N Gauge Forum

General Category => N Gauge Discussion => Topic started by: Rabbitaway on March 27, 2018, 09:55:20 PM

Title: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Rabbitaway 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?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 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!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Chris Morris 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.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/63/3123-270318224606.jpeg) (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=63471)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: RailGooner 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
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A 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.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: broadsword 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: woodbury22uk 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.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman 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:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: The Q 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman 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:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 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.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on March 28, 2018, 10:07:10 AM
What Brio is battery operated now!!!! Sacrilege, how will the youth of today maintain any sorts of decorum if they don't have to push their brio trains round!

No wonder there are so many problems in our decadent Western society 😥
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on March 28, 2018, 10:10:44 AM
I think 'The Q' has some very valid points. Without getting political I think the Chinese wage increase coincided with UK 'Austerity' measures. As a consequence prices rose while income didn't. I think the older generation are still more likely to turn to modelling their memories as they are better placed financially and domestically than youngsters who have more 'interesting' toys like mobile phones, computers, internet and TV/Film streaming than building a train set let alone a model railway.
Last I heard N gauge was between 10 and 20 percent of the overall market and I can't see any way of that growing, despite innovations like RTR sound equipped motive power. With the exception of RevolutioN Trains the other manufacturers, in my opinion, do not engage enough with their consumer base so one has to ask how deep their interest in N goes.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: bluedepot on March 28, 2018, 11:07:42 AM
for the first time (that I can remember anyway) trains are getting released in o gauge that you can't get in n (117, 05, 07 etc.)

plus a lot of rarer prototypes are getting made in oo - often by new or smaller manufacturers

so I suppose n feels a bit forgotten about currently?

we have got very high quality recent releases though plus the move to sound so it's not like we have reason for gloom - I think it's just because of o gauge taking off that n feels neglected

I was looking at o gauge items yesterday but a vba was about 70 quid and an hea was 40 quid, so even a small layout with 3 diesel shunters plus say 10 wagons would cost a fortune esp with sound. also I think o gauge track looks rubbish (what I saw looked over scale). I will build an o gauge layout one day but not until older or retired I think - unless I get rich unexpectedly!

revolution and hopefully djm can take forward more niche n gauge items and farish develop the more standard range of items for the foreseeable future though.

anyway I had better do some work now before I get sacked!

Tim






Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: port perran on March 28, 2018, 11:25:02 AM
I donít believe that N Gauge is on the decline. However, change is afoot.
The move to sound and DCC etc (something which holds no appeal for me) is tremendous and inspiring to many but that is applicable to all scales.
The major manufacturers are switching to more recent eras and who can blame them. Old dinosaurs like myself are becoming fewer by the day and many of those are interested in only steam. So from their viewpoint (with fewer steam vehicles being produced) it may appear that Nis in decline.
However, lets move away from locos and stock. Just look at the increasing range of building, structures and lineside bits and pieces now available. There is so much more about now than even 4 years ago. That surely is proof of demand.
What is worrying is that the main British manufacturers are in this dilema of price versus what peopl are prepared to pay. Iím not at all sure that the manufacturers of locos and rolling stock are addressing this.
For me, and I have plenty of locos and stock, the 100.00 loco. 25.00 wagon and 40.00 coach has pushed me over the threshold. Itís not that I cannot afford it but I cannot see the value. Maybe Iíd think differently if I was just starting out.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on March 28, 2018, 11:31:24 AM
O gauge has the benefit that the market is used to paying a reasonably high price so there is greater scope to produce smaller production runs, but the reality is that there will always be a finite limit to the growth of O gauge due to the space it takes up (the same is also true of OO to a lesser extent).

I'm not sure that we've fully exploited the benefits of N gauge yet ie really promoted that you can have scale length trains in a reasonable space and still have decent quality mechanisms, DCC sound and accurate detailed models.

Purely in N gauge alone we've never had so much choice - when you look at diesel and electric classes that haven't been done RTR there are not so many obvious choices left (Class 85 please Farish along with upgraded 87 and 90!). The missing link for modelling much of the last 50 years is multiple units though that is slowly improving.

So, no I don't think we have seen the end of a golden age for N gauge.

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Lawrence on March 28, 2018, 11:39:07 AM
I assume you are on about British N Gauge? I see little decline in American and Japanese models and layout accessories, perhaps you might consider expanding your horizons  ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: jthjth on March 28, 2018, 11:52:54 AM
There is one aspect to O gauge that I think is often overlooked - most people can only buy a limited amount of stock. That detailed shunting plank can only accommodate a loco and a few wagons. Most people (though not all) are not going to have room for the quantity of stock that I have in N. I have drawers full of stock. If I had done that in O Iíd need an additional house. So I suspect Dapol is meeting an unmet demand for O RTR, but that demand may be quickly met. A decade or so ago we had a similar situation in N. Farish had gone down the tubes and Bachmann was trying to get production going again. Not much else was being produced RTR. So many of us have been on a buying spree as the new models came out from Farish and Dapol. But this had to slow down as many of us reached stock saturation point. Once I purchased almost anything that the manufacturers released new, now I buy a little more selectively. I suspect Iím not alone. So I think the rate of new model release has slowed to something more sustainable.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on March 28, 2018, 11:57:09 AM
A good response. Agree. :beers:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 28, 2018, 12:07:23 PM
All of that is why I'm surprised Dapol have decided that the best markets for the JHA bogie hopper is OO and O. These are wagons which run in sets of up to 44 on the national network.

By my super quick maths an O gauge one will be c365mm, which means that even a rake of 10 will be absolutely monstrous, and likely well over £1000. A large bogie hopper is a curious choice (to my mind) for the sort of small depots which most O gauge layouts entail.

I'd love an O gauge layout, but I'd love it to be what I have in N, but in O, which is an insane proposition. The stock isn't readily available, even a comparatively modest garage layout in N would require a barn in O.

As for people reaching 'stock saturation' as it were, that assumes everyone started from the same baseline, whilst I'm also not buying much anymore, there are plenty of people who are still buying models who don't consider their collection largely complete. Either they're later to modelling, or have accumulated things more slowly, or are only just getting the models they want on the market now. There have been successive years of new releases that haven't really appealed to me, but then Revolution come steaming in and empty my bank account. There are some models, mainly wagons, where I would probably buy a complete rake if they came out. I think these things ebb and flow, although like others I'm price sensitive with regards to quite how much I want new stuff!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on March 28, 2018, 12:23:30 PM
I don't think Dapol are doing the O&K hoppers in O are they? I could easily have missed it in the excitement of Pendolino packing!

That would be a very strange move to do them in O!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 28, 2018, 12:29:23 PM
I definitely probably read it on RMWeb, but there's every chance I'm totally making that up.

Edit: Yep. I'm making that up. Must stop drinking so heavily in the morning. :dunce:

Regardless, they're not doing them in N. Which saddens me. But it's not the Powell Duffryn variant, which I'd much prefer (and would fit the aforementioned "I need a rake" criteria).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: jthjth on March 28, 2018, 12:40:21 PM
I can see mention of those wagons in OO. Perhaps you lost an O somewhere?
That aside, and my thoughts that Dapolís foray into O might be a bit of a short lived shooting star, I have to say their N class 68 is an excellent model, both in looks and the quality of the mechanism and electronics. So someone is still taking an interest in our scale. If they produce something if this quality every other year, and keep a steady stream of rereleases of their older stuff (at very reasonable prices I may add) I shall be happy. Staying in business is key, as the past history of other manufacturers over the years has demonstrated.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 28, 2018, 12:56:14 PM
Haha, yes, I definitely read it as "OO & O", but I think I probably mentally transposed an "O" from O&K. But yes, wholly moot!

I suspect O will find a level, again because of the proliferation of depot layouts it lends itself to a 'loco heavy' roster. It's interesting to see that most of the new RTR products are from the BR blue era, with the exception of the Heljan 60, which I belive sold poorly, in part due to terrible QC. I wonder if that's in part because it's the common era choice of those in their 40s-60s who have the disposable income to fund O gauge collections.

If it shores up Dapol's balance sheet than that's unlikely to be a bad thing for N, even if it just means re-runs of existing models, rather than new ones. We've seen recent re-releases of the IKA and FEA container flats, where second hand prices were starting to go crazy, which is good, and suggestive that they see a continued market there. Likewise the new run of HSTs is clearly hotly anticipated. Let's just hope they don't screw them up somehow.  :doh:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Chris Morris on March 28, 2018, 01:31:16 PM
I also would not be surprised if the current O gauge bubble bursts sooner or later. At the moment an unfulfilled demand exists for rtr O. It is quite probable that, due to the physical size of O, demand will be fulfilled fairly quickly.

It is somewhat inconvenient that Dapol are currently concentrating more on O but they are a business and therefore must invest in whatever projects are likely to give them the best return on that investment.

All we can do is push the merits of N gauge at every opportunity. The best opportunities being magazines and exhibitions. We need high quality layouts for exhibitions and we need them to be turned into articles for magazines. Plus other good N gauge modelling articles for magazines.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Intercity on March 28, 2018, 03:42:58 PM
have been glossing over this thread as people post their views, one question I have is what is a Golden Age and how do you define it?

I would echo the views that we have massive selections to choose from (even if some are dated these days), I left the N gauge scene in the late 90s and recently returned, my jaw dropped when I saw the selection that we have to choose from now, and it seems the bar gets raised each year, (Pendolinos, class 68s and dare I say it Dapols Mk3s), I know there have been quality issues and compromises made in order to release many of the products (the real world doesn't have everything matching either).

We however dont really seem to hear much from younger members of the hobby, is that an indication that the hobby is "dying" out, I am sure there are many who just dont post on forums, video games have certainly killed off quite a few people from all scales (they even managed to keep kids indoors instead of going outside to play, oh the horror, outside in the elements and all the creepy crawlies, can I shoot them with an RPG).

Also do the sales of OO and O gauge models just fund those respective gauges, or is all money put into general development, it maybe sales of N have slowed down and it was deemed the other gauges have enough interest to inject needed money into the companies producing the models.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on March 28, 2018, 03:52:58 PM
The average age of railway modellers is 65, and itís been that way for the last hundred years.

Iím sure the early 65 year old have died off by now so there must be a steady stream of younger people replacing them.

Retirement seems to be a big prompt to take up the hobby.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on March 28, 2018, 03:58:23 PM

Iím sure the early 65 year old have died off by now

Nice to know I'm gonna peg it early next year :worried: :worried: :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: dannyboy on March 28, 2018, 04:10:41 PM
You will be the exception to the rule Mick!  (We need your 'sense of humour', (well, that's what I call it).;D

Hang on, what am I saying, I am an exception to the rule - thank goodness.  :)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on March 28, 2018, 04:16:15 PM

Iím sure the early 65 year old have died off by now

Nice to know I'm gonna peg it early next year :worried: :worried: :thankyousign:

they would be 165 by now  :D  although looking round the show on Saturday some may still be around :goggleeyes:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on March 28, 2018, 04:24:20 PM
As a transition era modeller I think we do OK for steam and thank the heavens for Farish. Sure, some of the more recent items are retooled old ones like the Castle and the upcoming 8F but we have the C class, J72 and E1 to look forward to although it's anyone's guess at when they will come to fruition.
I reckon I can find a genuine reason for getting an early crest C class :hmmm:
Still bewailing the lack of unrebuilt WC/BoB, though :'(


they would be 165 by now  :D 

For some reason I don't think I want to go on for that many years :no: :uneasy:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 28, 2018, 04:26:17 PM
The average age of railway modellers is 65, and itís been that way for the last hundred years.
...
Retirement seems to be a big prompt to take up the hobby.

Interesting stats - where are they from? Pleased to see I'm bringing the average down!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on March 28, 2018, 04:34:04 PM
Not really stats but around 1957 Railway Modeler did a survey that reflected this, and its typical of most clubs I have been a member of.

Like you I still lower the average but I have been building models for nearly 50 years  :worried:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on March 28, 2018, 04:38:23 PM
You might find this poll from 2015 interesting although response wasn't huge...............
I wonder what it would be like now :hmmm:

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29395.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29395.0)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on March 28, 2018, 04:41:24 PM
Yes, adjust these number to allow for older modelers who are not computer active, therefore don't vote, and the profile looks correct.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Train Waiting on March 28, 2018, 05:05:55 PM
An interesting question!

I think we are in a 'Golden Age'.  Here's why:-

Accurate well-running locomotives and multiple units of many kinds.

A super range of rolling stock.

Excellent Peco and Kato track (and other ranges as well).

DCC/sound kind of things for those who want it.  Gaugemaster controllers and their guarantee for those who don't.  (I know Gaugemaster does DCC equipment as well but I'm keeping it simple!)

A good service from manufacturers and retailers - some of whom are members of the Forum.

And... this Forum (run by volunteers - thank you all so very much) and its members.

[Now my personal one: Union Mills, Mr Colin Heard and a new (very affordable) locomotive each year!]

This is a Golden Age and I'm very grateful.

By the way, I think we are in a Golden Age of steam railways as well.

With best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 28, 2018, 05:28:58 PM
Not really stats but around 1957 Railway Modeler did a survey that reflected this, and its typical of most clubs I have been a member of.

Like you I still lower the average but I have been building models for nearly 50 years  :worried:

Fair enough, so a total guess really. I have no interest whatsoever in joining a club, I'm not sure that's a  reliable methodology.

I'd expect it to be (a bit) younger than that I must say. Taking Nobby's poll results if we assume people are in the middle of the decade they are answering for (and the overs are 75) then the mean age is 56.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on March 28, 2018, 10:39:48 PM
Well I know how old I am, and I ain't saying.  :D

.... Oooops it comes up in the birthdays every year on here...  :dunce:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Rabbitaway on March 28, 2018, 11:13:47 PM
Wow, looks like my thread started quite a debate!

As I said, did we see the peak about a year or two ago and activity and market appetite is now reducing.

For long term security for N gauge what sort of market share would it need, 20%, 30% ?

Agreed that Ben and Mike are going a great job raising the profile but in reality their market share is low. DJM is doing very little in N with just one wagon release so far. Therefore we do need GF and Dapol to keep the momentum going.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Intercity on March 29, 2018, 05:05:59 AM
Slightly outside the main scope for British outline, but donít forget Kato, Atlas, Athearn, those mainland European ones whom I canít remember (and probably canít spell correctly either), once you include those modelers and manufacturers I think N gauge (N scale) still has a huge interest although the outlines of said modelers will be spread over many locations.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 29, 2018, 08:45:11 AM
As I said, did we see the peak about a year or two ago and activity and market appetite is now reducing.

I think that point is heavily swayed by personal perception. Iíd say nothing at all has changed in the last 2 years, and if there was a heyday then it was 5-7 years ago when wagons and coaches were less than £20 in the shops. Definitely not a year or two ago.

However, that coincides with when I was buying most. I think thereís a natural tendency to translate your own experiences onto others.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: carpy on March 29, 2018, 11:04:54 AM
having only been in this wonderful hobby for 10 years, i am now annoyed that from my first few years i was easily able to buy whatever i wanted which has been prewar gwr steam engines. having been told by the first retailer to buy anything that i saw that i wanted, to a degree this i did at the time,subject to available finances. since then very few engines are in the market.
so even over the short time i would naturally think we are over the golden age as for availability of engines
carpy
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: DJM Dave on March 29, 2018, 11:55:15 AM
God i hope the golden age isn't over, that's for sure.

Before you all jump on me, i'm an N gauge modeller and think that although certain items have not sold as well in recent years as manufacturers have expected (350 etc) the hobby is quite buoyant right now.

Now as a manufacturer, yes, only 1 wagon so far, i do think there are now fewer and fewer opportunities to produce something in N where you are guaranteed sales and therefore profit, unless its an exceptional item like the recent DCC sound fitted class 40 for instance, which is simply marvellous.

I think the next 18 months will be very interesting, and models that have had gestation periods that have been too long could come to the fore and make a lot of people very happy.

Some of you might have noticed 3 brand new locomotive codes on the product progress part of my web site.
These will not be announced until the models have been tooled and i can show tangible models just before production. I have been guilty of too much froth production in the past and i quite like the idea of just shutting up and doing it, then announcing, rather like Farish when in Poole.

So yes i think we have a way to go yet, but with N gauge keeping going up in price, i do wonder where the limit is.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on March 29, 2018, 12:03:44 PM
A laudable strategy indeed Dave, and one which will likely win you fans. I wish the other manufacturers would do that. It makes a mockery of catalogue years that not a single new product from the 2018 Farish catalogue will be released in 2018!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Karhedron on March 29, 2018, 01:08:25 PM
It makes a mockery of catalogue years that not a single new product from the 2018 Farish catalogue will be released in 2018!

It is actually part of a coherent strategy. Looking at prices in the 2018 catalogue, I suspect most of us will need to be saving until at least 2019 to be able to afford any of it.  :goggleeyes:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: trkilliman on March 29, 2018, 01:48:04 PM
I think the original question about the "Golden Age" will be interpreted by people in several ways.

Ten years back I could walk into Modelmania in Bristol and buy a Farish B.R. covered van for around £8-9. I had a job that paid fairly well and buying 2-3 wagons wasn't going to break the bank or infringe on some mandatory payment/bill.

There may have been a Golden Age for manufacturers, having goods produced so much cheaper in Hong Kong. Political decisions re' the workers pay and conditions have eroded the Golden Age of cheap manufacturing costs. The increased costs of production come straight back to you and I. For some they will cut back on purchases, and they may also feel their Golden Age has slipped away. 

This for me was a sort of Golden Age, before the year on year price increases have seen a situation arise where the likes of covered vans/Toad brake vans are around the £20 mark. The £50 coach seems a reality.  I elected to retire from work a few years early due to ill health, so my buying power is nowhere near what it once was.

Whilst I may likely get flamed for mentioning prices, just think of this. Many who have lost jobs that paid well may well have found themselves in minimum wage / zero hours jobs. Will they have the same buying power as previously...I seriously doubt it. It's no secret that outgoings are outstripping pay for many, and this has to be another factor re' purchases. It has been said that 2nd hand prices have shot up on the back of the cost of new. Things have sort of turned full circle. 55 years back as a lad my Father could not afford new model railway items, it was 2nd hand and make what you could yourself.

I have plenty of stock and could even sale some of it. Purchased over several years when I could easily do so, this was my N gauge Golden Age. I have now taken to making my own coaches using etched sides...and enjoying it!

Well I've rambled on, and some readers may think I'm deluded or way off topic. But for me my Golden Age was 10-12 years back.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: RailGooner on March 29, 2018, 02:01:22 PM
YOU'VE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

That's the title of a piece by Neil Walker in the latest NGS Journal 2/2018. Not read it through yet, but seems relevant to this discussion.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Karhedron on March 29, 2018, 02:21:02 PM
I think the original question about the "Golden Age" will be interpreted by people in several ways.

This is a very valid point. Are we walking about a golden age in terms of prices? Availability? New releases? Range?

In terms of prices, 10 years ago was a great time to be modelling. I picked up several new Dapol collett coaches for £9 each. Whilst not perfect (having the same compromises as the Bachmann 00 gauge equivalents), they were far ahead of the generic Farish coaches which were the best pre-nationalisation modellers could get prior to that.

In terms of availability, you probably have to go back to Farish's Poole days to reach a time when you could guarantee that models in a catalogue would reliably be in stock for years to come.

