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News from Warley 2014


Andy Y

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You can't blame a retailer for wanting to commission models that their customers want but are not being produced by the big name manufacturers, or when some of those manufacturers let that retailer down by not honouring pre-orders and / or late delivery of product that they cannot put on the shelves.

 

Just my 2 cents...

Thats not what I was saying .No one should sit around waiting for Hornby to produce anything and if the opposition is better than that is to the good .The point I was trying to make is that when Hornby try to get some higher earnings per model  for doing exactly what other developers   of models do all the time  for all their products they get flamed and the others get adoration .its also good business as the "others" are copping all the profit where as Hornby are sharing it with retailers .

I have by the way just purchased a long lusted for Blackstone Hon3 K27 .Stunning model ,even more stunning price .Stop moaning cheapskates ,youve never had it so good .I seem to remember another daft old geezer saying that.I wonder what happened to him .?

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Hi. The DMU from Kernow/DJM is a truly wonderful thing - how many have been asking for a 64' suburban unit? I have! Also there are some conversion possibilities i.e. class 114. The steam railmotor is something which I'm finding hard to resist! I almost certainly will be placing an order in due course. These are just two of the announcements which have caught my eye today.

 

Also, I've just noticed, from the photo', that the J15 0-6-0 coming from Hornby appears to have none of the  dreaded traction tyres. If so, I'm very pleased about that.

 

All the best,

 

Market65.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Rapido Trains APT-E. Rapido Trains had a display case attached to the Locomotion stand containing examples of their American and Canadian models and a APT-E model. This looked excellent with the cab interior being the best I have ever seen and they are including at least one coach interior, of a test coach, as they had one there. The test equipment racks and test equipment were modelled in full. Individual equipment could be recognised such as tape decks. Other details included chairs, tables and the sandwich keeping the door open! All this will be finished in the correct colours too. 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Rapido Trains APT-E. Rapido Trains had a display case attached to the Locomotion stand containing examples of their American and Canadian models and a APT-E model. This looked excellent with the cab interior being the best I have ever seen and they are including at least one coach interior, of a test coach, as they had one there. The test equipment racks and test equipment were modelled in full. Individual equipment could be recognised such as tape decks. Other details included chairs, tables and the sandwich keeping the door open! All this will be finished in the correct colours too. 

 

Photos please!

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At last, common sense and a return to moulded door handles on coaches. Those LMS non-corridors look rather nice. All mine are etched Period I and II vehicles as I only built one Period III using Comet sides. I won't need to build any more now! The bogies are welded type so they represent vehicles from around 1937/8 onwards.

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Plenty of goodies on show. The LMS non corridors look to be Period II.....Composite, brake third and all-third but no indication on display of a push pull variant. It is bound to follow. Looks like Hornby has started eating into my range, not that it matters now. The 47XX 2-8-0 is being done at long last, it will make for an impressive model.

Just the 3 types (no PP) and definately period 3, roof ribs, and nicely done, and no rainstrips.

Merf.

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Yes, it would be. But that's rather wish listing and I was hoping for some real 'gonna do' news announcements rather that 'be nice if they did' stuff.

 

So, is there anything to report in other than OO (now that the first day is over)?

 

 

G

Hi Grahame.

 

Barely anything news worthy on the N Gauge front. Painted samples of the Class 31 on the Farish stand, but N Class and Merchant Navy still in unpainted EP form.

 

I have to admit I didn't even see the Dapol stand, but didn't hear of anything new from them on show.

 

Tom.

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But then the interesting question arises of paying for it.  I understand that commissioned model prices are starting to creep up with increases to come next year so it's obvious a 3 car 117/8 etc in a year or two's time is not going to be at a 'Lima +inflation' price because the whole ball game is very different from the one in Lima's time.  Equally I'm not sure when Heljan's 47XX will appear but I'm glad I neither need nor want one because at present rates of Chinese made price inflation the only debate is likely to be about whether the price is likely to be north or south of £200.

 

I remain reasonably sure that niche targetted models can and will continue to sell , provided they are the right niches but standing aside duplication the simple fact is that there are going to be more and more models chasing what is likely to be a shrinking market as ever more stakes are planted on those which aren't spoken for already.

