An RC racer put it this way, “.Does $4.50 a gallon gas affect me? Your damn right is does. Have I cut back on racing this year? Absolutely also follow nostalgia drag racing out here on the west coast. Last race at Famoso (outside Bakersfield), car count was down, crowd way down. This was for the U.S. Fuel & Gas Championships...”
A would be train show vendor countered, “I was filling up the van and when the price went past $65 with just over 2/3 full……jammed the nozzle back into the pump, paid the bill and said… Screw it…… just ain’t worth it!!”
The cost of gasoline is having an impact on modeling but so far it appears to be the traveling to racing venues, and hobby shows that are feeling it the most.RC racers using Nitro fuel are looking down the barrel of a doubling in prices. Much of this fuel used in the U.S. is supplied from China. There, national production has been halted because of the 2008 Olympics and the possibility of terrorists making use of the fuel as a disruption.
If Nitro does go to $40-$50 per gallon (you think you’ve got it bad at $4.??) you can count on it having a major impact on Nitro RC racing and flying..
Most Nitro now comes from a single plant in China that is in the vicinity of Beijing. With the Olympics coming to Beijing in August, the nitro plant has suspended production to address air quality and other environmental concerns.
This means that the existing nitro supply will ramp up in cost rather quickly, and bring the glow fueled engine community the same economic shock that the gas fueled engine folks have been feeling at the pump for some time now.
“We haven’t sold a Nitro plane in six months,” said one local hobby store owner who also said the first of the Hasegawa plastic kit prices were going up by 31% with his next order.
He scanned the empty shop and said it was like this most days since gas went to $4.
He has a large inventory of RC models “Big Ticket” items that are not moving at all.
The shop supplies Nitro fuel for a lot of area RC racers and he confirmed the price would go to $44 per gallon soon and it will bring a lot of RC cars and trucks to a screaming halt.
Nitro prices are not the only ones going up, like a disease, it is spreading to any hobby item that has petroleum as its base, plastics, adhesives and paint.
He wasn’t very confident they would be open in two months.
Plastic Models Also Hit With Higher Prices
I fear for the future of our hobby - building scale replicas.For years styrene, resin and lexan have figured prominently in scale modeling.
Right now, card stock is looking pretty good both for ease of use and the shear economics.
You might want to take a second look at