Date   

Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Bill Schneider
 

Mike prodded:

From: MDelvec952@...
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 5:33 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?


I understand the points and business principles. But if a company in the model business wanted a two-pocket offset hopper in its line, wouldn't there be some promotional value in doing a different car than the other manufacturers, even if only slightly? The wisdom of doing the GA '37 meat reefer is a good example. Those that appreciate the differences are singing praises and asking for more paint schemes, while the oblivious remain cheefully so. Everybody's happy.

An unglamourous coal hopper may not be in Rapido's current business plan. But if one day it is, would Rapido produce the Athearn / Kadee / Atlas car?

....Mike Del Vecchio


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

Ah, but an “unglamourous coal hopper” might be... just not this one.


Bill Schneider


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


Tooling (was Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?)

Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Aley, Jeff A" <Jeff.A.Aley@> wrote:

Which would be cheaper:
1: A full multi-slide injection molded plastic model, assembled with wire grabs, etc.

2: An injection-molded "flat-kit" model, assembled, and with wire grabs, etc. (Lower tooling cost, higher assembly cost).

3: A resin model, assembled, and with wire grabs, etc. (Extremely low tooling cost, higher molding cost (?), much (?) higher assembly cost).
--- In STMFC@..., "Dave Evans" <devans1@...> wrote:
Jeff,

A good summary of the options.

From what I gathered at Prototype rails, the lower tooling costs of door number 2 would provide total savings over method 1 at 20k units - I think extra labor assembly would be less than what sounds like $60k more in tooling for method 1.

Selection 2 also entails lower risk - because tooling is much less, if sales do not reach 20k units, the loss would be much smaller than if option 1 was attempted and sales fell short. If sales are falling short for option 2 then one can more readily limit their losses by simply making fewer models. That option is not as viable for option 1 - you are all in when the tooling is complete and test shots are approved.

Method 2 could also be sold in kit form, which might appeal to some of the members of this group, especially if key spotting features could be readily changed (for example, a flat kit of the PRR H21a hopper would not require a large cost in new tooling to make a PRR H25.)

For an alternate standard offset hopper that was at the start of this thread, the tooling cost for different height sides and ends would not be that severe if other mold parts could be re-used (center sill, bolster, hopper bottom). Other variations may also be possible at reasonable cost (which means smaller runs would be viable).

I did not have any discussions about option 3 - I just can't imagine that enough skilled labor can be found at low enough prices to make Resin work unless unit prices were high and runs were relatively small.

Dave Evans
Only if you have total control of your costs... and using contract shops, you don't. In that case, the shop drives your decision by the prices they quote... if they want to build tools, they'll quote that option cheaper, or conversely, they'll sign you to an initial order number that makes the total up front dollars of the "flat kit" version exactly the same as the other. I can hear Jason and Bill laughing in the background even as I type this :)

The other route would to be to contract the tooling and assembly separately, but... there is nothing saying you will find takers for both. Nothing like having a boatload of plastic parts, and no way to make them into complete models, kits, or whatever.

In addition, the deep draw shut-offs required to make the slope sheets on a separate "flat kit" hopper are likely beyond the average cheapie "I gotta CNC on my dining room table" kind of guy, and real tool shops cost real money, either here or across the pond. Think back to the wonderful experience of trying to assemble a E&B Valley cement hopper, and you'll see what I mean.

You are looking at the age old question that has bedeviled model railroad manufacturers since the days when William K. was an active player... how do I reduce costs and increase market at the same time? If you reduce costs by simplifying tooling and it makes the model harder to assemble, you drive up unit costs and lose market, whether you are asking the modeler to assemble them or having it pre-done. If you add tooling costs, you can lower the unit tooling costs, but only to the point that the market absorbs the product... unsold product that has to be put on clearance sale at or below cost doesn't do you any good, it only gets a part of your investment back.

Each manufacturer has to do this calculation at some point, and the answer they get is seen in the way they approach their market, but all have some element of risk... the only sure way to make a small fortune in the model railroad business is to start with a large one.

