ADMIN: Spam and Manufacturer's Business Practices


Mikebrock
 

There are several issues that need to be addressed by the STMFC Management.

1. As several members have noted, there has been a significant increase in the spammer activity as seen on the STMFC. The vast majority of these spam messages are associated with Yahoo accounts and the source is a legitimate member of the STMFC. The policy of the STMFC is to notify the owner of the address of the problem and to place the member in Moderate Jail. This action will stop additional messages from being posted on the STMFC but, regretfully, the STMFC mgt may continue to receive moderate messages from the offending account until it is fixed. STMFC mgt will remove the offending member if the amount of activity warrants such action. With that in mind, I would suggest to the members that you check your anti virus software.

2. Barry Bennett, among others, is not satisfied with a vendor/manufacturer's operation.

As many members are aware...thankfully...the group's rules state "Criticism of a manufacturer's business
practices is, however, not within the scope of the group."

However, note the additional group rule:

"...all
admin, security, or "policing" functions will be conducted only by myself or
my representatives."

IOW, members are not free to criticize a manufacturer's business practices. STMFC mgt definitely does NOT want to referee a discussion regarding the business practices of a vendor/manufacturer. However, the group's management does reserve the right and, in fact, has the responsibility to issue warnings about any practice that a vendor/manufacturer may impose that is detrimental to the members. Management is very aware that this function should be only rarely exercised and conclusive evidence must be present for it to do so.

Given the above, if a member believes a vendor/manufacturer is exercising a business practice that the member believes to be detrimental to the members, this information should be sent to myself or my assistant at:

STMFC-owner@yahoogroups.com

3. In keeping with the procedure indicated above, STMFC mgt has received the following information that it feels warrants being passed to the members.

"At the last Prototype Rails, I and others purchased Sunshine kits. [ note that Sunshine was not present...STMFC mgt ]. One of my five later proved to be missing the decal sheet. I sent the certificate and $3 to Sunshine asking for another decal sheet. I said in the letter that if the decals would cost more, please so inform me. After eight weeks passed, I received my check back voided, and a three paragraph hand-written but unsigned letter saying that Sunshine would not support "aftermarket" customers because of inability to control the quality of kits which might have been looted of parts, and that my only recourse is to seek a refund from the seller."

Note that the buyer bought a kit...not a built model. Also, the buyer indicated that if Sunshine no longer had the decal in question that the buyer would have no complaint. And, in this case, the buyer was perfectly willing to pay for the decal and, apparently, it was still available.

My concern is that many members on the STMFC own and possibly buy/sell Sunshine kits. Buyers of Sunshine kits need to be aware that Sunshine does not support after market purchases...even if they do have parts.

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


Andy Harman
 

At 12:47 PM 5/1/2012 -0400, you wrote:

My concern is that many members on the STMFC own and possibly buy/sell
Sunshine kits. Buyers of Sunshine kits need to be aware that Sunshine does
not support after market purchases...even if they do have parts.
I do have a few unbuilt Sunshine kits that I probably will never use and that I would like to sell. I guess I should include this caveat in my auction listing.....

Andy


O Fenton Wells
 

Andy, a few unbuilt!!!!! I wish. I finally realized that I would be long
gone from this world before I ever built my inventory. I don't know what I
was thinking but I do love the kits and still buy a few even though I have
sold many. I think they call people like me delusional. Last count I'm
down to a paltry 50 or so. Around 100 if you count F&C, Westerfield and
Speedwitch. I may need counselling.....or more bourbon.
Fenton Wells
On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Andy Harman <gsgondola@gp30.com> wrote:

**


At 12:47 PM 5/1/2012 -0400, you wrote:

My concern is that many members on the STMFC own and possibly buy/sell
Sunshine kits. Buyers of Sunshine kits need to be aware that Sunshine does
not support after market purchases...even if they do have parts.
I do have a few unbuilt Sunshine kits that I probably will never use and
that I would like to sell. I guess I should include this caveat in my
auction listing.....

