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Author Topic: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?  (Read 6418 times)

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Offline red_death

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #15 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 😥



Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #16 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.

Offline bluedepot

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #17 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







Offline port perran

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #18 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.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline red_death

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #19 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



Offline Lawrence

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #20 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  ;)

Offline jthjth

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #21 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.

Online Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2018, 11:57:09 AM »
A good response. Agree. :beers:
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Online njee20

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #23 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!

Offline red_death

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #24 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!



Online njee20

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #25 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).
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 12:32:32 PM by njee20 »

Offline jthjth

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #26 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.

Online njee20

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #27 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:

Online Chris Morris

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #28 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.

Offline Intercity

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #29 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.
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