Wizard Models

For new product announcements, recommendations, reviews and sourcing. Must be relevant to society members.
User avatar
David B
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby David B » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:58 am

PeteT wrote:Could the traders morph into a demo? Ie only bring 1 of everything. Don't actively sell, but show their wares & stimulate online orders


I feel that not selling could defeat the purpose. Adding the opportunity for demonstrating their products, however, could be helpful.

I was struck when attending the show at Houten, on the ouskirts of Utrecht, by several traders who do just this. One particular stand that comes to mind was selling the widest range of AK / Lifecolour / other paint and scenic materials, a much wider range than I have ever seen in the UK. The trader was demonstrating the benefits of a selection of various paints and effects, and people were buying. He and his colleague were not permanently on the demo table but used it as and when people asked questions and showed interest.

One of the few to do this at our shows is John Lloyd of Greenscenes. If there are fewer traders at shows (and presumably a bit more room), perhaps those that are prepared to add a demonstration could be given a table at no additional cost. Many traders come with colleagues or know and work with modellers who might help out for the price of a free admission ticket and not be an addition to their cost.

Do traders that are members of the Scalefour Society get a discount or any other benefit at the Society shows?

Philip Hall
Posts: 1307
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:24 am

I reckon Andrew’s thoughts about getting out at the ‘right’ time are quite sensible. I seem to hear too many times these days about people who have retired but don’t end up with as much time left to them as they would have hoped. Lugging loads of gear around the country every other weekend can't help much either.

It’s often said we are in an ageing hobby and this is perhaps one of the consequences. Our traders are not immune to this, many of them in the same age group as their customers.

Philip

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:33 am

Paul Townsend wrote:I suggest that Wizard and others struggling should continue to attend shows but far fewer so as to lessen the overhead in workload, costs, time, energy. An occasional public appearance is essential IMHO.


Presumably it would be possible to target those shows which deliver the best sales (including during the following weeks) ... though the following weeks figures might be difficult to ascertain if you are attending shows every other week :?

Hopefully Scaleforum would be one of the better performing shows because of the nature of the attendees the majority of whom are active modellers.
Tim Lee

dclift
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:35 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby dclift » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:19 pm

Flymo748 wrote:But when attendance numbers keep dropping because more and more people are reluctant to travel distances to attend shows (although as someone has just emailed the Committee to say that they are coming 10,500 miles to attend Scaleforum 2019 because a particular layout is there, you do wonder about those who say they have difficulty finding and driving to Aylesbury), then it does become uneconomic for traders to travel, pay stand rent, and so on, for just a handful of sales.


I do sympathise with those who find being stuck on the M25, the M1 or any of the other British linear car parks rather tedious, but it really doesn't compare with being stuck in an aeroplane for 23 hours (twice).

Scaleforum 2019 looks like being a really great show; I am looking forward to it and hope that it is well supported, it certainly deserves to be. I have ordered my name badge and am willing to be accosted by anyone who can read it. I am very grateful to Terry and everyone else who puts so much effort into it. As well as the layouts I really enjoy chatting to people in the Society whom I see only infrequently and who are generally much more knowledgeable than I when it comes to building a model railway.
David Clift.

Terry Bendall
Posts: 1649
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Terry Bendall » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:01 pm

Paul has just about said it all as far as a formal response for the Society is concerned and it just about mirrors which I would have said as Scaleforum organiser. In the last 10 years I have got to know most of our regular traders quite well and always make a point on the Sunday morning of chatting to as many of them as possible to see how things have gone. I also chat to them at other events.

I think that many people do not really appreciate what is involved in working as a trader, especially when said trader will attend a significant number of exhibitions in the course of a year. There is the trial of the Friday afternoon drive to the venue, which may be several hundred miles and often an equally tedious journey home on Sunday evening. The trader is trying to earn enough to meet the costs of the product, the expenses of the exhibition - stand rent and accommodation, cover their time and even make a profit and all that on products that might only cost us a few pounds. Think for a moment how many wheels, etched grills, gearboxes, signal components or whatever it is they sell need to be sold to meet those costs. As Paul has said we have in the last few years had traders withdraw from our exhibitions either because of retirement or simply because they do not make sufficient sales to make it worth while coming and no one can blame them for that.

