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Planned Farish release schedule April 2019 - January 2020

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Isn't Kato entering market with a Class 800?   That's a sign someone believes in "n".   It maybe that Bachmann are struggling to get manufacturing slots out of Kader as there may be higher volume/margin items for other markets . I think given the experience of last few years you are probably going to have to look at new manufacturers

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My 2 cents, if I may,

 

To me it appears that the issue for the ‘Farish’ range is that it is tied to Bachmann Europe (B.E.), and thereby Kader.

B.E. are there solely to make profit for their Parent company.  That is the reality of business.

It appears that B.E. are tied in to their products being manufactured by a Manufacturing Company (M.C), also owned by the Parent company.  

B.E. can not go to the open market to get models made for their ranges, they are stuck with production slots given by the M.C.

Parent company want maximum profit.

B.E. must prioritise what products, across all their ranges, will generate most profit.  These models will be made priority. All others have to wait.

If another ‘newer’ idea for a product comes along, it will get priority if B.E. believe it will generate more profit than other products in the queue for production.

 

Until either the British OO range collapses,  the Farish range is sold off to another owner, or the business model is changed - nothing will improve re. Production/Range availability for Farish N.

For all the extra capacity in production that comes, there will always be a newer idea for a model that can generate more profit, and it will get priority.  

 

The ethos of short runs, quick turnover, maximum profit is great for the balance sheet, but not for the long term sustainability of the hobby in this scale/range, or any range.  It is better for the balance sheet if a ‘range’ of items sits in our cupboards to be traded on eBay etal, than sit in B.E.s warehouse so that ranges are available for longer in the shops.

This has become the norm.  Models often sell quick. If you want it 3 years later, off to eBay you go.  Gone are the days of Lima products being on the shop shelves for years.  But then, gone too are most of the shops!

 

I’ve been made aware of how difficult it is to make good profits on coaching stock, and in turn keep their cost down, but given the time delays on the Farish 2Fs I really wish Hornby had challenged the market with a downsizing of their 2E stock, maybe now 2F too. But, they have troubles of their own I suppose.

Any competition seems negligible now. Dapol N range really isn’t challenging Farish anymore, Farish aren’t challenging Dapol N.  It is almost quid pro quo. Love him or hate him, at least DJ got things moving for a while.

 

Perhaps there’s a billionaire out there who wants to buy up the Farish range for fun eh?

Hehehehe - think I’ve been stuck in the house too long!

 

Paul

Edited by bigP
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Just had some 'intermediate' Mk1s out of storage... Bought in 2004 - blimey I only paid £10-99 for them new. Price must be a factor in a dwindling market. 

 

Maybe unreliability is too? Too many split gears, 47s that stall on points, 156s that derail on reverse curves... I dread to think how much time I've wasted on these things.  Once a scale gets a reputation it is hard to shake off, even when most new products are outstanding. 

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The split gears issue which is something that has plagued Farish locos since the dawn of time and despite this fact continues to occur is a major Achilles heel.  Take the Large Logo 37/4.  Lovely model (I have six of them!) but two have already paid a visit to the Main Works at Barwell for repairs and a third is now on the blocks waiting for the Service Department to return to normal after the Virus thing is over.

 

With "reliability" like that it is no wonder new entrants to the N scale market are quickly put off when faced with major repairs to a £100+ loco... 

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2 hours ago, woodenhead said:

Get yourselves over to Hattons if you want some Farish Mark 1s - they have listed quite a few in secondhand today - some are in multiples.

 

https://hattonshobbies.com/collections/preowned

 


Fortunately, I have been in N gauge since 1995 (second stint) so already have all the stock I need and nearly all I want!  Famous last words. :D

 

For new entrants though the pickings are relatively slim and the prices much higher.  I would love to see someone come in to the British N gauge market and disrupt it.

 

For now though, I would love a 2nd radius PECO Setrack point. :rolleyes:

 

Kind regards 

 

Paddy

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, woodenhead said:

Get yourselves over to Hattons if you want some Farish Mark 1s - they have listed quite a few in secondhand today - some are in multiples.

 

https://hattonshobbies.com/collections/preowned

 

Thank you for the heads-up.

 

I've just relieved them of 8 BSKs (only 7 to go) and an SLSTP (3 to go).