For new releases, I guess this peaked about 5 years ago when Farish and Dapol were racing to beat each other to profitable prototypes. Since then the rate of new releases has declined somewhat and we are still waiting for the backlog of models announced during this time to clear.

For range, you could say we have never had it so good (subject to the caveat that you may need to hunt around for things). Whilst it may be frustrating to start a project and find key items are no longer available, it seems that both Farish and Dapol do periodically rerun items that have sold out (indeed, they would be foolish not to considering such items have paid off their toolings and thus potentially have significantly higher profit margins). Also, a bit of patience scouring eBay can often turn up missing items, even if bargains are getting a bit thin on the ground these days.

We all have our own perception of what constitutes a golden era, just as we have different perceptions on value for money. N Gauge has become more expensive and also more "patchy" in terms of availability than in the past. However the range is wider than ever. It is possible to model most parts of country in the steam era with several signature locos for each of the big 4 produced to high standards as well as at least 1 (if not 2) families of pre-nationalisation coaching stock available.

Moving into the diesel and electric era, most of the classes of diesel have now been produced to modern standards with just a handful of short-lived classes left to go. Rolling stock from Mk1-4 is available to varying standards and new locos and stock are being released all the time. RevolutioN have successfully started a new way of bringing models to market and I look forward to seeing some of Dave's wares running on Chew Magna when they are ready.

I personally feel that the idea of a single golden age is misleading. N gauge is thriving in a way that I suspect no one could have imagined when Farish was first taken over by Bachmann. Yes, some of the things that we have taken for granted in the past will likely no longer hold true in the future but overall I believe that future is rosy for the scale.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on March 29, 2018, 02:31:44 PM
YOU'VE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

That's the title of a piece by Neil Walker in the latest NGS Journal 2/2018. Not read it through yet, but seems relevant to this discussion.

But if I've read it right he leaves alone locos and rolling stock to concentrate on the 'cottage industry' that has sprung up along with 3D printing etc mentioned earlier in this thread. For sure, all those little detail pieces are a huge help to N gaugers these days but it's the expensive end which will be the telling part. As has been said, when I was a paid worker I could have up to £1600 worth of pre orders but, having taken early retirement and living on a small personal pension until my state pension kicks in as well, I'm lucky if I can buy one loco per year. The ones I want that have been
announced/delayed/whatever will quite possibly have to be sent into the next world for me to play with ::)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: trkilliman on March 29, 2018, 04:23:01 PM

I think it is thriving, and to my way of thinking largely due to it's size and what can be done in many of today's smaller houses. I do wonder what sales volumes are like though compared to say 8-10 years back?  We are looking at moving and have been taken aback at how small some of the new/newish builds are...even for two of us.

I also think the next few years will be interesting, with more 3D products becoming available. Perhaps crowdfunding will increase, and possibly be looked at in some form by the likes of Farish and Dapol outside of their catalogue items... to produce what there is a specific demand for. Certainly the continuing loss of retail outlets could lead to them having a re-think.

With production costs in H.K rising as they have, would further costs lead to some work returning to the U.K?

Sorry if I have gone off of topic a bit, but I reckon that Brexit, trade deals/embargoes, 3D printing and general production costs could well create knock on effects and notable changes in our hobby.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: leachsprite4 on March 29, 2018, 06:49:59 PM
Is it a golden age, yes because we are all getting great models or locos, rolling and even road vehicles now.

I like the  comments from djm Dave as I think the key is being able to make a profit. I'm sure we could all list a few things we'd like but would they make a profit.

I think it's interesting that really after 50 years of n gauge there is still only one British outline turntable on the market  :hmmm:

That said the quality of the models we now have are amazing compare the 4MT from farish and bachmann by farish.

Graham
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 on March 29, 2018, 10:48:15 PM
OK my last little ditty before I disappear again for a while!

Looking at what people have said after my first input, generally a lot say the "golden age" was about 5 years ago since then things haven't been as good.

I think that time was good as makers were fighting for business but the market could never last like that unless the market grew to match to keep the shelves emptying ready for the next batch or model. What we are left with is a really great range of models available both new and second hand even though prices are going up which can be attributed to numerous factors which we all know all to well.

Are the golden times over, actually when you think with the small traders and the new makers that are in the market now, plus the advent of 3D printing and other ideas that are coming to fruition. I would say while RTR models may be slowing down in general as they regroup after the mad rush 5 years ago, with crowdfunding, 3D printing and other new things coming in.

A great example of the bright future is in 3D printing go on Shapeways and you can get almost anything you need, or ask friends to sort something unique out for yourself  :D then for the RTR models I would say N gauge has proven crowdfunding in the UK with the TEA tanker and the Pendolino in particular proving as a community we can get the "niche" models we really want.

So all in all do I think we have seen the "Golden Age" in N gauge well we certainly saw a high point which has been followed by a slump. But I think with N gauge taking full advantage of the new opportunities there is plenty of good times to come yet even if we as a community have to push it ourselves by 3D printing, scratch building or by Crowdfunding.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: The Big Bear on March 30, 2018, 11:24:40 PM
@Rabbitaway (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2967), Iíd just like to thank you for starting such an interesting thread, which really struck a chord with me.

At 37, I count myself as one of those who has returned to the hobby after kids and other hobbies like wine and fast cars.  On the plus side, I relish the range and quality of Sectorisation-era models available to me as Ė no offence to anyone intended Ė there must now be a decent cohort of us railway modellers who just canít relate to the end-of-steam and blue diesel eras that dominated catalogues for so long.  If ready choice of 75% of the models one covets represents a golden age, then perhaps I am living in it.

But, without wishing to rehash old debates on this forum, I do fear that itís (perceptions of) value for money that will ultimately do for n gauge.  As I understand it, its total market share is stagnant at best, and declining for the major manufacturers.  And the point is, itís not dedicated followers on this forum who need to be convinced, itís new modellers with buying power.

Indicatively, I have two or three friends at work who also like the idea of returning to the hobby.  But, were I to let on that Iíve been waiting for the release of the GF InterCity Mk2fs for three years, and the RRP is likely to be £42.95 per 14cm of plastic, you cannot blame them for taking their £300 for a decent rake elsewhere and entering another Ironman event instead. 

And Ė again no offence intended Ė I find myself exasperated at the inflation-shattering price increases my forebears tolerated.  The last locomotive my parents bought me in 1995 was a Class 08; the price sticker for £29 is still attached.  Adjusted for inflation, thatís £53 in todays money; yet the comparator model when I re-entered the hobby in 2016 retailed for £94.95.  Yes, itís better quality, but not seismically as some suggest, and, in other domains of model engineering Ė R/C cars for example Ė increases in quality have stayed measurably closer to inflation.

I can relate to a great deal thatís been written on this thread.  Of my generation, I count myself as very lucky as owning a 4-bedroom house and finding space for a 7í x 2í7Ē layout, not to mention having the buying power for the occasional rake of carefully selected stock.  But it worries me that even n gaugeís traditional USP of scale-length trains in a reasonable space is open to challenge and resonates less than when it was fresh.  Some are committed proto-typical modellers from the outset, but most graduate from just running trains.  Based on my last 10 purchases, n gauge models cost 93% of their OO gauge counterparts (and a couple were actually more expensive) and, given my time again, Iím just not sure I would choose n gauge.  Getting more for your money is not an argument that should be readily dismissed: what was the great opportunity of n gauge when it was novel is now a clear threat.

Overall, Iíve not been back in n gauge long enough to judge whether itís in decline.  But Iíd tentatively suggest this should not be seen as a period of growth for n gauge.  The choice of models is good, but itís not expanding further in my experience: pre-orders sitting dormant for 2-3 years is not a sales model that many contemporary consumers would recognise or tolerate.  And other gauges Ė OO in particular Ė seem to be increasing the range share of later eras faster.  Crowd-funding is a laudable initiative, but it cannot be as proactive in model engineering as in market sectors where it has been game-changing.  Value for money in n gauge, both against inflation and other scales, worsens year-on-year and such irrationally buoyant second-hand sales can only mean many folk have been priced-out of catalogue sales.

I hope Iím wrong, but I just donít feel like Iíve entered a hobby in its golden age: starting and completing even a relatively modest n gauge layout over the last 3 years has often felt more of a challenge than a pleasure.  Unless something changes, I'm pretty sure my next major layout will be in the garden.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PeteW on March 31, 2018, 01:25:19 AM
I've been following this thread from the beginning, and have been reluctant to contribute because I've barely dipped my toe into the world of railway modelling, let alone the n-specific area of the hobby. But it's a holiday weekend and I've had a couple of glasses of a rather good Malbec, so what the hell...

My interest in model railways has always been first 'model', and second 'railways'. Last summer I took the opportunity to visit Pendon and in particular to see John Ahern's Madder Valley railway. I was, by turns, impressed, stunned, and humbled. I was impressed and stunned because here was an exemplary layout that - even if I had the time, the space and the budget - I doubt I could replicate. And then I was humbled because Mr Ahern created this masterpiece at a time when there was little to no rolling stock, no ready-to-plant buildings, and a very limited selection of scenic products.

I believe that if Mr Ahern could read this thread he would be appalled, infuriated or incredulous - or likely a combination of all of those. I truly suspect that if he had the opportunities to buy - at whatever price - the range of locomotives, coaches, wagons, buildings and scenic materials available now he would absolutely affirm that we are, in fact, enjoying a golden age.

When I think about Madder Valley I honestly can't remember how many locomotives, wagons or coaches there were. What I remember is the quality of the modelling and that, yes, there were trains there. So how many locos does it take to make a great layout? Ten, twenty, fifty? Or just two or three? How many coaches? How many wagons to a rake, and how many rakes?

This isn't just nostalgia! When I look through the great inspirational threads on this forum, the same is true. The ones that stick in the memory are RogerdB's Wrenton, Belstone's Longframlington, and a host of others where - with respect - the rolling stock is the least of 'em.

Of course, I baulk at the £150 loco, the £30 coach and the £15-£20 wagon. But we have eBay, where you can still buy numerous items of rolling stock at prices way below list (I currently have four locos from eBay and haven't paid more than £30 for any of them). Moreover, we have - god bless 'em - Peco who are churning out wagon kits at about a fiver apiece that only need simple assembly and a bit of weathering. I suspect Mr Ahern would have sold his mother for Peco - and his soul for eBay!

I fear we have fallen victim to naked consumerism, where we know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

But on the question of value, I have everything I need (except time and skill!) to make the layout of my dreams and I'm probably about £750 all in. Which compares very favourably, I think, to my tragically under-used gym membership, my pathetically neglected Fender Stratocaster, and my near-forgotten Canon digital SLR.

In short, a golden age is what you make of it... and how you make it.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on March 31, 2018, 01:42:42 AM
I can identify with the end of your post - I too have a Canon DSLR which I hardly ever use, and a brand new Fender Strat which spends most of it's time on the guitar stand.

Never had a gym membership, though.  :D

I agree with your comments regarding John Ahern.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PeteW on March 31, 2018, 02:05:56 AM
I can identify with the end of your post

No view on "the rather good Malbec"?  :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on March 31, 2018, 02:48:28 AM
Just about to tuck into Easter Saturday lunch at seafood restaurant with a glass of red.

Sorry, back to the golden age of N!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: amsie on March 31, 2018, 05:41:01 AM
There's lots more 3D printed models available in N than there is in OO, and I've got a feeling there might be more N gauge 3D printed models available in the very near future.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: stevewalker on April 01, 2018, 12:08:37 AM
I too worry about the ever increasing prices. Many people have suffered a real-terms drop in income since 2008 - I lost 30-odd % of my income 2 years ago and at the same time my wife lost 60-odd percent of hers! She has now regained hers and I have regained some of mine, but taxes (especially "stealth" ones) and prices have increased, so we are still effectively well below what we made 10 years ago. Meanwhile locos, trucks and coaches in particular have shot up in price.

Yes, detail has improved, but how much detail do we really need? How much can you see from 3' away, especially when moving?

My experiences with Dapol do not lead me to believe that manufacturing quality has improved.

I'd rather that less was invested in detail and that prices were brought down a bit.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: JasonBz on April 01, 2018, 12:57:32 AM
This thread appears, like so many on a similar theme, to have nearly descended  into cries of I cannot by everything I want, when I want it - which generally starts at the  traction and stock collector end of our spectrum.

To have a realistic working model railway does not have to cost a lot of money.

Keep to the era and place you are modelling, buy the stock to suit that time and place, and over the period it takes you to actually build the layout I would guess that the outlay on the all important rolling stock would need to be no more than £25 a week..or a couple of trips to the pub.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: stevewalker on April 01, 2018, 01:40:33 AM
This thread appears, like so many on a similar theme, to have nearly descended  into cries of I cannot by everything I want, when I want it

I, and I am sure most other don't expect to be able to afford everything that we want. What we are worried about is the huge increases in prices relative to rises in incomes.

In my case, it is concern that ever increasing detail is driving prices higher and higher, and that such detail is not necessary for many people - compare with OO's Railroad range.

A perfect example being in the latest BRM, where a Tampo printed sign on a Hornby offering is unreadable without magnification - and then actually reads something like "This sign is too small to be read. Good luck." What is the point in printing to that detail? - I am assuming that this is not an April fool!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: trkilliman on April 01, 2018, 08:20:28 AM
Steve Walker has summed up pretty much my views on the hobby at this time, and I'm sure that of many others.
As I have said a few times in the past there will always be people who can afford whatever the price is, but it's the greater number of people who have to balance their mandatory outgoings against spending on model railways that will make a difference to sales.

You read on here that people have had to cut back on their purchases and/or have become more focussed on their purchases instead of buying on a whim. The hobby is huge, and of course the number of forum users/contributers such as on here is likely to be small against the numbers who have a layout and are also potential purchasers.

The bigger picture of rtr sales is not likely to be made public. An indication may be the number of new models or announced ones that are shelved.
I envisage an increase in kit building and scratchbuilding, not a bad thing as it can bring you closer to your layout having actually created elements of it. With coaches having become rather expensive I'm surprised a manufacturer hasn't come up with some plastic kits. Dapol have the Stanier coache kits in OO and a like product in N could be popular.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on April 01, 2018, 08:33:01 AM
Reminiscent of the old Triang CKD models of the sixties. I think there's been a thread on the forum where this was discussed.... RTR manufacturers offering a similar product at cheaper prices.

Nice idea, but can't see it happening.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: joe cassidy on April 01, 2018, 08:38:02 AM
I not sure that coaches in kit form would be cheaper. Mike Howarth's Stanier coach kits were about £12 each if I recall correctly, which was about the same price as the Farish rtr coaches when they were launched.

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Chris Morris on April 01, 2018, 08:44:32 AM
The reduced number of new announcements could of course be due to a change in policy; there is a commitment to only announcing new models when they are well on the way rather than just a gleam in the manufacturers eye.
I guess Dapol wonít commit to any more new loco tooling until the class 50 is in production. The rate of sales of the class 50 could pivotal for the future of new N gauge models from Dapol.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: NeMo on April 01, 2018, 08:53:19 AM
In my case, it is concern that ever increasing detail is driving prices higher and higher, and that such detail is not necessary for many people - compare with OO's Railroad range.

I do see your point here, and in the toy shop in Berkhamsted, all the trains on sale seem to be Hornby Railroad bits rather than their higher-end stuff. The idea of having a range of products accessible to those with limited budgets, such as children, sounds very appealing and presumably sells okay.

But the problem for me is whether N is big enough a market to support both a children's range and an adult modeller's range. Has Hornby been able to grow the OO market with the Railroad Range, or merely divided an existing market into two?

Conversely, would adult collectors be happy enough with a cheap-and-cheerful series of locomotives and rolling stock? Suppose Farish continued to produce their older Class 31s at half the price of the new ones -- would they sell? I suspect not quickly enough to justify replacing the worn-out old mouldings as/when a new batch of "old" Class 31s were needed!

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Chris Morris on April 01, 2018, 08:58:10 AM
One of the great things about N gauge is the possibility of running scale length trains in a relatively small space. This means a lot of coaches and wagons. If a manufacturer was to find a way of making reasonably detailed coaches available at a low price then it would surely be good for the hobby.
The idea of selling a kit of parts for the purchaser to put together is very appealing. I would want the sides to be fully printed but would be happy to paint roof, chassis and bogies myself. Some of what is currently seperate detail would have to be part of the mouldings. Maybe it would then become cost effective to mould the parts in the UK? For those who need ready to run model shops could offer a building service for a small fee which would be good for them. Iíll put my rose tinted glasses away now.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on April 01, 2018, 09:00:34 AM
I'm curious as what happens to the tooling/mouldings of the old stock.

I'm totally naive about stuff like this, but could a third party buy the equipment and take over production cottage style?

Just asking.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: NeMo on April 01, 2018, 09:07:15 AM
I'm curious as what happens to the tooling/mouldings of the old stock.

I'm totally naive about stuff like this, but could a third party buy the equipment and take over production cottage style?

I think this has been discussed on RMWeb and elsewhere. The injection moulding tools have a finite life and cost tens of thousands of pounds to replace. So by the time Farish or Dapol are ready to move onto a new version of a given model, the moulding tools are probably life-expired and repairing them to a point where they'd be useful again might easily be beyond the budget of a cottage industry-type business.

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on April 01, 2018, 09:21:03 AM
Actually I think I recall a similar discussion here, too.

Thanks, NeMo.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Webbo on April 01, 2018, 09:25:18 AM
A couple of observations from me who has a limited amount of UK outline stock and is mainly a North American modeller:

1. The issue of affordability looms large on this thread. I wonder if a significant part of this is due to the age profile of the respondents. In retirement we all make less money than we did while working so things which may have been easily affordable a few years ago are less so now.

2. Models are increasing in price at a greater rate than inflation, but UK and NA models are more detailed and I would say generally better so represent a similar value for money.

3. The issue of long lead in times for product release is an interesting one and one that is potentially very annoying. I suspect that manufacturers announce future models in advance of production in order to best gauge the number of units to be manufactured. This can work very well. I have reserved Kato locomotives 6 months in advance of advertised release and lo and behold they appeared on time. Rapido trains who are the manufacturers of the beloved Pendolino took 8 years to produce all the coaches in their Royal Hudson set. I don't object to waiting, but I do object to delivery times that are greatly inflated over advertised expectations.

In summary, I think the times for N scale are now as good as they ever were on the whole. The times they are a changing not altogether worse, but certainly different.

And George, you're getting into Easter sooner than me. We are now Easter Sunday and I'm about to consume some roast washed down by the obligatory red.

Webbo
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on April 01, 2018, 09:40:52 AM
An excellent and measured response. Thank you!

Pm me how the roast went!  :beers:

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bob G on April 01, 2018, 10:45:27 AM
Our leg of lamb has just gone in for a long, slow cook.
But it will be ready long before Dapol get around to the WC/BB or any of their other "in abeyance" models.

I'm just grateful i managed to buy enough class 33s to keep me going.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 01, 2018, 11:19:00 AM

1. The issue of affordability looms large on this thread. I wonder if a significant part of this is due to the age profile of the respondents. In retirement we all make less money than we did while working so things which may have been easily affordable a few years ago are less so now.


I'm not sure that really stands up to close scrutiny, Webbo.
Having reached the age of 64 I have no mortgage and a car fully paid for so am lucky enough to owe nobody anything. I have several friends who are in a similar situation. We do, however, have limited resources in most cases.
Compare my position to someone maybe Ĺ or even ĺ my age who, I dare say, has a mortgage and maybe a couple of loans to pay for and whose income is devoted to getting to the position I'm in.

