Sunshine downsizing


Jim Hayes
 

I just received The Sun, Sunshine's annual newsletter leading up to
Naperville. This one is different. Most of it is devoted to downsizing
Sunshine Models by regularly discontinuing blocks of Sunshine kits,
starting with the oldest ones still available. First to go are kits
numbered less than 20 that are still in production. A special order blank
is included to get fast (less slow?) turnaround for orders for only these
kits.

All the details can be found by going to the MEETS page of my website
www.sunshinekits.com and linking to The Sun and the order blank from there.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


Bill Welch
 

Many good resinating memories from Martin's retirement list. I built the G-5 gons for both RRs and the ATSF gon.

One of the two SFRD models I built from the closeout group has an interesting I will tell to cover my mistake. It seems the guy painting the Slogan Stencil might have been hung-over or perhaps imbibing at work and used the stencil for a fifty-foot car. I have no such excuse.

I have a weakness for the T&NO--it is a Ya'll RR after all--and created the pattern for the Allen Door so Martin could offer the B50-13 w/this door. I built it with the Murphy ends. Also built the CB&Q XM-30 and one of the MP 36-ft wood sheathed cars.

Bill Welch

--- In STMFC@..., Jim Hayes <jimhayes97225@...> wrote:

I just received The Sun, Sunshine's annual newsletter leading up to
Naperville. This one is different. Most of it is devoted to downsizing
Sunshine Models by regularly discontinuing blocks of Sunshine kits,
starting with the oldest ones still available. First to go are kits
numbered less than 20 that are still in production. A special order blank
is included to get fast (less slow?) turnaround for orders for only these
kits.

All the details can be found by going to the MEETS page of my website
www.sunshinekits.com and linking to The Sun and the order blank from there.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


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


Ryan Reed
 

Does anyone know how many kits are to be discontinued in this sad gutting of Sunshine? Are we talking about 50 percent of the listings in the end? More? All?

Ryan Reed


Many good resinating memories from Martin's retirement list.


Brian Ehni <behni@...>
 

Wish I could afford the ones I have on my list before the end.


Thanks!
--

Brian P. Ehni

--- In STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> , Jim Hayes
<jimhayes97225@...> wrote:

I just received The Sun, Sunshine's annual newsletter leading up to
Naperville. This one is different. Most of it is devoted to downsizing
Sunshine Models by regularly discontinuing blocks of Sunshine kits,
starting with the oldest ones still available. First to go are kits
numbered less than 20 that are still in production. A special order blank
is included to get fast (less slow?) turnaround for orders for only these
kits.

All the details can be found by going to the MEETS page of my website
www.sunshinekits.com and linking to The Sun and the order blank from there.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


Jim Hayes
 

Last Fall at Naperville (Lisle), Martin intimated that he planned to close
out all remaining kits numbered below 50 for starters. Martin & Tricia have
talked for several years about retiring and this is probably the 1st step
in that direction. In The Sun he says starting in 2013 new kits will be
limited run, an indication that they want to reduce their workload. One way
to do that is to drop almost all kits My guess is that if you want any
Sunshine kit, don't plan on it being available forever. Order it/them soon.
Make a list and order one or more every month.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


npin53
 

I imagine that Sunshine is trying to control the tidal wave of orders that will come in, as word gets out that things are going to be discontinued.

Aaron


Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

Aaron wrote:
<I imagine that Sunshine is trying to control the tidal wave of orders
<that will come in, as word gets out that things are going to be
<discontinued.

Al Westerfield could understand that approach...<g>

Jack Burgess
Newark, CA


Ryan Reed
 

Damn. I was hoping to hear under 40. Milwaukee Road modelers will lose practically every car they need to model the railroad. I don't want to put too fine a point on it, but in my opinion Sunshine is the single pillar that holds up transition-era resin model building. Westerfield, Speedwitch, and to a lesser extent Smoky Mountain helped, but they're gone. Granted, a hundred plus kits in Sunshine's catalog is massive but so will be the loss to what it means to build resin kits.

I've heard second-hand that Martin has had people offer to help in Sunshine's production and are willing to get involved. Hell, I'm willing to get involved -- anything to keep these kits available. Not knowing Martin personally, I wonder if he'd be willing to sell what's being discontinued if nothing else but to preserve the hobby of resin building in HO scale.

