Made In Manchester Models - Product Review

Discussion in 'Made In Manchester Models' started by Toto, Apr 13, 2022.

  1. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Hi Folks .....

    This post is a place holder for a review of some products that have arrived in at Platform 1 GCHQ :avatar:

    One of our latest members John had contacted myself on joining the forum and asked if I would like to do a review on some of his products. John is the Owner, designer, producer, chief cook and bottle washer at Made In Manchester Models.

    A couple of things before the actual review.

    First, many moons ago I purchased a Twin Oil Tank model from John and was very impressed with it so when asked to do this review, I knew before even receiving the models that they were going to be good. I will look out the original product which I will include in this review as I believe from my discussion with John, things may have been changed / improved since the originals were first introduced.

    Secondly, this is the first time that I have been asked to do an official product review so I hope I can do it justice.
    I will do my best to try and give as balanced a review as possible and if there is any place for constructive criticism, I will add it in the most respectful way possible.

    I am very lucky in as much as after the review is over, John has very kindly let me keep the samples. Normally when any products come through usually from our sponsors, they are offered as prizes for our members competitions which for clarity, I cannot enter .... and therefor ..... cant win or benefit personally. I currently have a prize stash which is still to be put up in competitions as yet but dont set to many at any one time as the member take up can be low at times.

    Anyway, I digress, as I said, this is a placeholder for the review which will be written up very soon. I aim to do this over the space if today / tomorrow all going well.

    It would be appreciated if we can have comments and questions after the review for which I'll do my best to answer. Possibly John will jump in to answer any more specific questions which he will obviously be better placed to answer.

    Keep your eyes open for more as this post develops and a big thanks goes out to John and Made In Manchester Models for choosing Platform 1 with which to share and promote his products.

    Thanks for now

    Toto:tophat:
     
  2. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I have seen the twin oil tank model on a facebook post and I'm positive Jakesdad13 made a comment on them too, saying they are incredible models !

    Looking forward to a review !

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  3. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Excellent. It should be off to a good start then.

    The version I have been given this time is the single version but I'll 0ost up my original twin version as well.

    Hopefully tonight.

    Cheers

    Toto
     
  4. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    OK here we go

    I have taken copious photos of all the available products including the originally review " twin tank " that I purchased some time ago. I decided to include this in the review as there have been a couple of changes made between purchasing the original and being kindly supplied with these newer products from John at MIMM.

    I will split the review into three parts mainly due to the amount of photos and a 10,000 word limit on post size which I have only become aware of and the post will otherwise end up being of biblical proportions and I'll need a break half way through. If I done this in one and for any reason screwed up the post midway through ... I think I would cry like a child. this is going to be quite long so get the pop corn out, find a comfy chair ..... and no sleeping.

    first up MIMM Twin Tank Set

    These twin tank sets come in a couple of guises and start off from around £89.00 depending on the configuration you choose. Now before I even insert a photo onto the post to showcase the model, I can hear the gasps ....... sharp intake of breaths and folks reaching for their inhalers. However I have thought a bit about this and maybe you can consider this . these particular products are " show pieces " which when placed on your layout will definitely be focal points. Think Bachmann Branchline products and their associated prices ..... coaling tower springs to mind as does the ash plant both of which I have either possessed or still posses. The difference in my mind is the quality of materials and robustness of the assembled build but more on that later as I progress through the review.


    Feast your peepers on that. Excuse the chipping etc to the paint work as this has been rolling about my shed for a couple of years and I can vouch that it was originally delivered in pristine condition. This model is made of metal ( tin I think ) for the tanks and resin for the associated fixture and fittings. One of the first things that you will notice on closer inspection is that where the fittings etc are connected to the main tank structure, they are solid, without any flash or unwanted foreign bodies and will take as much handling as you want to give them. They fit very well.

    All of these fittings are of the bolted flange type which is very nice as you could very easily have tried to make life easier on yourself by using " butt welded " connections which whilst used in certain parts of real life construction ( I have worked in refineries, nuclear installations and the water industry as my role as a QS ) they were only used in certain scenarios. So great detail and the reproduction of the bolted flanges has been faithfully represented to a decent degree. Some of these details will become more apparent as the next photos appear.

