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Price increases; will they affect your modelling?


Price Increase impacts  

412 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following best describes your feelings about announced price increases:

    • I expected price increases to be more than those announced.
    • I think the increases are reasonable.
    • I think the price increases are larger than I expected.
    • I think manufacturers should be able to maintain prices at current levels.
    • I would like to see a reduction in prices.
  2. 2. Which of the following best describes your feelings about announced price increases in relation to detail/quality:

    • I am prepared to see prices increase if current levels of detail/quality are improved.
    • I am prepared to see prices increase if current levels of detail/quality are retained.
    • I am prepared to see prices increase and current levels of detail/quality reduced.
    • I do not see why prices should be increased, current detail/quality levels should be retained.
    • I do not see why prices should be increased, current detail/quality levels should be reduced.
    • I do not see why prices should be increased and current detail/quality levels should be improved.
  3. 3. Which of the following best describes how your spending is likely to be affected:

    • I am likely to carry on buying in the same quantities as before and paying an increase.
    • I am likely to buy lower quantities than before and spend roughly the same as before.
    • I am likely to buy lower quantities than before and spend less than before.
    • Circumstances mean I am likely to withdraw from spending anything on the hobby.
  4. 4. Which of the following best describes how your modelling habits may or may not change:

    • I am likely to carry on with new RTR as my sole source of products.
    • I am likely to carry on with RTR as my main source of products but may look to the secondhand market for some.
    • I do not feel I am solely reliant on the RTR market and choose to scratchbuild/kitbuild as well and therefore feel unaffected.
    • I am likely to buy less RTR and look at the secondhand market.
    • I am likely to buy less RTR and scratchbuild/kitbuild more.
    • I am likely to buy less RTR and make do with less products.


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Following the announcement of significant increases in prices from Bachmann owing to rising manufacturing costs I thought it would be interesting to evaluate through a straw poll how much it's actually likely to affect modellers' buying habits.

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since I don't have the room for a large 4mm model I have resigned myself to smaller (but hopefully more detailed!) layouts and to that end have decided to move as much to kit/scratch building as possible, so the price increases haven't affected that plan much.

 

however, I still hankered after a mini railway empire and to that end had begun scratching my chin at N and drooling over some of the latest models. this announcement will probably put paid to any realistic plan of that happening, given that this would be some way off and I can't start buying everything now. :(

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In the second question I chose the first option, not necessarily because I believe that levels of detail should improve with the price increase, but because I would like to see the level of quality control increase, particularly when it comes to N Gauge. I fully accept the reasons behind the rise, but still having the same issues as many have experienced with non-concentric or poorly quartered wheels (mainly on steam models it seems) would be a little frustrating. 

 

Tom. 

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Specific to OO, I believe significant saving could be made if the 'mix' is adjusted to reduce the level of separately applied detail, concentrating on what is less visible or even cannot be seen when the model is running.

 

What I value in RTR's external appearance is overall accuracy, the exterior detail that it is practical to render in 4mm looking like separate parts, high grade livery application and glazing. Stuff buried away like the controls inside cabs, gear between frames, in the interior or underside and out of sight when the model runs, leave it out entirely.

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What is very encouraging, at least to those of us who like making things, is the high vote (early stage - I know) from those who use RTR but also kit and scratchbuild.

 

I have tried to put over the greater fun and sense of achievement that I get from building things over buying them on other threads. The negative reaction I often get from some posters has made me wonder if I am a bit out of step with a big chunk of the hobby but the answer to that question has made me think again!

 

Tony

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Well selected questions and potential answers.

 

I do not mind paying more if standards are maintained or even (in N which I model) "smart" (Not "Clever" !!) design of tooling is used that manages to eliminate certain currently seperatey applied components in certain areas that are not immediately visible/noticeable (e.g. on dismantling a 4MT Mogul I was very surprised that steps and sandboxes on the tender underframe were separate fittings - did they need to be?).

 

I will inevitaby buy less as like most I have a finite pot of money to spend on my hobby, but in reality I am still likely to get most things I want (but maybe only one A2 not two, two covhops not three etc..).

