Date   

Re: Resinous thoughts

byronrose@...
 

On Thu, 7 Jun 2001 16:10:51 -0700 thompson@signaturepress.com writes:
Tom Madden wrote:
...I hate to see someone making so much more money off of
these than Al did, with no more investment that tying up some money
for a
few months, taking a couple of digital photos, and popping them on
the web.

You forgot to mention that the guy died also. <g>

Come on Tony, I think that Tom was referring to the alive guy who put the
kits on ebay. I seriously doubt that he expected Bob to rise again just
to do that. It's the alive guy who's raking in the bucks with no more
investment than a funeral.

BSR
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Re: Resin

byronrose@...
 

On Thu, 7 Jun 2001 09:24:18 -0700 "Dave & Libby Nelson"
<muskoka@ix.netcom.com> writes:



Which raises another question: why is some people (myself included)
find the
friction of using the postal service (e.g., writing the letter,
licking the
stamp, etc.) sufficently off-putting as to have prevented placing an
order
directly with either Al or Martin? Strange as it sounds, I think
this is
what is at the heart of those requests of Martin to get a web page
and/or
that both Al & Martin take orders directly thru the web.
Having ordered from both parties, I can provide a very slanted answer to
that, at least in the case of ordering from Martin Loftin. Because you
have to wait a minimum of three months to get your models. I can handle
a month, even a month and a half, but I feel that three months is just
too long a wait for any mail order, in spite of what the law says.

That hasn't stopped me from acquiring Sunshine Model kits, however.
Martin goes to enough shows that usually somebody I know can get me
almost anything I may want.

OTOH, except when he's away at a meeting, Al rarely takes more than 7-10
days to get an order back to me.

But I don't understand why anyone here should be imposing their desires
on the way someone like Martin does business. I frankly don't blame him
for wanting to stay off the web. I sometimes regret just getting on an
email list like this one when there's 30-40 messages to read each day and
I've got a set of X-23 patterns crying out to me to finish them. The
whole internet experience can be very intimidating for someone who's
never used it on a regular basis and has to start with a copy of
"Internet for Idiots!" I'd have no interest in doing it, but if someone
like Al enjoys playing with computers, and he certainly does, more power
to him. Also more megahertz and gigabytes, too. But who the heck are we
to demand that Martin Loftin get an internet site so that we won't be
inconvenienced by needing to pick up a phone and actually place a call to
a real live person.

GET A LIFE.

BSR




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Re: Resinous thoughts

thompson@...
 

Tom Madden wrote:
...I hate to see someone making so much more money off of
these than Al did, with no more investment that tying up some money for a
few months, taking a couple of digital photos, and popping them on the web.
You forgot to mention that the guy died also. <g>

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Re: Resinous thoughts

ted_culotta@...
 

--- In STMFC@y..., "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@d...> wrote:
Surely Martin doesn't
rely on everyone else to do masters for him (does he?).

Shawn Beckert
Not for everything, but for some kits. Making the masters is the
surest way to see the project completed.


Re: Resin

Petschallies, Thorsten <Thorsten.Petschallies@...>
 

Hello STMFC-Enthusiast,
my main reason for biding for those kits, is that this is an easy way to
get them. I used to live on the other side of the (Atlantic) pond.
For those kits on ebay, I don't have to write a letter, add everything
together correct, add shipping charges and send it by mail, engage my
bank to advise a partnership bank in the US to sent a check over to
Sunshine. Than hoping that both do arrive, waiting, waiting, waiting,
... until one day hopefully a parcel will show up.

With these (e-bay) kits I can use a credit card. That makes things much
easier.

It would help me if Sunshine had a fax number for orders. Any thing is
better then writing letters.
And if they were processing credit cards, like Westerfield is doing for
long and Funaro & Camerlengo is doing according to their latest flyer.
I think, that would boost their business at least with me.

Regarding other artists/manufacturers, I did almost not bids for any
kits from F&C because they are easy to get, and they offer pretty good 2
for 1 or polybag deals on a lot of kits. The bids are often far above
their offers.
And they seem to willing to reproduce kits, they once did for other
vendors. A while back I asked for the B&M Stock Cars, they once did for
Yankee Clipper, and they were willing to run a batch and now they are
offered in their latest flyer. And other kits done by them for Steam
Shack, Yankee Clipper and Rutland Car Shops do show up as well.

The Westerfield e-bay offers do most of the time have cars in them, that
do not fit into my era. That stops me from biding. And I have an easy
well working way to order them from Westerfield. (Mr. Al Westerfield the
business with you is always pleasing. Thank you.)

