Cost changes

Various factors are having an effect on my cost of production – primarily external inflation raising the cost of bought-in parts and materials, my own production method changes which have helped to reduce costs and the loss of my previous etcher (went into liquidation) which had a bad  effect on etch costs. I have reorganised the way I am costing things by having lists of various types of common parts used then adding the costs that relate to a particular loco type – size of etches & number of wheels & castings for example. In doing this I have discovered that some things had been left out of previous costings with the result that the profit margin on tank loco kits had reduced to the point where it was threatening future developments. This profit margin was always very slim so I am reluctantly forced to raise the price of tank loco kits. I am happy to absorb the extra costs in RtR tank loco production and both RtR & kit versions of tender locos – so those prices are unaffected by that. Increase in tank loco kits will be about £100 to £150.

A further problem is that the cost of etches has increased considerably. It looks as though using brass instead of nickel silver will result in no increase. Continuing to use nickel silver will result in a considerable increase. This will apply to all loco types including RtR and tender loco kits. Coach & railcar prices will also be affected. Nickel silver will typically add about £80 to £100 to tank locos, coaches & railcars and almost £200 to tender locos. Personally I think that Nickel Silver is worth paying for – particularly if you intend soldering the kit together. It takes solder much better, ditto paint and is much stronger than brass. It may be possible to offer brass versions but that will pose problems with advance ordering of etches and may lead to delays (and increased postage if I have to order brass etches separately).
Please let me know what you think about this. Email address here.

I have now recalculated the prices of the Railcar (increased by £100) and carriages (increased by £80). The increase in the carriage costs due to the etch cost increase rather screws my logic for the coach production and confirms my intention to mostly leave coach production with other suppliers. For those I have already designed but not yet put into production I may try the laser cut ply outer approach but instead of half etching the beading I will just do the complete lined livery as a vinyl wrap. At 1/32 scale the beading (3/8″ on the full size) would only be 12 thou thick so would be barely noticeable. The vinyl wrap would save all the effort of painting & lining and give a similar effect. The LMS did a similar thing on their period III carriages using a flush body that was lined to respresent the panelling.

There is one LMS 3F kit left and since I bought the NS etch for it at the old cost the price for the kit will remain the same. There is also one RtR LMS 3F available (soon) and that will also be at the old price. Now 2 kits as one order has has just been cancelled on 23/02/24 – still at the same price.