Date   

Re: paper models (was Re: Random Thoughts ...)

Tim O'Connor
 

Mike

There's some really cool stuff there -- I'm a real believer in paper for
building structures and I see from this web site there are SHIP MODELS too!
Paper is ideal IMO for a lot of applications like this for layouts because
it is cheap, light, and static -- i.e. it doesn't have to move around on
wheels or be handled. It's just there to serve as a backdrop for TRAINS. :-)

Tim O'Connor



 I was afraid I'd scare too many with that one. Its very complex.
 But it sure shows how complex curved surfaces can be done in materials one wouldn't expect to work.
 Best to ya,
 Mike Bauers
 Milwaukee, Wi

 There's a GG1` paper kit as well.
  http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/2027/gg1/index.html
 Scott Haycock


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Tim O'Connor
 

David

And people are living longer. And the world as a whole is becoming much
wealthier, with lots more leisure and hobby spending. These are macro trends,
as is the decline of unskilled or low-skill manufacturing jobs, automation,
etc. I read somewhere that 80% of the children born in the USA after 2000
will reach their 100th birthday! And railroads are enjoying a revival in
much of the world and have pretty much stopped contracting in North America.
So I think you are right, this is a great, fun hobby and will continue to be
as long as our civilization lasts. :-)

Tim O'Connor

I remember steam on mainline railroads (yep, I'm a dinosaur), that's why most of us in our 60's
and older model the transition era, we can relate. It was a very interesting era. But this hobby
is getting more hi-tech and sophisticated all the time, great to lure the younger generation in.
I personally think it will be around a very long time.


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

mwbauers
 

I was afraid I'd scare too many with that one. Its very complex.

But it sure shows how complex curved surfaces can be done in materials one wouldn't expect to work.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 9:53 PM, 'Scott H. Haycock '  wrote:


There's a GG1` paper kit as well.


Scott Haycock


 



Here..... try something different.... download and consider building this per the plans and study how you could make a more conventional RR model from it.....


Or some just as modern, but less complicated to build...


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

mwbauers
 

I slipped on a word............

Here is what it was meant to be....

Maybe I'm too optimistic about the pre-decorated aspect. But look at carbon3d.com and see how the newest 3d printers make prints in six-minutes that other makes take over ELEVEN hours to make. "

That's going to change things on us ........... Imagine when you can buy one of those machines in five years or so as a home-tool, as the prices drop to that of the cheap 3d printers of today.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 9:09 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Maybe I'm too optimistic about the pre-decorated aspect. But look at carbon3d.com and see how the newest 3d printers make prints in six-minutes that other makes take over an hour to make. Then consider what a small maker can do with a bunch of those machines running at once.

I'll bet this hobby will have a tidal wave of new offerings five years from now.



Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Scott H. Haycock
 

There's a GG1` paper kit as well.

http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/2027/gg1/index.html

Scott Haycock


 



Here..... try something different.... download and consider building this per the plans and study how you could make a more conventional RR model from it.....


Or some just as modern, but less complicated to build...


Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi



Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

mwbauers
 

In the day, model trains were the analog of todays personal computers.

Let's put it this way...... In Europe and Japan model railroading is still a vibrant hobby of both the old and the young. 

We have fallen into a rut in our ways of doing the hobby. We can just as easily refresh it as we update it. We can put new life into it without sticking with just the old ways of doing the hobby. Our hobby is so much more than just opening the box and putting model RR equipment on the track.

We can't let it be thought of being just that.

Here..... try something different.... download and consider building this per the plans and study how you could make a more conventional RR model from it.....


Or some just as modern, but less complicated to build...


Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 8:58 PM, david ellzey davidellzey1@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


I have to agree somewhat that that it's an "old man's hobby". Back in the early 50's just about every kid had a Lionel or American Flyer train set under the Christmas tree. Now, the kids want computer games and other hi-tech stuff. Changing times.
I remember steam on mainline railroads (yep, I'm a dinosaur), that's why most of us in our 60's and older model the transition era, we can relate. It was a very interesting era.
But this hobby is getting more hi-tech and sophisticated all the time, great to lure the younger generation in. I personally think it will be around a very long time.
  

