Re: Cocoa Beach Prototype Rails - Low volume "manufacturing"

O Fenton Wells

Maybe I'm missing the point here but as Tom says he wants to do what he
wants to do. I respect that. The key here, in my opinion is that this is
a business, albeit a smaller one and perhaps motivated by different
reasons, but a business never the less. Tom has, as have others, ie Chad
Boas is another I know of have filled a need in the hobby. I believe the
hobby will rally to the need. Tom can do his thing and I believe others
will step up to the podium and make parts, pieces and even kits for those
of us who are willing to buy them. Some want to make what they like and
others make lots of stuff like Al Westerfield, Martin Lofton and Steve
Funaro. I think there is room for all. I am going to do my part to push
for the parts I want and need, so Tom please let me know when the roof top
panels for the steam ejector AC parts will be cast, hint, hint. And yes
I'll get you the dimensions for the Southern car roof panels if that will
Fenton Wells
On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM, pullmanboss <pullmanboss@...> wrote:


Dave Evans wrote: write "What I want is to limit the customer base to those who
don't need to be guided through the modeling process". In some ways, that
seems counter to the desires of many in the room to expand the number of
modelers who want to build "fine scale" models in an attempt to expand the
hobby, or at least the population of modelers that are active in groups
such as STMFC.

Joel Holmes wrote:
What happens when all the 'skilled modelers' pass on and we have not
helped younger modelers acquire the skills needed with technical help?
Our hobby will resort to nothing more than toy trains of very limited
quantity, variety and quality.
Guess I'm still not getting my point across. What I'm trying to do is
limit the demand. I'll make 100 of anything, and maybe another 100 after
those are sold. But I don't want to be making thousands. I'll sell those
hundred to anybody, but they'll have to sell for enough to make it worth my

Here's the thing - I'm 75, and at this stage of my life I want to be doing
things I enjoy. I enjoy designing and creating patterns, and I enjoy resin
casting - to as point. But I do all of that on my own terms, at my own
pace. The two insulated tank car projects I did last year were an attempt
to test a particular marketing strategy: announce a product only after it
exists, and accept payment only for the quantity that exists. Set up a wait
list (but accept no payments) if there is additional demand, and notify
those on it if/when more parts become available. It seems to have been

I say "test" because I've been sitting on a large number of patterns and
resin castings for heavyweight Pullman aftermarket parts but have been
reluctant to offer them for fear of being overwhelmed by the demand. I'm
now fairly comfortable with marketing them only on the Passenger Car List
the way I did the tank cars here. (And if I do much of that I'll step aside
as Passenger Car List Owner.)

So it's not a matter of denying younger modelers access to my techniques
and creations, nor limiting the number of modelers who aspire to the skill
level seen at RPM meets, nor trying to maximize my profit. (Trust me, I
don't need the money.) It _is_ an attempt to maintain control of my time
without becoming a prisoner of anyone else's schedule or production
demands, or get involved in what Bill so wonderfully described as "anyone
else's modeling drama".

Sorry if this all seems blunt, but that's what I hoped we'd discuss at CB.

Tom Madden

Fenton Wells
3047 Creek Run
Sanford NC 27332

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