Re: 3-D printers in the news

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Kurt Laughlin" <fleeta@...> wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek
These parts are about .51 x .63
OK, this part is about the size of an HO scale kitchen range, and the
bars appear to be about .025" or .030" in diameter.

Is this outfit selling this part" any idea part this part will
retail for?
----- Original Message -----

They've been on sale since early this year. $20 for five, of which
only two
are the same - the other three are to match other hatches and openings:

There is also a 1/48 scale set of the same items for $19:

The smallest guard is about 10-inches in diameter on the real tank,
or .21
in 1/48, or 18 inches in HO.

One thing of note, relative to previous discussions about RR car models
being unmarketable because they were only used by one road, is that
guards were used by a single Marine tank company (14 tanks, IIRC) in
one battle....

$19 - $20 per set of five parts, or $4 per part, for a set which is
enough to do one tank.

Prices of HO scale parts, for comparison:

Tichy AB Brake set, maybe 6 – 8 parts, enough to do one car - $2.50
Tichy K brake set, maybe 6 – 8 parts, enough to do one car - $2.50

Calscale brake sets, $3.50 - $4

Calscale coach steps, 4, enough to do one car - $8.20

There are a couple things evident here. Given that the HO scale
modeler can buy an entire brake equipment for one car for $2.50 - $4,
there might be some sales resistance to paying $20 for anything that's
just an add-on detail. Admittedly, the brake sets are injection
molded, so are inexpensive to produce, once the tooling is paid for,
and since both manufacturers OEM to resin kit manufacturers, they have
a reasonable volume.

I include the Calscale passenger car steps because they illustrate a
trend; these are parts that were developed when there was a reasonable
market, as most the passenger car kits could either use them, or
modelers would buy them to up-grade from the white metal parts. They
had some continuing potential as long as the common passenger car
models were Athearn "blue box" and the Rivarossi cars imported by AHM
years ago. But, now that the new generation of RTR passenger cars come
with decent and properly rendered steps, there is not much market
left. These are investment cast brass, from wax masters (because of
the undercuts) and so have a continuing high cost per part to produce.
Even as the market has pretty much disappeared, the price has doubled
in recent years, this even after the production has gone to China.

At the prices that HO scale parts sets command, there is really not
much impetus to develop new ones. We wouldn't have the Tichy brake
sets if they hadn't been tooled in conjunction with Tichy's car kits.
We wouldn't have the Calscale parts if they hadn't been developed long
ago. If the hobby wants to see a continuous stream of new parts, they
are going to have to get comfortable with the idea of paying 2, 3, or
more times what they pay now, or everything will be ready to run, and
there will be little if any separate parts available.


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