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 Post subject: The Cottage Industry
PostPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 19:18 
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Joined: 22 Oct 2005, 05:47
Posts: 249
Hey Guys,

Referencing Mariussc's post in the ScaleWorx thread regarding Turbo Dak conversion sets being scarce and expensive, does anybody know why models of South African subjects, as kitted by the cottage industry overseas, never seem to appear on the local market?

It seems like a lost opportunity.

Regards,
Stratobat

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'If the literal sense makes good sense, seek no other sense lest you come up with nonsense'


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 Post subject: Re: The Cottage Industry
PostPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 19:49 
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Joined: 20 Aug 2010, 14:40
Posts: 1035
Hi Stratobat

Just my take, there are a few factors:

-SAAF subjects produced overseas are not intended for the South African market but rather for local markets. Its for modellers who want to add "esoteric" subjects to their collection. We are lucky if someone brings in a few kits, if at all.

-SAAF subjects tend to be unique, with little mainstream demand.

-The cost of production in Europe is high relative to demand. Kits tend to be produced in small batches for limited time. The cost of postage, VAT and customs adds to this. Not to mention the impact of exchange rates.

-Factoring all of the above into the price. The price per kit is simply becomes too high for Hobby shops to stock in bulk.

As South African modellers we are actually spoiled by Scaleworx (Bladerunner), Mav Decals (Zane), and Aerografix (Stevin).

In terms of lost opportunity, I don't think its a lost opportunity for oversea's manufacturers but rather to our local cottage industry. As modellers we should be supporting the local businesses as much as possible so that they can develop their product ranges and expand into international markets. Besides who would be better to make South African Subjects, other than South Africans.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cottage Industry
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2017, 17:23 
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Joined: 22 Oct 2005, 05:47
Posts: 249
Hey MARS,

You make some valid points but it still makes no sense to me that we do not see SAAF related products, kitted overseas, available in South Africa. Surely the point of all of this should be to provide content that is of interest to modellers and surely this should be considered a lost opportunity for all parties if it is not capitalised on?

I agree with you that the local industry should be supported but one is unfortunately stuck between a rock and a hard place if they want a local manufacturer to produce a conversion set or kit regarding a specific subject if there are already conversion sets or kits available on the market as the local manufacturer would have competition before they have even begun cutting the masters. The reality of the situation is that their time would be better spent on building something that is not presently available anywhere as they would then enjoy complete local and international market saturation for their efforts.

In an ideal world, where a conversion set or complete kit of a SAAF related product exists overseas, I would like to see the local retailers and/ or importers engaging with overseas cottage industry manufacturers to bring these products to the local market and/ or visa versa. Gordon Stevens of RAREplanes wrote an interesting article on AeroScale where he made mention of contacting dealers in the USA directly in order to make his products available to the American market and by all accounts he seems to have been successful as they effectively helped keep RAREplanes in business for twenty years.

- The RAREplanes Story - Part 1
- The RAREplanes Story - Part 2

Regards,
Stratobat

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