    One of the critisisms that this product initially took ( constructively ) was that the ladder cages protruded down too low and that personnel would not have had to stoop down to enter the cage ....


    here is our own operative looking a bit pale doing a demo to give an appreciation of scale.


    his buddy looking at it thinking I must cut out the pies.

    In my opinion, although the original product did over run on the height of the cage, the general scale in terms of cage diameter was about bang on. ..... My theory ..... first of all " you cant please 100% of the people 100% of the time " ie ... the agreement of the exact diameter of the cage could be scaled from the real thing but there is always a certain amount of " what looks right ". .... would you agree. In other words its subjective on a model. some will think . Mmm maybe a little bigger ... others .... maybe a little neater. Our operative will be demonstrating this in a moment.


    again the low entry height but hold on .....


    Given that this figure was not posed for this scenario, when placed in the cage he's not far off. Some might say .... a bit neat but these cages were there for a very good reason ... to stop folks falling off and the ladders that rose inside were meant to be climbed in a certain manner ..... three points of contact at any one time. You would not have wanted too much slop between the operative and the cage as it would defeat the purpose and effectiveness of fall arrest. obviously there has to be a trade off between operational benefit and the general size of the adult likely to require access.

    We move on


    A general shot of the landings and some fittings. Again, distance between the landings may be another talking point but there can only be so much room for opinion here as once more, this distance is formulated for a reason. Elf and safety dictates that you can only climb a vertical ladder for a certain height before the accent / decent is broken by a solid landing / break to give operatives the opportunity to access a point of safety. Now ... another subjective point. Was the landing required in this instance ie was the technically high enough to warrant it. Well, two things, we would need to check the regulations for the exact specification ( I really dont want to go there ) and ...... back to modellers licence, its a nice focal point to have as it adds interest and opportunity.

    Us modelers, especially in the bigger scales tend to spend half our lives " compressing scenes " in order to make them fit a given space as we are all space starved fanatics.
    I'd say that regardless of this consideration, another good trade off has been accomplished here without anything looking ridiculously out of kilter.


    some more details this time the top of one of the tanks which shows the relevant associated pipework and inspection hatches utilising all flanged fittings with a very good representation of bolted fittings and without measuring the pipe diameters exactly, all faithful reproductions of believable dimensions. Keep it in mind that there is no one dimension used depending on the facility. they could have been more or less anything within an available set of industry norms. Isolation valves look good and have been pre painted and the scale once again acceptable. there are instances where smaller may have been used but on large diameter pipe and valves etc , these look the part.


    Another detail shot ( forgive the less than sharp image )

    The interconnecting pipe work between the two tanks


    some of the smaller diameter pipes ( once again apologies for this image )


    A general view from above


    and a rather sexy view from ground perspective.





    OK I'm done for now. I will be back with part two of three shortly and a summary.

    Thanks for now


    Toto

    please note I originally had the single tank attached to this post but a word limit of 10,000 had been exceeded so I had to cut the post down. I will look to see if this word limit can be altered going forward.

    Meanwhile ....... part two of three coming up.
     
  5. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    MIMM review Part two

    The Single Tank. Part No TSS-OG

    This product ..... one of the new breed is priced at £ 69.00. As with the above, I realise that it is a considerable outlay and may well be out with some budgets. Cost is relative to each individuals available budget and their own personal circumstances so please forgive me if you think I am making the cost seem trivial. There is no offence meant or lack of awareness or sensitivity with regards to differing budgets.

    so .... without further ado .....


    wham .... there we have it and as per the twin tank, a very nice alternative which may just satisfy the more space starved modeler. the construction and materials are the very same. Quality, robust, no flash or crud at the joints etc. Finished in Grey with a texture that will happily ( in my opinion ) take acrylic, enamels, powders and washes etc.

    The biggest difference which was the twin tanks biggest critisism ......


