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Poll

Would you buy a crowd-funded Class 116/117/118 DMU?

Yes, at least 1 Class 116
5 (5.1%)
Yes, at least 1 Class 117
15 (15.3%)
Yes, at least 1 Class 118
4 (4.1%)
Yes, at least 1 - it doesn't matter which of the three classes.
27 (27.6%)
Yes, at least 2 different classes
13 (13.3%)
Yes, at least one of each class
6 (6.1%)
No, I wouldn't want any of those.
28 (28.6%)

Total Members Voted: 96

Author Topic: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU  (Read 17478 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ben A

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #60 on: September 06, 2015, 08:45:41 pm »
Hello WP,

Yes - which is why Japanese models seem to be amazingly cheap by our standards. The market there is far larger than in the UK (I have heard it estimated to be around 6 million) and typically Kato will not produce less than 10,000 units of any model for the domestic market.

The cost of any model is a combination of the research/tooling costs plus individual production cost per model.  And the more you make, the less each model needs to contribute to the fixed tooling costs.  If it costs, say, £100,000 to research and tool a model, and each individual model then costs £20 to actually manufacture, paint and package then 1,000 models would have a factory cost of £120 each, 2,000 would have a factory cost of £70 each, whereas 10,000 models would have a £30 factory price and so on.

And these are pure factory prices.  By the time manufacturer profit, shipping, retailer margin and tax is factored in these prices can double or treble.

The difficulty is that the manufacturer in the UK has to commit that money up front.  They can choose to produce 1,000 models for £120,000 or 10,000 for £300,000.  And that decision is the one that could make or break them.  Models sitting on shelves in the warehouse are wasted money.

So you reach a point where, if you want a particular UK prototype, then you accept that for the size of the market the price has to be higher.  And where we come in is by finding 1000 likeminded adult enthusiasts with disposable income who are prepared to say "I want one of those.  I understand it's not viable for the normal financial model so to make it happen I am prepared to spend more."

The big question, of course, is: "How much more?"  And it's to control that cost side of things that our only option is to sell direct.  If we tried to factor in retailer margins then our TEA tankers would be around £45 (like the Farish Polybulk) rather than the £26 you can order them for.

cheers

Ben A.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 08:47:58 pm by Ben A »



Offline red_death

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #61 on: September 06, 2015, 09:01:37 pm »
Just how many would they sell at, say £160 as opposed to £100 each? I'd certainly buy at least three at £100 (£300) but only one at £160 (£!60).
What we really need to know is just how big the 'market' is - over 4000 members here and most N gaugers are not signed up ....... it could be huge in reality, but we just don't know.

I think Farish and Dapol have reasonable ideas of how big the market is, we (Revolution Trains) are starting to get more and more data. From our point of view our next two possible projects (announced next weekend) will give us even more data on the market.

There are 6,000 NGS members and undoubtedly some N gaugers are not NGS members, however that doesn't necessarily translate into a large proportion of N gauge modellers who want (and will buy) a particular model. Getting a 1000 orders of anything (pretty much the minimum needed to make it worthwhile producing something) is difficult!

Cheers, Mike



Offline Karhedron

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #62 on: September 06, 2015, 10:01:07 pm »
Not being an economist I realise others here might well tear this post to bits but if 3,000 sales at £160 each (£480,000) are needed to make a profit wouldn't, say, 6,000 sales at £100 each (£600,000), make a bigger profit overall?
Sadly it is not quite that simple, you also have to take into account unit costs (the cost to manufacture each item).  Inj the initial production run, you have 3 costs to cover. R&D costs (including tooling), unit costs (raw materials, factory time, shipping costs) and profit.

Depending on the split between R&D costs and unit costs, selling 6000 units at £100 might no actually generate any additional profit if the unit costs are quite high.

This was the origin of Hornby's "Design clever" philosophy. The idea being that a little more time and effort at the R&D stage could reduce the number of separate components and thus reduce the unit costs. I remember Dapol quoting when they produced the Gresleys that each extra component that needs fitting adds about 25 pence to the unit cost. I cannot imagine this has come down since then.
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline D1042 Western Princess

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #63 on: September 06, 2015, 10:47:19 pm »

Slightly OT, but As a matter of interest, why wouldn't you buy two at £160 each (i.e. only £20 more than the £300 for 3) I'm just curious, I'm not being picky........