Andy




--
Fenton Wells
3047 Creek Run
Sanford NC 27332
919-499-5545
srrfan1401@gmail.com


Tom Madden
 

Mike Brock wrote, based on a complaint he received:

My concern is that many members on the STMFC own and possibly buy/sell
Sunshine kits. Buyers of Sunshine kits need to be aware that Sunshine does
not support after market purchases...even if they do have parts.
This is not a policy change, although it sounds like Martin could have handled it better. Perhaps he was having a bad day, or the request was more confrontational/demanding than we think. Here's what Jim Hayes wrote earlier this year:

I had a conversation with Martin & Tricia at Lisle where I was told that
they don't want to sell individual decals or parts. However, as Clark said,
they do bring boxes of obsolete decals to shows they attend.
This is a sticky issue because a large percentage of all resin kits end up changing hands before they are built. (If they ever are!) And there's no way Martin can track even his own sales at RPM meets and shows. But that doesn't mean he can't have a policy of only supporting the original purchaser. It's one thing to ask for a replacement if you bought the kit from Martin, but if it was a private transaction you should assume someone else has unwrapped and repackaged the kit, so it's buyer beware.

Tom Madden


ronald parisi
 

Dear Fenton:

Bourbon is quicker and more fun...

Ron Parisi

(Also with a hobby shop in a few closets)

On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM, O Fenton Wells <srrfan1401@gmail.com>wrote:

Andy, a few unbuilt!!!!! I wish. I finally realized that I would be long
gone from this world before I ever built my inventory. I don't know what I
was thinking but I do love the kits and still buy a few even though I have
sold many. I think they call people like me delusional. Last count I'm
down to a paltry 50 or so. Around 100 if you count F&C, Westerfield and
Speedwitch. I may need counselling.....or more bourbon.
Fenton Wells
On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Andy Harman <gsgondola@gp30.com> wrote:

**


At 12:47 PM 5/1/2012 -0400, you wrote:

My concern is that many members on the STMFC own and possibly buy/sell
Sunshine kits. Buyers of Sunshine kits need to be aware that Sunshine
does
not support after market purchases...even if they do have parts.
I do have a few unbuilt Sunshine kits that I probably will never use and
that I would like to sell. I guess I should include this caveat in my
auction listing.....

Andy




--
Fenton Wells
3047 Creek Run
Sanford NC 27332
919-499-5545
srrfan1401@gmail.com






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

Yahoo! Groups Links




Andy Harman
 

At 02:48 PM 5/2/2012 +0000, you wrote:

This is a sticky issue because a large percentage of all resin kits end up changing hands before they are built. (If they ever are!) And there's no way Martin can track even his own sales at RPM meets and shows. But that doesn't mean he can't have a policy of only supporting the original purchaser.
Well if he doesn't track sales, and individually serialize the kits, how would he know the person is or is not the original purchaser unless he says so?

All of my Sunshine kits were purchased direct at past Naperville shows. But some of them may soon be second hand - in particular cars that have been done in styrene like the Milwaukee rib-side and B&O M-53. The best I can do when selling them is take good photos of all of the parts, and make the sale as-is. I suppose if I were to start building a kit I purchased in 1997 and discovered it's missing a part, I'd be screwed anyway.

Andy


Tim O'Connor
 

Andy

I think that is definitely a hazard of hand-packed kits. I have found incorrect parts in a couple
of kits and Martin has replaced them, but I didn't wait 15 years to let him know. If you're just
buying as a collector, then sell them unopened. Otherwise, check them when you buy them!
All other bets are off.

Tim O'Connor

I suppose if I were to start building a kit I purchased in 1997 and discovered it's missing
a part, I'd be screwed anyway.
Andy


Mikebrock
 

Tom Madden writes:

"It's one thing to ask for a replacement if you bought the kit from Martin, but if it was a private transaction you should assume someone else has unwrapped and repackaged the kit, so it's buyer beware."

Well, that's a valid assumption...although I did purchase from Pittsburgh Scale Models a model of a UP flat car...only to find a C&O decal inside...no UP one. Yes, I did get a UP decal replacement. Nevertheless, I don't think it's a case of buyer beware. I mean, it's always that case, isn't it? I mean, if Sunshine had replied that they had no decal replacements, no problem. I am actually surprised that they did have replacements...although not for the complainer. And, that is the problem.

