wp2/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/giant-dipper-santa-cruz.jpg

davejt
25th Jun 2010, 03:44 AM
More 'modal-able' features of the GIant Dipper continue to come back to me. My DAughter is 3yr so I haven't been able to ride it in a while. Though she really want's too. She was very disappointed at Disney's California Adventure when she couldn't ride California Screaming, where they fire you down a catapult at 100+. Had to appeaser her at the observation deck (next to the catapult launcher) where she heckled all of the frightened passengers with "thumbs up" , or waving the vulcan salute and shooting 'live long and prosper' :-)

Any how, back to those elements:

1. I recall the dipper loads at the middle in a 'roundhouse kind of structure, This I think would be an interesting element.

2. the people crossover the tracks in a covered walkway structure - adds some interest, paint, billboard signage etc.

3. Also I wanted to note 'extra train storage. in this case it is a parallel track inside the main track in the loading area. So the curved/covered loading area from outside to inside is people, main track/train being loaded, parking siding. They have to release the extra train from the siding and run it around the track to get it to the loading track.

4. the aforementioned hidden track ... may solve you 'delicate structure problem.

5. the large marquee crossing over the boardwalk.

6. flags and lights throughout, lit signage.

7. And yes you can put a coaster right next to the railroad, it may show up in the video, almost certainly will show up on Google Earth. But the old SP main (well branch-line) runs right along the back of the coaster. If you are watching the video, farthest away is the parking, then a street, then a walkway for pedestrians, the track sun right through the walkway, and are still active, there is a passenger train (private now) that runs from the boardwalk up to Big Trees/Roaring Camp, where they run shays up the mountain.

Not saying to build a copy of the dipper, just thinking a lot of these elements (seems they really thought things through in the old days :-) would be cool in a model.

DLDude
20th Jul 2010, 11:51 AM
Alright folks, I'm back workin on this project. Here is the issue. A coaster at a good scale is a LONG piece. Let's say we're doing 1:148. A typical 'out and back' coaster takes up about a quarter mile in length, that translates to about 9 feet in N-scale. No one is going to want a 9-foot coaster on their layout. This is why we went with that much smaller coaster so it will fit on more layouts. Since not many were a fan of the 'chunky' supports, we're looking at moving to a 1/16th wood. This looks better, however you cannot do any 'crossovers'. The wood just simply isnt thick enough to allow for proper support. This is why we have to stick with the simple out and back layout. What is an ideal footprint for a coaster model on your layouts. Right now to make it looks pretty good, it is going to need to go on at least a 36"x6" base. Thoughts?

TwinDad
20th Jul 2010, 12:02 PM
36x6 sounds pretty good. It would fit on an NTRAK module, for example. Or slot in behind track on a shelf layout. If anything maybe a 24x8 if that is doable.

DLDude
20th Jul 2010, 12:11 PM
24 would be way too short. If you want anything that doesn't look 'kiddie', then you need more length.

Another question: How much are you willing to build/paint. Due to material sourcing, it is much easier for us to get you say.. 36" pieces of balsa and have you cut them to size than us try to get/cut correct sizes ourselves. Also keeps the cost down.

taz-n-rr
23rd Jul 2010, 11:22 PM
Cutting strip wood seems fine with good templates. Particularly with templates that can be used to set a stop on something like an NWSL Chopper III. Is balsa the best material? Maybe something like basswood or what not would be better particularly in small sizes?

All the best,
Charles

DLDude
24th Jul 2010, 09:47 AM
You probably will not need a template to cut the ribbons. It will be very simple to just eyeball the length and cut it.
Here is how it is going to look:6783
That picture doesn't include the handrail/track so it is incomplete.

And then I've designed it so that if you buy 2, you can flip all the pieces around and do this: 6784

I think it looks a bit more realistic than the last. What do you think?

DLDude
4th Aug 2010, 07:57 PM
Comments anyone?

WP&P
4th Aug 2010, 09:39 PM
How about this as an idea:

Make a roller coaster system, based on components that you link up. Like, one kit for the big lift hill, one kit for an intermediate hill, a kit for the balloon loop, a kit for the loading station, kits for small speed-bump hills, etc. That way, a modeler can build as large a coaster as they like. The intermediate hills could serve as multiple height hills just by having the kit builder cut the bents shorter, so you could have a plausible series of hills that get shorter.

