Re: HO retainer valves and other small parts


Gentlemen,Unfortunately this trend is very widespread.It is very
difficult to find a well stocked hobby shop.As a result, more and more of us
resort to mail order further exacerbating the problem.Major distributors
require a minimum order which makes it difficult for the smaller specialized
shops, to meet the minimum.You can't make a living selling small parts.
The The loss of Mainline Modeler would be a major loss for all.Maybe it
is as the immortal words of Pogo,"We have met the enemy and they are us ".
Armand Premo om: "Patrick Wider" <pwider@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 3:14 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: HO retainer valves and other small parts


I think I know the shop you're referring to but would you let me know who
it is offline? I'm
afraid there's a really bad trend going on. There used to be three or four
really good train
stores in the St. Louis area. There isn't a single one now. The same is
true for the Kansas
City area. Except for several enclaves in places like LA, SF, Denver,
Chicago, and Columbus
(?), the really good train stores are going the way of the dodo. Our
local store now refuses
to stock new freight car kits or freight car parts. They buy a few
assembled models and
arrange their shelves to make it look like they're full. They will order
parts from Walthers
but if Walthers doesn't have it, you're screwed. The guys that own and run
the thing are all
retired and use the store just to get away from their wives. It's
pathetic. At one time this
was a real active fully stocked train store. Based upon my experience as a
modeler and as
a train book publisher, the trend is widespread. Many stores don't even
answer the mail -
snail or otherwise. I believe LGB and the rebirth of Lionel were the worst
things that could
happen to our hobby. These guys don't see the light and convert over to
our way of
thinking very often, if at all. It requires too much thought.

Building detailed models is becoming a lost art with a possible exception
in the military
model area. These guys outnumber us (and I are one). Ben Hom described
them to a T.
They've got the time because they don't have to build a layout. As far as
I'm concerned, I'd
just as soon stay home, order stuff via the internet, and save the sales
tax and gas money.
Also, the arrival of the UPS truck gives me one more chance to study its

Do any of you have sons or grandsons interested in the accurate modeling
of steam era
freight cars????? Yes, Mainline Modeler has talked about this for years
and it's now up for
sale. Also, if everyone who subscribed to this list bought books devoted
to prototypes
from the steam era, I'd be driving around in a new Caddy convertible!!!

Please give me a list of good (steam era ) kit and parts suppliers who I
can access via my

Pat Wider

--- In STMFC@..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@o...>

Personal disclaimer: I do a lot of business with a friend of mine who
runs a first-rate retail model railroad shop. However, that also
requires phone or e-mail orders, as he's located in Ohio and I'm in
Southern Oregon. The local hobby shop (14 miles away) isn't bad, as
most hobby shops go, but stocks only the most basic things I need, so
it isn't worth my time to go there and back (not to mention burning a
gallon or so of $3+ gasoline) just to confirm that they don't have what
I want. The alternative is to spend five minutes placing an e-mail
order and receive what I order via UPS or USPS in a few days.

Richard Hendrickson

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