 

Very best

 

Scott

Edited by scottystitch
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Posted (edited)

For me, I have always liked the idea of a Hornby version of N gauge i.e. a one stop shop.  If I model in OO then I can get my track, locos, rolling stock, controllers, buildings, scenics etc. all from them.  I am not saying that Hornby always produce the best products but it is an easy way to enter the hobby.

 

Being serious for a moment, take my request for a PECO 2nd radius Setrack point.  It is obvious this would be a welcome addition to the N gauge market as most locomotives state this as their minimum these days (2nd radius).  The beginner end of the market can build a decent train set whilst I am sure the more experienced modellers would appreciate such a point in fiddle yards etc.  I believe there would be a need for a new straight track as well to match the length of the point but this should not be beyond PECOs capability.

 

Just one example of a lack of joined up thinking.

 

Kind regards

 

Paddy

 

 

Edited by Paddy

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Paddy said:

 

For new entrants though the pickings are relatively slim and the prices much higher.  I would love to see someone come in to the British N gauge market and disrupt it.

 

Kind regards 

 

Paddy

 

Hi Paddy,

 

How much disruption do you want?  

 

I’d argue that C-Rail, Cavalex, Sonic and even Revolution have stirred things up quite a bit!  Modellers clubbing together to make - since the Pendolino - tankers, engineers’ flats, vans, hoppers even giant nuclear flask wagons!

 

EDIT: Plus, in answer to your specific point about track, Wayne Kinney’s Finetrax now offers both bullhead and flatbottom rail in far superior appearance to existing RTR offerings.  While N remains some way behind 00 in terms of range and market share, there never has been a better time to be an British N gauge enthusiast.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

Edited by Ben A
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1 minute ago, Ben A said:

I’d argue that C-Rail, Cavalex, Sonic and even Revolution have stirred things up quite a bit!  Modellers clubbing together to make - since the Pendolino - tankers, engineers’ flats, vans, hoppers even giant nuclear flask wagons!

 

 

Yep, and even Realtrack, the NGS, and soon to added to by Kato and hopefully Hattons and KRS (if there's enough interest and orders for their products). Plus there's also the steady output of the longer term regulars like Dapol and Union Mills helping to provide competition in the N gauge market.

 

 

 

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On 20/04/2020 at 15:45, fezza said:

Dapol aren't much better.  There is still no sign of a revised NSE 50, a Dutch 50, a railfreight 50, let alone the more recent liveries - and 50s are probably the most popular loco of the last 30 years.

Bit harsh, as said the first batch only came out 6 months ago, they have done the Dutch one, (you imply there are multiples), they’ve been open about a subsequent run, and someone (DCC supplies?) were running a poll for the next special, including 50149 as a 50/50 option. They were withdrawn 28 years ago, dunno how you can say they’re the most popular locos of the last 30 years! Ok GBRF have given them some novelty with reinstatement of their pair, but it’s not like there’s a whole gamut of recent liveries for them to go at and they’re all over the network!
 

Bit of a bizarre turn of thread I’d say. Right now is clearly not the time to appraise the state of a market. Any market. I’ve been buying stock (I can’t call it modelling!), for 10 years now, starting in what many consider the heyday, once Dapol had given Farish a bit of a wake up call, and I think the models now are as exciting as ever.


Ok they’re mainly coming from the smaller players that Ben mentioned. Yes, Farish are dragging their heels spectacularly on a handful of models, but it seems a little premature to be writing an obituary for British N! I hope some consider it dead, I’ll buy their models cheap on the second hand market! 

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3 hours ago, Legend said:

Isn't Kato entering market with a Class 800?   That's a sign someone believes in "n". 

 

 

So far all Kato have done is announce they are making a model of a Japanese designed and (partially) built train that runs in the UK. I wouldn't read any further than that into their intentions when it comes to the UK market.

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51 minutes ago, Ben A said:

 

Hi Paddy,

 

How much disruption do you want?  

 

I’d argue that C-Rail, Cavalex, Sonic and even Revolution have stirred things up quite a bit!  Modellers clubbing together to make - since the Pendolino - tankers, engineers’ flats, vans, hoppers even giant nuclear flask wagons!

 

EDIT: Plus, in answer to your specific point about track, Wayne Kinney’s Finetrax now offers both bullhead and flatbottom rail in far superior appearance to existing RTR offerings.  While N remains some way behind 00 in terms of range and market share, there never has been a better time to be an British N gauge enthusiast.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.