What troubles me the most is if a new model railroader comes onto the scene and wishes to model a specific railroad or if an established modeler changes the road he models, all he will find will be a landscape littered with discontinued kits, everything he needed from Sunshine, from Westerfield, Speedwitch, cabooses from Wrighttrak, etc., all once available, but now all discontinued. It will be hopeless and that guy will probably say to himself, "To hell with this, I'm going to go buy a fishtank with my money". I know as well as anyone that our hobby is in decline, but to see such an important institution such as Sunshine slowly die out after being so important to kit builders for so long is a catastrophe. I don't know how else to say it.

Ryan Reed


Tom Madden
 

Aaron Gjermundson wrote:

I imagine that Sunshine is trying to control the tidal wave of orders
that will come in, as word gets out that things are going to be
discontinued.
Martin has given himself a way to keep the "tidal wave" under control:

"...the quantity of the kits being eliminated will be subject to the availability of proprietary parts — decals, paperwork, rubber molds, etc."

I get the feeling that this will not be an open-ended order acceptance situation like Al's. If Martin doesn't want to make (m)any new molds nor order more custom parts and decals, the available quantities of these older kits might be small indeed.

Tom Madden


asychis@...
 

Sad gutting might not be a appropriate term. A man has a right to run his
business they way he sees fit. Martin has been a wonderful resin kit
provider. Let's support his decision ands look forward to better days ahead.

Jerry Michels


asychis@...
 

I think there will be plenty of unbuilt Sunshine kits in closets for many
years. From the chatter on this list in the past, that seems to be a
given. :^)

Jerry Michels


Ryan Reed
 

A man has a right to run his
business they way he sees fit. Martin has been a wonderful resin kit
provider.
Two points:

Please forgive me, but I have trouble seeing his point of view. I'm not saying it's wrong or it's not his right, I'm saying I don't get it. If I had spent 25 or so years building up a well-respected business that brings people joy, I wouldn't want to see it just fade into nothing because I'm retiring from it. In my opinion, that's a waste. I'd want to see it live on in all it's glory because it's special, even if it no longer belonged to me, even if it kept on going beyond my own years. I think Charlie and Florence See would agree.

Furthermore, let's not whitewash the extremely, EXTREMELY loyal customers he's enjoyed. Personally speaking, I was buying Martin's stuff back when his kits were all numbered in single digits. So it's been a two-way street all these years and for his loyal customers it would be been nice if there could have been a possibility to preserve Sunshine for us and for future modelers.

Nobody is saying Martin hasn't been a wonderful resin provider. It's just really disheartening to a lot of us that it didn't go the other way.

Ryan Reed


Sigpress <thompson@...>
 

I tend to agree with Ryan, but criticism of business practices is off topic for this list.
Tony

Sent from my iPod

On Jul 13, 2012, at 5:20 PM, "rreed_eagle" <twogreyhounds@...> wrote:

A man has a right to run his
business they way he sees fit. Martin has been a wonderful resin kit
provider.
Two points:

Please forgive me, but I have trouble seeing his point of view. I'm not saying it's wrong or it's not his right, I'm saying I don't get it. If I had spent 25 or so years building up a well-respected business that brings people joy, I wouldn't want to see it just fade into nothing because I'm retiring from it. In my opinion, that's a waste. I'd want to see it live on in all it's glory because it's special, even if it no longer belonged to me, even if it kept on going beyond my own years. I think Charlie and Florence See would agree.

Furthermore, let's not whitewash the extremely, EXTREMELY loyal customers he's enjoyed. Personally speaking, I was buying Martin's stuff back when his kits were all numbered in single digits. So it's been a two-way street all these years and for his loyal customers it would be been nice if there could have been a possibility to preserve Sunshine for us and for future modelers.

Nobody is saying Martin hasn't been a wonderful resin provider. It's just really disheartening to a lot of us that it didn't go the other way.

Ryan Reed



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

Yahoo! Groups Links



Paul Koehler <buygone@...>
 

Ryan:



If I might suggest, you can offer to purchase Martin's business and keep it
going.



