Date   

Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Tim O'Connor
 

Tony, you're a well travelled fellow. To quote Stephen Stills, when
you're out of town, just "Love the one you're with"! Once a year, Des
Plaines Hobbies is my LHS, for example. This year I'm going to arrive
a day early for Naperville so I can while away a whole afternoon at
DPH... :-)

Tim O'Connor

My LHS "The Original Whistle Stop" has everything and you can look
before buying, but they are full retail. Go to the discounters and
you get what you pay for.
This is certainly true of the "OWS" (I wish it WAS my LHS), but
then it's one of the country's best hobby shops. An awful lot of
modelers are nowhere close to even a mediocre hobby shop, and for them
the "buyer's dilemma" we have been dissecting still operates in full
force.

Tony Thompson


Re: State of the RPM hobby

Pierre <pierre.oliver@...>
 

I'm very surprised to see the percentage that high.
Pierre Oliver

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, SUVCWORR@... wrote:

I think it was the December MR where the editorial referred to a survey conducted by MR which revealed that 6% of modelers were strict prototype modelers. Indeed a small segment of small population.

Rich Orr




Anyway, it just underscored to me how rare RPM'ing really is. The great
majority of people really do just want to have fun with the hobby, and
realistic and prototypical rolling stock seems to be WAY DOWN on the
scale of importance to most people.







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


Re: Sunshine kit 72.4 BREX plug door reefer kit question

Bill Welch
 

Greg

I use Modelflex reefer yellow, sometimes with a little BC red mixed in. For the ends I mix MF oxide red and their freight car brown about 50/50.

For the fans I would use the photo of FHIX 40152 as a construction guide and use the circular part with the shaft showing and bits of styrene to replicate the details there that I think are part of the fan control mechanism housing. Personally I would use 0.005 sheet styrene to model the plate like part affixed to the sill.

Bill Welch

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Greg Snook <gregsnook@...> wrote:

Good afternoon,
I've recently received this kit, and opened it with the intent of
building it (unlike its cousins in my closet, i suppose), and quickly
noticed that I don't even know where to start. The instructions seem to be
for a standard 40' reefer, and mostly refer to some PFE information. I'm
really stuck on two points. First, there seems to be several cylindrical
castings that have detail that matches the round device to the left of
either car side (a or b end independent) approximately 16 inches above the
truck, however I don't see any information on how to apply this, or , since
there seems to be 6 sets of 2, giving 3 variations, which should be used
for what? I've seen two presentations at Cocoa and one at Lisle last year
by Bill Welch on FGEX cars, and I've been trying to learn more about
FG/BR/WFEX reefers, however this is the most accurate description of the
part and my question of how to install it that I can offer.

Second, and more controversial I know, would anyone have a suggestion for
the yellow and brown paints? I see the tip suggests painting the pieces
before assembly, if anyone can offer tips on how to join the ends and side
without the results looking like I glued the ends to the side, I would
certainly appreciate that as well.

Thanks in advance,
Greg


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


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Paul Koehler wrote:
My LHS "The Original Whistle Stop" has everything and you can look before buying, but they are full retail. Go to the discounters and you get what you pay for.
This is certainly true of the "OWS" (I wish it WAS my LHS), but then it's one of the country's best hobby shops. An awful lot of modelers are nowhere close to even a mediocre hobby shop, and for them the "buyer's dilemma" we have been dissecting still operates in full force.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: State of the RPM hobby (was Pre-orders, pro or con)

SUVCWORR@...
 

I think it was the December MR where the editorial referred to a survey conducted by MR which revealed that 6% of modelers were strict prototype modelers. Indeed a small segment of small population.

Rich Orr




Anyway, it just underscored to me how rare RPM'ing really is. The great
majority of people really do just want to have fun with the hobby, and
realistic and prototypical rolling stock seems to be WAY DOWN on the
scale of importance to most people.


Re: State of the RPM hobby (was Pre-orders, pro or con)

Tim O'Connor
 

For a year, I operated a partnership with two friends called Keyser Car Shops
to produce custom lettered B&O freight equipment.... While we tire-kickers are
fed up with sold-out preordered releases, the economic realities for the
producers are stark. Jim_Mischke

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

I got one of those Time Saver box cars. Wonderful kits!

Last night I took part in a local Massachusetts tradition called
"Rail Run" which is where people who love to operate spend time on
private layouts in the area, round-robin fashion.

The layout was large, densely scenic'ed, great fun to operate, and
almost totally unprototypical (except for the operation itself, which
was conducted more or less realistically). The locomotives were almost
all Chinese RTR steam imports from BLI, P2K and Bachmann. The rolling
stock was hilariously bad for the most part, stuff from the 1950's to
the 1980's -- about 97% in the "toy trains" category. The condition of
the cars, trucks, couplers etc ranged from acceptable to horrible, with
an amazing number of derailments and mishaps while I conducted my local
freight switching routine.