As other have said, if you know what you want then on-line buying is an easy way of getting things but if you are not sure then the face to face chat at an exhibition is ideal. Not everyone is in a position to do that, and those who have been working in our particular aspect of railway modelling for a long time probably have everything they need and all that is needed is consumable items.

There is of course one way to encourage more traders to come to our exhibitions and that is for more visitors to attend. :)

Terry Bendall

David Knight
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby David Knight » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:02 pm

For those of us over the seas and far away this might (hopefully) have an upside. If Andrew upgrades his website by adding more images and expanding the range of products available it could mean the return of the “one stop online shop” that we have not seen since the demise of Dave Cleal’s Mainly Trains. Getting the “bits and bobs” and things like locomotive drivers that are so much a part of the hobby has become increasingly difficult for those who have enjoyed online shopping. That said, there is still much to be said for handling the goods and talking to traders so I can well understand the dismay that many feel at the loss of traders at shows.

Cheers,

David

User avatar
Captain Kernow
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:08 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Captain Kernow » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:07 am

I had a brief discussion with Andrew about this on the phone recently and I have nothing but sympathy for his situation and I wish him all the very best for the future in terms of developing the business in an 'on line' context and getting parts of his house and his life back.

At least he's still going to be trading and we will still be able to get all the bits that we need from him.
Tim M
Member of the Devon Riviera Area Group.

User avatar
Rod Cameron
Posts: 654
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:01 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Rod Cameron » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:39 am

Captain Kernow wrote:I had a brief discussion with Andrew about this on the phone recently and I have nothing but sympathy for his situation and I wish him all the very best for the future in terms of developing the business in an 'on line' context and getting parts of his house and his life back.

At least he's still going to be trading and we will still be able to get all the bits that we need from him.


Well said Tim
Rod

Chris Mitton
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Chris Mitton » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:53 pm

Flymo748 wrote:
As a Committee response, the one thing that we are strongly against is decline! However there are demographic and other external trends that mean it may inevitably have to be a managed decline, and perhaps a transition to a different type of exhibition.

Firstly, the Committee has been aware of fewer traders attending our (and other) shows for a couple of years now. This is not an overnight happening. The number of confirmed traders for Scalefour 2019 is three fewer (or less, if you prefer) that Scaleforum 2018. And I'm sure that 2018 was down on 2017, although I don't have the precise numbers to hand.

But I do.....and they make sobering reading - Paul is spot on as ever. In 2014 - my first Scaleforum as Society Treasurer, but still only five years in the past - we welcomed 49 traders to Aylesbury, excluding our own Stores. 27 of these, just a tad more than half, are expected this year, so, even though Terry has recruited a few newcomers in recent years, this year's trader count (34 plus the Stores) shows a decrease of around a third over that period. (For the record, the number of traders, excluding our Stores who will always be there :D , was 45 in 2015, the same in 2016, 40 in 2017 and 35 in 2018.)


Flymo748 wrote:All of this means an effect on the bottom line of shows. We (or rather Terry and Chris...) do some sophisticated modelling of possible outcomes for Scaleforum each year, as does James for Scalefour North. For Scaleforum 2019, the combination of fewer traders, and other traders taking smaller space means that were are predicting stand rent income down of almost 25%. That makes a significant difference to the size of the predicted deficit.

Actually it's not quite as precipitous as Paul says, but it's bad enough - the anticipated income from traders on our latest planning model is about 87% of last year's outturn, an eighth down. But over the Aylesbury period, our income from traders this year, after VAT, is likely to be be (barring last minute dropouts) pretty much exactly two thirds of 2014's figure.

As I've said before to the Committee, the risk we face, because of our own demographic as well as the trade profile, is a vicious spiral: fewer members attending means fewer traders finding it worthwhile to attend, means fewer members finding their needs met so giving up coming, means fewer traders.....
....but whether the present situation is sustainable, as Terry keeps reminding you, is in your hands. More members attending will keep the trade interested, etc etc.....

See as many of you as possible next month,
Regards
TreasurerChris

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:54 am

Chris Mitton wrote:As I've said before to the Committee, the risk we face, because of our own demographic as well as the trade profile, is a vicious spiral: fewer members attending means fewer traders finding it worthwhile to attend, means fewer members finding their needs met so giving up coming, means fewer traders.....
....but whether the present situation is sustainable, as Terry keeps reminding you, is in your hands. More members attending will keep the trade interested, etc etc.....

