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Prices of model train stuff - Kit Bashing - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2017 09:11 pm
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Petermac
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I've allowed for inflation Alan - in my day they were 1/11p - wrapped in a free newspaper ............. :thumbs

I'm talking cod & chips - none of your fancy haddock. ;-)



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 Posted: Mon Jan 1st, 2018 04:32 pm
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Spurno
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And you used to get a huge piece as well.Also had Rock and chips.Lovely.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 1st, 2018 05:36 pm
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Petermac
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Don't forget the scraps .................... :doublethumb



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 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2018 10:52 am
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gdaysydney
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From an Australian perspective 2011/2012 were the best years in terms of cost driven by the currency - One Australian dollar bought 65p.
Since then the cost of raw materials and manufacturing cost in China have both risen and the pound has strengthened (although, weakened again thanks to Brexit to 57p.)



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 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2018 04:35 pm
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thespanishdriver
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Interesting thoughts on this one by some of you. I have also returned to the hobby after many years absence and had to start from scratch. I bought many items off flea bay as I was astounded by the cost of some products. That was a slight mistake as a number of my loco's will remain static and just for show. I have been refurbishing most and now all have DCC and I have 5 left to fit lights to. I have also just bought a couple of loco's from the Hornby Railroad brand. They look ok from a distance and given that it is mostly just me that looks at my layout, they are fine. That said, they will be getting a re-paint and some weathering which will enhance them or make them blend in whichever way you may look at it.
I too am on a pension with limited funds and have had to make some compromises. I have found however that the loco's and rolling stock are the items where the price seems to have soared. Track, points and point motors and scenic items, dare I say, seem reasonably priced.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2018 04:42 pm
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Western Way
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Gary, that is a very good point about track, it does seem to have remained relatively inexpensive.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2018 10:17 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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I look at the question of prices from a few different perspectives.  Firstly, my proposed new system will find work for 50+ locomotives and trains and this fleet has been built up over the last 10 years or so.  I have firmly fixed criteria for my purchases so if something doesn't fit my BR(NER) 1960's theme, I don't buy it. 

I am aware that some are more collectors and will buy what they like, so I guess the prices mean more to them.  I probably take an interest in about 1 in 10 new releases and even then (Oxford Rail N7) will often pass as I have no need for the loco type.  On this basis, prices are OK for me because my purchasing is limited.  I also model analogue and am prepared to look at the Hornby Railroad range or older 1st-generation Bachmann Branchline offerings which I know will need a  service before they go into traffic.  I recently bought a Hornby/China D49 4-4-0 and dare say, with a bit of weathering, it will fit in just right.  I have an old Hornby/Margate D49 with the awful tender drive and the new Railroad one is certainly a few steps up and starts to question the need for ultra-fine-super-detail-£150-a-go models.

Anyone coming into the hobby new will, naturally, be encouraged down the DCC route and ultimately to DCC+sound.  In 10 years, analogue will be as obsolete as 3-rail is now so this is the right advice.  However, by selecting this route, new/junior modellers are being asked to fork out, perhaps, £150 for a DCC+sound tank engine and then another shed load of cash for the control gear and gizmos to make the points and signals work.

The net effect of this will be a further move towards smaller home layouts and shunting planks where stock requirements are low but this makes the proportional costs of the control gear very high.

However, this could be good news for the Model Railway Clubs where combined loco/stock fleets will be able to run on larger layouts.

The shame will be that types of layout will be driven by the locomotive requirements rather than the interests of the modellers.  Do you remember when every other layout in the Railway Modeller was GWR?  It was because the vast majority of RTR locos of the time were GWR types whilst the LNER and SR were, basically, ignored.  Yes kits were available for a vast range of prototypes but we did not have the skills to build them yet.

I would support a move to reign back on the super-detail in exchange for lower/stable prices for a while.  There would not appear to be a reason why the major manufacturers could not produce a model on a par with the Railroad range and then offer a "detailing kit", or they could just leave that to the cottage industries who still fill the pages of the mags with blister packs of replacement parts we can all use if we are so inclined.

Hey, its like the old days - buy a decent body on a :chicken chassis and then mod the do-dahs out of it to make a half-decent model.  Happy days.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 04:39 am
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BCDR
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Scale Trains here does exactly that. Operator, rivet counter and museum quality models. Difference is in the level of detail and of course price. Add on kits for the DIY modeler.

Apart from the two On30 4-4-0 locomotives I got recently at fire-sale prices I haven't bought new in at least 6 or 7 years.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 09:13 am
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col.stephens
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Barry said, " In 10 years, analogue will be as obsolete as 3-rail is now"


I doubt it.  Not everyone in the hobby is in love with DCC.  Even if manufacturers cease making DC controllers (unlikely in my opinion), a number of modellers will still hang on to their DC controllers.  How many of you still have your trusty old Hammant & Morgan (H&M) Safety Minor or Clipper?  