Tim O'Connor says:

"For example, decals are not
made "on demand" -- He produces a batch of them based on his estimated lifetime
sales of the model, perhaps with a little extra. When he finally discontinues the kit
(most kits have a steep drop-off in sales after the first year of production) then if has
parts or decals left over, he brings them to the many RPM meets he attends."

If the issue was that Sunshine could not maintain parts including decals for any reason...fine, the complainer would have no problem in that case. However, there was no mention of this situation in the reply. Indeed, the reply indicated that Sunshine WOULD supply decals to an original buyer. Mind you, the complainer attempted to purchase the decal.

MIke Brock
STMFC Owner


Tim O'Connor
 

I'm not sure exactly what you mean, Mike. If a decal were MISSING from a kit I bought
from him, then I'm sure Martin would provide it, if he still had the decal. And he might even
offer a refund for the returned kit if he could not provide that decal anymore. But in your
example where you bought kit X.1 and you really wanted the lettering from X.2 -- and I
have been in that situation -- Martin does not feel any obligation to provide decal #2 if he
doesn't have a spare one on hand, and that seems perfectly fair to me. In the past I have
been able to get -some- decals from Martin, but in other cases he has said no. But I think
his business practices are reasonable and fair. But anyone (myself included) who buys
second-hand stuff on Ebay or whatever... that is Buyer Beware territory!

Tim O'Connor

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Brock" <brockm@cfl.rr.com>

If the issue was that Sunshine could not maintain parts including decals for
any reason...fine, the complainer would have no problem in that case.
However, there was no mention of this situation in the reply. Indeed, the
reply indicated that Sunshine WOULD supply decals to an original buyer. Mind
you, the complainer attempted to purchase the decal.

MIke Brock


Tim O'Connor
 

What do y'all do when Martin's kit decals are not accurate? I have encountered
this with many kits, particularly the PFE ice reefers. I didn't gripe to Martin, instead
I found replacements. (From Champ as it turns out.) For us truly fanatical RPM-ers
there is rarely a kit that is 'perfect'. The kits just shorten the time needed to build that
prototype replica.

Tim O'Connor


Andy Harman
 

At 03:45 PM 5/2/2012 +0000, you wrote:
If you're just buying as a collector, then sell them unopened. Otherwise, check them when you buy them!
I never buy anything as a "collector" although sometimes they end up that way. Many Sunshine kits are out of my era, but I like them too much to part with them. As to whether they've been opened or not, I really don't know. I opened up the M-53 to photo it, and it looked as if it had never been unwrapped before but I have no way to be sure, so the only way I'm going to sell it is by opening it up and photographing all the parts so the buyer knows exactly what is there and what isn't.

Andy


Andy Harman
 

At 04:20 PM 5/2/2012 +0000, you wrote:

What do y'all do when Martin's kit decals are not accurate?
The same thing I do when I encounter any incomplete or inaccurate decals... improvise. One thing I'm running into is rebuildings which change capacities and I'm finding NO decals with the correct labeling. I can start cutting up the 2mm high numbers and poking and prodding them into place - assuming they're even the correct font and size - or just pick something close and maybe not do such a good job photographing it just in case Tim O'Connor wants to read my reweigh and capy data.

Really though the topic this always leads to is how to make our own decals. I have made a few myself on my old HP laser printer when I could use black printing on a clear background, but most often freight car lettering - especially steam era - is white. How long has it been since you could buy a new ALPS printer, 15 years? There is no viable replacement that is affordable for the average consumer. And apparently there is no demand for a printer that will shoot white ink on the average market, since it's not necessary for photo printing.

That's why guys like Mark Vaughn and Dan Kohlberg can ask and get 10 bucks for a decal sheet... it's worth it due to the time and effort to do the art work as well as either maintain an obsolete piece of hardware or jobbing out to a commercial printer. And how many commercial printers are there making model RR decals right now, under their own name or for third parties? Microscale, Rail Graphics... besides those two, most other decal brands are either using those two as suppliers or home printing on an aging ALPS.

