RTR Resin


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

I don't know the current situation, but a couple of years ago I was told (by a knowledgeable MRIA member) that some of the "players" in U.S. model manufacturing did send some resin kits to China for a test build. Results were a somewhat high price quote, and VERY poor assembly quality. The fitting and adjusting we all take for granted in assembling a resin freight car is NOT how the Chinese assembly line works. They put together parts, period.
If that's still true, then price is not the giant barrier to getting RTR resin built in China.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Nelson Moyer <ku0a@...>
 

Custom built resin kits typically sell for between $100-200 each, including
the cost of the kit. Maybe some of the custom builders could give us an idea
of what imported RTR resin might sell for.

Nelson

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim
O'Connor
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2011 8:58 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [STMFC] RTR Resin




Nelson Moyer wrote

Frank said that the most cars Sunshine ever produced from a master
was something like 130 kits.
That sounds odd, since Martin told me years ago that he typically
sold about 300 of each kit, and I know for a fact he has produced
thousands of identical, individual parts such as ends, doors, roofs.

Of course that was in the day of "flat kits" -- 3-D molds may be
much more destructive of masters.

About 10 years ago I had lunch with J.P. Barger at Naperville and he
was quizzing all of us about resin kits and whether it would be possible
to import R-T-R resin models that were satisfactory to the RPM crowd.
I thought it was a great idea -- but I suspect the price would be at
least 100% more than top quality plastic models, and that means such
models would list for more than $100 each. That's much cheaper than
current brass imports but in the same price range as older brass cars.

As the price goes up, the size of your market diminishes quickly!

Tim O'Connor


Pierre <pierre.oliver@...>
 

Nelson,
Not sure why you think I or any other custom builders would know what the pricing for RTR resin could be.
The issues, as I understand them are mainly twofold.
One, the Chinese factories requested double the amount of resin parts for the number of kits to be produced. Big demand on a resin caster.
Second, resin assembly is not a simple matter of jigs and such. Much, and I mean much, handwork is involved. Not something the Chinese factories were keen on.
Let's be glad that some parts of our hobby have remained here in North America.
Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Nelson Moyer" <ku0a@...> wrote:

Custom built resin kits typically sell for between $100-200 each, including
the cost of the kit. Maybe some of the custom builders could give us an idea
of what imported RTR resin might sell for.

Nelson


Tim O'Connor
 

Second, resin assembly is not a simple matter of jigs and such.
> Much, and I mean much, handwork is involved.
> Pierre Oliver

I'm not convinced this is true, Pierre. Gene Fusco's castings are
immaculate, flash-free, and ready for assembly. And Jon Cagle's
Harriman passenger cars also fit in that category. Clearly, some
people can produce extremely high quality, uniform castings. (And
I should add, these are not flat castings.)

Tim O'Connor


Pierre <pierre.oliver@...>
 

Tim,
Right now, Gene's castings seems to be the exception. I maintain that all that folding and fitting of all that lovely photo-etch he includes would not go over well in a factory.
I'm almost finished Jon's latest O Scale offering and has good as his work is, some fitting was required to join the roof casting to the body cleanly.
I suspect that in the end it comes down to numbers. If there's enough demand for a car to warrant sending it offshore, it's worth it now to run it in styrene. That seems to me to be the market right now.
Then we get into another aspect, which can not be addressed by a factory. Many of my clients have specific requirements and expectations for their rolling stock. Working one on one with a custom builder is how you can be assured of getting exactly what you are paying for.
Now if the Chinese factories would stop putting on reweigh dates and include a decal sheet that allows one to date the car according to the desired time frame then we're starting to talk.
Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com

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


> Second, resin assembly is not a simple matter of jigs and such.
> Much, and I mean much, handwork is involved.
> Pierre Oliver

I'm not convinced this is true, Pierre. Gene Fusco's castings are
immaculate, flash-free, and ready for assembly. And Jon Cagle's
Harriman passenger cars also fit in that category. Clearly, some
people can produce extremely high quality, uniform castings. (And
I should add, these are not flat castings.)

Tim O'Connor


Bill Welch
 

All of this speculating is entertaining but let's get down to it. Everyone that thinks Tim should go to China and start checking all of this out, raise their hands.

