Jump to content

Too poor to have an opinion?


lasermonkey
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would think  that the future of our  hobby may well not be jeopardised by the increasing price of kits but by the cost per square  metre of display space, be that hanging from the ceiling or in display cabinets .

House builders are increasingly constructing smaller housing . I guess there are many members of our forum who have large stashes of kits who can't afford the space to display the finished model .

If you live in rented accommodation the problems of moving your completed kits at short notice must be a pain.

Just  remembered that any spare bedroom doesn't become available because the kids can't afford to leave  home .

OMG if your lucky enough to have a stash and no loft !!

On a positive note 1:144 scale can solve  some problems.

 

Alistair

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too was raised in the 60's on Airfix/Matchbox/Revell kits that were pocket money kits,and I sometimes despair at the cost of some of todays kits,its not attracting younger,less well off younger modellers.Various reasons for high prices,but like a previous poster stated,ZM moulding engine cylinders that cannot be seen,why, because its there,is it one-up-man-ship?I have noticed recently too,especially for the more expensive kits,and other products too,the possibility on offer by retailers,of spreading the cost over several payments,perhaps a sign that the manufacturers of goods have realized that the cost of living has gone up and that people have other priorities instead of what I class today as a luxury pastime.

 

Dave.

 

(I had my patience tested...........I'm negative!)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll hold up my hand and give my tuppence worth as i have commented on prices.  Now i have worked in manufacturing for a number of years so am more than aware of prices rises and other increased costs.

 

I am very fortunate in the rest i am in full time employ so earning a steady wage.  Yes i used to also enjoy going to the footie supporting my team (only away games, home ground is a tad too far!) which of course wasn't cheap as otjers have mentioned.  However as no doubt is the case with others being a responsible adult has meant that i have gained the commitments of running a house  putting food on the table, clothing kids etc.  This of course has meant being more frugle/sensible with what cash i do have again as will be the case will may others.

 

My grumble is that yes i don't have to buy model kits agreed but this is my pass time/hobby which rapidly seems to be out pricing my budget sadly.  I think what is odd/confusing is looking around and seeing Revell's Shackleton's for example retailing round the £40 mark whilst a look on Airfix's site theirs is £54!  I use this example as both are new "state of the art detailed" toolings and of course would have incurred the same investment researching, tooling etc so why the 35% difference, are Revell doing something better than Airfix??  Another example is Revell's 1:48 Tornado's, again these are new tools and retail in the £35-40 region, however the Airfix Bucc is projected at £65-73 mark almost double the Tornado kits price for a similar sized kit.

 

Whilst the kits i mention above show there are still some reasonable prices these are becoming fewer and further between.  Again as i've said before i want to see Airfix/Hornby succeed however if things continue i fear a reduction in "fresh blood" to the hobby and as a result its decline

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, 3DStewart said:

 

I don't think so.  According to the BofE inflation calculator £2.75 in 1973 is £35 today.  23p is £2.85.  The costs of kits have significantly outstripped general inflation.

 

The BofE calculator is rubbish as it’s based on retail prices, which due to farming and manufacturing and off -shoring have gone down relatively.  It may also be a tool to demonstrate “you’ve never had it so good”.  This CPI/RPI fallacy is why most relative prices in history books seem ludicrously wrong.
Comparing pocket money one should really compare affordability I.e. proportion of wage income, this website is very clear to use, based on the average wage option https://www.measuringworth.com/

 .  So 1973’s 23p affordability is the equivalent of around £4.26, nearly double retail inflation, but admittedly well  less than budget range kits nowadays.

The website is instructive; try reviewing the relative price of the 1936 Spitfire prototype at £15,000 (per Alfred Price books) to today using the various indices for retail vs government projects etc!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok ... I'll bite.

 

I'm very lucky . I'm retired and don't have any real money worries. Modelling is my only real hobby , that and travelling. Mrs. Jenko does the accounts. What's mine is hers, what's hers is her own. :crying::analintruder:

I do remember the days when we were living hand to mouth and also being from originally Yorkshire as the say "know the meaning of money".  Some things just get stuck in your DNA.

I am able to spend what I like on the hobby and during lockdown did stock up a great deal. As we were not able to travel, money was spent on modelling.