I think, although my spending has had to be curtailed, I'm in a far better shape as a consumer.

Everyone has a different scenario/lifestyle but the fact remains price increases have outstripped income and difficult decisions have to be made by us all (something not limited to the modelling community)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Roy L S on April 01, 2018, 11:30:08 AM
Interesting to read this thread. It seems particularly "British" to somehow associate "Golden Age" to a time when models were unsustainably cheap!

No question we are in a golden age right now, OK volume of releases may be lower and prices somewhat higher but the sheer quality of each new model reaches a new level both in detail, running and technical advancement. The Class 40 is a case in point, the bar well and truly lifted, a model bristling with features (even cab lights on DCC) all for a RRP of under £140 and a discounted price of £118 ish.

There will be some who would be happy to not have this level of detail but clearly most want it, and it is a misconception to think that less detailed models will be significantly cheaper anyway as assembly is only one part of the production cost. 

The market for N being considerably lower than for 00 there is no way it would justify two ranges from one manufacturer beyond maybe one simple "entry" loco, but don't forget, for those who want cheaper, albeit less authentic wagons with no "bells and whistles" there is still the Peco range, and the recently re-released Daopl "B Sets" at £24 a pair from Hattons is incredible value.

I am itching to get my hands on the J72 and sound fitted 8F and happy to pay the price, it just means I only buy one of each instead of all BR liveries as I once would have, but then when models are of higher quality less is more anyway surely?

Roy
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: austinbob on April 01, 2018, 11:43:32 AM
I can't agree with your reference to higher quality Roy, unless you mean more model detail is 'higher quality'.
Although the detail on most modern models is exceptional, the variability in running qualities of individual models is also exceptional. For one loco type you can often expect a performance range from perfectly quiet and good slow running to the other extreme of 'didn't work out of the box'.
My impression is that older models, whilst often having less detail, are simpler in construction and less likely to have faults and subsequently go wrong. For me the model detail is not as important a factor as affordability and having good performance and reliability. As long as the 'feel' of the model is similar to that of the prototype fine detail is not an issue for me.
I have more recently taken to buying older models 2nd hand and also refurbished models from the likes of Ozymandias on this forum.
 :beers:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 01, 2018, 11:56:14 AM
Progress cannot, and should not, be stifled and, after all, it's the consumer base picking faults with previous models that has led to retooled higher detailed*and more accurate output from the manufacturers. To an extent I agree with Bob and still love my old Farish 8F, pannier, Castle, Class 25, 31, 33 etc as, to me, if it looks like a class 31 it is a class 31. I don't know enough to point out what is incorrect (and suspect I'm in the majority there). I'm not bothered about directional lighting and even less bothered about sound but am being pushed down a route where I have to pay for them regardless.
I can't stand in the way of what the majority want, however, and agree with the comment made about cheaper versions halving the market rather than increasing it.

* Note I stated 'higher detailed' and not higher quality. That is done to death elsewhere on the forum
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: javlinfaw7 on April 01, 2018, 12:51:59 PM
I tend to think that the Golden Age of any thing is a period in the past looked at through heavily tinted and one directional glasses.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Papyrus on April 01, 2018, 05:38:22 PM
A few thoughts from one who started out in N in the 80s and 90s, took an enforced 20 year break, and started up again in 2013...

Then:

Solid locos of a limited number of prototypes with low levels of detail, but at least they were generally reliable and could pull long trains. They could be expensive (£35 for a Peco Jubilee was way out of my price range...).

Generic coaches and wagons.

Buildings and scenic kits and bits were limited and kit-bashing or scratch-building were more or less essential skills,

Help and advice came from the NGS, Railway Modeller, or a club if you happened to live near one. Nearly every town had a model shop.

Now:

A huge range of locos, comparatively speaking, with unprecedented levels of detail, but, as has been said many times before, sometimes at the expense of fragility and poor hauling capabilities.

Ditto a much wider range of coaches and wagons, much more prototypically accurate.

Ditto scenery and buildings...

...and the internet has changed everything. So much more is available now at the click of a mouse and the number of manufacturers has widened. Cottage industries have blossomed to the extent that almost any item you want is available somewhere if you look hard enough. Forums such as this one will find you the answer to any query you can think of, and clubs and the NGS are as strong as ever.

So, are we living in a golden age for N? Undoubtedly. Will it continue? I see no reason why it shouldn't. Major manufacturers may have the occasional wobble about their profits (Arnold didn't see fit to capitalise on the Brighton Belle, frinstance), but 3D printing and crowdfunding are changing the landscape again. I'm not worried.

Shame about the model shops though...  :(

Cheers,

Chris
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Roy L S on April 01, 2018, 08:11:58 PM
I can't agree with your reference to higher quality Roy, unless you mean more model detail is 'higher quality'.
Although the detail on most modern models is exceptional, the variability in running qualities of individual models is also exceptional. For one loco type you can often expect a performance range from perfectly quiet and good slow running to the other extreme of 'didn't work out of the box'.
My impression is that older models, whilst often having less detail, are simpler in construction and less likely to have faults and subsequently go wrong. For me the model detail is not as important a factor as affordability and having good performance and reliability. As long as the 'feel' of the model is similar to that of the prototype fine detail is not an issue for me.
I have more recently taken to buying older models 2nd hand and also refurbished models from the likes of Ozymandias on this forum.
 :beers:

Hi Bob

When I say higher quality in that I include specification and mechanisms, the current coreless motor locos blow any British steam locos before them away in terms of smooth quiet mechanisms and controllability, and the tender driven B1, J39 etc are not far behind.

Fair to say my experience of current Farish loco performance has been overwhelmingly positive and that is both steam and diesel. I haven't found variations in performance between models of the same type at all, and I have multiples of a fair number of models both steam and diesel, including 7 J39 and 6 B1s - (don't ask!).

For me the old Farish models now look toylike by comparison to what we have now, with in many cases ridiculously undersize non see through driving wheels, tiny pony wheels, obvious compromises to fit generic chassis wheelbases, moulded on detail, no cab glazing. The chassis weren't all perfect runners either in my experience, with wobbles and not especially outstanding low speed control. Add to that a lack of any attempt to model anything below the footplate, not even rudimentary brake-gear. No, I am glad they are rightly consigned to the past, I think the modern standard of models have seen British N grow into a credible modelling scale and a genuine choice, something that would not have happened if standards had remained where they were...

Regards

Roy

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Skyline2uk on April 02, 2018, 09:45:34 PM
I have now read through this entire thread and I hope understood the points being made.

My view? I donít really want to define ďGolden AgeĒ. I simply believe some things have got much better and others less so.

I have been involved in N gauge for the last 23 years and I think progress in terms of choice (loco types and stock types) and fidelity* is massively impressive.

Place a 1995 catalogue 08 & 56 next to their current equivilants and I think diesel modellers can sum it up very easily.

Steam I wonít really comment on, but I have seen enough photos of modern GWR models from Farish and Dapol to know my Poole Farish Prairie is now similarly outdated.

Add to this the imminent Revolution 92 which I hope to study at length next to my CJM version, and I think progress is unequivocal.

*I have avoided ďqualityĒ. Itís not a debate I think this thread needs.

The price of these models? Well I know I now can only afford a couple of locos a year or maybe just one decent rake, but thatís due to my circumstances. I honestly think that we all enjoy this hobby as best our circumstances allow, so it means we have our own ďnormalĒ. We therefore adapt as things, like prices, change.

I will finish by saying stating fact that we can now list a handful of ďRTRĒ N gauge loco manufactures whereas in 2003 it might have been less than 2 (i.e Just CJM who could have ended up being the sole U.K. outline manufacture).

Skyline2uk
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A on April 03, 2018, 10:01:26 AM

Hello all,

I have been reading the responses to this thread with interest.

In terms of a "golden age" to me the question seems simple:  If you had to choose, and on the basis of models alone (ie not real railway, your own life/age etc), would you rather be an N gauge enthusiast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or present?

For sure I would pick the present.

Cheers

Ben A.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on April 03, 2018, 10:05:16 AM
After receiving your tankers, I can only agree.

Pictures on me layout soon. Easter got in the way!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on April 03, 2018, 01:06:14 PM
If a manufacturer was to find a way of making reasonably detailed coaches available at a low price then it would surely be good for the hobby.

I think all manufacturers would agree with this - they normally have it in their cupboard next to the Holy Grail!

The idea of selling a kit of parts for the purchaser to put together is very appealing. I would want the sides to be fully printed but would be happy to paint roof, chassis and bogies myself. Some of what is currently seperate detail would have to be part of the mouldings. Maybe it would then become cost effective to mould the parts in the UK? For those who need ready to run model shops could offer a building service for a small fee which would be good for them. Iíll put my rose tinted glasses away now.

If all the painting is done but some assembly is not then how much discount would the purchaser expect? I've looked at the economics of doing this and frankly I can't see how it stacks up (and that is before you start manufacturing in the UK). Then there is the issue of what impact it has on sales - provided there is a market for the prototype then the sales of kits vs completed models is factors of 10 - 100 different, so you may end up with the majority of the production costs for a significantly reduced number of sales.  As I said I can't see it working at the moment.

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Chris Morris on April 03, 2018, 04:48:09 PM
Thanks Mike, you know how the costs break down. Like I said I had got my rose tinted spectacles on at the time.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: ntpntpntp on April 03, 2018, 05:26:25 PM
It's interesting - though I suppose not totally surprising - that so many of the thoughts and replies are so UK focussed. There's a lot more to N than just British 1:148 folks!

I suppose for me personally, as a former British N modeller who went over to European N in the 80s due to what I felt to be vastly superior build and running qualities, the "golden age" was the 80s and 90s when we started to get even smoother running flywheel fitted models from Fleischmann, Minitrix, Arnold, Roco et al, plus blackened wheels and other detailing improvements that just "lifted" the models that bit higher. 

Since then I haven't observed any further step-change in running qualities, which is more important to me than more and more fine and delicate detail.  A few brands have changed ownership or disappeared into other ranges, some new brands have come in but prices have crept up beyond what I consider reasonable, even for simple rolling stock items. I find I hardly ever buy new items at shop prices. Ebay does quite well out of me but only on items I consider to be bargains.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: ACA on April 06, 2018, 05:51:50 PM

Hello all,

I have been reading the responses to this thread with interest.

In terms of a "golden age" to me the question seems simple:  If you had to choose, and on the basis of models alone (ie not real railway, your own life/age etc), would you rather be an N gauge enthusiast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or present?

For sure I would pick the present.

Cheers

Ben A.

I totally agree with this, modern image modeller are better catered for than ever before, there are some amazing steam locomotives and big four coaches now available and in the near future new models of pre grouping locomotives. Compared to what was available just ten years ago these are riches indeed. Yes there are gaps in N gauge no Atlantic's for a start compared with 00 but n gauge is a niche market in comparison due to 00 being more child friendly it is more likely to be the scale you start with and possibly stick with over time.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Western Exile on April 06, 2018, 06:59:39 PM

Hello all,

I have been reading the responses to this thread with interest.

In terms of a "golden age" to me the question seems simple:  If you had to choose, and on the basis of models alone (ie not real railway, your own life/age etc), would you rather be an N gauge enthusiast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or present?

For sure I would pick the present.

Cheers

Ben A.

I agree. It was largely due to seeing a picture of a Farish 47 in a Peco catalogue a few years ago that got me back into the hobby. To start with, I didnít believe it was N gauge as it looked so much better than the Minitrix and Graham Farish versions that I knew from years ago (and donít mention the Lima Deltic  :-\) in that it actually looked like a 47.
There is an enormous range available today even including wagon types that barely reached double figures in the real world. No, I like things just the way they are today, thanks very much.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: ohlavache on April 09, 2018, 10:03:39 AM
I agree: it's much better to play N gauge in the 2010s than ever.
The quality has much improved, many new suppliers appeared for both rolling stock and scenery.

But for the very first time, I decided not to buy some items Iíd like to have because of the price going so high. This is true for Graham Farish and some of their recent announcements; it is also true for some continental suppliers such as Minitrix.
So I guess we are at a turning point in N gauge history.

We still have some years in front of us with more industrial superb models, such as the RGP1 from REE ModŤles, the BB 4200 from Hobby 66, all those lovely novelties from Revolution Trains and DJ Models, etc.
But they will be less and less affordable.
So here is my guess:
ē   3D printing will become key. We still miss coloured, highly detailed and robust 3D printing, but they will come. We are at the very beginning.
ē   How to control your model trains has started to change. Even if you stay on the DC/analogue side as I, you have innovations such as these ones from Kato (www.1999.co.jp/eng/10530450 (http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10530450) and www.1999.co.jp/eng/10303938 (http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10303938)) or that one from Rokuhan (www.rokuhan.com/english/news/2017/08/e-train-controller-2introduction-of-more-useful-functions-for-e-train-controller.html (http://www.rokuhan.com/english/news/2017/08/e-train-controller-2introduction-of-more-useful-functions-for-e-train-controller.html)). They are appealing.

So, I would say we are at the top of the current era but this era is about to move on to 3D printing and new ways of controlling our trains.
My guess as Madam Irma, fortune-tellerÖ  :dunce:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on April 09, 2018, 10:28:20 AM
Even though I'm getting on and me eyesight ain't what it was, N is my gauge, and always will be.

The new models are fantastic (and yes, I know... I've promised pics of Revolution's incredible Class B tankers on my layout.... coming!), so yes, I think I'm happy with N 2018.

00 models look like toys to me.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: tgv_obsessed on April 12, 2018, 11:48:38 PM
If you model as near to possible to prototype, don't mix  it up too much, run your trains at scale speed, have the skills in tracklaying and wiring required for peco 55, and have plenty of time on your hands, then this could be golden age.

If however, you like to play with your toy trains in a different way- say have them hurtle round multiple set track  ovals with tight radii, with some plastic platforms, then it is probably not a golden age.

I you are somewhere in the middle, then the guild of the age probably depends on how guilded ones pocket is.

I think this is probably true for OO too.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: 47 years N on November 05, 2018, 03:37:49 PM
I have recently divested myself of all recently built British (Chinese) N gauge due to the extreme annoyance that their running qualities (or lack of them) provoked in me. Frequent uncoupling of expensive MK1 coaches, Wrong height of MK2 coaches, expensive locomotives that are not whisper quiet and also uncouple (due to the holy grail of close coupling spoiled by bad engineering and finish on the NEM sockets). I don't see why I should fettle and fight with these shortcomings. Yes I have 282mm minimum radius curves but we don't all have the space for huge curves. The closer to scale that N gauge becomes the more likely that rolling stock derails and fine details break off.
My solution?  Poole design Farish steamers and Minitrix MK1s. I am surprised at how damn good they look from normal viewing distances. After many years modelling N and OO I think that as well as colour DETAIL also does not scale well. Minitrix coach windows are deeply recessed but they don't look like grampa's jelly jar glasses the way that new Farish coaches do. I too was on the "more detailed is better" buying spree but not any more. If I was designing the new Graham Farish MK1&2fs I would have set the buffers to fully retracted position and kept the lovely reliable sprung elsie couplers as short as possible. Never mind NEM!  Shorter couplers and automatic couplers are easily fitted the the old style coupler boxes. Kato buckeyes and Micro Trains for example.
I have Japanese and German trains that are far superior to modern British stuff. One exception that was quickly sold on. An Arnold carriage now made in China that had the dreaded droopy nem coupler. I rest my case
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: ACA on November 05, 2018, 05:22:53 PM
If you like Graham Farish Poole era locomotives then give Union Mills a try if you haven't already, the latest City of Truro is a very smooth runner.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: dannyboy on November 05, 2018, 06:16:14 PM
I tend to agree with @47 years N (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=5037). The majority of my engines are either GF or Dapol, but the nicest runners I have are Kato. I realise that they may not be as detailed as some of the latest GF/Dapol, but I am not knowledgeable enough to say that any particular engine is not a faithful reproduction of the original. To me, if it looks right, it is right.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: austinbob on November 05, 2018, 06:39:04 PM
As I've posted before, its not necessarily the detail of locos that counts but 'does this loco feel like the prototype?'
For most of us we view our locos and stock 2 or 3 feet away. You can't really see the detail at that distance.
I just want to see my locos, in my minds eye, as the real thing.
 :beers:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: grumbeast on November 05, 2018, 07:53:42 PM
I'll jump in here, and I have to say we are undoubtedly in a golden age.  I've been lucky enough to have been using N gauge since 1978 (thanks to awesome parents!) with a Lima class 31 and some Mk1s.  There is no comparison to what I had then with some of the stuff I have now.  I know there are sometimes some QC issues but the vast majority of my newer locomotives run beautifully and quietly.  Cost is going to be an ongoing issue, but I'd rather save a little longer and get something better, we cant have quality and low costs given the low volumes
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Steven B on November 06, 2018, 11:05:30 AM
Shorter couplers and automatic couplers are easily fitted the the old style coupler boxes. Kato buckeyes and Micro Trains for example.

Which Micro Trains couplings have you found that fit an older sprung Farish pocket? I'd always believed that the spring means that you'd loose the remote uncoupling feature of the Micro-Trains coupler.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Les1952 on November 11, 2018, 06:56:46 PM
Reading through all this brings to mind a quote- from whom I can't remember, but...


"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"

I can still remember the seven GF J94s I had of which only one could be persuaded to run reliably at any time, the dreaded General Purpose Tank, LMS Compounds that limped or with tender pickups so tight the loco slipped running light engine, and the first GF 8-coupled loco that used a lengthened J94 chassis with no pickups on the front pair of wheels.  I can also remember the Lima 4F and Deltic- the only models of either that were available.

I can also remember putting Lima snd Minitrix Mark1 coaches behind a Lima deltic and wondering if we should have introduced double-deck stock.

Split gears on Farish locos aren't a Chinese invention.  They predate Chinese production by many years.  Who also had a Minitrix 2MT 2-6-0 that slipped with one coach in tow?

I would say 95% of my current locos run reliably at any given time despite them regularly getting hammered at exhibitions - I never got to 50% with the old Poole stuff.

One last point for people running Poole locos - survival of the fittest means the lemons went in the spares box years ago.  Don't think your brilliant runner is typical of the breed. 


Les  (modelling in N since the seventies)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: NinOz on November 11, 2018, 11:36:06 PM
I can still remember the seven GF J94s I had of which only one could be persuaded to run reliably at any time, the dreaded General Purpose Tank, LMS Compounds that limped or with tender pickups so tight the loco slipped running light engine, and the first GF 8-coupled loco that used a lengthened J94 chassis with no pickups on the front pair of wheels.  I can also remember the Lima 4F and Deltic- the only models of either that were available.
The good old days.  I remember that the first thing I did with any new loco with tender pickup was to adjust the pickups so the wheels rotated when pushed along the track.  Otherwise the loco would drag the tender around with the tender wheels locked in place or intermitantly rotating.  Diesels also benefitted from cleaning, lubricating and adjusting pickups.  Kaboom, went any warranty in first couple of hours of ownership.
Never had a Deltic but two of the attrocious 4F models (were they all made to 2.5mm scale?).

