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Jol Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Jol Wilkinson

  1. I think you'll find that the ONS data shows that retail sales are up on pre-Covid levels. I find that hardly surprising, given that spending on hospitality and holidays has been rather curtailed for nearly two years. The mix of spending has certainly changed but looking at some of the new RTR releases topics, there seems to be a strong appetite for buying models. Has Covid benefitted the large online sellers owing to its impact on "normal" retail shopping? Fixed costs aren't easy to reduce as they are already fixed, e.g. rent and business rates. What are termed variable and semi variable expenses (heat, light, advertising, telephone costs, wages, etc.) can be more readily managed.
  2. I suspect he is discounting to match/beat what other online retailers are doing. Retail Price Maintenance doesn't permit the manufacturer to stipulate retailers selling prices, so Hornby or Bachmann can't really influence that, although there are ways of doing so. Motor industry new car discounts were 17% of list price in the 1970s. Dealers invariable gave away nearly all of that, relying on volume bonuses for profit. Offering the lowest price has always been the poor salesman's first resort. In the 1980's, led by Ford IIRC, the discounts were reduced to 10% and the list prices were lowered to match. The idea was that the dealers were therefore able to offer a smaller discount and keep a slightly larger profit margin, while the customer perceived they were getting reasonable "deal". If Hornby and Bachmann followed that approach - lower RRP and less discount - would the retailer be able to take advantage to make a more reasonable margin? It would also impact the "commissioner manufacturers" such as Locomotion, ROS, TMC, etc. as it would make their RRPs look high.
  3. I would definitely put the K's LNWR six wheel carriage "kits" in the deeply regretted purchase box. Other regrets have been a GEM LNWR Precursor Tank with a cast white metal chassis and an MPD MR 2F(?) kit. The latter because building it exceeded my abilities at the time and I wasted a nice kit.
  4. Thanks Paul, I had forgotten that. Some of it doesn't seem to stack up but as they are rounded up (or down) figures that is quite possible. Of course, those figures relate to discounted high ticket price items, whereas it is possible to make better margins on less expensive items, but you need to carry a good selection of stock and sell them in greater quantity. The Corporation Tax at 3% seems a bit odd as I would expect it to be levied on annual net profit, i.e. 19% of the £3 profit = £0.6. But then it is a long time since I did a course on business accounting. Edited to correct Corporation Tax calculation.
  5. I wanted to revisit the original post to study the video again but it is no longer available (removed from Youtube?). I wasn't very clear about how the various piles of coins were described and how much actual profit they ended up with. As Miss Prism said, some simple figures - or just percentages of the items selling price - would have been clearer.
  6. What happens if a business is not VAT registered.
  7. I don't think Costa and the other coffee shop chains are a valid comparison. They provide a meeting place where you have to buy something. I have always wondered about their financial model when you see customers (often young mums with buggies taking up a large floor area or laptop users using the place as an office for hours on end around here). I usually bought at exhibitions, mainly because that is where I could get what I wanted and the traders usually knew what they were talking about. I once tried to buy some plastic solvent in a local model shop, only to be told they didn't stock it because it evaporated in the bottle. Fortunately someone sensible now runs that shop. Covid made it necessary to buy online when shows were not possible, but I usually do so with those traders I got to know at exhibitions.
  8. As a designer of a number of etched kits, are you implying that I am a fiendish madman, intent on bringing mental anguish to the modelling community?
  9. It sounds as though Hornby may also have supply issues which would restrict availability. In that case it is sensible, if unpopular, to look at how you can sell your products to maximise turnover and profit. Market conditions impacts on that. If people are willing to pay RRP and you have a direct sales outlet, then the obvious way is to sell direct rather than through discounted wholesale. Clearly deliberately limiting production will also drive up prices. Let me clarify that I don't buy RTR, nor am I a fan of Hornby, Bachmann or any of the RTR producers/commissioners. Whether they have created the current market environment is open to debate, but the market is heavily influenced by the consumer, their wants and perceptions. How a supplier responds to that is always going to upset some people nowadays. I do however have a degree of sympathy for Hornby and Bachmann. They were producers and wholesalers, supplying the traditional model shop sector. The internet changed that as the big retailers captured a significant share of the market through discounting and many local shops closed - something often bemoaned by people as they can't locally get the bits and pieces they want, having bought the big ticket items online. That may have strengthened the buying power of the internet warehouses. So what would you do? Marketing directly was the way Hornby and Bachmann chose as far as I can see. They were also faced with a shrinking share of the market, as those large retailers they were supplying, started to commission and sell their own high ticket price models to increase their revenue and profit. So what price loyalty in either direction? No doubt this view will not be shared by many RMWeb members. As I don't buy RTR I may not be regarded as a qualified observer, but do have some experience of how retail and wholesale markets operate in the UK.
  10. No, it's the consumer that is to blame, Hornby were responding to the market.
  11. London Road appeared in MRJ and RM in the same year. I wrote different articles , to reflect on what I perceived as different audiences. The pictures were by different photographers with different techniques and appeared in what I would call different "house styles". New kits are appearing but possibly what might not be considered in traditional formats. However, they tend to be of less mainstream locos which have have probably already been done or overtaken by the wider choice of RTR models. At the same time the reintroduction of some older but updated kit ranges such as NuCast indicates that there is still demand for such models. Kits tended to be more expensive, with all the bits needed to complete but RTR is catching up and may even have overtaken in some cases. The new LNWR/LMS Precedent retails at £220, an etched kit for the same with worst case priced items (Markit wheels, HL gearbox and coreless motor) is £206. Popular wheels and motor have become notably more expensive but there are cheaper options that would reduce that pricing to about £170.00. However, the quality of new RTR models , while attracting people to more niche products, is also deterring people from making there own models as they can't replicate those standards.
