Re: Branchline and other box cars offerings

Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>


The numbers that you cite for RTR cars are not far IMHO from what I've seen cited on another group.

I started a thread on another list to poke a certain (excellent) RTR manufacturer to bring out CPR 2200-series coaches in RTR. It's a very distinctive car used by the CPR (65 built in 1949/50), British Columbia Railway, Algoma Central, and other Canadian roads. Some have run behind Soo Line 4-6-2 #2719. So far all that's available in HO for these cars is either a resin kit, or a (very nicely done) stand-in paint job on a commercial RTR car. Here's an example of the real car--

I just about fell over when I was told by the president of that manufacturer the cost of tooling and production of a run of say, 1000-2000 of these--in China. Let's just say that some full-size houses are cheaper! Or more expensive to produce an RTR model than to to buy the real car and start to re-build it (but if I ever win a lottery, one of these cars might become my "money pit"...:) .

So I have an old resin kit for one of these coaches that I'm building and improving as I go along.

And I see no end to resin kits as long as we want models of equipment that would be frightfully expensive to produce in RTR.

Be thankful that IM offers undec kits. They can be good starting point for accurate models. And I have to give Dennis a lot of credit for his Accurail line of models. They are both solid S-T-B kits (that probably introduce many novices to model railways for a decent price), and also can be super-detailed/kitbashed easily. I do not know of any of Accurail's cars that are not based on a prototype. Are there cars decorated as foobies in his line? Sure. Know what? The guy has to make a living, and we STMFC'ers are too small a group on our own to keep him in business.

The cost of producing any plastic STMFC model being what it is, I fear that we will see foobies brought out for some time to come. Why? Simple--they sell. Period. Fortunately, those on this list have the intelligence and ability to not buy foobies, or to bash them to make an accurate STMFC--remember those IM undecs?

I think the bigger problem is getting decals/dry transfers for these cars one built. I know one Canadian manufacturer, Black Cat (of Winnipeg), who produces Excellent decals for modellers of Canadian STMFC's (and other stuff, too). But I'm still looking for a complete HO decal set for a couple of IC "Main Line of Mid-America" USRA gon/ twin-bay hopper rebuilds--decal suggestions welcomed for these very interesting cars so that I get the impetus to finish them...:/

Steve Lucas.

--- In, cobrapsl@... wrote:


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 <armprem2@...>
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
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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