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  • #16
    Originally posted by Matt Pinto View Post
    Possibly the 221 Super Voyager is the better target for a revamp. Farish have been offering the 220 Voyager for a while now so I don't know how much demand there would be for a retooled one. The Super Voyagers on the other hand are just slightly different and may sell better.
    Farish haven't produced any for a while though, and its an ageing model which wasn't one of their best to start with - and the method of coupling the carriages together is very awkward too. Despite the shortcomings of this (and the Dapol models of these units) they sell for a lot on ebay so there's clearly demand for even the less-than-brilliant models.

    So there may be a market for a modern-spec model of both Voyager types - and mostly the two types are the same: it's only really the bogies which would need to be different on a model. Voyagers are one of those trains which few people like much, but they have such a wide area of operation that they are suitable for layouts based in a large variety of locations. They are also quite small trains, at 4 and 5 carriages, so don't need a large layout.

    Comment


    • #17
      JeremiahBunyan - Thats a fair point and I can understand where Dapol are coming from, but I would argue that the more units that can be viably produced mean the cheaper the model should get especially as the cost of tooling is in theory a fixed cost (and probably the most expensive bit to produce). I guess it all comes down to the numbers that can be sold at RRP.

      DavidInYork - The devil is in the detail, as they say! The principle applied by Dapol on the 156 of a snap together coupler could still be applied, even if it isn't the asthetically same coupler.

      Thank you for your replies, chaps.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by PaulShanahanUK View Post
        JeremiahBunyan - Thats a fair point and I can understand where Dapol are coming from, but I would argue that the more units that can be viably produced mean the cheaper the model should get especially as the cost of tooling is in theory a fixed cost (and probably the most expensive bit to produce). I guess it all comes down to the numbers that can be sold at RRP
        Could you explain that in detail please, I have trouble seeing how a dummy can be produced more viably and how it's going to lead to more sales.
        Jeremiah Bunyan...

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by JeremiahBunyan View Post

          Could you explain that in detail please, I have trouble seeing how a dummy can be produced more viably and how it's going to lead to more sales.

          Ok, The cost of producing a motorised unit is predominantly Direct Costs; Raw Materials (Plastics, Metals, Card, Printing etc), Tooling for the Production Line, the Mechanical Assembly Line set up, and Indirect Costs; apportioned Admin related costs (Marketing, Buildings, IT, blah blah blah) and, of course Salaries for the workers. Add this together give you a cost point.

          The more units (lets assumed motorised for now) that are produced;
          The Raw Materials Costs should come down per unit based on bulk purchase discounts;
          The Cost of Tooling and Mechanical Production Line set up is generally a fixed capital cost, so apportioned out per unit, would come down
          Admin Related Costs, can be variable, some will increase, some will be fixed, some will come down per unit. Let's assume the cost per unit will remain static, irrespectively of units produced.
          Salaries are likely to go up (more people for packing, shipping, labelling etc) but the apportioned cost per unit depends on the quantity produced. Let assume a slight increase in Cost per unit for greater numbers.

          Adding these costs up per unit gives a cost point per unit, based on a set number of manufactured units, which should drive the Sales Price.

          Now, along come me and says "Can I have a dummy unit?"
          Total Raw materials purchased increases, resulting in bigger discounts; resulting in reduced costs per unit
          Tooling Costs remain the same, we are using the same tools; no cost per unit as the Motorised Units have absorbed these costs.
          Production Line Costs will be slight. We are using the same production line EXCEPT that we no longer inject parts relating to the motor and the stick label is different on the box. The majority of the production line cost is already in the motorised unit, so slight cost to the dummy
          Variable Admin related costs will have a slight increase associated with the Dummy. Fixed Admin related costs will already be absorbed by the motorised units. Unlikely to have additional reduced admin costs.
          Salaries are going to go up. More people/time to produce dummy units.