Dennis


Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

MDelvec952
 

Bill sed:



OK, going to stick my neck in here...

1) Modelers that would appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs also tend to demand high levels of detail and correct design variations, which equates to high R&D, development, production and (therefore) retail costs. The Kadee car priced at $42.95 is pretty much the cost level where any well detailed hopper of this type will end up these days at current costs, here or abroad. Even if they all (on average) bought one or two that would not be enough to pay for the project.

2) Modelers who do not appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs will look at them and ask what the heck makes them worth that much more money than the cars that they already own on droves from Atlas, Accurail and “A-Thearn “and will not buy them because they “cost too much.”


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

I understand the points and business principles. But if a company in the model business wanted a two-pocket offset hopper in its line, wouldn't there be some promotional value in doing a different car than the other manufacturers, even if only slightly? The wisdom of doing the GA '37 meat reefer is a good example. Those that appreciate the differences are singing praises and asking for more paint schemes, while the oblivious remain cheefully so. Everybody's happy.

An unglamourous coal hopper may not be in Rapido's current business plan. But if one day it is, would Rapido produce the Athearn / Kadee / Atlas car?

....Mike Del Vecchio









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


Re: Sunshine's new GATC tank car

Clark Propst
 

I'm interested in a GATX tank car that was in packing house service. Would this model work?

GATX 23564 22900-23999 TM tallow
GATX 24950 24264-25275 TM tallow

Clark Propst


Re: Paint

tyesac@...
 

as the nearest hobby shops with
decent stock are 5 hours away, so I might as well use the paint I
like best.




Richard,

What, no runway out back?

Tom Casey

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Mon, Jan 24, 2011 12:00 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Paint




On Jan 24, 2011, at 8:54 AM, Andy Harman wrote:

On Sun, 23 Jan 2011 23:13:58 -0500, Schuyler Larrabee wrote
Scalecoat II? Or the real stuff?
Both. I prefer Scalecoat II, but some colors are just not
available - although they may
actually be out there if you special order. Few hobby shops stock
a full rack of
Scalecoat anymore....
Andy, that's hardly an issue for those of us (most of us, I'll bet)
whose local hobby shops were never very good and are now non-
existent. Get on the internet and find a large dealer who has a full
stock, or order direct from the manufacturer. I have to do that
regardless of what paint I use, as the nearest hobby shops with
decent stock are 5 hours away, so I might as well use the paint I
like best.

Richard Hendrickson









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


Tooling (was Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?)

devansprr
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Aley, Jeff A" <Jeff.A.Aley@...> wrote:

I have a few questions about making new models.

Let us assume that the model will be sold RTR (no kits).
Let us also assume that the model will be a hopper car (as discussed) with "moderate" sales (I don't know how many "moderate" is, but let's say 20,000 units).

Which would be cheaper:
1: A full multi-slide injection molded plastic model, assembled with wire grabs, etc.

2: An injection-molded "flat-kit" model, assembled, and with wire grabs, etc. (Lower tooling cost, higher assembly cost).

3: A resin model, assembled, and with wire grabs, etc. (Extremely low tooling cost, higher molding cost (?), much (?) higher assembly cost).
Snip

Regards,

-Jeff
Jeff,

A good summary of the options.

From what I gathered at Prototype rails, the lower tooling costs of door number 2 would provide total savings over method 1 at 20k units - I think extra labor assembly would be less than what sounds like $60k more in tooling for method 1.

Selection 2 also entails lower risk - because tooling is much less, if sales do not reach 20k units, the loss would be much smaller than if option 1 was attempted and sales fell short. If sales are falling short for option 2 then one can more readily limit their losses by simply making fewer models. That option is not as viable for option 1 - you are all in when the tooling is complete and test shots are approved.

Method 2 could also be sold in kit form, which might appeal to some of the members of this group, especially if key spotting features could be readily changed (for example, a flat kit of the PRR H21a hopper would not require a large cost in new tooling to make a PRR H25.)

