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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there:

Given the latest price incease of the Bachmann narrow Gauge One product line, will On30 replace Gauge One?

750.00 mail order price for a Bachmann Climax. 700.00 mail order price for a Bachmann Forney.

The Bachmann 4-4-0 "Eureka & Palisade" , with the intricate multi stage paint process of the Baldwin No. One paint, had a mail order price of 400.00 and a final clearace mail order price of 235.00.

750.00 for a plastic Climax? That is a mental impossibilty. Do the marketing folks at Bachmann realise what 750.00 currency is?

The Bachmann and Mountain Model Imports die cast On30 models are a realistic affordable alternative, for now at least.

So will the latest high pricing of the Bachmann Gauge One Climax and Forney spell the end for their Gauge One product line?


Norman
 

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On30 doesnt work well outdoors, so no it wont replace the 1/20.3 line, but I do think that the large scale line will be 1: more limited in its range in future, and 2: much more expensive, not just Bachmann but with all of the manufacturers, its already happening... at a pace these last few years I find truely frightening.
 

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Posted By vsmith on 12 Jun 2011 11:08 PM
On30 doesnt work well outdoors, so no it wont replace the 1/20.3 line, but I do think that the large scale line will be 1: more limited in its range in future, and 2: much more expensive, not just Bachmann but with all of the manufacturers, its already happening... at a pace these last few years I find truely frightening. Norman,

I think Vic is correct here. On30 doesn't work well outdoors, but 1/20.3 is starting to price itself right out of the market for most folks. I started 1/20.3 about five years ago, when it was still somewhat affordable. I have most of what I want now in this scale and will probably purchase little in the future. I plan on concentrating on finishing my layout and buying more aluminum track for my battery/Airwire locos. I don't think I would start the LS hobby as a newbie now.
 

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Apples and oranges. On30, as Vic mentions, is an indoor scale. It's just too small to run reliably outdoors. Folks who want narrow gauge outside will stick with the 1:20.3 stuff, even with the increasing costs. What the higher prices will do is make people be more selective in their purchases. You're not going to see people buying one or two of whatever comes out just because it's the right scale/gauge. I think they're going to be a bit more picky. If it really appeals to them, they'll buy it. Otherwise they'll save their pennies and see what comes down the pike next. For example, I really like the proportions of Bachmann's 2-6-6-2, but it doesn't fit my operating scheme, so it's $700 I can spend on sound/control instead. Likewise, I'd love to own an Accucraft Mogul, but the EBT Mikado is due to be released soon*, so I take a pass on the Mogul because there's no way I could afford both. (And that's not counting the divorce attorney should I even attempt it.)

I also think modelers will purchase fewer of the particular cars that appeal to them. They may buy 4 box cars instead of 6 or something like that. The reality of the matter is that 1:20 equipment takes up a LOT of space, so you really can't buy all that much anyway without running out of room on the railroad. It's easy to be selective when you have to struggle to find places to put things if you do buy them. I'd love to have a string of 15 3-bay hopper cars to run behind my EBT mikado, but (a) I have no place to store them, (b) a 15-car train is too long for my railroad, and (c) I have no easy way of transporting 15 cars to a railroad where it might look good. So I cut that number in half, and use the 2-bay hoppers I already have in my collection to help meet that. End result, I have 4 3-bay hoppers--a far cry from the 15 I'd love to have but a very realistic number given space and budget considerations.

The other thing to consider, too, is the "typical" narrow gauge train vs. standard gauge. A narrow gauge train would usually have one locomotive and somewhere around 15 cars, probably less for many "smaller" narrow gauge lines. Consider $700 for the loco and $100 per car, you're looking at around $2000 for a typical train. Compare to standard gauge mainline trains with 3 or 4 diesels and 50 cars. Even if you cut that length down to 20 or 25 cars so it "fits" the typical garden railroad, you're still looking at roughly the same amount of money for the train. The equipment may be a bit cheaper, but you buy more of it.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Vic and Gary:

I guess most of us are in the same position. We started in Large Scale 5 to 10 years ago and we all have satisfied our locomotive and rolling stock "needs" .

The Bachmann Big Hauler is what got me into Large Scale. Large scale was very affordable, then. I sold off those Big Hauler locos as more advanced products became available such as the Bachmann 4-4-0 loco.

