Luc Lebel answers questions on Facebook March 11th 2013


Question and Answer Session with Luc Lebel, Regional Sales Director

March 11, 2013


Luc Lebel, Regional Sales Director and all around expert on all things Cat related at Tonkin Replicas held a question and answer session on Facebook – March 11th, 2013.  The response was fantastic.  Folks’ questions ranged from development to engineering to what they would / would not like to see in our upcoming new construction line featuring CATERPILLAR.  Below is reproduction of the question and answer session. 


Due to the terrific response TR will hold another question and answer session in the near future.  Stay tuned for this upcoming event.


Transcript of Question and Answer Session with Luc Lebel, Regional Sales Director

March 11, 2013


Andy Madden As far as the 1:87 scale models, what detail level are you targeting? Will you have metal tracks on tracked machines?


Justin Spencer Thats no good i guess we will never see one


Colbe Haddock On the medium size loaders will tonkin put the correct cylinders on the lifting arms so they lift to the correct height? That's probably a big thing collectors would want. Also when will the next 1:50 model be announced?


Johnathan White One more question, do you go to Caterpillar with ideas on what you want to release, or does Cat tell you what they want to be released?

Tonkin Replicas Andy Madden: The 1/87 is in development and first thing that we will do use wheels. But we asked ourselves what kind of tracks we will use. Our distributor will also tell us their feeling about them. Having metal track change the price in a big way


Jake Sickels Who do y'all correspond with on the Caterpillar side to produce replicas?, (ie: marketing, merchandising, new product development) ? Always been a curious question of where it starts! Thanks-

 Tonkin Replicas: Colbe: Even if we try to do our best to get the same movement, sometimes we need to make some compromises. We will try our best to get this made with the most accurate way.

Jonathan White On the 1/50 scale models, the D6R and the upcoming excavator you mentioned previously, they will have metal tracks correct?

Tyler Diener  What Cat excavators will you be making?

Tonkin Replicas Tyler: Really good question you're the first asking that but it's TOP SECRET at this time... sorry


Tonkin Replicas Jonathan: Both ways works. Cat ask us some models to do and we might suggest them to do some models as well. If it make sense for them then we might be able to build it


Colbe Haddock Thanks Luc for all your answers very helpful

Jake Sickels  Everyone needs to understand these are DIECAST MODELS. It is impossible to create a price efficient model, have it 100% accurate and with in a timely manner to the consumer. They are something that is a hobby and I'm sure Tonkin is going to do their best to met the best of both worlds. Be understanding that they are working with a small scale and a budget, these models will not met all requirements from every individual purchasing. (Sorry for the rant) lets be thankful they are out of the hands of Norscot. Thanks luc.


 Tonkin Replicas  Jonathan: We plan metal track on the D6R at this time. But I have to tell you that the new ABS quality is also really attractive

Jonathan White Jake, understand, but when you see a Loader made, even though it is 1/50 scale like the new Volvo 250 G series that is coming out, they don't even raise up enough to hardly dump the bucket. The Cat 950 H series made a few years ago, couldn't even drop the buck all the way down or raise the bucket up enough to pose over a 1/50 dump truck. It just takes away a little from the model. I am super stoked about Tonkin doing Cat models, I am a huge collector, probably have over 500 or more pieces of 1/50 models. So I can't wait.....

Andy Maden Metal or ABS are both nice materials for tracks. As long as they aren't the rubber band tracks.

Tonkin Replicas Jake. Cat has their marketing group for each division. These guys decide which model 1:1 they want to promote with a diecast one. After that we build it. Sometimes we have to bid and the winner got it!


 Jonathan White   Didn't think about the ABS side of the equation


Wayne Crews  I think anything other than the rubber band "tracks" would be good for anything on tracks.    It is too bad we will never see a 1/87 CT660.

Andy Madden @Jake, they might be diecast models, but I think we've seen a wide variety in quality at similar price points from different manufacturers. Sometimes it comes down to an inattention to details. While it's great to see a new manufacturer in the game, I think it's safe to say that we are hoping for a higher quality product than what Norscot produced. If not, then why be happy that we have another option than Norscot?

Tonkin Replicas Jonathan... We will try our best like I said. Remember also that construction model are new to us. I will lie to you telling that everything will be perfect

Jake Sickles:  Sounds like a great line of models!   Can't wait to see what's next, any thought of a possible agricultural model?


Jonathan White Understand, I am just stoked to see what you guys will bring to the table...

Woulter Mol : Question 1: Will Tonkin add information about the 1:1 machine with the scalemodel? For example photos and technical specs printed on the box or add as a small brochure or DVD?

Question 2 : Will Tonkin make limited edition Caterpillar scale models?