I can also remember putting Lima and Minitrix Mark1 coaches behind a Lima deltic and wondering if we should have introduced double-deck stock.
Got rid of my Lima and Minitrix wagons and coaches at the first opportunity

Split gears on Farish locos aren't a Chinese invention.  They predate Chinese production by many years.  Who also had a Minitrix 2MT 2-6-0 that slipped with one coach in tow?
Still replacing gears on my Poole Farish stuff.  The 2MT, barely moved itself along but marginally better if every nook and cranny was filled with lead.  Worked fine if you slung a big bit of lead sheet over the boiler.  Somehow that seemed to interfer with the scale look though.

I would say 95% of my current locos run reliably at any given time despite them regularly getting hammered at exhibitions - I never got to 50% with the old Poole stuff.
Had better luck than 50%, most were ok after a bit of fettling.  Never liked the brass geared stuff, always sounded like ball bearings in a can.  Every tender had pickups retro-fitted when Farish went miserly and produced tenders without any.
Thanks Les, for bringing back nightmares to the fore. :(

The good old days? :smiley-laughing:    No thanks! :thumbsdown:

CFJ
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on November 12, 2018, 05:11:36 AM
I have a drawer full of stuffed Poole Farish locomotives. Split gears, probably, and probably easy to fix, but haven't gotten that dreaded round tuit  :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Gyppy101 on November 12, 2018, 03:36:12 PM
I, too, began modelling in N Gauge in the 1970's and starting with a Lima 31 then a Deltic.  I soon progressed to a Minitrix 2MT and Britannia plus Farish GP tank and later Class 47.  There is just no comparison.  All my Farish diesels needed to be converted to 5-pole motors to improve running  and, yes, the Minitrix 2MT wouldn't pull more than two coaches on a good day!  We live in a definite "Golden Era" by comparison despite the increase in prices.  Just look a the wide range of choice in locos and stock.  I'd had hate to go back to the "good old days".  Now I have locos I could only dream about in the 1970's and as far as quality is concerned, the vast majority of my locos and stock perform well ... Farish and Dapol!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: silly moo on November 12, 2018, 06:16:22 PM
I think we are in a Golden Age as far as detail goes but I do wish we didnít have to wait so long for new models.

At least I get plenty time to save up for them.

 :NGaugersRule:


Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: OwL on November 12, 2018, 09:36:57 PM
I'm not so sure 'Golden Era' fits the bill here......
To me Golden Era means it has gone as far as it can go and will soon/subsequently go down or even disappear.
People talk about the Golden Age of steam which as we all know in the UK/Western Europe disappeared in the late 60's/early 70's. The N gauge hobby is certainly not in any Golden Era/Age. From what I can tell things have been/are getting better and the immediate to long term future is bright for the scale.

Yes we can see price rises and manufacturers releasing less locos each year but that has alot to do with economics and business. The fact that all the manufacturers have between them covered pretty much every popular/mass produced loco seen on British Rails kind of proves the point.

A good example of this evidence being that I can buy RtR almost every popular class of diesel loco seen on British Rails since the late 50's until present:
Class: 03,04,08,09,20,24,25,31,33,35,37,40,43,45,46,47,50,52,55,56,57,58,60,66,67,68,70,73, all available at the click.if a mouse button.
That's almost x30 loco classes covering pretty much every mainstream modelled era and region in the UK with more liveries than the rainbow. (Most of these being released as new tooling within the last 15years!)
That alone says to me that the hobby is vibrant and strong as all these offerings are available and have been for a while with many more liveries and re-tools in the pipe line.

As also mentioned the gaps in the market can now be covered by crowd funding projects as so successfully and brilliantly done by Revolution Trains for example.

I think we are far from a Golden Era but more in a stable but growing era of new releases and re-tools and updates of models that have been around for a while and will continue for along time yet!

The hobby is a good place to be and is growing. Forum membership numbers prove this alone.

Above all let's enjoy our hobby and support each other and the manufacturers, that way we can all ensure a strong and growing hobby open to all.
Thanks everyone
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on November 12, 2018, 10:13:50 PM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 14, 26 and 44 from Fleabay
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on November 13, 2018, 12:10:05 AM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 17, 26 and 44 from Fleabay

Shurely you mean a 14? The nearest thing to a 17 in actual purchasable state is Lima's faux rendering of a DB V100.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on November 13, 2018, 09:50:05 AM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 17, 26 and 44 from Fleabay

Shurely you mean a 14? The nearest thing to a 17 in actual purchasable state is Lima's faux rendering of a DB V100.

Quite right, Have amended my post, but please don't call me Shirley.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on November 13, 2018, 10:00:43 AM
G'day, Shirley  ;D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Train Waiting on November 13, 2018, 10:51:17 AM
Quite right, Have amended my post, but please don't call me Shirley.

Roger, Roger.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 13, 2018, 11:05:54 AM
What's air vector, Victor?

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on November 13, 2018, 11:15:51 AM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 17, 26 and 44 from Fleabay

Shurely you mean a 14? The nearest thing to a 17 in actual purchasable state is Lima's faux rendering of a DB V100.

Quite right, Have amended my post, but please don't call me Shirley.

Now there's a thought, Shirley - every new N gauge modeller should be issued with a genuine Lima locomotive which they are encourage to take out and run prod into jerky life every time they get frustrated with contemporary offerings.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Train Waiting on November 13, 2018, 03:39:06 PM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 17, 26 and 44 from Fleabay

Shurely you mean a 14? The nearest thing to a 17 in actual purchasable state is Lima's faux rendering of a DB V100.

Quite right, Have amended my post, but please don't call me Shirley.

Now there's a thought, Shirley - every new N gauge modeller should be issued with a genuine Lima locomotive which they are encourage to take out and run prod into jerky life every time they get frustrated with contemporary offerings.

What a splendid idea!  May I please have a Nickel Plate Road 'Berkshire' 2-8-4?  And somewhere nice to put her as I fear she won't fit my local Waverley Route loading gauge.  Genuine Lima 'Superpower' at its best, in my view.


Hospital, Doctor; what is it?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 13, 2018, 04:01:05 PM
...that's not important right now...
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 13, 2018, 04:08:40 PM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 17, 26 and 44 from Fleabay

Shurely you mean a 14? The nearest thing to a 17 in actual purchasable state is Lima's faux rendering of a DB V100.

Quite right, Have amended my post, but please don't call me Shirley.

Now there's a thought, Shirley - every new N gauge modeller should be issued with a genuine Lima locomotive which they are encourage to take out and run prod into jerky life every time they get frustrated with contemporary offerings.

What a splendid idea!  May I please have a Nickel Plate Road 'Berkshire' 2-8-4?  And somewhere nice to put her as I fear she won't fit my local Waverley Route loading gauge.  Genuine Lima 'Superpower' at its best, in my view.


Hospital, Doctor; what is it?

You want it?

You got it!

https://youtu.be/qVH7ZUbowMU

 :D

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Les1952 on November 13, 2018, 08:58:16 PM

What a splendid idea!  May I please have a Nickel Plate Road 'Berkshire' 2-8-4?  And somewhere nice to put her as I fear she won't fit my local Waverley Route loading gauge.  Genuine Lima 'Superpower' at its best, in my view.


Hospital, Doctor; what is it?

You want it?

You got it!

https://youtu.be/qVH7ZUbowMU

 :D

Nice.  Shame about that misshapen wasp-coloured monstrosity coupled behind the water tender.....

Les
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Webbo on November 13, 2018, 10:38:26 PM
What a beauty, emjaybee!  And a decent whistle unlike the tin whistle efforts that come from British steam locomotives. That wasp coloured monstrosity that Les refers to is an ES44AC in heritage colours. These are pretty impressive and imposing locomotives in real life.

Webbo
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 13, 2018, 10:57:51 PM
I didn't know what loco he was refering to, so I Google'd it and found the video. I was that impressed, I thought I'd pop it up here.

Glad it wasn't a wasted effort.

 ;D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: daffy on November 13, 2018, 11:23:46 PM
Wonderful sight and sounds. :thumbsup:

I thought I was choking from the smoke during the final scenes, but it was just the bit of chocolate I was eating. :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on November 13, 2018, 11:39:48 PM
Add to the above list the class 22 and 27 with the 59's due we know not when. Maybe still possible to pick up a 17, 26 and 44 from Fleabay

Shurely you mean a 14? The nearest thing to a 17 in actual purchasable state is Lima's faux rendering of a DB V100.

Quite right, Have amended my post, but please don't call me Shirley.

Now there's a thought, Shirley - every new N gauge modeller should be issued with a genuine Lima locomotive which they are encourage to take out and run prod into jerky life every time they get frustrated with contemporary offerings.

What a splendid idea!  May I please have a Nickel Plate Road 'Berkshire' 2-8-4?  And somewhere nice to put her as I fear she won't fit my local Waverley Route loading gauge.  Genuine Lima 'Superpower' at its best, in my view.


Hospital, Doctor; what is it?

You want it?

You got it!

https://youtu.be/qVH7ZUbowMU

 :D

Slightly more representative for the context of this thread (which maybe should be renamed "Are we over the Golden Age of British N Gauge") :D



(and just because it was there)

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 13, 2018, 11:56:50 PM
I'm not sure what's creepier, the loco's, or the fact that there doesn't appear to be anyone in the room to control them!!!!

 :-X
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: daffy on November 14, 2018, 12:02:04 AM
N Gauge train drivers found to be suffering from bi-directional whiplash following troublesome test runs! :o
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on November 14, 2018, 09:40:07 AM
Any time I see a Lima "N gauge" model I'm glad I wasn't modelling N at the time!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 14, 2018, 09:43:29 AM
Any time I see a Lima "N gauge" model I'm glad I wasn't modelling N at the time!

I didn't even know Lima had done N gauge. My first loco was a GraFar 08 in black.

Were the Lima locos really that bad?

 ???
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on November 14, 2018, 09:49:16 AM
I'm just glad fidelity has improved somewhat from here:

(https://hattonsimages.blob.core.windows.net/products/209Lima-U_3175609_Qty1_1.jpg)

That certainly wasn't the golden era!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on November 14, 2018, 10:18:26 AM
All Lima N stuff was questionable.

However, because of their awfulness, they have now become collector's items, with a generous smattering of nostalgia.

Some N gauge modellers delight in bringing them back to life or keeping them going, some of which are members of this forum.

(Mentioning no names, or at least in Japanese)  ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on November 14, 2018, 10:22:55 AM
Yep, aware of their "retro" credentials, and wouldn't cast aspersions on anyone who is drawn in by the charm. But they're not detailed, high quality models compared to what we have now, which was purely my point.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on November 14, 2018, 10:29:18 AM
Yup, everyone loves an underdog, even one as butt ugly, unreliable, oversized, misshapen, and hideous as that.

 :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Steven B on November 14, 2018, 10:45:59 AM
Most of the Lima range was very poor, however, the Siphon and Mk1 CCT were very good for their age. The Lime brake van is a good match for Tomix's Thomas range.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on November 14, 2018, 10:47:57 AM
Considering when these things came out, the detailing isn't that bad.

It's the scale that is all wrong!

Epilogue....

I like the deeply recessed windows on the locos, but could never stand it on the coaches... Lima's or Minitrix.

I always was a bit weird  ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on November 19, 2018, 12:49:57 PM
A new player entering the market is presumably not a sign of decline: N LMS Beyer Garratt (https://www.hattons.co.uk/Ngarratt) (announcement on the "other side" (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/139562-lms-beyer-garratt-2-6-0-0-6-2-in-n-gauge-from-hattons-originals/))
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bingley Hall on November 19, 2018, 01:24:29 PM
A new player entering the market is presumably not a sign of decline: N LMS Beyer Garratt ([url]https://www.hattons.co.uk/Ngarratt[/url]) (announcement on the "other side" ([url]http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/139562-lms-beyer-garratt-2-6-0-0-6-2-in-n-gauge-from-hattons-originals/[/url]))

I think we're getting close to Nirvana with this announcement  :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on November 19, 2018, 02:44:30 PM
Yeah this is great news - Hatton's have been increasingly bold with their new models; their OO gauge 66 coming with a large number of variants off the bat is exciting, and I really hope the Beyer Garratt is successful. £200 is quite a bit though, particularly as there's not going to be any discounting.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 on November 27, 2018, 01:52:18 PM
OK the nostalgia look back is scary considering some of them models are older than me!

I was thinking about this topic while at Warley this weekend, and I have to say I don't think we are seeing an end of anything more just an evolution.
Dapol have with the 68 upped their standards on new designed models, Revolution are going places others haven't dared venture yet and brought in new manufacturers such as Accurascale and Sonic Models. However Farish seem to have stepped off the gas a bit with N gauge, but they are having issues in China which could explain some of that.

After this weekend I was surprised by the number of people I spoke to who said that they were now moving over to N gauge as there was more to offer and the chances of getting some of the trains they want produced is more likely than has been in the past.

So while we aren't seeing the amount of announcements and the prices we have in the past, we are seeing more manufactures and if this weekend is anything to go by maybe more N gauge modellers which in turn could see more models appearing and a continued rise in standards.

The caveat to higher standards, is it's likely to be higher costs until we hit the point the market isn't willing to pay or there is enough of us modelling and actively purchasing to balance things out  so there is no need for increases.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: ScottishModeller on November 27, 2018, 07:50:27 PM
Hi all,

The Golden Age of N Gauge is still to be achieved.

When I look back at what was acceptable when I first moved on the N Gauge - I could cry.

Anyone who wants to see how far thing have developed, especially for British N Gauge, need only look at what was available for us.

When I sold off (or traded in) all my OO and HO stock to get into N Gauge I was shocked by how little there was available.

Lima BR Electric, Standard 4mt tank, German outline supposed to represent a Clayton, Plymouth shunter to represent a BR shunter, PECO Jubilee in LMS only.

But I was optimistic! I hoped that we would get some truly British items fairly quickly!

We did - Graham Farish GWR 9400 Pannier Tank and GER Holden Tank.

I took part in the Graham Farish 'Paint your Wagon' competition - submitted 23 entries in an effort to try and get what I wanted!

So - In real terms we can say that 'We never had it so good'

But certainly not say that 'The Golden Age' has passed.

All you have to do is look at what is coming in the near future from the manufacturers to see that the future is bright.

Thanks
Phil H
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Buffin on November 27, 2018, 08:00:07 PM
The NGS say they had to abort their next proposed offering when a manufacturer announced it was going to produce the same model. Now they are rethinking.

More broadly, smaller dwellings surely = more preferences for N gauge. We have more manufacturers already. That tells you they think the best is yet to come.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bob G on November 27, 2018, 09:05:17 PM
Which one was that then? Iím not aware of this recently.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: nookfield on November 27, 2018, 09:12:25 PM
Which one was that then? Iím not aware of this recently.

Reported in the Chairman's update in the latest Newsletter (6/18). It doesn't say what the model was going to be.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Nthusiast on November 27, 2018, 09:26:02 PM
I hope the golden age is now as i've just started a new layout in N. I dabbled in British N in 2011 with a Farish 66 and a Dapol 67 both of which were so well detailed. Prices then were quite favourable and coming back to it I find that prices are miles higher. I'm planning to get as much quality second hand as possible to get things up and running.Having gone for continental N this time I'm very pleased with stuff from ebay and contikits.
 
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Karhedron on November 28, 2018, 09:18:37 AM
Which one was that then? Iím not aware of this recently.

Reported in the Chairman's update in the latest Newsletter (6/18). It doesn't say what the model was going to be.

What has recently been announced by Farish and Dapol? I doubt it would be RevolutioN's 5600 as that seems to GWR-specific for the NGS and I doubt Ben and Mike would want that sort of conflict.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bob G on November 28, 2018, 09:43:59 AM
Which one was that then? Iím not aware of this recently.

Reported in the Chairman's update in the latest Newsletter (6/18). It doesn't say what the model was going to be.

What has recently been announced by Farish and Dapol? I doubt it would be RevolutioN's 5600 as that seems to GWR-specific for the NGS and I doubt Ben and Mike would want that sort of conflict.

I think it is some whoo-hoo secret model that we mere mortals are not supposed to know about yet.

If you remember, a similar thing happened when the NGS chose to do the Hawkesworth Full Brake. The NGS, in doing its due diligence, enquired of the main manufacturers if this was on their radar and Bachfar said they were planning a range of Hawkesworth coaches, so the NGS produced the Collett full brake instead. It was a pretty quick about face and many will have not fully understood the reasons why (or even noticed). In fact the NGS management team didnt say in public that Farish were doing a full set of Hawkesworth's, they only said a competing manufacturer already had plans for a Hawkesworth full brake, so they didnt spill the beans, as they have not done now :)

One of the joys of management is knowing what to say and when to say it. We are not entitled to know, and the note in the minutes would have been better left out, but we demanded fuller minutes so we could have more transparency :)  That does not mean the NGS management has to tell us everything they are doing, as some aspects are quite rightly commercial in confidence.

HTH
Bob
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A on November 28, 2018, 02:35:01 PM
Hello all,

Just to offer some clarity, though much of this is self evident if you think about it...

One lesson from the fiasco of the Hawksworth (entirely my fault, I hasten to add) is that we carry out more research before announcing.

When the NGS is considering new models it gets quotes from a variety of sources.  This can in turn lead to information being shared that may prompt a reassessment.

And of course the NGS needs to respect confidentiality of others as Bob has rightly pointed out.

We are anticipating that the next RTR project will be announced in Journal 2/19.

Incidentally, previous attempts to include the membership in the selection of projects have had a pitiful response rate, so have been abandoned in favour of the decision being made by the Committee.

Cheers

Ben A.
(NGS VP)

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: exmouthcraig on November 28, 2018, 05:32:11 PM
That seems the most logical way to go about it, and let's be honest the people in the best position to make the decision are the ones running the show.

We all voice our concerns about not getting the loco coach or wagon WE selfishly need or want BUT just because i want it doesn't mean 2000 others will.

This comes back to a lot of GW locos being produced, if we look at it properly a manufacturer needs to shift volume to make it pay. Being a SR Modeller we had Maunsell, Bulleid and Billington designing stock, some of which travelled the SR as a whole while some worked in particular areas. This in a manufacturing world isn't cost effective. GW built a few locomotives but a lot of them and they travelled the whole network.

The fact that the NGS produce RTR built by the biggest manufacturers is fantastic but surely their decisions are also made on sales volume.

Fingers crossed it's something I want but if not we can rest assured it will be a top quality model of which they should be congratulated on.  :sleep:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: 9C on January 03, 2019, 01:08:07 PM
The GWR locomotives may have "travelled the whole network" but that network was barely 1/6 of the UK's route mileage. Fowler 4P tanks could be seen from Thurso to Bournemouth for over 40 years (1923 - 1966), but when the major manufacturers grudgingly give us a LMS designed suburban tank its one whose working life was less than half that (Fairburn or Riddles). My own layout needs over a dozen tanks: Fowler 3P and 4P, Robinson C13 and Parker N5. None of them are available in any form in RTR, never mind in grouping liveries.

3D printing will be a great benefit to those of us with some motor skills, but not enough for scratch or kitbashing entire locomotives, who wish to body-swap onto appropriate chassis. The problem we may face is a shortage of separate chassis now that lines such as the old UK Farish spares have been discontinued. I understand that the chassis-only market is limited and retailers may be reluctant to hold and store such stock on the off-chance of an occasional sale, but surely the manufacturers could run some of their production without bodies and supply online.

Also the old Peco/Rivarossi 5XP came painted but with optional decals for alternate identities. Surely this approach would offer manufacturers a greater chance of repeat sales? I'd buy eight of the above Fowler tanks if I could number them differently, but only one (or maybe none) if I then had to worry about causing damage as I ham-fistedly started removing the supplied running number to substitute alternates. This choice would be even more worthwhile for coaches and wagons. Who wants a coal depot with 30 7-plank wagons all identically numbered 351270?

