Plastic Injection Moulding in Australia

 
  rgmccau Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra
Just throwing my oar in to the mix (note I'm talking about diesels/modern, sorry don't have any steam).

My issue is simply with the overall "over the counter" price. Yes, it's nice to have super detail, and lots of different liveries and numbers, and opening doors or multiple working lights, but I think we'd be better served by having a basic model "shell" , with correct proportions/measurements and a simple/consistent livery & number (or unnumbered/unpainted - I have 2 Austrains 80 class now numbered 80s2 and 8013) and the basic detail (handrails...hmmm, not sure if moulded is better than none). Note by "shell" i don't mean literally a body-only kit, but rather somehing that can be put straight on the track as a "model" - in the style of the Austrains Basics - or even a "kit" like an Athearn Blue Box. This way the modeller has the ability to ADD whatever they wants to make it better - handrails, different body parts, new paint scheme, etc etc. The same applies to rolling stock.

Personally although it would be nice to have lots of $s, I find it difficult to afford (justify to higher authority) $300+ on a loco (especially if you want more than one!), and the $'s can be better spent on other/smaller things.

However my one provisio is that a good mechanism is an absolute must (No more pancake motors please!). The principle of solid metal chassis, flywheel(s) and multi-wheel pickups is an absolute necessity, and I don't think it has to be a totally all singing, all dancing mech - the old Athearn blue box system may not have been the best in the world, but it worked and was far better than many of it's contemporaries (especially if the direct contact "wiring" had been fixed), and it gave the basis for anyone who really wanted to upgrade/refine a good starting point. DCC compatible? Yes probably, but not critical - as long as the wires are accessible! And REAL Kadee's a must.

Ross McConchie
Canberra

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  a6et Minister for Railways

Just throwing my oar in to the mix (note I'm talking about diesels/modern, sorry don't have any steam).

My issue is simply with the overall "over the counter" price. Yes, it's nice to have super detail, and lots of different liveries and numbers, and opening doors or multiple working lights, but I think we'd be better served by having a basic model "shell" , with correct proportions/measurements and a simple/consistent livery & number (or unnumbered/unpainted - I have 2 Austrains 80 class now numbered 80s2 and 8013) and the basic detail (handrails...hmmm, not sure if moulded is better than none). Note by "shell" i don't mean literally a body-only kit, but rather somehing that can be put straight on the track as a "model" - in the style of the Austrains Basics - or even a "kit" like an Athearn Blue Box. This way the modeller has the ability to ADD whatever they wants to make it better - handrails, different body parts, new paint scheme, etc etc. The same applies to rolling stock.

Personally although it would be nice to have lots of $s, I find it difficult to afford (justify to higher authority) $300+ on a loco (especially if you want more than one!), and the $'s can be better spent on other/smaller things.

However my one provisio is that a good mechanism is an absolute must (No more pancake motors please!). The principle of solid metal chassis, flywheel(s) and multi-wheel pickups is an absolute necessity, and I don't think it has to be a totally all singing, all dancing mech - the old Athearn blue box system may not have been the best in the world, but it worked and was far better than many of it's contemporaries (especially if the direct contact "wiring" had been fixed), and it gave the basis for anyone who really wanted to upgrade/refine a good starting point. DCC compatible? Yes probably, but not critical - as long as the wires are accessible! And REAL Kadee's a must.

Ross McConchie
Canberra
rgmccau

Ross

The position you put is quite an understandable one but has been presented & discussed for some time over multiple threads in the past.  That said, I do have sympathy for the position though, I also believe that while on one hand the prices seem over the top but on the other hand, coming from an earlier time when to buy an Australian model loco was not far off a full weeks wage, & with brass even in the early days, rated at around a months wages, at least on what I was earning when I got a 2nd run dockyard 38cl. Today, most of the plastic RTR models have a better representation than those old models but they also cost a bit less than the minimum full time wage.

Talk to the current Oz importers, & unless things have changed over the past couple of years, you wont get much of a saving on a shake the box model over one fully assembled owing to having to have the same assembly line workers pack the bits & box them as they would be otherwise putting them together.

We all have our specific desires but are they all really able to make it better for the overall majority?
  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Just throwing my oar in to the mix (note I'm talking about diesels/modern, sorry don't have any steam).

