Re: Rutland stock cars


benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Gentlemen:

Over the past decade, Funaro served as a "contractor" for historical
societies and small manufacturers for patterns and exclusive kits.
Examples include hopper kits for the Anthracite Railroad Historical
Society; the USRA DS boxcar rebuilds offered by Sunshine a decade
ago; the Yankee Clipper line which included the B&M XM-1 Pratt Truss
SS boxcars, and our line at Rensselaer. The following is quoted from
John Nehrich from the RPI website at
http://www.union.rpi.edu/railroad/images/rolling-stock/Kits/Misc-
kits.html#F&C :

"We originally worked very closely with F&C, as it seemed they had
kits that had potential and centered around a lot of local roads.
Through the '90's, I personally sent them tons of information and
tried my best to promote their kits (in our shop catalogs and in
articles in the model railroad press). In the process I sort of wound
up as a lightning rod for complaints about the shoddy instructions in
the kits, their extremely crude first kits, and the lack of follow
through when parts or decals were missing, etc. We developed a line
of kits (reaching 32 kits in all) that were supposed to be exclusive
to the Rensselaer Railroad Shop, since we paid for the initial run.
Instead, we found that while we had sizeable deposits tied up
with F&C for three years or more and were anxiously waiting for them,
F&C was producing kits for others, often using information I had sent
them. Then F&C started producing our kits under their name, claiming
that we hadn't reordered them in a timely manner (since we were
waiting for the kits already partially paid for, we weren't about to
send them MORE money). These kits even include NEB&W decals, which we
never gave them permission to use for themselves. And I can give you
a list of other companies that have had similar bad experiences in
trying to work with them.
Therefore, I feel burned by the treatment they gave us, and feel
I've done enough to promote them in the past."

You can find some of the other "exclusive kits" that I mentioned
above currently being marketed under the F&C name. When you add it
all up at the end of the day, it was good to have kits for a lot of
prototypes that might not have had them otherwise, but that doesn't
quite balance out our less than satisfactory experience with him at
RPI.

The moral of this story? Never underestimate a manufacturer's
ability to shoot himself in the head; or, there's no law against
being an inept businessman.


By the way, the Rutland stock car kit in the Funaro line is the one
previously offered in the Rensselaer Railroad Shop line. The one
recently available through Rutland Car Shops had masters done by
Sylvan Scale Models and is a different prototype. Their website is
at http://www.ultranet.com/~jimdu4/carshops.htm .


Ben Hom

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