Re: [ResinFreightCarBuilders] RPM Chicagoland Photos

Dennis Storzek

On Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 02:07 PM, skibbs4 wrote:
Here's the timeline slide, that was published as one slide of a larger presentation:

I can add a little more detail to the disposition of my line, for what it's worth.

Beginning in 1983, about a year after Al Westerfield started, I ultimately offered five kits, some in multiple road names:

A Soo Line wood caboose. I wanted to do a freightcar, but couldn't convince myself there was a market for freightcars at the price I'd need to get, and thought the caboose was a safer bet...

The Soo Line "sawtooth" boxcar, which is the kit I really wanted to do... I had to measure a prototype and do my own drawings.

A NYC double sheathed boxcar and auto car, also available with NKP and DSS&A lettering, and then a Rutland version of each with different ends. Someone wanted the South Shore version, and steered me to the NYC drawings published in the CBC and one extant car at the museum in North Freedom. This was a project that just kept growing, as modelers following other roads (NKP, Rutland) noticed the similarity and provided additional information to make them happen.

A Canadian Gov't Railways / CN single sheathed boxcar. This one was promoted by Stafford Swain, who arranged for Ken Goslett to did the builders drawings out of the archives of the Canadian Railway Historical Society museum at Delson, PQ.

Along about this time I asked Grandt Line about the possibility of doing a standard gauge KC brake set to replace the CalScale set that had just gone out of production, and Dave asked for anticipated volume. This caused the rude awakening that while I was making many more different kits, sales volume had been essentially flat since my second year, and this was never going to be a full time business, so I turned my energies elsewhere.

At this time, 1986 or '87, DesPlaines Hobby (not DesPlaines Valley) was still a partnership, and Ron Sebastian's partner (Bob Dennis, IIRC) was interested in expanding the business into manufacturing, and I sold the entire line and production equipment. Within a year or so the partnership dissolved, leaving the resin kit line an orphan. Most of my line died then and there. DesPlaines Hobby eventually copied the caboose as an injection molded flat kit, and Westerfield did new patterns of the NYC cars and put them in his line, rendering my older work moot. Some years later, the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society asked me about the boxcar patterns, since the car had been off the market for at least a decade. This resulted in the Society purchasing the rights to the design, which they then licensed to Speedwitch, and Ted turned first generation parts that I had retained into a one-piece body, while supplying a revised floor pattern. This is the only one of my kits that lives on; I have no idea what ever happened to the CN car, although I used drawings of a similar CN car as the basis for an Accurail kit.

I point this all out because the flow chart seems to imply that Speedwitch was somehow a continuation of my line, which is by no means true, except for that one kit.

Dennis Storzek

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