For an alternate standard offset hopper that was at the start of this thread, the tooling cost for different height sides and ends would not be that severe if other mold parts could be re-used (center sill, bolster, hopper bottom). Other variations may also be possible at reasonable cost (which means smaller runs would be viable).

I did not have any discussions about option 3 - I just can't imagine that enough skilled labor can be found at low enough prices to make Resin work unless unit prices were high and runs were relatively small.

Dave Evans


Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Tim O'Connor
 

Tony

I have a couple of 46-foot GS gondolas. W&R imported them. :-)

Tim O'

No apology necessary, Garth, whatever the source of the slip. I
too wish there was a 46-foot GS gon out there, but am making do with
40-foot ones for D&RGW in the interim.

Tony Thompson


Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Tim O'Connor
 

Tom Madden wrote

In a private conversation Frank mentioned two IM offerings of cars specific to a major
railroad. He said one was "a disaster", and the second was only slightly better. I fear
a hopper project would be similiarly handicapped - no plausible alternative paint schemes,
and the buying public's misconception that they seldom strayed from their home road.

Hmmmm.. MILW box car disaster, Santa Fe stock car slightly better. (Just my guess.)


Tom, everything you wrote makes perfect sense, except that you forgot
a major fact:

Intermountain does not make an AAR 2-bay hopper... or a 3-bay for that
matter.

Like automobile companies, manufacturers strive to offer a "full line"
of products to their customers. Look how Accurail has gradually expanded
their product line to include many types of freight cars. Same thing with
Walthers, Atlas, and Athearn. Even Kadee.

Intermountain cannot "cannibalize" their existing AAR 2-bay hopper line
because they don't have one. You could argue they might lose sales of the
Tichy hoppers, but since the Tichy hopper is labor intensive to build, a
replacement for it might actually help the bottom line. Intermountain is
free to put ANY paint scheme they like on an AAR alternate standard hopper.

If the car was say, $10 cheaper than the Kadee model, then it would have
NO competition in its market niche. Sure, Athearn and Atlas would be cheaper,
and the Kadee might even be more beautiful -- but Intermountain could do every
single paint scheme that Kadee did, every correct scheme for an alternate
standard car, etc. Potential gold mine, IMO. Most customers who buy IRC RTR
models just think they look nice, right?

So anyway, don't underestimate the importance of competition in the hobby
biz, just like any other biz.

Tim O'Connor


Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Charles Hladik
 

That happens when you keep sniffing that Canadian air, brrrrrrrrr
Chuck Hladik

In a message dated 1/24/2011 9:19:48 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
bschneider424@... writes:




Speel Chek is a horible thig..

That should have been “graciously”, not “gratuitously”... I think... ;.)

Bill

From: Bill Schneider
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 9:04 PM
To: _STMFC@... (mailto:STMFC@...)
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval
ends?

Oh great, its out now.... Oh well....

Regarding the “In your dreams...”, I would prefer to insert my own
Richard quote here...

Some... well.. several... years ago I was having a particularly hard time
having things... work out to my satisfaction. I confided on the phone one
afternoon to Richard that I would soon be writing a book entitled “So... You
Want To Be A Model Railroad Manufacturer”, to which he gratuitously (?!)
replied that he would be happy to write the forward, entitled “I told you
so...”

Bill Schneider

From: Aley, Jeff A
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 8:45 PM
To: mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval
ends?

Aha! So Rapido is finally going to do the UP’s slab-sided hoppers! Mike
Brock and I are glad, very glad.

[Insert Richard Hendrickson’s oft-repeated, “In your dreams” here.]

-Jeff

From: mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com
[mailto:mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill Schneider
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 2:44 PM
To: mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval
ends?

Ah, but an “unglamourous coal hopper” might be... just not this one.

Bill Schneider

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

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

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





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


Re: Sunshine's new GATC tank car

Jim Hayes
 

Sunshine usually only brings the newer stuff but surprised us at Naperville
by having several boxes of old kits.

Sunshine will be at 3 events in Feb. and March.