Paul C. Koehler



_____

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
rreed_eagle
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 5:21 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Sunshine downsizing





A man has a right to run his
business they way he sees fit. Martin has been a wonderful resin kit
provider.
Two points:

Please forgive me, but I have trouble seeing his point of view. I'm not
saying it's wrong or it's not his right, I'm saying I don't get it. If I had
spent 25 or so years building up a well-respected business that brings
people joy, I wouldn't want to see it just fade into nothing because I'm
retiring from it. In my opinion, that's a waste. I'd want to see it live on
in all it's glory because it's special, even if it no longer belonged to me,
even if it kept on going beyond my own years. I think Charlie and Florence
See would agree.

Furthermore, let's not whitewash the extremely, EXTREMELY loyal customers
he's enjoyed. Personally speaking, I was buying Martin's stuff back when his
kits were all numbered in single digits. So it's been a two-way street all
these years and for his loyal customers it would be been nice if there could
have been a possibility to preserve Sunshine for us and for future modelers.

Nobody is saying Martin hasn't been a wonderful resin provider. It's just
really disheartening to a lot of us that it didn't go the other way.

Ryan Reed


Al and Patricia Westerfield <westerfield@...>
 

Ryan – I know from experience that age limits your ability to continue full time physical activity. You have to cut down somewhere. Martin is following my example of not ordering special OEM parts and decals or making new molds as they run out. Personally, I don’t know how he kept at it for so long. He’s older than I. We had our business up for sale for 4.5 years before it sold. If you wanted specific kits you should have bought them years ago. There are no guarantees in life. – Al Westerfield

From: rreed_eagle
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 7:20 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Sunshine downsizing


A man has a right to run his
business they way he sees fit. Martin has been a wonderful resin kit
provider.
Two points:

Please forgive me, but I have trouble seeing his point of view. I'm not saying it's wrong or it's not his right, I'm saying I don't get it. If I had spent 25 or so years building up a well-respected business that brings people joy, I wouldn't want to see it just fade into nothing because I'm retiring from it. In my opinion, that's a waste. I'd want to see it live on in all it's glory because it's special, even if it no longer belonged to me, even if it kept on going beyond my own years. I think Charlie and Florence See would agree.

Furthermore, let's not whitewash the extremely, EXTREMELY loyal customers he's enjoyed. Personally speaking, I was buying Martin's stuff back when his kits were all numbered in single digits. So it's been a two-way street all these years and for his loyal customers it would be been nice if there could have been a possibility to preserve Sunshine for us and for future modelers.

Nobody is saying Martin hasn't been a wonderful resin provider. It's just really disheartening to a lot of us that it didn't go the other way.

Ryan Reed


Tom Madden
 

Al Westerfield wrote:

Ryan, I know from experience that age limits your ability to
continue full time physical activity. You have to cut down
somewhere. Martin is following my example of not ordering special
OEM parts and decals or making new molds as they run out.
Personally, I don't know how he kept at it for so long. He's older
than I. We had our business up for sale for 4.5 years before it
sold. If you wanted specific kits you should have bought them
years ago. There are no guarantees in life.
Martin is in his mid-70's, and as Al infers, production resin casting is a very physical business. It would be selfish indeed to insist that Martin maintain a full product line in anticipation of undefdined future sales, when experience shows that 90% of resin kit sales come at introduction and in the first few months following. It seems to me that Martin is merely formalizing a policy he has been following for several years - discontinuing inactive kits when the custom OEM parts and decals run out. If his purpose is to give himself a more manageable and predictable workload, more power to him. A more compact product line might also make the business more attractive to potential buyers.

My concern when businesses like this change hands is that the body may transfer, but the heart and soul do not. Someone else can certainly do the casting, order the parts, and pack & ship the boxes, but the real value in Westerfield and Sunshine kits is the research, product selection and pattern making. Will a new owner expand the line, or just reissue existing kits? Static product lines don't do well. The saving grace for would-be customers is that a large percentage of all resin kits ever sold are still sitting, untouched, on our "to do" shelves. It's a good bet that many of those will become available as we, or our heirs, have to dispose of them.

Tom "always a cheerful thought" Madden


Ryan Reed
 

If I might suggest, you can offer to purchase Martin's business and keep it
going.
Oh, sarcasm. ;-) IMHO Sunshine has probably grown too large for any one person to take it over. And I might be all wet here, but my fear isn't with the molds, it's with the decals. If someone attempts to restart Sunshine a few years after Martin retires, he'll have to deal with a huge, huge up front cost in printing all those new decals sets. Never mind if there's a significant cost for buying Sunshine in the first place. Given the number of kits, my fear is the start up cost could be to high.