 

What I have noticed is that everything seems to have shot up. Just look at the price of a basic meal out for example. Over the past 2 years gone up the best part of 25%. So too has our hobby.  Yes I remember the 2 bob kits at Woolies as a nipper. But times have changed. So have our expectations. In my head if I take a £100 kit compared to a £20 kit will I get 5 times the satisfaction? Will it take 5 times longer to make?  Do you take more time and care over it as it is more expensive? 

 

For me the answer is yes on all accounts. I do do Tamiya 1/32 and the odd Airfix 1/24 (all big money kits). I have started doing ZM Phantoms, expensive yes. but not a weekend knock out. ( I should say these kits are luxury purchases for me. But during lockdown they kept my spirits up, so to me worth it.)  👍

 

At the end of the day we all cut our cloth accordingly. If you have saved up all year for that special kit you will apricate it more than if you can go out and buy half of Hannants.  

 

This is a rich and varied hobby lets all go out and embrace it. What some modellers can do with even the most awful  kit  (Smer Walrus for example) is to be fully applauded. While some of us just like "slap" it all together. :whistle:

 

Cheap does not equate to rubbish. Like wise some very expensive kits leave a lot to be desired.  Bargains can still be had .... they just are a bit harder to find.

 

Dick

Edited by jenko
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Tijuana Taxi said:

Its all relative though, i've just drunk two bottles of beer that cost pennies shy of four quid.

Footie match at the lowly league two team I support costs about 22 quid for 90 minutes entertainment (if i'm lucky)

That's without the costs getting there and back plus other incidentals.

 

In that light a model kit is actually quite good value when you consider the time and fun factor.

 

I do get that but, with all due respect, I think that sort of argument is largely irrelevant.

Where it comes to our hobby,I would suggest that the only relative cost that matters is the cost of the model relative to our income and, other expenditures, most of which will be necessary.

Basically (and, I can obviously only speak for myself),  I couldn't care less about the cost of a football match or a bottle of beer  etc when I walk into Wonderland Models. All that matters is the price that confronts me!

Mind you, I almost needed a beer after seeing the new Airfix prices!!

 

I don't actually see a day where I can no longer afford to buy ANY kits but, if we assume for a moment that the recent price comments were directed at Airfix, then what I can say is that they have just about priced themselves out of my reach. So, I will now take my business elsewhere and, seek cheaper alternatives. I am cutting my cloth accordingly! 😉😂.

Your point about other interests is certainly valid though!

I now spend a lot more  time travelling between Edinburgh, Glasgow and , Prestwick airports for purposes of aircraft photography.

It actually costs me next to nothing because I get free bus travel throughout Scotland! One of the(few)  advantages of passing the age if 60!

Swings and roundabouts eh!? 😊

 

John

 

Ps -  £2 for a bottle of beer!!😳😲!   Mayhap you need to shop elsewhere.....! 😉😂🍻

Edited by Beermonster1958
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no doubt that we are unfortunately going through an era when salaries grow less than prices and this a serious problem regardless of where we stand regarding the hobby. Hard to tell when this will change! So yes, I feel that worrying about the rising cost of kits is fully justified and I do hope that the sudden price increases we're seeing all across the board are just the result of a temporary situation, with things going back to normal after the global will stabilize at the end of the covid emergency.

 

Said that,  there are good reasons to worry but some complaints are IMHO not justified: yes ZM makes expensive kits with a lot of details that can't be seen. So what? Are ZM the only company doing 1/48 kits? They are not, if they want to offer kits at the high end of the market it's their choice, if I can afford them fine, if not I buy something from someone else.

We are not in the age of £20+ 1/72 single engine ww2 aircraft kits, we are in an age where some high end kits of single engine ww2 fighters cost over £20, that does not mean that every kit of these subjects cost as much. What has happened is that over the last 10/15 years we've seen a large number of new companies entering the market, several of them with very high quality, and accordingly expensive, kits. This does not nean that there aren't cheaper options around..

Last week I checked on Hannants how many 1/72 aircraft kits they had for less than £10, I got 12 pages of results at 25 per page. And Hannants isn't exactly the cheapest online shop around. Granted, a tenner will not buy a sophisticated kit or a kit of a large aircraft, but will still buy some pretty good kits.

