Re: Branchline and other box cars offerings

Gatwood, Elden J SAD

I had some manufacturers, hobby shop owners, and modelers (or buyers of
models) get pretty brutal this past year, when I expressed some similar
ponderings. Here is what I got from each:

Manufacturer: "You just don't understand the realities of the model
railroading industry. No one wants kits anymore, they want RTR. You are in
a group that is outnumbered a hundred to one. You are one of the only people
I know still building kits."

Hobby Shop Owner: "You don't understand that the industry has gone to RTR,
and I won't stock kits on my shelves because they won't sell. The buying
public wants something they can plop right onto the layout....with sound."

Modeler: "You don't understand. I can't build stuff like you do. I can't
building resin kits, or paint or decal, or weather stuff. I want a working
layout in my lifetime."

OK, I get it.

I still think there is a market for limited-run, very accurate, freight car
kits, perhaps even with pre-painted and lettered parts, for those of us,
small in number, that like to build something unique, and meaningful for a
layout, with a statistically representative fleet.

Call me crazy.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Branchline and other box cars offerings


We have this discussion a number of times on this list. There is no way to
compare the sales of resin kits to extruded plastic kits. I BIG run of a
resin model is 300. Someone like Intermountain needs to sell a 1000 plus kits
JUST to recovery the cost of the tooling! A "humble" math exerise here should
explain the problem. 1000 kits to pay for the tooling and 1000 kits for a
reason return on there investment, means the manufacturer needs to sell 2000
kits, at a minimum, to have a reasonably successful model! My numbers are
probably low. So with sales of 300, the resin manufacturer is beaming from
ear to ear; and if he managed to sell 2000 kits the plastic manufacturer is
wondering if he wants to do that again. If plastic manufacturers could make a
profit on 300 kits, I suspect we would have a model of every prototype
freight car that was ever been built.

Paul Lyons

-----Original Message-----
From: Armand Premo <
<> >
To: <>
Sent: Thu, Jun 24, 2010 7:39 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Branchline and other box cars offerings

Andy,In my humble opinion there is plenty of room for both.Unfortunately
undecorated kits lie dormant because of a lack of appropriate decals or dry
transfers.How do you explain the popularity of resin kits and the multitude
of laser cut building kits?Somebody must be buying them.The largest
investment is in the cutting of dies.Once done, the cheapest part of the
operation is decorating the car body for more than one era or one paint
scheme.There are many who like to kit bash or further enhance current
offerings.If there are any out there who might have kits that they aren't
going to build get them out there so others who build, will.It is very
difficult to have to strip a RTR car and reletter or super detail it.Until
the manufacturers realize that there is a market for both ,I'll continue to
spend my money on resin.Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
From: Andy Carlson
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:12 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Branchline and other box cars offerings

Wasn't that long ago we were lamenting the disappearance of kits as companies
such as Intermountain and Red Caboose were moving their production into
mostly Factory assembled offerings.

Later, Branchline-Trains, with a rich catalog of pre-finished kits, joined
the march into offering RTR cars.

Now we have Intermountain offering ZERO painted/lettered kits, only undecs
are available. Same with Red Caboose. Branchline-Trains appears to be moving
into only Yardmaster "shake the box" offerings, letting their very acceptable
Blueprint line wither down to only undec kits.

When this trend started, I felt that the demise of kits was because the lack
of offerings by the builders. Now I believe that they were probable correct,
kits sell very poorly. Bye Bye....

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

Said "Gatwood, Elden J SAD ".....


Speaking of Branchline and other kit manufacturers' box car offerings, are
there any plans you know of to offer additional paint and lettering schemes?

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