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Fine Scale Miniatures (price depreciation)

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Fine Scale Miniatures (price depreciation)
Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:18 AM

Well it seems that the new generation is not as interested in the craftsman kits of old or they are just streaming out of closets as the price of these kits is going down, way down. I used to collect these kits to build for my layout and was overjoyed to get a deal on one but the tide has changed as far as price (I still buy when they give them away, nostalga?, like a mint in box #115 coal and sand shed for $66.20 out the door).  Another thought is that now you can just buy the castings from my old freind Jimmy as he bought the rights to them.

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:21 AM

Who is Jimmy?

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:31 AM

rrebell
Well it seems that the new generation is not as interested in the craftsman kits of old or they are just streaming out of closets as the price of these kits is going down, way down.

Would you have a guess as to why the lack of interest?  My guess, based on personal experience is it's hard to find the time to build kits.  The new generation have F/T jobs, often long commutes, wifes and families who demand their husband/hobbyists time.

My kid is grown and working now but between work and the honey-do list and the house that has a lot of work needing done (including getting the basement finshed).  Wife was in an accident in Dec, myself a couple days ago.  All that and other things suck up time like a vacuum.

How is the above relevant?  Because kits take time to build and non-retired people often find it hard to find time.  This appears to be the reason so many kits are availble for not only buildings but rolling stock kits as well.  And it's not because people are lazy or want instant gratification (a few probably) but by definitition, a hobby is what you do for enjoyment in your free time.  You need to have enough free time for those kits and all the other things needful to build and operate a layout.

Yes, I've heard some say they have less time when they retire from F/T work, but as my wife would say, howay now, that is your choice to take on all kinds of other stuff that prevents you from the hobby.  Learn to say no so you can have more time for the hobby. 

/soapbox

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by CGW121 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:39 AM

I am retired and I don't have the time for that or the steady hands orr the sharp eye either.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:44 AM

For me it's the time period of the models.  I have no interest.  They might be cool for a diorama, or such, but I have very different modeling goals and wants.

Not into the "old timey" stuff.

As far as time?  I find it much more enjoyable using my time to scratch build things that I'm interested in, and not some kit, that represents a period i'm not modeling, or have any interest.

Mike.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:45 AM

 Well, perhaps now I will be abe to get some of those kits I wanted but could never afford. And actually put them together instead of storing them away sealed in their boxes as some sort of collector's item. 

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 12:55 PM

For me, its more a matter that most of the commercially available structure kits are of east coast or midwest styles that don't fit into the architectural style of my Southern California based layout.  Due to constant ground movement, Southern California construction needs to be a bit different from other parts of the country so the area has a fairly unique look.  Since neither craftsman or plastic kits fit the bill, I tend to scratch build most of my structures.

Hornblower

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:44 PM

maxman
Who is Jimmy?

He might be John Galt's business partner?

Otherwise, I'd like to know who Jimmy is also.

Thank You, Ed

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:08 PM

I just checked out what there is for a web site:

https://fsmkits.homestead.com/index.html

And it says to make personal checks out to John Mattinson.

He has quite a list of kits.

Unless he's talking about this place, that has some FSM castings

http://www.railroadkits.com/

I dunno! 

Mike.

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:08 PM

mbinsewi
For me it's the time period of the models.  I have no interest.  They might be cool for a diorama, or such, but I have very different modeling goals and wants.

Not into the "old timey" stuff.

As far as time?  I find it much more enjoyable using my time to scratch build things that I'm interested in, and not some kit, that represents a period i'm not modeling, or have any interest.

Mike.

This is exactly the situation with me.  I want a modern building and I want to build it myself.

John

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:16 PM

riogrande5761
that is your choice to take on all kinds of other stuff that prevents you from the hobby.

I agree. 

riogrande5761
the honey-do list

Skip the wife. 

riogrande5761
the house that has a lot of work needing done

Skip the house - rent and let the landord do the work.

riogrande5761
Yes, I've heard some say they have less time when they retire from F/T work,

Skip retirement.

