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Force

Aftermarket thoughts

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I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
Most of the truck kits we have available to us now are old late 60's to 80's models, at least the US truck kits from AMT and Revell are, so I wonder why there isn't more aftermarket stuff from that era as much of the aftermarket stuff is for 80's and newer trucks.
There are some but not enough.

Many trucks from the 70's era used 22 inch lock ring Alcoa style wheels before the one piece 22½ and 24½ inch wheels came, and the only 22 inch wheels of this type I know of from kits is the AMT ones used in the Freightliner, White and Autocar kits...and they don't really have the right look, not the 10 hole nor the 5 hole, and most of the wheels from the other AMT kits are 20 inch and they doesn't look right either.
Another wheel option that's not that plentiful of is 5 hand hole lock ring steel wheels, 2 and 5 hole steel wheels for tubeless tires are plentiful but not the older lock ring style.
Tires are another thing, there are not many who does tires with correct treads from that era, KJ from Double Take Replicas is one but he doesn't have much available right now.

For suspensions I would like to see some more options to choose from too, I'm so tired of the Hendrickson Walking Beam in many kits so the old 4 bag air ride for Kenworths wich was replaced with the 8 bag AG100 is one option I would like to see, maybe  Monkey Motion, Page & Page 60/40, Rayco 4-spring, Rockwell 6-Rod could be other options...some are not available at all, a few are in resin and some you have to rob from other kits.

More engines and transmission options would also be cool to have, some are available from different resin casters tho'.

I don't have the skill to draw something up in CAD and have it 3D printed, otherwise I would have as I see a void in the aftermarket for these things, and I hate to have to rob other kits for things I like to use for a certain build, it would be nicer if I can buy the parts separately.

Edited by Force

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8 hours ago, Force said:

I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
Most of the truck kits we have available to us now are old late 60's to 80's models, at least the AMT and Revell kits are, so I wonder why there isn't more aftermarket stuff from that era as much of the aftermarket stuff is for 80's and newer trucks.
There are some but not enough.

Many trucks from the 70's era used 22 inch lock ring Alcoa style wheels before the one piece 22½ and 24½ inch wheels came, and the only 22 inch wheels of this type I know of from kits is the AMT ones used in the Freightliner, White and Autocar kits...and they don't really have the right look, not the 10 hole nor the 5 hole, and most of the wheels from the other AMT kits are 20 inch and they doesn't look right either.
Another wheel option that's not that plentiful of is 5 hand hole lock ring steel wheels, 2 and 5 hole steel wheels for tubeless tires are plentiful but not the older lock ring style.
Tires are another thing, there are not many who does tires with correct treads from that era, KJ is one but he doesn't have much available right now.

For suspensions I would like to see some more options to choose from too, I'm so tired of the Hendrickson Walking Beam in many kits so the old 4 bag air ride for Kenworths wich was replaced with the 8 bag AG100 is one option I would like to see, maybe  Monkey Motion, Page & Page 60/40, Rayco 4-spring, Rockwell 6-Rod coule be other options...some are not available at all, a few are in resin and some you have to rob from other kits.

More engines and transmission options would also be cool to have, some are available from different resin casters tho'.

I don't have the skill to draw something up in CAD and have it 3D printed, otherwise I would have as I see a void in the aftermarket for these things, and I hate to have to rob other kits for things I like to use for a certain build, it would be nicer if I can buy the parts separately.

I agree! of course I like vintage builds. I've been wanting some 5 "diamond" hole split front rims for a long time. I think that A.I.T.M. used to make some, but they do not show them now. Page and Page rear suspension would be great too.

On the flip side though, there are more aftermarket parts available now than ever.

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9 hours ago, Bennyg said:

https://www.auslowe.com.au/shop/

Give Auslowe a go.

Ben

I have bougt stuff from them and I'm aware of what they have, they do have some parts for older trucks like some engines, suspensions and other stuff.
I think I have a pretty good view of what's available, at least what I can find on the web, I don't know much of what aftermarket guys have that don't are on the web tho'.