If starting today, I would select On30 for the MMI and Bachmann product lines. I definitely would not enter large scale today.

The MTH new product line in HO scale is fantastic. O Gauge sound and laboured chuff smoke in a die cast locomotive. Another great money value.
Today I would not have left HO scale, but rather would have simply sold off existing HO Scale locos and bought MTH locos.

My only present new product interest is the new HLW Forney. No where near the Bachmann level of fine detail but it is affordable and it is 1:24 scale with shiny brass details.

The days of excitement on mylargescale seemed to have peeked. It was really interesting to read the David Fletcher locomotive construction articles. Now computer virus has even eliminated reading over again David's articles.

Bachmann has their other scales to sell. Bachmann purchased the Williams O scale line. This tells me Bachmann sees limited future sales in large scale.

MTH seems to have dropped 1:32 scale and has moved into HO Scale to add to their O Scale line.

Aristo Craft has also added O scale to their product line.

Accucraft was expensive but the models were actually a bargain considering their museum grade product. New price increases have put an end to that!

1:24 scale seems to be a dead scale for reasons I don't understand.

I guess the boom days of large scale have passed us on.

Too bad really.

I am interested in reading other peoples' thoughts.



Norman
 

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Like many others here, I got started in the Large Scale segment of the hobby many years ago...back in the mid- to late-80s. Over the years, I managed to obtain most everything I ever really wanted, and certainly far more than I ever needed or could actually use. When I moved to a gated community about four and a half years ago, an outdoor Large Scale railroad was out of the question, so I'm now confined to doing what I can in half of a two-car garage. I sold about 70% of my collection, but held onto those items I felt would fit this much more modest setup (along with a large Marklin MAXI collection, which is partially displayed and will eventually find at least some small running space inside my home).

That being the case, I really haven't noticed the significant increases in prices, if they exist, because I haven't felt the desire or need to add to my collection. If MTH had produced some smaller motive power in Large Scale, I likely would have made a sizable investment in those items. But, alas, they elected to stay with the larger stuff so I was out of the running. Now that they appear to be scaling back on their LS line, I suppose it's just as well that I passed on those 1:32 products.

I can't really offer an opinion on the availability or pricing of products from other manufacturers because I haven't purchased much in the past few years, aside from a few Bachmann switchers and an occasional new-old-stock LGB item. However, with prices on everything else on the rise, it doesn't surprise me that the cost of our trains would also be climbing.

For reasons already stated by others, there's little danger of On30 replacing Large Scale (1:20.3). There's a world of difference between the two scales, and it's pretty much a given that On30 is not very well suited for outdoor operation. I have a large collection of On30 myself, and would not even consider using it in a garden railroad setting.

Lacking a crystal ball, I have no idea what the future holds for Large Scale, but I expect that garden railroading--what I consider the healthiest and most fun segment of the hobby--will be with us well into the future. One doesn't need a huge collection of trains to gain full enjoyment from this hobby in any scale, and most folks will simply adapt their buying to bring it in line with their available resources. The price of involvement may be a deterrent to many newcomers, and it may limit the new purchases made by those already active in the hobby, but the manufacturers will have only themselves to blame for that in the long run. After all, it's a livelihood for them; it's just a hobby for the rest of us.
 

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Like the other guys said, I doubt that On30 will ever make much of an incursion into garden railways, but it's affordability may draw away potential garden railroaders. I don't see as many new garden railways being established, and that decline started when the price of track, let alone rolling stock, became astronomical. And from what I understand, it's about to become even much more expensive in the near future.
For some, this won't be much of an issue, but for many of the younger folks with families, etc., large scale is simply geting out of reach. Like so many others, I've been in the hobby for a long time (almost 30 years), so I'm not buying much anymore. As we "codgers" fade away, we may be taking the hobby along with us. Best hope is that some of our kids, grandkids, or younger acquaintances will put our legacy products to good use. Maybe our bequests will light up some new inspirations.
 