That is no different from how it was when I started, there were cheap kits and expensive ones, some were easily into pocket money range and others were out of reach for many adults. I'm looking at a 1987 magazine and there are some single engine ww2 fighters in 1/72 selling for £ 7.. not much different from the ones selling today for 20 or 25.

So yes, we have all the rights to worry and complain but the hobby can still be enjoied on the cheap. Unfortunately a number of enthusiasts will struggle to buy certain kits and will have to adapt to cheaper alternatives, that is however always been the case.

 

PS: the rise of prices for preowned kits is a different story, that may sure be worth commenting on but that may well deserve its own thread

Edited by Giorgio N
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Beermonster1958 said:

 

 

Ps -  £2 for a bottle of beer!!😳😲!   Mayhap you need to shop elsewhere.....! 😉😂🍻

 

No thanks, rather keen on good quality German beers especially of the Weiss variety and no interest in drinking cheap muck.

Erdinger and Krombacher are both about £1.90 per 500ml bottle, fairly priced in my opinion. 😀

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Tijuana Taxi said:

 

No thanks, rather keen on good quality German beers especially of the Weiss variety and no interest in drinking cheap muck.

Erdinger and Krombacher are both about £1.90 per 500ml bottle, fairly priced in my opinion. 😀

 

Fair enough!!

I'll stick to my fine variety of Scottish Real Ales though!!. (reaches for bottle of Tomintoul Wildcat... .) 😉😂

 

John

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very valid and pertinent question for sure and Greg has put everything in his reply that I was thinking, but I'll throw in what I feel, I do have a job yes, but very poorly paid and have a mortgage, bills like we all do and there are limits to what I'd pay for kits, £100 is pushing it whatever it is but is the whole hobby being pushed upwards in detail/expectations regardless of price? Giorgio has also made very valid points on you don't have to buy the ZM kits and that there are still plenty of cheap equivalent subject kits but I fear that the expectation's and comments of buyers/builders has influenced many manufacturers? The fascinating thought is if ZM carries on or folds may well answer that 🤔

 

Is it the case like in many aspects of life where it would appear on the face of it the "louder" minority is listened to because they want the extra detail or interiors? Is it the fashion now to have "super" kits as a normal where manufacturers are risking being left behind if they don't do some mega kit with the associated cost? 

 

Is it even brand snobbery going on? We all know Airfix has never been a premium brand and provided they have a premium product there's no reason why they can't move up, just as Skoda did but they still had the reputation (which wasn't deserved either) around their neck. Maybe Airfix has come of age in this particular example. As a aside speaking of Airfix I wonder how the reaction would be if they had the text "Designed and made in the UK"? Wonder how much of an increase it would be if this happened.

 

Anyway, a very interesting and important thread has been brought up👍 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In simpler days of yore my friends and I had a rule of thumb regarding kits' prices: price divided by wingspan. 😜

 

While not scientific by any rule I learned at the Uni it was still useful when deciding if a kit was really worth its asking price.

 

Then when really complex kits began appearing regularly we applied a new formula including number of parts - and later even weight of the plastic 🤪

So we have an expression around here: "you get a lot of plastic for the price" 🥰 or conversely "not much plastic for THAT price" 🤨

 

I personally have my own metric - price divided by number of modelling hours (realistically) necessary for completion of said kit

Since I love to add detail to simpler kits and it usually involves scratchbuilding means that cheaper simpler kits give me more value for money.

So my ideal kit is a FROG with correct shapes AND lots of plastic card 🤣

 

Seriously - the value for price of a 1/72 long-run injection molded single seat fighter at £33 is a nonstarter.

 

Cheers, Moggy (deep sympathy for the underendowed modeller)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I'm definitely no fan of Airfix, I think that it remains a valuable brand which serves a vital part of the market. The existence of this thread is an example of why that matters. However, I'm not confident that it will continue to be relevant when its current core fanbase is no longer around. A couple of younger relatives have expressed some interest in my hobby with a caveat that they can't see anything which is designed for them. Spitfires and panzers are unknown to them; game and film franchises are what they love. If they are at all representative of a potential future of modelling, Hornby seems not to have noticed yet.

