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Author Topic: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?  (Read 6353 times)

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Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #60 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!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline amsie

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #61 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.

Offline stevewalker

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #62 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.

Offline JasonBz

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #63 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.

Offline stevewalker

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #64 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!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 01:43:28 AM by stevewalker »

Offline trkilliman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #65 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.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #66 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.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline joe cassidy

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #67 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

Offline Chris Morris

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #68 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.

Offline NeMo

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #69 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

Offline Chris Morris

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #70 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.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 09:00:11 AM by Chris Morris »

Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #71 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.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline NeMo

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #72 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

Offline Bealman

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #73 on: April 01, 2018, 09:21:03 AM »
Actually I think I recall a similar discussion here, too.

Thanks, NeMo.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Webbo

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Re: Are we over the Golden Age of N Gauge?
« Reply #74 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

 

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