See as many of you as possible next month,
Regards
TreasurerChris


Sobering thoughts :?

Here are a few musings of my own .... which all are free to ignore as they may be well off base.

Looking from the outside - if one were considering this as a business then some form of decisive action (now) would be the order of the day ....unless there is reason to believe that these trends are either temporary or realistically reversible .... expending an ever increasing amount of effort on a failing 'model' :D when the writing is already on the wall rarely if ever succeeds -the danger being that one waits too long.

The trader issues appear to be part of a wider trend reflective of much wider issues within the hobby and perhaps impacts from the wider economic framing/changing patterns of selling. Mitigation and perhaps a degree of adaptation may well be where the Scalefour soc. ought to be ... except in those areas where a more proactive role is possible (perhaps in concert with such as the EMGS?). So just accept that things are changing and act accordingly.

Scaleforum itself, membership numbers and concerns over demographics is perhaps a different issue. It should be possible to achieve more impact here dependent upon strategy. But it does depend upon what the goal is and being clear about what people actually want. :thumb

For instance, bemoaning a lack of younger members and worrying about an ageing demographic is one thing, but to seriously address this might well take everyone out of their comfort zone and even take the society in a direction the current majority would not want it to travel :shock: (perhaps the current model will continue to renew with retirement and/or later middle age being the new point of renewal).

To actively attract young adults might require a level of effort unconnected with the day to day modelling everyone loves, and for which it would therefore be hard to find volunteers. I would suggest that to attract a younger cohort some form of outreach would be necessary. That would mean a presence outside the model railway circuit itself and also a sales pitch which perhaps emphasised creativity/mini engineering etc. Would that seriously be something anybody would be interested in? There also I think needs to be an acceptance that group modelling would be essential .... my observations of younger adults is that they have limited disposable income and a total lack of space to dedicate to hobbies - that could of course be a positive if it lead to a social cohering around modelling.

I may be proved wrong, but I would be surprised if any of these thoughts generated much enthusiasm ;) .... but they may stir the pot a little. After all we all like our cosy familiar world and really just want others to share in this enjoyment and queue up to join in :D
Tim Lee

User avatar
Flymo748
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:19 pm

Hi Tim,

Again, some of these issues are ones that the Committee has already discussed. That might be as one-offs, or as a recurring item, and in more or less depth.

Le Corbusier wrote:Here are a few musings of my own .... which all are free to ignore as they may be well off base.


You make some good points, and as I said before, some are points that we have discussed in terms of the stewardship of the Society.

Le Corbusier wrote:Looking from the outside - if one were considering this as a business then some form of decisive action (now) would be the order of the day ....unless there is reason to believe that these trends are either temporary or realistically reversible .... expending an ever increasing amount of effort on a failing 'model' :D when the writing is already on the wall rarely if ever succeeds -the danger being that one waits too long.


Fortunately, we are in the position that we are aware of the majority of these issues, and the risks that they pose. Barring a significant incident, or a cliff-edge type change, then we do have the luxury of being able to adjust the Society's activities appropriately. And thanks to careful management of funds, and in particular the continued success of Jeremy and the Stores in producing revenue, then we are on a sound financial footing to deal with change. And example of how this gave us a cushion was when we were faced with a steep rise in the cost of renting Leatherhead for Scaleforum. We had to carry that increased cost in the short-term before we were able to find a lower cost alternative venue at Aylesbury.

Le Corbusier wrote:The trader issues appear to be part of a wider trend reflective of much wider issues within the hobby and perhaps impacts from the wider economic framing/changing patterns of selling. Mitigation and perhaps a degree of adaptation may well be where the Scalefour soc. ought to be ... except in those areas where a more proactive role is possible (perhaps in concert with such as the EMGS?). So just accept that things are changing and act accordingly.


Yes, the demographic and economic changes (state pension age at 75 years anyone? As proposed by a Tory think-tank earlier this week.) will become more and more significant. And almost certainly irreversible. To coin a phrase, we never had it so good...

There are already things that we have explored with the EMGS. Because it happens behind the scenes, and members don't need to be aware of it, it wouldn't be known that we do things like joint purchases of rail with the EMGS. That enables us both to meet the minimum purchase quantities of suppliers without tying up too much of either society's funds in stock. That is just one example.