Thank you for reading
Thorsten
Germany


Ertl gons - OOPS

John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

I think it was someone on this group, but I can't remember who, that I said
the Ertl gon must be based on the ACL car, as the MEC car had Dreadnaught
ends. I came across Chuck Yungkurth's article in RMC on these cars - I
remembered VERY incorrectly. The MEC gons DID NOT have Dreadnaught ends,
but similar horizontal added rib end like the ACL. The ACL car had a
fishbelly center sill. The MEC car and Ertl kit do not. Sorry. - John


Re: Resinous thoughts

Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>
 

On Jun 7, 2:26pm, tgmadden wrote:

He's told me he just doesn't want to spend his time on
e-mail exchanges and all that goes with being on the internet.
I am reminded of the Cannon & Co. ad in the current RMC, which exhorts us
to, "Get off the internet and build a model!" [or something like that].

Regards,

-Jeff

--
Jeff Aley jaley@pcocd2.intel.com
DPG Chipsets Product Engineering
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Re: Resin

Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>
 

On Jun 7, 12:39pm, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Resin
Suppose I order a slow-moving kit? Martin probably doesn't want to make
a
single car just for me, so he cranks out 10 or 12 kits. Now he has an
inventory
problem! If people knew from the web site that a kit was available
immediately
would they be more likely to buy it (i.e. the impulse factor)?

Tim,

Isn't there another edge to that sword? In other words, isn't it
likely that people WON'T order items that are not in stock? This could
cause problems because then Martin would never know that people wanted the
item, since everyone is waiting for the website to show "in stock" before
they place their order.

Regards,

-Jeff


--
Jeff Aley jaley@pcocd2.intel.com
DPG Chipsets Product Engineering
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Re: Resin

Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>
 

On Jun 7, 9:24am, Dave & Libby Nelson wrote:
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Resin
Which raises another question: why is some people (myself included) find
the
friction of using the postal service (e.g., writing the letter, licking
the
stamp, etc.) sufficently off-putting as to have prevented placing an
order
directly with either Al or Martin?
I don't know, but I'm one of them. I have no problem whipping out an
email message to whomever, but ask me to print it out and mail it as a
letter, and I won't do it. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in my
psychosis.

Regards,

-Jeff

--
Jeff Aley jaley@pcocd2.intel.com
DPG Chipsets Product Engineering
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Re: Resinous thoughts

Shawn Beckert
 

Ted Culotta wrote:

I don't mean to be a smart ass, but Martin will
produce almost anything you want, if you make
the masters for him. Since it's wood, you might
also try AMB to see if they are interested. They
made a structure kit I wanted. All I had to do
was provide the plans.
Well......I can certainly provide photographs. I've
never seen plans for the SSW cabooses. And no way
am I capable of making masters! Surely Martin doesn't
rely on everyone else to do masters for him (does he?).

Shawn Beckert


Re: Resinous thoughts

ted_culotta@...
 

--- In STMFC@y..., "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@d...> wrote:
Tom:

How open to suggestion is Martin on what kits he
chooses to produce? My reason for asking: I could
use quite a few of those Cotton Belt side-door
wooden cabooses that I despair of ever seeing in
styrene. I discovered at Pleasanton that Martin is
a closet SSW fan; do you think he might want to try
his hand at something like this?

Shawn Beckert
I don't mean to be a smart ass, but Martin will produce almost
anything you want, if you make the masters for him. Since it's wood,
you may also try AMB to see if they are interested. They made a
structure kit I wanted. All I had to do was provide the plans.

Ted


Re: Resin

ted_culotta@...
 

--- In STMFC@y..., "dixierails" <dixierails@a...> wrote:
Dave,
Could you provide me with an address and perhaps a phone number of
the
"Train Shop" and whether they have a mail order or phone order side
of their
business. I have a need for a dozen or so of Al's kits and I'd love
to find
somewhere that offered them at any size of a discount. Thanks.
Larry Sexton
408-296-1050. I assume that they do some sort of mail order since
most of the Gronski estate's Sunshine kits are from The Train Shop.
They DON'T stock Sunshine kits except for a few that end up on the
shelves when they happen to place customer orders. Also, if you
order Sunshine kits through The Train Shop, the lead times are just
as long as ordering yourself. However, you may avoid tax (weigh
against shipping) and if you prefer credit cards, you can use them.

Regards,
Ted


Re: Resinous thoughts

Shawn Beckert
 

Tom:

How open to suggestion is Martin on what kits he
chooses to produce? My reason for asking: I could
use quite a few of those Cotton Belt side-door
wooden cabooses that I despair of ever seeing in
styrene. I discovered at Pleasanton that Martin is
a closet SSW fan; do you think he might want to try
his hand at something like this?