          Adding these costs up gives a cost per unit significantly less that the motorised units based on the fact the Motorised units have absorbed the majority of the costs. Sales price point will now also be less.

          Now, that is very simplistic.

          Assume we produce both Dummy and Motorised at the same time, we can argue that all costs above will be apportioned over the two. The cost point of the motorised unit comes down, the dummy unit goes up. I assume this is the basis for the argument that the cost of producing a Dummy is similar to producing a Motorised unit. This is accounting semantics in my opinion.

          How is this going to lead to more sales? That's a little more difficult to answer. Sales are based on demand. Demand is produced through a combination of requests and predominantly Marketing. Price point is one element of Marketing. Clearly, the cheaper the price point the more attractive it is. How do we know we can produce viable units to reduce cost (and therefore) price points? Well, that can only be done through market research. I am a person who would like dummy units. On my own, that's not viable. I've put the suggestion up here and it is up to the community to say yes or no. Based on the number of yes's, then Dapol can decide if it's viable or not to at least do research. If research suggests Yes, then produce, if not, then don't.

          Hope that helps to understand my viewpoint. I think the semantics (mentioned) will be the discussion point though.


          Quick one for Dapol - Can you change the time out settings for users log in? Sometimes there is not enough time to type before the system kicks us off! Thanks!

          Comment


          • JeremiahBunyan
            JeremiahBunyan commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Paul.

          • Andy Dapol
            Andy Dapol commented
            Editing a comment
            Session time out increased to 1/2 hour.

        • #20
          Originally posted by PaulShanahanUK View Post


          Ok, The cost of produc....
          Actually, to add to this post. Maybe there is better solution to the Dummy vs Motorised units. Why not produce a unit with a swap out drive / dummy bogey (thinking Dapol Class 52 as the inspiration) with a switch at the bottom to turn off power to the motor itself (but retain power for lighting/DCC etc). Swapping out the driving wheels for non driving wheels to reduce load on the "powered" unit" (frictionless motor anyone?), the switch to stop the motor spinning when power is put through the unit.

          That way, people can have best of both worlds in one model.

          Just a thought...

          Comment


          • JR_P
            JR_P commented
            Editing a comment
            JeremiahBunyan - I think what you are getting at is that I am among the 'vocal few' ;-) advocating dummies, whilst the 'silent many' have little interest in them.... that may indeed be the case.... which makes PaulShanahanUK 's suggestion an acceptable middle-ground.

            As an aside (not relating to class 220/221), but the arguments for/against dummies; I have noticed that a number of wagons I have bought of late are weighing-in quite heavy - the most obvious examples for me were a long rake of Farish JGA (which I have since un-weighted) and the new RevolutioN TEA - I actually had to double-head (both powered) when hauling using Bo-Bo locos (Dapol class 86 and 67s) in my case - whilst not realistic motive power for such a rake, by contrast all the Co-Co locos (Farish 60 and 66) only needed to single head.... not really sure I have a point, just an observation, but if the trend is for heavier wagons, perhaps dummy locos will become obsolete through necessity anyway....

          • JeremiahBunyan
            JeremiahBunyan commented
            Editing a comment
            So it's not only the prices getting heavier then? LoL

          • Vonzack
            Vonzack commented
            Editing a comment
            I think the main issue between the Dapol locos mentioned and the Farish 60s / 66s are their relative weights. A Farish 66 weighs around 105g about 30% more than the Dapol version. The 86s and 67s may even be less.

        • #21
          JR_P - Re DCC, in principle yes, I believe the switch would need to be located along one of the chip to motor wires/connections.

          Comment


          • #22
            In the case of the 220/221, it's quite prototypical to see multiple units working together, so for me the requirement for a dummy is higher than for other models.

            Comment


            • #23
              I can't comment on Dapol's cost structures but I can't imagine they are terribly different to our's (Revolution Trains) and the problem is that as wages rise in China then assembly costs increase which means that not including a motor does not really save you much. You can reduce assembly costs for dummies but that generally means some new tooling/design/parts ie a new cost.