 

Duplication is in itself an interesting subject and to be honest I don't think any of us can really predict what will happen.  In theory it is good for the consumer because competition should sharpen standards and have a positive (for us) effect on prices but the simple fact appears to be that 'wriggle room' on pricing is going to be restricted by rising costs and negotiating down factory prices could well result in reduced quality of either research or assembly.  The impact here will vary because some concerns effectively get their research done, or much of it done, with little or no overhead while the bigger concerns are carrying employment overheads to get them to the same place - and such costs will impact n pricing and profitability.

 

What I think is more likely is that the effect of more models looking for our money will strike in what might seem totally unrelated places, and not necessarily hit those who are punting duplicates but those who might otherwise be weak in their product line up or financial structure and who are trying very hard, for other reasons, to keep their business head above water. in other words it's not so much - in my own case - deciding whose 'King' to buy but deciding what I might not buy from anyone else in order to buy any sort of 'King'  (for me that is an easy decision - I have no use for a 47XX but can justify a 'King')

All very true. So far, because very few of the projected models have arrived or are even imminent - so far as I am aware - the issue of paying for pre-orders has not yet hit home. I suspect many bank!! on the model arrivals being spread. That might have held true when we only had 3/4 suppliers, but that has changed. I have 3 "regular" pre-orders with Hattons, and 4  of Kernow's niche items. I'm fairly certain that these will be spread out and not cause problems. What else I'm prepared to pre-order will depend as much on likely delivery dates as on how much I actually want the item.

 

In the case of duplicated items I will pre-order from the manufacturer who is most likely to produce a model to a certain standard and quality. In some ways the absolute level of quality might not be so important as the level of certainty in the price/quality equation and the certainty of that being delivered. In the case of new manufacturers, I think I'll wait until the first of their models hits the shops and/or is subject to RMWeb member comment.  I feel confident that Kernow will deliver a quality product as they seem to carefully monitor the product being prepared and manufactured by their chosen contractor which is why I have orders with them.

 

The UK market for model railways does not appear to be large particularly now that it does not really include as large a "toy train" element. The potential result of duplication of niche models in a contracting market actually facing paying for models often pre-ordered a long (and unpredictable) time prior to delivery, and therefore cutting back on numbers if not the value of purchases, could be serious for the competing manufacturers. I think the niche models will sell, and the producers will hone their price/volume expectations with experience, but the next few years could be a bit scary for some until market reaction to the changes in price, manufacturers, range of available models, etc., feeds through into hard sales and cash in the bank.

 

I do fear for the retail trade particularly if the major manufacturers, as Hornby evidently wish to, cease to include it in their mainstream plans. My own view is that we will end up with a few well-stocked major outlets selling online and on the high street, that will supply the vast bulk of the market. Rail joiners from the local shop when you run out will be a dead concept - if it isn't already. They can't all successfully begin commisioning models.

 

Interesting times for spectators, rather more serious for those involved.

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Just the 3 types (no PP) and definately period 3, roof ribs, and nicely done, and no rainstrips.

Merf.

Far easier to make a push pull coach from a RTR BS than what I have done.

 

Visually there should be a big difference, as Period II coaches had square cornered windows in wooden bolections while Period III had round cornered windows and virtually flush glass..

The old Airfix coaches should be period II but they do not have the bolections. :scratchhead:

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Some thoughts on what's been announced:

 

The level of duplication is worrying. So is the flood of new stuff and the ever lengthening lead times. We now have the situation where 3 out of 4or 5 items in a major manufacturer's 2015 programme have been duplicated. And given that Hornby are showing 2015 items where duplication exists, does that mean someone (Oxford Diecast?) is also intending to do LMS suburbans??

 

The Hornby Radial looks very advanced - seemingly at the level we were seeing on the 2014 new locos just a few weeks ago at the Ricoh. If Hornby are able to get this to market by next summer , where does that leave Oxford Diecast?  Given that Hornby have been able to spring things on us at very short notice, even in recent years - the 2-BIL being a case in point - the probability that they can get an Adams Radial to market first has to be reckoned with . Will people genuinely refuse to buy the Hornby one because one is expected from Oxford? Will there be enough of a market left for Oxford? Oxford have made an announcement , but there seems a strong indication from others that they haven't yet scanned or measured the prototype - they can't therefore have finished the CAD , never mind committed to tooling

 

The 71 is much more evenly balanced since Hornby clearly haven't finished the CAD and I'm surprised they are proposing such a niche prototype . But the question arises whether a crowd-funded project without the ability to scan the real thing will finally come to friution in these circumstances

 

Delays aren't confined to one company of course - at least one of Heljan's railbuses hasn't yet appeared , Dapol's 21/29 project is delayed and uncertain, and they lost the contract for a couple of Kernow commissions , one of which (original NBL Warships) is having a prolonged gestation.