From: "Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...>
To: STMFC@... 
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2015 8:08 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

 

> Face it; it's an old man's hobby. 
> Brad

Not old -- but most people get into the hobby (or come back to it, as I did)
in their 30's and 40's after they "settle down" and develop an interest in doing
some activity in their leisure time at home. But I think the median age of NMRA
membership was always in the low 40's... It's probably climbed now since a lot
of new model railroaders no longer join because there are so many other outlets
for sharing in the hobby. Like STMFC!

Ah well it's nothing to worry about -- considering everything that is out there,
there's never been a better time to enjoy this hobby than right now!

Tim O'Connor


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

mwbauers
 

Actually, I am listening.

I had been separating brick and mortar sales from Internet sales................. With an eye on those that now only buy from hobby swap meets because retail and discount sales are costly for them.

Let me offer a narrow example....

About 9-months ago you could buy the power trucks from the Bachmann trolley-doodlebug line for $12-$15. The price had been around that for some years by then.

As of last week, they are now $30-$35 in sub-assemblies instead of the lower priced complete assembly of the last few years.

As for the increasing numbers of RTR freight cars, is it a good sign that they are topping $60-$70 for some and are only available in small quantity runs that are soon sold out?

Are they better than the premium kits selling for $15-$19 a few years ago? I can dig up specific examples for this. But you know that in general, this is, as it is.

Well, this can be debated forever.

Lets just agree that many people can no longer afford the hobby and it's compounded by restricted runs increasing the rarity of individual models. Thus a great many potential model railroaders will never even enter the hobby, as it now stands.

Or rather as it is presented to them, being of hard to find and relatively expensive commercial models [ use the Internet or you'll miss out]............ Order in advance of production, or wait some years for the next run, and do pre-order to get it then.

Yet......... new makers offering small runs of models in limited distribution is not quite as positive as you think. Give it about three years and a lot of offerings will be in highly detailed, mostly pre-decorated 3d printings from even more new sources using the new much faster 3d printers that are just arriving.........

Maybe I'm too optimistic about the pre-decorated aspect. But look at carbon3d.com and see how the newest 3d printers make prints in six-minutes that other makes take over an hour to make. Then consider what a small maker can do with a bunch of those machines running at once.

I'll bet this hobby will have a tidal wave of new offerings five years from now.

I'm pessimistic about the state of the hobby today and very enthused about what it will be in the near future as the new tools and processes go on-line.

Now lets see if we can finally get this nation going again and get the under-30's out of their parents basement bedrooms and into a vibrant future where they afford to have places of their own and spend freely on hobbies.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 7:47 PM, Tony Thompson  wrote:


Mike Bauers wrote:

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

I just think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

     You're still not listening, Mike. Total hobby sales and trends are NOT negative, just store sales. Books likewise have held up, even hardbacks, and e-books, though no longer growing by leaps and bounds, continue to show strong sales. The book business is FAR from failing, though physical stores are struggling.
     Your last statement is the key. Our hobby, and much else in the world of retail, is indeed changing, in some ways radically. But to understand it, you have to recognize Internet sales. It won't be long before people react the same way to remarks about hobby shops, as some already do to the idea of a camera store. One person said to me, "what camera stores?"
     With respect to freight cars, Richard Hendrickson was fond of saying, "THESE are the good old days." Look at the selection and quality of today, and the fact that there are NEW manufacturers offering ready-to-run freight cars. Doesn't sound to me like "the trends are not positive."

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Tony Thompson
 

I have to agree somewhat that that it's an "old man's hobby". Back in the early 50's just about every kid had a Lionel or American Flyer train set under the Christmas tree. Now, the kids want computer games and other hi-tech stuff. Changing times.

   But the trains under the Christmas tree that kids played with are NOT the hobby, not now and not then. Of course it may get kids intrigued, but the hobby we are talking about is, one might say, entirely different. Most people join it decades later than the Christmas tree experience.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Tony Thompson
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:

 

Not old -- but most people get into the hobby (or come back to it, as I did)
in their 30's and 40's after they "settle down" and develop an interest in doing
some activity in their leisure time at home. But I think the median age of NMRA
membership was always in the low 40's... It's probably climbed now since a lot
of new model railroaders no longer join because there are so many other outlets
for sharing in the hobby. Like STMFC!

