Saturday, 26 November 2011

What's it worth?

I was nudged a day ago by CP into pondering what layouts are worth. This as the 009 layout Chelthwaite and Beccadale is offered for sale at a bit over £7k on t'internet. (Narrow Gauge Online maybe the place to look further if you're interested).
This seems outrageous on the face of it, but then what are they worth? The answer is of course, what someone will pay for it. There is a paralel with painting. Take Lowry for example. Laughed at during his lifetime as worthless - worth millions now. The list would be endless. Are we the same? Is it art? Is a pile of ply, card and plastic worth anything at all? And are we taking the piss putting anything more than £100 down as insurance value at exhibitions, as what would the rebuild costs really be?
Over to one of the pro's?


  1. A lot more than you would expect, and I speak as someone who once had to claim when my stock box was stolen.

    Layouts - well you could just quote for cost of materials but replacement would include many hundreds of hours of time too.

    In the end I pluck a figure out of the air of several thousand based on the number of kit-built locos I carry plus a lump for the layout. If it was lost, would I replace it ? Dunno and I hope I never have to find out.

  2. Given that it takes me about thirty hours to build a good quality structure, and I charge £25 an hour... Then add up how many structures make up an average GWR branch terminus, plus the track, baseboards etc. I guess a good rule of thumb would be how much it would cost to have it replaced professionally...and how irreplaceable your own work would be if it were lost. You probably wouldn't have the energy or enthusiasm to do it all again, and that surely has to factor in too.

    In a sad moment a couple of years ago I put a model up for sale on Ebay, and was asked by someone if I had got the decimal point in the wrong place, as the price seemed astronomical. I later sold the thing for 120% more than the asking price and the buyer was of the opinion that it was a bargain.

    I guess what we do, amateur and professional, is pretty special, something you can't really put a price on, but I'd go for the high side with insurance.