 

Inevitably people have passionate views, but personally I have to remind myself that not many years ago I said I would be happy to pay more for better quality models and have fewer of them. The fact that I can now buy a "state of the art" Ivatt 2-6-0 for a little over £80 discounted means that I am actually getting my model cheaper in real terms. A comparison I made elsewhere was the Farish A4 "Falcon" this was £89.99 retail when released in 1998/9, you could buy one for about £70 back then. If even some of the features the Ivatt has had been available then (Seperate fittings/handrails, see through spokes - even on the tender, wiperless pickups, DCC ready, coreless motor etc...) how much would it have cost? For me this is the reality check, for what we have been getting in recent times it has actually been incredibly cheap comparatively speaking, but it is impossible to "defy gravity" for ever. Yes the scale of the average increase recently announced is a shock in one "hit" but in a comparative sense should the Ivatt list at £115 then be discounted to £100 as a result, it is still incredibly good value.

 

Roy

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Andy,

 

I have not completed the poll as I have to build totally from kits (or scratchbuild)  to get the models that I want ( I enjoy it too), there is nothing RTR available. Add to that I use 18.83 gauge track.

 

However, the outcome of the likely increase in RTR prices may well have a knock on effect on etched 4mm kit prices which I believe have been artificially depressed by the price of Bachmann, Hornby, etc. products for many years.

 

I look forward to seeing the results of the poll.

 

Jol

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I'm already finding that I'm buying less, and being more critical of myself when looking at new items. Whereas in the past I tended to buy all sorts of stuff, even if it didn't fit into what I was specifically modelling, I'm becoming more focussed. I also set myself a rule that I can own no more than one of any particular locomotive class with the only exceptions being limited commisions. Gone are the days that allowed my fleet of BR TOPS blue 25s to total fifteen!

 

I'm finding I'm spending less overall, as I'm applying harsher and harsher criteria to whether I buy something whereas in the past I had a lot of impulse purchases.

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Circumstances have forced me to buy very little for the last few years. In fact I bought my first new loco for a very long time at the Doncaster show (where prices varied by an insane amount from stand to stand) using the proceeds from selling some old models I won't use in future. However I find that the new models, particularly locos are now so well detailed that it has taken some of the fun out of modelling. Don't get me wrong, it's great to have them but I'm not a kitbuilder ot scratchbuilder (I genuinely don't understand how a chassis goes together and I don't have the tools even if I did)), my talent if I may presume to call it that, was to make RTR models look better. Now I probably make them look worse if I do anything to them. Perhaps a bit less detail - please don't add £15 for sprung buffers - and give us something to put our modelling minds to. Thank you.

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I use both ready to Run and Kit built, I like building kits, if the differential between kits and RTR becomes more in favour of kits I'll move that way more.

The first  Question, the first 4 answers do not Negate the last answer.

 Also the last question I would like to be able to tick the 4th and 5th answers.

 The Q

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I use both ready to Run and Kit built, I like building kits, if the differential between kits and RTR becomes more in favour of kits I'll move that way more.

The first  Question, the first 4 answers do not Negate the last answer.

 Also the last question I would like to be able to tick the 4th and 5th answers.

 The Q

 

Just go with the answer that 'best describes' a position.

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Interesting questions although the final one didn't offer the most suitable answer for me as in addition to buying r-t-r from my two 'local' model shops I also buy some kits and buy all sorts of things from kits unassembled via kits part assembled to r-t-r at auction and very occasionally from dealers.  Incidentally over the past year or so I have already dropped buying the 'wouldn't it be nice to have but out-of-place (for my modelling theme)' items to concentrate on relevant stuff.

 

I can understand why prices are rising but I think it increasingly essential that production quality standards must rise in line with such increases - £150 for a loco is one thing, £150 for a loco or whatever with bits dropping off in the box or which runs like a badly maintaimned concrete mixer is something else entirely and must also cost the manufacturers a chunk of their profit margin.

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I think the second question is a bit ambiguous, while I accept some price rises will happen and for the moment I'm ok with these price rises and maintaining detail, there is a limit and if there are another few years of double-digit inflation in prices while wages here are relatively static, then you'll probably get a different answer!

