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Totally Ridiculous!! Moderators--NOT a RANT, A statement of KNOWN FACTS

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Totally Ridiculous!! Moderators--NOT a RANT, A statement of KNOWN FACTS
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, July 9, 2022 8:07 AM

Hey Folks? 

      How are you doing acquiring those Printed parts? I hope it's not breaking your bank!! I recently, as you know accepted a commission for a commercial Client. One of the things we needed was a part that could be had from a Model Train Supplier(Aftermarket That Is!) Well, The Client shipped the parts to me. I needed 1060 of the parts. Yes! they are very small in H.O.(1/87) scale! For 200 parts! the  cost to the Client, who runs a Hobby Business, $600.00 bucks !!!! These parts are Not even 1/16 of an inch square!

     Now this doesn't seem right to me. I have recieved parts for an L.N.G.(Liquified Natural Gas) tanker ship in "N" Scale.The three Domes cost me $10.00 Bucks for the stand Alone storage tank for the refinery, and Fifteen for the domes that go on the ship. The three domes are an eighth of an inch thick and slightly larger than a Half Tennis Ball! There's enough material in those parts to make over a thousand of the parts the Client got me. I have to wonder who's getting burned here? Is it the Retailer? Yes, in a way it is. My Parts supplier doesn't want to lose his business, so he's keeping prices within a retiree's budget. Remember in Model Trains There five or more levels and Most if not all, like us, are retirees! 

      The other person getting burned is the retail Customer. They are so engrossed with this new technology they don't seem to notice. You could get cast resin parts, Then the shift began to lean toward printed parts as they became available. I hate to disappoint those of you out there that think this is the way to go! Why? it's simple, All the high Tech resins and Plastics for printing all come from one source, OIL! Now being Gasoline is ridiculous to Americans, remember there a few protectorate and the State Of Hawaii that Import most of what they need. Imagine their costs.Japan? Gasoline is priced by the Litre!! Can you imagine what it costs to gas up from Empty a V-8 powered BMW over there much less say a Kia Luxury car?

      We need to find as a hobby, more environmentally friendly ways of making these things so we can continue to enjoy this new High Point in Hobbies. But, We MUST all blanche at the price before we shut our eyes and minds to scratch and greeblie building. The thinking is sound here. I have many ships in my stash and On some I still use an old fashioned way to make rails and ladders. Read some of my posts about found materials. Just in case the moderators are worrying that this is political, No Way!! I am just shocked in the ridiculous price variants in the Aftermarket for stuff. Will it come crashing down because we can't any support the market? I Hope Not, But at those prices I mentioned, I sure can't afford to move forward with some projects I had in mind How about You??

       What I want you to think about also is this. The Chemicals for making Etched Brass parts. They are getting more expensive every day. The folks here in the States providing that market got in early, and We've come to depend on them. They are our ages, can you say retirement time? P.E. in many sizes have disappeared for some product lines. The Cost to produce Hobby Products here in the U.S.of A. has become Ridiculous. Before it's over do you think Uncle might be told by the I.R.S that we too need to pay a V.A.T.? All I want you to do is think about it.This is NOT and should NOT Be  seen as a RANT. It's a simple statement of a KNOWN FACT!!! 


  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, July 9, 2022 8:29 AM

This is a capitalist country where prices are set by what the traffic (costumers) will bear.  If the companies stay in existance, it must be because we are willing to pay the price.  However, to save money, I often scratchbuild models or detail parts- even my own tools.

I am working on a method of producing photo etched parts without the photo process.


  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, July 9, 2022 8:58 AM

All I can say is, its a business, not a charity.  None of these manufacturers or the dealers who sell their products are amassing huge fortunes by selling this stuff, and I for one am happy to pay for high quality aftermarket products.  Why?  Because they look fantastic, and they save me tons of time...and for me, time is money.  I worked for a mom and pop avionics shop for 18 years, and that shop was put out of business by so many of their customers who had the attitude of being owed affordability.  I won't let the same thing happen to the shop I run now.  Too many good customers who are willing to pay for quality work to keep the ones who don't, and quite frankly, the complainers cost me more to deal with than the money I make off of them.  2 cents

[edit] BTW...just bought some aftermarket stuff for my SR-71A project from a company based in Kyiv, Ukraine.  Its not cheap, but their quality is amazing, and I get free shipping on top of that...which is probably just rolled into the cost of the parts, but I'm OK with that...they deserve to get paid for their services.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, July 9, 2022 10:07 AM

I hate all but the basic PE,and only use AM stowage,tracks,and figures.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, July 9, 2022 10:57 AM

It was once said that the most expensive things to own are horses, boats, and airplanes. That $1.65 stainless steel bolt from Lowes goes for $3.25 at an equistrian store, $5.75 at a boat supply, and at least $8.99 at an aircraft parts house. Same grade bolt!!