My issue is simply with the overall "over the counter" price. Yes, it's nice to have super detail, and lots of different liveries and numbers, and opening doors or multiple working lights, but I think we'd be better served by having a basic model "shell" , with correct proportions/measurements and a simple/consistent livery & number (or unnumbered/unpainted - I have 2 Austrains 80 class now numbered 80s2 and 8013) and the basic detail (handrails...hmmm, not sure if moulded is better than none). Note by "shell" i don't mean literally a body-only kit, but rather somehing that can be put straight on the track as a "model" - in the style of the Austrains Basics - or even a "kit" like an Athearn Blue Box. This way the modeller has the ability to ADD whatever they wants to make it better - handrails, different body parts, new paint scheme, etc etc. The same applies to rolling stock.

Personally although it would be nice to have lots of $s, I find it difficult to afford (justify to higher authority) $300+ on a loco (especially if you want more than one!), and the $'s can be better spent on other/smaller things.

However my one provisio is that a good mechanism is an absolute must (No more pancake motors please!). The principle of solid metal chassis, flywheel(s) and multi-wheel pickups is an absolute necessity, and I don't think it has to be a totally all singing, all dancing mech - the old Athearn blue box system may not have been the best in the world, but it worked and was far better than many of it's contemporaries (especially if the direct contact "wiring" had been fixed), and it gave the basis for anyone who really wanted to upgrade/refine a good starting point. DCC compatible? Yes probably, but not critical - as long as the wires are accessible! And REAL Kadee's a must.

Ross McConchie
Canberra
rgmccau

The famous Athearn 'Blue Box' wasn't anything much to do with giving an owner the choice of how much detail to add. More to do with the fact that for the US home market, there was a significant tax difference between a 'kit' and a complete 'toy'. So Athearn and others took advantage of this fact, to just put the parts in an envelope & saved the money of employing staff to fit the parts. So it was a double saving for the purchaser.
But since very little is made in the USA anymore, the savings difference isn't there, so its 100% assembled.

I believe that Tri-ang Hornby lost money on their CKD 'kits' as they had too many complaints from customers who couldn't assemble very basic kits, or lost parts.
At least with a factory, you can train the labour, to do the job properly, most of the time.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Not happening, the green and gold kangaroo-in-a-triangle is all but dead in the 21st century. If you want an Australian-designed-and-made plastic model, it would probably cost almost the same as a brass one these days.

It would help though if manufacturers stopped with the limited/rare BS though, it only encourages people to buy excess unwanted stock in order to sell for immense profit after the original stock has been exhausted (just like the recent AFL Essendon/Collingwood ticket scalping in fact). It's all too easy for someone to buy in bulk, wait for the stock to run out and then flog everything off on fleaBay one by one for massive profit. What is stopping someone, for example, pre-ordering the entire fleet of 200 "limited edition" $250 locos for $50 grand then selling them for $399.99 each six months later?
  kingfisher Chief Train Controller

What is stopping someone, for example, pre-ordering the entire fleet of 200 "limited edition" $250 locos for $50 grand then selling them for $399.99 each six months later?
Heihachi_73

I don't for one moment believe any of the importers would allow one single person to order the entire production run of a particular model.
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

But what if they did? One quick, straight forward transaction to fund their outlay and a pre-determined profit margin allowing them to move on to THEIR next project without any regard of the secondary marketplace

Devils advocate perhaps...
  kingfisher Chief Train Controller

But what if they did? One quick, straight forward transaction to fund their outlay and a pre-determined profit margin allowing them to move on to THEIR next project without any regard of the secondary marketplace

Devils advocate perhaps...
gw0071

It would be  more than their reputation is worth, you can't seriously believe it could happen.
  Lambing Flat Chief Train Controller

Location: My preference....... Central West NSW, circa 1955....
This thread reminds me of the old joke... "you can have any two of the following... fast, cheap or good!"

Though in the case of Australian commercial products it would be 'cheap, good or long lived' from which to choose your preferred two...

I don't know why so many seem unable to grasp basic economics, that if you want something *YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT*. Whining that the models that are brought in are too expensive, don't have spares, don't come exactly when you expect etc, when you are extremely reluctant to pay a reasonable price (especially those pining for 'Australian made' items) make me shake my head in wonderment that so many managed to absorb nothing from their basic economics classes at school.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
This thread reminds me of the old joke... "you can have any two of the following... fast, cheap or good!"

Though in the case of Australian commercial products it would be 'cheap, good or long lived' from which to choose your preferred two...

I don't know why so many seem unable to grasp basic economics, that if you want something *YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT*. Whining that the models that are brought in are too expensive, don't have spares, don't come exactly when you expect etc, when you are extremely reluctant to pay a reasonable price (especially those pining for 'Australian made' items) make me shake my head in wonderment that so many managed to absorb nothing from their basic economics classes at school.
Lambing Flat

I don't think we teach economics in school anymore. Consumers used to stand in front of the TVs were I worked and ask 'Why are there no Australian made TVs anymore?' my standard response was always 'Because you couldn't afford to buy one if it were made in Australia, AND if it were made here to a price you could afford, you wouldn't want to own it'.

