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Author Topic: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?  (Read 4240 times)

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Offline Rabbitaway

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Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« on: March 27, 2018, 09:55:20 pm »
Are we seeing the decline of N gauge?

Manufacturers are pushing more 00 and turning to 0 gauge, N gauge releases reduced, or in significant delay, or cancelled and not many new items being announced

Is it because N gauge became popular due to cheap prices a few years back but this has ended and you get more model for your money in larger scales

On one hand manufactures are dumping slow selling models onto the retail market and also charging premium money for first releases therefore responding to a limited market

Second hand prices are high as modellers are resorting to this option due to high new prices

This is not a thread about high prices again but about the state of the market and the long term future of N gauge

I must say that 0 gauge looked tempting at a discount price of under £400 for a diesel at Ally Pally, garden railway instead of N gauge in the loft?

Online njee20

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 10:31:54 pm »
Itís always been niche. Dapol are definitely tapping into O gauge more, and I think itís fair to say that RTR O Gauge is a big growth market at the moment. For the manufacturers I suspect thatís partly because thereís no expectation of how much an item costs. Iím interested to see what they charge for their new JHA hoppers in O given theyíre £55 in OO. I canít see N weathering those sort of prices too lightly. A big bogie wagon is quite a bold choice for RTR O.

Releases are slow in all scales - but with companies like Revolution (or rather with Revolution) there are a lot of exciting models coming onto the market.

I personally think nowís an amazing time for N gauge, but I admit Iím coming from the fortunate position of having a lot of stock I picked up at good prices over the last 5 years when prices were lower. Second hand prices certainly donít indicate decline.

Edit: fixed stupid phone autocorrects!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 08:25:44 am by njee20 »

Online Chris Morris

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 10:47:10 pm »
I think you may be right. N gauge is a brilliant scale for both getting a lot in a small space and being able to create a true scenic railway in a reasonable space. Neither of these can be achieved in O. Possibly one issue is that there is a lot of concentration on the loco these days rather than the whole train and itís environment. Whilst modern N gauge locos are very good indeed they cannot have the sheer stage presence of an O gauge loco.
We need to work hard to keep promoting the joys of N gauge and show what can be done in N but not in larger scales at every opportunity.
Having said that I must confess to having an interest in a larger scale which is much less popular than N.



Online RailGooner

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 10:56:33 pm »
Are we seeing the decline of N gauge?
...

I wouldn't say so. RevolutioN and DJM are successfully injecting new energy. 3D printing is revitalizing kit-bashing.


..
 but I admit I’m coming from the fortunate position of having a lot of stock I picked up at good prices over the last 5 years when prices were lower.
...

Similar story here - if I don't stop buying stock soon, there'll be no space for a layout! :D
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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 11:12:36 pm »
I would say OO gauge will always get the biggest stage as it is the longest established and best known gauge in the UK (everyone has heard of Hornby), O gauge has had a massive injection with Dapol and the price of their 08 in particular which to be fair was until then was an pricey gauge.

I think though one area that will really help N gauge is hammering the more modern image models, I am an 1980s experiment child and there is a hell of a lot missing from the 80s to now, i think we need to encourage more people from the younger end of modelling to come to N gauge instead of the others and that only way we can do so is by getting stuff in from what they remember and want to model.

Added into that i think there could be a natural switch to n gauge as lets face it modern build houses aren't as roomy as older houses in general (my 3 bed Vs a new build is almost twice the size), so if we can get models to entice a 30 odd year old in their new build house to model the gauge I think its fair to say N gauge has a long life ahead of it!

I think with the new energy been injected into the hobby by the likes of Revolution and 3D modelling this will do a lot to entice younger modellers to the good side.

Offline Ben A

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 11:17:19 pm »
Hi Rabbitaway,

I think this is a golden age for our hobby.

The sheer variety of scales, vehicles and railway companies now available is unprecedented. 

There are more magazines on sale in new stands than I can recall from years gone by.

Exhibitions I attend with Revolution seems busier than ever.

In N specifically modellers no longer have to wait for the big one or two manufacturers to decide to produce something; the internet and globalisation have enabled us just get on with it ourselves.  There have been three crowdfunded models now delivered by Revolution (TEA, Class B tanks and Pendolinos, albeit deliveries ongoing of the latter two) with 4 more expected this year: TEAs in 00, KFAs, IZAs and 92 with more announcements scheduled as we feel the market permits.

It is true that in recent years Farish have slowed down a bit, but Dapol now seem to be recovering their mojo and other manufacturers are also promising new models.

It may be that attention is turning towards other scales but each has its own advantages - 0 has presence and detail, 00 is the best supported, while N clearly wins when it comes to the optimum combination of fidelity, variety and space-saving.

Cheers

Ben A.




