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Yesterday i e-mailed Ben Jones ed @ MR re some concerns over reviews and content of the magazine. The point that he made that caused most concern is that from the feed back they have, most poeple just want the higher spec models and and are not interested in rejuvinating older models or improving the breed of those not quite up to scratch. As i said in my joining intro i have a fair old and new collection (Alot Inherited) and intend to bring even the 1960`s locos and stock to a standard that they can run alongside the current releases. Am i part of a dying breed?
 

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QUOTE (f2paul @ 7 May 2008, 13:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The point that he made that caused most concern is that from the feed back they have, most poeple just want the higher spec models and and are not interested in rejuvinating older models or improving the breed of those not quite up to scratch.
They aren't going to demand less detailed models as new, remember you are seeing the opinion of those that feel strongly enough to write into the mag. There are loads of manufacturers out there that cater for detailing up older models, from handrail knobs through to replacement chassis and I know several people who take this option as they don't have the money to buy all the new models they would like. They are happy to achive something a bit different to the majority instead. Have a look at the Mainly Trains website for what detailing parts are around.
http://www.mainlytrains.co.uk/acatalog/sitemap.html
There is plenty of room in the hobby for running older stuff, a mate of mine collects the original Lima toys, the gaudy wagons and vans and 040 steamers, yet still moans about minor detail problems on new releases!! Model rail did feature a Hornby Dublo layout recently but it is a minority interest now and there are specialist clubs that deal with it that have newsletters.
Don't worry enjoy your trains.
 

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I think Paul has a valid point of view - the huge increase in the cost of raw materials and labour (in China) has already started to drive prices up. Bachmann have had to adjust their costings mid-term and retailers have had to follow on, I am sure that Hornby will be significantly more expensive next year and we have seen some massive hikes in the prices of Marklin and Trix in the UK.

The question is, as models become more detailed and start to command higher and higher prices, will some modellers go back to the roots of the hobby and re-discover scratch building? Have we all had it too easy for the last ten years? Even as a garden railway man addicted to building my own track and stock I have been seduced by the Accucraft ready to run range of rolling stock (although the more basic L & B vehicles quickly went under the knife for some improvement!).

60134
 

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Personally I think there will always be a demand for the cheaper end of the market (presumably Hornby do to - hence the Railroad range). If you wish to have a variant of a locomotive that the mainstream manufacturers don't make then there is great satisfaction in creating your own variatin using older/second hand models.

An example of this is that I am currently trying to source another Rivarossi Royal Scot for conversion into a Lord Nelson - OK there will be some compromises on the tender, but it will at least have 8 wheels, and Iwill know that I have done the work. Satisfying indeed.

On the other hand I am also acquiring modern Hornby and Bachmann locos for another project, normally as never run second hand, however, I will not be fitting all the detail parts as they will only get knocked off anyway. That having been said I will probably end up with one Dublo loco as I will need an 0-6-0 BR(S) shunter suitable for the south eastern division - not much choice is there? In this case condition will not matter as it will be having a full repaint with added detailing and a new number.

The hobby is going where we take it, in one respect we've never had it so good, and here I am talking about modellers of all types not just the British Scene. Digital control and other refinements can certainly enhance the hobby but, and it's a big but, you don't have to use them.

Lets enjoy our modelling, whatever we model, and however we model it.

Regards
 

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I have just received a Liliput loco that retails for over £185 I'll be writing up a review so you'll see all the details, but it has quite a lot of detail and some features yet to appear on UK locos. What I'm saying is that the price can rise still as there are features out there that we are not seeing yet.

What will happen in the future though? Do we just blindly pay more (like we do for petrol) or do we vote with our wallet and buy less. Then do we accept less detail and features for cheaper models? Perhaps then adding details along the way ourselves.
 

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This is an issue I have thought about a lot recently and my personal way forward is to buy less locos and to buy better ones. This year I will proably only buy a couple of locos but the will be from Brawa or Weinert and will have sound, smoke generators and lights. I am also working my way through my older locos and upgrading them to have sound and lights etc. You can only have so many locos so make them good ones. I don't see the point in having 200 stealth locos.
 
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QUOTE (f2paul @ 7 May 2008, 13:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yesterday i e-mailed Ben Jones ed @ MR re some concerns over reviews and content of the magazine. The point that he made that caused most concern is that from the feed back they have, most poeple just want the higher spec models and and are not interested in rejuvinating older models or improving the breed of those not quite up to scratch. As i said in my joining intro i have a fair old and new collection (Alot Inherited) and intend to bring even the 1960`s locos and stock to a standard that they can run alongside the current releases. Am i part of a dying breed?

No, you are a modeller.

People who want all the work done for them by the RTR companies are consumers. There's room in the hobby for both

Cheers

Jim
 

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Its an interesting discussion as to where the hobby is going.

When we were all children model railways were the thing to get into, and those who had them were the envy of their mates. Times have changed, and now the younger generation are being exposed to model railroads probably by their grand parents. Most will drop the hobby but there is a chance that in 10-20 years time they will pick it up again.

