Re: Attitudes of kit producers, was:Wine car ops

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Richard Hendrickson notes:

"Walter is assuming that northeastern modelers only model
northeastern railroads, which is far from true; many members of this
list who live in the northeast model western railroads (e.g. Tim
O'Connor). Conversely many who live out west model eastern lines (e.g.
Greg Martin)."

True enough. Oddly, I generally assume that those that live in a region are modeling that region. Thus, I was surprised to find such as Greg Martin and Ted Culotta. Bruce Auburn, Alabama, models Pennsy, Jim Udaly in KC models C&O, Andy Sperandeo in Wisconsin models Cajon Pass, Jared Harper in GA models the ATSF in Kansas...and Jeff Aley models various RRs in Kansas. I am in FL modeling Wyoming, Marty Megregian here is doing Utah, Tom Wilson in central FL does the P&WV and his neighbor John Wilkes does the Southern & L&N plus Dan Zugelter south of me doing C&O in WV. So...does anyone model their area? Well...there are two in FL doing FEC.

"In fact, model manufacturers have, by now, a whole lot of experience
with which railroads have strong followings among modelers and which
ones don't, and that experience factors heavily into the choices they
make of prototypes to model. Anyone in their sales departments will
tell you that, if it's painted and lettered for the Pennsy or the Santa
Fe, it will sell like gangbusters, whether it's an accurate model or
not. Other formerly large and important RRs seem to score high on the
boredom scale, for some reason; examples include New York Central,
Louisville & Nashville, and almost all of the RRs in the south and
southeast (and before devotees of those RRs write angry responses to
this observation, let me point out that those aren't my personal
judgments, just what I'm told by people in the industry about their
sales figures)."

I have to wonder if some of this developed during the 1970/80 brass steam loco market analysis. Recent plastic steam loco generation seems to have gone in a somewhat different direction. Builders seem to have decided that USRA engines would provide more of a broad based market. Frankly, I think they were wrong. Buyers not particularly drawn to a particular RR are...IMO...driven more to "asthetic" designs perhaps but I believe more so to well detailed and good running models. Hence, they'll go for anything well done. Prototype modelers, however, are more drawn to models that are accurate and accurate for their time period. Very few USRA engines were NOT modified by the late 40's early '50's time period. Hence, most USRA models aren't really well suited to the serious prototype modeler...unless they intend to bash it. That's not to say that frt car market studies are based on the brass steam loco market of the '80's/'90's, but there might be some correlation.

Mike Brock

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