Le Corbusier wrote:Scaleforum itself, membership numbers and concerns over demographics is perhaps a different issue. It should be possible to achieve more impact here dependent upon strategy. But it does depend upon what the goal is and being clear about what people actually want. :thumb


The Committee always aims to listen to the members. Sometimes things are just impractical - like a wandering Scaleforum at a different location each year. We aim to promote finescale modelling, to not be elitist, and to show what can be done. Beyond that, we're open to new (and sensible!) ideas.

Le Corbusier wrote:For instance, bemoaning a lack of younger members and worrying about an ageing demographic is one thing, but to seriously address this might well take everyone out of their comfort zone and even take the society in a direction the current majority would not want it to travel :shock: (perhaps the current model will continue to renew with retirement and/or later middle age being the new point of renewal).


Your latter point is actually one that we recognise, that in today's society (small "s") people's priorities are now education, career, family, mortgage, in some permutation of that order. It is only when those boxes are ticked that people _generally_ have the time and money to return to hobbies that may have attracted them at school age, or perhaps even discover them for the first time. Although with four separate international business trips in the month after Scaleforum, I'm still waiting for my own personal modelling time to reappear!

And yes, the Committee does have radical ideas, and some of them may not be popular. Time will tell...

Le Corbusier wrote:To actively attract young adults might require a level of effort unconnected with the day to day modelling everyone loves, and for which it would therefore be hard to find volunteers. I would suggest that to attract a younger cohort some form of outreach would be necessary. That would mean a presence outside the model railway circuit itself and also a sales pitch which perhaps emphasised creativity/mini engineering etc. Would that seriously be something anybody would be interested in? There also I think needs to be an acceptance that group modelling would be essential .... my observations of younger adults is that they have limited disposable income and a total lack of space to dedicate to hobbies - that could of course be a positive if it lead to a social cohering around modelling.


All good points, and you hit the nail on the head with the need for volunteers. Scaleforum survives (for now). Even that was a close run thing. Will that be the case in five years time? Who knows?

Which reminds me. I must go over and see how many members have contributed new material to the Scalefour Notes, that others can share and benefit from...

Le Corbusier wrote:I may be proved wrong, but I would be surprised if any of these thoughts generated much enthusiasm ;) .... but they may stir the pot a little. After all we all like our cosy familiar world and really just want others to share in this enjoyment and queue up to join in :D


I think enthusiasm is over-stating it a little bit. We are conscious and alert. Whether the Society wants to change is a matter for the Society, ultimately. Membership numbers remain strong. There is some superb modelling being done. There is a lot to be positive about. We hope that it stays that way.

Cheers
Paul Willis
Deputy Chairman
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:35 pm

As usual Paul, thanks for the response .... thoughtful and instructive. :thumb
Tim Lee

User avatar
Paul Townsend
Posts: 775
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:49 am

Which reminds me. I must go over and see how many members have contributed new material to the Scalefour Notes, that others can share and benefit from...


Gosh, its years since I looked at that......lots of useful knowhow is there!

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:51 am

where does one find scalefour notes .... not sure I am aware of these?
Tim Lee

User avatar
Martin Wynne
Posts: 822
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 4:27 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:23 am

Le Corbusier wrote:where does one find scalefour notes .... not sure I am aware of these?

Hi Tim,

see: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6428

Notes here: https://www.scalefour.org/members/notes/start?do=index

cheers,

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

Terry Bendall
Posts: 1649
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:44 am

Le Corbusier wrote:Here are a few musings of my own .... which all are free to ignore as they may be well off base


Which as Paul has said are all perfectly valid and need consideration. Thank you. Paul has also already stated that many of them have been considered.

Le Corbusier wrote:To actively attract young adults might require a level of effort


Yes it may well do so but in the last 12 years that I have been involved in helping to manage the Society our membership numbers have stayed very stable at around 1800 or so members. The number of those that have resigned or have moved to the great model railway club in the sky have been balanced by those who join, although in the last few years there has been a bit of a falling off in the net total each year. No identifiable reason for that as far as what we do since our strategies for recruitment and retention have not changed although it might be argued that a lack of change is the reason.