  12. Stephen, you are correct that the A and C Class 0-8-0 kits have different designers. The C was designed by John Redrup of LRM (before he persuaded to do some LNWR kit designs for him), the A by Nick Easton as part of his own BIWO (Because I Want One) range, although the tender and some fittings are from LRM. Nick originally sold the BIWO kits direct (to cover his own development costs) but later offered them to LRM. They were always sold as BIWO branded kits to differentiate from LRM "stock" items. The body etches are now produced by Nick Easton when there is sufficient interest/orders through LRM for a batch. Jol
  13. After Chris Parrish passed away, the Westward and Perseverance stock remained in store for some time. His widow Heather then offered it to an established kit supplier who took it on. Unfortunately it was totally undocumented and also poorly packaged/organised so it will take some time to sort out what is available "ex-stock"and what can be re-manufactured.
  14. I use real coal , fixed in place by PVA with black poster paint in it. It is generally matt with the odd shiny bit, usually the larger lumps. No weathering required. This was John Hayes technique (he also gave me the coal as we had oil fired central heating).
  15. But how many would be employed in industry manufacturing what we import? James Hamilton Patterson's book, "What we have lost, the dismantling of Great Britain" makes interesting reading on the decline of industry in this country.
  16. Then perhaps you need to think about the quality of your life and what it depends on. It isn't easy to avoid buying products from countries such as China, but you don't need to buy a new mobile phone every year, throw out clothes when they don't match the latest fashion trend. buy the latest RTR model just because it looks nice, etc. The Japanese car industry has been good at doing weird for some time. After realising that their early design decisions pushed the boundaries of blandness, they went too far the other way. Even their current "regular" models look as though the design was given to the apprentice to liven up a bit, with OTT light clusters and other detailing.
  17. The idea behind compensation is based on the three legged stool or table, the sort that doesn't rock on an uneven pub floor. With twin beams the pivot "shaft" acts as two of the legs as they have no vertical movement in the frames, so a third leg/pivot point is needed. Twin beams and a third axle mounted rigidly in the frames doesn't achieve this. If the motor/gearbox is mounted on one of the twin beam axles, then the third axle can be supported on a single pivot. Mounting the motor in this way is common on 0-4-4T locos, with a compensated bogie acting as the third pivot point.
  18. The white lining on the wheels is very good. How did you do that?
  19. I can't see the point of having two axles on pivoting side beams without the other axle being on a centre pivot. It doesn't match the three point system compensation capability outlined by Mike Sharman in his Flexichas book. When a wheel on the fixed axle moves up it will move the frame on that side and while one of the beamed wheels will remain on the track, the other will not. If the fixed wheel drops then that will apply to the beamed wheels on the other side. Only when the rails rise or drop in unison will the system keep all the wheels in contact.
  20. I've used the Mashima 1224 in eight etched loco kits and found them to be very good. However, I avoided the 1220 as it was less powerful and would certainly have not used it in a heavy white-metal kit. The later 10XX and 14XX enclosed motors were more powerful. The EMGS Manual has a very comprehensive section on motors, with performance details, etc. but I don't think it has been updated to include the High Level or Mitsumi motors.
  21. The first one to appear on ebay. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334280625526?mkevt=1&mkpid=0&emsid=e11021.m43.l1120&mkcid=7&ch=osgood&euid=ead5b3ed90d94d61a6be28463a1c4805&bu=43007734306&ut=RU&osub=-1~1&crd=20220106012627&segname=11021&sojTags=ch%3Dch%2Cbu%3Dbu%2Cut%3Dut%2Cosub%3Dosub%2Ccrd%3Dcrd%2Csegname%3Dsegname%2Cchnl%3Dmkcid £79.95 more than he paid for it a few weeks ago. The sale "excuse" that he is Selling from my personal collection due to a change in direction and now focusing on my live steam. doesn't seem to hold up when you look at the other items he has for sale, which also includes the new Hornby 10,000 at the same price.
  22. Stephen, the buffers should have been in the kit. John includes AGW sprung buffers in his kit although supply has been somewhat erratic of late. For LNWR locos these is a choice of Webb, Whale or Bowen Cooke, according to which loco you are modelling. Contact John at LRM so he can send which type you want. Using P4 wheels I have found that it is best to leave out the etched axle guard supports to provide enough clearance. I solder the cleaned up spring/axlebox to the rear of the spring mounting points on the solebar. The photo below of the 2000g tender I built to go behind the Jubilee will give some idea As for LNWR loco books I had forgotten that I have Peter Davis's excellent F. W. Webb's Three-Cylinder Compounds. I think I have managed to acquire most of the LNWR locomotive publications although one or two of the Locomotive Illustrated may have escaped me. Jol
  23. I hope they didn't send it through the post. I have received products that should have been sent by courier but eBay traders often done follow the rules or apply common sense.
  24. Ted Talbot became the guru on LNWR Locomotives and his book tends to be regarded as the definitive source. However, I have found that the Yeadon Books, An Illustrated History of LMS Locomotives, Vol. 5 by Essery and Jenkinson, as well as the various Locomotives Illustrated Magazines on LNWR locos all add further information Talbot's book doesn't contain. As ever, a comprehensive library is needed., which also could contain Harry Jack's book on LNWR Southern Division locos, Peter Skellon's book on Coal Tanks, O S Nock's books on LNWR Precursor Family and LNWR locomotives of C. J. Bowen Cooke. but I may have missed something.
  25. I have used 247, Narrow Planet and LRM and found them all to be very good. Jackson Evans (now 247?) and PC also produced them, the last stock of the latter now being available from the LNWR Society but they need cutting out and trimming, whereas the others are pre-painted and easily removed from the etch.
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