Timonium, Feb. 5/6. Sunshine hopes to have the new tank car there in 8
schemes, some of them very colorful. This kit is supposed to be easier to
assemble than past tank car kits and have better instructions.

And 2 events in California, Winterrail, March 12th and the ATSF Convention
at the San Bernardino train station on March 19th. There may be 2 new ATSF
models at San Bernardino.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:12 AM, culturalinfidel9 <
djmiller@...> wrote:



For those who have been to the Timonium show before, does Sunshine usually
bring a stock of older kits with them or do they only sell new and very
recent kits?

Thanks,
Dan Miller


--- In STMFC@... <STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>, "pullmanboss"
<tcmadden@...> wrote:

Frank Hodina just sent me a photo of the pilot model of the new Sunshine
Models GATC tank car:

http://www.pullmanproject.com/GATC%20Tank.jpg

It will be introduced at Timonium.

Tom Madden


Re: Paint

Andy Harman
 

On Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:31:49 -0500, mike brock wrote
I will add this. As Badger's Greg Konrad said about 15 yrs ago, IF you paint
in Florida you are going to pump out some water.
I remember being berated at the time for not "learning how" to use flex paints and that
I needed a tutorial from Konrad. I watched him painting at one of the shows. He was
blowing oxide red all over an O scale boxcar like nobody's business, using the Bic
disposable airbrush. I didn't see anything special about his technique. Oxides in his
paint line usually worked well, basically if you have a good bottle of paint, even with
sloppy technique things will turn out ok.

On the other hand, I saw up close some of the sample locos that GK had been using in his
ads for his paint. When I actually saw the quality of the finish - one of them had
paint peeling off the walkways, the other looked like it had been blasted with Krylon
from a fire hose, rolled in salt, and blasted again, the idea of "learning" anything
quickly vanished.

I've been airbrushing for - let's see - about 38 years. I don't plan to ever try to
teach anybody anything about it. But I think it's pretty insulting to be told to "learn
how" from someone whose paint jobs I wouldn't even try to strip, much less emulate.

And there are plenty of folks who get outstanding results from acrylics. Their methods
generally contradict each other, as my methods contradict others. That's why I don't
ever do painting clinics.

Andy


Re: Sunshine's new GATC tank car

culturalinfidel9 <djmiller@...>
 

For those who have been to the Timonium show before, does Sunshine usually bring a stock of older kits with them or do they only sell new and very recent kits?

Thanks,
Dan Miller

--- In STMFC@..., "pullmanboss" <tcmadden@...> wrote:

Frank Hodina just sent me a photo of the pilot model of the new Sunshine Models GATC tank car:

http://www.pullmanproject.com/GATC%20Tank.jpg

It will be introduced at Timonium.

Tom Madden


Re: Paint

Andy Harman
 

On Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:00:38 -0800, Richard Hendrickson wrote
Andy, that's hardly an issue for those of us (most of us, I'll bet)
whose local hobby shops were never very good and are now non-
existent.
My LHS does not stock Scalecoat, but they will order it for me and it gets there quickly
without having to pay shipping. The only problem with that is I have to actually plan
ahead and know what I want instead of impulse buying paint. I do miss being able to
browse such things though.

Andy


Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Garth Groff wrote:
Indeed, I did intend to say "gondola". And I reread this post twice for accuracy. I hope you all will forgive me, as I suffer from a mild dyslexia . . .
No apology necessary, Garth, whatever the source of the slip. I too wish there was a 46-foot GS gon out there, but am making do with 40-foot ones for D&RGW in the interim.

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: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Tony and friends,

Indeed, I did intend to say "gondola". And I reread this post twice for accuracy. I hope you all will forgive me, as I suffer from a mild dyslexia (and I've been a professional editor!; how I survived, I don't know).

Kind regards,


Garth Groff

On 1/24/2011 1:35 PM, Anthony Thompson wrote:
Garth Groff wrote:
For the same reason were are not likely to see my two favorites, the
early 1950s-era GATC 46' GS hoppers used by the D&RGW (lots!) and WP
(not so many) . . .
Surely you mean GS gondolas, Garth??