 

The question of detail or not, expensive or not, is not a black-and-white case of either/or. For now at least, there is enough room in this market for all approaches. I think that it's wrong (and arguably unfair) to conflate a demand for more detail with an over all rise in prices; see the many other reasons already discussed. It's also falsified by examples of good value yet detailed kits and expensive yet comparatively simplistic kits. The reasons for their different prices must be things other than mere detail.

 

Detail is, of course, relevant to value judgements. I try to assume good faith when looking at an expensive but not especially detailed kit -- perhaps it is sophisticated in other ways -- but I admit to having a more charitable view of a high price if there is tangibly a lot of detail packed into a big box. I'm influenced by those manufacturers which are not necessarily the cheapest, but always offer a lot of kit for a sensible price.

Edited by Ade H
typo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

TBH, we all see the prices of everyday stuff going up while our income remains rather static, so therefore one has to cut one`s cloth to one`s budget.

We should feel fortunate enough that this hobby is one of the most cost effective ways of amusing oneself in comparison with other things in life.

 

I am fortunate to have a reasonable stash to go to, but again I purchased kits when they were a good price (mainly deals at Modelzone) when they were going.

 

Modelling is about have fun and enjoying yourself and not bleating on about the price of the latest offerings.

 

Simon. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Dogtail2 said:

How to beat inflation........Buy inflation beating assets.🙂

I'm sure most will be able to work out the year this ad was placed.

51823411330_e74159ce6f_o.jpg

 

Need to put that into perspective though, the brand new 3 bedroom semi my parents bought in 1967 cost £2,350.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a kid spending practically every Saturday wandering up and down the shelves in Beatties in Liverpool, I could probably tell you the price of every item in there, especially the Tamiya kits I longingly wished for but could never afford or more likely justify spending that much when Airfix and Matchbox where so much cheaper

 

This is where my brand fandom spurns from obviously, but although I am in a more comfortable position financially, I still limit the costs of the kits I buy, not so much as being able to afford them,  but their 'value' to me. In my opinion my skills just don't warrant the £99 Tamiya Phantom (launch price - more of that in a minute), and I don't feel I can do justice to a kit of that price so it will be a waste of money

 

So that leaves me in a position of buying kits where I will enjoy the build in relation to how many hours I will spend on it and if (probably when) I make a mistake, and  I am not too angry at wasting the money I had spent

 

Will I buy that £99 Phantom? possibly, its now down in the £70 range if you look around, so I may feel that I can do it justice sometime in the future. In the meantime I picked up the Airfix 1:72 Phantom when it popped up for £17 recently - more akin to my skill level

 

And this is another pertinent point, the prices quoted by Airfix are there RRP, just like the £99 from Tamiya - the prices from the independents fell quite quickly after launch to something more reasonable - we will undoubtedly see this I am sure

 

Personally, I really feel for the OP and others who need to watch the purse strings, I have been there myself and will probably be back there once I retire myself, but I am sure that there will always be price reductions and sales to pick up kits to keep my interest in the hobby alive. My fear is that as I get better and want those 'better' kits. they will be out of my reach also and the lower end of the market will have followed in the same suit

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/15/2022 at 6:36 PM, 3DStewart said:

I'm in full time employment and fortunate to be earning what most people would regarded as a good salary, but I find the prices of kits, especially most new kits too high for me to justify.  It's not that I absolutely can't afford them, it's more that there are other people in my life (wife and children) who are also entitled to a fair share of the family's disposable income.

The prices of Airfix's new tool kits are just astonishing.  Time was when plastic modelling was a cheap pastime and accessible to all.  Now it's not and I don't like it.  I especially don't like the way that kits are getting more expensive in real terms.  That's not supposed to happen. The nature of all manufactured products is that they tend to get cheaper in time as people keep on improving the productivity of production.  So what's going on here?  I would say that kits are being made too complicated, with too many parts, too much detail and too many options.  Leave the complication and detailing to aftermarket/modeller and concentrate and producing simpler kits in larger quantities so the unit costs go down.

 

Airfix, Hasegawa, Tamiya....

Well said, that man. You've managed to summarise in two succinct paragraphs my view precisely, which I used far more words to express rather long-windedly in another thread. I'm also fortunate to be able to afford things that many others can't, but I often choose not to (especially with regard to boxed plastic) so that my family are well catered for. The football match ticket analogy mentioned by @Tijuana Taxi is a fair point, though, and if you consider the proportion of their income that some people pay for replica football shirts, or even concert merchandise - wow! 

