Date   

Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Andy Harman
 

At 07:41 PM 3/23/2012 -0700, you wrote:
How does Kadee do it here in the US?
Very well. There was an article in MR about 20 years ago that told the story, which I expect is continuing. You can't wander in with a wad of cash and wave it around and start up a company like Kadee. They are what they are today because they always have been, and before that they were built from the ground up with some pretty unique - and I might say - old fashioned ideas about how to run a business. Starting with the saying if you want something done right do it yourself. Which leads me back to kits...

Andy


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Andy Harman
 

At 02:50 PM 3/23/2012 -0700, you wrote:

Ahem. Please permit me to remind you that Kadee continues to
manufacture AND assemble freight car models in Oregon.
I think that goes without saying. They've always been exempt from the me-too business model, and I hope they continue to be.

Andy


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Stuart A. Forsyth <trainmail@...>
 

How does Kadee do it here in the US?

Stuart A. Forsyth
forsyth@...

On Mar 23, 2012, at 2:25 PM, SUVCWORR@... wrote:


This works great for the unpainted unlettered resin market. How does the retailer do this with decorated RTR which the vast majority of customers now expect? The most that can be done is leave off the car number and provide decals for the numbers. Even that will not set well with the majority of customers. Yes, the small percentage of modelers who populate this list and similar lists for other time frames, passenger cars, locomotives would not object to painting, lettering etc. But 99% of the buying modelers would be screaming that they want RTR. Manufacturers and retailers must placate the masses to survive.

The real answer is to bring everything back to the States; run smaller runs; and rerun frequently. No real inventory for the manufacture or distributor to store on shelves. Retailers can purchase small numbers of speculative stock knowing they will be able to reorder within a reasonable time frame. Sound familiar? That is how Irv Atheraton and did it successfully for decades.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Harman <gsgondola@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

At 07:18 PM 3/23/2012 +0000, you wrote:

A few years ago at Cocoa Beach I bought several L&NE covered hopper kits
at the F&C booth. Sharon reached under the table, fetched three unlabeled
boxes from the stack of hopper kits, popped a set of L&NE decals in each
and stuck the appropriate labels on each box. I thought that was pretty
clever - bring lots of decals and labels but don't customize the
individual kits until the point of sale.
Wouldn't it be great if you could convince dealers to do that? It's pretty
common in the resin kit biz... if I bought a Sunshine or RYM kit at a show,
it didn't become a specific SKU until I bought it and the decals, or even
possibly optional parts had been tossed in. Chris Zygmunt does this as
well with his carbon black and H-30 kits... although I think the decals are
the only option there.

Somebody had big plans to market a modular kit that way back in the 80s but
I can't remember now who or what. But IIRC it was the product quality that
killed it rather than the concept. Of course the customer can't be
expected to actually know what combination he needs, so that means the
dealer has to know.

I also think a lot of retailers just think they're going to flip burgers
and hand them out the window for $2.52 a pop. Hobby retailing means
getting to know the business, your customers, and especially the products
which are as diverse as the people who buy them. As much experience as I
have in the hobby, I'd have difficulty running a store unless it was
exclusively HO scale, since I know very little about what is available in
other scales, and zip about 3-rail. And shops really can't afford to be
scale exclusive these days, outside of a Chicago type market.

Andy

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links




Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

lnnrr <lnnrr@...>
 

Yes, no disagreement that we have some in the hobby to whom this
topic does not directly apply.
However, this topic was permitted by the sheriff based on the idea
that we discuss matters in general, not point fingers or even hint
at specific businesses. For us to list the exceptions would tend
to spotlight the ones not mentioned, thus barely skirting the kind
tolerance of the Lord High Sheriff and his dungeon.
Chuck Peck


Ahem. Please permit me to remind you that Kadee continues to
manufacture AND assemble freight car models in Oregon.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Andy Harman wrote:
It took the hobby industry less than a decade to completely convert to the China model . . .
Ahem. Please permit me to remind you that Kadee continues to manufacture AND assemble freight car models in Oregon.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

SUVCWORR@...
 

This works great for the unpainted unlettered resin market. How does the retailer do this with decorated RTR which the vast majority of customers now expect? The most that can be done is leave off the car number and provide decals for the numbers. Even that will not set well with the majority of customers. Yes, the small percentage of modelers who populate this list and similar lists for other time frames, passenger cars, locomotives would not object to painting, lettering etc. But 99% of the buying modelers would be screaming that they want RTR. Manufacturers and retailers must placate the masses to survive.