Hi Ben,

 

You will get no argument from me - N gauge has never been better.  However, you and I modelled through the golden period when models were even more plentiful and the prices VERY reasonable.  I do not expect those times to return especially now given what we are going through.

 

As for track, there are plenty of options out there but it would be great to see PECO complete their range with a 2nd radius point.  The rest of their code 80 Setrack range is spot on.  Now if I was really dreaming, I could ask for a code 55 Setrack range. :o

 

You and the other players have and are doing a great job in terms of bringing non mainstream models to market.  However, there is always room for disruption in any market and often from somewhere we do not expect.  Whether this is true for British N gauge only time will tell.

 

Keep safe.

 

Kind regards

 

Paddy

 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, njee20 said:

Bit of a bizarre turn of thread I’d say. Right now is clearly not the time to appraise the state of a market. Any market.


Hi njee20,

 

On the above I would have to disagree with you.  This is exactly the time that the leaders within businesses need to be thinking strategically about how they will operate post CV19.  Such plans need to be worked on in detail now, so that once economic activity returns they can be executed with drive and focus.  Obviously, the tactical decisions have to be made to get through these dark times but these two threads can be undertaken consecutively.

 

This is not just actions for business but something individuals should be undertaking as well.

 

We will get through this situation.

 

Keep safe.

 

Kind regards
 

Paddy

 

 

Edited by Paddy

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Yes, I agree Paddy, but AFAIK there are no senior directors of Kader/Bachmann/Farish here, indeed the only poster to be involved with a manufacturer is saying that he (rightly IMO), believes that the market is good at the moment, so to be saying "ahhh, well, British N is dead" seems pretty daft. That risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy if Farish believe the market has deserted them.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Njee20,

 

Who said British N gauge is dead?  Not me as far as I am aware - if I gave that impression then you have my unreserved apology.  My concern is not about whether British N gauge will survive - it will, but rather the the form/direction the market/hobby will take.  Personally, my preference is for a healthy, reasonably priced British N gauge market - I do not want it it to become a rich mans hobby.


Now, if my view is in the minority then so be it.  If the demand is for more detailed/functional models with ever higher prices then that is the market.  This is not wrong, just different.  People like me (or just me :() will have to make a choice.  As I already indicated, my wants are minimal anyway so it is really the active consumers and people entering the hobby I am thinking of.

 

This has nothing to do with my personal financial position but rather how I enjoy the hobby.  Each to their own.

 

Kind regards 

 

Paddy

 

Edited by Paddy

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Posted (edited)

No, but my original comment wasn't aimed at you either. It's been said by a few people on this thread, hence my comment.

 

It's always been a rich man's hobby, nothing new there. Revolution are providing reasonably priced models, and actually Dapol are still turning out well priced offerings too - HIA hoppers at £21 each, the 50s were very reasonable. They're still doing various wagons for £20-£30. Again, I concede that Farish's pricing has gone up rather significantly in a short period, models such as their FIA Multifret pairs at £75+ a pair is a bitter pill to swallow when they were often available for £20 a pair 4-5 years ago.

 

With all due respect I think you conflate things you want with things the market wants too, I can't see a R2 set track point being a big seller at all. There are already medium radius code 80 streamline, and I'm not sure the market for code 55 set track is big at all.

 

The "less detail, lower price" thing comes up periodically, with Union Mills often cited as a good example of this. I think you're right that's just personal. I personally love the evolution of fidelity, and I'm prepared to pay, within reason for better models.

Edited by njee20
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If I was a manufacturer I would focus on a consistent range, not simply rely on producing a few products here and there.  If I was Farish or Dapol I would certainly look at a better track range - the basis of any reliable operation.

 

Peco have dominated the track market for so long, but goodness knows why.  Code 55 is neither realistic or robust.  Different batches actually have slightly different rail heights or sleeper depths. Switch blades are often misshaped even when new and quickly distort.  Rail joiners are often too tight to be fitted effectively, but then distort in use so they become useless.  Half a millimetre in 2mm scale makes a massive difference to reliable operation. It is difficult for experienced modellers who know how to fix these things - but no wonder newcomers leave N when this stuff is the only thing that is widely available in shops.

 

I actually think the potential market for British N is still considerable, particularly in modern image where you can run long realistic trains.  But it does need the new products to sustain it.  I have to confess, I have begun to go over to the dark side and mess with other scales...