You could package all the parts needed for the basic coaster you've shown above, but the add-on kits would allow one to customize and extend the model. The more enterprising hobbyists could use those kits to come up with an entirely different footprint. Consider Micro-Engineering's steel trestle kits - they use common parts, but they package them as complete long bridges or as single-span expansions or even just the towers; you tally up how long your bridge is gonna be and order enough kits to get to that length. This product would be more complex, and you'd have to standardize on some things in order to make the modularity work, but if you designed it to be that versatile, then you'd be THE roller coaster maker in N-scale, since nobody would have need of another kit design. The whole amusement park could come from various combinations of your track segments.

Well, that is, the wooden coasters could come from those kits. Once you see success with that style, the next step is to make a steel coaster version, using the round tubular rails and simpler supports. But such a system could use the same approach, though with more add-on options like loops or corkscrews.

TwinDad
5th Aug 2010, 12:52 AM
You probably will not need a template to cut the ribbons. It will be very simple to just eyeball the length and cut it.
Here is how it is going to look:6783
That picture doesn't include the handrail/track so it is incomplete.

And then I've designed it so that if you buy 2, you can flip all the pieces around and do this: 6784

I think it looks a bit more realistic than the last. What do you think?

Dude! That is awesome. You've arranged it so with two kits you get a reasonable facsimile of the Racers!

Are you going to include a station as well?

Michael Whiteman
5th Aug 2010, 02:09 AM
Thanks for taking the time to design a kit like this for our scale. What makes N scale unique is the fact that structural pieces appear "spindley" and yes are most often very fragile. Not all of us would feel comfortable assembling this kit with smaller pieces, but for those that would the reward would be worth the effort. I think if the appearance was right on, the fact that it did not opperate would be less of an issue. Include a set of cars at the platform and at the risk of driving up the price, include all the people loading into the cars. People are expensive but you might be able to get a big volume discount with the manufacturer. A weathered wood finish is a must. Get rid of the shine. Maybe a splattered white peeling paint effect would be possible at the time of assembly.

DLDude
10th Aug 2010, 02:49 PM
Something I am not quite sure about the N-Scale community is the willingness to do work on their own. We plan on selling this kit painted white (which still looks quite rustic since the paint seeps into the wood), or as a stained wood which will give it a darker brown color (also rustic). We are working on some basic trains, as well as a station. We might offer the station as an add-on. Due to our production methods, it becomes very time consuming to do things that the modeler can do, such as adding wear and tear to the wood, grass to the base, paint on the trains. In most other scales, the modeler will add this detail to his/her liking. I also noticed many N-Scale buildings require you to add stickers or paint yourself, so I foresee us going that route. The kit will still look very good out-of-the-box, but if you want a highly-detailed model, you may have to add some personal touch to it.

TwinDad
10th Aug 2010, 03:14 PM
I think most of the N-scale folks I've run across would be perfectly fine with that sort of setup.

Heck, most of the decent quality ready-to-run locomotives we buy require at least adding handrails, if not other details.

Jazzbass01
10th Aug 2010, 03:17 PM
Something I am not quite sure about the N-Scale community is the willingness to do work on their own.


WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

alaskanscaler
22nd Aug 2010, 08:30 PM
Something I am not quite sure about the N-Scale community is the willingness to do work on their own.

I believe you really need to rethink that statement, LOL. BLMA lives off of my purchases alone because of the fact that I'm super detailing (all grab irons, fans, and window visors) and custom painting/decaling every locomotive that I'm puchasing. So far that has been 20, with more being planned. I'm also planning on handlaying ALL of my track. That is just the tip of the iceburg compared to what many of these guys have and will do. You asked for opinions and criticism based on the market, which is what all of these guys have done, and to the point that I really had nothing to add until that was said. Plenty of them have given you some great ideas, especially the one about making it into multiple kits. This isn't O-scale where if it looks like a toy a lot of people will buy it anyways. People in this scale will spend hours upon hours switching an entire fleet of rolling stock from n-scale to z-scale couplers because they're more prototypical. That's just the nature of many n-scalers.