We could be entering a golden age, where the suburban and rural operations of the big two are no longer neglected in favour of their smaller rivals and the bland tin cans of later days, but it will be a return to a more distributed cottage-industry model with less emphasis on the bricks-and-mortar retailers. We need to catch 10 to 18 year olds before their (or their parents') early purchases have committed them to oversized scales and to promote mid-sized layouts that (in BNG) can represent more than a single-track branch terminus with one siding road.

<end of 2d-worth ramblings>
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on January 03, 2019, 01:26:58 PM
Must confess I don't understand your last paragraph whatsoever.

I'm not sure we lose huge numbers of potential teenage N gauge modellers because they take up OO instead. Indeed I'd suggest the bigger issue is simply getting anyone 10-18 to have an interest in model railways full stop. Not that I think that's actually an issue, as has been debated an nauseum.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Karhedron on January 03, 2019, 01:49:33 PM
Also the old Peco/Rivarossi 5XP came painted but with optional decals for alternate identities. Surely this approach would offer manufacturers a greater chance of repeat sales?

Manufacturers have tried that on and off over the years (most recently Heljan in 00) but the results are consistently the same. Models supplied un-numbered (even with transfers) sell much more poorly than fully finished ones.

People who want to renumber their models are generally OK with removing existing numbers. The number of extra sales to people who want multiples are not enough to compensate for the loss of sales to people who want their models fully complete out of the box.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 on January 03, 2019, 02:19:12 PM
Your point about 10 - 18 year old has me perplexed! Especially when you say bland tin cans of later years!

If by tin cans you mean by tin cans, diesels and electrics then you are missing a huge group of people especially those 10 -18 year old who will want to model what they see / have seen operating, which is err those proposed tin cans!

Yes I will admit there is a distinct sway currently towards GWR steam engines, but hey doesn't that tell you more about the traditional GWR advertising? Many people that weren't around in GWR days and model the adverts they did in the 1930s of an idealistic south coast really have and still do work!

But back to the golden age, we cant really claim it until N gauge noticeable declines which it isn't if anything its on the ascendance, with more models, manufactures and opportunities appearing which will entice more people to the scale.
Granted we aren't seeing the stream of new models we did from Dapol and Farish and the low prices but thats a sign of the times it was untenable long term, so the market calming down long term is a positive step which ensure the longevity of the scale!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 03, 2019, 02:40:24 PM
I'm struggling to agree with your disappointment @9C (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7275), I get that no manufacturers build the locos you want but surely you knew this before you chose to model where you do???

We are SR Modellers, simply because my dad was from Kent, I've never seen a Bulleid locomotive run or any other SR steam locos for that matter, im disappointed i can't buy a fully detailed DCC ready W class tank, and GF don't build enough green Mk1 coaches or Bulleid coaches but we knew this 10 years ago when we chose to build this location.

We read all the time about the next model being built by
Graham Farish
Dapol (might never deliver but.........)
RevoloutioN
NGS
Even Sonic Rail ?????

We all selfishly want it to be something WE want but they commit their resources and presumably hard cash into these projects, lots of Modellers win and well lots of us loose too.

New models are relatively easy to renumber and I find Fox decals absolutely brilliant to deal with.

So I get the frustration but are we Railway Modellers or just train set players???
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bingley Hall on January 03, 2019, 02:44:25 PM
So I get the frustration but are we Railway Modellers or just train set players???
It doesn't really matter whether we are one or the other does it?

I collect and very occasionally play trains. I don't model - does that make me a lesser person?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 03, 2019, 02:49:12 PM
So I get the frustration but are we Railway Modellers or just train set players???
It doesn't really matter whether we are one or the other does it?

I collect and very occasionally play trains. I don't model - does that make me a lesser person?

Not at all, my comment refers to either moaning that you can't buy what you want RTR OR attempting to build your own representation to enable you to get what you want.

We build our own boards, lay our own track, wiring, ballast and scenery so to put effort into remembering a model to allow you to buy multiples isn't the end of the world surely??

I'd love to get to play trains, this year for definite!!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on January 03, 2019, 03:22:35 PM
What Matt and Craig have said about re-numbering and unnumbered models is without question correct.  If you can apply transfers then having the ability to remove a number as well is not beyond you.  The reality is that whether we like it or not, the vast majority of the market want a fully finished model. I would love to be able to justify producing kits under the Revolution banner, but it won't happen in the short term.

A couple of other thoughts:
- just because something is announced that you don't want, why do people feel the need to tell others (eg not for me / nothing for me here)? Or complain that their particular model is being overlooked? If something isn't for you that's fine, that is actually true of the majority of releases that they won't be suitable for a large chunk of the market!
- rather than comment/complain about what is being made or not being made, why not turn that energy into something positive and set out on a new thread why something should be produced (there have been a number of good and convincing threads on here as examples). It may be that manufacturers are missing a trick or it may reveal that unless there are hidden masses of potential purchasers that the Y74 class in a livery suitable for 1 March 1924 is just not that popular and therefore unlikely to justify spending thousands of pounds on tooling, but it might just convince a kit manufacturer that it is worth them spending their time producing it.

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: 9C on January 03, 2019, 04:59:05 PM
What Matt and Craig have said about re-numbering and unnumbered models is without question correct.  If you can apply transfers then having the ability to remove a number as well is not beyond you.  The reality is that whether we like it or not, the vast majority of the market want a fully finished model. I would love to be able to justify producing kits under the Revolution banner, but it won't happen in the short term.

A couple of other thoughts:
- just because something is announced that you don't want, why do people feel the need to tell others (eg not for me / nothing for me here)? Or complain that their particular model is being overlooked? If something isn't for you that's fine, that is actually true of the majority of releases that they won't be suitable for a large chunk of the market!
- rather than comment/complain about what is being made or not being made, why not turn that energy into something positive and set out on a new thread why something should be produced (there have been a number of good and convincing threads on here as examples). It may be that manufacturers are missing a trick or it may reveal that unless there are hidden masses of potential purchasers that the Y74 class in a livery suitable for 1 March 1924 is just not that popular and therefore unlikely to justify spending thousands of pounds on tooling, but it might just convince a kit manufacturer that it is worth them spending their time producing it.

Cheers, Mike

Thank you to everyone who has responded this afternoon, although I feel some may have seen more negativity in my post than I intended.

I believe that we may be about to enter a golden age.

I'm simply aware that I'm not the world's most gifted modeller and wouldn't want to spoil a brand new £150 RTR model trying to renumber it. If its straightforward, then great.

I don't begrudge other modellers the items available to them and don't think this is an either/or situation, but I believe that the lack of suburban large tanks which ran on 2/3 of the UK network over a 50 year period is a major omission. I doubt I'm the only modeller of BNG who would benefit from their production.

I'm open to new ways of sourcing models. The new 3D printed body of the Fowler 4P, that Simon at Rue d'…tropal is offering, came about because I told him I'd take six.

Livery details changed, but often the underlying paint colour was one of a few basic variations. Maroon, black and green seem to be predominant for at least a century (1865 - 1965). Mike, you state an example of one class on one date, but this is exactly what Bachmann have done with the Fairburn. The LMS version is only valid from August 1945 to May 1948 and the entire life of the class was only 22 years. The original Fowler design was in use for 43 years and the 1934 livery variation could still be seen in early 1948. Surely that would sell more units?

My very last sentence was a comment about promoting British N Gauge and that new modellers could be "locked-in" to other scales if we don't catch their attention. It has no direct connection to my own preference for 1:1 or 1:150 steam. As has been mentioned, there is a good range of recent image diesel stock available and long may that continue.

If that was TL,DR then in summary:

I don't expect every detail of 9C to be available RTR, but think there are some massive gaps in BNG locomotives from 1897 to 1947. I'm prepared to look at alternative production methods, such as a 3D print prototype which I commissioned. I'm not saying chassis instead of full model, nor un-numbered instead of fully finished - I'm suggesting there may be a market for chassis only, painted only and fully finished to be offered in parallel.... Maybe I'm wrong but if I don't ask (as a recent returner after 30 years) then I won't know.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Paddy on January 03, 2019, 04:59:46 PM
The NGS say they had to abort their next proposed offering when a manufacturer announced it was going to produce the same model. Now they are rethinking.

More broadly, smaller dwellings surely = more preferences for N gauge. We have more manufacturers already. That tells you they think the best is yet to come.

Hi Buffin,

The size/space argument has been used for decades with regards to N gauge but OO still rules the market.  I do wonder sometimes where all these OO models are going and what they are run on.  Do the majority of OO models sell to Clubs, people with lofts, large sheds, dedicated rooms/dwellings?

My first layout was 6'x4' and it was enormous for N gauge.  It was also physically big (size of a double bed) and yet the same space in OO would not allow much.

It is a mystery...

Paddy
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Paddy on January 03, 2019, 05:11:01 PM
So I get the frustration but are we Railway Modellers or just train set players???
It doesn't really matter whether we are one or the other does it?

I collect and very occasionally play trains. I don't model - does that make me a lesser person?

Not at all - whatever floats your boat.  At the end of the day if you are buying models then you are helping to support and grow the N gauge market.  HOLLERTON JUNCTION is my train set and yes I can be found "playing" on it. :-)

Paddy
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on January 03, 2019, 06:09:06 PM
Also the old Peco/Rivarossi 5XP came painted but with optional decals for alternate identities. Surely this approach would offer manufacturers a greater chance of repeat sales? I'd buy eight of the above Fowler tanks if I could number them differently, but only one (or maybe none) if I then had to worry about causing damage as I ham-fistedly started removing the supplied running number to substitute alternates. This choice would be even more worthwhile for coaches and wagons. Who wants a coal depot with 30 7-plank wagons all identically numbered 351270?
Then the current Batch Production methods of the big manufacturers, with a new identity for each batch should suit you well...

Just for 1 example, in 30 odd years, Graham Farish produced their 'Black 5' with just two identities (1 LMS, 1 BR). It was 5041 or renumber it yourself... Since the Bachmann takeover, there were at least 2 LMS and 3 BR identities on the original Poole Model and in less than 10 years so far 3 or 4 LMS and 7 or 8 BR identities on the new Blue Ribband spec model.



Livery details changed, but often the underlying paint colour was one of a few basic variations. Maroon, black and green seem to be predominant for at least a century (1865 - 1965). Mike, you state an example of one class on one date, but this is exactly what Bachmann have done with the Fairburn. The LMS version is only valid from August 1945 to May 1948 and the entire life of the class was only 22 years. The original Fowler design was in use for 43 years and the 1934 livery variation could still be seen in early 1948. Surely that would sell more units?
Yes they probably would sell a few more LMS liveried Fowlers than Fairburns, but fact is BR liveried examples would outsell LMS by 2-3:1 on either so any loco that survived long into BR days will always win over one that was extinct before 1948 no matter how long it lasted or how many liveries it carried...

I would not be at all surprised if the Stanier and Fowler versions of the Class 4 tanks do follow at some point, however I suspect the rationale for the Fairburn coming first is 1. they roamed further under BR so potential sales to Southern and North Eastern Region modellers as well as Midland region modellers 2. there are a couple of Preserved examples in existence which aids research & 3. more commonality of parts with the BR Standard 4 tank produced at the same time so some savings in development costs. (In fact it was a pleasant surprise to see the Fairburn hit the shops first.)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: 9C on January 03, 2019, 06:48:47 PM
Thanks, PLD.

That rolling batch system sounds good. Perhaps two or three identities per batch for those classes which numbered in the hundreds.  ;)

The Fowlers lasted almost to the very end of BR steam and the final two were withdrawn only a year before the Fairburns were. 1923 to 1966 compared to 1945 to 1967. I take your point that BR liveries may be more popular, but my main (still unanswered) query is "why favour the (prototype with a) 22 year lifespan over the 43 year one?"

As for the GC => LNER locomotives, some of those built in the late 1890s were still seen on busy branch line services 60+ years later.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on January 03, 2019, 06:59:44 PM
my main (still unanswered) query is "why favour the (prototype with a) 22 year lifespan over the 43 year one?"

I suspect the rationale for the Fairburn coming first is 1. they roamed further under BR so potential sales to Southern and North Eastern Region modellers as well as Midland region modellers 2. there are a couple of Preserved examples in existence which aids research & 3. more commonality of parts with the BR Standard 4 tank produced at the same time so some savings in development costs.

 :hmmm: ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: 9C on January 03, 2019, 07:11:58 PM
OK, 2 & 3 I can understand but if you look back to my post at 13:08 GMT today you'll notice that "Fowler 4P tanks could be seen from Thurso to Bournemouth for over 40 years". There's not much of the network that isn't between those extremes.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 03, 2019, 07:29:26 PM
Have you tried asking the manufacturers why they don't make your tank engine???

Like Mike @red_death (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=246) suggested focus your efforts on putting the case too them and see where you go from there. Presumably the answers you've been given dont meet with your approval
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: 9C on January 03, 2019, 07:55:20 PM
Craig,

The one manufacturer who has actually taken the time to correspond with me now produces one of the body types I asked for. The sad fact is that without persistence I wouldn't have any answers.

PLD has suggested a couple of plausible reasons, for which I'm grateful, but his third is wildly off the mark.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on January 03, 2019, 08:13:50 PM
I wouldnít know a 4P if it ran me over, but there must be a reason neither Farish nor Dapol have produced one, however obvious it may seem to you, and ultimately that must be a commercial decision.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: nookfield on January 03, 2019, 08:42:18 PM
there must be a reason neither Farish nor Dapol have produced one

Probably because Hornby have produced an OO gauge version recently (2016 I think).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Train Waiting on January 03, 2019, 09:02:54 PM
I wouldnít know a 4P if it ran me over...

It would look a bit like this! She is the Fairburn variety and lives with her friend 42085 at Haverthwaite.  Good engines and, as PLD suggests, adopted as a quasi-BR Standard until the BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4Ts were introduced.  On the Southern they were sometimes referred to as class 'P4' which might annoy 'EM' and '00' gauge modellers!

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/72/6222-030119205350.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=72870)

But we are fine as Graham Farish have produced a very fine 'N'!

Apologies for all this nonsense...

John
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Train Waiting on January 03, 2019, 09:32:46 PM
Fowler 4P tanks could be seen from Thurso to Bournemouth for over 40 years (1923 - 1966)

The Fowler '4P' tanks were introduced in 1927.  I didn't know that they were found at Thurso (not as late as 1966, though). 

I should certainly be very grateful if you could kindly advise me of any of the 'Fowler' 2-6-4Ts that you know that were allocated to ex-Highland sheds in either LMS or BR days.

40150 was shedded at Wick for a while and used on the Thurso branch, but she was a Stanier 'Class 3' 2-6-2T.  40151 was briefly at Aviemore which also had 'Fairburn' 2-6-4s Nos. 42168/202/269 at various times from 1957 to 1962.  The 'Fairburns' were allocated widely in the BR (ScR).  At Ayr shed in my former part of the world they were known as 'The Passenger Pugs'!

With many thanks and best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on January 04, 2019, 10:07:11 AM
@Train Waiting (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=6222)
Hi John, BR Database lists the odd one or so on Greenock Ladyburn and Corkerhill sheds in the later years of their life.................
http://www.brdatabase.info/locoqry.php?action=class&id=111&type=S&page=alloc (http://www.brdatabase.info/locoqry.php?action=class&id=111&type=S&page=alloc)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Train Waiting on January 04, 2019, 10:47:57 AM
Thank you very much, Mick.

That's very helpful.   

Up until now I had been unaware that they were used on the Highland Section although, as you say, they had limited use in southern Scotland.

All the best.

John
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: TalyllynJon on January 04, 2019, 09:09:03 PM
Going back to the original question, I possibly have a different perspective, as somebody who is just getting back into model railways after a gap of 30 years. Two things that immediately struck me are:

1. There seems to be a greater range of models available now than at any time in the past.

2. The quality of current models totally surpasses anything we had in the past.

Which all seems pretty good - however.... N gauge is clearly still a small niche in the railway modelling world. Just look at the limited range of locomotives and rolling stock from the Big Four era for example - clearly the market just isn't big enough to make it worth producing a really comprehensive range of models.

As for the quality - well all that detail is amazing - but my 50 year old eyes can't actually see it as well as when I was a kid - maybe the appeal of O gauge is that you don't need to reach for your glasses every time you want to look at your models!

N gauge seems to be in a pretty good place to me - but it is clearly a niche market. I'm not sure what the overall health of the model railway industry is, but if the market as a whole were to contract (we're not getting any younger after all!) then I suspect N gauge (and other niches including 0 Gauge, 009 etc) might shrink to the point where manufacturers no longer consider them viable.

Jon
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Rowlie on January 04, 2019, 09:23:41 PM
Iím not convinced we have passed a golden age in n gauge.  I have only been in n gauge for the last 12 years and the finesse of the commercial offering has increased annually during this period and doesnít look like ending.  There are more companies offering RTR than when I started.  Added to this is the availability of components for detailing is really amazing.  Personally I canít see radical changes in the near future.  We have quite good 3d printers at work that produce really nice colour prints (0.014mm layers) but they still need cleaning and smoothing so until the technology allows parts to be used without cleaning or another  preparation I canít see their use in volume production.  However the technology is moving quickly so who knows?  We are fortunate to be involved in n gauge at this time.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on January 04, 2019, 09:33:08 PM
however.... N gauge is clearly still a small niche in the railway modelling world. Just look at the limited range of locomotives and rolling stock from the Big Four era for example - clearly the market just isn't big enough to make it worth producing a really comprehensive range of models.
Not really sure that is the case - the range available has at least trebled in the last 15 years.
Just to take the LNER as historically the worst represented, We've gone from just having A3 and A4s RTR to J25, J26, J39 (x2), B1 (x2), D20, B17, A1, A2, A3, A4 (with new high spec versions of the last 2). The main thing missing is a tank loco (not holding by breach for the long promised J72 from either Farish or Dapol!)


I suspect N gauge (and other niches including 0 Gauge, 009 etc) might shrink to the point where manufacturers no longer consider them viable.
Actually 009 is currently enjoying a boom, with the first mass-produced RTR UK locos ever in the shape of Heljan's Lynton and Barnstaple Manning Wardles and Bachman's WD Baldwin, plus a growing range of appropriate stock from both Bachman and Peco...
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: TalyllynJon on January 04, 2019, 10:14:32 PM
Think you misunderstood me PLD - yes, N gauge is in a great place right now (and so is 009 - never thought I'd see British RTR 009 locomotives) - but compared with 00 gauge our market share is tiny. Just flick through the ads in a typical copy of Railway Modeller - pages and pages of 00, with N gauge rarely getting more than half a column tucked away in the corner.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: martyn on January 05, 2019, 08:34:41 AM
With most of the first generation 'Modernisation plan' diesels now available, there is limited scope for new models (Cl15+16, the Co-Bo? I'm not counting kits which I know are available).
However, with regards to missing steam locos, I do think there is a lack of tank engines, for freight/shunting/passenger use. Again, I know of Atso's efforts to change this; but the LNER is lacking any tanks RTR, and other regions, except the (G)WR also have few. Perhaps this may be rectified soon?

Having been modelling in N for forty years, when I started, a new livery was regarded as a breakthrough, let alone a completely new model, steam or diesel!