I really hoped that by now there would be another option. If I could invest a few hundred bucks in a white-capable printer, I'd probably be laying out the fine print stuff for all my freight cars every time, down to the individual car numbers. I could precisely match a prototype photo, or in the case of chalk marks or hastily applied patch jobs, even use the prototype photo as the art base. The modern guys do this with graffiti, thankfully something I have no need for - but if I could take a scanned photo and normalize reporting marks and cap data, and then print a decal, I'd do that in a heartbeat over snipping and clipping from 5 different decal sheets from 3 different manufacturers to get only an approximation.

Andy


Steve SANDIFER
 

Whenever possible, I now use Microscale decals even with resin kits that
provide their own decals. I have had a decal failure with Martin's once and
was unable to secure a replacement. That is when you discover that the size
and weight of lettering in one manufacturer's decals do not match those of
other manufacturers, making it difficult to mix and match. I know I can get
Microscale replacements in a week or two and that one of their sheets will
allow me to do a lot of substituting if necessary - though I have not had
any problems using Microscale. However, not all Microscale sheets are
complete or correct.



______________________________________________

J. Stephen (Steve) Sandifer

mailto:steve.sandifer@sbcglobal.net

Home: 12027 Mulholland Drive, Meadows Place, TX 77477, 281-568-9918

Office: Southwest Central Church of Christ, 4011 W. Bellfort, Houston, TX
77025, 713-667-9417



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Andy
Harman
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:38 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: ADMIN: Spam and Manufacturer's Business Practices





At 04:20 PM 5/2/2012 +0000, you wrote:

What do y'all do when Martin's kit decals are not accurate?
The same thing I do when I encounter any incomplete or inaccurate decals...
improvise. One thing I'm running into is rebuildings which change
capacities and I'm finding NO decals with the correct labeling. I can
start cutting up the 2mm high numbers and poking and prodding them into
place - assuming they're even the correct font and size - or just pick
something close and maybe not do such a good job photographing it just in
case Tim O'Connor wants to read my reweigh and capy data.

Really though the topic this always leads to is how to make our own
decals. I have made a few myself on my old HP laser printer when I could
use black printing on a clear background, but most often freight car
lettering - especially steam era - is white. How long has it been since
you could buy a new ALPS printer, 15 years? There is no viable replacement
that is affordable for the average consumer. And apparently there is no
demand for a printer that will shoot white ink on the average market, since
it's not necessary for photo printing.

That's why guys like Mark Vaughn and Dan Kohlberg can ask and get 10 bucks
for a decal sheet... it's worth it due to the time and effort to do the art
work as well as either maintain an obsolete piece of hardware or jobbing
out to a commercial printer. And how many commercial printers are there
making model RR decals right now, under their own name or for third
parties? Microscale, Rail Graphics... besides those two, most other decal
brands are either using those two as suppliers or home printing on an aging
ALPS.

I really hoped that by now there would be another option. If I could
invest a few hundred bucks in a white-capable printer, I'd probably be
laying out the fine print stuff for all my freight cars every time, down to
the individual car numbers. I could precisely match a prototype photo, or
in the case of chalk marks or hastily applied patch jobs, even use the
prototype photo as the art base. The modern guys do this with graffiti,
thankfully something I have no need for - but if I could take a scanned
photo and normalize reporting marks and cap data, and then print a decal,
I'd do that in a heartbeat over snipping and clipping from 5 different
decal sheets from 3 different manufacturers to get only an approximation.

Andy


Mikebrock
 

Tim O'Connor writes:

"But in your example where you bought kit X.1 and you really wanted the lettering from X.2 -- and I have been in that situation -- Martin does not feel any obligation to provide decal #2 if he
doesn't have a spare one on hand, and that seems perfectly fair to me."