Ah well it's nothing to worry about -- considering everything that is out there,
there's never been a better time to enjoy this hobby than right now!


       Thanks, Tim, some of the same points I made in my recent blog post on this topic. If you're interested, and didn't see it, here's a link:


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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

david ellzey
 

I have to agree somewhat that that it's an "old man's hobby". Back in the early 50's just about every kid had a Lionel or American Flyer train set under the Christmas tree. Now, the kids want computer games and other hi-tech stuff. Changing times.
I remember steam on mainline railroads (yep, I'm a dinosaur), that's why most of us in our 60's and older model the transition era, we can relate. It was a very interesting era.
But this hobby is getting more hi-tech and sophisticated all the time, great to lure the younger generation in. I personally think it will be around a very long time.
 


From: "Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2015 8:08 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

 

> Face it; it's an old man's hobby.
> Brad

Not old -- but most people get into the hobby (or come back to it, as I did)
in their 30's and 40's after they "settle down" and develop an interest in doing
some activity in their leisure time at home. But I think the median age of NMRA
membership was always in the low 40's... It's probably climbed now since a lot
of new model railroaders no longer join because there are so many other outlets
for sharing in the hobby. Like STMFC!

Ah well it's nothing to worry about -- considering everything that is out there,
there's never been a better time to enjoy this hobby than right now!

Tim O'Connor




Re: If things are so bad why. . .

Tim O'Connor
 

Personally I think the situation is lot more Rock 'n Roll than Country.
> Bill Welch

lol, Bill!

To say nothing of 3D printing! The number and variety of skillfully designed
HO scale items on Shapeways et al is just astounding! People are applying a whole
new set of skills (or recycling their old drafting and design skills) to really
explore the possibilities for prototype modeling. 3-D printing barely existed
(and was limited to professionals) when Martin Lofton got started 20+ years
ago in resin casting, which itself was a relatively new innovation. How far
away are we from having almost any detail part we need (or even complete car
models) made to our specifications?

I watched a Netflix documentary today on 3-D printing, and I wondered -- Who
will produce the first 3-D copier? I mean, you just put the car (or 1:1 part)
into the copier and out pops a perfect scale copy! :-) It's a whole new world.

Tim O'Connor


If things are so bad why. . .

Bill Welch
 

has a new resin manufacturer started up this year, another is waiting in the wings, still another has rebooted with the help of Crowd Sourcing, Yarmouth started in business 2-3 years ago, and the already existing purveyors seem to keep rolling along?! None of them seem be running out of ideas for projects nor have they stopped pursuing new ways to do things to bring us freight car models and detail parts we have not seen before.


Personally I think the situation is lot more Rock 'n Roll than Country.


Bill Welch


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Tim O'Connor
 

Face it; it's an old man's hobby.
> Brad


Not old -- but most people get into the hobby (or come back to it, as I did)
in their 30's and 40's after they "settle down" and develop an interest in doing
some activity in their leisure time at home. But I think the median age of NMRA
membership was always in the low 40's... It's probably climbed now since a lot
of new model railroaders no longer join because there are so many other outlets
for sharing in the hobby. Like STMFC!

Ah well it's nothing to worry about -- considering everything that is out there,
there's never been a better time to enjoy this hobby than right now!

Tim O'Connor


Re: Random Thoughts ...

riverman_vt@...
 

    Now you have me curious, Tim. It is possible that a resin car kit or two have 
sold 500 units but which do you think these might have been and what evidence 
of such do we have?

Cordially, Don Valentine


Re: Stripes and ampersand on T&NO (SP) freight cars

Tim O'Connor
 

The thin white lines above & below reporting marks ended about 1948, if I
recall correctly. I have many photos of SP freight cars in this era and very
few of the cars still have the lines. Some still did, but it was uncommon by
1960 and later.

Tim O'Connor

Modeling the late 50's and early 60's, would the stripes above and below the reporting marks have been removed during renumbering. Is it possible that a few stripes survived into the 60's? Same with the ampersand on T&NO cars, could any have survived?

Thanks in advance.