Martyn
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on January 05, 2019, 08:50:11 AM
I'm with you. I'd like to see more shunting tank engine's. There's only really the Jinty on offer for LMS region shunting and the Fairburn. They had a huge array of tank loco's throughout their history so there's plenty to work with.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on January 05, 2019, 03:15:24 PM
As I said earlier if people have great ideas of which tank locos are missing and likely to be decent sellers i.e. minimum 1000 then please suggest them!

I can't remember if it was Ben or I that put up 2-3 years ago some ideas of criteria to make a loco viable.

Cheers Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: martyn on January 08, 2019, 05:39:52 PM
Mike;

See my post on
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=44069.msg547667#msg547667 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=44069.msg547667#msg547667)

for my personal thoughts on the LNER locos.

A manufacturer's choice-crowdfunding or otherwise-would be very difficult to achieve, I think.

Martyn
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: BobB on January 09, 2019, 08:55:08 AM
1) I think we are in the golden age of N gauge !

2) The N G S Hunslett shunter shows the way for making small tank engines (and other small locomotives) dcc fitted with stay alive practical.

3) Maybe we should be asking is the "platinum" age of N gauge approaching ?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: grumbeast on January 16, 2019, 07:37:44 PM
I had a thought (they come slowly now I'm getting older :)

I think things are still getting much better in N, and while people say its a niche market, that is true in the UK, but if you are greedy like me and love all trains, just look at the Japanese N market and see if its niche :)

I model stuff from all over the world now and its an embarrassment of riches.  So I'd encourage people to look at N from a world wide perspective, cause its amazing :)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Webbo on January 16, 2019, 11:56:14 PM
I agree 100% with Graham.

I'm mainly North American, but have a some British and a miniscule amount of Australian stuff. North American  N scale seems to be rolling along very nicely with more and more locos, rolling stock, and building kits produced every year. UK also seems to be making steady progress, but with fewer new items every year as you would expect with a smaller market. Australia is struggling with its range of equipment remaining limited unfortunately. I look at the Japanese and European threads and note that they are continuing to produce very nice models.

As time goes on I have witnessed steady improvements in the detail and running properties in the markets I'm most familiar with as well as the introduction of DCC, computer control, and sound - all good things at least for some. If I have a complaint about where things are going, it is the propensity of manufacturers to take longer to produce the goods after product announcement.

So, it may be that we have arrived at the Golden Age of N Gauge, but I certainly don't thing we've passed it.

Webbo
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on January 17, 2019, 05:07:42 AM
Arguably this thread should be titled "Are we over the Golden Age of British N Gauge?".

Japanese N gauge certainly goes from strength to strength in all areas (except maybe DCC, where the emphasis seems to be coming up with non-DCC systems which replicate some parts of DCC functionality).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on January 17, 2019, 05:11:42 AM
Eh? Do you mean sound?  :hmmm:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on January 17, 2019, 07:17:20 AM
Sound, constant lighting, various forms of automated control including automated block systems (as an attempt at solving the problem of having more than one train running independently on the same stretch of track).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on January 17, 2019, 07:23:43 AM
Interesting!! Particularly the automated blocks.

However, at first glance, it would seem simpler to just go DCC.

Nevertheless, I could use such systems on my ancient DC layout!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A on January 17, 2019, 08:28:17 AM
Japanese N gauge certainly goes from strength to strength in all areas (except maybe DCC, where the emphasis seems to be coming up with non-DCC systems which replicate some parts of DCC functionality).

Hi all,

Yes, although I don't collect Japanese models I follow developments there with interest, and weekly notifications from one major retailer about new models invariably feature many dozens of new items.

I have always wondered why the Japanese have not embraced DCC more fully, especially given their more general appetite for other sophisticated consumer electronics and for miniaturisation.

Any Japanese, or Japan-resident, forum members able to elaborate?

Cheers

Ben A.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on January 17, 2019, 08:42:47 AM
The Japanese can be very old fashioned. My daughter has just returned from 18 months working there and we visited her last May.

They are very cash orientated, which totally surprised me. It's paper, not cards there!

However, I'll hand over to railsquid (who we spent a very enjoyable night with in a couple of pubs in Tokyo) to elaborate!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: tutenkhamunsleeping on January 17, 2019, 09:19:59 AM
I have always wondered why the Japanese have not embraced DCC more fully, especially given their more general appetite for other sophisticated consumer electronics and for miniaturisation.

Yes, thatís always mystified me. Robot everything but model trains ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on January 17, 2019, 09:49:44 AM
Yep, another one who vaguely follows what's coming out, but remain mystified by their staunch resistance to DCC! It's a pain too, getting Tomix and Kato to push DCC technology would undoubtedly have wider benefits for us all!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: joe cassidy on January 17, 2019, 11:31:06 AM
I believe people still send hand-written faxes on old-fashioned fax machines that use thermal paper in Japan ?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on January 17, 2019, 12:25:54 PM
Mr Kato admitted that they hadn't fully appreciated the importance of DCC and that they were lagging behind on DCC.

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 17, 2019, 12:33:38 PM
Mr Kato admitted that they hadn't fully appreciated the importance of DCC and that they were lagging behind on DCC.

Cheers, Mike

At least almost all kato motors are independent of chassis and are easy to DCC convert so when they do catch up itís going to be less of a task.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: ntpntpntp on January 17, 2019, 12:39:57 PM
Sound, constant lighting, various forms of automated control including automated block systems (as an attempt at solving the problem of having more than one train running independently on the same stretch of track).

Constant lighting systems for DC have been around since the 70s (at least), involving a high frequency AC component superimposed on the track and blocking capacitors in the locos. 

Automated block control has been around for many decades, and arguably that's easier to do with DC than DCC. The "brake on DC" support in some DCC decoders is quite neat though, giving smooth stops and starts.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 on January 17, 2019, 12:43:09 PM
Hi All,

I does make me giggle a bit the fact that we ALL moan about something in the hobby, then this comes out Japanese which is arguably the single biggest N gauge Market going is behind us in one respect that been DCC.
So while we all moan and complain, we can look on the bright side in at least one aspect we may be ahead in one respect!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on January 17, 2019, 01:10:41 PM
The Japanese may be proved very smart. Come the robot uprising they'll still be able to buy models and run them without fear of them being hijacked.

 :-X
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on January 17, 2019, 02:51:37 PM
Sound, constant lighting, various forms of automated control including automated block systems (as an attempt at solving the problem of having more than one train running independently on the same stretch of track).

Constant lighting systems for DC have been around since the 70s (at least), involving a high frequency AC component superimposed on the track and blocking capacitors in the locos. 

Automated block control has been around for many decades, and arguably that's easier to do with DC than DCC. The "brake on DC" support in some DCC decoders is quite neat though, giving smooth stops and starts.

Yes, the difference is here these are available as part of a family of integrated components, particularly from Tomix.

Methinks what it boils down to is that the Japanese market is addicted to cheap reliable DC trains and is not willing to shell out a comparatively much greater proportion of the purchase price (compared to say British motive power units) for DCC, which in most cases won't bring much extra functionality useful for typical Japanese railway operations (both real and in model form), which are comparatively simple and largely multiple-unit/block train based. Or put it another way, for a lot of people, operation consists of running trains round and round in circles and moving them to/from sidings.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on January 17, 2019, 03:02:21 PM
I believe people still send hand-written faxes on old-fashioned fax machines that use thermal paper in Japan ?

One hears these anecdotes about Japan, which may have been partially or largely true 10 or 20 or 30 years ago...

I have always wondered why the Japanese have not embraced DCC more fully, especially given their more general appetite for other sophisticated consumer electronics and for miniaturisation.

Yes, thatís always mystified me. Robot everything but model trains ;)

I'm at a bit of a loss to think when I've actually seen a"'robot" (outside of a gimmicky demonstration); I should point out that anime/manga are not actual depictions of everyday life in Japan :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on January 17, 2019, 03:11:15 PM
I should point out that anime/manga are not actual depictions of everyday life in Japan :D

I fear my originally considered response about buxom schoolgirls would have seen me hit by the ban hammer!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bob G on January 17, 2019, 04:41:23 PM
Methinks what it boils down to is that the Japanese... addicted to cheap reliable DC trains... largely multiple-unit/block train based.
Or put it another way, for a lot of people, operation consists of running trains round and round in circles and moving them to/from sidings.

You have just described the Southern Railway and its decendents!

Bob
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: emjaybee on February 01, 2019, 01:49:11 PM
I haven't really weighed in on this topic (I may have posted previously, but I can't remember :dunce:), but having just placed a pre-order for a Hattons Beyer-Garatt I thought I ought to.

Are we over the Golden Age? I don't think so, but mainly because it's a completely different animal now.

OnlyMe has just bought a reasonably priced 3D printer and can knock out wagons to his hearts content for himself, there's crowd-funding manufacturers doing small batch niche(ish) products, some of the retailers are now commissioning their own products, and the 3D printing 'revolution' is coming on apace.

Frankly I'm almost overwhelmed with the amount of stuff available, from so many sources, I just need deeper pockets or a reasonable lottery win.

To date I am now waiting on Sturgeons, Hunslet shunters, a J94, and now a Beyer-Garratt, and I know that I'm quite restrained compared to some.

 :laugh2:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: RailGooner on February 01, 2019, 02:06:08 PM
I think we're definitely over the Golden Age as far as modern image goes. We're well and truly in the Platinum Age! :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: daffy on February 01, 2019, 04:01:53 PM
Iím in my own Golden Age of N Gauge, and frankly I have no intention of getting over it. :D

So many quality items for rolling stock, scenics, and track - too many for my meagre bank balance to cope with!  :(. And every year a new crop of technical marvels appears, mostly of superb quality and reliability.

The only one I know who doesnít see all this in terms of a Golden Age is the Chief Accountant. She has, shall I say, a different viewpoint. ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Dickydcc on February 01, 2019, 08:53:43 PM
I have one of those!! It's frustrating when you get funds released only to find what you would like to buy is out of stock/on order & not likely to be available for the next year or so...
 
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Globibahn on February 04, 2019, 08:27:42 PM
If I was a loco collector (for static display) I would probably stick with HO/OO for the impact of the models.

But for a layout focused modeller I couldn't consider anything other than N gauge. My small layout is already (quite rightfully so) the dominant feature in my flat! I had to do away with my dinner table to make way for it  :D I'm already wondering how on earth I'll squeeze another one into the flat!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on February 04, 2019, 09:15:27 PM
I had to do away with my dinner table to make way for it  :D I'm already wondering how on earth I'll squeeze another one into the flat!

Having got rid of a dinner table why would you want another one? :confused2:
(I'm joking)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Globibahn on February 04, 2019, 09:26:50 PM
I had to do away with my dinner table to make way for it  :D I'm already wondering how on earth I'll squeeze another one into the flat!

Having got rid of a dinner table why would you want another one? :confused2:
(I'm joking)

Lol - each time I build an additional layout I'll have to do away with another piece of furniture! :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PaulinSouthMidlands on February 09, 2019, 06:53:30 PM
As someone who can remember how little more than a decade ago there was a choice of poole locos with pizza cutter wheels or long out of production german chassis with British bodies and crude BRMK1 coaches or fake pre nationalisation coaches...

My response to the OPs question has to be "Are you mad?"
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Rabbitaway on February 10, 2019, 11:24:49 PM
Paul

As the OP I am not mad, well not yet anyway!

The start of the thread was a question and I have watched the debate with interest.

My view is that N gauge is still in a good place but not at its peak which was about 4 to 5 years ago with lots of new models and very reasonable prices. We all know circumstances have changed and low prices and numerous new models every year are not viable for all the reasons discussed elsewhere on the forum.

So maybe we have stability and a more established core of N gauge modellers thanks to the heady days of cheap and plentiful models 4 to 5 years ago

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Railwaygun on February 11, 2019, 12:46:51 PM
@railsquid (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3832) said "for a lot of people, operation consists of running trains round and round in circles and moving them to/from sidings."

I suspect that 90% of UK N'gaugers do this for the fun of it ( albeit with a wider range of more accurate stock than ever before)

there are always more MRS spectators at layouts that actually move than at a "Bob Crowe special" (ie stationary trains)

NickR
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 on February 27, 2019, 10:27:03 PM
Hi all,

Just thought I would give my final thoughts on this topic since it has been going for ages; what is a golden age? is that a subjective line?

Granted we are not going to see the prices of yester year, so in that respect its a bummer but in return for higher prices we are getting better detailing, more finesse and adaptability (To DCC or not to DCC that is the question - Sorry shakespear i have destroy one of your most famous lines  :P ).
Are we seeing the flurry of new models certainly not but we are seeing a gentle and continuous flow of new models from manufacturers and there is some mitigation of the territorial marking we use to see where a model is announced only to wait years to see it arrive (I know the pacers, but Dapol themselves had said they don't want to leave people waiting as its bad for business).

At shows over the past 3 years I have spoke to many people who are down scaling to n gauge and the numbers seem to be getting higher. Will this mean prices drop well doubtful, but it gives manufacturers greater emphasis to offer new models!

So the "golden age" it all depends on perspective, right now we are seeing just another step change in the N gauge world and it seems to me at least the future is bright!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: LASteve on February 28, 2019, 03:13:43 AM
So maybe we have stability and a more established core of N gauge modellers thanks to the heady days of cheap and plentiful models 4 to 5 years ago
Paul, my experience might not be typical, but I've been modeling less than a year. The impetus was seeing the N-gauge "Ambleton Vale" on YouTube. I'd been messing around with AnyRail for years, knowing I had no space for any kind of railway, then I saw that I'd completely ignored the "N" capabilities and the really great models available.

I'd say the "Golden Age" is now. I have some amazing models, the world of miniature modeling is now key to my weekends - so no, there's no start or end to the "Golden Age". It emerges, evolves and progresses.

Just my ever-so-humble opinion
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on March 01, 2019, 10:01:45 AM
I love the new manufacturers coming to produce more niche models but am constantly disappointed with the lack of updates. Some examples:-

Revolution Cemflos - announced 8.9.18. No updates available as at today
Revolution class 56xx - announced 24.11.18. No updates available as at today.
Revolution class 128 - announced 8.9.18. Website says order book opens Qtr1 2019. We're in the last month of that Qtr, guys!
DJM Castle - not that I'm getting one but does anyone know what's happening progress wise?
DJM Mogul - I've expressed interest but, to the best of my knowledge, lack of interest will kill this off. I've not heard this officially but, checking the website and the lack of info, it feels that way.

So - it's easy to get us all 'frothed up' (to use another member's expression) but then it seems to be "Hurry up and wait".
Somone close to Revolution made a spurious post stating class 128 expressions of interest would be taken in Jan 2019. A case of 'fake news'?

Please remember my 'shelf life' may not be as long as others!!!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A on March 01, 2019, 10:54:26 AM
I love the new manufacturers coming to produce more niche models but am constantly disappointed with the lack of updates. Some examples:-

Revolution Cemflos - announced 8.9.18. No updates available as at today
Revolution class 56xx - announced 24.11.18. No updates available as at today.
Revolution class 128 - announced 8.9.18. Website says order book opens Qtr1 2019. We're in the last month of that Qtr, guys!

So - it's easy to get us all 'frothed up' (to use another member's expression) but then it seems to be "Hurry up and wait".
Somone close to Revolution made a spurious post stating class 128 expressions of interest would be taken in Jan 2019. A case of 'fake news'?

Hi there,

I am not sure what updates you want - we say something when we have something to say!

Those specific items: 

Revolution Cemflos - quotes obtained, schedule agreed with Accurascale, next update will be CADs in a month or two.

Revolution class 56xx - CADs shown.  EP samples expected soon.  We will post photos etc when we have them.

Revolution class 128 - order book expected to open Q1 2019.  Which you know.  I don't know who said expressions of interest would open in Jan 2019 but I am sure it was in good faith.  Sometimes plans get delayed, or deadlines missed.

There are threads here for all these models where you can ask questions and we will try to answer. 

As most people know we do this in our spare time (I have just come home after a nightshift) and in general we are not backward in coming forward when we have actual news about any of our models.

cheers

Ben A.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on March 02, 2019, 01:16:33 AM
Just to add to Ben's point about night shifts - I'm just back from 3 days out of 4 in Paris/Brussels/Mechelen. That isn't to complain - that's my job - but it is to put it in some sort of context if we can't reply in a few days.

Most of the information is on our website - as Ben said - we've no interest in saying something for the sake of it! 

Cheers Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: captainelectra on March 02, 2019, 02:33:21 PM
I fully appreciate the joys of trying to combine a model railway sideline with a "day job". Electra is becoming almost too successful and I sometimes struggle to keep up with e-mails and the like. Can't really complain about that, though :-)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Rabbitaway on August 03, 2019, 08:14:17 PM
I am going to re-ask the question as the original poster on this thread considering the lack of new items and the years of delay on catalogue items from Farish and Dapol. Even new liveries of existing models are thin on the ground. Road vehicles form Oxford are also now slow and delayed. What is available in N gauge is very costly for the reasons debated on this forum.

It just leaves Revolution moving things forward now DJ is out of the game

So are we over the golden age that we seemed to be experiencing a few years ago?







Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: jpendle on August 03, 2019, 08:24:53 PM
Kato just announced the 800/801/802, so probably not.

I personally am wondering if Farish have retreated a little to reassess the market. Even if everything they had promised hit the shops tomorrow, I would only be interested in 2 or 3 items.

John P
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on August 03, 2019, 09:08:12 PM
I am going to re-ask the question as the original poster on this thread considering the lack of new items and the years of delay on catalogue items from Farish and Dapol. Even new liveries of existing models are thin on the ground. Road vehicles form Oxford are also now slow and delayed. What is available in N gauge is very costly for the reasons debated on this forum.

It just leaves Revolution moving things forward now DJ is out of the game

So are we over the golden age that we seemed to be experiencing a few years ago?
Nope...

Farish and Dapol are producing no less than at any point in the last ten years but the same total units is spread over a wider range. (though there are less "undelivered promises" which I see as a good thing...)
DJM will produce exactly the same number of N Gauge locos in the next ten years as he did in the past ten.
And now we have Kato joining the party!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: woodbury22uk on August 03, 2019, 09:42:39 PM
Road vehicles form Oxford are also now slow and delayed.

So are we over the golden age that we seemed to be experiencing a few years ago?
Nope...

Farish and Dapol are producing no less than at any point in the last ten years but the same total units is spread over a wider range. (though there are less "undelivered promises" which I see as a good thing...)
DJM will produce exactly the same number of N Gauge locos in the next ten years as he did in the past ten.
And now we have Kato joining the party!

Same comment applies to Oxford Diecast where the number of items in the N pipeline is no different than it has been for at least the last 4 years - in spite of them re-issuing a much larger range of ďout of stockĒ items than in previous years.

Still think we are in the Golden Age.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on August 03, 2019, 09:44:28 PM
What with Kato coming to the party along with Sonic (56xx) and Accurascale (cemflos), Hattons with their Garratt, Osborns with their breakdown crane etc I reckon things are looking up although my wallet doesn't necessarily agree :no:
RevolutioN appear to bring things to market quicker than Farish/Dapol because I believe they actually care about their customer base
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 03, 2019, 09:51:20 PM
Summed up nicely mick
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Leon on August 03, 2019, 09:53:57 PM
I've only been involved in this hobby for a little over a year - so what do I know? During this time, I've spent over $2,500 on the hobby, which has always been one of the most expensive a person can adopt but may be in danger of imploding from recent price increases. The demands from "purists" who insist on more and more authenticity and detail have pushed prices up beyond an affordable level for the "average Joe". There may not be enough deep-pocketed collectors/modellers to sustain the industry unless manufacturers create a new line of railroad models appealing to those of us who don't need as much authenticity and detail. I'm a little off subject, I suppose, for the issue also applies to other gauges. But, my reply to the topic question is that we probably ARE past the Golden Age of N Gauge. If the scales haven't tipped, they certainly may in the very near future and it will be a result of manufacturers trying to meet the demands of too small a market.