Bill Welch

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


> Second, resin assembly is not a simple matter of jigs and such.
> Much, and I mean much, handwork is involved.
> Pierre Oliver

I'm not convinced this is true, Pierre. Gene Fusco's castings are
immaculate, flash-free, and ready for assembly. And Jon Cagle's
Harriman passenger cars also fit in that category. Clearly, some
people can produce extremely high quality, uniform castings. (And
I should add, these are not flat castings.)

Tim O'Connor


Bill Schneider
 

I’m all for it... Good luck Tim! ;>)

Seriously, In a “previous life” I had talked to China about this very possibility (not sure WHAT I was thinking....), even going so far as to send a couple of kits. In the end I decided that the only “practical” way to do it (very loose term) was to find a small shop, use one piece bodies that were clean, accurate and flash free (Speedwitch or similar) and have a minimum number of holes to drill. This, by definition, limits greatly the number of possible projects – forget ladder grabs for example. Even so, the retail cost would indeed have been well over the $100.00 mark, and that was then. Costs are much higher now.

Bill Schneider

From: lnbill
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 10:02 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: RTR Resin


All of this speculating is entertaining but let's get down to it. Everyone that thinks Tim should go to China and start checking all of this out, raise their hands.

Bill Welch

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


Second, resin assembly is not a simple matter of jigs and such.
Much, and I mean much, handwork is involved.
Pierre Oliver
I'm not convinced this is true, Pierre. Gene Fusco's castings are
immaculate, flash-free, and ready for assembly. And Jon Cagle's
Harriman passenger cars also fit in that category. Clearly, some
people can produce extremely high quality, uniform castings. (And
I should add, these are not flat castings.)

Tim O'Connor


Pieter Roos
 

What is really odd about this thread is that in general, members of this list decry the development of RTR plastic to the exclusion of kits; yet now seem to want resin models in RTR form? I suspect that if (big if) an economical way of doing this were found, the same effects on the resin kit market might come into play (why make kits when he RTR sell better?).

Pieter Roos
Connecticut (but temporarily located in Virgina).

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "lnbill" <fgexbill@...> wrote:

All of this speculating is entertaining but let's get down to it. Everyone that thinks Tim should go to China and start checking all of this out, raise their hands.

Bill Welch


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Pieter_Roos" <pieter_roos@...> wrote:

What is really odd about this thread is that in general, members of this list decry the development of RTR plastic to the exclusion of kits; yet now seem to want resin models in RTR form? I suspect that if (big if) an economical way of doing this were found, the same effects on the resin kit market might come into play (why make kits when he RTR sell better?).

Pieter Roos
Just as a comment, when the Soo Line society was looking at getting my old resin kit back into production, I gave some serious thought to offering them painted and pre-lettered; It was a given that the new kits would be one-piece bodies, so why not paint them and letter them just like injection moldings? After assembly, the only thing the modeler would have to paint was the floor (which would be grunge color, and didn't have to match) ditto for the running boards, and the metal grab irons, which I thought could either be done with a brush or paint pen. What brought the project to a screeching halt was the realization that we couldn't pad print the lettering as close to the posts as it really needed to go; on a mass market kit we'd just "adjust" the size until we could print it, but I didn't think that would cut it on a premium price kit, so I decided to use my time on more productive endeavors and we licensed the patterns to Speedwitch and let Ted develop the new kit however he chose.

I do still think we would have at least doubled our sales if a pre-decorated version had been done, even though it would have had to command a higher price. Someone should try it on a car where the lettering would fit.

Dennis


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dennis wrote:
Just as a comment, when the Soo Line society was looking at getting my old resin kit back into production, I gave some serious thought to offering them painted and pre-lettered; It was a given that the new kits would be one-piece bodies, so why not paint them and letter them just like injection moldings?
I have heard from more than one hobby shop owner that when customers open a kit box and find it's not painted and lettered, they usually close the box and hand it back. Prepainted and lettered car bodies would probably be the largest single attractor for more sales of resin freight cars. Of course I'm not talking about the STMFC aficionado, only about the general hobbyist.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Bruce Smith
 