The real answer is to bring everything back to the States; run smaller runs; and rerun frequently. No real inventory for the manufacture or distributor to store on shelves. Retailers can purchase small numbers of speculative stock knowing they will be able to reorder within a reasonable time frame. Sound familiar? That is how Irv Atheraton and did it successfully for decades.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Harman <gsgondola@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


At 07:18 PM 3/23/2012 +0000, you wrote:

A few years ago at Cocoa Beach I bought several L&NE covered hopper kits
at the F&C booth. Sharon reached under the table, fetched three unlabeled
boxes from the stack of hopper kits, popped a set of L&NE decals in each
and stuck the appropriate labels on each box. I thought that was pretty
clever - bring lots of decals and labels but don't customize the
individual kits until the point of sale.
Wouldn't it be great if you could convince dealers to do that? It's pretty
common in the resin kit biz... if I bought a Sunshine or RYM kit at a show,
it didn't become a specific SKU until I bought it and the decals, or even
possibly optional parts had been tossed in. Chris Zygmunt does this as
well with his carbon black and H-30 kits... although I think the decals are
the only option there.

Somebody had big plans to market a modular kit that way back in the 80s but
I can't remember now who or what. But IIRC it was the product quality that
killed it rather than the concept. Of course the customer can't be
expected to actually know what combination he needs, so that means the
dealer has to know.

I also think a lot of retailers just think they're going to flip burgers
and hand them out the window for $2.52 a pop. Hobby retailing means
getting to know the business, your customers, and especially the products
which are as diverse as the people who buy them. As much experience as I
have in the hobby, I'd have difficulty running a store unless it was
exclusively HO scale, since I know very little about what is available in
other scales, and zip about 3-rail. And shops really can't afford to be
scale exclusive these days, outside of a Chicago type market.

Andy




------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Andy Harman
 

At 07:18 PM 3/23/2012 +0000, you wrote:

A few years ago at Cocoa Beach I bought several L&NE covered hopper kits at the F&C booth. Sharon reached under the table, fetched three unlabeled boxes from the stack of hopper kits, popped a set of L&NE decals in each and stuck the appropriate labels on each box. I thought that was pretty clever - bring lots of decals and labels but don't customize the individual kits until the point of sale.
Wouldn't it be great if you could convince dealers to do that? It's pretty common in the resin kit biz... if I bought a Sunshine or RYM kit at a show, it didn't become a specific SKU until I bought it and the decals, or even possibly optional parts had been tossed in. Chris Zygmunt does this as well with his carbon black and H-30 kits... although I think the decals are the only option there.

Somebody had big plans to market a modular kit that way back in the 80s but I can't remember now who or what. But IIRC it was the product quality that killed it rather than the concept. Of course the customer can't be expected to actually know what combination he needs, so that means the dealer has to know.

I also think a lot of retailers just think they're going to flip burgers and hand them out the window for $2.52 a pop. Hobby retailing means getting to know the business, your customers, and especially the products which are as diverse as the people who buy them. As much experience as I have in the hobby, I'd have difficulty running a store unless it was exclusively HO scale, since I know very little about what is available in other scales, and zip about 3-rail. And shops really can't afford to be scale exclusive these days, outside of a Chicago type market.

Andy


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Andy Harman
 

At 12:53 PM 3/23/2012 -0500, you wrote:

Of course, this is just my opinion and I may be wrong (my apologies to
Dennis Miller).
I'm with you on this. Some innovation and automation are in order, and most of the larger manufacturers are stuck being the tail to China's dog. The decision to go there may have been a no-brainer in the beginning, but look how rapidly things have changed. It took the hobby industry less than a decade to completely convert to the China model, less than that for the China model to begin to put the hurt on, and it will probably take a lot longer to bring it back to a new way of thinking.

With the retail shop in decline, the next thing to go is going to be the big distributor. The internet and tools available make it much, much easier for any manufacturer to move to a direct sale model. Not only does it put all of the markup in the hands of the actual manufacturer, it forms a much more direct communication between manufacturer and end user. Even in today's environment where manufacturer's reps hang out on lists like this and even attend RPM meets, there is still a lot of information lost and distorted filtering up and down the distribution chain.

It's interesting that before railroads, almost anything a community needed was manufactured or grown locally. Railroads permitted the consolidation and centralization of industries, giving them the ability to make product anywhere and ship it anywhere, including perishables. The internet takes that one step further, eliminating the middlemen entirely.