Leon
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on August 04, 2019, 12:28:43 PM
@Webbo (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4229)
I see you have clicked on the 'help required' rating on my last post. Is there something you need clarifying?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: EtchedPixels on August 04, 2019, 05:58:59 PM
Given all the huge price rises I imagine the market has shrunk a lot. I've bought one pacer in the past 2 years, and I might treat myself to another Union Mills loco or two but that's about it.

The bigger problem for the hobby I suspect is that the next generation of railway modellers are going to be building virtual models when they retire and the simulators world models are getting extremely high quality - even if not yet very editable.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Webbo on August 04, 2019, 10:17:51 PM
@Webbo (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4229)
I see you have clicked on the 'help required' rating on my last post. Is there something you need clarifying?

Sorry Mick. An accident. Just my clumsy fingers.
Webbo

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 04, 2019, 11:02:36 PM
Given all the huge price rises I imagine the market has shrunk a lot. I've bought one pacer in the past 2 years, and I might treat myself to another Union Mills loco or two but that's about it.

The bigger problem for the hobby I suspect is that the next generation of railway modellers are going to be building virtual models when they retire and the simulators world models are getting extremely high quality - even if not yet very editable.

Good point. I ran into a fellow a bit older than me on a bus a few months ago, who I was very good friends with  when I was in a club here in the early nineties.

He was an excellent modeller and an electronics whizz (he designed and built all of the club's handheld controllers - indeed, I have one on my layout).

When I asked him if he was still into model railways, he said exactly what you said. He told me he was, but virtual railway modelling.

He sold all his models years ago!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A on August 05, 2019, 09:36:18 AM

Hello all,

I think there are always going to be different answer to this, depending on how you define "golden age."

If you weren't too bothered about a wide range, but wanted low cost, high quality models, then maybe 10 years ago would be your GA, when we had Dapol and Farish producing models like the prototype Deltic and Class 86 but salaries in China were still low.

If you want a much wider - and constantly growing - range of high quality models, with new and diverse manufacturers entering the market, but in some cases those models being more costly, then your GA is now.  This is where my definition lies.

Alternatively, if your GA means fond memories of yesteryear, when models were robust but basic and modelling N was blazing a new trail, then your GA would be the 1960s/70s etc.

In terms of virtual modelling, I think some people will gravitate towards computers, some of us will use them as tools (for etch design, or layout control) and others will avoid them.

But I don't see them as competition because IMO humans need physical as well as mental stimulus.  Computer games provide great visual and audio experiences, but modelling satisfies the sensory need for touch, and even smell, in addition.

Cheers

Ben A.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: NeMo on August 05, 2019, 09:48:20 AM
The bigger problem for the hobby I suspect is that the next generation of railway modellers are going to be building virtual models when they retire and the simulators world models are getting extremely high quality - even if not yet very editable.

I disagree. As some here know, my main hobby is keeping tropical fish. 20 to 15 years ago, there was a lot of buzz over virtual pets, starting with things like Tamagotchis, but eventually quite sophisticated virtual aquaria. You could buy new fish on CDs, you'd have to feed them, and could arrange the tank with virtual plants and rocks. It was all very swish.

But the thing is, the best part of keeping pet fish is sitting on a chair with a cup of tea while mindlessly watching the fish swim about. Sometimes the unexpected happens and you find eggs or baby fish, and that changes things some more into a new branch of the hobby with its own challenges and rewards.

The virtual pet "fad" died down because, I believe, a real hobby lets you toggle between mindless relaxation (e.g., watching trains go round an oval) versus intellectually engaging self-betterment (e.g., building a kit). Computers can't do both of these easily, because at the very least you have to turn the thing on, start the appropriate program, and then (if available) switch it to 'screensaver' or whatever mode and watch random stuff happen on a screen you can't control. It's not relaxing like watching fish or letting your Flying Scotsman do laps of your 6 x 4 oval!

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 05, 2019, 09:55:35 AM
Thanks, Ben.

I admit to being quite dismayed when the bloke I met on the bus told me he'd gone over to sims rather than the real model railway.

However, there is another factor involved which has been hammered home to me this year... getting older or incapacitated for medical reasons.

I've been subject to both this year! Even though my brain is telling me I want to fix my layout or even start a new one, me body's saying "You're kiddin."

So to some extent I can understand the computer stuff.  :beers:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 05, 2019, 10:03:23 AM
Lots of good for and against arguments. Constructing a layout can be therapeutic . But have to be grateful for what models we own, we have seen, what layouts we have viewed. Heres to the future
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 05, 2019, 10:27:15 AM
Thanks Neale, also, by the way.  :thumbsup:

You got in just as I was typing on my phone!

I remember those Tamagotchis!! They were must haves for the two oldest Bealettes. Well, oldest Bealette is now mom Bealette, and I'm grandpa Bealman.

How the world goes round!  ;) :beers:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 05, 2019, 10:42:25 AM
Like others, I don't see virtual modelling as a genuine threat to the physical hobby. Some people may well move across for whatever reasons; financial, space, health, but it'll always run in parallel, it may even boost physical modelling.

I'm quite into 'gaming', and have always enjoyed Train Simulator in its various guises, but it's absolutely no substitute for real modelling (if you can call my mediocre efforts that!). Kids that are currently playing Fortnite or Minecraft etc overwhelmingly aren't going to come to railways in any guise, so that's pretty moot.

I still think we continue to enjoy the golden age, it's a fluid concept which I think Ben encapsulated very well, yes ok some prices have undeniably gone up, but with it so has the range and quality of models, and that can only be a good thing.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 05, 2019, 10:44:14 AM
quote :

I still think we continue to enjoy the golden age, it's point which I think Ben made  very well  - njee

agreed
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: tcox94 on August 05, 2019, 11:21:41 AM
I think this is an interesting topic regarding virtual trains sets and being at the age of 25 I feel I give a younger generations view. I for one have used train simulations and although enjoyable they do not capture the imagination quite like an impressive hand made model railway nor the personal satisfaction of seeing your own models run through a station you have hand built.

I was first enticed by model railways when my grandparents took me to the SVR and there was a carriage at Bewdley station that contained an rather large and impressive n gauge layout.

I wish heritage railways like the size of the SVR still had this layout as it is a good way of encouraging people including children and parents with an interest in the British railways to take up the hobby that otherwise would not think too. A really well made layout can really capture the imagination. Model rail shows are great for people who are already invested in to the hobby, but a layout at a heritage line would attract a more diverse range of people into the hobby.

This is maybe a bit off topic but I think it is an interesting way Of ensuring we continue to enjoy the golden age of n gauge by encouraging more people to take up the hobby.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 05, 2019, 11:36:29 AM
Not off topic at all.

Great to hear a younger viewpoint.

And you're right... not everyone goes to a show, but an accidental exposure to model railways such as you experienced can't be a bad thing.  :beers:
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: kirky on August 05, 2019, 11:43:02 AM
But I don't see them as competition because IMO humans need physical as well as mental stimulus.  Computer games provide great visual and audio experiences, but modelling satisfies the sensory need for touch, and even smell, in addition.

Cheers

Ben A.
I think @Ben A (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=94)  has a point here.
However, the sensory stimulation gained from modelling (or any enjoyable activity for that matter) goes way beyond the five senses. I have a bit of a background in sensory education. Since it is the senses that are responsible for the way we interact and understand the world, then it is the senses that we (teachers) concentrate on in early development. Much of this is done through parenting for neuro-typical children, but for those of us who work with young people who remain within the early stages of development, then sensory education is the way in.
So what has this got to do with modelling? Its important to understand there are way more than five senses, the obvious one missing from the list is balance. There are others. The relevance for modelling is that we interact with our activity and perceive it through our senses. This includes the way we feel about the activity. So when Ben says there is a sensory need for touch and smell etc, he is right, but it is way more complex than that. There are hundreds of thousands of sensory receptors in the body, possibly or even probably millions. I would therefore say the sensation of modelling is indeed complex.

Just my observations.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 05, 2019, 11:47:26 AM
My late grandfather started me young after i had a serious op and ive been hooked ever since. Being involved hn a preserved railway and its operation history plus modelling gives perspective i guess in history, maths, english. Design, technology, electrics, woodwork, plastic, metal, science , geography etc
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: red_death on August 05, 2019, 11:56:31 AM
The demands from "purists" who insist on more and more authenticity and detail have pushed prices up beyond an affordable level for the "average Joe". There may not be enough deep-pocketed collectors/modellers to sustain the industry unless manufacturers create a new line of railroad models appealing to those of us who don't need as much authenticity and detail.

We've done this to death in this topic and others and the "demands from purists" make very little difference to the end price. The reality is that the market has moved on from mis-shapen models and expects reasonable levels of detail. If you remove that detail or accuracy then people don't buy the models and the potential market would be much smaller.

The only ways you can feasibly create a railroad type line of more basic models is either have a much, much larger market (you'd probably have to multiply the current UK N Gauge market by 10 times) or use old, simple tooling (the fact that some tooling is reasonably old doesn't necessarily make it cheaper as it will depend on amortisation and the assembly/decoration costs).

Cheers Mike
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 05, 2019, 01:03:16 PM
Continuing the minor tangent about the younger generations, I watch with interest in my son's progression. I inherited my love of railways (large and small) from my dad, getting my first OO gauge layout for my 3rd birthday, which gradually grew, I drifted away in my teenage years before returning to the hobby in my mid-20s when I had my own house and some disposable income! Now 32 I have a 2 year old who is mad about trains, loves my N gauge, plus Brio, Duplo, and anything else he can turn into a train. I wonder if he'll follow a similar path, or whether the lure of other things will drag him away even younger.

The demands from "purists" who insist on more and more authenticity and detail have pushed prices up beyond an affordable level for the "average Joe". There may not be enough deep-pocketed collectors/modellers to sustain the industry unless manufacturers create a new line of railroad models appealing to those of us who don't need as much authenticity and detail.

I also don't buy into the idea that people are priced out, regardless of how much stuff costs (within reason). I certainly don't think the price rises in the last decade have made a significant difference to participation levels. I don't think model railways are a particularly expensive hobby. Yes ok you need to build a collection, and if you want to recreate King's Cross in each of 4 different time periods it'll be seriously expensive. But you can equally amass a modest collection and just keep it. There's negligible ongoing costs, stuff doesn't really wear out in any meaningful way, and unless you have to have the newest models all the time there's no reason to continually spend.

Ok for those people who have a set budget perhaps that doesn't go as far, but there are those who buy things they want and will just weather price rises.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Jeff_W on August 05, 2019, 10:00:56 PM
I'm not sure if I still fit in with the "younger crowd" age range (I'm 32), but as much as I enjoy playing train related games (almost 400 hours in Transport Fever already), there's nothing quite like the physical models to play around with. I've spent far more on model trains than I probably have on PC games, and I've played most that involve trains. Building something virtual is nice but you're only a hard drive failure away from losing everything, and I would argue that's more likely than having something happen to your actual models.

I am surprised that some of the model train companies haven't gotten involved in some way with the train simulator stuff. I know they can't license stuff with railroads' names on them (as railroads own those copyrights), but I figure they could at least sell structures or other items that are original to them.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on August 05, 2019, 10:14:11 PM
I am surprised that some of the model train companies haven't gotten involved in some way with the train simulator stuff.
Hornby did...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hornby-Virtual-Railway-2-PC/dp/B0000A03N8 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hornby-Virtual-Railway-2-PC/dp/B0000A03N8)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Jeff_W on August 05, 2019, 10:22:45 PM
I am surprised that some of the model train companies haven't gotten involved in some way with the train simulator stuff.
Hornby did...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hornby-Virtual-Railway-2-PC/dp/B0000A03N8 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hornby-Virtual-Railway-2-PC/dp/B0000A03N8)

Interesting. I've never heard of the game (though I'm in the US). Now that I think about it, Lionel also had a game they produced in the late 90s, it was more along the lines of a puzzle game featuring their trains than an actual simulator.

I was thinking of companies producing a building for use in one of the popular train games (Train Simulator 20xx and the Trainz line of games), as there's already groups out there that produce stuff for those games (and charge $$$ for it).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 05, 2019, 10:52:53 PM
I understand Trainz is different, but Train Simulator ultimately is seeking to mimic real world locations, rather than models, so it would be a bit weird to have model items in there. World editing is done by the few rather than being a part of the game.

There have been various model railway simulators over the years, theyíve all been terrible IMO  ;D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Jeff_W on August 05, 2019, 11:32:55 PM
I understand Trainz is different, but Train Simulator ultimately is seeking to mimic real world locations, rather than models, so it would be a bit weird to have model items in there. World editing is done by the few rather than being a part of the game.

There have been various model railway simulators over the years, theyíve all been terrible IMO  ;D

Trainz would probably be the route for them to go then...I think they've always advertised their games as either a real world railroad simulator or a model railroad simulator. The latest iteration of the game that I have has scenarios for both. One I played was on the C&O deep in the Appalachian mountains, while another was a model train layout in a small "room".
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: acko22 on August 06, 2019, 12:31:54 AM
Hi all,

Well I am one who thinks defining a golden age is so difficult, it depends what you are after honestly may that be down to price, detailing, even what models are available...

As to virtual railways yes they have gained interest and do doubt taken some people away from modelling but on the flip side they will have brought people into the hobby. One thing that I can honestly say though is should there be an question of price I think we have to be very careful quantifying it.

I do know someone who does like their train sims and when he told me how much it cost him for the game then the add on packs and the need for a new computer and the required graphics card my jaw dropped! When I worked it out I could have built an amazing layout with the same amount of cash.
It's not like its a cheap interest either just like modelling there is always something new!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on August 06, 2019, 01:17:58 AM
But I don't see them as competition because IMO humans need physical as well as mental stimulus.  Computer games provide great visual and audio experiences, but modelling satisfies the sensory need for touch, and even smell, in addition.

Cheers

Ben A.
I think @Ben A (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=94)  has a point here.
However, the sensory stimulation gained from modelling (or any enjoyable activity for that matter) goes way beyond the five senses. I have a bit of a background in sensory education. Since it is the senses that are responsible for the way we interact and understand the world, then it is the senses that we (teachers) concentrate on in early development. Much of this is done through parenting for neuro-typical children, but for those of us who work with young people who remain within the early stages of development, then sensory education is the way in.
So what has this got to do with modelling? Its important to understand there are way more than five senses, the obvious one missing from the list is balance. There are others. The relevance for modelling is that we interact with our activity and perceive it through our senses. This includes the way we feel about the activity. So when Ben says there is a sensory need for touch and smell etc, he is right, but it is way more complex than that. There are hundreds of thousands of sensory receptors in the body, possibly or even probably millions. I would therefore say the sensation of modelling is indeed complex.

As someone who spends pretty much all day in front of a computer screen, one reason for adopting this hobby is that it involves *not* sitting in front of a computer screen all the time (well apart from posting on forums etc. ;) ). It's also one reason why I can't be bothered with DCC and all that, I just want something nice and analogue and simple where I don't end up fighting with some recalcitrant bl**dy technology.

As for golden ages, around this time five years ago I had precisely 0 (zero) N scale models, now I appear to have acquired a bewildering variety and more than I will ever really need, moreover I finally have a BR Blue Class 86, so as far as I'm concerned things can only get better. (Though I will never be truly happy until someone brings out some 116/117 DMU variation, hint hint).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 06, 2019, 01:24:58 AM
After a BR BLUE! class 86, things had bloody well wanna get better  :D ;)
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Leon on August 06, 2019, 01:51:47 AM
As someone who spends pretty much all day in front of a computer screen, one reason for adopting this hobby is that it involves *not* sitting in front of a computer screen all the time (well apart from posting on forums etc. ;) ). It's also one reason why I can't be bothered with DCC and all that, I just want something nice and analogue and simple where I don't end up fighting with some recalcitrant bl**dy technology.

I can certainly relate to railsquid's comment. Likewise, I was spending too much time in front of the computer display with my genealogical research. Having always been attracted to steam locomotives, I decided to get off my butt and build a model layout. I had no idea, though, how much detail was involved - beyond what I can see with my failing eyesight. I'd probably have chosen 00 had I known! While I still like being able to design and build twice as much in the same space, I do feel that spending great sums of money for models incorporating details which can't readily be seen, even by people with normal vision, doesn't make a lot of sense. To repeat a point in my previous post, the Golden Age for N gauge may be in the past unless manufacturers provide more basic models at prices that will attract larger numbers of people to the hobby. The available product is far greater than the demand, it seems to me, and I'm not sure it can be sustained.

Leon
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 06, 2019, 02:12:18 AM
squiddy has a br blue class 86 ?

what next ? 87 and a 90 ?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on August 06, 2019, 02:17:57 AM
Indeed. The point being 5 or so years ago when I first entered this hobby you could get a class 86 in any colour you wanted (even yellow), apart from blue, because Dapol in their infinite wisdom released it as a limited edition sold via a single retailer, and they were rare as hen's teeth, and they finally got round to re-releasing them this year.

A blue 87 would be nice, though I'm not sure about a blue 90...
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 06, 2019, 02:21:35 AM
a blue class 87 or even one in intercity livery i meant

and the intercity liveried 90 - if you like class 90s. i would prefer the class 85 if ever one is released
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 06, 2019, 06:45:26 AM
To repeat a point in my previous post, the Golden Age for N gauge may be in the past unless manufacturers provide more basic models at prices that will attract larger numbers of people to the hobby. The available product is far greater than the demand, it seems to me, and I'm not sure it can be sustained.

But a manufacturer has told you why that wonít work (and I agree). Then thereís the constant lamenting that certain items have sold out really quickly, let alone all the clamouring for new releases. I donít see any evidence at all of supply outstripping demand.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Leon on August 06, 2019, 08:13:27 PM
... the "demands from purists" make very little difference to the end price. The reality is that the market has moved on from mis-shapen models and expects reasonable levels of detail. If you remove that detail or accuracy then people don't buy the models and the potential market would be much smaller.

The only ways you can feasibly create a railroad type line of more basic models is either have a much, much larger market (you'd probably have to multiply the current UK N Gauge market by 10 times) ....

Mike, early in my life I was trained as a direct sales representative while employed with two American/International Fortune 500 companies. The training emphasized the salesman's need to create a market for the product he was selling. My posts in this thread are suggesting that manufacturers might be missing a great opportunity for expanding the market by providing choice in the level of detail/complexity/authenticity built into their product. I'm not nearly as competent about the subject as others in this forum and I'm totally without experience in manufacturing or retail marketing so perhaps I'm "whistling Dixie" (pardon the American expression). I'm just expressing an opinion in response to the subject of the thread. Failure to win (or sustain) market share is almost always the failure to be innovative.

Leon
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on August 06, 2019, 08:43:15 PM
My posts in this thread are suggesting that manufacturers might be missing a great opportunity for expanding the market by providing choice in the level of detail/complexity/authenticity built into their product.
We've been over this so many times...