              Then the market expects dummies to be significantly cheaper.

              So the answer is yes you can have dummies if there is a demand for them at a only slightly reduced price from motorised unit.

              Cheers, Mike

              Comment


              • #24
                Originally posted by mike View Post
                I can't comment on Dapol's cost structures but I can't imagine they are terribly different to our's (Revolution Trains) and the problem is that as wages rise in China then assembly costs increase which means that not including a motor does not really save you much. You can reduce assembly costs for dummies but that generally means some new tooling/design/parts ie a new cost.

                Then the market expects dummies to be significantly cheaper.

                So the answer is yes you can have dummies if there is a demand for them at a only slightly reduced price from motorised unit.

                Cheers, Mike
                Hi Mike,

                I think you are using different reasons to justify prices. The Chinese wages increase will affect the cost (and subsiquent price) of all units, not just dummies, so I think that's is a red herring. I don't understand why you would need new tooling or parts either. For the tooling, I would expect the same plant and machinery would be used to produce both. For parts, surely we would just not include elements of the assembly, as opposed to redesigning/creating new part for those elements?

                Now, in relation to dummies vs motorised pricing, is the assumption correct that you would expect to produce both at the same time? I am trying to establish the rational you (and the other producers) are using to justify the argument that dummies are only slightly cheaper. I am assuming that you are expecting to produce both at the same time, in which case, I then assume the fixed capital costs are being apportioned equally over all units, other costs such as assembly costs, wages etc being in line with the production run etc? Is this the basis for this justification?

                If this is the case, I think it goes along way to trying to get customers to understand why the pricing structure are the way they are. I'll go a little further and say actually, a good proportion of consumers price expectaions are just wrong and, those expectations need to be revised. That (in my opinion) requires some proactive discussion between consumers and producers, with producers taking the lead. I personally can see why models cost more now, with the detail expected, variations of liveries etc, general cost inflation, currency inflation (as we are currently seeing) and so on, but I don't think a portion of the community truly understand this. Is there a way to move those discussions forward? (question for everyone, not just you, Mike )

                Many thanks

                Paul

                Comment


                • #25
                  Originally posted by PaulShanahanUK View Post
                  If this is the case, I think it goes along way to trying to get customers to understand why the pricing structure are the way they are. I'll go a little further and say actually, a good proportion of consumers price expectaions are just wrong and, those expectations need to be revised. That (in my opinion) requires some proactive discussion between consumers and producers, with producers taking the lead. I personally can see why models cost more now, with the detail expected, variations of liveries etc, general cost inflation, currency inflation (as we are currently seeing) and so on, but I don't think a portion of the community truly understand this. Is there a way to move those discussions forward? (question for everyone, not just you, Mike )
                  Probably true - and I don't think the situation is helped by at least one manufacturer (Hornby) putting massive RRPs on models produced form ancient toolings, with little detail, no working lights, etc. An obvious example is the amount they are selling the Class 91 / Mk4 sets for at the moment - these are really basic models, but are being sold at prices more fitting to modern, detailed models. It's perhaps not surprising that some collectors view the price rises with some scepticism.

                  Comment


                  • #26
                    Originally posted by PaulShanahanUK View Post
                    I think you are using different reasons to justify prices. The Chinese wages increase will affect the cost (and subsiquent price) of all units, not just dummies, so I think that's is a red herring. I don't understand why you would need new tooling or parts either. For the tooling, I would expect the same plant and machinery would be used to produce both. For parts, surely we would just not include elements of the assembly, as opposed to redesigning/creating new part for those elements?