If we consider that "young adults" are those say under 35 then we don't have many in that age range but experience of talking to potential new members at exhibitions is that the most fruitful age group for new members are those aged 45 - 60 and as long as that continues I think the Society will continue to be viable.

Chris Mitton wrote:....but whether the present (Scaleforum) situation is sustainable,


And the present situation may not be sustainable especially when only less than a quarter of the Society's membership thinks that the Society's main event is worth attending. What we need is to find a model for an event that attracts a greater percentage of the membership and whether that exists is debatable. A member of the previous Scaleforum organising team said to me about 11 years ago "Most people want Scaleforum more or less as it is, but within 20 miles of where they live." Well Scaleforum, like almost every other model railway exhibition in the country is more or less as it has always been - and that of course may for some people be the problem, but only a few of us can expect the exhibition to be no more than 20 miles of where we live.

Terry Bendall

User avatar
David B
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby David B » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:10 am

The links given above seem to be the only way of accessing the Notes as there does not appear to be any link through Members' Area of the main Society website. If the earlier thread started by Paul Willis on the Forum from June has been missed by people, this would explain their ignorance.

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:13 am

Terry Bendall wrote: If we consider that "young adults" are those say under 35 then we don't have many in that age range but experience of talking to potential new members at exhibitions is that the most fruitful age group for new members are those aged 45 - 60 and as long as that continues I think the Society will continue to be viable.
Terry Bendall


Taking this reasoning a little further .... and I agree that the 45 (ish) to 60 age range is currently where things are at .... then targeting the under 20s might prove pretty important in the long run - and this I think should be more from the standpoint of a 'craft' rather than a 'toy'.

But I fear we have a potential problem looming which has yet to play out.

My thinking may prove groundless - but I hazard a guess that the 45 - 60 group are mainly returning modellers from their youth and not recent converts? I myself started with a toy in the late 60s ... progressed to modelling in the 1970s .... became a dormant modeller as University loomed .... and then came back to the hobby aged 49 - so a model example one might say :D .

If this assumption proves to be the case, then a current 45 year old would take us back to the 1980s for his/her formative modelling years .... my concern would be that this period is (I think?) very much the tale end as far as the popularity of the model train set was concerned (amongst the young) The 90s saw the rise of gaming etc and the switch of the RTR manufacturers into catering primarily for an older age demographic. Unlike in wargaming and military modelling where a link was formed between computer and physical gaming, there is to my knowledge no digital link with railway modelling and so no pathway. If this thinking is valid, then a cliff edge may be approaching as far as returning modellers are concerned.

Given the current health of the society, I would suggest now is the time to 'game' the scenario outlined above ... Cliff edges are precipitous and one would usually need an established mitigation plan ahead of time not to fall off. :? If the Cliff edge in the end turns out to be little more than a small dip ... then no harm done. :thumb We might even be in a position of expansion ;)
Tim Lee

User avatar
Noel
Posts: 1145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Noel » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:13 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:Which reminds me. I must go over and see how many members have contributed new material to the Scalefour Notes, that others can share and benefit from...Gosh, its years since I looked at that......lots of useful knowhow is there!


So far only two people have left any publicly visible trace in S4 Notes since Paul launched it on 14 June. One is me, in the Playground, the other is Martin Wynne with two substantive posts. The lack of a link to it from the members' area and the complexity of trying to contribute [both of which I pointed out 15/6/19] may be factors in this, but none of the suggestions/comments raised in the launch thread have been addressed in any way. My general impression currently is that S4 Notes is an answer looking for a question.
Regards
Noel

User avatar
David B
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby David B » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:20 pm

Noel wrote:So far only two people have left any publicly visible trace in S4 Notes since Paul launched it on 14 June. One is me, in the Playground, the other is Martin Wynne with two substantive posts. The lack of a link to it from the members' area and the complexity of trying to contribute


Too complicated for me.

User avatar
Noel
Posts: 1145
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Noel » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:33 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:If this assumption proves to be the case, then a current 45 year old would take us back to the 1980s for his/her formative modelling years .... my concern would be that this period is (I think?) very much the tale end as far as the popularity of the model train set was concerned (amongst the young)


I think this argument is valid for even more reasons than you describe. For myself, my mother's family have worked on the railways for several generations; indeed one still does, although he will retire soon and will be the last. My father had a Hornby 3-rail train set. I liked watching trains from a young age, and was a trainspotter for several years. For how many, these days, is even one of these things true? It isn't just the train set or its lack, but the social impact of railways, which in my lifetime have gone from being a highly visible part of daily life for the great majority of the population to purely peripheral or even irrelevant [apart from those commuting to/from big cities, whose involvement with railways is probably less than pleasurable].