    The ladder cage access level which as you can see has been amended to suit the comments of previous purchasers.


    and another which helps demonstrate the revised height and general scale. You can also make out what looks like a telephone kiosk and an access hatch probably for periodic maintenance etc.
    The cleats that hold the vertical pipes to the side of the tank .... maybe a little over size ..... maybe not .... again , all down to opinion. For me, they are acceptable.


    a nice shot from a different angle showing just about all of the attachments which look the part.


    another view of the ladder cage and access height .....


    then the half landing where the operatives can take respite from the overall climb. ( elf and safety strikes again )


    the two pipe inlets complete with flanged fittings and gate valves which although shown in red, I am reliably told these actually come in silver.

    the handrail which surrounds the top of the tank is very stable and robust and can take handling and touching no problem


    and a final shot showing a side on profile with the main details showing .... the ladder cage, half landing and associated pipework.

    this single tank will go well with the twin ( above ) and the associated accessories yet to be shown. They will give plenty opportunity to give the modeler the ability to show their take on a tank farm or a simpler single tank affair depending on the nature and size of their layout or diorama ( thinking military modelers here ).

    The scale of these two products, I think, captures a good balance between size and acceptable realism Some of the tanks I have seen in my travels were much bigger but who has the space on a typical layout for these monsters. the size allows for a good focal point without over powering the layout. If you do have the luxury of further space ..... add more tanks.

    John is currently working on possible bund walls etc which will compliment these products perfectly. watch this space.

    Both products are made of metal for the main tank and hand rails and 3D resin printed pipework and attachments. They are very well constructed and connected.

    I will leave you to look over this a bit further whilst I download the photos for the pipework accessories in readiness for the final part of the review ..... happy viewing and I'll be back.

    cheers for now

    toto



     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  6. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    OK ..... the third and final part ..... providing I dont over stretch the word limit .......:avatar:

    Lets start with

    MIMM Electric Fuel Pump Part No EFP 01

    This is an individual accessory item which is priced at a very reasonable £ 8.00 plus £ 2.00 postage. Its resin printed and comes in grey as standard.

    lets have a look ....


    a nice representation with all flanged pipe connection plates. One to accomodate a 5mm pipe ( on the side ) and the other to accomodate a 3mm pipe on the top.The bolted flanges are shown in nice detail and are of good acceptable standard.


    the other side displays the electrical connection box with hinged door which could be picked out nicely when painting.


    another close up of the same.

    for scale ...


    here is our man to give an idea.

    The horizontal inlet end can be bored out to 5mm max to depict the incoming pipe .....


    where this may let itself down slightly is the underside, whilst not seen when planted ..... there is a bit of lost definition in the cast ...


    this I'm sure could be easily tidied up with a bit wet and dry and once painted and planted would probably not be seen. There is also when scrutinised some print lines that can be seen but could again be tidied up. I am no expert on 3 D printing but I remember Paul ( Dundee ) of this parish explain to me that these print lines can be as a result of the angle at which the product is set to the print plate. These lines can be made to disappear. If John wishes, I can give him Paul ( Dundee ) contact details or he can just PM him and I'm sure he could share his wisdom. thats up to John. It is minor but if it can be avoided, it just irons out a little niggle.

    The next of the accessories up is ..... drum roll please maestro .....

    MIMM Oil & Refinery Pipe Set Part No DFP 01

    This two piece set comes in at £12.00 plus £ 2.00 postage for the pair. It consists of the following,


    this gantry type affair which I would imagine is for crossing obstacles and bund walls ...... 3D resin printed in the very familiar grey and the valve handle finished in the silver finish which will be how its delivered. All flanged fittings with decent bolt detail as usual. There is a small flanged inlet which can be bored out to accept your choice of pipework.


    here he is again for a sense of scale which once again I think has been pretty well captured.

    another shot from the top and another potential to connect a further pipe.


    now .... I dont know if due to the scale of these flange fittings the incorporation of the actual flange gaskets could be added. I suspect it maybe a little bit of an ask .... but ... you never know. It may just be represented in paint if possible. just a thought.

    the second piece of the set is a heat exchanger .....


    again eloquently modeled for scale by our inside man. A combination of 3mm and 5mm inlets available to be bored out to suit. there are also a couple of butt welded 90 degree elbows at either end. Bolt detail is good as on previous pieces.


    the various connection points to allow traversing of bund walls etc.


    and from a different angle.

    both these parts could be used no problem to great effect in order to make the oil depot on the layout stand out with further embellishment and realism. Again, you can feel to the touch that these are perfectly capable of accepting most common paint types and weathering powders and materials.

    A quick image of the products covered so far here. Remember that the fuel pump shown here is a separate item please in case the image confuses.


    Finally on the accessory element of this review we come to the last item .....