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10 hours ago, woodenhead said:

You sold yours too, I sold mine a couple of years back for a reasonable figure thinking of getting rid before the new ones appear - who'd have thought they would still be the only air conditioned Mks2 in town.  They were the last of my old GF coaches, everything else had been replaced with Blue Riband, to be honest all they lacked was a close coupling, they still looked the part.

Hi

 

I’ve converted mine to a Gatwick express set, not quite finished yet as four of the five coaches still need glazing but I think I may get them finished before the new Mk2s arrive.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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4 minutes ago, fezza said:

Peco have dominated the track market for so long, but goodness knows why.  Code 55 is neither realistic or robust.  Different batches actually have slightly different rail heights or sleeper depths. Switch blades are often misshaped even when new and quickly distort.  Rail joiners are often too tight to be fitted effectively, but then distort in use so they become useless.  Half a millimetre in 2mm scale makes a massive difference to reliable operation. It is difficult for experienced modellers who know how to fix these things - but no wonder newcomers leave N when this stuff is the only thing that is widely available in shops.

 

I actually think the potential market for British N is still considerable, particularly in modern image where you can run long realistic trains.  But it does need the new products to sustain it.  I have to confess, I have begun to go over to the dark side and mess with other scales...

For those who don't like Peco track there are other options. Kato, Finetrax, Easitrac, handbuilding. At risk of continuining on a non-Farish tangent here's a Revolution HOA on a length of Easitrac, which looks immeasurably better than code 55. No modification required for running N gauge stock on plain track either.

 

49807155607_df5f2fc392.jpgUntitled by njee20, on Flickr

 

Peco do have a monopoly, and I think that's exactly why another manufacturer (especially one invested in other core areas like rolling stock) would be daft to try and oust them. Most modellers buy a load of track and then don't buy any more for a long time. Even if Farish came out with a new super duper awesome rival track system, at a comparable price, with realistic turnouts and a better rail profile, that was just as robust and and and it would likely be decades before people moved away from Peco. At massive expenditure from the other entrant.

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You maybe right about the startup costs, but the market would be global.  (Peco is not so strong in the US because there are alternatives stocked in ordinary model shops).  If newcomers got used to buying Farish rolling stock, surely they might also buy Farish track, especially if they were bundled together.

 

There are plenty of people out there in 00 who still use Hornby track because it was in their first Hornby  train set and was what they grew up with...

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, njee20 said:

 

It's always been a rich man's hobby, nothing new there. Revolution are providing reasonably priced models, and actually Dapol are still turning out well priced offerings too - HIA hoppers at £21 each, the 50s were very reasonable. They're still doing various wagons for £20-£30. Again, I concede that Farish's pricing has gone up rather significantly in a short period, models such as their FIA Multifret pairs at £75+ a pair is a bitter pill to swallow when they were often available for £20 a pair 4-5 years ago.

 

With all due respect I think you conflate things you want with things the market wants too, I can't see a R2 set track point being a big seller at all. There are already medium radius code 80 streamline, and I'm not sure the market for code 55 set track is big at all.

 

The "less detail, lower price" thing comes up periodically, with Union Mills often cited as a good example of this. I think you're right that's just personal. I personally love the evolution of fidelity, and I'm prepared to pay, within reason for better models.


Phew, you raise a lot of points there.  I will try to make this my last post - honest. :rolleyes:

 

Rich mans hobby. Nope, can’t agree with you there.  In fact for most of my modelling life it has been a reasonably priced hobby.  Compare model railways with tech, fishing, photography, gaming etc. and we are nowhere near the top.  My point is, this is changing.  Not a problem if that is where the market wants to go but people should not sleepwalk in to this.
 

My wants vs. Market wants.  Nope, I was very clear this was my view of how I wanted the market to be.  I totally accept that I might be/am a minority of one.  If that is the case then I refer you to my answer above “me lord”. :rolleyes:

 

Less detail, lower price.  My point is not about less detail but rather an appropriate level for N gauge.  On one side you have Union Mills (as you highlighted) which are very basic but sturdy right through to the most delicate of models from Dapol and Farish.  In my opinion, some of this fragile detail is over the top for N gauge as it cannot be seen when placed on the layout.  The question becomes whether you are happy to pay for this?  Or as you put it... where you draw the line with regards to what is reasonable.

 

Interesting discussion but I feel I have taken the thread off track enough - my apologies to everyone.