In some cases these very same people would complain that Sony's then top model (the HX925 for those playing along) was 'too expensive' - This TV was HAND MADE that is very skilled Japanese dudes in white suits and gloves assembling literally by hand with screw drivers, pliers, soldering irons, etc it's approx $7k price tag for a 46" screen would have been $17k if it could have even been made here...

The 'spare parts' complaints for model locomotives makes me laugh, once again, people may think they need the part, but the fact is they likely won't and when they do the spare motor will cost them $200 in 5 years to buy anyway. Several hundred lumps of $80 laid out today for a bunch of 'spare' motors down the road... In five years time what will today's $80 be worth? I'd be charging $200 for them.

Spare parts are NOT ECONOMICAL because when you are buying a 'part' you're not just paying for the part. You're paying for the part, the time value of the money used to initially buy the part, the space value of the storage, the time value of the storage, the inventory keeping, having the part picked, having it mailed all things that add up to 'I can't be bothered'.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Ah but to sell anything that is a machine in this country I think you will find that they have to have spare parts to fix them. It is law I think that this is so. If you buy a car for instance and they don't offer spare parts if you have a prang in it then you will probably never buy that brand of car again! I think they have to provide spare parts at least for a minimum time or something like that. One of the legal eagles on might know more about it or where to find out anyway. I have not got the time to search the internet to find it!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Ah but to sell anything that is a machine in this country I think you will find that they have to have spare parts to fix them. It is law I think that this is so. If you buy a car for instance and they don't offer spare parts if you have a prang in it then you will probably never buy that brand of car again! I think they have to provide spare parts at least for a minimum time or something like that. One of the legal eagles on might know more about it or where to find out anyway. I have not got the time to search the internet to find it!
David Peters

Hmmm, if you want to pay $17k for a model locomotive I am sure any importer of such will happily warrant the model for 3 years, 100,000 km and supply parts for 10 years...
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
This thread reminds me of the old joke... "you can have any two of the following... fast, cheap or good!"

Though in the case of Australian commercial products it would be 'cheap, good or long lived' from which to choose your preferred two...

I don't know why so many seem unable to grasp basic economics, that if you want something *YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT*. Whining that the models that are brought in are too expensive, don't have spares, don't come exactly when you expect etc, when you are extremely reluctant to pay a reasonable price (especially those pining for 'Australian made' items) make me shake my head in wonderment that so many managed to absorb nothing from their basic economics classes at school.
Lambing Flat

A salesman who used to work for me was always talking about things that were good and cheap.  I told him (more than once) you can have good, or you can have cheap.  The two are mutually exclusive so good and cheap is impossible to find.  If you can't sell at the price that makes money for our company you are not a salesman.

Can't stand people whinging about price.  If the price does not suit, don't buy.  Problem solved.

Best regards,
John
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Hmmm, if you want to pay $17k for a model locomotive I am sure any importer of such will happily warrant the model for 3 years, 100,000 km and supply parts for 10 years...
Aaron

Hmm here you go putting words in peoples mouths again. I was just saying that if you sell something then I thought you were obliged to have spare parts on hand for a certain amount of time. I am not sure what that time is though. If it breaks down and you want it repaired not replaced how are they going to do it. Probably just gut another model for it most likely. Just replacing a model is a bit hard if you have just sold out of them though and the model is still in warranty then you have to fix it.I know I was never advised by any importer that spare parts etc were not available!

Here is the link to the site!
http://www.accc.gov.au/business/treating-customers-fairly/consumers-rights-obligations



This is from the ACCC site and says it all really.
  2LaGrange Train Controller

Hmm here you go putting words in peoples mouths again. I was just saying that if you sell something then I thought you were obliged to have spare parts on hand for a certain amount of time. I am not sure what that time is though. If it breaks down and you want it repaired not replaced how are they going to do it. Probably just gut another model for it most likely. Just replacing a model is a bit hard if you have just sold out of them though and the model is still in warranty then you have to fix it.I know I was never advised by any importer that spare parts etc were not available!

Here is the link to the site!
http://www.accc.gov.au/business/treating-customers-fairly/consumers-rights-obligations



This is from the ACCC site and says it all really.