Anyway, it just underscored to me how rare RPM'ing really is. The great
majority of people really do just want to have fun with the hobby, and
realistic and prototypical rolling stock seems to be WAY DOWN on the
scale of importance to most people.

Since the RTR models themselves are becoming more and more RPM-ish, and
more expensive, I do wonder if that general trend is just pushing away
ordinary, fun loving hobbyists -- The kind we were as kids, buying our
blue box Athearns and then fixing them up to look less like toys.

Tim O'Connor


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Paul Koehler <buygone@...>
 

Tim:



Hit the nail exactly on the head. My LHS "The Original Whistle Stop" has
everything and you can look before buying, but they are full retail. Go to
the discounters and you get what you pay for.



Paul C. Koehler



_____

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim
O'Connor
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:05 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.






Exactly, Richard. After being burned a couple of times, I stuck with
dealers (including brass dealers) who knew I would pay for items that
I ordered (it's MY responsibility to know what I'm buying) and I have
never made another deposit for the last 20 years.

As for inventory, it has a cost. If your LHS maintains a good stock,
and doesn't offer deep discounts, I think that is a fair trade-off. In
the long run, paying MORE to get exactly what you want WHEN you are
able to examine it in the store, off the shelf, will cost you less.

Tim O'Connor

One other thing. You should never have to pay in advance if you
cultivate a long term relationship with a well established retailer
who knows you and knows you will pay promptly when the item comes
in. The dealer with whom I have such a relationship is 2,000 miles
away, so he has my credit card information on file. When something I
have ordered in advance finally appears, he just bills my card and
advises me by e-mail of the amount charged and the date the item has
been shipped to me. Why do business with people you don't know and
trust, and who don't know and trust you?
Richard Hendrickson


Link to latest CNWHS E-zine

Clark Propst
 


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Tim O'Connor
 

Exactly, Richard. After being burned a couple of times, I stuck with
dealers (including brass dealers) who knew I would pay for items that
I ordered (it's MY responsibility to know what I'm buying) and I have
never made another deposit for the last 20 years.

As for inventory, it has a cost. If your LHS maintains a good stock,
and doesn't offer deep discounts, I think that is a fair trade-off. In
the long run, paying MORE to get exactly what you want WHEN you are
able to examine it in the store, off the shelf, will cost you less.

Tim O'Connor

One other thing. You should never have to pay in advance if you
> cultivate a long term relationship with a well established retailer
> who knows you and knows you will pay promptly when the item comes
> in. The dealer with whom I have such a relationship is 2,000 miles
> away, so he has my credit card information on file. When something I
> have ordered in advance finally appears, he just bills my card and
> advises me by e-mail of the amount charged and the date the item has
> been shipped to me. Why do business with people you don't know and
> trust, and who don't know and trust you?
> Richard Hendrickson


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Tim O'Connor
 

There are still some dealers who "stock up"... A month ago I
visited New Jersey and made an afternoon visit to my favorite
hobby shop, Sattler's in Westmont NJ. I was pleasantly surprised
to see how much inventory he has in that small store -- even MORE
than when I was a kid. Bruce stocks Exactrail, Intermountain, Red
Caboose, Atlas, Athearn, Genesis, you name it -- and still has a
great stock of parts, motors, DCC, whatever. Bruce is 70 now but
he's as sharp as ever -- He did say that no one will ever buy his
store and when he quits it will be the end of it, which is a great
shame. But South Jersey has been blessed with a great hobby shop
now for 60+ years. (Bruce took over the store after Mr. Sattler
retired.) Support your LHS!

Tim O'Connor


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

I think that Kadee is a shining example of how to run a model rail business selling RTR product. Consider--even though their primary product is now copied by others, they still sell a lot of couplers. And a lot of Excellent STMFC's. Many other firms would do well to follow their business model!!

Steve Lucas.

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

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.

devansprr
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
As anyone at Kadee will tell you, they are a coupler company.
That is the core of their business and dominates all other topics.
Trucks are considered secondary, freight cars tertiary. Comparing
their freight car output to InterMountain seems unhelpful to me.
I think the thrust of this thread is the viability of model railroad freight car manufacturing business models based on using, or not using, pre-orders.

I doubt Kadee will chime in with their business model, but I think the point you just made could be very relevant to this discussion. It is possible that a very lucrative coupler business, and perhaps profitable truck business, covers the overhead costs of operating a manufacturing company - both infrastructure wise and marketing and distribution wise, and this has enabled Kadee to fund freight car tooling at a modest level, without requiring pre-orders.