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Hi Norman
I agree that the Bachmann 1:20 line is getting out of hand with their pricing. If you look at the fine looking new Forney the MSRP is over $1000 !! Even with the current market prices from the big wholesalers they are still over $600. They can be found at a certain auction based site and they usually go for jsut over $400 which is still a tidy sum for most in this recession. Bottom line Bachmann won't be selling alot of these locos. What does surprise me when I watch some what rare items go through Ebay is the price they fetch. There are people out there that still have alot of money to spend on trains. Hopefully the well heeled can keep the manufacturers happy so they keep producing new models etc..
I started in large scale 5 years ago and secured alot of my collection and a good portion of track before the prices spiked. I was lucky with my timing but if a newcomer looked at the prices for brand new equipment today I doubt that they would take the plunge. Of course there is always the second hand market that keeps things somewhat affordable. Most of my RR is second hand. I don't think G scale will ever go away but I do think most guys will scale back and either wait to make a special purchase or build their own pieces.
Any smart company will diversify in this economy and that goes for the big train companies, lets hope they don't continue to raise the prices and price even more out of the market then it won't make sense for them to continue in large scale.
Todd
 

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Unlike a lot of folks here, I'm still getting started in 1:20.3 - one small 2-4-0 under construction. Frankly, I find the prices to be far too high for my budget, and it's kept me from being more active. I'm mostly sticking to standard gauge HO, where $50 will get me the starting material for any of a number of nice models, and I can build any steam loco I want for under $200 (and that's still higher that I like)

I was bitten by the narrow gauge bug early in life, and have dabbled in HOn3, On30, and now Fn3. The problem with all of them have been the lack of commercial support at a price I could afford, which is what finally drove me to join the masses for the most popular scale/gauge combination in North America. I'll still play around in the other scales, but I doubt I'll ever build a nice garden railroad like some of the folks here - I just don't have the money!

I suppose that 1:20.3 will live on, but it seems to be more of a rich man's scale these days. Live steam looks a lot more appealing when it's only 50% more expensive than electric, and you can avoid the wiring and electronics issues altogether.
 

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I feel I'm pretty novice still with garden railroading in general. I've had my little loop of track for about 3 1/2 years. The hgh cost of having 1.20.3 gear has definitely slowed me down. When I first built my Redwood Creek and Tallulah Ridge RR the cost of a 5' piece of Aristo track was about $15 new. Now it's just under $50. I just picked up a bunch of used track for about $3.20 a foot which I feel was an awesome deal but still hit the pocket book.

I guess my point is that with the higher prices folks like us will need to be more resourcefull in finding good deals. I'm no pro at model building and the idea of kitbashing or building from scratch a building or an engine freaks me out...but isn't that how a lot of narrow guage lines survived?? By being resourceful with the materials they had?

So I will continue on with this guage and try to keep my 4 1/2 year old from coming unglued at the the thought that the trestle can't be built in a day.

Richard
 

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Higher prices just keep the riff raff out. 1:20 is mostly live steam any way and they will keep buying regardless of the price increases.
 

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What is not going up in price today. Food, gas, clothing etc.... have all gone up. The economy is not great so its hard to say where the large scale hobby will go. We have to wait for the economy to get better. I think when it does get better people will buy again. I am new to large scale and yes the prices scared me. I had to find a way to make it work.
Large scale can be done but you have to be willing to compromise. If 1:20 scale stuff are too expensive then go down to 1:22-1:24 scale. You can get HLW flats and gondolas for around $20 each. Bachmann Big Hauler cars are not too bad in price. Add some metal wheels, paint and you got a decent looking train. Look at my RR and what I have done on limited budget. Overall I have not spent that much on my RR. The biggest cost for me is the track. Thats why I dont have a hudge RR.
 

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Posted By jfrank on 13 Jun 2011 07:48 AM
Higher prices just keep the riff raff out.
Guess I'm part of the riff-raff then.

1:20 is mostly live steam any way and they will keep buying regardless of the price increases.
I'd love to know the ratio of electric to live steam in 1:20.3. Somehow I suspect the electric modelers are more numerous than you claim.
 

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John:

I'm surprised by your statement that most of us in 1:20.3 are live steamers. This may be true in south Texas, but the railroads that I have visited, Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia that run 1:20.3 are mostly electric. I know several live steamers and they run both live steam and electric. I don't know the numbers made of each, but Bachmann, in its Spectrum line (1:20.3), has made logging engines (Shay, Climax and Heisler) and rod engines ( Connie and K-27). Of these, most if not all sold out. Accucraft has a line of electric powered engines as well as steam powers ones. Their electrically powered engines seem to sell out.