On Apr 11, 2011, at 3:05 PM, Anthony Thompson wrote:
I have heard from more than one hobby shop owner that when
customers open a kit box and find it's not painted and lettered, they
usually close the box and hand it back. Prepainted and lettered car
bodies would probably be the largest single attractor for more sales
of resin freight cars. Of course I'm not talking about the STMFC
aficionado, only about the general hobbyist.
I don't know <G>... Back when I had a "local hobby shop" (within 50
miles), the owner complained to me that he could not sell his
LifeLike P2K kits. His complaint sounds awfully familiar and that
was that when a customer opened the box and looked at all the parts,
they simply put it back onto the shelf. These of course were painted
and lettered, so I'd have to guess that the added difficulty of resin
kits would do little help that problem even if they were prepainted!

The issue of parts has been raised, and I continue to marvel at the
aftermarket parts available to military modelers. Notably, some of
these are for OOP kits, and it is clear that there continues to be a
demand for the parts. I have to wonder what the market size is for
individual parts, but some companies (Eduard comes to mind) have
after-market parts for 100s of kits so that may be their business
strategy.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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Tim O'Connor
 

(MY hand is raised)

So.... let's start a collection for my expenses. :-)

Tim

All of this speculating is entertaining but let's get down to it.
Everyone that thinks Tim should go to China and start checking all
of this out, raise their hands.

Bill Welch


Tim O'Connor
 

Bill

Talkin' to the wrong people. Think CRAFTSMEN -- Boo Rim, Samhongsa,
etc. If brass can be bent, soldered, drilled, and cast into beautiful
models, then so can resin. Byron Rose showed me some of his gorgeous
American prototype trolley models that are made in eastern Europe!
They are not brass. China's not the only country in the world doing
manufacturing, especially in the higher value-add categories.

Just make out the ticket for China, Korea, Czechoslovakia, Brazil.
Might as well make this a round-the-world tour!

Tim O'Connor

At 4/11/2011 10:19 AM Monday, you wrote:
I'm all for it... Good luck Tim! ;>)

Seriously, In a previous life I had talked to China about this very possibility (not sure WHAT I was thinking....), even going so far as to send a couple of kits. In the end I decided that the only practical way to do it (very loose term) was to find a small shop, use one piece bodies that were clean, accurate and flash free (Speedwitch or similar) and have a minimum number of holes to drill. This, by definition, limits greatly the number of possible projects � forget ladder ggrabs for example. Even so, the retail cost would indeed have been well over the $100.00 mark, and that was then. Costs are much higher now.

Bill Schneider


Bill Schneider
 

Tim,

Glad to have you take the lead on this one, I’m just too busy these days. Let me know how you make out. ;>)

Bill

From: Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 4:33 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: RTR Resin


Bill

Talkin' to the wrong people. Think CRAFTSMEN -- Boo Rim, Samhongsa,
etc. If brass can be bent, soldered, drilled, and cast into beautiful
models, then so can resin. Byron Rose showed me some of his gorgeous
American prototype trolley models that are made in eastern Europe!
They are not brass. China's not the only country in the world doing
manufacturing, especially in the higher value-add categories.

Just make out the ticket for China, Korea, Czechoslovakia, Brazil.
Might as well make this a round-the-world tour!

Tim O'Connor

At 4/11/2011 10:19 AM Monday, you wrote:
I'm all for it... Good luck Tim! ;>)

Seriously, In a previous life I had talked to China about this very possibility (not sure WHAT I was thinking....), even going so far as to send a couple of kits. In the end I decided that the only practical way to do it (very loose term) was to find a small shop, use one piece bodies that were clean, accurate and flash free (Speedwitch or similar) and have a minimum number of holes to drill. This, by definition, limits greatly the number of possible projects ­ forget ladder ggrabs for example. Even so, the retail cost would indeed have been well over the $100.00 mark, and that was then. Costs are much higher now.

Bill Schneider




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


Tim O'Connor
 

I'd buy pre-lettered resin cars. Painting and decaling, and later
weathering, are the most time consuming jobs for me. I have lots of
pre-lettered plastic kits! :-) Of course, a small decal sheet for
reweigh, car numbers, etc would be a good feature to have.