TwinDad
23rd Aug 2010, 01:56 PM
This isn't O-scale where if it looks like a toy a lot of people will buy it anyways.

Heck, there's a cadre of O scalers who will buy it BECAUSE it looks like a toy! :D

DLDude
24th Sep 2010, 10:20 AM
Hahaha! WOW! Totally didn't mean that comment in a disparaging way. I was trying to ask if N-Scalers prefer to have painted stuff out-of-the-box instead of doing the painting themselves. Sorry if anyone was offended.

Anyway, It's been a while since I've had an update for you guys. We have been messing around with different ideas on how to do the track, handrails, train, station, etc. Though we took your advice about the price (the kit will be a bit more pricey now, but will look MUCH more to-scale), however I think we will have to limit ourselves to a coaster without a station. That being said, we may still work on an add-on station for those who want one. We actually built up a prototype for you all to see. This thing is just a work of art when you see it in person. It looks perfectly to-scale. We will sell this kit in virgin wood, laser cut, unassembled. We painted our prototype white to reflect our favorite type of racing coaster, however if you just put some stain on it, you get a very classic, rustic looking coaster. Here are a couple pictures:
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u180/coasterdynamix/P9230498.jpg
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u180/coasterdynamix/P9230497.jpg
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u180/coasterdynamix/P9230499.jpg

As always, open to critiques. We are working on a train right now and hopefully will have some pictures of that soon.

TwinDad
24th Sep 2010, 12:32 PM
Wow. Let me be the first to say that this is not even in the same category as what you started with. It looks like it would be a real challenge to build (not a bad thing), but would be a very FINE model and be as at home on a MRR layout as any roller coaster could be. Color me impressed.

You could always provide station kits as a separate add-on purchase. Some folks might want to build their own anyway.

musicman
24th Sep 2010, 01:45 PM
Well, while I must admit i would not have room for anything like that on my layout, I am completely impressed with the final product. It is, as you say, a work of art. Beautiful!

DLDude
24th Sep 2010, 03:19 PM
The great thing is, it's VERY easy to build! Each support section is 1 laser-cut piece. We are still deciding on wood type, but it will either be Maple or Birch Plywood. Both are very stiff materials. You just slide each support into a slot on the base. Then you glue stock 1/32" basswood into slots running horizontally and there you have it. The handrail and track are both just extrusions you fit down into slots and glue-as-you-go. Though it does take a gentile hand, it is no complicated at all. I would say it could be built in under 3hrs.

I mentioned wood earlier. The design is done and we know just what we need as far as how MUCH wood it takes per kit, however we are having trouble tracking down 1/16" birch plywood and maple for a reasonable price. Do you guys know of a good source to find that size wood? The cheaper we can find it, the cheaper we can sell it!

Glad to hear you guys like the improvements. I really think it turned out beautifully. I can't wait to make another one mirrored so we can do a racing coaster!

PhilNSF
24th Sep 2010, 08:06 PM
That looks great! Like Musicman, I couldn't use it, but I can definitely appreciate it. It looks a lot like the Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, CA. Well done!

seanm
24th Sep 2010, 08:15 PM
The great thing is, it's VERY easy to build! Each support section is 1 laser-cut piece. We are still deciding on wood type, but it will either be Maple or Birch Plywood. Both are very stiff materials. You just slide each support into a slot on the base. ....(clipped)


Hmmm.... Where did I hear that suggestion before?

Oh ya! Right here... http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?17944-N-Scale-Roller-Coaster!&p=149617#post149617

Glad that worked out for you!

WP&P
24th Sep 2010, 09:35 PM
I can envision a lot of N-Trak Modules being conceived, just to provide an excuse to include one of these. Very few modelers will have space and the right justification for one of these on the home layout, but an individual module can support any whimsy. Looks like a fun kit!

Jimmi
25th Sep 2010, 01:22 AM
That looks great. Very similar to the one at Dorney Park in Allentown,PA.