There have been many more electrically powered 1:20.3 engines on the market in the last 10 years than live steam ones. That suggests to me that there is a large 1:20.3 market out there for electric engines. That market may be smaller now because of the economy, but over the long haul, electric 1:20.3 engines will continue to out number Live Steam powered ones. Both in numbers and styles.


Chuck



PS, Perhaps you could start a poll in the "Poll Forum" asking " If you run 1:20.3, do you power it by electrons, steam, or both?"
 

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Posted By DKRickman on 13 Jun 2011 08:29 AM
Posted By jfrank on 13 Jun 2011 07:48 AM
Higher prices just keep the riff raff out.
Guess I'm part of the riff-raff then.

1:20 is mostly live steam any way and they will keep buying regardless of the price increases.
I'd love to know the ratio of electric to live steam in 1:20.3. Somehow I suspect the electric modelers are more numerous than you claim.

Ken if your Riff that makes me Raff


I think that ratio is at least 20 to 1, theres way way more stuff for sparkies than for steamies, Accucraft production runs rarely surpass 1000 units per run (if that), while Bachmann has pumped out how many plastic Connies?

The real danger, and this is something I have spoken of in the past, is that Bachmann will eventually reduce offering in the increasingly less profitable LS market and redirect those resources to more profitable areas like HO, On30 and O 3 rail. Thats the real danger, and if the trend to catering to the "wider is better" crowd continues, which limits the approachability of the hobby both spacially and economicly, then the available pool of purchasers will continue to diminish, prices are already being pushed to levels that have crowded out most regular folks and those with limited yard space are continually pounded with the manta that you cant really be serious unless you have room for 20 foot diameter curves, which is of course incorrect, but thats the drum beat in the hobby these days even with the enormous economic beating the scale has taken these last couple years, so is it any wonder sales are down, production cut and prices skyrocketing?

I have to admit if when I started I KNEW I would be limited to indoor, I would probably be doing On30. I have been monkeying around with old O Marx trains and have found them fun to mess with, but niether are anywhere near as much fun to model kitbash in than LS which is why I'm still active today, but I'm just mashing what I already own as its simply getting too pricey to carve up a new engine. When the economy went south I fully expected to see a return to the smaller layouts I remember when I started, 10' by 20' not 100' by 200', but instead what I have seen is that most newbies are just plain scared off, opting for O On30 or HO, leaving only a smaller longer established deeper pocket crowd that have been around long enough to already have the larger wider layouts ready to accept the larger wider, but fewer new, offerings out on the market these days.

I think there is a good reason Bachmann this year is reoffering the Lyn and the Indy, I think they musta lost their shirts on the 3 truck Shay, the Mallet and the K, they sold sure, but I'm absolutly sure given the discount prices they were offered at their profit margins were no where near what they projected, also given all the QC problems with everything else in the LS lineup, that they've been taking it in the pants financially with returns and repairs, so they may be looking to get back to simpler items that hopefully are much more reliable and will also bring back some of those newbies who may have room for that 10' x20' layout but are currently being scared off by the "wider is better" drum beaters. If they have smaller engines for smaller layouts hopefully they will take the plunge and build that smaller more affordable layout.
 

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Posted By vsmith on 13 Jun 2011 09:08 AM
Posted By DKRickman on 13 Jun 2011 08:29 AM
Posted By jfrank on 13 Jun 2011 07:48 AM
Higher prices just keep the riff raff out.
Guess I'm part of the riff-raff then.

1:20 is mostly live steam any way and they will keep buying regardless of the price increases.
I'd love to know the ratio of electric to live steam in 1:20.3. Somehow I suspect the electric modelers are more numerous than you claim.

Ken if your Riff that makes me Raff


I think that ratio is at least 20 to 1, theres way way more stuff for sparkies than for steamies, Accucraft production runs rarely surpass 1000 units per run (if that), while Bachmann has pumped out how many plastic Connies?

