Date   

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)?


Re: : CGW 1947 PS-1

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Regarding the CGW's 1947 order of PS-1's, while packing up photos for
my house move I found that I had a 1960-ish photo of one of these cars with
the "Lucky Strike" herald that I bought from Michael Gruber. He is a regular
photographer/dealer from Wisconsin who goes to Naperville, and many other
shows as well.


Re: Resin

Dave & Libby Nelson <muskoka@...>
 

-----Original Message-----
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!!
As a long time ebayer (4 yrs) I've seen and participated enough to have
formed an opinion on this very fact -- concluding that scarcity is very
relative. 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).
Being flush with choices, I almost never bid on that product line on ebay
(tho on occasion I've scored some very good deals). I can see how somebody
in, say, Ely Nevada, might have a very different appreciation for what ebay
has to offer and would be willing to pay a premium when the opportunity
arises.

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


Resin

Bruce F. Smith V.M.D., Ph.D. <smithbf@...>
 

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
__
/ &#92;
__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ____________________________________
|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |
| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
|/_____________________________&#92;|_|____________________________________|
| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0


Re: Georgia RR Boxcars

Richard Hendrickson
 

Richard - What can be done with the Tichy kit, in terms of fixing the roof?
Cut the roof off an
MDC 50 foot single-sheathed box car? Use the Central Valley stock car
roof? - John
My cowardly solution is to model one of the cars with the homemade welded
steel roof, as this can easily be represented with sheet styrene and .010
styrene rounds cemented into grooves to simulate weld seams.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Re: Life-Like WP gons

Richard Hendrickson
 

Somewhere, probably from the L-L site, I have a description that some of
their Western Pacific gons have "orange corners". I don't know what that
means (I'm even doubting now that I saw this), and neither does Garth Groff,
who knows far more than WP than I do. Does anyone have these models?
John, I don't remember the details, but the L-L models were based on photos
of WP black/orange gondolas which had orange corners to identify them as
being in some sort of assigned service.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Re: Wood End Ban Date

byronrose@...
 

In fact, they were never banned. Weren't wooden end reefers used right
up until the end of our interest. And even beyond I bet, but I'm not
interested in looking it up.

BSR


On Wed, 6 Jun 2001 11:57:49 -0400 "John Nehrich" <nehrij@rpi.edu> writes:
I wasn't aware that they ever were banned. Most of the bans were on
mechanical problems, involving trucks and underframes. Except for
tank
cars, there doesn't seem to have been much official concern about
the car
itself or the cargo. I always thought that solving the problem of
the load
shifting and breaking through the end of the box car is like making
stronger
windshields for autos rather than seat belts and air bags. - John
----- Original Message -----
From: <guycwilber@aol.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 10:00 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Wood End Ban Date


Friends,

What was the date that box cars with wood ends were banned from
interchange?

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada

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Re: Life-Like WP gons

ted_culotta@...
 

The article on these cars in RP Cyc #3 has photos that confirm this.
The caption states that the corners (only two) were painted
International Airport Orange, but it does not indicate the reason for
the paint.

Ted

--- In STMFC@y..., "John Nehrich" <nehrij@r...> wrote:
Somewhere, probably from the L-L site, I have a description that
some of
their Western Pacific gons have "orange corners". I don't know
what that
means (I'm even doubting now that I saw this), and neither does
Garth Groff,
who knows far more than WP than I do. Does anyone have these
models? See
http://www.union.rpi.edu/railroad/images/rolling-stock/Kits/Life-
Like-kits.h
tml
for a further discussion of the mystery schemes. - John


Re: Southern photos

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

At least one photo of a Southern low side gondola appeared in O. Winston
Link's "The Last Steam Railroad in America".

At 07:27 PM 6/6/01 -0400, you wrote:
166 prints arrived on consignment from Bob's Photo of Southern RR subjects.
I will return about 100 as they are too modern (good news for our modern
colleagues). IMO among the treasures are the only in service photos I have
ever seen of their low side gons (both 10 & 12 panels sides) in steam era
lettering and three nice photos of their high side gons (coming soon from
Sunshine). No ventilators or SU truss cars, but all the other house cars are
well represented. What a great way to shop!
Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Southern photos

Bill Welch <bwelch@...>
 

166 prints arrived on consignment from Bob's Photo of Southern RR subjects. I will return about 100 as they are too modern (good news for our modern colleagues). IMO among the treasures are the only in service photos I have ever seen of their low side gons (both 10 & 12 panels sides) in steam era lettering and three nice photos of their high side gons (coming soon from Sunshine). No ventilators or SU truss cars, but all the other house cars are well represented. What a great way to shop!


Bill Welch <bwelch@uucf.org>
Associate Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
P.O. Box 130 Oakton VA 22124 www.uucf.org
Telephone 703 281-4230 Fax 703 281-5399


Life-Like WP gons

John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Somewhere, probably from the L-L site, I have a description that some of
their Western Pacific gons have "orange corners". I don't know what that
means (I'm even doubting now that I saw this), and neither does Garth Groff,
who knows far more than WP than I do. Does anyone have these models? See
http://www.union.rpi.edu/railroad/images/rolling-stock/Kits/Life-Like-kits.h
tml
for a further discussion of the mystery schemes. - John


GA RR book was: More on GA RR Box Cars

Curt Fortenberry <arrphoto@...>
 

Although there was lots of talk about Bob Hanson's book on the GA RR,
no one mentioned the publisher's web site, where his and other RR
books are mentioned. The publisher is Overmountain Press. This is
their web page for just railroad history:

http://www.overmtn.com/NewPages/mainfz.html

Curt Fortenberry


Re: Wood End Ban Date

John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

I wasn't aware that they ever were banned. Most of the bans were on
mechanical problems, involving trucks and underframes. Except for tank
cars, there doesn't seem to have been much official concern about the car
itself or the cargo. I always thought that solving the problem of the load
shifting and breaking through the end of the box car is like making stronger
windshields for autos rather than seat belts and air bags. - John

----- Original Message -----
From: <guycwilber@aol.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 10:00 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Wood End Ban Date


Friends,

What was the date that box cars with wood ends were banned from
interchange?

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada

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