end of kits


ed_mines
 

I think the greying of model railroaders in general fueled the shift from kits to RTR.

Many modelers end up with a closet full of kits; they then progress to buying less and spending more for each item. RTR is preferable to kits which may never get built or can't be built in the first place.You can put RTR on your layout or on a shelf. Kits stay in the box forever.

Together, this group has enough unbuilt kits to stock several hobby shops.

Kits have always been slow movers - if the buffs don't buy them all up they can stick around hobby shops for years.

Hobbies for men never sold anything more complicated than blue box screw driver kits. The owner knew how to make money.

We are lame ducks for (1) being interested in the steam era & (2) liking to build models. Both interests seem to be dying out.


Bill Schneider
 

Ed,

I'm not sure that this is the answer actually... let me throw out another
possibility.

I grew up building kits (still do), but let's not forget that most of the
mass market kits in the "Good Old Days" consisted of about a dozen parts (if
you include the screws) and took maybe 10 minutes to assemble if you were
distracted by the TV at the time. You could build up quite a fleet quickly.

Since then, the demand for more detailed models has created a situation
where many modern kits have 100 parts and take a couple of hours to
assemble. I would venture to say that any of us, right now, can find ten
minutes free to build one of the older kits. An Intermountain/Red
Caboose/Branchline/Proto 2000 kit demands a bigger chunk of our free time
that, frankly, many of us don’t have in abundance right now. (Before you
argue that there were many more complicated kits available then, I know...
but they were never a big player during my 35+ years in the hobby).

So it makes perfect sense (to me anyway) to buy an RTR model when one comes
along that fills a need and devote the time that might have been spent on
that model building a layout (GASP!), being part of an op session,
installing a decoder.. even building a resin car.

By the way, this is not meant to take anything away from Accurail. Bowser,
Atlas, etc. that offer nicely detailed, easy and quick to build kits that
(apparently) ARE still selling at least at some level.

Just a thought....

Bill Schneider
Modeling 1951 - which would be steam-era if the O&W hadn’t dieselized in
1948, and I'm not dead yet....



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
EdwardM
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2013 3:19 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] end of kits

 
I think the greying of model railroaders in general fueled the shift from
kits to RTR.

Many modelers end up with a closet full of kits; they then progress to
buying less and spending more for each item. RTR is preferable to kits which
may never get built or can't be built in the first place.You can put RTR on
your layout or on a shelf. Kits stay in the box forever.

Together, this group has enough unbuilt kits to stock several hobby shops.

Kits have always been slow movers - if the buffs don't buy them all up they
can stick around hobby shops for years.

Hobbies for men never sold anything more complicated than blue box screw
driver kits. The owner knew how to make money.

We are lame ducks for (1) being interested in the steam era & (2) liking to
build models. Both interests seem to be dying out.


bflynnd1
 

Um, while I can not probably be classified as young anymore, (42) I have come to enjoy the challenge of building freight car kits. I have learned a lot from this group, and I would much rather spend the time building a prototypically correct car, then buying an RTR car. I do not have a layout at this time, but the previous one also had all hand laid track and over 50 hand laid switches. So please don't generalize all of us!

-----Original Message-----
From: EdwardM <ed_mines@yahoo.com>
To: STMFC <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 2:19 pm
Subject: [STMFC] end of kits


I think the greying of model railroaders in general fueled the shift from kits
o RTR.
Many modelers end up with a closet full of kits; they then progress to buying
ess and spending more for each item. RTR is preferable to kits which may never
et built or can't be built in the first place.You can put RTR on your layout or
n a shelf. Kits stay in the box forever.
Together, this group has enough unbuilt kits to stock several hobby shops.
Kits have always been slow movers - if the buffs don't buy them all up they can
tick around hobby shops for years.
Hobbies for men never sold anything more complicated than blue box screw driver
its. The owner knew how to make money.
We are lame ducks for (1) being interested in the steam era & (2) liking to
uild models. Both interests seem to be dying out.

------------------------------------
Yahoo! Groups Links
Individual Email | Traditional
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


bflynnd1
 

Sorry, forgot to sign my name.