    MIMM Fuel Unloading Pipe Set Part No UFP-01

    The price for this comes in at £ 22.00 plus £ 2.00 postage.


    and here we are. On a very familiar note ..... its a 3D resin print with the addition of actual rubber hoses, one each end. I never took the measurement for this but will come back later with it. the reason being is I am not sure if you would get two large oil tankers one at the back of the other along its length or if you would facilitate the two hoses by having a tanker at either side of the pipe set. I will update on that.


    here is our man ( gorgeous Gus ) modeling for scale ...... looks fine to me but .... subjectivity ....... give us your views.

    A mix of all flanged and butt welded pipe fittings, the usual high standard of detail in the fittings and again the question looms ....... could some clever clogs model the gaskets ? in fact .... would they be sad enough to want to ? answers on a postcard please.


    the rubber hoses are very flexible ( well rubber .... they would be ) and without the desire to test the model to destruction ..... it stood up very well to a good tugging and a bit of twisting and they are all still intact.


    and another .....


    a picture of the underside of the foot of the piece which obviously goes face down onto the bottom of your baseboard. So the very slight abrasion seen would not be of any consequence to the model at all.

    here is a painted sample as well ........


    and another ........


    its worth noting that on all of the above accessories, they are solid prints, not hollow prints or casts and therefore are of a robust nature that will again stand up to easy handling and .... a bit of out and out abuse.

    OK ..... the photo fest is over ..... phew.

    In summary .... I rate these products highly .... just opinion but I have tried to expose any significant weaknesses in undertaking the above and there are few. One or two possible tidy up exercises in the pipe fitting but nothing that could not be overcome by the purchaser. The print lines which were evident on the electric pump item is not really an issue as such but I am pretty confident that it could be eradicated completely at the production / printing stage by a little alteration of how the product is angled and offered up to the print bed. I am unfortunately not an authority on this so have to leave it up to greater authorities on the matter than a mere mortal like myself.
    Dundee can throw in his tuppence worth here.

    I've reviewed the products to the best of my ability from a laymans point of view. I have been pretty fair I'd say although to be honest, the products in my opinion speak for themselves and it does not take any arm twisting to speak favourably of them or the desire to have them.

    These ... out the box as it were are great products that would look good on any layout ..... but ..... there is so much more potential through the final decoration of these ... the addition of rust .... potential painting of gaskets ... if achievable and of course the surroundings in which they are placed to further take advantage of an already handsome product.

    with this in mind ..... I would like to send the unpainted products half way around the world to Gary in Australia with the challenge of suitably painting and weathering these to " look there best ". no pressure as I am awaiting a response ..... maybe I've put the cart before the horse here but I'm sure he will accept my poisoned chalice.

    The upside is that for his efforts ...... he keeps the samples. The other painted unloading sets of which there are two will be give aways to some worthy members with the good will of Made In Manchester Models and Platform 1.

    Now ..... all posts / comments / constructive critiques welcome ....... fill yer boots.

    I hope the above has at least been a reasonable read and a final huge thanks to MIMM for asking platform 1 to review these products and providing these free samples for the distribution to our members.

    I wish them all the best in their endeavours.

    cheers for now

    toto
     
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  7. Made in Manchester Models

    Made in Manchester Models Full Member

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  8. Made in Manchester Models

    Made in Manchester Models Full Member

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    Hi Toto, thank you for giving up your time to review these models, and also thank you very much for such a comprehensive, detailed & honest review.



    I would just like to clarify regarding the construction of the pump & pipework sections, I originally 3D print these parts and then cast them in resin moulds which is where some of the slight imperfections may creep in, having said that they can be easily cleaned up and any excess can be removed with a craft knife if required. Resin moulding also helps to keep manufacturing cost down without losing detail compared to mass production in 3D which is also a very slow process. Images of the finished pumps & pipework are available on my website diorama. Many thanks again, cheers, John
     
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  9. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Many thanks John.

    You are welcome. The products were a joy to review and physically have to scrutinise. The unpainted versions are neading to Australia shortly for painting and weathering by one of our moderators Gary. He has agreed to give them a beauty treatment of powders and paint.:avatar:. He will post up the products when he gets started and do a further review himself. Photos will be made available of the finished products for you web page gallery.

    I'll hopefully be getting them in the post to him this weekend.

    Once again many thanks

    Toto
     
  10. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Great review Toto.