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



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

Yahoo! Groups Links



Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Bill Schneider
 

Roofs, running boards, etc are easy. Internal hopper detail is not, ESPECIALLY on a Seeley! ;>)

Bill

From: A. Premo
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 1:34 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?


Yah but,Bill a hopper doesn't need a roof,a running board (roof walk) laterals etc.Just think of the savings..Not that I would opt for an alternate standard I have yet to see a hopper that I didn't like ,even some of those less than handsome NYO&W and D&H Seleys.There are many other hoppers that have yet to see the light of day like the nine panel B&O nee CRP and a multitude of quad hoppers.While I am thankful for the fruits of the Horn of Plenty there is a market for more and different hoppers.'nuff said.Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Schneider
To: mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

OK, going to stick my neck in here...

The “Alternate Standard Hopper” has been suggested and discussed to me numerous time by several people in at least two different business lives. From a manufacturer’s point of view (well, this one’s at least), there are several issues with the car that make this project problematic.

1) Modelers that would appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs also tend to demand high levels of detail and correct design variations, which equates to high R&D, development, production and (therefore) retail costs. The Kadee car priced at $42.95 is pretty much the cost level where any well detailed hopper of this type will end up these days at current costs, here or abroad. Even if they all (on average) bought one or two that would not be enough to pay for the project.

2) Modelers who do not appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs will look at them and ask what the heck makes them worth that much more money than the cars that they already own on droves from Atlas, Accurail and “A-Thearn “and will not buy them because they “cost too much.”
3) The fact that Kadee HAS done the “standard” version and already therefore has many parts usable for the “alternate” cars would hang like a lead weight over the heads of any manufacturer tooling up from scratch. Kadee could (it would seem) have the “alternate” car into production before if they decided to long before anybody who had to start from scratch. Doesn’t make this a great sounding project to sink limited capital into.
Finally, to Tim’s numbers from Frank at Intermountain... Even Frank said “those days are long gone” when giving his talk at Cocoa. Today’s market is vastly different than it was just a few years ago. At one point not too long ago, 50,000 units for a freight car project was an achievable target (don’t ask how I know). Now its likely about 1/10 of that.
As for the Athearn box car, yeh they sold a lot, but surely that’s not the target level of accuracy for this project, is it Tim? )

Swing away....

Bill Schneider
Rapido Trains
From: Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 1:10 AM
To: mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Dave,

I'm pretty sure the IRC Canadian cylindrical and the 40' PFE ice reefer
are pushing pretty close to those production numbers.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that Athearn has sold 2 million
or more of its 40 ft box cars in the last 50 years.

I'm not saying that a new AAR hopper would sell like that. But Kadee made
a model of an unusual prototype, built in relatively small numbers if you
make a numerical comparison with the giant fleets of the major carriers.
Some of us were dumbfounded (well, I was) that Kadee did that car and not
an alternate standard car. (By our definition based on appearances, not the
AAR's definition based on underframe castings.)

Tim O'Connor

Note that at Cocoa Beach, Intermountain presented production run numbers, and
IIRC none reached the 250k unit example you give.


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__________________________________________________________
Obama Urges Homeowners to Refinance
If you owe under $729k you probably qualify for Obama's Refi Program
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Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Garth Groff wrote:
For the same reason were are not likely to see my two favorites, the early 1950s-era GATC 46' GS hoppers used by the D&RGW (lots!) and WP (not so many) . . .
Surely you mean GS gondolas, Garth??

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: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

A. Premo <armprem2@...>
 

Yah but,Bill a hopper doesn't need a roof,a running board (roof walk) laterals etc.Just think of the savings..Not that I would opt for an alternate standard I have yet to see a hopper that I didn't like ,even some of those less than handsome NYO&W and D&H Seleys.There are many other hoppers that have yet to see the light of day like the nine panel B&O nee CRP and a multitude of quad hoppers.While I am thankful for the fruits of the Horn of Plenty there is a market for more and different hoppers.'nuff said.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Schneider
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?