Shawn Beckert


Re: Resin

dixierails <dixierails@...>
 

Dave,
Could you provide me with an address and perhaps a phone number of the
"Train Shop" and whether they have a mail order or phone order side of their
business. I have a need for a dozen or so of Al's kits and I'd love to find
somewhere that offered them at any size of a discount. Thanks.
Larry Sexton

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave & Libby Nelson" <muskoka@ix.netcom.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 12:24 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Resin




-----Original Message-----
5 miles from my house is the Train Shop of Santa Clara CA., which
normally has 200-300 Westerfield kits in stock (at discounted prices).

Dave Nelson


Resinous thoughts

tgmadden <tgmadden@...>
 

Random thoughts on some of today's comments. [Caveat - much of what follows
is my understanding of Sunshine's activities, and if it's inaccurate it's my
fault. Martin and I exchange phone calls and/or letters every month or so,
and get together to "talk casting" twice a year.]

Bruce Smith:
Two days ago I
was worried that the Westerfield "Yellow Kid" (1602951810) set wasn't
getting the attention it deserved...this morning it went for $521...thats
over $85 per car!!!!
and:
As has been noted by others, the bidding on kits that are still in
production at prices significantly above the retail market price is
baffling...but clearly indicates that "rarity" is not a requirement!!
Someone, perhaps Byron, mentioned that the Yellow Kid set wasn't one of Al's
better sellers. Especially considering the work he put into it. There were
three in the Gronski collection, all of them sold for well over Al's $350
(IIRC) list. I understand economics, and I understand estate liquidations,
but in this case I hate to see someone making so much more money off of
these than Al did, with no more investment that tying up some money for a
few months, taking a couple of digital photos, and popping them on the web.

Tim O'Connor:
I was thinking about how resin kits are made, and then sold. Martin makes a
batch of 20-40 kits from a single set of molds.
and:
My last 3 orders to Martin have taken 12-15 weeks to fill.
Martin typically makes a dozen mold sets when introducing a new model, and
runs off 300 or so kits. Each mold is good for 30 pours, more or less, and
he pours multiple molds at the same time. Once the initial flurry of orders
is filled, some of the molds will still have a little life in them. I don't
know Martin's (or Al's) exact procedures, but at the end of a job we cut up
and discard all bad molds, wrap the rest in Saran Wrap (so they don't dry
out), and store them. When you're pouring multiple molds, they don't all
have to be for the same car. If there's a request for a single car, and
there's a mold set available, it's just a matter of finding the mold set and
working it into the production schedule. Martin has told me he occasionally
has trouble locating molds that he hasn't used in a year or so. Likewise, if
there aren't any molds but the masters are available, you can pull those and
pour a new mold set when you do your next scheduled silicone pour. So
there's no huge problem making the castings, and you don't necessarily have
to run off a dozen or so to justify making them - but if Martin's out of
decals or instruction sheets, that would cause a delay.

The masters for Martin's early kits reverted to F&C at some point and those
kits are now offered by F&C. This is a real sore point with Martin, and is a
subject best avoided.

Shawn Beckert:
Does anyone know if Martin has a computer at all?
He may. His personal letters look like they were printed on an ink jet.

More Shawn:
Could it be that Martin doesn't want to take
time away from producing kits to learn a new
technology?
As far as computers go, it's not a matter of Martin's not wanting to learn a
new technology. He's told me he just doesn't want to spend his time on
e-mail exchanges and all that goes with being on the internet. On the other
new technology issue, one-piece body castings: Martin's business is good, he
sells most everything he can make, he introduces many new kits each year,
and he has full command of his present manufacturing process. Until and
unless he starts losing business, I don't think he'll change. (My personal
opinion.) He knows what's required to make the change, but is very reluctant
to take that first step.

Still more Shawn:
I've gotten the impression that
he and his wife run the business themselves.
There may not be time - or money - enough to
take on designing or maintaining a web page.
Four people: Martin, Pat, and their son and daughter. The kids are getting
older, however, and if they haven't left the nest yet, they will in the near
future. Unless Martin has made some other arrangements, he's probably facing
a reduction in the Sunshine labor force before too long.

Tom M.


Re: Resin

billd@...
 

Bruce,

I think you've hit the nail on the head about built-up kits
"ruining" the value. I am getting REALLY FED UP with the
collector mentality that is invading this hobby (although
when I go to sell some of the kits I've got kicking around
the house, I might feel differently :-)

As far as current production kits selling for over list,
there are exactly NO hobbyshops here in Arizona that stock
any of these kits...and I don't think that we are that
different from most places. Several shops say that they
can't sell a kit and load the shelves with RTR Intermountain
Kadee and other high-dollar, "collector" cars. Sheesh!!!