                    Now, in relation to dummies vs motorised pricing, is the assumption correct that you would expect to produce both at the same time? I am trying to establish the rational you (and the other producers) are using to justify the argument that dummies are only slightly cheaper. I am assuming that you are expecting to produce both at the same time, in which case, I then assume the fixed capital costs are being apportioned equally over all units, other costs such as assembly costs, wages etc being in line with the production run etc? Is this the basis for this justification?
                    I'm not sure which part you think is a red herring, but I think Dapol have already mentioned it on this forum, but again this is our experience from the last couple of years that as wages increase the balance between tooling costs and assembly costs have shifted. Assembly costs are higher due to two things: wage increases and expectation of better detail (ie requires more assembly therefore double whammy from wage increases). My point about dummies is that either you have 95% of the same assembly and tooling costs for a dummy as a motorised item ie you just leave out the motor (and possibly some of the circuitry/pick ups but really not a huge financial saving) so your "saving" of the price of a motor is negligible or you tool different parts for a genuine dummy chassis ie simpler to assemble etc which might save you more on assembly but will mean a new tooling cost. Either way you haven't really saved yourself much money.

                    Your point about fixed capital costs (in this case tooling) being amortised over a greater number of units depends entirely on whether you are actually going to sell significantly more units*, but even if you do then the relative prices of motorised v non-motorised remain roughly the same ie motorised and dummy units both become slightly cheaper. Dummy units don't become significantly cheaper than motorised units if the assembly costs are still roughly the same, so you are back at the conundrum of how to make the cost of dummy units significantly cheaper...

                    * in fact you might even make things worse - the more variety you get in assembly the more likely you are to hit resistance from the factory about minimum order numbers and possibly increased unit costs (ie assembly costs go up)...

                    Cheers, Mike

                    Comment


                    • #27
                      Originally posted by mike View Post

                      I'm not sure which part you think is a red herring, but I think Dapol have already mentioned it on this forum....;

                      Cheers, Mike
                      Thanks Mike, I as a consumer, certainly appreciate your response and explaination and am happy with this.

                      So, it certainly sounds like confirmation (at least for Revolution Trains and I'll assume Dapol too) that production planning does indeed includes all variants (Dummy, Moterised, Liveries etc) and all the costs associated with that plan, apportioned over each unit. Therefore the only savings between dummy and motorised are units sans the montorised elements.

                      Looking forward to seeing you guys at Warley!

                      Many thanks, Paul

                      Comment


                      • #28
                        Apologies if I'm going off on one, but when we consider dummy units, there's a distinction to be made. For this particular model the difference between a powered and non-powered unit, isn't the removal of the motor and drive train. What would have been the powered car is completely different, in fact it's identical to the non-powered coach and the assembly cost should be no more. All tooling required to produce a dummy model has been done to produce the powered versions, so there isn't even a cost implication in that. A dummy for this model is no more than an add on coach pack and these wouldn't retail for the same as a powered version. Even if we think about a possible re-tooled version which uses a single DCC Chip, the coach will have to pass power, so again this wouldn't cost any more to produce.

                        Things do change if you consider some of the other dummies that have been produced such as the 66 / 67 / 86. These again share 95% of the components of the original powered models, but have bogies designed to take pin point axles. From what I can see, this is the only difference and it would increase the original tooling cost, if they were designed this way, or you could re-use allot of tooling to produce dummy loco's by just producing a new bogie tool. Some of these versions the 86s for example have lights and that means you're dealing with pickups etc. but the 66 and 67 versions were empty and again I don't think production of these models would take much time as you're just clipping a body shell to a chassis at the end of the day. A little more involved than a coach, but not much more.

                        Comment


                        • #29
                          Any news if these will be re launched as the new virgin trains white livery has just been applied to 221101.

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                          • jacowin80
                            jacowin80 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            this would be much appreciated, even as a basic model, they really are getting quite rare and i'm sure would be a nice and easy earner for dapol.

                        • #30
                          Andy Dapol Joel Dapol
                          ​​​​​​​I see Farish have announced a new run, are there any plans from Dapol for launching a new run too or with the Farish Announcement, is this thought dead in the water?

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