Andy


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Tom Madden
 

A manufacturer who figures out how to stock core stock that can be assembled
and painted for various roads at minimal cost while maintaining the quality
we have grown to expect will make money and make his customers happy.
A few years ago at Cocoa Beach I bought several L&NE covered hopper kits at the F&C booth. Sharon reached under the table, fetched three unlabeled boxes from the stack of hopper kits, popped a set of L&NE decals in each and stuck the appropriate labels on each box. I thought that was pretty clever - bring lots of decals and labels but don't customize the individual kits until the point of sale.

Tom Madden


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Allen Cain <allencain@...>
 

I think that Allen (not me) hit this on the head.



What we may be seeing is what is referred to as a "death spiral" downward.
Manufacturers are unwilling to take the risk of producing to stock (which is
the retail business model that this country was built on) so they produce
only what is pre-ordered. As consumers, we want to see what we are buying
before shelling out the money so we are balking at preordering what we would
gladly buy if we could see it first. Few preorders means lost sales for
manufactures means that more will go out of business.



Combine this with aging demographics in this hobby and it does not look to
promising.



Better hang onto what you got because the best days of high quality models
produced in quantity may be behind us if manufacturers do not figure out a
way to make money without preorders. I am a Lean Manufacturing professional
and one of the key elements is developing the ability to produce-on-demand.
A manufacturer who figures out how to stock core stock that can be assembled
and painted for various roads at minimal cost while maintaining the quality
we have grown to expect will make money and make his customers happy.
Continuing on the course we are on will eventually fail for all of us.



The Highliner F-Unit kits are great examples of a core engine kit that can
be assembled to accurately represent a variety of roads and phases for
F-units. Assemble these on demand and run them down a paint line that is
designed for rapid change over between paint schemes and you can pump out
F-Units on demand without preorders and zero inventory. This is done in
manufacturing every day by those who follow the principles of Lean
Manufacturing so it is not a new concept.



Of course, this is just my opinion and I may be wrong (my apologies to
Dennis Miller).



Allen Cain


Re: tank car placards for models

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jeff Coleman wrote:
I contacted Microscale and they informed me that data set 87-975 should be back in stock within a month.
Thanks for the update, Jeff. Great news for many modelers! Maybe sending them a bunch of emails did work.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


new decals for this week

jerryglow2
 

In anticipation of the Boas parts, I now have sets for a Great Northern
combo door car http://home.comcast.net/~jerryglow/samples/GN_combo.jpg
and the Northern Pacific version
http://home.comcast.net/~jerryglow/samples/NP_combo.jpg Please keep
inquiries OFF LIST

--
Jerry Glow
The Villages FL
http://home.comcast.net/~jerryglow/decals/


Re: New York vs. Westinghouse "AB" Air Brakes

soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Bill Welch <fgexbill@...> wrote:

Where there any cosmetic differences between the New York and
Westinghouse "AB" systems? If so, which has been modeled?
Bill Welch

No.

Dennis


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Clark Propst
 

I've read a few emails in this thread. I remember when we had a hobby shop, the owner ask if I thought he should order something. I always said "I'm the last guy to ask."
I would not have a clue what to offer if I were a manufacturer.
I recently offered some doors for sale. The first door had limited appeal, but there have been plenty on models sold in a paint scheme that needed those doors. I sold a few as expected. Next, was a door with very limited appeal. I sold a ton by comparison! My last door I thought would have more appeal than the other two combined, but has only sold slightly better than the first. With this last one I've collected the money, but haven't received the product yet. So, I'm guilty of charging for pre orders...
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

lnnrr <lnnrr@...>
 

This point certainly isn't lost on me. I drive an hour plus each way
to a so-so hobby place that has boxed train sets, train set quality
track, and whatever two year old paint no one else has wanted to buy.
I ask for what I really want and get told they can order it for me.
I point out that I am from out of town and get told they will ship
it to me. Considering that I can buy it cheaper from the mail order
place and still get it shipped, I wasted my drive. Further, I'm still
buying a pig in a poke because they had only a picture to show me,
if that. But if it has been on the market and I hear or read good
things about it, I can have some confidence.
But even the mail order house can't stock and ship when the
manufacturer/importer wants firm reservations in advance. I get on
the XYZ mailing list so I can be told "Order now before the deadline"
with an estimated delivery 4, 6, or more months away.
Sorry, folks, I'm now off that merry-go-round. I sympatise with
the dealers, distributors, etc., but I am the consumer whose money
you want to earn. To earn my money, you will have to find a way to
do better. I'm not asking for a better product, I'm demanding a
better business model. Until then, those who make products for the
shelf will be the only ones who see my money. Yes, there are a few.
At least a few on this list of whom I think highly. They and only
they will see my money.
Goodbye to those who want me to order future products.
Chuck Peck