Question 3: Will Tonkin have a seperate website for his construction scale models? If YES: Wenn will it start?

Question4: Will Tonkin scale models be available in the (toy) shops Netherlands ?

Question 5: Will Tonkin start with his own webshop for the construction scale models?

Question 6: Will Tonkin have a service department for missing or broken parts which can be contacted if this occurs?


Modellini.com Hi Luc.... regards from Italy. Anything about track loaders? demolition excavators? Mining shovel? Wheel Excavators & Material Handler? Backhoe Loaders?? Tonkin have planned any models about this kinds of equipment? thanks in advance!!!

Tonkin Replicas Wouter #1: We plan something... Can't tell you right now

Wouter#2: We will offer this possibility for sure

Wouter#3: Website right now is in the discussion. I can't tell you for sure what it will be and when it will be on line... sorry

Wouter#4: All Tonkin Replicas models will be available worldwide. Our distributors will do their best to contact as many hobby shops possible

Wouter#5 Wouter#6: Broken models???? what??? It never happen ... This will belong to the hobby shop and distributor to do it. In a case of a major problem we will take care of it...5: We don't plan this for now.

outer#7: What no #7 Wouter only 6 questions? Come on... kidding you

Tonkin Replicas Modellini: Tonkin Replicas will build as many models that we are allowed to, but also what we can build. I take good note of your suggestions

Jonathan White Diffidently would like to see a website for your new Cat line.


Woulter Mol  Question 7: Will Tonkin make "golden oldies" for the ACMOC?


·        Tonkin Replicas I knew Wouter that you are able to do it for 7 Really not on our plan at this time

Q Woulter Mol  question 8: (or 6B ) I know Tonkin will do everything in their power to prevent models from damaging or missing parts. But those things still happen even when you have do a 100% quality check. My question is based on the service some companies like NZG offer and that you can send them an e-mail for a replacement part request . Would that be something Tonkin could consider?   Question 9: Will Tonkin visit the Modelshow Europe in the Netherlands in 2014? (Luc, we have a spare room -))

Justin Spenser : so my qustion is if you can only produce stuff that the other have not made how can you produce the new wheel loader if Norscot build it all ready

Andy Madden Will you only be producing current Cat models or will you also produce some older pieces?

Tommy Kinsley: Would there be any chance in the future of Tonkin producing a higher end line, possibly up to standards of CCM's diecast line?

Tonkin Replicas Wouter question 9: We have already that service for our truck. We always keeps some parts for broken models. We not at this point resale spare parts for customizing. No one has never build a 950K neither the 994H. Andy: Like I told earlier the vintage is not in our short or medium.. and maybe long plan  but we can never say never,  Tommy: We don't close the door to it. It will always depend on what our customer want.

Andy Madden You mentioned ABS in a post earlier. What kind of mix of diecast & plastic are you looking at? Personally, I'd gladly take more plastic parts if it gives finer details, especially in 1:87.

Tyler Latimer –d’aoust Ok here's my questions

1 will Tonkin provide cat dealerships with models?

2 is Tonkin going to produce excavator models?

3 will Tonkin revisit the cat ct660 with different set- ups? 

4 are there going to be attachments made for the models?

Tommy Kinsley  Well at this point about the excavators, you can eliminate quite a few unless you consider the E series. Luc you said that Tonkin cannot build the same model as previously done by any other manufacturers, so there's still hope for the 349e! Unless it's going to be a smaller 324e/329e.


Dan Nethercott Is there any likelihood that we will see your CAT license applied to your other products; for instance a CAT licensed service truck or lowboy?

Matthew Williams Could you possibly do an excavator like how us Australians do with log grabs when we load log trucks maybe? I will post a photo to show you what I mean.

Colbe Haddcock  For the third time when will the next 1:50 model be announced Luc?


Jonathan White Colbe, not answering for Tonkin, but they are supposed to announce the last of the 1/50 scale models for 2013 sometime at BAUMA which is in April.

Tonkin Replicas Tommy: Yes you are right. For example... we announce the 950K so no other manufacturer can not do this model. We locked up this model. It's the same for other manufacturer. Imagine spending a lot of cash in a tool, and someone else do the same. It will be a waste for both companies and for you also guys……yes we can do that if we have the model to do it of course…… That answer above was for Dan Nethercott….. Matthew Williams  well everything is possible but we need a good size order to do it. I personnally like the Forestry equipment... so let see …..Jonathan White is right... we still have one model to announce for this year and it will be in about one month during Bauma... sorry Colbe I missed your first 2... too much traffic ….

David Anderson.. I'm really impressed by the comment traffic this is getting. Lots of fans.