OK, going to stick my neck in here...

The “Alternate Standard Hopper” has been suggested and discussed to me numerous time by several people in at least two different business lives. From a manufacturer’s point of view (well, this one’s at least), there are several issues with the car that make this project problematic.

1) Modelers that would appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs also tend to demand high levels of detail and correct design variations, which equates to high R&D, development, production and (therefore) retail costs. The Kadee car priced at $42.95 is pretty much the cost level where any well detailed hopper of this type will end up these days at current costs, here or abroad. Even if they all (on average) bought one or two that would not be enough to pay for the project.

2) Modelers who do not appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs will look at them and ask what the heck makes them worth that much more money than the cars that they already own on droves from Atlas, Accurail and “A-Thearn “and will not buy them because they “cost too much.”
3) The fact that Kadee HAS done the “standard” version and already therefore has many parts usable for the “alternate” cars would hang like a lead weight over the heads of any manufacturer tooling up from scratch. Kadee could (it would seem) have the “alternate” car into production before if they decided to long before anybody who had to start from scratch. Doesn’t make this a great sounding project to sink limited capital into.
Finally, to Tim’s numbers from Frank at Intermountain... Even Frank said “those days are long gone” when giving his talk at Cocoa. Today’s market is vastly different than it was just a few years ago. At one point not too long ago, 50,000 units for a freight car project was an achievable target (don’t ask how I know). Now its likely about 1/10 of that.
As for the Athearn box car, yeh they sold a lot, but surely that’s not the target level of accuracy for this project, is it Tim? )

Swing away....

Bill Schneider
Rapido Trains
From: Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 1:10 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

Dave,

I'm pretty sure the IRC Canadian cylindrical and the 40' PFE ice reefer
are pushing pretty close to those production numbers.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that Athearn has sold 2 million
or more of its 40 ft box cars in the last 50 years.

I'm not saying that a new AAR hopper would sell like that. But Kadee made
a model of an unusual prototype, built in relatively small numbers if you
make a numerical comparison with the giant fleets of the major carriers.
Some of us were dumbfounded (well, I was) that Kadee did that car and not
an alternate standard car. (By our definition based on appearances, not the
AAR's definition based on underframe castings.)

Tim O'Connor

>> Note that at Cocoa Beach, Intermountain presented production run numbers, and
>> IIRC none reached the 250k unit example you give.

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






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Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.449 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2804 - Release Date: 04/11/10 06:32:00
____________________________________________________________
Obama Urges Homeowners to Refinance
If you owe under $729k you probably qualify for Obama's Refi Program
http://thirdpartyoffers.netzero.net/TGL3241/4d3dc63981ab9f7ddst02duc

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


Tooling (was Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?)

Aley, Jeff A
 

I have a few questions about making new models.

Let us assume that the model will be sold RTR (no kits).
Let us also assume that the model will be a hopper car (as discussed) with "moderate" sales (I don't know how many "moderate" is, but let's say 20,000 units).

Which would be cheaper:
1: A full multi-slide injection molded plastic model, assembled with wire grabs, etc.

2: An injection-molded "flat-kit" model, assembled, and with wire grabs, etc. (Lower tooling cost, higher assembly cost).

3: A resin model, assembled, and with wire grabs, etc. (Extremely low tooling cost, higher molding cost (?), much (?) higher assembly cost).

We frequently say, "it can't be done except in resin", and I always think, "so do it in resin and have it assembled. Who cares what the car is made out of if it's RTR?"

Of course the costs are different depending on how much work is done in the U.S.A., and how much is done overseas.

Regards,

-Jeff


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Dave Evans
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2011 5:24 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?



- In STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Dave

Why do people think that a model at an AAR alt std hopper correct for
C&O, ERIE, NP, and others would sell only 5,000 cars???

Let me tell you something -- 15 yrs or so ago a small manufacturer made
a model of a 1980-built PC&F insulated box car -- the 62' "Coors beer" car.
This car sold 250,000 copies! Mostly as kits! It's still available today,
as the tooling was sold to another owner.