Not being funny but you answer your own question - 3 x 3 car DMUs for £300 as opposed to 2 x 3 car DMUs for £320.
If I have £300 to spend on models then I'd rather buy 3 DMUs than 2 for a bigger price.

If it's not a Diesel Hydraulic then it's not a real locomotive.

Offline Woodenhead

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #64 on: September 06, 2015, 11:07:06 pm »
We'd all like more for less but it was the logic that with £300 to spend you would only by one at £160 or 3 at £100.

If you want three but can only afford two then just buy two.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 11:09:17 pm by Woodenhead, Reason: Spelling »

Offline D1042 Western Princess

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #65 on: September 06, 2015, 11:19:56 pm »
We'd all like more for less but it was the logic that with £300 to spend you would only by one at £160 or 3 at £100.

If you want three but can only afford two then just buy two.

OK, if you can afford it. For myself my mind rebels at paying much over £100 for a model therefore the chances are, at £100 I'd get 3 but at £160 I'd get none.
If it's not a Diesel Hydraulic then it's not a real locomotive.

Offline Ben A

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #66 on: September 07, 2015, 12:47:26 am »
OK, if you can afford it. For myself my mind rebels at paying much over £100 for a model therefore the chances are, at £100 I'd get 3 but at £160 I'd get none.

Am I missing something here?

To get three (which you say you'd buy) costs £300.  So you surely can afford one at £160 if you wanted to, and have £140 to spend on something else.

But my point really is that the economics are what they are.  If there were more N Gauge enthusiasts buying more models then everything would be cheaper, but there aren't.

So this is a way for those of us who want to get more variety on our layouts to do that, while accepting that niche items are likely to cost more, and require us to put in some cash up front, than the ever popular items.

Yes, you could have another Class 37 or 47 for £80, but if you want something a little more esoteric then the price will be higher.

cheers

Ben A.







Offline D1042 Western Princess

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #67 on: September 07, 2015, 07:34:57 am »
OK, if you can afford it. For myself my mind rebels at paying much over £100 for a model therefore the chances are, at £100 I'd get 3 but at £160 I'd get none.

Am I missing something here?

To get three (which you say you'd buy) costs £300.  So you surely can afford one at £160 if you wanted to, and have £140 to spend on something else.


cheers

Ben A.

Yes Ben, you are missing something - my point. While I could afford £160 for one, and even buy 3 or 4 at that price (cost wise) I would NOT pay that much for a model.
It is NOT the price (as I said, I would be happy to buy several), as everyone seems to be thinking, but a PRINCIPLE.
It is my view that the manufacturer will charge what people are ready to pay (not just in model railways but things in general) and because people like you are ready, and willing, to part with £160 for a 3 car DMU the manufacturer will put a price of £160 on the product. It is my opinion that the next model might be £170 and the one after that £180 and so on because they know people will pay that much.
If we all said no, I won't pay more than £100 for it then the price would be £100 and that is that.
Meanwhile I have managed without DMUs for a long time (loco and coaches doing the honours) and will do so for a while longer.
 
If it's not a Diesel Hydraulic then it's not a real locomotive.

Offline Ben A

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #68 on: September 07, 2015, 08:11:43 am »
If we all said no, I won't pay more than £100 for it then the price would be £100 and that is that.
Meanwhile I have managed without DMUs for a long time (loco and coaches doing the honours) and will do so for a while longer.

Hi D1042 Western Princess,

I am sorry but I disagree.  If we all said we would not pay more than £100 then the chances are we would get nothing.  Or, if we did, it would be of a poorer quality than we would like because it is produced down to a price, rather than up to a standard.

It may be the manufacturer will charge what people are willing to pay, but they also charge what they need to produce a quality product that also makes enough profit to sustain their business and keep people in work.  And increasingly, that includes their Chinese employees who want a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.  I honestly do not know any millionaires working in model railways. 

I don't see that we are being ripped somehow - for me the new models are better and better and long may that continue.

cheers

Ben A.



Offline D1042 Western Princess

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #69 on: September 07, 2015, 08:22:17 am »
Many years ago I discovered that it cost Peco about 1p a yard to produce plain track but they were selling it for about 75p a yard (as I said, many years ago) and have queried the costs of model railway equipment ever since.
I know track and DMUs are different things, but I still wonder at how much a model actually costs to produce compared with how much they want us to pay to get one.

Since we are unlikely to agree on this Ben might I suggest that, having both expressed our views, we leave the matter?

Best wishes,
Greg.