--- In STMFC@..., "ajfergusonca" <ajferguson@...> wrote:

Lost in this discussion is the fact that you can't sell what you don't have. If nobody stocks anything then why go to their brick & mortar establishment. Not all of us go to RPM, NMRA or train shows on a regular basis. My LHS is a place I can go to see like minded people and interesting goods. If I don't go, I soon loose interest and drop the hobby. That's happining before our eyes today, the hobby is shrinking.
Allen Ferguson

--- In STMFC@..., Andy Harman <gsgondola@> wrote:

At 05:49 PM 3/22/2012 +0000, you wrote:

While we tire-kickers are fed up with sold-out preordered releases, the
economic realities for the producers are stark.


New York vs. Westinghouse "AB" Air Brakes

Bill Welch
 

Where there any cosmetic differences between the New York and
Westinghouse "AB" systems? If so, which has been modeled?
Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727.470.9930
fgexbill@...


Re: tank car placards for models

Jeff Coleman
 

I contacted Microscale and they informed me that data set 87-975 should be back in stock within a month.

Jeff Coleman


Re: tank car placards for models

Jim Pickett
 

Bruce is absolutely correct. Inflammable means a substance so labelled will burn. Safety organizations changed their labelling voluntarily since so many people thought that the prefix "in" was negative that it was becoming hazardous to leave the labels that way even though to do so was correct. The "in" is not really even a prefix. It is simply part of the word, "inflame."

Jim Pickett


________________________________
From: Bruce F. Smith <smithbf@...>
To: "<STMFC@...>" <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 3:09 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: tank car placards for models



 

Tom,

Wrong! (Gosh, I miss the Gong Show) First "inflammable" is absolutely correct English. Check your dictionary. Second, the derivation is from Latin inflammare. The "in" is not the negative equivalent of "un" but rather the preposition "in".

You doctor doesn't say you have an "flamed knee", they say you have an "inflamed knee"... same root <G>

Regards

Bruce

Bruce F. Smith

Auburn, AL

https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."

__

/ &#92;

__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________

|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |

| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||

|/_____________________________&#92;|_|________________________________|

| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0

On Mar 21, 2012, at 1:52 PM, Tom Houle wrote:

For many years at least through the fifties, the term "Inflammable" was used
to indicate combustionable material. It was and still is incorrect
English. Inflammable literally means non-flammable. The "in"prefix
comes from the Latin prefix for not. Today we correctly use the term
"Flammable". Preferred use would be Flammable, but it really depends on
the era you are modeling. Pre- 1960, I'd use the incorrect term
Inflammable.
Tom Houle

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: tank car placards for models

Jim Pickett
 

There is adhesive paper made especially for printers that is similar to Contact paper but much more flexible and with much less tenacious adhesive. You can find it in packages at Office Depot and probably all other office supply stores. All I have seen is white. This would probably work. If anyone has a laser cutter he could print a whole page of different placards and adjust the device to cut only through the adhesive layer, not the backing. You could get hundreds of pre-printed placards this way.

Jim Pickett


________________________________
From: Mark <prgm_mgr@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:57 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: tank car placards for models



 

Hi Jim
You could use a label and just not press it all the way home. On plastic it should not be a big problem, especially if you cut it a little larger than the placard holder so you can grab it with tweezers. If you are concerned, you could touch the label to a bit of glass first to take away some of the glue but I don't think that would be necessary.

I have used labels to put names, etc on plastic baseball helmets for my kids and they can be easily removed.

Mark

Has anyone ever seen any kind of "post it note material" for
consumer use that can be run thru a printer? I would have to have
some kind of peel off covering for the sticky part. But would be
ideal for model use since you could even change out the placards
on your cars between/during ops ... oh damn, I think I just opened
up Pandora's box! But it would be nice to have placards and other
such items (waybills, etc.) that could be 'attached' to the model
but also be able to change them out!
- Jim


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

ajfergusonca <ajferguson@...>
 

Lost in this discussion is the fact that you can't sell what you don't have. If nobody stocks anything then why go to their brick & mortar establishment. Not all of us go to RPM, NMRA or train shows on a regular basis. My LHS is a place I can go to see like minded people and interesting goods. If I don't go, I soon loose interest and drop the hobby. That's happining before our eyes today, the hobby is shrinking.
Allen Ferguson

--- In STMFC@..., Andy Harman <gsgondola@...> wrote:

At 05:49 PM 3/22/2012 +0000, you wrote:

While we tire-kickers are fed up with sold-out preordered releases, the
economic realities for the producers are stark.

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