ITonkin Replicas I'm not surprise David. I like it and this is an expérience that we will repeat for sure, I like having your input. …. Tyler Latimer-D’aoust : Sorry I almost forget you. Cat dealersship will have our models as long as they want to. I'm not worry abou that. And yes we will produce excavator also.


Vovoloader Zack will there be any more scrapers or pull pans in the future?

MclLean Joyce Any Chances for old machines like d9G's 350L 375L or 345B's?  …  also any company liveried models?


Matthew Williams  Would it also be possible to do and excavator that has different attachments that come with it like. Ripper, demolition grabs, v bucket ect?  … I would also like to see both a D7R and D9H/G with 1,2 or 3 rippers

Chris Vickers  Any chance you will put a 64 scale set together like the western star truck and a lowbed you guys kinda did with KC3 and say a D7T???


Tommy Kinsley I would also like to see liveries, but I don't think anytime in the near future we will get them.  … Luc, one thing that I am thinking about what you said and answered for me earlier about not making the same models, what about CCM and the 385cl, Norscot with one in 1/64th. Same goes for CCM and the 657 scraper.

Daniel Baker Luc we need a new scraper maybe not this year but in the near future maybe a 627 or 637 push pull setup. Your 6r would go great with that.

Brian Hahn Luc, will we finally see an affordable large mining truck in 1/87 scale? By large, I mean something over 200 ton capacity.

Jason Davenport Can you please do some logging equipment in 1/50? I would be stoked to see a 568 lineup and a 527.

Graham May I would like to see some, Logging equipment looks super cool on the shelf, possibly a medium dozer, SCRAPERS<SCRAPERS< SCRAPERS, and the new 986 loader

Luc Lebel We are studying some options but remember that we are new in the Cat line. So maybe you will see some scraper at some point but we need to get the green light to do it first

Jason Landon Would love to see some 1/50 Cat logging iron. The 6R is must have for me  is it by chance going to be a LGP? A 988H or K would be pretty sweet, and like Graham said. SCRAPERS

Luc Lebel  McLean Joyce No we will build present models at this time. As for special livery.. we will try to sell some for sure…  Matthew Williams ..In theory I will like to do it. I practice we need to see if we can do it. we need authorization to do it. but nothing is impossible… Chris Vickers Well the combo is something that we will work with some models. I like the idea of the Western Star but now that Cat has is own on highway truck I doubt that we will be able to do it... but for sure we will ask… Tommy Kinsley: Good observation Tommy and honestly I don't know the answer. I know one think is that CCM got the high details at high price models, Also maybe that both manufacturers agree on something! I'm just guessing here… Daniel Barker: I agree on that.

Tonkin Replicas  Brian Hahn We saw the survey and we take good not and one model that people want to see in 1/87 is a huge mining truck... Hope to realize your wish ….Jason Davenport: I do like the Forestry equipment as well. We will do my best to get some models for you guys… Graham May: Graham Why I'm not surprise to see you asking for scraper???? Like I told this is a cool piece to make as for the logging models …  Jason Landon: Happy for you. Our D6R will be sweet... promise.. You are one of the rare who asking more loader from us . We have already 4 to build!

Robert Heuston: What I would like to see is the option of the 994H in transport mode. Complete machine minus cab, handrails, bucket and tyre's/rims, with the final drive properly modeled. I'd like this option for when the Drake platform is released. With all other parts as loads for support trucks. Is there any chance something like this could happen.

Brian Hahn Thanks very much Luc, and this way of communicating was a great idea, thanks for that as well.


Jefferey Smoker I know I should read all of the previous posts, however I am going to shoot in the dark on this one. I would like to see logging equipment and a mining lowboy both in 1/87. Norscot only built a 1/87 log wheel loader, so skidders, log loader (excavator style), forestry machine, etc. would be fantastic to see (not to mention a nice log truck in 1/87!). A mining lowboy is a mining off-road dump truck with the dump bed replaced by a 5th wheel for pulling an equally sized lowboy trailer. Thanks!


Tonkin Replicas Robert Heuston: That's will be cool I agree. But when we build a model we can not reproduce all the pieces that you will find on the real machine at an affordable cost. I'm not sure if we tell you that it will cost 4 times the price that it will be attractive for you...  Jeffrey Smoker Our two main line will be 1/50 and 1/87. so we might have some interesting product in 1/87. 1/87 vehicles club did a nice survey and we try to take some ideas from it.


Robert Heuston I understand what your saying. I think it would look good, as here in Aus we can't transport them fully decked out. But yeah I would like the msnufactures of mining gear to start releasing parts got transport models like the drake trailers.


Tonkin Replicas Bye Guys It was a real pleasure to chat with you. Hope that we will have some time to repeat the experience. See you in a month with our last announcement for 2013 models! Take care everyone. Luc