Your example is not what I attempted to describe in my encounter with Pittsburgh Scale Models. In that case, I bought a kit [ BTW, it contains a 24...repeat, 24...pg instruction booklet...worth the cost of the kit ] for a UP flat car [ so lettered on the box ] only to find a C&O decal inside...no UP decal. And, make no mistake, Pittsburgh Scale Models [ Byron Rose ] DID send me a replacement...at no cost. My example was to show that mistakes happen...even by someone as meticulous as Byron...and usually the best remedy is to correct it...if possible.

Your statement:

"Martin does not feel any obligation to provide decal #2 if he
doesn't have a spare one on hand, and that seems perfectly fair to me."

Seems perfectly fair to me, too. The trouble is, that is not what happened. Sunshine responded that they do not provide replacement decals to after market purchases. Regardless. The number of spares and/or the attempt at payment did not enter into the response from Sunshine.

To be clear on this. If Sunshine wishes to not support the after market purchaser, that is their business and they deserve the freedom to do that. STMFC management's position is not to make a judgement on that but, rather, to warn its members that Sunshine DOES have such a policy AND it does not indicate that in the warranty noice in their kit. In fact, the warranty gives the impression that it travels with the kit...which it does...at least physically. BTW, some other resin manufacturers DO warrant their kits regardless of how the purchase is made...as long as they have the spares.

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


Nelson Moyer <ku0a@...>
 

Sunshine replacement policy seems to have changed, because I was given a kit
as a gift a couple of years ago, opened it about a year later, found that
the top edge of one box car side was distorted, returned it for a
replacement with payment, and was eventually sent a replacement side. I
built the car and ruined one of the decals, sent a request for replacement
with payment, and was sent a replacement decal sheet. Decal replacement was
less than a year ago. Maybe two orders totaling fifty cars in the past two
years helped my chances?



Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike
Brock
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:04 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: ADMIN: Spam and Manufacturer's Business Practices





Tom Madden writes:

"It's one thing to ask for a replacement if you bought the kit from Martin,
but if it was a private transaction you should assume someone else has
unwrapped and repackaged the kit, so it's buyer beware."

Well, that's a valid assumption...although I did purchase from Pittsburgh
Scale Models a model of a UP flat car...only to find a C&O decal inside...no

UP one. Yes, I did get a UP decal replacement. Nevertheless, I don't think
it's a case of buyer beware. I mean, it's always that case, isn't it? I
mean, if Sunshine had replied that they had no decal replacements, no
problem. I am actually surprised that they did have replacements...although
not for the complainer. And, that is the problem.

Tim O'Connor says:

"For example, decals are not
made "on demand" -- He produces a batch of them based on his estimated
lifetime
sales of the model, perhaps with a little extra. When he finally
discontinues the kit
(most kits have a steep drop-off in sales after the first year of
production) then if has
parts or decals left over, he brings them to the many RPM meets he attends."

If the issue was that Sunshine could not maintain parts including decals for

any reason...fine, the complainer would have no problem in that case.
However, there was no mention of this situation in the reply. Indeed, the
reply indicated that Sunshine WOULD supply decals to an original buyer. Mind

you, the complainer attempted to purchase the decal.

MIke Brock
STMFC Owner


Andy Harman
 

At 11:50 AM 5/2/2012 -0500, you wrote:
Whenever possible, I now use Microscale decals even with resin kits that
provide their own decals. I have had a decal failure with Martin's once and
was unable to secure a replacement.
I coat all my decals with Microscale Decal Film before I start cutting. I've been doing this habitually with MS decals since the 1980s when they made the decal film product available. Any decal that comes from an ALPS or is suspected of coming from an ALPS gets the treatment, and any Microscale decals more than a few years old (which is virtually all of my stash) also get the treatment. Nothing sux like dipping a logo decal you only have one set of into the water and watching it break into 200 pieces and float away, so everybody gets the film restorer first.

Microscale had a huge run of decals from the late 1970s that didn't have enough film base on them - the LHS had a massive stack of returns. MS never acknowledged the problem and blamed "user error" at the time, but the LHS did replace the decals for me (not sure if MS took them back or not). The decal film/restorer appeared on the market shortly after :-) There's no doubt I still have decals from that period in my stash, IMO guaranteed to fall apart if untreated.

Andy