 

@lasermonkey, I totally 'get it'. Unfortunately I don't think I have a solution, though.

 

Jon

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its always hard to tell with a product what exactly the chosen RRP represents. It is easy to say that research, production and/or shipping costs are the main inflationary factor - but projected sales are in most cases the biggest determining factor and I would opine that in many cases these are lower than we would expect because, although our hobby is definitely in a boom period, there is huge competition and the ultra-specialist nature of many kits these days limits their appeal to very dedicated modellers.

 

By this I mean, even kits like the 1/24 Spitfire which are of mainstream topics, regardless of price, are well outside the storage capacity and ability of many modellers (myself definitely included) and particularly the casual enthusiast. Similarly the increasingly obscure topics beloved by experienced modellers, but completely unknown to the general public serve to greatly limit sales potential. Therefore kits have to be priced to cover their expenses, even with few projected sales.

 

I really doubt any model firms could be accused of making excessive profits! Returns in the sector as a whole are limited and we all saw what happened when fan favourite WNW tried to keep prices down and simply couldn't cover their running.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that plastic kit prices are getting expensive. I dont know the cost break down but the plastic is more expensive, the cost of mold manufacture is lower thanks to CADCAM, the number of active modellers is lower and the cost of shipping has increased. Meanwhile the price and cost of 3d printing is reducing and their resolution and size are increasing. There will be a point at which wholesale model manufacture will no longer be viable and there are still more model manufacturers. 

 

.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is telling how many model firms are owned and run by modellers. Ditto model shops too.

 

A lot of what we enjoy in the hobby comes from other people's love of the hobby and not from commercial investments.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the moment prices are high. China virus and other factors are pushing up the price, but they will come down again. Talking to a mate at cricket, importing a shipping container use to cost their company about $6000, it's now at about $22,000 due to the current global shortage of containers. 

 

I do remember about 15 years ago prices skyrocketed, the Special Hobby Malta Spitfire sticks in my mind. It use to retail out here for $170, but these days can be found for about $40.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Brad said:

importing a shipping container use to cost their company about $6000, it's now at about $22,000 due to the current global shortage of containers.

Strewth that's unbelievable...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Modelling has changed so much over the years.

 

Back in the day of 2/- Airfix models etc the plastic model world was dominated and designed for children (the level I'm still at!)

 

I never really looked at models until recent years when like many I went back to an enjoyable childhood passion. I joined up here and was amazed by the fact that people buy a model, get every upgraded resin part for and chuck away the original decals for replacements.

 

Many of the modern kits are really high quality and of course high prices to go with it. Although I can afford it I baulk at any kit that is more than around 25 quid simply because my skills won't do a really fancy kit justice, so I'm stuck in the 1960's!

 

However a great deal of fun can be had with these old kits and some with the skills but perhaps not the wherewithal to spend large amounts on kits can still have a great deal of enjoyment without spending large amounts.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 16/01/2022 at 07:56, Mottlemaster said:

I would think  that the future of our  hobby may well not be jeopardised by the increasing price of kits but by the cost per square  metre of display space, be that hanging from the ceiling or in display cabinets .

 

Additionally, I'm unconvinced cost is much of a factor pushing new generations from modelling.

 

The pull of a PS5 seems to be much more influential, and that's not cheap.

 

Edit: I've had another thought as well, I sell about a quarter of my built models and I usually sell them at around £25 profit. Perhaps this could be an option for those who find the hobby is becoming less affordable. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the hobby is still relatively cheap if one doesn't always go for the ultimate, all bells and whistles Tamiya, look at it hard and it's built type of kit.

Here's a summary of my last 4 completed plastic kits and their cost, not including finishing materials.  All of the finished models posted on this site since August.

 

Academy 1/48 Spitfire XIV   £ 14    

ICM 1/48  Bf109F                 £ 13.99

ICM 1/48 Spitfire IX             £ 11.25

Airfix 1/48 Bf109E               £ 14         (one half of a Dogfight Double purchased at £28. The other half work in progress).

 

Total                                  £ 53.24p

 

Given the time pleasantly occupied, I'd say it was pretty good value.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...