On a different but related topic, model railways have, accurately, always been seen as a male hobby. The skilled female modellers have stood out as much for their rarity as for their undoubted skills, probably no more than one or two in a generation. Is this something we should just accept, or can it be changed?
Regards
Noel

User avatar
PeteT
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:53 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby PeteT » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:04 pm

Chris Mitton wrote:But I do.....and they make sobering reading - Paul is spot on as ever. In 2014 - my first Scaleforum as Society Treasurer, but still only five years in the past - we welcomed 49 traders to Aylesbury, excluding our own Stores. 27 of these, just a tad more than half, are expected this year, so, even though Terry has recruited a few newcomers in recent years, this year's trader count (34 plus the Stores) shows a decrease of around a third over that period. (For the record, the number of traders, excluding our Stores who will always be there :D , was 45 in 2015, the same in 2016, 40 in 2017 and 35 in 2018.)


How many of these are lost traders, rather than mergers/trade agreements? Comet are now part of Wizard (possibly a bad example in view of this topic!), Cambrian are trading under different management but available through Eileen's (and Modelu going that way for trade too). David Geen will be on that list, and may become available from again in the future.

Dart/MJT/Frogmore is another group, and Brassmasters with the Finney range.

This doesn't help the society bottom line, but doesn't necessarily mean that the smaller headcount of traders gives the punters fewer reasons to turn up if the same supplies are still available.

If we consider that "young adults" are those say under 35 then we don't have many in that age range


Oh dear, my clock is ticking! :shock: Still, it is at least a few decades before I can join the 7mm junior members.

I know quite a lot of people my age interested in railways - but mainly focus on 12"/1ft preservation. It isn't their money spent (aside from getting there), it is a group/sociable activity, and it doesn't take up room in the house are 3 reasons. I do know a couple who do do modelling though, and have P4 itches to scratch at some point. It isn't all doom and gloom. The question is whether they will sign up to the society when they do...

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:38 pm

PeteT wrote:I know quite a lot of people my age interested in railways - but mainly focus on 12"/1ft preservation. It isn't their money spent (aside from getting there), it is a group/sociable activity, and it doesn't take up room in the house are 3 reasons. I do know a couple who do do modelling though, and have P4 itches to scratch at some point. It isn't all doom and gloom. The question is whether they will sign up to the society when they do...


That was my thought about outreach ... I wondered if there might be an opportunity through preservation. might it be possible to get the equivalent of a scalefour club room at or connected to a preserved railway (or similar) where there is an emphasis on craftsmanship and fine modelling? That might be a productive link and area for cross fertilisation. It is likely an area where finescale would be more attractive as well? Just a thought ... as an example -imagine if at the South Devon there was a room with a working finescale model of the original line :D ... it might even pay for itself!
Tim Lee

User avatar
PeteT
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:53 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby PeteT » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:54 pm

That is a possibility - though I don't personally visit my nearest preserved railway. When I do, I prefer (and would, if there was an option) to do things and learn skills I couldn't do from home. That isn't to say that if the model engineering side of it (lathe work etc) was available to pick I wouldn't want to.

On a preserved railway, there is a chance to do something it is more difficult to do at home (I won't say can't, I could fit an FR slate waggon in my conservatory!) - so modelling is a home activity.

That isn't to say the idea wouldn't help drum up interest, and be of use to some (potential future) members.

I'm lucky in having an active area group or 2 in my local area. While the Bristol group is possibly more well know for curry & beer, there is a wealth of experience and expertise and if dragged back to conversations about modelling there will always be someone willing to help. I do think this makes a big difference.

User avatar
Le Corbusier
Posts: 1379
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:11 pm

I was more thinking of those who don't have room or scope to model at home ... and perhaps might be newcomers to the whole idea. Just a glib suggestion really .... I am sure there are multiple reasons it might crash and burn :D
Tim Lee


Return to “Product Information”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests