Sunday, 27 February 2011

You get what you pay for?

In between other projects I've been tinkering this Arado 196 together. It has long been a favourite of mine; I was about to buy the Italeri offering in 1/48 when I saw Revell were releasing their 196 in 1/32 scale, and I couldn't say no to that.

But by the time I got to round to buying it, the £20 offer price had expired and I had to pay the full £25. I was a bit put out about the extra fiver, but then I got to thinking about the £30 Hasegawa are charging for the Curtiss P-40 and the P-38, and I remembered that not long ago I was paying only £18 for these kits. What had happened? Indeed, the model shop I visit regularly has stopped stocking Hasegawa altogether on the grounds that customers are refusing to pay these big new prices.

I have included some photos of the 196's interior detail so you can see how much £25 can buy today. Revell's prices are catching up, but they are not stratospheric and their kits represent good value for money. In my view, Hasegawa can't continue to charge such high prices on the basis of their good name. Customers will vote with their feet (and keyboards) and in my experience, modellers are sharp-witted consumers who want to indulge in their hobby and are very canny about what they pay for. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

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