Bill Daniels
Tucson, AZ

On Thu, 7 Jun 2001 11:00:33 -0500
"Bruce F. Smith V.M.D., Ph.D." <smithbf@mail.auburn.edu>
wrote:

Morning Y'all,

Okay...I've been following (and bidding on a few) the
resin on eBay, and I
have decided the following...Al (Westerfield), you need
to change your
motto. It isn't as good as brass, its better! Brass
does not appreciate,
but clearly, resin kits do, and the bidding is stunning.
Two days ago I
was worried that the Westerfield "Yellow Kid"
(1602951810) set wasn't
getting the attention it deserved...this morning it went
for $521...thats
over $85 per car!!!!

As has been noted by others, the bidding on kits that are
still in
production at prices significantly above the retail
market price is
baffling...but clearly indicates that "rarity" is not a
requirement!! I
hesitate to think of the prices that these cars might
bring if the kits had
been built (or would that ruin the value?). This is
actually a practical
question as I have a couple of Westerfield kits that are
the wrong era for
me (e.g. PRR and Berwind GL hoppers). I could build
these kits and sell
the built up models on eBay, since I enjoy building Al's
kit tremendously,
or I could just sell or trade the kits...

Happy Rails
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith V.M.D., Ph.D.
Scott-Ritchey Research Center
334-844-5587, 334-844-5850 (fax)
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be
happy" - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Resin

ted_culotta@...
 

--- In STMFC@y..., "Dave & Libby Nelson" <muskoka@i...> wrote:
Which raises another question: why is some people (myself included)
find the
friction of using the postal service (e.g., writing the letter,
licking the
stamp, etc.) sufficently off-putting as to have prevented placing
an order
directly with either Al or Martin? Strange as it sounds, I think
this is
what is at the heart of those requests of Martin to get a web page
and/or
that both Al & Martin take orders directly thru the web.

Dave Nelson
In the case of the Sunshine kits on ebay, I am happy to pay list
price (or even a little above, but not much) because I know that I
will have the kits in a matter of days as opposed to Martin's usual
12-15 weeks (which is NOT a problem for me and I don't mean to
insinuate anything negative about Martin [or Steve Funaro] --
remember that these are cottage industries manned by "artisans").
Like Dave, I have the luxury of going to The Train Shop in Santa
Clara to get my Westerfield fix, except for the recent lack of
inventory of the USRA mill gons -- Al, you need to send some B&O and
NYC cars out to them!

Ted Culotta


Re: Resin

Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

Sunshine kit are going very high but not Al's. I won a batch at $65
which is about the normal bid for the Westerfield cars. $65 divided by 4 is
$16.25 a car which is not a bad price at all considering the cars go for $25
to $30 list. Sunshine is a different matter because there are Sunshine cars
in these batches that are OOP's. Westerfield cars are never (to my
knowledge) OOP.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax DCC owner, Chief system
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Re: Resin

Shawn Beckert
 

Regarding Sunshine's lack of a web presence:

Does anyone know if Martin has a computer at
all? I mean this in a kindly way - It took a
very long time for friends to persuade me to
get a computer and log on the net. Now they
have a hard time getting me away from it ;-).

Could it be that Martin doesn't want to take
time away from producing kits to learn a new
technology? I've gotten the impression that
he and his wife run the business themselves.
There may not be time - or money - enough to
take on designing or maintaining a web page.

I have to say though, having a website is a
powerful inducement to potential customers.
I've done more business through contacts on
the Net than I ever have in an actual store
or swap meet. It would give Sunshine a lot of
exposure if they could show their product on
the internet. Then again, Martin might not
want to be that busy...

Shawn Beckert


Re: Resin

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Which raises another question: why is some people (myself included) find the
friction of using the postal service (e.g., writing the letter, licking the
stamp, etc.) sufficently off-putting as to have prevented placing an order
directly with either Al or Martin? Strange as it sounds, I think this is
what is at the heart of those requests of Martin to get a web page and/or
that both Al & Martin take orders directly thru the web.
Dave, in my case this was NOT the issue.

I was thinking about how resin kits are made, and then sold. Martin makes a
batch of 20-40 kits from a single set of molds.

Once a batch is made, ideally (as a vendor) you want to move 'em out, right?
I thought a web site that showed "models in stock" or "out of stock" would be
useful to me because I could order models from stock that I wanted to start
working on soon -- while out of stock items can take 2-4 months to get.

My last 3 orders to Martin have taken 12-15 weeks to fill. This is ok with me
to some extent, but it should would be nice to know up front which kits I am
waiting for, and which kits are already in stock but Martin is waiting to fill the
entire order. (He doesn't cash the check until about 2-3 weeks before he
ships all of the kits.)

Suppose I order a slow-moving kit? Martin probably doesn't want to make a
single car just for me, so he cranks out 10 or 12 kits. Now he has an inventory
problem! If people knew from the web site that a kit was available immediately
would they be more likely to buy it (i.e. the impulse factor)?

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