I would suggest that in the post-Martin-retirement age, that Sunshine be broken up and sold in pieces, perhaps to a half dozen different start-ups to spead the cost out for printing all those new decal sets. Of course this is just a suggestion and who knows, maybe there's a single individual out there with the time and resourses to do it if Martin is indeed willing to sell.

Even though this is years down the road, if several individuals will be needed to work something out, my hat is in the ring in whatever capacity I can handle!

Ryan Reed


Todd Horton
 

Just curious and some what on topic, how's Westerfields new owner coming along? I haven't heard much talk about them lately.


Todd Horton


________________________________
From: rreed_eagle <twogreyhounds@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 4:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Sunshine downsizing



 

If I might suggest, you can offer to purchase Martin's business and keep it
going.
Oh, sarcasm. ;-) IMHO Sunshine has probably grown too large for any one person to take it over. And I might be all wet here, but my fear isn't with the molds, it's with the decals. If someone attempts to restart Sunshine a few years after Martin retires, he'll have to deal with a huge, huge up front cost in printing all those new decals sets. Never mind if there's a significant cost for buying Sunshine in the first place. Given the number of kits, my fear is the start up cost could be to high.

I would suggest that in the post-Martin-retirement age, that Sunshine be broken up and sold in pieces, perhaps to a half dozen different start-ups to spead the cost out for printing all those new decal sets. Of course this is just a suggestion and who knows, maybe there's a single individual out there with the time and resourses to do it if Martin is indeed willing to sell.

Even though this is years down the road, if several individuals will be needed to work something out, my hat is in the ring in whatever capacity I can handle!

Ryan Reed




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


Dennis Williams
 

I tend to wonder.....Does Martain OWN the molds????  If not, someone would have a lot of purchasing to do.


Dennis Williams/Owner
http://www.resinbuilders4u.com/


________________________________
From: rreed_eagle <twogreyhounds@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 4:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Sunshine downsizing



 

If I might suggest, you can offer to purchase Martin's business and keep it
going.
Oh, sarcasm. ;-) IMHO Sunshine has probably grown too large for any one person to take it over. And I might be all wet here, but my fear isn't with the molds, it's with the decals. If someone attempts to restart Sunshine a few years after Martin retires, he'll have to deal with a huge, huge up front cost in printing all those new decals sets. Never mind if there's a significant cost for buying Sunshine in the first place. Given the number of kits, my fear is the start up cost could be to high.

I would suggest that in the post-Martin-retirement age, that Sunshine be broken up and sold in pieces, perhaps to a half dozen different start-ups to spead the cost out for printing all those new decal sets. Of course this is just a suggestion and who knows, maybe there's a single individual out there with the time and resourses to do it if Martin is indeed willing to sell.

Even though this is years down the road, if several individuals will be needed to work something out, my hat is in the ring in whatever capacity I can handle!

Ryan Reed




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


jerryglow2
 

If the artwork is still available and compatible with the printer, cost should be reasonable in proportion to the cost of the kit. Unfortunately, much of the "artwork" is incorrect so SHOULD be redone. No on second thought keep the junk and I'll do 3rd party replacements like I have been doing for many customers.

Jerry Glow
http://home.comcast.net/~jerryglow/decals/

--- In STMFC@..., "rreed_eagle" <twogreyhounds@...> wrote:

If I might suggest, you can offer to purchase Martin's business and keep it
going.
Oh, sarcasm. ;-) IMHO Sunshine has probably grown too large for any one person to take it over. And I might be all wet here, but my fear isn't with the molds, it's with the decals. If someone attempts to restart Sunshine a few years after Martin retires, he'll have to deal with a huge, huge up front cost in printing all those new decals sets. Never mind if there's a significant cost for buying Sunshine in the first place. Given the number of kits, my fear is the start up cost could be to high.

I would suggest that in the post-Martin-retirement age, that Sunshine be broken up and sold in pieces, perhaps to a half dozen different start-ups to spead the cost out for printing all those new decal sets. Of course this is just a suggestion and who knows, maybe there's a single individual out there with the time and resourses to do it if Martin is indeed willing to sell.

Even though this is years down the road, if several individuals will be needed to work something out, my hat is in the ring in whatever capacity I can handle!

Ryan Reed