At Cocoa, Intermountain has been very upfront describing their sales volumes, total revenue, and business model (based more and more on pre-orders), but I am not sure anyone else has provided this level of information - nor should we expect any of the manufacturers to do so - it is private and competition sensitive. I am actually a little surprised at what Frank reveals (sales volumes and dollars).

Clearly Intermountain and Kadee have different business models.

Rapido, operating on a yet a third business model, has also been upfront in that I think they only have 4 North American employees? Very lean, and that helps to minimize the overhead.

Economy of scale is still a significant factor in manufacturing - obviously Kadee is able to stay above a minimum sales volume necessary to remain viable as a US manufacturer.

Conversely, Bowser appears to have abandoned new US based HO tooling for US manufacturing - I doubt we will know why - loss of interest, too much overhead, tooling costs too high, etc - or perhaps a perception that the HO "shake-the-box" kit market has shrunk or is saturated? I do not know, but I suspect that the perception at Bowser is that developing new HO freight car tooling without pre-orders is just too risky (I think their last HO tooling was the PRR N8 cabin, which did not reach anticipated sales volumes, likely because the SPF's already had so many N5 and N5c cabins that they opted not to deploy fleets of N8 cabins, but instead bought just a few.)

Accurail continues as perhaps the lone US manufacturer that keeps tooling new injection molded HO freight car kits in the US without pre-orders. Their business model appears to be working.

I am not aware of anyone else doing what Accurail is doing in the US.

I wish it weren't true, but it is. Welcome to 21st century US manufacturing economics - and a shrinking customer base. Modelers whining and threatening to keep their money under the mattress really isn't going to change this, and could be making it worse.

Dave Evans


Sunshine kit 72.4 BREX plug door reefer kit question

greg snook
 

Good afternoon,
I've recently received this kit, and opened it with the intent of
building it (unlike its cousins in my closet, i suppose), and quickly
noticed that I don't even know where to start. The instructions seem to be
for a standard 40' reefer, and mostly refer to some PFE information. I'm
really stuck on two points. First, there seems to be several cylindrical
castings that have detail that matches the round device to the left of
either car side (a or b end independent) approximately 16 inches above the
truck, however I don't see any information on how to apply this, or , since
there seems to be 6 sets of 2, giving 3 variations, which should be used
for what? I've seen two presentations at Cocoa and one at Lisle last year
by Bill Welch on FGEX cars, and I've been trying to learn more about
FG/BR/WFEX reefers, however this is the most accurate description of the
part and my question of how to install it that I can offer.

Second, and more controversial I know, would anyone have a suggestion for
the yellow and brown paints? I see the tip suggests painting the pieces
before assembly, if anyone can offer tips on how to join the ends and side
without the results looking like I glued the ends to the side, I would
certainly appreciate that as well.

Thanks in advance,
Greg


TANKS a lot! HO & O tank cars FS

Andy Carlson
 

I have the following tank cars being offered for sale. All are new, and I have
separated Kits from the RTRs in the listing.

RTR HO Intermountain RRCo.
46205 Frontenac 10K 3 numbers blt
2-42.................................$24.00/each
46210 PAN-AM OILS 10K 2 numbers 6-30.................................$25.00/each
46201 SHIPPERS Car Line 10K 2#s blt 6-30
.............................$27.00/each
46302 SHELL OIL silver 8K 2 #s blt 9-41
..................................$26.00/each
46313 GLOBE OIL silver 8K blt 5-30
.........................................$26.00
46211 CANADIAN General Transit Co 10K blt 8-32 have 6 numbers $24.00/each

HO Intermountain KITS
41201 ACF type 27 10K SHIPPERS CAR LINE (have 4 #s)............$16.00/each
41302 SHELL Chemical CO SCMX 925 .......................................$16.00
41202 U.S. Government War Dept USQX 10241 .........................$16.00

HO Intermountain type 27 tank car parts
8K tank body w/ dome
...........................................................$6.00/ea
10K tank body w/ dome
..........................................................$6.00/ea

PROTO 2000 ACF type 21 tank car KITS
23147 TIDEWATER 10K type 21 TWOX 1144, and 1135 .............$12.00/ea
23149 Undecorated 10K
$14.00
21289 Undecorated 8K
$14.00

W.A. Drake & Co. HO Brass Southern Pacific General American built 8K single dome
unpainted Tank Car with one platform.
.....................................$149.00

O SCALE O SCALE O SCALE O SCALE
Red Caboose RTR RICHFIELD OIL CO. ROX 829 blt 8-49
The box has some shelf wear, Tank car is MINT, and NEW ..............$39.00

Shipping will be determined by weight and distance. Contact me off-list (PLEASE)
for shipping information. <midcentury@sbcglobal.net> Please include your zip
code.