 

Kind regards

 

Paddy

 

P.S. I took delivery of a brand new G2 0-8-0 from Colin at Union Mills today.  Doing my bit to keep British N gauge alive! :D
 

Edited by Paddy
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The notion of pricing people out of the market has been done to death. My take is that entry to model railways is cheap (still). You can buy a starter set for £100 and be away. You need never spend another pound, those models will, broadly speaking, work for decades. That makes it cheaper than any of the hobbies you mention. What makes it expensive is that people then want to grow their collection. That's their choice, and the limit there has always been driven by a number of factors, including cost. 

 

New entrants won't be put off because they never knew the 'olden days' when locos were £20 or whatever. I definitely don't believe we're at a point where pricing is genuinely diminshing the market.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Paddy said:

 

 

Less detail, lower price.  My point is not about less detail but rather an appropriate level for N gauge.  On one side you have Union Mills (as you highlighted) which are very basic but sturdy right through to the most delicate of models from Dapol and Farish.  In my opinion, some of this fragile detail is over the top for N gauge as it cannot be seen when placed on the layout.  The question becomes whether you are happy to pay for this?  Or as you put it... where you draw the line with regards to what is reasonable.

 

I could be wrong Paddy, but I think the reason why Farish went down the more detail, more lights and sound route is that these are now relatively cheap to fit, but can command a much higher mark-up price and therefore better profit margins.

 

Personally, I favour good running over detail, but I suspect it is detail that often sells the products.  In the UK the modelling magazines obsess about detail.  In the US, running quality is more important as there is a greater emphasis on operation.   I sometimes wonder how many UK models are destined for the box or display cabinet rather than the layout

Edited by fezza
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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, fezza said:

You maybe right about the startup costs, but the market would be global.  (Peco is not so strong in the US because there are alternatives stocked in ordinary model shops).  If newcomers got used to buying Farish rolling stock, surely they might also buy Farish track, especially if they were bundled together.

 

There are plenty of people out there in 00 who still use Hornby track because it was in their first Hornby  train set and was what they grew up with...

But US outline track looks totally different to UK. If a company came up with a more realistic UK alternative, it still wouldn't be popular in other territories. Similarly Atlas isn't popular over here as it looks like much like US track.

 

Perhaps they would buy 'matching' track, but you're still talking about those newcomers, that's decades of payback, like I said. That's a really long game.

 

  

4 minutes ago, fezza said:

 

I could be wrong Paddy, but I think the reason why Farish went down the more detail, more lights and sound route is that these are now relatively cheap to fit, but can command a much higher mark-up price and therefore better profit margins.

 

Personally, I favour good running over detail, but I suspect it is detail that often sells the products.  In the UK the modelling magazines obsess about detail.  In the US, running quality is more important as there is a greater emphasis on operation.   I sometimes wonder how many UK models are destined for the box or display cabinet rather than the layout

 

Interesting comment. I think a lot of the difficulty is that people buy on looks - a highly detailed model looks great in pictures. Dapol's 68 looks great, but I've been underwhelmed by haulage, actually just yesterday I've bought a second to double head my rake of IKAs. You tend not to see any empirical tests on haulage or anything like that in UK magazines, although "slow speed running" tends to feature prominently in any review.

 

Aside from occasionally staring, open jawed, at the size of US layouts and the quality of Pelle Soeborg's work in Model Railroader I can't comment on how US models are appraised in comparison.

Edited by njee20
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2 minutes ago, fezza said:

You maybe right about the startup costs, but the market would be global.  (Peco is not so strong in the US because there are alternatives stocked in ordinary model shops).  If newcomers got used to buying Farish rolling stock, surely they might also buy Farish track, especially if they were bundled together.

 

There are plenty of people out there in 00 who still use Hornby track because it was in their first Hornby  train set and was what they grew up with...

I don't think the market would be global for a Farish range of track.  Farish is practically unknown outside of the UK/Ireland and Australia/New Zealand.  Any range of track would have to be marketed as Bachmann, but there already is a range of Bachmann N track, so I don't imagine the take up there would be that huge, plus Bachmann don't have the best reputation in North America.  Atlas/Peco/Micro Engineering dominate the market over there.

 

In Europe, Bachmann is represented in N by Lilliput, and its a very small range.  Peco dominate on the continent (as far as I'm aware)

 

Peco are already well established worldwide, whoever steps up to take them on head to head would need big pockets and big do-da's.

 

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