Kodos to Andy Carlson for offering kits and parts for steam era freight cars and manufacturers like Intermountain & Red Caboose who sell parts at very attractive prices.Such a simple suggestion. A pity it is not so simple to setup or maintain.
I suspect that the return may not pay for the effort.
Mike has censured many of messages criticizing the business practices of the Walthers company. They are in business to make money, not serve the hobby.They make money By Serving the Hobby. If they weren't doing a good job they would not be in business.
I work for a store that does a lot of business with Walthers, three or more orders a week. If someone orders something I can tell them if it is in stock and when to expect to see it. If they want to know how many are in stock I can have an answer in three minutes.
If we had to deal separately with every company whose product Walthers carries, we couldn't do that. Instead of just putting it on the current order (due in the store in a week to ten days), we would have to accumulate orders until we had enough for a minimum order from a company. That could take months!
The test of whether a company is doing a good job is who is their competition. If Wally was doing a crappy job competition would be cropping up all over. It isn't. Their only close competition is Hobby Horizons and if they didn't have a monopoly on Athearn and MDC they wouldn't be in the game.
Walthers is not perfect but they currently are the best game in town.
And since we were speaking about parts, we stock a lot of them. 30+ double sided pegboard panels of them and more coming. A big pain at inventory time!
Now back to steam era freight cars. I like the series on gondolas.