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Old 03-07-2018, 06:08 AM   #1
bernoldifan
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Hi all, happy to be here!

I have somewhat of a dilemma.

I don't have a layout and won't for many years but I am going to construct a diorama replicating an area near my home town of Plymouth.

I want one engine that will suit it and comes from the last 10 or so years. I also want an investment, something that doesn't drop in terms of money - which is why I have included in my list of possibles below the Mallard (which would mean I don't build the diorama, which I don't mind).

The list of options is:

- Hornby Class 153 DMU (single unit) First Great Western with weathering and passengers added
- Bachmann Class 150 DMU (two units) limited edition First Great Western
- Hornby Mallard 80th anniversary special addition - pre-order limited edition

Which should I go for?!

They all roughly come in at the same price (the 153 a little cheaper and that includes the weathering) but the 150 and Mallard are limited editions.

Help! Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:55 AM   #2
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Hi Jon welcome to the forum. I donít believe any loco you purchase will be an investment. The market is flooded with new releases constantly. No doubt in the future you could make a profit by selling on eBay but that isnít guaranteed.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:08 AM   #3
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Hi Jon and welcome to our forum. Build your diorama, much more fun than looking at something on a shelf or glass case. It will give you the skills needed for when you start your layout proper later.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:51 AM   #4
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Firstly welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately there seems to be a bit of a misconception that there are investment opportunities within a hobby such as model railways. While there may well be certain models that do hold thier value and maybe a few that do increase it is usually only by a small amount and not enough to make it an attractive investment opportunity. The only way this might become profitable is if you are turning over high numbers such as with the larger dealers.

I certainly think most of the members here are in it for the love of either model locomotives, modelling railway scenes or just love the railways and most of us fully expect to loose money on any trading that we may become involved in.

Your message does seem to be a little confusing as you say you want to build a diorama, but it doesn't matter if you don't, and you want locomotives from the last 10 years, but including the Mallard, which only occassionally operates from York.

The only area that you might find interesting where the stock might appreciate would be the Hornby Live Steam items but there you need to know exactly what to look for and what might be a good price to pay. There are still some good examples out there but prices are rising and there is a real danger, if you do not know what to look for, of getting your fingers quite literally burned!!
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:14 AM   #5
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If you want to avoid losing money dont buy new and avoid limited editions. New items are so highly priced and the secondhand market is so slow to catch up, that if you want to get your money back, buying new is not an option even with heavily discounted bargain items.
The second thing is that as soon as you alter the item (E.g. weather it or add nameplates etc) the value drops as collectors, who pay the higher prices, are no longer interested.
A word about limited editions.
Limited editions were worth buying in the days of fewer model types available so production runs of the standard models were very high. Therefore, a limited edition model was saught after and in a far more limited supply.
However, as more and more classes of new models came out where now a huge amount of different classes are in production, the production runs are much lower as there are only so many people who buy them. (In other words, if only ten classes of loco are available, then the production numbers being sold will be very high. An example of this are with Hornby Dublo and Triang, where even the rarest items well outnumber today's production numbers being produced and even the survivors after all these years are more plentiful!)
Add to this the decline in the number of modellers buying over the last couple of decades, and add to this the massively increased prices of today's models, and the numbers sold are far less then ever before.
What does this mean for limited edition models? Well, it basically means then one can often find oneself paying more for a limited edition which has been produced in greater numbers then the standard catalogue item, and in the days of Lima this was a frequent event as the importer concentrated on importing limited editions because they earned a far greater profit per item then the standard catalogued product. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the case today with some of the other limited edition locomotives.
So basically, unless it is offered cheaper, or the same price (Or unless you really want it) it is not really worth paying the extra to buy one.

The best way to buy to gain money (In 00 gauge) is to invest in one of the three main makes whose secondhand prices are so low that it is difficult to see how they could drop any further.
Take a look at Hornby Dublo (Three rail prices are on the up, but look at two rail which have plummeted!), Wrenn and Triang. Today's prices are so low that they just can hardly go down much further. You can pick up a play worn but working Triang class 08 or Jinty for just £15 from an online model railway dealer like Elaine's Trains. [Edit. The cheaper ones have been snapped up recently. There's a Jinty for £18. Most now are in the £25 price range].
Now one may assume that as the model is play worn it won't be as collectable as a pristine example. To collectors, yes. But consider this. As its play worn and the collectors dont want it, anything you do to it is hardly going to devalue it. You can sell the motor for close to the price you have paid for the model so you really can't lose.

Last edited by Mountain Goat; 03-07-2018 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:52 AM   #6
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Hi Jon and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:19 PM   #7
Steve M
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This hobby is a very good way to turn a large amount of money into a small one.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:24 PM   #8
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Hello Jon ......Well I have never looked at model railways as a profit making thing for me it is a hobby and I like trains, always have.
One thing for sure I have never made a profit with a loco bu to be fair I very rarely ever sell anything and if I do it is used and run but always in good condition or I would not sell it.
I have noticed over the years, people come along trying to make a business from selling locos and stuff on ebay but most of them don't seem to last long. Their names seem to vanish after a year or so. Or their accounts just sit there with nothing for sale
I dont think it is an easy way to make a living.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
This hobby is a very good way to turn a large amount of money into a small one.
Think you have summed that up well Steve
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:05 PM   #10
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I make a huge loss on my locos on the occasions when I sell some. But hey, if Iím doing somebody a favour thatís OK by me.
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