Offline broadsword

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 12:04:38 am »
Time will tell , at the moment the range  of products is  very  good
so I the prospect is good, though I'd like more easy to assemble
kits and I hope any new locos  are both  dc  and dcc.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 12:11:46 am by broadsword »

Offline woodbury22uk

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2018, 12:13:02 am »
I think that we are in a Golden Age as Ben A wrote, and one which leads to an even better future. The great thing about the scale is that whole trains can be modelled operating in a compact space which leaves all the larger scales looking for believable compromises. Whatever the attraction of 0 gauge, such as getting a lot of loco for your money, you need a huge amount of real estate if you hope to run a 4 car multiple unit any further than trip through the carriage wash and even that will require a 12 foot plus length.

I think there is still scope for us and other N-gaugers to keep highlighting the potential of our sized trains running in the landscape. I hope that the added freedom of manufacture these days will encourage the market to express its needs and wants more clearly, so that what is produced is well-aligned, and provides a sufficiently attractive return to producers.

Mike

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Wondering how many pedants can dance of the head of a pin.


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Online Snowwolflair

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2018, 12:33:22 am »
We are definitely in a golden age, but not for all.

The hobby has expanded due to offering, but also due to a period of lower cost.  The quality of offering will continue but I see a contraction already, based on price and modelers with lesser means will give up the hobby.

In support of this I sight the number of "selling up" listings on eBay.

This wont harm the hobby but will limit the ability of manufacturers to expand their offerings.

Ironically the greatest benefactor of his situation will be the niche manufacturers, just as the white metal kit manufacturers flourished in the 70's and 80's.

By niche I mean companies like Revolution and DJM and take a look at the vast increase of Shapways offerings in N gauge in the last two years.

Personally I will buy the new models I like as they appear but i'm building five kit or 3D print models for every one I buy.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2018, 12:42:27 am »
I have always considered O gauge and larger to be model engineering rather than railway modelling.

Like many of my age group, I started with O gauge Hornby  tinplate before moving on to Triang OO.

However, after being involved with N gauge now for so long, I'm afraid OO models just look like plasticy toys to my eyes.

I'm not worried about the  demise of N gauge. It ain't going to happen.

 :NGaugersRule:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline The Q

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2018, 07:27:30 am »
We have the reduction of people being interested in Railways,
 as it's not a computer,
as children are taught less hand skills and can buiild a model railway,
as it's even less the IN thing..

Those in low to middle age are suffering a financial squeeze enough to preclude hobbies that require an extra room, modern lofts aren't big enough for a model railway.

The population is aging, the older population are more likely to have a usable loft, a garden with room for a shed, a garden not filled with rug rats and footballs.
The older population has poorer eyes (that one I know :( ), have probably got rid of their mortgage (I know that one as well :claphappy: ) giving more disposible income.

Therefore as the older population increases there will be a higher percentage of larger scales and garden railways

I don't believe however that N gauge will reduce, eventually it will be OO that will reduce, you only have to look at the age group on here, compared to other sites. Much more like to be younger participants, much more likely to be diesels / electrics.
This will gradually feed through the hobby, till those returning to the hobby after girls / wives / children /  mortgages, will return to N gauge, not to OO as most do now.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2018, 08:38:10 am »
Interesting comment.

There are many angles from which the OP can be approached.

I do think that there will always be a bunch of young folk who will always have an interest in model trains. Those people will provide the requirements for the market.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online njee20

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2018, 08:41:07 am »
Iíve never bought the argument about people being ďpriced outĒ. There are always people selling up - I acquired the bulk of my stock from a chap doing just so in 2012 (IIRC), when prices were far cheaper.

 Weíre fortunate itís a hobby where the ongoing costs donít need to be anything significant at all. Once you have a collection thatís it, it just (generally) appreciates slightly in value. As such, even if your hypothetical modeller decided it was all too expensive and that he was going to sell his entire collection, the strong residual value would leave him with a not insignificant sum with which to buy new models.

The second hand values having increased with the new prices reinforces this.

One has to recalibrate your expectations - I have 16 ďsilver bulletsĒ, that I paid no more than £20 each for. I want a couple more, but theyíre now £30ish, which Iím entertaining. If they were £40+ Iíd sit tight on my current rake. Other things Iím considering selling to buy other models, but thatís part of the fun for me, itís certainly not a reason to give up altogether

Re: the young, most children will still have Brio or a similar wooden trainset as toddlers, many will progress to Hornby circles of track even, itís from there that the near instant gratification of Xboxes and PS4s will cannibalise the market, but youíre never going to stop that, itís just one of those things.

Iím 30, my son is 1, Iíd quite like if he wanted a model railway, heís fascinated by watching mine, but equally thereís a PS4 beside the TV, and if he wants to play that then sobeit, Iíll not be trying to influence him too heavily.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2018, 09:04:12 am »
I must admit that when I arrived at me mates daughter's place on a UK trip in 2014, I had to build a wooden railway layout!

Looking back, I enjoyed it.  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online njee20

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2018, 09:13:14 am »
Ha! I enjoy it, but so does my wife, and actually it's shown her part of why I like model railways, as ultimately the enjoyment is derived from a similar thing!

I came home the other day to find the Brio extending all the way from the living room, through the hall, into the dining room and the kitchen, the little battery operated train took about 5 minutes to do a circuit. I was quite impressed.

 

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