If you provide two models of the same loco to two different specifications, you will (near enough) double the development and tooling costs. Then, unless you double the production batch size (i.e. if current batch is 1000, make 1000 high spec and 1000 low spec), you will also have a higher per unit production cost.

That means unless you can double the size of the market, the low spec model will probably cost MORE than the current price of the current single-spec model... Do you really think it is realistic to expect the availability of a low-spec variant to double overall sales? otherwise are you willing to pay more to get a poorer-spec model?
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: cornish yorkie on August 06, 2019, 08:57:10 PM
 :hellosign: & good evening thank you everyone for another very interesting discussion. My short answer to the original question is emphatically no.
  I have recently purchased the Pendelino & the T tankers from RevolutioN, waiting patiently for the 92, 5600xx & the 321 with lots more fantastic looking new releases in pipeline. Loving N gauge right now.
    regards Derek. Hi
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Jeff_W on August 06, 2019, 09:26:59 PM
My posts in this thread are suggesting that manufacturers might be missing a great opportunity for expanding the market by providing choice in the level of detail/complexity/authenticity built into their product.
We've been over this so many times...

If you provide two models of the same loco to two different specifications, you will (near enough) double the development and tooling costs. Then, unless you double the production batch size (i.e. if current batch is 1000, make 1000 high spec and 1000 low spec), you will also have a higher per unit production cost.

That means unless you can double the size of the market, the low spec model will probably cost MORE than the current price of the current single-spec model... Do you really think it is realistic to expect the availability of a low-spec variant to double overall sales? otherwise are you willing to pay more to get a poorer-spec model?

ScaleTrains does this in the states. They have an "Operator" line and a "Rivet Counter" line, with the latter being a bit more costly than the former. The Operator line is for those who want to detail the engines themselves or don't want to spend as much money. Their ES44s in N scale are still about $40-50 more than other DCC Ready locomotives by other manufacturers, which is one of the reasons I only have one ST locomotive (bought at a closing hobby shop for $75).
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 06, 2019, 09:45:08 PM
Hornby do it too with Railroad, often recycling older tooling. British N categorically isnít a big enough market though to sustain two different ranges. I think people over estimate how price sensitive the market is. With Hornby the difference is greater too, many of the ďfull fatĒ models are £150+. Weíre not seeing that in N yet.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: davidinyork on August 06, 2019, 09:49:46 PM
ScaleTrains does this in the states. They have an "Operator" line and a "Rivet Counter" line, with the latter being a bit more costly than the former. The Operator line is for those who want to detail the engines themselves or don't want to spend as much money. Their ES44s in N scale are still about $40-50 more than other DCC Ready locomotives by other manufacturers, which is one of the reasons I only have one ST locomotive (bought at a closing hobby shop for $75).

Hornby do it to an extent, with their cheaper 'Railroad' range - some of which are new models, but a lot of them are older models (ex-Lima in many cases) with some updating. Presumably they see the 'trainset' and the 'modeller' market as distinct enough in OO Gauge that they can do this (although of course using old models avoids tooling costs).

An example is the HST. They've ditched their own original tooling, but around the same time as their new high-spec HST power cars first appeared, they also released a set in the Railroad range using the ex-Lima tooling (it's quite a good model for its age). They've not released any more Railroad HSTs for a number of years, but in their upcoming list for this year there are two more - one just the power cars, and one as part of a set.

With N gauge, I very much doubt if the market would be big enough to make this sort of thing viable - hence when a manufacturer releases a new-tooling model, any previous model (by that or another manufacturer) isn't likely to be produced again. Hence there have been no Farish HSTs since the Dapol ones were released, and most probably there won't be in future either.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: davidinyork on August 06, 2019, 09:54:06 PM
Hornby do it too with Railroad, often recycling older tooling. British N categorically isnít a big enough market though to sustain two different ranges. I think people over estimate how price sensitive the market is. With Hornby the difference is greater too, many of the ďfull fatĒ models are £150+. Weíre not seeing that in N yet.

You clicked post just before me! We've made pretty much the same point.

OO Gauge models have gone up a lot over the past decade. The current-tooling Hornby HST power cars could be picked up for around a hundred to 120 quid a pair when the tooling was first used around a decade ago. These days they are upward of £250, and if you want a set there is also the cost of the Mk3s (which haven't gone up in price a lot, but are still the old toolings, a couple of which have Lima origins). I don't think N gauge has seen this sort of percentage increase over the same period.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: PLD on August 07, 2019, 07:54:30 AM
That means unless you can double the size of the market, the low spec model will probably cost MORE than the current price of the current single-spec model... ... ... are you willing to pay more to get a poorer-spec model?

ScaleTrains does this in the states. They have an "Operator" line and a "Rivet Counter" line,
... ... Their ES44s in N scale are still about $40-50 more than other DCC Ready locomotives by other manufacturers
Case proven perhaps?? Even with the greater size of the US market, to split the market in to high and Low spec models seemingly means higher cost for both...
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Ben A on August 07, 2019, 08:21:08 AM
Hi all,

I am seeing a longer game here.

When I started in N (late 1990s) the choice for British modellers was Farish or CJM.

The Farish models were basic with one piece bodyshells that often bore only a passing resemblance to the prototype, one-size-fits-all chassis with no flywheels, no working lights, no interchangeable couplers, limited range.

CJM models were far more accurate, with photo etched details, a robust Kato-derived chassis and superb bespoke paint finish, but at a price.  And still no lights.

Modellers in larger scales would disparagingly refer to the N products of that time as "cake decorations."

Little wonder that 00 dominated.

Now the latest models have sound options, NEM couplers, flywheels, an array of switchable lights, photo-etched or wire details and are pretty much as accurate as their larger cousins.

And what I am hearing is that for many people N is a viable alternative to 00.  Many still choose 00 of course, but N is growing, albeit slowly as habits die hard and there have been significant improvements to 00 too in the intervening years.

However, in another 20 years I see no reason why there should not be parity, if N continues to advance.  Then the consequent higher sales would allow for price reductions and possibly even the diversification into "basic" and "elite" (or whatever you want to call it) ranges.

We are just not there yet.

Cheers

Ben A.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 07, 2019, 08:50:34 AM
I have always said that it's the 00 models that look like plastic toys compared to N, and that was back in the early nineties.

N of course, dominates in the land of Kato, because of space restraints.

I am personally very happy with developments in N. The Revolution B Tank's were awesome, and I'm thinking about asking for a Farish birdcage set for me birthday.

Oh, and I've got a Hunslet ordered.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on August 07, 2019, 09:05:10 AM
N of course, dominates in the land of Kato, because of space restraints.

Here in the land of Kato, Tomix et al there are no manufacturers who go to the trouble of producing "basic" and "advanced" versions of the same model. The market is big enough to support multiple manufacturers producing their own versions of a particular prototype, but all are iteratively improving their products, and the diversity is in variations of the prototype rather than substantially different quality levels/price points.

The slight exceptions are Kato, who still produce a limited number of very basic models using old tooling aimed at the novice market, and a couple of very high-end manufacturers like Tenshodo, who produce some very nice but expensive kettles (where equivalent models may be available at a lower price point from say Kato, but it's quite likely Kato will be upgrading their own models, so those will be cheaper, but not cheap).

Arguably, if you want "basic" models at a reduced price, the second-hand market is the place to go, though obviously that doesn't work for models which have never been produced before.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on August 07, 2019, 09:52:01 AM
The 'time of life' element has to have a bearing on the popularity of N as well.
For instance (and these are only broad brush stroke examples), youngsters first step on the property ladder may be a flat/small terraced house. Next step - family. This may require a 3 bed semi and maybe even an advance to a 4 bed detached. Family then flies nest and couple rattle around so maybe a railway room is granted by 'the authorities'. Sheer economics kicks in and the couple downsize with a view to retirement. Railway room becomes smaller and maybe even banished to outbuilding. This is where the decision to go for N gauge to get the most for the small space really carries the the most argument. As stated in the latest NGS Journal it is recognised most railway modellers are in a later age group as, providing all has gone well, they have some spare space and some spare money (and the other half knows where you are!)
How much spare money is available tends to decree the price of stock which can be afforded. Time was I'd spend whatever it took to have what I wanted from the range available. I'm happy to pay current prices for the lovely looking models we get but my volume of purchases has been at least halved. Now if only QC was better so split gears and duff lights were a thing of the past
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 07, 2019, 10:22:23 AM
Not sure I get that. If you're "banished to an outbuilding", ie you have a garage to build a layout in then you've probably got a decent space to use!

I think where space is likely to push people towards N is earlier when people are having to build a portable layout that fits under the spare bed in a modern house with a spare bedroom that's 5'x7'.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: dannyboy on August 07, 2019, 10:29:17 AM
The above comments by @Newportnobby (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264)  are, by and large, very true and I think, would apply to a lot of modellers. Like Mick, although I have only been into n gauge for the last 5 years or so, I was in the fortunate position ( :hmmm:) of being able to spend what it took to get what I wanted. I now have, if I am being honest, more than I need, but now that I am fully retired, I find that I am buying a very small percentage of what I was buying say two years ago. I now only buy something that is rare (ish) or unusual. Whether we are over, or reached, the golden age is, in my opinion, just conjecture.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on August 07, 2019, 10:30:53 AM
Not sure I get that. If you're "banished to an outbuilding", ie you have a garage to build a layout in then you've probably got a decent space to use!

I think where space is likely to push people towards N is earlier when people are having to build a portable layout that fits under the spare bed in a modern house with a spare bedroom that's 5'x7'.

I agree, and if you can keep the in-laws away then it can spend most of its time on top of the bed  :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: kirky on August 07, 2019, 10:34:05 AM
Im not sure house size has anything to do with it. Much more based in the history of went before. Otherwise we would have a bigger N market than Japan - this information from seven years ago suggests we live in much smaller spaces than the Japanese - Typical Size Of A New Build Home: Japan 132.sq.m; U K 76.sq.m. The link is here https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/179299-typical-size-of-a-new-build-home-japan-132sqm-u-k-76sqm/ (https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/179299-typical-size-of-a-new-build-home-japan-132sqm-u-k-76sqm/)

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 07, 2019, 10:36:44 AM
Not sure I get that. If you're "banished to an outbuilding", ie you have a garage to build a layout in then you've probably got a decent space to use!

I think where space is likely to push people towards N is earlier when people are having to build a portable layout that fits under the spare bed in a modern house with a spare bedroom that's 5'x7'.

I agree, and if you can keep the in-laws away then it can spend most of its time on top of the bed  :D

We just didn't put beds in any of the spare bedrooms, fill them with clutter and no one comes :D

Im not sure house size has anything to do with it. Much more based in the history of went before. Otherwise we would have a bigger N market than Japan - this information from seven years ago suggests we live in much smaller spaces than the Japanese - Typical Size Of A New Build Home: Japan 132.sq.m; U K 76.sq.m. The link is here https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/179299-typical-size-of-a-new-build-home-japan-132sqm-u-k-76sqm/ (https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/179299-typical-size-of-a-new-build-home-japan-132sqm-u-k-76sqm/)

Yes, I originally wrote that the popularity of scales was too heavily entrenched in history; as a nation we adopted OO, so changing away from that (at a macro level) is very hard, particularly when most children's gateway to model railways will still be a Hornby product. Very interesting that Japanese homes are that much bigger than UK ones!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Invicta Alec on August 07, 2019, 11:07:13 AM

 - this information from seven years ago suggests we live in much smaller spaces than the Japanese - Typical Size Of A New Build Home: Japan 132.sq.m; U K 76.sq.m.

Cheers
Kirky

Instinctively thought that Kirky's figures were wrong. Two minutes of googling later and I found some
 newer figures. Japan 123 m2 UK 85 m2. So a misconception on my part has been cleared up this morning!  :hmmm:

So despite having bigger houses the Japanese prefer N gauge. Good thinking chaps!  :ngauge:

Alec.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Bealman on August 07, 2019, 11:18:48 AM
Squiddy may correct me here, but square metres does not equate to actual house size, footprintwise.

The lovely lady in Japan who invited us into her home and dressed Mrs Bealman in the silk kimono she had worn on her 21st birthday was relatively well off, and owned a huge house.

However, it was thin and narrow, on three floors, connected by a lift!

Each floor by itself was quite tiny in area.

Hence, unless your model railway is going from floor to floor, available space is tight.

Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 07, 2019, 11:22:40 AM
Some interesting points. For me its a matter of what space i have available and creating a layout to enjoy. I thought living in a flat what with constraints of space, portability , was the option compared to my 20s when i had space at my late Grandfather's in the garage albeit a larger scale. Roll years on downsize, family matter, move, flat, ok sell larger gauge, exhibition attendance, see n gauge, buy in that gauge, hooked. Good arguments and discussion all round
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Capri_sam on August 07, 2019, 12:44:39 PM
The space argument certainly held true for me. When I got back into model railways (though always 'train sets' for me - I treat the layout very much as a toy to be played with) in my mid-20s I was in a single room in a house share in London (ah millennial glamour!), so the only thing space would allow was a T-gauge layout on an old door under the bed. It helped that 10 years ago T gauge was very competitively priced at £50 for a 4-car DMU with directional lighting - alas no longer.

Then as I got married and settled in my own place, a flat at first, there was a guest room with a double bed which could slide a small N gauge layout under it. Now we've upgraded to a small terrace, I've got a whole loft to fill with my train guff, though going from a 2x1 metre layout to 6x3 metres was possibly ambitious... Our as-yet-unborn kids will be driving before I get my layout done!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: njee20 on August 07, 2019, 01:24:54 PM
Squiddy may correct me here, but square metres does not equate to actual house size, footprintwise.

The lovely lady in Japan who invited us into her home and dressed Mrs Bealman in the silk kimono she had worn on her 21st birthday was relatively well off, and owned a huge house.

However, it was thin and narrow, on three floors, connected by a lift!

Each floor by itself was quite tiny in area.

Hence, unless your model railway is going from floor to floor, available space is tight.

That doesn't really make sense, area is area surely? Yes, ok, maybe we have more open plan living spaces as opposed to 'going up', but that's not conducive to building a layout, where most people will want a dedicated space, like a room.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Newportnobby on August 07, 2019, 02:25:04 PM
Not sure I get that. If you're "banished to an outbuilding", ie you have a garage to build a layout in then you've probably got a decent space to use!


I did say mine was a broad brush stroke and, to continue the 'ageist' theme, retired folks like me who downsize to a bungalow (for example) tend to have small gardens so typical shed size is maybe 7ft x 5ft. Having decluttered in order to downsize I would venture more 'senior' folks actually use the garage for what it was designed for i.e. the car (mine tends to have the motorbike, pushbike and still lots of  :poop: in it :-[)
I'm not sure comparison with Japanese dwellings can be made as possibly more use is made of 'click and play' like Kato stuff rather than permanent layouts being built in that country. I just don't have the knowledge to be certain.

Squiddy may correct me here, but square metres does not equate to actual house size, footprintwise.

The lovely lady in Japan who invited us into her home and dressed Mrs Bealman in the silk kimono she had worn on her 21st birthday was relatively well off, and owned a huge house.

However, it was thin and narrow, on three floors, connected by a lift!

Each floor by itself was quite tiny in area.

Hence, unless your model railway is going from floor to floor, available space is tight.


Monster helices!!!!
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Snowwolflair on August 07, 2019, 02:27:07 PM
Not sure I get that. If you're "banished to an outbuilding", ie you have a garage to build a layout in then you've probably got a decent space to use!


I did say mine was a broad brush stroke and, to continue the 'ageist' theme, retired folks like me who downsize to a bungalow (for example) tend to have small gardens so typical shed size is maybe 7ft x 5ft. Having decluttered in order to downsize I would venture more 'senior' folks actually use the garage for what it was designed for i.e. the car (mine tends to have the motorbike, pushbike and still lots of  :poop: in it :-[)
I'm not sure comparison with Japanese dwellings can be made as possibly more use is made of 'click and play' like Kato stuff rather than permanent layouts being built in that country. I just don't have the knowledge to be certain.

Squiddy may correct me here, but square metres does not equate to actual house size, footprintwise.

The lovely lady in Japan who invited us into her home and dressed Mrs Bealman in the silk kimono she had worn on her 21st birthday was relatively well off, and owned a huge house.

However, it was thin and narrow, on three floors, connected by a lift!

Each floor by itself was quite tiny in area.

Hence, unless your model railway is going from floor to floor, available space is tight.


Monster helices!!!!

Definitely needs to be Swiss railways  :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on August 07, 2019, 03:46:51 PM

 - this information from seven years ago suggests we live in much smaller spaces than the Japanese - Typical Size Of A New Build Home: Japan 132.sq.m; U K 76.sq.m.

Cheers
Kirky

Instinctively thought that Kirky's figures were wrong. Two minutes of googling later and I found some
 newer figures. Japan 123 m2 UK 85 m2. So a misconception on my part has been cleared up this morning!  :hmmm:

So despite having bigger houses the Japanese prefer N gauge. Good thinking chaps!  :ngauge:

Bear in mind there was no equivalent Hornby or Tri-ang in Japan, so until Kato came along and started pumping out N gauge trains there was no affordable mass "trainset" market, model railways were the preserve of a few niche manufacturers and "proper modellers" making HO and O gauge trains out of brass, and a scenic layout to run things on would probably have been a rarity. I suspect had Kato turned to HO or TT (I believe the latter was seriously considered), those would have taken off, and N scale would have ended up as what Z scale is today.

Squiddy may correct me here, but square metres does not equate to actual house size, footprintwise.

The lovely lady in Japan who invited us into her home and dressed Mrs Bealman in the silk kimono she had worn on her 21st birthday was relatively well off, and owned a huge house.

However, it was thin and narrow, on three floors, connected by a lift!

Each floor by itself was quite tiny in area.

Hence, unless your model railway is going from floor to floor, available space is tight.

You do see a lot of houses like that in densely populated areas, the absolute floor area may sound relatively generous but is inefficiently distributed.

Here at Chez Railsquid on the outskirts of Tokyo we have the traditional two storeys, and I have a room I use as an office (I work from home mainly) which also houses ca. 300x90 cm of layout-under-development as well as a dedicated "work bench" (well more of an old desk piled high with model railway paraphernalia).

However a lot of people live in apartments and don't have the space for a permanent setup, which is where the "plug'n'play" Kato and Tomix systems come into their own.
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: Fardap on August 07, 2019, 03:52:34 PM
Quote
"...and I have a room I use as an office (I work from home mainly) which also houses ca. 300x90 cm of layout-under-development as well as a dedicated "work bench" (well more of an old desk piled high with model railway paraphernalia)."

Can't see how you would get any work done in an office that has a model railway in it!   :hmmm:  Is it really an office...  :D
Title: Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
Post by: railsquid on August 08, 2019, 10:03:54 AM
Quote
"...and I have a room I use as an office (I work from home mainly) which also houses ca. 300x90 cm of layout-under-development as well as a dedicated "work bench" (well more of an old desk piled high with model railway paraphernalia)."

Can't see how you would get any work done in an office that has a model railway in it!   :hmmm:  Is it really an office...  :D

Recent conversation with the Squidlet (aged ca. 4.5):
"Are you going to work upstairs today?"
"Yes"
"Are you doing train work?" (the Squidlet has not quite grasped the different between "work" and "leisure activity")
"No, computer work"
"But train work is more fun!"
"Yes, but Daddy only gets money for computer work".