3 hours ago, DRIPTROIT 71 said:

I agree! of course I like vintage builds. I've been wanting some 5 "diamond" hole split front rims for a long time. I think that A.I.T.M. used to make some, but they do not show them now. Page and Page rear suspension would be great too.

On the flip side though, there are more aftermarket parts available now than ever.

Jamie at Moluminum has a set of Truck Mate wheels for the Tyrone Malone transporters and they have diamond shaped hand holes, they have a center cap but that can be drilled out if you don't want it.
The only one I know of who has done a Page and Page suspension is Strato Models, I have been in touch with them regarding this as I need one for a planned Duel truck project and they said they had sets for a couple of their resin kits but nothing right now and not available separate, the resin kits they do are very small series and sells out fast.

Yes there are more out there now than ever before but as I said the US truck kits from AMT are late 60's and 70's with exception of the KW T600 wich is newer, and the Revell US truck kits are from the 80's, so one would think there would be more for them.
A.I.T.M. has lots of older stuff and that's great, cabs, sleepers and conversion kits, some wheels, tanks and tool boxes but not much else like engines, transmissions and suspensions.

Edited by Force

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I wish AITM still made the updated resin parts for the 1926 Mack.

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54 minutes ago, Rusty92 said:

I wish AITM still made the updated resin parts for the 1926 Mack.

Have you emailed him?

Ben

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24 minutes ago, Bennyg said:

Have you emailed him?

Ben

Yeah, he said they may be ready this year later on. I need them for the BRBO but I will buy them regardless when he is done.

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5 hours ago, Rusty92 said:

Yeah, he said they may be ready this year later on. I need them for the BRBO but I will buy them regardless when he is done.

Righto. He’s good to deal with.

Ben

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Håkan, to get back to your original point, I think one of the main issues of not having a lot of aftermarket parts for older trucks is return on investment.  An aftermarket manufacturer spends a lot of time & effort to make a part, and how many people are really going to buy it?  I guess that really depends on what it is.  Truck modeling is really a small niche of automotive modeling (granted motorcycle modeling is probably smaller), so the market is small.  That's probably why you don't see too many large resin manufacturers making 1/24 & 1/25 truck stuff, because the money really isn't there; the money is in 1/35 armor, so that's where they concentrate there efforts.  Yes, there are some large manufacturers that make some 1/24 stuff, but not many.  Remember what Liza Minnelli & Michael York said in Caberet: "Money makes the world go around".

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You have a point there, most of the 1:24th scale (mainly from Italeri) is of newer trucks and there is a market for parts for them as most of them are not that accurate everywhere anyway and has to be corrected so they will look like the subject they are supposed to be, and there are lots of options so you can build something other than whats offered from Italeri originally...but that's mostly European stuff, the US trucks they have are 80's and 90's era, very generic, and the newest they have is the Volvo VN780 wich doesn't even have an engine.
But Round2 is reissuing truck kit after truck kit, at least a couple of kits per year, and they are 70's era so there must be a market there too as I can't believe everyone builds them out of box without modifications (how fun is that), and one think that the few aftermarket guys we have for truck parts would do more stuff for them.
For example, if I want to do my model with a different suspension than the kit has I have to rob it from another kit, same with the engine and transmission...there are a few resin options but not that much.

Edited by Force

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Jim nailed it.  Even for the 3d printing guys,  it's all based on ROI.  First I have to research (find pics & measurements, or even drawings w/ Dimensions of the stuff if possible), then modeling the components into 3D can be time consuming.  Just for the fun of it, I uploaded (to Shapeways)  an assembled helper/pusher axle, we'll say it took me 20 hours to model in 3D and make it 3D Printable.  So,  based on a Median wage of 50k/yr for a CAD designer... that's about $25 per hour.   that's $500 I need to recoup, on something I don't know how well it'll sell.  For the sake of time I uploaded it fully assembled....  the Shapeways cost alone is $45.   Where do I set my break even point?   20 units?   how many people are going to spend $70 on a Helper/Pusher axle??  Even if I only charge say $10 per hour..... the cost per is still $55 based on a 20 unit break even point.

helper.jpg

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3D scanning might lower the cost and eliminate the need for a CAD designer to spend so many hours on it. However, right now its still expensive to scan a part, and then make it printable. The future is still a ways away.