Brian Flynn

-----Original Message-----
From: Bflynn562 <bflynn562@aol.com>
To: STMFC <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 7:13 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] end of kits


Um, while I can not probably be classified as young anymore, (42) I have come to
njoy the challenge of building freight car kits. I have learned a lot from this
roup, and I would much rather spend the time building a prototypically correct
ar, then buying an RTR car. I do not have a layout at this time, but the
revious one also had all hand laid track and over 50 hand laid switches. So
lease don't generalize all of us!

-----Original Message-----
rom: EdwardM <ed_mines@yahoo.com>
o: STMFC <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
ent: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 2:19 pm
ubject: [STMFC] end of kits

think the greying of model railroaders in general fueled the shift from kits
RTR.
any modelers end up with a closet full of kits; they then progress to buying
ss and spending more for each item. RTR is preferable to kits which may never
t built or can't be built in the first place.You can put RTR on your layout or
a shelf. Kits stay in the box forever.
ogether, this group has enough unbuilt kits to stock several hobby shops.
its have always been slow movers - if the buffs don't buy them all up they can
ick around hobby shops for years.
obbies for men never sold anything more complicated than blue box screw driver
ts. The owner knew how to make money.
e are lame ducks for (1) being interested in the steam era & (2) liking to
ild models. Both interests seem to be dying out.
------------------------------------
ahoo! Groups Links
Individual Email | Traditional
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/



------------------------------------
Yahoo! Groups Links
Individual Email | Traditional
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Don <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "EdwardM" <ed_mines@...> wrote: In part:


Together, this group has enough unbuilt kits to stock several hobby
shops.
Probably quite true.

Kits have always been slow movers - if the buffs don't buy them all
up they can stick around hobby shops for years.
But this is true of many things in any type of store.

We are lame ducks for (1) being interested in the steam era &
(2) liking to build models. Both interests seem to be dying out.
Not so sure aboout the fisrt part of this. Have been quite surprised in the last couple of years to find a few fellows in their 20's who
much prefer the late steam era. As one put it to me, the current scene is like the old Pete Seeger song with everything being built out of ticky-tacky and all looking just the same. With what I see on the old Southern mainline these days it is hard to disagree with that. All the box cars, all the covered hoppers, all the open hoppers and all the tank cars look the same except for the pattern of graffiti on them. What a dull hobby it would be without the late steam and early diesel era! If a tank car is over 11,000 gal., a box car or reefer is over 50 ft. or a hopper is over 40 ft. long it won't be seen on my roster. One needs to make room for more 36 footers! VBG

Cordially, Don Valentine


StephenK
 

If you are concerned about new modelers not building kits, I suggest you recommend an Accurail boxcar kit to them. Maybe even buy them one. After he (or she) builds it--and it really isn't a problem for anyone with even a little skill--you can discuss weathering, detailing, etc. I think that once a modeler gets a few of these under his (or her!) belt, they will realize the joy of building.

The cars are nice, and they run well, and the price is right.

Last month I picked up a N&W combo door box from my LHS. I am aware of the shortcomings of the model but I liked the paint scheme. I added cushioned coupler pockets (from Walthers) and some cross0over walkways from my scrap box. A little paint, a little glue, a little weathering, and I have a nice car for not much money.

Steve Kay

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "EdwardM" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

I think the greying of model railroaders in general fueled the shift from kits to RTR.

Many modelers end up with a closet full of kits; they then progress to buying less and spending more for each item. RTR is preferable to kits which may never get built or can't be built in the first place.You can put RTR on your layout or on a shelf. Kits stay in the box forever.

Together, this group has enough unbuilt kits to stock several hobby shops.

Kits have always been slow movers - if the buffs don't buy them all up they can stick around hobby shops for years.

Hobbies for men never sold anything more complicated than blue box screw driver kits. The owner knew how to make money.

We are lame ducks for (1) being interested in the steam era & (2) liking to build models. Both interests seem to be dying out.


ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "StephenK" <thekays100@...> wrote:
If you are concerned about new modelers not building kits,>
Much of the problem is that the number of new modelers is declining and the percentage interesting in the steam era is declining too.

I don't think Accurail kits are a big secret to new modelers. They cost half as much as other, similar freight cars. If anything holds them (new modelers) back it's that many of the Accurail cars are steam era.