Think about that -- perhaps 15%-20% of model railroaders model post-1980
HO scale. Roughly double that percentage model the "transition era" in HO.
Why on earth would a freight car that existed in large numbers, that ran
all over the east and midwest from the 1930's to the 1960's, that appeals
to a large segment of model railroaders, sell only 5,000 models??

Tim O'Connor

Tim,

Intermountain presented some numbers for the number of cars built per tooling set - I do not think I saw any over 200k, but I could be wrong. And the biggest seller was a post-transition car (long after this list). One body run was only 13k - in today's market I suspect that would be a loser financially.

It would not surprise me if the beer cars sold in large numbers because of the paint schemes, not because they were a dominant prototype.

Such is the curse of the prototype modeler who is trying to build a "balanced" fleet. (even worse for us WWII modelers).

I have no way to know what the sales volume would be for an accurate AAR standard twin offset hopper. I do not know how much market demand is left for another twin hopper, with probably 98% of model railroaders being unable to tell difference between this car and the current offset twin RTR offerings from Atlas and Kadee and the new Accurail kit offering. I suspect that over 90% of the HO model railroaders would think that the current offset twin offerings are adequate, they have bought all they need, and would likely not pay more than what Atlas, Kadee, or Accurail currently charge.

I wish this wasn't true, but I expect that is exactly what the established manufacturers believe.

My apologies for the 5k number - that referred to my quest, the PRR Glca - I just do not think the market is that big for them. Most modelers would not know the difference between the PRR Glca and Gla, and would not care even though the cars are obviously different. Being a car quickly scrapped after WWII makes the Glca market even smaller (although it is available in Resin).

From what I heard in Cocoa Beach, tooling costs for a 50k run of RTR hoppers would be in the $2 per car range - if you think such a market exists, then it looks like new business models are evolving for car manufacture that might be able to deliver such cars in two years if 100 modelers were willing to plunk down $1,000 each as a down payment before tooling is even cut, and which could probably be used to pay for 25 to 30 cars once sales are confirmed. If sales reach 100k cars, then each investor may get a $1000 return on their original investment - the cars he rec'd just became free. Willing to gamble?

Back to my original question - Not having built one yet, I was curious if the time and skill level required to build the RailShops H30 was significantly less than a resin hopper, and if it is, could their combination of flat styrene parts and brass etched end structures be a viable method to create a wide range of currently unavailable hoppers, and would they be easy enough to build at home in assembly line mode such that building small fleets may be viable?

If modelers think this is viable, then from what I heard the tooling costs would be significantly less than a RTR model (as much as a factor of 10 lower), resulting in either lowering the unit costs, or supporting much smaller production runs (would likely only sell in kit form).

I'm just trying to see if there is a new process and business model that could break through the sticker shock price of tooling for a new RTR car when no one can be certain just how many will sell.

If this would work, it might support a LOT of new cars to be sold in kit form even if the runs were not of the magnitude of most RTR sales.

Still looking for input, Thanks,
Dave Evans


Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

pullmanboss <tcmadden@...>
 

Bruce Smith wrote:

No single road cars? HUH? So tell me, how many folks model
DM&IR? Yet Walther has offered a DM&IR caboose in plastic (as
well as PRR, UP and others...) and Bowser must have sold
millions of shake-the-box H21As and a whole bunch of GLAs...
Apples and oranges, Bruce. Those models, like the Bachmann Pullman, are ones the _manufacturer_ decided to do, and I suspect those decisions were informed by internal arguments (that's a neat car; the market for Pennsy models is huge; no one has done anything like that before). Did consultants get involved? Probably, but having a manufacturer come to you for advice and assistance is not the same as you going to the manufacturer to lobby for a particular project.

I do not buy Tom's argument about one road
cars not selling enough copies.
That wasn't my argument. InterMountain's Santa Fe reefer sold very well, and they didn't have to resort to foobie paint schemes. They _have_ had poor experiences with road-specific models for which they could not justify colorful alternative paint schemes.

Tom Madden

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