Terry

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 09:40 am
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Roy Low
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Hello Terry,  

Having set up a couple of layouts with DCC, I too think that DC will carry on for years.
One thing which DC control does, is give you a chance to learn skills - DCC does not have a "hands on" feeling.
Another point is that home-built DC controllers are quite easy to build - another skill to develop.

Cheers

Roy Low :cheers

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 10:04 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Even a Numpty like I am, can build a DC controller.

(Once Sol showed me how to do it).  :lol:

It's a really handy 5 Amp regulated power supply for all sorts of jobs.

I don't think that DC will ever die.

For example, with DCC there is no need for a flywheel - yet locos are still being made with flywheels.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 10:40 am
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Petermac
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I'd agree with you that DC will never die.

DCC certainly offers many things that DC doesn't but DC is cheaper, fairly simple and far more universally accepted than DCC.

Most of the better DC controllers are made by "specialists" and, from what I gather, very good they are too.  I doubt they'll stop making them.  Locos are easily manufactured for either system and commercially, it makes more sense to offer a chip as an "add on" rather than as standard equipment.  In future, all locomotives will come with a blanked off socket and normal "DC only" locos will not be offered - maybe that's the case now but I'm not sure.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 12:37 pm
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Roy Low
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Hi Petermac,

You don't need to be a specialist. I built controllers using Veroboard, and Darlington transistors, plus a couple of resistors and small capacitors.
In the UK you have several component shops, and get better quality parts. Here we get rather dodgy Chinese components.
The speed control is a simple "volume" control and knob. 

The expensive part is the transformer, but for small layouts, a 1 amp. 12 volt DC "bubble" unit works well, which are much cheaper.
Oddly, finding a suitable box for the project can be a problem.

:cool:

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 01:05 pm
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BCDR
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A DC power pack is a useful piece of kit. Not sure about increasing skill sets though. In my case DCC has been responsible for that. Either can be run out of the box, and as long as the DC pack has pulse width modulation there is not a lot if difference in running, especially if you are not bothered about acceleration curves, ABC, consists (double heading), sound and light control, and more than one locomotive without resort to blocks. That is when DCC wins hands down. A really good DC system can cost as much as a DCC one.

IMO, DC will be a very minor control system in a few years. Rare is the DC layout over here. "DCC ready" means blanking plugs already in place. With a lot of Bachmann products over here they come with DCC installed, often on the pcb light board, just runs on DC or DCC.

Flywheels-depends on the motor design and size, not the control system. Straight cut windings need them, biased ones do not (clagging). Small ones with 3 poles do, big ones with 5 or 7 do not. Again, DC or DCC can both control momentum.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 02:11 pm
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allan downes
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Once model railways were built out of kids pocket money. Now you need a very amicable bank manager.


Allan

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 02:39 pm
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The Q
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allan downes wrote:

Once model railways were built out of kids pocket money. Now you need a very amicable bank manager.





Allan

only if you were a wealthy kid, I could never afford a carriage until i worked, I just about got a couple of bits of track...



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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 03:51 pm
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Petermac
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allan downes wrote: .............................................. Now you need a very amicable bank manager.


Allan

And they're as rare as hen's teeth !!!



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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 06:39 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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I too hope that DC does not become obsolete but I fear with Hornby's troubles, they will shrink the range and thus DCC will be the only offering.  Bachmann will continue as well and may even have their own "Railroad" range.

Never built a controller - I am impressed by those who can and do!!

I've heard/read mixed reviews on the Oxford Rail offerings - all DC I understand - are they any good because I think they are cheaper than the "Big 2"???  I've got some of their wagons and I like them but the locos......??????

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 07:38 pm
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I have the Oxford Rail Adams radial tank.  Like the other manufacturers' offerings, it comes 'DCC Ready' (will run on DC straight out of the box, add a decoder for DCC).  It looks good and runs very smoothly.  Being one of the original batch, I suspect they made the wheel flanges a tad too deep as it makes a clicking noise as the wheel flanges strike the tops of the chairs on my code 75 track.  However, it retailed at over £20 cheaper than the Hornby version and I would not hesitate to buy another if I had the need for it.


Terry

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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 07:47 pm
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With all the extra detailing, finer standards, DCC, etc etc. how many of todays locos will still be running in ten years time. Recently I picked up a couple of old Triang locos for a tenner apiece (very early ones with the split couplings), cleaned the wheels and gave them a bit of a drink on the moving parts and away they went, running as sweet as a nut. No split chassis (The Mainline effect), no bits falling off if I handle it a bit on the rough side, no expensive chips to buy and undo a couple of screws I  can get at everything. With a bit of time and a few bits and pieces I can make a nice loco out of them which will still probably outlast most of todays offerings. I can also get spare parts just about anywhere. The fun of modifying it and updating it is satisfying, after all the hobby is called railway modelling and not cheque book modelling. And like someone else has mentioned, at normal viewing distance you can't see half the detailing anyway.



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