Paul - who is happily retired with a life.  And a hobby called model railroading.Laugh

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:04 PM

mbinsewi

I just checked out what there is for a web site:

https://fsmkits.homestead.com/index.html

And it says to make personal checks out to John Mattinson.

He has quite a list of kits.

Unless he's talking about this place, that has some FSM castings

http://www.railroadkits.com/

I dunno! 

Mike.

 

Jimmy owns Railroadkits. He used to have a forum site but sold it. It was a site mainly for manufactures and wanabe manufactures and some kit builders. Kathy Mallet used to hang out there along with people like Dave Frary. He also owns some famous model railroads and is a manufacturer himself (we once tried to buy a kit manufacturer at the same time, Jimmy was faster at the draw). Many of todays owners used to hang out there, miss that site.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 8:48 PM

I think it might also be fair to point out that a wood kit (or kit with wood parts) needs to be stored correctly to avoid warping of parts.  The older those FSM kits get the more you have to trust/hope that the prior owner stored them correctly.  I was once delighted to get an Alexander kit at a nice price only to learn that it was severely warped almost beyond build-ability and good mostly for the castings, which for Alexander unlike FSM were not always worthy of the rest of the kit.

A risk discount is in order, in other words.

The older kits that had cardstock or matt board parts were particularly prone to damage from humidity.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:43 PM

Just one more reason why I am thankful for the collector/hoarders of days gone by. First they stored all my brass locomotives for me until I could afford them, then the two FSM kits I wanted.

.

I also have purchased every laser cut wood kit for my layout for dimes on the dollar.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 25, 2019 1:17 AM

SeeYou190

Just one more reason why I am thankful for the collector/hoarders of days gone by. First they stored all my brass locomotives for me until I could afford them, then the two FSM kits I wanted.

.

I also have purchased every laser cut wood kit for my layout for dimes on the dollar.

.

-Kevin

.

 

Got all my stuff too except a laser cut boarding house that fits between two tracks.

 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, April 25, 2019 8:57 AM

Agreed with all.  I have a full-time job, young kids, a wife and subsequent honey-do list.  Such responsibilities push MR to the back burner.  Getting even 45 minutes a night for MR is such a joy.  Why wait until retirement to start a layout?

I enjoy building structures and tried with cars.  The latter are far more challenging.  I am proud to tell others that these cars I built and so too with the buildings. 

Do whatever works!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:36 AM

IRONROOSTER

riogrande5761 the honey-do list

Skip the wife.

I've spent enough time alone and single - it didn't work very well for me.  I love my wife and she supports my hobby.  She made it a priority to find a basement with a house. She is doing a lot of physical work to move the basment forward. We should start painting the basement walls this weekend!

No, not skipping the wife.  

riogrande5761 the house that has a lot of work needing done

Skip the house - rent and let the landord do the work.

I threw my money down a hole for a long time renting.  You can get a mortgage where I live for similar cost as rent, and at least you get to keep some of it.

riogrande5761 Yes, I've heard some say they have less time when they retire from F/T work,

Skip retirement.

Like many, I'll probably need to work past when many used to retire.  So ...

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:53 AM

I understand about lack of time, I aquired many of my kits though at a time I was working and many weeks I put in 70+ hours, more than once did it for hourly pay, not including my own money making projects. Luckily when I got married I do not remember some of my 20 hr work days but still had plenty of 10+. Even when I worked for 9 years at HD (big box store), by the time you figure in the commute, it was over 11 hours a day for 5 a week and then home to do landlord stuff. As far no money as in pay, everything from free (doing plumbing with a master to get plumbing skills) to about $25 an hour (this was 15+ years ago) as an hourly for HD and don't forget investments that earned negative money (investment in a wine syrup company) to 400% (short term bridge loan I did and with borrowed money to boot).

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Thursday, April 25, 2019 10:04 AM
And some of us are more interested in operations than kit building.