I accept checks and money orders. I also accept PayPal with a 3% + $0.50
surcharge.

Thanks,
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dave Evans wrote:
Being very mind-full of the moderators recent reminder, I think if one compared the number of new HO car tooling sets produced by Kadee and Intermountain in the last 12-13 years, Intermountain has produced a lot more.
As anyone at Kadee will tell you, they are a coupler company. That is the core of their business and dominates all other topics. Trucks are considered secondary, freight cars tertiary. Comparing their freight car output to InterMountain seems unhelpful to me.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

jerryglow2
 

Frank's HS kids probably drive Porsches and the folks at Kadee don't own one between them.


Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Stuart A. Forsyth wrote:
How does Kadee do it here in the US?
Seems to be a mystery to the other manufacturers. I asked Frank
Angstead of InterMountain that exact question last fall, and he gave a
sad smile and said, "We're aware of Kadee and what they do." That was
all he said.

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.

Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

While this is a SWAG would it maybe have
something to do with mold makers being part of or
owning the company? That way you don't have to
pay for the molds!


On 23 Mar 2012 at 19:41, Stuart A. Forsyth wrote:

How does Kadee do it here in the US?

Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Pere Marquette decal

jerryglow2
 

At the request of a customer, I've done a set for a Pere Marquette SS
car to replace those in the Sunshine kit which do not fit. See:
http://home.comcast.net/~jerryglow/samples/PM.jpg As usual, please
keep inquiries OFF LIST

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


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

devansprr
 

Being very mind-full of the moderators recent reminder, I think if one compared the number of new HO car tooling sets produced by Kadee and Intermountain in the last 12-13 years, Intermountain has produced a lot more. Tooling is very expensive, and to recover the investment, you need to sell a lot of models. I would suspect that Kadee has selected prototypes that have a very large (RR's that bought the prototype) and wide (modelers who model the era) market (all post-war, so of no interest to me.)

I am curious if the B&O wagon tops and Milwaukee rib side cars have been financially successful - one would expect those models to be a much smaller market. In their presentations at Cocoa, Intermountain will tell you that they did have at least one product that was a bust - I suspect it was one of the stock cars.

And I think that is the crux of the problem - expecting manufacturers to produce product that may not have a significant customer base could be the core problem here (there are lots of those IM stock cars still on e-bay - just like the LL Proto Mather stock cars - which, as I understand it, were almost given away by distributors 3-4 years ago).

I think the core problem is that the hobby is rapidly moving away from the era of this group - lets face it - this group is modeling Railroads from OVER 50 years ago (and the hobby's non-resin manufacturers seem to have just about left the ever-shrinking pool of WWII modelers out in the cold).

As far as I know we only have two high-volume HO freight car kit manufacturers left in the US - Accurail and Bowser? I am curious to see if Dennis comments on this thread - he may have the best insight.

Dave Evans

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "armprem2" <armprem2@...> wrote:

Hasn't Kadee produced some nice logging cars and caboose for close to forty years?Time flies when you're having fun.Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
From: Andy Harman
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:27 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.



At 09:18 PM 3/23/2012 -0700, you wrote:
>Have they been making freight cars for 20 years? I thought their rolling
>stock lines were more recent.

Not 20 years, maybe 12-13. The article was before the PS-1 when they were
"just" a coupler company. I was impressed that they truly did everything
themselves. The manufactured their own packaging, including molding and
tooling the vacuum-formed blister packs, and even printing the instruction
sheets and packaging. The only thing that went in the door was raw
material. I don't think they made their own paper or mined their own
zinc. But pretty much every part of the process that made it into a Kadee
product they did themselves. I don't know if they are still 100% in-house,
but if I had to bet I'd bet yes. The products all still have the same
quality, look, and feel even while going through changes - like the new
style trucks for instance.

Andy





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


Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Armand Premo
 

Hasn't Kadee produced some nice logging cars and caboose for close to forty years?Time flies when you're having fun.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Andy Harman
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:27 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.



At 09:18 PM 3/23/2012 -0700, you wrote:
>Have they been making freight cars for 20 years? I thought their rolling
>stock lines were more recent.

Not 20 years, maybe 12-13. The article was before the PS-1 when they were
"just" a coupler company. I was impressed that they truly did everything
themselves. The manufactured their own packaging, including molding and
tooling the vacuum-formed blister packs, and even printing the instruction
sheets and packaging. The only thing that went in the door was raw
material. I don't think they made their own paper or mined their own
zinc. But pretty much every part of the process that made it into a Kadee
product they did themselves. I don't know if they are still 100% in-house,
but if I had to bet I'd bet yes. The products all still have the same
quality, look, and feel even while going through changes - like the new
style trucks for instance.

Andy

81961 - 81980 of 189830