Sunshine kits


ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, John Golden <golden1014@...> wrote:
Well, I didn't intend to open anything up, but I have been dissatisfied with quite a number of Sunshine offerings over the years. I'm thankful Martin does what he does and does it well, but I have had occasional trouble over the years with detail rendition and fit.

I've noticed big variations in quality of Sunshine kits for a number of years in appearance, fit and instructions.

I think this is due to different men making the masters. This is kind a a shadow topic (at least for me). I know Frank Hodina is given credit for some of the kits and I've always been impressed with anything from him.

I'm glad Sunshine shows a picture of the built up models.

Ed Mines


pullmanboss <tcmadden@...>
 

I've noticed big variations in quality of Sunshine kits for a number of years in appearance, fit and instructions.

I think this is due to different men making the masters. This is kind a a shadow topic (at least for me). I know Frank Hodina is given credit for some of the kits and I've always been impressed with anything from him.
Charlie Slater does the Santa Fe patterns for Martin, and they seem to be of excellent quality.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned F&C as the originator of Sunshine's 1932 boxcar patterns, and no one refuted it. F&C did 1932 boxcars for one or more of the small New England resin kit marketers (Yankee Clipper, RPI Shop, Steam Shack) and of course for themselves, but I think the F&C - Sunshine relationship ended long before Martin brought out the Sunshine version. (The rights to the earliest Sunshine models cast by F&C reverted to F&C when the demand tailed off after the initial burst and Martin couldn't justify reordering the quantities needed - on a continuing basis - to retain the rights. Hindsight tells us that that was the classic demand curve for resin kits, peaking in the first three months and then dropping to almost nothing. But at the time, most everything but brass models was always available and sold steadily, and I suspect Martin thought it would be the same for resin kits. Now, everyone knows better.)

Tom Madden


Tim O'Connor
 

Some of Martin's early kits were alumilite (yellow-tan) castings, and
the USRA rebuilds in particular were crude compared to Hodina's masterful
work (which I think, IIRC, began with the 1932 ARA kits). The quality of
Sunshine's first kits was on a par with F&C/YC/RPI/WS of the same era but
far behind Al Westerfield's work. But a lot has changed in what, almost
20 years now? Both Al and Martin have been known to fiddle with masters
before turning them into kits (much to the chagrin of certain pattern
makers) and even the master master makers (MMM's?) turn to specialists
sometimes, riveting for example, or tank car bodies :-)

That sales curve applies to a LOT of consumer products! But ADVERTISING
is actually the way to flatten the curve or perhaps give it more of an
up-and-down "reflected wave" profile slowly diminishing to a dribble at
the end. The problem is simply to bring it to the consumer's attention.
Model RR vendors often seem not to realize that a single announcement,
followed by total silence, is not going to reach everyone who might be
interested!

(For example a vendor can "buy" Google search phrases so if a consumer
types "Sunshine resin kit" or whatever, an ad-link for such kits would
appear.)

Tim O'Connor

Charlie Slater does the Santa Fe patterns for Martin, and they seem to be of excellent quality.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned F&C as the originator of Sunshine's 1932 boxcar patterns, and no one refuted it. F&C did 1932 boxcars for one or more of the small New England resin kit marketers (Yankee Clipper, RPI Shop, Steam Shack) and of course for themselves, but I think the F&C - Sunshine relationship ended long before Martin brought out the Sunshine version. (The rights to the earliest Sunshine models cast by F&C reverted to F&C when the demand tailed off after the initial burst and Martin couldn't justify reordering the quantities needed - on a continuing basis - to retain the rights. Hindsight tells us that that was the classic demand curve for resin kits, peaking in the first three months and then dropping to almost nothing. But at the time, most everything but brass models was always available and sold steadily, and I suspect Martin thought it would be the same for resin kits. Now, everyone knows better.)

Tom Madden


Dennis Williams
 

I think that Sunshine Models, Wright Trak, Westerfield, Rail Yard, F&C, Sylvan, Smoky Mountain to name a few, try hard to keep a hobby affordable and available. By the way, before I get too far I would like to thank ALL the masters for their hard work and talents.  Please drop me a line, I would like to talk sometime. With well over 300 kits built from all different manufactures, some are more difficult than others. 
  I built 3 of the same Sunshine kits which 2 were very easy to assemble.  The 3rd was a nightmare!!!  The sides were of different lengths and warpage.  Let's not forget the kit that took over 24 hours total time to build. I would like to thank that master, personally. LOL.
  The kits now are much easier to work with than the earlier ones.  Remember THE 1st one from Sunshine??  MoPac gon.  Rough kit compared to the Quick-kits of today.  This is what keeps our modeling skills sharp!!
  We are loosing a few good companies here and there from low interest in modeling (RTR)and retirement. Finding parts for custom work can be difficult.
  Let's keep building!!
  We can not wait to meet some of the modelers on this group in Naperville this October.
 
  Dennis Williams/Owner
  Resinbuilders4u.com

--- On Sat, 7/10/10, ed_mines <ed_mines@yahoo.com> wrote:


From: ed_mines <ed_mines@yahoo.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Sunshine kits
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010, 11:50 AM


 





--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, John Golden <golden1014@...> wrote:
Well, I didn't intend to open anything up, but I have been dissatisfied with quite a number of Sunshine offerings over the years. I'm thankful Martin does what he does and does it well, but I have had occasional trouble over the years with detail rendition and fit.
I've noticed big variations in quality of Sunshine kits for a number of years in appearance, fit and instructions.

I think this is due to different men making the masters. This is kind a a shadow topic (at least for me). I know Frank Hodina is given credit for some of the kits and I've always been impressed with anything from him.

I'm glad Sunshine shows a picture of the built up models.

Ed Mines











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