David Ellzey


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch'

Rossiter, Mark W <Mark.Rossiter@...>
 

________________________________________________________________________
5d. Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch'
Posted by: "Tony Thompson" tony@signaturepress.com sigpress
Date: Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:59 pm ((PDT))

Dennis Storzek wrote:

I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.

I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.
I greatly appreciate these insights into both MDC, from Brian Leppert, and into what Dennis knows about C&BT Shops. But as someone who knew Dick Schweiger well (when I lived in PIttsburgh), I can tell you that Dick was endlessly frustrated with Lloyd's inability to produce molds for more refined parts. Dick does seem to have talked himself into believing it was "good enough," but let's not think for a minute he didn't know better. He was a skilled modeler himself and certainly was very well aware of how details OUGHT to look. What I never understood was Dick's failure to find another toolmaker.
Then he fell into the belief that molded-on details would result in FAR more sales. On this list, we don't need to discuss the pros and cons of that one.

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, tony@signaturepress.co
Publishers of books on railroad history

I too appreciate the inside scoop on those manufacturers of long ago. I don't recall if it was at the Pittsburgh or Valley Forge NMRA convention years and years ago, but I remember C&BT Car Shops had a booth at the National Show with some of their recent products on display. They may have just released their Santa Fe reefer. At any rate, they had a few of their assembled cars sitting next to an super-detailed, fine-scale model. I was admiring the scale-sized grab irons and other details on the car and asked the person in the booth if it was one of their products. He turned red and sheepishly stated that no, it was a Westerfield car. I believe the intent was to show that the C&BT models were every bit as good as those from Westerfield, but to me it was one of the worst marketing blunders I had ever seen. There was absolutely no comparison! I smiled, said 'Thank you', and walked away shaking my head.

Mark Rossiter


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Tony Thompson
 

Mike Bauers wrote:

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

I just think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

     You're still not listening, Mike. Total hobby sales and trends are NOT negative, just store sales. Books likewise have held up, even hardbacks, and e-books, though no longer growing by leaps and bounds, continue to show strong sales. The book business is FAR from failing, though physical stores are struggling.
     Your last statement is the key. Our hobby, and much else in the world of retail, is indeed changing, in some ways radically. But to understand it, you have to recognize Internet sales. It won't be long before people react the same way to remarks about hobby shops, as some already do to the idea of a camera store. One person said to me, "what camera stores?"
     With respect to freight cars, Richard Hendrickson was fond of saying, "THESE are the good old days." Look at the selection and quality of today, and the fact that there are NEW manufacturers offering ready-to-run freight cars. Doesn't sound to me like "the trends are not positive."

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

mwbauers
 

Trust me..........

The world only looks flat..........

Young and creative people -are- out there, all around us.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 7:08 PM, Brad Smith  wrote:


Face it; it's an old man's hobby. 

Brad

Sent from Brad's iPod

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:56 PM, Mike Bauers  wrote:

 

It is a complex problem.


You reminded me that one thing they said was that books and magazines sales were still doing well, but not enough to carry the store. Its a large building and perhaps a third of it are books and magazines. Which is an interesting point, since they are just about four blocks away from a large Barnes and Nobles bookstore.


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

Brad Smith
 

Face it; it's an old man's hobby. 

Brad

Sent from Brad's iPod

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:56 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

It is a complex problem.


You reminded me that one thing they said was that books and magazines sales were still doing well, but not enough to carry the store. Its a large building and perhaps a third of it are books and magazines. Which is an interesting point, since they are just about four blocks away from a large Barnes and Nobles bookstore.

There were several volumes of local RR'ing books released and carried by them that I bought copies of, as one example.

In general, every hobby section of the store was large and well stocked. They were the #1 R/C store for that half of this county and the next as well.

And I wrote 'increasingly can't afford it' quite intensionally. A growing problem is that the newer modelers have an extremely difficult time finding well paying jobs and far too many are still livi ng in basement bedrooms at the parents home as 30-year-olds. 

There are only so many hobby items one can put in their bedrooms when they can't get a place of their own.