David Peters

I think your missing the point here and mis-interpreting what is written on the accc website
Australian Model Importers have absoulutley no obligation what so ever to hold spare parts.
What they definatley have an obligation under Consumer Guarantees is to repair,replace or offer a refund under particular circumstances if the goods they supplied are faulty,unsafe,do not work or appear as they should be.
The particular circumstances that most importers find them selves in is that generally they do not have spare parts so they will offer replacement or if the item is sold out  a refund.Which meets the requirements of the Consumer Guarantee.
As others have stated previously many times on these type forums its simply not ECONOMIC to keep spare parts for warranty claims.Cheaper and much less time consuming to just replace loco or refund.
Look at Auscision for example the only spare parts they have available are things like B class bogies and their standard motor that they can SELL as there is a demand for people to purchase these to fit to other brand locos like Lima ect and that's the only reason that spare part is available.
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

Or ask yourself why Auscision sell $150 'as is' loco's at exhibitions

No parts available for repair perhaps?  Or maybe it's just plain uneconomic to allocate labour proportional to the unit cost to produce
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Hmm here you go putting words in peoples mouths again. I was just saying that if you sell something then I thought you were obliged to have spare parts on hand for a certain amount of time. I am not sure what that time is though. If it breaks down and you want it repaired not replaced how are they going to do it. Probably just gut another model for it most likely. Just replacing a model is a bit hard if you have just sold out of them though and the model is still in warranty then you have to fix it.I know I was never advised by any importer that spare parts etc were not available!

Here is the link to the site!
http://www.accc.gov.au/business/treating-customers-fairly/consumers-rights-obligations



This is from the ACCC site and says it all really.

David Peters

You mentioned cars, I am merely making the point that if you want to invest in model railway stuff to the value of a cheap vehicle you will get vehicle after market service. For $200 you'll get an apology and replacement or transaction reversal.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I think your missing the point here and mis-interpreting what is written on the accc website
Australian Model Importers have absoulutley no obligation what so ever to hold spare parts.
What they definatley have an obligation under Consumer Guarantees is to repair,replace or offer a refund under particular circumstances if the goods they supplied are faulty,unsafe,do not work or appear as they should be.
The particular circumstances that most importers find them selves in is that generally they do not have spare parts so they will offer replacement or if the item is sold out a refund.Which meets the requirements of the Consumer Guarantee.
As others have stated previously many times on these type forums its simply not ECONOMIC to keep spare parts for warranty claims.Cheaper and much less time consuming to just replace loco or refund.
Look at Auscision for example the only spare parts they have available are things like B class bogies and their standard motor that they can SELL as there is a demand for people to purchase these to fit to other brand locos like Lima ect and that's the only reason that spare part is available.
2LaGrange

Correct.
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

I happened to watch James May's Toy Story on Airfix, Airfix don't produce spare parts either, what they do is save a few of the complete kits as spares. When a consumer says my kit didn't have part 34, they go into the warehouse and cut part 34 of the kit and send it to them. Not a practical thing for our importers to do with a fully assembled model, but dare I say manufacturers like KatoUSA do apply a similar principle with spares from un-assembled models. Then periodically, when the consumer obligation no longer applies, they sell of the spare parts cheaply.


Cheers,
Hendo
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
I happened to watch James May's Toy Story on Airfix, Airfix don't produce spare parts either, what they do is save a few of the complete kits as spares. When a consumer says my kit didn't have part 34, they go into the warehouse and cut part 34 of the kit and send it to them. Not a practical thing for our importers to do with a fully assembled model, but dare I say manufacturers like KatoUSA do apply a similar principle with spares from un-assembled models. Then periodically, when the consumer obligation no longer applies, they sell of the spare parts cheaply.


Cheers,
Hendo
Hendo


I think in the past some of our model rail importers did just that; keep a few models as 'part machines' when it was a problem that could be fixed with a single part replacement. I think these days it is just easier to replace the whole model and sell the 'faulty' ones as discounted prices. At the end of the day it is up to these companies which way they go.
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

I think in the past some of our model rail importers did just that; keep a few models as 'part machines' when it was a problem that could be fixed with a single part replacement. I think these days it is just easier to replace the whole model and sell the 'faulty' ones as discounted prices. At the end of the day it is up to these companies which way they go.
K160

I have to agree with that. I am sure there are many modellers who can make the "faulty" ones run and look a better than new.


Cheers,
hendo
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
I have to agree with that. I am sure there are many modellers who can make the "faulty" ones run and look a better than new.
Hendo

Yes, you only have to look under my HO Climax to see the scratch-built shafts and universals

Tony

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