The real danger, and this is something I have spoken of in the past, is that Bachmann will eventually reduce offering in the increasingly less profitable LS market and redirect those resources to more profitable areas like HO, On30 and O 3 rail. Thats the real danger, and if the trend to catering to the "wider is better" crowd continues, which limits the approachability of the hobby both spacially and economicly, then the available pool of purchasers will continue to diminish, prices are already being pushed to levels that have crowded out most regular folks and those with limited yard space are continually pounded with the manta that you cant really be serious unless you have room for 20 foot diameter curves, which is of course incorrect, but thats the drum beat in the hobby these days even with the enormous economic beating the scale has taken these last couple years, so is it any wonder sales are down, production cut and prices skyrocketing?

I have to admit if when I started I KNEW I would be limited to indoor, I would probably be doing On30. I have been monkeying around with old O Marx trains and have found them fun to mess with, but niether are anywhere near as much fun to model kitbash in than LS which is why I'm still active today, but I'm just mashing what I already own as its simply getting too pricey to carve up a new engine. When the economy went south I fully expected to see a return to the smaller layouts I remember when I started, 10' by 20' not 100' by 200', but instead what I have seen is that most newbies are just plain scared off, opting for O On30 or HO, leaving only a smaller longer established deeper pocket crowd that have been around long enough to already have the larger wider layouts ready to accept the larger wider, but fewer new, offerings out on the market these days.

I think there is a good reason Bachmann this year is reoffering the Lyn and the Indy, I think they musta lost their shirts on the 3 truck Shay, the Mallet and the K, they sold sure, but I'm absolutly sure given the discount prices they were offered at their profit margins were no where near what they projected, also given all the QC problems with everything else in the LS lineup, that they've been taking it in the pants financially with returns and repairs, so they may be looking to get back to simpler items that hopefully are much more reliable and will also bring back some of those newbies who may have room for that 10' x20' layout but are currently being scared off by the "wider is better" drum beaters. If they have smaller engines for smaller layouts hopefully they will take the plunge and build that smaller more affordable layout.
I agree with you Vic. When I started 3-4 years ago I had never seen a layout in person. I just built my RR with what I could afford. Once I started seeing garden layouts I was blown away by the size and amount of track. I always hear before you start building visit some layouts. In my case im glad I did not. I think it could have scared me away. I think there is a lot more charm in a small layout.

I think it is great bachmann came out with the indy and Lyn. They are much more affordable. When they came out with the forney and others I thought great I will never be able to afford an engine. Hopefully the new 10 wheelers will also be affrdable, especially since it is popular.
 

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Even in the electrics, Accucraft locomotives are high end models made of brass and stainless steel and are quite expensivel. Backman only makes a couple of decent 1:20 locos and one of those is the K27 which is pretty high priced. So if you are in this scale you have already spent a ton of money. I don't like higher prices either, but it's all relative. And if you look around and do some searches on ebay and the internet you can still find good prices. Just kidding about the riff raff guys. Can't you take a joke?


I have some of the Spectrum cars and they are cheaply made compared to Accucraft and they shed parts like a molting cat. I have an order in to Bachman right now for some replacement parts. I try to glue them back on as they fall off but some times I just can't find them. Accucraft cars on the other hand are built like tanks. They rarely break or come up with a part missing. You get with you pay for.

If you truly can't afford this scale, how can you afford anything in the garden railroad scales? It is all expensive and getting more so. But hey, you guys voted for the government we have now so live with it. Expect it to just get worse as the dollar falls in value and the countries debt load increases. The problem is the US is flat broke, we don't make anything here any more and all the jobs have gone to China. I have mine so I could care less. It can all go to H in a hand basket as far as I am concerned. I am retired and all my shelves are full and I have no room for anymore trains anyway. lol.
 

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John I dont have a problem... but Riff might LOL

Prices started spiralling upward back under the last administration, it started right after LGB did the Big Hindenburg and the average Chinese worker realized "I'm making how little???", Aristo track price doubled and things across the board started going up. The sad truth is that the US was flat broke before Obama took over, and may be flat broke for years regardless of whos in the Big Office. I'm like you John, I have more stuff than I can use, but I am still a LS Booster and encourage those where I can to give it a whirl.
 

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> Higher prices just keep the riff raff out.


Wasn't Riff Raff one of UnderDog's super-villain adversaries?


Best,
TJ
 

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Posted By tj-lee on 13 Jun 2011 01:22 PM
> Higher prices just keep the riff raff out.


Wasn't Riff Raff one of UnderDog's super-villain adversaries?


Best,
TJ




Yep
 
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