I guess we will start adding modeling to that list.

On a sidenote; I just noticed the price tag on my Tamiya, 1/350 modern NEW JERSEY, that I picked up in Japan a few years (decades) back; ¥5000!. which now equates to about $36.00 - $40.00.  List price at model shops now is about $170.00.

Interesting?  Hai dozo. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Saturday, July 9, 2022 12:42 PM


You noted you needed a LOT of those aftermarket pieces, so maybe you could look at it as labor savings.  What would it take to make them yourself?  

I have several punch and die sets to make nuts, bolts and rivets, but doing a thousand would test my sanity.  I recall making a bolt+nut+washer and bolt+washer for each of the 180 track links for a tank kit, so that's 900 individual punched parts, and it drove me batty!  Stacking and gluing the bits was a chore as well.

So it really comes down to convenience + cost versus inconvenience + time.

On the DIY side, I have personally found that with the right tools, one can match or sometimes even exceed commercially availble parts.

But those 3-D printed airplane landing gear with all the brake lines and their hi-def end connectors and brackets are where I draw the line and concede defeat!

Anyway, good luck on your commission build, and hope those fancy 3-D parts work out. 

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, July 9, 2022 3:29 PM

Hi Real G. 

      To tell you the truth. I looked the jack from a 1/35 scale armor kit. It was damaged already so On the chance I could, I modified it into the part I'm talking about. Just piddling watching a T.V. show. Guess what ? By the end of the show I had thirty of them built. The only difference. These were made out of twisted scrap wire using two very good Forceps. The twisted Insulation looked just like a screw clamp and the jaws were just little Cutoffs from an .040 strip of Evergreen.

      If I had been quicker I could've saved my Client some dough! Trouble is he called me that same evening to tell me the parts were enroute. Then, He had to take care of one of his own customers. So.I am glad I love to piddle with Chotsckes. Remember the kit,  Gunther Prien's-"U-47" U-Boat by Revell? I completely rebuilt the interior. Using the kit parts as patterns I rebuilt the Decks and Pressure bulkheads out of Evergreen and used Model Guage decals on the controls. All the W/T doors had flanges too! Plus, after seeing " Das Boote" The ( German version) I made the ballast controls and dive and helm wheels out of wire as well.

        The engines were the hard part. The engines in that boat had exposed rocker arms on them. Those Diesels were Two Stroke. Very tempermental and did run better when they were surfaced, Which is the way they usally operated.

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Sunday, July 10, 2022 8:48 AM

One thing that cheapens model building a lot is your source of liquids and fillers and such.

Many of these products are just the general purpose stuff packaged in a tube with the model vendors logo.  Fillers, glue and stuff fall into that category.  I use filler from general sources like 3M and Ditzler, glue from Locktite and other name brands, and lacquer and enamel thinner from my local hardware stores.  I buy X-acto blades online in packages of 100.  Gives me more money to spend on kits.


  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, July 10, 2022 11:35 AM

I agree with Don here - sometimes stuff solf to modellers is so much more expensive in those tiny bottles, you really can save money if you know where to look - and it's the same if you look for example at hobby blades as opposed to surgical blades - they are soo much cheaper if you buy a 100-pack of them...

Then there's the question of technology to make the parts... If you need one fancy part a 3D print might be a viable option. If you need 10 or 100 then you should resin-cast the part to make it cheaper. And if you need 1000 or more than maybe injection molding might be the way to do it cheaper. If you can buy one part for 2$ then you should really get a discount when you buy 200 pieces - just for the packaging and shipping you are saving the seller.

Thanks for rading and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Sunday, July 10, 2022 1:18 PM

I should probably mention that resin casting is no longer very high tech.  It was well established two decades ago, and no fancy tools are needed.  You need to fabricate a pattern out of whatever. clay, carving wood, foamcore, etc. The rest are supply items such as paper or plastic cups, masking tape, cardboard, etc, and the RTV mold material and the two-part resin.



  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, July 10, 2022 2:41 PM

You Know!

    You are so right.I have been making some parte now and then.But it just isn't convenient in my workspace. Small stuff yeah, a fast mold from the generally available stuff, Stabilized inside a LEGO box. Then four or five uses later Done! Just like you're saying about product. Much of it is generic and carries a known label.It's more profitable that way!


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