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There's still issues even doing that right now,  Depending on the filetypes you deal with.   .STL (Stereolithography) files  DO NOT like to scale nicely (this is the filetype most 3D printers use for printing).    Optimally you need some sort of Native CAD filetype to work with, and last I checked the full "reverse engineering" software was around $20k per license.    I did this because I may soon have access to a Professional Grade Industrial  3D scanner.

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Matt hit it on the head. I have found that many model truck builders often fall into a few categories. One group builds for fun and does not fuss too much over details. These builders will typically build box stock or find some donated parts here and there to switch things up. This type of builder is not looking to spend $60 on a set of rims and tires because kit wheels work just fine for them.

Other builders fall into the "it has to be exactly what I am looking for" category. These builders will not buy a part unless it has every exact detail that they want. I had a builder tell me that a tire I cast is perfect, except that it didn't have the brand name that he wanted on the sidewall so he could not use them. Getting one of these builders to buy an aftermarket part is very few and far between because you have to get lucky enough to have made the exact part with every detail that they want for a specific build. Typically they will not use the same part on multiple builds, so sales are even limited there.

Most aftermarket sales seem to go to the in-between crowd, which is a niche of a niche. Now return on investment is tough. Take a tire for example, I may spend 10 hours drawing a tire in CAD, then spend $45 to have a master 3D printed. Then I have to spend another 3 hours making a mold (which uses $30 worth of silicone). Now I have spent $75 and 13 hours before the first tire is made. At $10 per hour, that would be $205 that would need to be recouped. When all is said and done I have to sell around 150 tires to break even at $3 per tire. I have tires that have been very poor sellers, I even had one tire that I was never able to sell a single one. It seems that it is a gamble as to whether it will be popular or not.

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I don't know wich category I'm in...if the brand is right, at the right place or if the size marking is right on a tire I don't care that much as you have to be very close to see it, but I like the tread pattern to have the right look, I also like wheels to have the right look, I also like to have a few options for engines, transmissions and rear suspensions other than to have to rob other kits for what I want for a build, and some kit parts needs to be corrected to get the right look and some parts I would like to use on some builds are not available at all or very hard to get.
Of course it takes time and money to do these parts, I know that, and it's difficult to know what will sell or not and it will most likely take some time before brake even or making a profit.
I looked at what kits was available on the market when it comes to US trucks as it's the main interest for me these days, most of whats available are from the 70's and 80's era wich I like, not many kits are newer than that, and that's why I started to think about this as I think the aftermarket parts for this era trucks are so few, I have not done a scientific study of this so I don't have any numbers to show, and it can be my imagination but I get that feeling when I look at what's available at the aftermarket suppliers on the web right now.

Edited by Force

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Personally, I fall under the "it has to be just right" group, so admittedly I do not purchase a ton of aftermarket parts. From the few vintage parts I have made, it does seem like they do not sell well. I think they appeal mostly to the builders that want something specific. It seems counter intuitive because so many kits are 70's era, but that seems to be how it goes.

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KJ790 wrote: "From the few vintage parts I have made, it does seem like they do not sell well. I think they appeal mostly to the builders that want something specific. It seems counter intuitive because so many kits are 70's era"

That's what my original thought was and I must belong to the "builders that want something specific" category then.
I don't know but I can't be the only one who like more options to choose from as I like to do things different from what the kit manufacturer originally offer in their kits.
For example if you want to do a replica model of a specific truck...a correct one...and for that you need certain things to be able to do the model as correct as it can be, those things might not be available in current kits or not at all, or you don't want to buy another kit and rob it for the parts or can't find the kit that has the parts you need...that's when the aftermarket comes in.
The only other option you have is to scratch build the parts you need wich can be difficult to do right if you don't have anything to go by like good picture references and/or drawings with measurements and so on.

And KJ...you make many of the things you need for your builds yourself. ;)
All doesn't have the skills to do that.
I have bought from you before and I will again as soon as the tires I need comes back in stock...hopefully they will sometime soon.

Edited by Force

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