Is our hobby getting more expensive or what?

Well I have to say that you bring up some points, but let me share my experience and why I no longer bother with the kits.

Years ago, I bout a great deal of Roundhouse kits for N-Scale. Yes they were cheap but I got what I paid for. Most od the trucks were not the right style for the cars, the wheel axles were all warp and wouldn't roll true. In the end, I had to repalce the trucks and couplers with Micro-Trains and that ended up adding $5.00 a pices to the cars. So now my kit was just as expensive as the product from Atlas and even Micro-Trains, in some cases. So what is the sense in not getting the quality product a a slightly higer price?

Cost conscience is one thing, but never short change on quality. I have Kato engines that I have had since the early 1990's, and thanks to some lubrication advice, they are still running well. I can not say the same for Life-Like, Model Power and others that I purchased. I have not spent a great deal, but spent wisely. Sometimes over the net and sometimes at going out of business sales. Or sometimes at the end to train meets as another suggested. If this is a lifetime hobby, doesn't it make sense to invest in the future?

David

Dan Merkel wrote:

Reply to
dcesharkman
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That's what swap meets, eBay and estate sales are for. Back when I got active again in the hobby after a long hiatus and found out that the Central Valley kits that I used to love were no longer being made I hit every club swap meet and other sale that I could find and stocked up on those and many other good old craftsman kits.

Reply to
Rick Jones

Who did that?

Paul A. Cutler III

  • Weather Or No Go New Haven
Reply to
Pac Man

Who's side are you on anyway?.. Go pay your exorbitant prices! As for me i'll scratch build wherever i can.

Reply to
Big Rich Soprano

It was eluded to that as soon as Athearn bought MDC the prices were raised and in some cases doubled...

Reply to
Big Rich Soprano

I would, most definately. You will gain more customers by giving away information than any sales pitch will ever get. I live in a small community and I have expertise in many things. I have given away free information, labour and when asked advice. I have had it returned to me ten fold. If ever I need anything, and I mean just about anything, all I need to do is ask.

Reply to
dunrobin

For those just getting into the conversation the above reply was in response to what Charles K. had to say.

Reply to
dunrobin

alluded, was the word that escaped and evaded you

Reply to
Steve Caple

Steve Caple spake thus:

Actually, the word was a-looted (I stole it).

Reply to
David Nebenzahl

Yes and so did Athearn...

Reply to
Big Rich Soprano

If you posted part of his post in your response we would have known...

Reply to
Big Rich Soprano

Amen!

Reply to
Steve Caple

Well at least we have our memories! Another hobby of mine has gotten so out of reach it's not funny - slot cars! I used to be able to pick up a new car for around $20... Now the frame is $20! Sheesh... Everything is going up...

Reply to
Big Rich Soprano

Alluded and actually happening are two different things... Does anyone examples of ex-MDC items which doubled in price after the Athearn purchase?

Reply to
Mark Mathu

It seems strange that someone who has more cars and kits than they'll ever really need would start a thread about the cost of this hobby.

I can think of an obvious way to rein in costs if it really bothers you.

____ Mark

Reply to
Mark Mathu

Only our spouses look at it that way.

Reply to
Mark Mathu

Paul, what are you modeling that requires you to build your turnouts instead of buying commercially assembled ones? From your reply, I gather that building turnouts is not one of your favorite parts of this hobby.

___ Mark

Reply to
Mark Mathu

NYCfan:

Oh, heck, I've got a book from 1939 that talks at great length about realistic operation, and the 1940's and 50's MR's are full of it. You've certainly heard of Frank Ellison? In some ways, too, the early operators were far, far beyond us. Look at the early books and you'll read about

dispatching trains by telegraph, keeping track of 'employee' seniority, and operating by the now thoroughly underused manual block system. I think they knew way more about flat switching yards and steam locomotive servicing than most of us do now, and as for the lack of accurate scale models, there was no such thing. Some of the kitbuilt stuff was crude, especially in the smaller scales like HO or TT, but craftsmen like Bill Lenoir were building models as beautiful as anything ever to come along.

Cordially yours: Gerard P.

Reply to
pawlowsk002

Folks:

We seem to be getting lost in another debate comparing the theoretical 'Fifties Dark Age' (when the savages crouched in their darksome holes, gluing toothpicks together with Lepage's glue) with the nebulous 'Modern Golden Age' (when we have all the happy plastic diesels and happy limited runs and are really happy yeah!) and falling into comparisons between wages earned stacking boxes in 1959 and the current salary of a nuclear physicist...

SO...

At the risk of injecting actual analysis into a speculative discussion, and displacing all the fun out onto the ground, I went back to my

2002 MR (which I was reading on the john, BTW) and compared a few prices in the Standard Hobby Supply ad with their current offerings.

Here is what I find (all HO):

Bachmann Daylight 4-8-4 WAS 59.99 - NOW 65.58 ... 9% increase. Bachmann 4-8-2 WAS 98.99 - NOW 119.99 ... 21% increase. Kadee No. 5 couplers: WAS 1.59 - NOW 1.99 ... 25% increase. Athearn SD40-2 WAS 33.99 - NOW 43.99 ... 29% increase.* Atlas NS flex code 100, 3' WAS 1.75 - NOW 2.19 ... 25% increase. Atlas No. 4 LH Customline WAS 6.29 - NOW 9.99 ... 59% increase. MRC Prodigy DCC WAS 123.99 - Now 119.99 ... 3% decrease.

  • This is no doubt leftover stock, as mail-order Athearn has seemingly disappeared over the Horizon.

Now, the oddballs here are the Daylight, the Atlas turnout, and the DCC. The first is probably very old, long-paid-for tooling. The DCC follows the rule of consumer electronics that the longer an electronic device is on the market, the more disposable it becomes and therefore the less reliable and repairable it needs to be. What? That's not the rule? Oh. Well, the big shock is the Atlas turnout. I reeeeally don't see what happened here, considering they were American made in 2002 and now aren't, and furthermore, the throw bars are now fragile, snap-on affairs, so you would think there would be some cost savings, no? Projected savings from offshoring not quite in line with reality, hmmm? Heh heh.

The other 4 items average about 7.3% cost increase per year over the last 3 years. Well, at the moment I think the inflation rate is about 4.6%, and in recent years it has been lower. It does seem, then, that Dan Merkel is quite right...at least as far as my extremely limited survey goes.

What we need, I think, is another Irv Athearn. Do you know why the wee fragile detail parts were left for the modeler to install on his virtually RTR diesels? I would venture that with the fiddliness of these parts and their risk of breakage (and subsequent need for inspection and possible replacement of defective goods) the cost of assembling them might add $10 to the locomotive at retail - and remember, the F7 was about $22 in the year 1995. Have you ever noticed the total lack of screws in the old Athearn drives? It made them cheap to assemble and kept the price low. Let's hear it for designing down to a price!

Cordially yours, Gerard P.

Reply to
pawlowsk002

How about some proof? This past month, Athearn released the re-tooled MDC RS-3, and have added a lot of detail and re-cut the tooling for better accuracy. It's retail price is $89.98. Are you seriously saying that the MDC RS-3 was only $45 last year? I don't think so. In fact, it was $69.00 in 1993 (according to my old Walthers catalog).

Paul A. Cutler III

  • Weather Or No Go New Haven
Reply to
Pac Man

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