But their expectations are going to be substantively different from what is common place today. If we look at the British scene, we have a major supplier that has only just embraced the "DCC" concept at a basic level, and still produces relatively inexpensive less detailed models. If we look at the German scene we see that the major suppliers embraced the "DCC" concept about 20 years ago and are now embracing the sound revolution. The models are relatively expensive, but are getting more highly detailed. That being said they generally have a hobby range that is less detailed, relatively cheap and produced to entice the beginner into the hobby.

Potentially Roco pushed the barrier this year by releasing a train that had operating pantographs on the locomotive and opening doors on the carriages. With a set like this, there was no question about whether it should have sound or not. Uhlenbrock have a train detection system that not only says what locomotive passed point A but also its direction. Marklin and Uhlenbrock have operating overhead cranes. The Faller road system is now pretty widely used to add movement outside of the "railway" environment. Busch have a sound system that provides ambient sound to the layout area.

Here we have a number of quite different features that enhance the play value of model railroading. To a generation that will grow up using a PC like we did with pencil and paper, these features will not only be wanted but conceivably considered to be the norm.

Model Railroading is the greatest hobby in the world. You, the modeller can do what you want. For the technically minded there are now a number of great toys out there to add to the experience if you want to buy them. If you thing is to take a model and improve it, then you can do that as well.

The hobby will survive, its just that peoples expectation of it will change. In 20 years time, no doubt my expectations will have changed. The question is will the British branch of the hobby have the same expectation as I may have in the future, or will they still be 20 years behind Europe in terms of technological development and what I take for granted right now, be just beginning to be the norm then

John?
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 8 May 2008, 09:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When we were all children model railways were the thing to get into, and those who had them were the envy of their mates.

In those days (a long time ago) I was lucky enough to have my layout set up in a brick built shed so I was very well set up & mates came round to run their engines on my layout as they did not have anything perminant.

Model railways will survive - the best thing about our hobby is that there are so, so many varied was to enjoy the hobby & it can be a simple or compolicated as you wish (or are capable of building or using).

Many non-modellers think its just "playing trains" (& indeed sometime I do just that - play trains) - but add working accessories, sound & so on they often get more interested.

As already said - "the hobby will become what we make it".
 

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This is a fascinating thread!

If I was starting over I'd probably go for "O" sclae and model a Colonel Stephens light railway, simply because of the variety of stock, the need to scratch build / adapt and the fact that I'd only need three or four locos.

If you lot were starting from scratch, where would begin - now?

60134
 

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QUOTE (60134 @ 8 May 2008, 11:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If I was starting over I'd probably go for "O" sclae and model a Colonel Stephens light railway
Good choice, both scale & subject.

Don't really know what I start with again, scalewise it would not be "N" (eyes getting older), but may look at TT european or HOm.

Still keep the 45mm/LGB in the garden whatever else I may (or more likely will not) do.
 

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QUOTE (60134 @ 8 May 2008, 10:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you lot were starting from scratch, where would begin - now?

A very good question, which deserves a good answer.......

If starting out afresh then I think it would probably be O with an inside/outside operation. in this case I think I would probably go down the same sort of line as 60134 suggested - a Colonel Stephens type layout, or possibly something like the Killin branch or the Snailbeach & district, all of which have excellent modellin potential.

The Stephens thing I have tried before about 15 years ago in OO, I even managed to get two chaps arguing about whether I had placed the pub on the right side of the road - not bad as the whole thing was a fictitous location. It just goes to show.

Another reason for the light railways thing is that I have always liked small tank engines and industrials where better than a Stephens railway!

Regards
 

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From my own point of view, I enjoy collecting and fixing old locomotives and newer ones and have a small collection of everything from old Br to SNCF modern locos. None were expensive but I constantly add details or just get them back to working order. Some are from old collections and have been bought on e bay. Some will make characters in a Thomas diorama.

It can be an inexpensive (relatively so) hobby but does need some technical know how and fora ilke this one help with the technical info. I agree that a small number of good locos is better than a large quantity of sh**e but sometimes collecting and modifying the sh**e is rewarding.

At the end of the day, it is play and play is something we should never stop doing (even technical stuff)

Enjoy your trains

whoo whoo (that's me with my own sound for the locos)

Basil

 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 8 May 2008, 18:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Its an interesting discussion as to where the hobby is going.

When we were all children model railways were the thing to get into, and those who had them were the envy of their mates. Times have changed, and now the younger generation are being exposed to model railroads probably by their grand parents. Most will drop the hobby but there is a chance that in 10-20 years time they will pick it up again.

But their expectations are going to be substantively different from what is common place today. If we look at the British scene, we have a major supplier that has only just embraced the "DCC" concept at a basic level, and still produces relatively inexpensive less detailed models. If we look at the German scene we see that the major suppliers embraced the "DCC" concept about 20 years ago and are now embracing the sound revolution. The models are relatively expensive, but are getting more highly detailed. That being said they generally have a hobby range that is less detailed, relatively cheap and produced to entice the beginner into the hobby.