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 25, 2019 11:05 AM

Bayfield Transfer Railway
And some of us are more interested in operations than kit building.

And getting a layout built to some relative form of doneness requires a lot of time and different things.  Of course to get a layout with some buildings, industries for rail cars to serve, etc. will require some kit building.  When I get to the stage of having to locate appropriate buildings or background indurstries, I'll start sorting out what fits and of course will need to get some together.  Likely I'll be using some Watlhers buildings.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by garya on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:08 PM

SeeYou190

Just one more reason why I am thankful for the collector/hoarders of days gone by. First they stored all my brass locomotives for me until I could afford them, then the two FSM kits I wanted.

.

I also have purchased every laser cut wood kit for my layout for dimes on the dollar.

.

-Kevin

.

 

You're luckier than me.  Still waiting for the deals on the brass I want.  

Gary

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:11 PM

garya

Still waiting for the deals on the brass I want.  

Keep looking.  I was pleasantly surprised I was able to win two Overland wide vision cabooses off of eBay for $90 each, unpainted.  One D&RGW 1500 class and one UP CA-5 (Utah Rwy acquired two CA-5/6 class steel cabooses from the UP).

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:22 PM

On March 27th, there was a thread on the cost of brass going down, guys were showing off the deals they found.

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:57 PM

mbinsewi

On March 27th, there was a thread on the cost of brass going down, guys were showing off the deals they found.

Mike.

Yes.  They were showing of silly low priced stuff.  But I didn't bring it up first here!  Angel  That was Gary's privilage.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Thursday, April 25, 2019 3:28 PM

riogrande5761
Like many, I'll probably need to work past when many used to retire. So ...

I wish you the best on that.  I and others I know found age discrimination is rampant.

Good luck

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 25, 2019 4:30 PM

IRONROOSTER

 

 
riogrande5761
Like many, I'll probably need to work past when many used to retire. So ...

 

I wish you the best on that.  I and others I know found age discrimination is rampant.

Good luck

Paul

 

Hear that, couldn't find a job around 2002, aroud 49 and up age group.

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Posted by garya on Thursday, April 25, 2019 8:41 PM

mbinsewi

On March 27th, there was a thread on the cost of brass going down, guys were showing off the deals they found.

Mike.

 

Yes, I saw that thread. Started looking in its wake.  Maybe I'll have better luck finding FSM kits.

Gary

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:20 PM

While the FSM kits contained some nice detail parts, I never cared for the structures themselves...very fanciful and filled with impractical features which would not be used in real buildings.

An nearby LHS (now gone for some time) used to get many of those kits, unbuilt and in many cases, even unopened, when they bought estate lots, many of the latter which were purchased at prices up to six figures.
  
Apparently the kits were a highly sought-after item, and commanded (in my opinion) ridiculous prices.  Even if I could have afforded such kits, I wouldn't have bothered, as I'm not at all a fan of building models using wood.

Wayne

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 25, 2019 11:36 PM

FSM kits were the first kits with step by step instructions, they even told you what colors were recamended and what company made them and how to build them including bracing. Their kits could make a master builder out of a starter in just a few kits.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Friday, April 26, 2019 9:26 AM

I have sworn off craftsman kits because of the amount of time it takes to build them. I have done a few FSM kits and they are outstanding and I have the FSM kit based on John Allen's engine house which I intend to build but I'm not buying any more. Life's too short. 

In most endeavors, you have a choice of paying more money or investing more time to get what you want. With craftsman kits, you do both. You are essentially paying for the privilage of spending more time. Yes they do look outstanding when they are completed but at what cost? Woodland Scenics produces some outstanding pre-built structures and offer many of them in kit form as well at less than half the cost. Why would I want to spend 80-100 hours when I can go buy something right off the shelf for less money. 

My biggest gripe with craftsman kits is that some of them are nothing more than a box of sticks and a plan. I have to cut the scale lumber to size and cut the openings for the windows and door in walls. What am I paying for? I might as well scratchbuild if I'm going to go that route. 

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