If it's not a Diesel Hydraulic then it's not a real locomotive.

Offline red_death

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #70 on: September 07, 2015, 08:39:27 am »
Greg

Ben and I are in the happy(?) position of knowing just how much it costs things like DMUs cost to manufacture because that is what we are doing with our company. If you think that we (or any of the other model manufacturers) are making a killing in terms of profits then I'm afraid you are mistaken. Some of the decisions I've seen are on profit margins so low that they wouldn't get accepted in many businesses.

Of course it is everyone's right to choose what they are willing to pay - we all make value judgements which will vary by the individual's circumstances (we are talking about toy trains after all) - but let's not cut our noses off to spite our face particularly if the starting premise is incorrect is that all manufacturers are out to screw us.

Cheers Mike



Offline Karhedron

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #71 on: September 07, 2015, 09:13:47 am »
I think we have been spoiled a but with multiple units recently. The Blue Pullman and Brighton Belle represented amazing value for money while the 4-CEP and Desiro have been in the bargain bins to some extent creating the impression that multiple units are cheap to produce and can be had for £25-£35 per vehicle for a powered set.

I think that this has been a quirk due to these units being released just before the latest price increases from China. The new run items from Farish are coming at £55-£65 per vehicle at RRP (although I am sure there will still be bargains to be had).

I did the maths about this time last year for the unsucessful GWR Railcar Kick-starter. I was unable to get the price below about £120 per car and that was with no profit! Compared to that I don't think that £160 for a 3-car DMU is so bad. Would I like it for £100 instead? Of course I would.

But I am realistic enough to realize that is unlikely to happen without a much larger market or significant compromises. £160 is around the price of a newly tooled loco and a pair of coaches. Yes you could buy 3 vehicles including motive power for less than that but they are slightly older models that were produced and shipped before Chinese inflation really started to bite.

I can buy a 3-car 108 DMU from a well known Scouser establishment for less than £100 but that is not much use to me as it would not have been seen on WR metals. I would love to pay the same price for a 116/117/118 but realistically I think that I would be willing to pay £150.
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline Ben A

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #72 on: September 07, 2015, 11:47:31 am »

Hi Greg,

Fair enough - but thanks for the good discussion.  I actually wish we had had it a week or so ago as last weekend I was down at Pecorama and could have asked Michael Pritchard directly how much his track costs to make - though he probably wouldn't have told me!

Interestingly, one thing he did tell me was that all Peco track is retooled from time to time, even if the design stays exactly the same.  This is both because tools wear out, and also to allow small, but incremental improvements.

He can look at a turnout and know which tool it was from by tiny nuances with the moulding and the design.

But, as ever, Peco track may only cost, strictly speaking, 1p per yard to actually manufacture, but every item sold also has to pay toward the wages of those making it, salesteam, receptionists, designers, managers etc etc and also toward the fixed costs of the factory.  As we all generating a proft.   Then there is retailer margin (usually around 50%-100%) plus taxt (20%) so the costs soon add up!

cheers

Ben A.







Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #73 on: September 07, 2015, 12:31:56 pm »
Bachmann announce Class 117 and 121 DMUís [in 00]
by grahammuz

At  their annual Collectors Club event, this year held at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, last Saturday, Bachmann announced their intention to produce Class 117 and 121 Suburban DMU's [in 00].

More information about this release can be read on the Bachmann website. Some of you will remember that The Kernow Model Centre announced their intention to produce this family of Western Region suburban DMUs at Warley last year.  In fact they had already laser scanned a Class 117 and had completed their initial research.  Following meetings with Bachmann after the Warley show at Warley it became clear Bachmann were also working on this model.  The Kernow Model Centre had previously said that they have no interest in "taking on" a major manufacturer and so immediately offered their research and laser scan data to Bachmann and they have been working with them on this project ever since.  Although primarily based on the Western Region the Class 117 units could be seen on Southern Region metals on Reading - Guildford services.

The Kernow model Centre have also advised that they have not forgotten about the Class 116 and Class 118 and further news about these will be announced  in due course (but with no current timescale for such an announcement).

So, a N Gauge Class 117 from Graham Farish, late next year?

Offline bluedepot

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Re: Suggestion for RevolutioN - Class 116/117/118 DMU
« Reply #74 on: September 23, 2015, 08:20:26 pm »
i would buy a 3 car 117 in nse livery if it was under 130 quid

it probably makes more sense for bachmann to produce this in n gauge as well though


tim

 

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