 

But I am a little worried about the way rather esoteric items like GW 0-6-0T dock tanks, Radials, D6xx, P2s , 71s, and 47xxs (only 10 built?) are dominating programmes while supplies of bread and butter general service locos are currently erratic . How easy is it to buy a new RTR Black 5 or 8F at the moment? Are N moguls around? or 43xx , Halls?

 

One other point , given the outragev at the suggestion of Hornby selling direct is that both Dapol and Bachmann had large stands at Warley selling their models directly to the public, as they have done for a decade or more  (something which Hornby have never done) - but nobody has a problem with that... 

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Thats not what I was saying .No one should sit around waiting for Hornby to produce anything and if the opposition is better than that is to the good .The point I was trying to make is that when Hornby try to get some higher earnings per model  for doing exactly what other developers of models do all the time  for all their products they get flamed and the others get adoration .its also good business as the "others" are copping all the profit where as Hornby are sharing it with retailers.

 

In the case of the recent Exeter / Bittern debacle they are clearly not sharing the profit with their retailers. To short-supply dealers who can then not fulfill their customer orders, while at the same time putting the very same items up on their website for purchase, quite frankly is poor. Whether Hornby intended to upset their retailers by doing this, I actually doubt that was their intention. If I was running the company I would want to know how and why this happened.

 

Hornby is a manufacturer. That's what they should focus on. If it wants to sell direct, then that's up to them. For example, it has already announced a number of website/concession exclusives for next year (new Britannia locos) and I don't have a problem with that. I've ordered a couple myself.

 

Scalextric has done that for years, along with its annual club car, Hornby has Collectors Club model available only through buying direct and so on.

 

But these models were additional non-catalogue models to what was available to retailers.

 

The problem with the Exeter / Bittern situation is they are trying to get a higher sale price at the expense of their retailers when orders have been placed and the retailers cannot fulfill them. Whether this was intentional or not, it's not surprising that it has been seen by some - rightly or wrongly - as a rather sly and underhand tactic. 

 

Retailers need product on their shelves and Hornby should make that their priority. What they *should* have done is supply what stock did come in of the Exeter and Bittern models to those retailers who had placed orders for them - even if they couldn't fulfill all of them - and NOT put them up for sale on the website!

 

Now of course, it could come out in the wash that this shipment is only a partial shipment and the rest are going to come. If that is the case, as some are speculating, then why have Hornby reps been telling retailers like Kernow otherwise?

 

You can't really compare Hornby with a retailer like Kernow. Two very different things. 

 

Again, just my 2 cents...

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Any news on the Heljan stand other than the 47xx, have they got any decorated/EP samples of the O2 or Class 05?

I hope this phone snap is of some use until something better turns up.

The O2 samples were undecorated and I believe have been seen before.

 

 

RP

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The 71 is much more evenly balanced since Hornby clearly haven't finished the CAD and I'm surprised they are proposing such a niche prototype . But the question arises whether a crowd-funded project without the ability to scan the real thing will finally come to friution in these circumstances

 

DJM have stated that they have already scanned the 71......

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One other point , given the outragev at the suggestion of Hornby selling direct is that both Dapol and Bachmann had large stands at Warley selling their models directly to the public, as they have done for a decade or more  (something which Hornby have never done) - but nobody has a problem with that... 

 

Isn't the Bachmann sales stand selling returns? I don't know about Dapol but as far as I know they've not pulled the rug from under the feet of their retailers by denying them product they had ordered and then selling it direct.

 

I don't think the issue is so much that Hornby is offering customers the choice to buy direct....but for Heaven's sake don't do it with product that retailers have ordered, telling them there aren't enough to go around and then put it up on the website leaving the retailers high and dry and letting their customers down!

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Isn't the Bachmann sales stand selling returns?

Some are returns fair and square, but there's often a very good quota of slow sellers in mint boxed condition with returned items stickers on them! To be fair, Bachmann sell their 'non seconds' range at full RRP. As a punter I was pleased to pick up a couple of bargains today from the Bachmann stand - but speaking as a retailer from a different trade, I would not be impressed by a manufacturer selling direct to the public, if I was one of their dealers.

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