Potentially Roco pushed the barrier this year by releasing a train that had operating pantographs on the locomotive and opening doors on the carriages. With a set like this, there was no question about whether it should have sound or not. Uhlenbrock have a train detection system that not only says what locomotive passed point A but also its direction. Marklin and Uhlenbrock have operating overhead cranes. The Faller road system is now pretty widely used to add movement outside of the "railway" environment. Busch have a sound system that provides ambient sound to the layout area.

Here we have a number of quite different features that enhance the play value of model railroading. To a generation that will grow up using a PC like we did with pencil and paper, these features will not only be wanted but conceivably considered to be the norm.

Model Railroading is the greatest hobby in the world. You, the modeller can do what you want. For the technically minded there are now a number of great toys out there to add to the experience if you want to buy them. If you thing is to take a model and improve it, then you can do that as well.

The hobby will survive, its just that peoples expectation of it will change. In 20 years time, no doubt my expectations will have changed. The question is will the British branch of the hobby have the same expectation as I may have in the future, or will they still be 20 years behind Europe in terms of technological development and what I take for granted right now, be just beginning to be the norm then

John?
Soom good observations there John, I think reluctance to change is still a big issue in the UK. However it is not all doom and gloom, on this forum I argued a few years ago that that if DCC sound was introduced into the UK market people would pay for it and would want those extras. There was an alternative arguement that the UK modeller will not pay anything over 100quid for a model so this would not take off. Mt arguement that DCC sound would take off in the UK seems to have been borne out as the small amount of UK outline DCC sound locos that have been produced are selling very quickly. It seems to be the manufacturers rather than the modellers that are holding things back technology wise. I think the best thing that could happen to the UK market is for Roco, Brawa or even PCM to make a couple of UK outline 00 gauge locos to raise the competition.
 

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Hi Neil,

Its an interesting concept. On one hand Brawa would produce a sensational steam locomotive (both with and without sound) but the problem would be whether to produce it in HO, OO, EM OR P4.

At GBP250-350 the EM and P4 groups would most likely buy it, even in HO it would probably sell well, but the core market of OO and lets be honest about it, would most likely complain about its price. The fact that it would be streets ahead of anything currently available RTR would not be commented on.

It's a shame, but commercial reality probably dictates that they will not produce any British outline in the foreseeable future.

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 9 May 2008, 11:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil,

Its an interesting concept. On one hand Brawa would produce a sensational steam locomotive (both with and without sound) but the problem would be whether to produce it in HO, OO, EM OR P4.

At GBP250-350 the EM and P4 groups would most likely buy it, even in HO it would probably sell well, but the core market of OO and lets be honest about it, would most likely complain about its price. The fact that it would be streets ahead of anything currently available RTR would not be commented on.

It's a shame, but commercial reality probably dictates that they will not produce any British outline in the foreseeable future.

John
Hi John, agreed. I did meet Simon Kohler who is Hornby's marketing Manager when he was over here last year and discussed this subject and he told me that price is one of their main considerations as the UK market baulks at anything over 100quid. He also told me that he would only do DCC sound if it would only add 20quid on the price of a model. He has obviously had a rethink since then as his company has produced 3 DCC sound models which cost substantially more than 20quid over the standard model. The feedback as you can see on the forums is that price is an issue for many. Personally I would rather pay the bucks and get the quality and features but that's my choice. I suppose I would like to think that the UK market would be big enough to sustain a company like Brawa who produce higher quality models. The fact that it hasn't happened probably means that it would probably not.

Neil
 

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20 quid for a sound decoder, now that would be nice, as long as it had the sound quailty of a loksound 3.5.

Pipe dreams I know.

I actually thing that Hornby would be surprised if they produced some models of Brawa quality and price. Sure a lot of people would gripe about it, but my belief is that they would sell. Not in the same numbers as a current "top of the range Hornby" model, but there must be a decerning market out there for quality product.

To me it seems that the UK market is where the German market was 10-20 years ago. People buy not on the strength of the model, but by brand alone.

John
 

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As I have read elsewhere, it also seems that quantity - is another main point with the majority of modellers living in the UK as compared to quality.

As mentioned elsewhere, I too would prefer one good loco at 150 quid compared to 3 mediochre units at 50 quid each.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 8 May 2008, 23:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think the best thing that could happen to the UK market is for Roco, Brawa or even PCM to make a couple of UK outline 00 gauge locos to raise the competition.

Provided that they were made to "OO" - I remember back in the late 70's when Flesichmann "entered" the UK market with a Warship & some Bullied coaches - superb models with fine running for the time - produced in HO ! (There are a few theories about why in HO) but, of course sales were not as Fleischmann hoped. Lima, of course already produced HO UK outline, but it was Lima. Personally, I doubt if we will see "OO" ever made by the likes of Roco, the market is probably too small & these days of profit driven manufactures they have to be pretty certain of their investments in R & D & tooling costs.
 
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