Tim O'Connor

I have heard from more than one hobby shop owner that when
customers open a kit box and find it's not painted and lettered, they
usually close the box and hand it back. Prepainted and lettered car
bodies would probably be the largest single attractor for more sales
of resin freight cars. Of course I'm not talking about the STMFC
aficionado, only about the general hobbyist.

Tony Thompson


Tim O'Connor
 

Bruce Smith wrote

> Back when I had a "local hobby shop" (within 50 miles), the owner
> complained to me that he could not sell his LifeLike P2K kits.


Clearly, resin kits, or pre-painted/quick-assembly resin kits are
not going to sell at a LHS --the market is too small. It's hard to
tell about P2K -- They overproduced SO MUCH that for years you could
buy the kits for less than the retail price of a pair of their trucks!
Also, most P2K kits wrapped the car in tissue paper, so you could not
actually see the model when you opened the box. Branchline solved the
problem by putting a PICTURE of the model on the outside of the box.

Tim O'Connor


Andy Harman
 

On Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:40:39 -0400, Tim O'Connor wrote
I'd buy pre-lettered resin cars. Painting and decaling, and later
weathering, are the most time consuming jobs for me.
Really? I think a prepainted resin kit would suffer from the handling required to built
it. Styrene kits have the same issues to a lesser degree, although this depends on the
manufacturer. I've built some prepainted styrene kits that pretty much required
repainting after assembly - think E&B Valley, McKean, Front Range, etc. Trim those
ladders off the sprue and you have a foot-long hole in the paint.

I actually enjoy the finishing the most, probably what I dislike most about any kit is
the part where you have to bend wire to make it look right. I can usually do it, I just
don't like it. Pre-bent wire is nice in the few instances it can actually be used
as-is, often it's just sort of a suggestion.

I have quite a heap of pre-lettered styrene kits, but for now and future purchases I'm
leaning very strongly toward undecs, or buying the occasional stripper - although it's a
lot harder to cleanly strip paint off detailed sprues than from a one-piece body. Just
a few are easier to come by that way.

Andy


Andy Harman
 

On Mon, 11 Apr 2011 08:08:51 -0400, Tim O'Connor wrote

I'm not convinced this is true, Pierre. Gene Fusco's castings are
immaculate, flash-free, and ready for assembly.
This is true, even defies explanation. I've never seen resin that clean, and rarely
seen styrene that clean. You can drill multiple #80 or #79 holes, fold the etching
over, and it drops right into place. Not cattywampus, dead on where it's supposed to be.

I would love to see what Gene's process is and his masters as well.

Andy


Andy Harman
 

On Mon, 11 Apr 2011 10:19:18 -0400, Bill Schneider wrote
Seriously, In a [UTF-8?]“previous [UTF-8?]life� I had talked to China about this very
possibility (not sure WHAT I was thinking....), even going so far as to send a
couple of kits. In the end I decided that the only [UTF-8?]“practical� way to do
it (very loose term) was to find a small shop, use one piece bodies that were
clean, accurate and flash free (Speedwitch or similar) and have a minimum
number of holes to drill. This, by definition, limits greatly the number of
possible projects [UTF-8?]– forget ladder grabs for example. Even so, the retail
cost would indeed have been well over the $100.00 mark, and that was then.
Costs are much higher now.
There was a time, not terribly long ago, when I was firmly convinced that plastic RTR
models of the caliber of a Tichy or Intermountain car were just not possible at a price
anyone would pay. I've been proven wrong repeatedly. Only 2(?) years after
Intermountain's first kits emerged - and I found them to be a challenging 4-6 hour build
- they were coming from China RTR for only 2 bucks more than the kits. Well, except for
the trucks and couplers... LOL. Anyway, we know what has become of that 2 bucks in the
17 years since. But again in 1998, a certain (in)famous set of locomotive tooling was
sent to China to be produced RTR, and once again I said no way, and 3 years later, I was
holding the finished product in my hand. Well except for motors.. and couplers... LOL.
I do have my strict definition of true RTR.

So if June of 2014 brings us Sunshine of India or Westerfield of Ukraine or Funaro &
Cambodia RTR resin cars, I won't be *too* surprised. But I'm not holding my breath
either. Or selling my kits.

Andy


Jim Betz
 

RTR Resin < === > eBay
- Jim (VBG)