 

But as an external factor, I'm probably becoming more picky with what I'm buying anyway as my collection has grown and gaps in what I wanted has been filled over time by Ebay! As prices increase further, I'll buy less duplicates of classes or liveries I already have an example of, where I might have bought on impulse in the past. The spending pot isn't getting any bigger so I'll just need to buy less or shop around for bargains. If it wasn't risky enough before producing and selling models I can see it getting riskier in the future knowing what will or wont sell and it being harder to sell at or near RRP.

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TBH before these announcements I was becoming more and more selective about purchases - I'll buy less still and procrastinate until something is really needed

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In the second question I chose the first option, not necessarily because I believe that levels of detail should improve with the price increase, but because I would like to see the level of quality control increase, particularly when it comes to N Gauge.

I agree with this sentiment. Whilst detail levels have improved remarkably in N gauge over the last decade, quality has not kept pace. There are too many reports of poor running, failed motors, split gears etc. I do not mind paying good money for a quality product. For the sort of increases Bachmann are talking about, every loco should run like a Swiss watch.

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Well almost all my stock is old second hand, partly because I am really just aiming for glorified trainset standard, but mostly because of the fantastic value for money, if I can get a MIB unused Lima Diesel for £15 that I am happy with, then for me spending three digit sums on a modern equivalent no matter how good does not make sense, especially when I need a good number of locos to run the layout! The only exceptions are Items I want that are only available as recent releases so second hand prices are within a few percent (or perhaps even higher than!) of new - I was indulgent and bought my Bachmann Class 85 new for example, and that is the only new loco I have bought for about 25 years. So as I now have almost all the stock I intended to buy - and certainly enough to run my railway - then higher prices will have virtually no impact on me.

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Most of my stock is brand new but heavily discounted from Hattons or other online retailers, but those are mixed with secondhand items from Ebay and on here, albeit mostly discontinued or 'special' items.  However, I operate a pretty tight budget, so if the online retailers can't offer discounts to current levels on the newer models, I'll have to rethink my stock levels and go for secondhand only in future, which means a much longer wait before the items come down into my affordability range! (kits aren't an option for me at present due to lack of time, patience and dexterity!) 

 

 

 

David

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Me? Not really, I only buy RTR items that are highly regarded and I need (like stuck on my mixing desk to ogle at :drag: ).

Shouldn’t the question be aimed at Collectors rather than Modellers?

 

Best, Pete.

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Me? Not really, I only buy RTR items that are highly regarded and I need (like stuck on my mixing desk to ogle at :drag: ).

Shouldn’t the question be aimed at Collectors rather than Modellers?

 

Best, Pete.

Define 'collectors' Pete.  And most of them seem to have more money than they know what to do with judging by what I've seen in the auction room.

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It already has! My planned sound class 40 won't be coming and my train of covhops, so regularly seen round here, might reach 4.

 

Roger

 

Buy them when you can. Rails had D211 at a heavily discounted price of £179.50 on the 2nd May only. It pays to get their e-mails for deals like this.

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I haven't bought a new (not secondhand) loco since the 80s* so I think they should still cost £11 ;)

*this is partly because, as far as I know nothing has been released in Guilford Rail Systems paint since I started modelling it apart from the Atlas GP40-2W

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I know one vote won't make much difference either way so I had to imagine that I modelled OO RTR rather than 7mm Narrow Gauge where almost everything I have has been bought second hand as RTR just isn't available . . . !

 

 

.

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I was quite lucky/or clever to switch to DCC sound when I did. Sound chips were around £90 and to get the hobby started you could buy chipped engines cheaper than the engine and chip. I got a Bachmann 25 fully chipped and working for £125. Similar deals were there for some steam engines too. It means my fleet is more or less complete. I only have one or two engines to get to get the whole balanced range on my topic of choice - Modern day preservation and privitisation.

 

Now, with the hobby fast becoming more expensive, Ive got to the point of only buying when its needed. My range of steam engines can mix and half of them head in the direction im wanting to go for my next layout... North East Region steam, so its a waiting game till that comes around. One aspect I have enjoyed is getting cheap engines with sound to give fictional identities to. Some fail to notice the difference but with engines and tech being more expensive, such novelties are no longer a priority.

 

I will pay for accuracy, commend the companies for choosing models which add to their range, but at present my spending is mainly on scenery and electrics (including ones for my next layout in advance!)... at least till those K1s arrive in strength!

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