MooseID
25th Sep 2010, 02:15 PM
DLDude, your most recent version of the roller coaster is such a vast improvement over your original offering, I must take the time to commend you on your diligence and craftsmanship.

Thank you.

DLDude
1st Oct 2010, 01:44 PM
Hey everyone, We mocked up a version with stained wood to give you an idea of how that looks. Here are some pictures:
843684378438

And a comparison:
8439

Hope you all like it. And for kicks, here is a picture of our first design next to our final design (thanks to you guys!!!)
8440

TwinDad
1st Oct 2010, 01:57 PM
Heck with incorporating it into a layout.... I might just build one as a shelf display for my office!

One question, though... in picture #2 in post #80 above, you have what looks like a mockup of a 3-car train on the track, but it doesn't look to scale? Like the safety rails are too big and too high? Is the train smaller than it should be? Odd camera angle? My perception of how it "should look" off? Something else?

musicman
1st Oct 2010, 04:46 PM
Beautiful work! Simply beautiful!

Michael Whiteman
2nd Oct 2010, 03:32 AM
You are right Td, I see it too. Like the cars are too small in relation to the guard rails which might be too tall. I think where you and I stumble is when we try to make the track guage fit into the equation. On a coaster the track can be anything but the cars appear to be too small. If there was a scale size person in one it might be easier to decern. Other than that the structure in an of itself is magnificent! What a work of art.

DLDude
2nd Oct 2010, 10:20 AM
That train was the closest we could get to N-Scale that was within our manufacturing capabilities. We had a larger train originally, however if you were to put N-Scale people in it, they would look tiny. People should look more to-scale in these trains, even if it makes the handrails look a bit too large. You can always do without the train if you prefer. We work very hard to get it down to a scale as close to N as possible and I think it will look good on a layout, however we had to go with this to make sure the pieces do not break in assembly or shipping.

MooseID
2nd Oct 2010, 11:58 AM
Hey everyone, We mocked up a version with stained wood to give you an idea of how that looks. Here are some pictures:
843684378438

And a comparison:
8439

Hope you all like it. And for kicks, here is a picture of our first design next to our final design (thanks to you guys!!!)
8440

You can send one of each, painted and stained, to me for Beta testing. I don't mind. I like to be helpful. >:-}>:-}

TwinDad
2nd Oct 2010, 01:48 PM
That train was the closest we could get to N-Scale that was within our manufacturing capabilities. We had a larger train originally, however if you were to put N-Scale people in it, they would look tiny. People should look more to-scale in these trains, even if it makes the handrails look a bit too large. You can always do without the train if you prefer. We work very hard to get it down to a scale as close to N as possible and I think it will look good on a layout, however we had to go with this to make sure the pieces do not break in assembly or shipping.

So is the coaster still a bit over-scale, or is the train under scale? Strictly speaking "N scale" could be as big as 1:148 ...

DLDude
2nd Oct 2010, 03:45 PM
I think if the coaster is a little larger than scale and the train is just about scale. We are going to try to pick up some scale people to check the size of the train. The train can be made a little larger to make it match the coaster scale a bit closer, however the people may look too small. What is a coaster without people riding in it?!

As for sending out one of each... we may be looking for a very experienced modeler to take a kit, build it up, theme it, paint it, all the stuff you guys do best and then write us a little review. Anyone know of a very experienced builder who may be interested?

Two Truck Shay
24th Oct 2010, 12:10 AM
Nice work. Much improved.

DLDude
19th Jan 2011, 01:34 PM
Hey all! We are going to be at the Scale Model Train Show in Timonium, MD on Feb 5 and 6th showing our coasters! We will have a couple O-Scale working coasters, a working HO coaster, and of course, the N-Scale one you've seen grow on this thread. We are still working on instructions for a kit version, however we will be selling some built models at the show if you happen to be around and would like to check them out!

BryanC (RIP)
19th Jan 2011, 01:55 PM
Hi DLDude, unless I am missing it (and I have before) I do not see that event in our Calendar. Would you care to add it? Thanks!

TwinDad
19th Jan 2011, 01:59 PM
Makes me wish I was back in Maryland. I would definitely want to drop by and see this for real. I hope your show is a success, and I hope you'll come back and post some pictures!