Author Topic: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?  (Read 734 times)

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BCRail_FSJ

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A question for any New Zealand or Austrailan N scalers on here:  Where do you mail order your basic supplies from?   Do you use North American retailers (and grimly accept the shipping and customs import charges?) or is there a NZ or Australian online distributor alternative.?    The local hobby shop scene in Auckland is dire (and completely non-existent for N scale).  That's the price of living in a far-flung paradise I guess.

By 'Basic Supplies' I am referring to a planned bulk order including:

Atlas Code 55 flex track, turnouts and rail joiners
Foam road bed, Foam tack glue etc.
Basic scenery materials (e.g Woodland Scenics)

I was hoping there might be a good N scale supplier for the above items in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.     It might reduce the shipping costs if I order online, or I could just plan a store visit next time I am across the Tasman sea. 

I'm in Brisbane in a month if anyone has a store recommendation there.



I'll still use US and Canadian distributors for rolling stock, locomotive and detail part orders, (or just shop on visits back to Canada).

Thanks

Andy


Attempting Canadian prototype modelling in New Zealand.

British Columbia Fort St John Subdivision
https://nscalefortstjohnsub.wordpress.com

James Costello

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 05:55:38 PM »
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I'm in Brisbane in a month if anyone has a store recommendation there.
Andy

G'day Andy - there are a few of here from the Brisbane area. I'd suggest you send pm to @Jim Costello and see if you can catch up with him while you're here in Brisbane - hopefully it works out with his travels.
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

Albert in N

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 05:39:01 PM »
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 :)  There is one in Perth that ships items to Canada.  Although in Texas, USA, I received a trade item from Missaberoad in a used box that Maylands Model Railways had shipped to him in Canada, from Perth, Australia.  Hope this helps; here is the link: https://maylandsmodelrailways.wordpress.com/

Ron McF

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 07:19:38 PM »
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G'day from across the detch, Andy - I'm in Melbourne.

Although there are several model train shops around Melbourne, they're all at least 45 minutes drive (each way) from my place, and most have a very limited product range when it comes to N scale. So unless I need/want something urgently, I hold off until I can place a bulk order on one of the on-line stores in the USA.

My go-to on-line store is MB Klein - their prices are competitive, they have real-time inventory listings, and I can find out immediately what S&H to Australia will be.  I find that once the order value gets to around AUD $100 it's usually cheaper to buy from OS than to buy from a local store, even after allowing for S&H.  Postage time from the USA is usually only 7-9 days, which I find to be far more tolerable than a 2+ hour return trip across the 'burbs of Melbourne.

Kleins also has a "wish-list" tool that allows me save purchase ideas until I have enough stuff to justify an order, which I find very handy.

I also follow the N scale listings on ebay, and I've picked up a lot of rolling stock at very good prices. Just watch the S&H costs.

I usually use the cheapest mailing option for orders under ~ $150. I weigh up risk of loss (very low) against cost of the goods. I've never had an order from an on-line retailer go missing (although there's always a chance one will), but I have lost a few packages from ebay sellers.

I haven't had to pay customs duty since the early '70s but my orders are usually under AUD $150.

On several occasions I have placed much larger orders on US stores - two bulk purchases of Atlas C55 track for several hundreds of dollars each, and a bulk order for ~ USD$500 worth of DCC equipment. In those cases I shopped around among the better known online stores before placing my orders.

BTW - I don't use foam road bed. I buy 600mm x 900mm x 3mm sheets of cork from a flooring specialist in Melbourne (approx $6 per sheet) and cut it to size.

Regards,
Ron

 
Ron McF
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BCRail_FSJ

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 10:17:42 PM »
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Thanks for the tips.    Looks like I'll plan several big mail-orders per year from North America.   The trick with importing into New Zealand is to try and keep the total value of each shipment under $400 to avoid customs duty.   The limit is higher if you bring it with you back from an overseas trip, so that is a good option B.   Nothing like a couple of 14 hour flights with a large suitcase for some good shopping.   
Attempting Canadian prototype modelling in New Zealand.

British Columbia Fort St John Subdivision
https://nscalefortstjohnsub.wordpress.com

superchief

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 11:21:39 PM »
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Andy,
     I was visiting in Brisbane in 2015 for the n scale convention (from Texas!!) and we stopped at a store called Austral Modelcraft located on the south side of Brisbane in the town of Mount Gravett. I thought it was a very well stocked store and very friendly staff, Ray and Eileen were there on their day off, the weather was great and they had the front door open. when we told them we were from Texas they invited us in we bought some stuff and Ray drove us a couple of miles(kilometers) to his club layout and gave us the grand tour!!!!!
                                                                        we need more people like this in the hobby and owning the stores!!!! I want to go back!!!
                                                                                          Gordon Bliss, Santa Fe-All the Way

Doug W

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 04:18:51 AM »
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I'm in NZ (Wellington) and model in N Andy. I buy virtually everything from the the US, although I would buy a bit more locally if it was more competitive price-wise and I could get what I wanted.

I have bought Atlas Code 55 in NZ, but it is hard to come by. You could try Acorn Models in Christchurch or Bay Hobbies in Tauranga, but I don't think either has Atlas Code 55 at the moment. Mack's Track here in Wellington doesn't sell any Code 55.

Have you been to an AMRA convention? It's a catch-up of Kiwi North American prototype modelers, every two years in June. The next one is in 2019, I think in Tauranga. I'll probably be there.

Get in touch if you come to Wellington. We have an active N scale group, with some good layouts and more on the way.

Cheers
Doug

mu26aeh

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 09:03:50 PM »
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Not sure if you guys have seen this company or not.  I've seen their posts show up on buying groups on Facebook. 

https://www.groundupscenery.com.au/

Alwyn Cutmore

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Re: Fellow Aussies and Kiwis. Where do you order your basic supplies from?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 09:13:23 PM »
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Just to add to mu26aeh thread this is the website for Ground Up Scenery https://www.groundupscenery.com.au/. The webpage is currently being rebuilt from the Ground Up so if you do not see it on the page just ask the question.

Regards

Al
Al Cutmore
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