    Quite a few of those anomalies can be addressed by any modeller. John has said that a craft knife could cure the small faults. With a little bit of sanding, maybe a spot of putty, cleaning up with a knife will suffice.

    You make a note about ladders and cages, heights of landings, cage opening heights etc. These all can be remedied quite simply.

    Depending on the era being modelled, Health and Safety may not have been a concern when these tanks were introduced to the world, back when the average Joe had common sense, way back before 'that person' who fell off everything they touched, was given a job on how to rectify their haplessness.... :avatar::avatar:

    Overall, they are a stunning looking model with all the associated detail. The 'bought separately' items are a worthy addition to make this excellent model that bit better. Not only on the tank models, but for any other model on a layout such as water mains fittings, emergency hydrants etc.

    Perhaps John could do a range of fittings separately, that includes elbows (various angles (30*, 45* 60*, 90*), flanges (both single and double sided), stop valves, pipe cleats etc. I read that they are able to accept 5mm and 3mm pipe/tube. Perhaps these could be modelled to fit Evergreen Styrene tube, either 3.2mm, 4mm, 4.8mm or 5.5mm. Just a suggestion. ;)

    I look forward to the arrival down under and endeavour to present these models to their full potential.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  11. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Many thanks good Sir.

    I thought about one or two generic pipe lengths of say 5m scale length and maybe 3m scale length so the modeler could install to suit their own needs. Coupled with the availability of certain bend types and maybe a straight through gate valve piece could really give the opportunity to " go to town " on a layout. Also a substantial over head gantry structure that would span at least a twin track line.

    The potential is huge.

    I know John is a one man band and has a 9 to 5 so product development may take time but the pipe and fittings may not be as time consuming as say the lattice gantry but would be great sellers.

    Let's wait and see.

    Meanwhile ..... your freebie examples will be sent off shortly .... probably about .... eh ..... 3 foot 6. :avatar:I'll let you know when they are physically in the post

    We'll look forward to the results.

    Cheers

    Toto
     
  12. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Nice..., narrow gauge 3'6"... :avatar::avatar:

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  13. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    The tanker loading point would not have flexible hose's, the tanker would have its own hose/s stored on the side of the tank for loading and off loading. I used to work on the dispatch and offloading of road tankers back when I worked for Staveley Chemicals and later Coalite Chemicals and cannot ever recall seeing flexible baggings as we called them on site. Rail tank loading would probably have been into the top of the tank, off loading I cannot comment as I never had anything to do with them where I worked.

    As an aside, after leaving Staveley Chemicals employ around 1986, I heard they had built chlorine loading to rail tankers points, then found that although the tracks to the loading points were to mainline standard, the rails up to the works were not so they never got used!

    Cheers, Pete.
     
  14. Made in Manchester Models

    Made in Manchester Models Full Member

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    Hi Pete, Regarding your comments on flexible hoses being used for unloading tankers, please take a look at the attached image on which my model is actually based, best regards, John
     
  15. Made in Manchester Models

    Made in Manchester Models Full Member

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    Hi Pete, Regarding your comments on flexible hoses being used for unloading tankers, please take a look at the attached image on which my model is actually based, best regards, John
    Fort Bill Sidings2.gif
     
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  16. Made in Manchester Models

    Made in Manchester Models Full Member

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    Just to clarify regarding the flexible hoses, they were quite often left attached to the pipework and left draped across the ground or rested on concrete or metal stumps. Hope this info helps. Fort Bill3.jpg John
     
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  17. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Hi Toto, I think it is a character limit rather than a word limit, have fallen foul of this limit a few times too, perhaps you can let me know when this has changed and what the new limit is, thanks, Jim
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2022
  18. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    Great detail photographs John (MIMM). Living in Australia, we can never get near anything like these images. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  19. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    No worries Jim.

    I will put it on the to do list. I'll hopefully be having a Skype with Paul_l concerning one or two other jobs that will be getting done between us and shall have a look to see if we can make adjustments. I'm pretty certain we can. Once we know for sure and have adjusted accordingly, I'll keep everyone in the loop.

    Cheers for now

    Toto
     
  20. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi John, as I said in my post, I didn't have anything to do with rail tanker loading or offloading so am happy to be educated mate!

    Cheers, Pete.
     

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