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Books may be an exception. I leap for them in effect. But I work with many people in a huge company that generally don't read anything other than the occasional contemporary magazine. They're not buying books as much as we could hope.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

And the new media is a competing problem. A couple of years ago I bought a cd that contains 15 ,000 books in it. Yes, 15,000 books.....

For under $5 .......... 

I don't even have a dedicated digital reader like a Kindle. But I do have all 15,000 books on my computer and use an App to read them. Where some years ago I bought nearly every reprint like the TOC Car Builders Dictionary with their thousands of RR car photos and equipment drawings in each. Now I've gathered even more of them in freely downloadable .pdf's that I can directly port into computer programs, transform, and build from....

The print versions will be going on eBay later this year.

Well, aren't I a downer ............

I'm still looking forward to doing all of the catch-up building of stuff that I just can't find to buy in the first place.

I ju st think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

We can work with that..........

My more recent buy is the second volume of the Milwaukee Road Streamliner plans.......... Soon to be mated with a low-cost laser cutter to give me the models I can't find to buy.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:25 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Mike Bauers wrote:

 

According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

    Mike, I'm sure these people are sincere and very likely believe what they told you. But actually, all niche products have been falling in sal es in brick and mortar stores. Books are the same. But book sales, like hobby sales and other niche products, are INCREASING, and have been right through the recession. No prizes if you guess it's all about the Internet. Buy a book, buy an Athearn locomotive, it's the same product anywhere you buy it, and both convenience AND price are driving all this. It is silly to say "people can no longer afford it," because overall sales are NOT down.
     For freight cars, this is at least as true as for the other items named. Few hobby shops could afford to carry a complete stock of, say, InterMountain cars, not to mention resin kits. But sales of them are zipping right along. Just not in stores.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history
< /p>


Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

mwbauers
 

It is a complex problem.

You reminded me that one thing they said was that books and magazines sales were still doing well, but not enough to carry the store. Its a large building and perhaps a third of it are books and magazines. Which is an interesting point, since they are just about four blocks away from a large Barnes and Nobles bookstore.

There were several volumes of local RR'ing books released and carried by them that I bought copies of, as one example.

In general, every hobby section of the store was large and well stocked. They were the #1 R/C store for that half of this county and the next as well.

And I wrote 'increasingly can't afford it' quite intensionally. A growing problem is that the newer modelers have an extremely difficult time finding well paying jobs and far too many are still living in basement bedrooms at the parents home as 30-year-olds. 

There are only so many hobby items one can put in their bedrooms when they can't get a place of their own.

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Books may be an exception. I leap for them in effect. But I work with many people in a huge company that generally don't read anything other than the occasional contemporary magazine. They're not buying books as much as we could hope.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

And the new media is a competing problem. A couple of years ago I bought a cd that contains 15,000 books in it. Yes, 15,000 books.....

For under $5 .......... 

I don't even have a dedicated digital reader like a Kindle. But I do have all 15,000 books on my computer and use an App to read them. Where some years ago I bought nearly every reprint like the TOC Car Builders Dictionary with their thousands of RR car photos and equipment drawings in each. Now I've gathered even more of them in freely downloadable .pdf's that I can directly port into computer programs, transform, and build from....

The print versions will be going on eBay later this year.

Well, aren't I a downer ............

I'm still looking forward to doing all of the catch-up building of stuff that I just can't find to buy in the first place.

I just think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

We can work with that..........

My more recent buy is the second volume of the Milwaukee Road Streamliner plans.......... Soon to be mated with a low-cost laser cutter to give me the models I can't find to buy.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:25 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Mike Bauers wrote:

 

According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

    Mike, I'm sure these people are sincere and very likely believe what they told you. But actually, all niche products have been falling in sales in brick and mortar stores. Books are the same. But book sales, like hobby sales and other niche products, are INCREASING, and have been right through the recession. No prizes if you guess it's all about the Internet. Buy a book, buy an Athearn locomotive, it's the same product anywhere you buy it, and both convenience AND price are driving all this. It is silly to say "people can no longer afford it," because overall sales are NOT down.
     For freight cars, this is at least as true as for the other items named. Few hobby shops could afford to carry a complete stock of, say, InterMountain cars, not to mention resin kits. But sales of them are zipping right along. Just not in stores.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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