Ed Mines


Tony Thompson
 

This discussion reminds me of the 1950s, when the emergence of injection-molded plastic threatened the then-dominance of metal, wood and cardstock. "There won't be any more craftsmen," was one of the cries often heard. And the emergence of kits that didn't require creating or finishing some parts yourself? Sacrilege! "Soon there won't be anyone capable of building anything by themselves." 'Nuff said.

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, tony@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Paul Koehler <buygone@...>
 

Tony:



I got a chuckle out of your E-Mail, but I think that there are only a few of
us that are old enough to remember what you are describing.



Paul C. Koehler



_____

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tony
Thompson
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 12:01 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: end of kits





This discussion reminds me of the 1950s, when the emergence of
injection-molded plastic threatened the then-dominance of metal, wood and
cardstock. "There won't be any more craftsmen," was one of the cries often
heard. And the emergence of kits that didn't require creating or finishing
some parts yourself? Sacrilege! "Soon there won't be anyone capable of
building anything by themselves." 'Nuff said.

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, tony@signaturepress.com
<mailto:tony%40signaturepress.com>
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tom Vanwormer
 

Paul,
Your age and wisdom are showing. But I'm a "me too" in this.
Tom VanWormer
Monument CO

Paul Koehler wrote:



Tony:

I got a chuckle out of your E-Mail, but I think that there are only a
few of
us that are old enough to remember what you are describing.

Paul C. Koehler

_____

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>] On
Behalf Of Tony
Thompson
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 12:01 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: end of kits

This discussion reminds me of the 1950s, when the emergence of
injection-molded plastic threatened the then-dominance of metal, wood and
cardstock. "There won't be any more craftsmen," was one of the cries often
heard. And the emergence of kits that didn't require creating or finishing
some parts yourself? Sacrilege! "Soon there won't be anyone capable of
building anything by themselves." 'Nuff said.

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, tony@signaturepress.com
<mailto:tony%40signaturepress.com>
<mailto:tony%40signaturepress.com>
Publishers of books on railroad history






O Fenton Wells
 

Paul and Tony,
I am another who likes to go back and see the hobby when I started(for me
at least). I was going thru the 1948 through 1956 MR's the other night,
with a nice glass of wine, and it is very interesting just what a hot
button issue it was; the plastic vs. metal or wood for rolling stock and
the problem of not enough craftsmanship in building locomotive kits that
didn't need a lathe or other machine tools. When I first read these I was
young and didn't know how to use a lathe....and now I'm old and still don't
know how to use a lathe. And I'm probably the better for it.
Color me a modeler who will never make a mold and cast a resin part from it
but who really enjoys building "stuff"
Fenton Wells
PS there were several articles in the old MR's about casting cerro parts in
cardboard molds, that didn't excite me then as casting resin now doesn't
move me, thank goodness for the people who do however. Thanks

On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM, Tom VanWormer <robsmom@pcisys.net> wrote:

**


Paul,
Your age and wisdom are showing. But I'm a "me too" in this.
Tom VanWormer
Monument CO

Paul Koehler wrote:



Tony:

I got a chuckle out of your E-Mail, but I think that there are only a
few of
us that are old enough to remember what you are describing.

Paul C. Koehler

_____

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>] On
Behalf Of Tony
Thompson
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 12:01 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: end of kits

This discussion reminds me of the 1950s, when the emergence of
injection-molded plastic threatened the then-dominance of metal, wood and
cardstock. "There won't be any more craftsmen," was one of the cries
often
heard. And the emergence of kits that didn't require creating or
finishing
some parts yourself? Sacrilege! "Soon there won't be anyone capable of
building anything by themselves." 'Nuff said.

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, tony@signaturepress.com
<mailto:tony%40signaturepress.com>
<mailto:tony%40signaturepress.com>
Publishers of books on railroad history

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








--
Fenton Wells
5 Newberry Lane
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-1144
srrfan1401@gmail.com


Carl
 

As one of those who does remember, I just wanted to mention that the last four rolling stock items I picked up were three exquisitely lithographed Athearn metal kits(2 tanks and a reefer) and, just today, a Speedwitch 1932 box direct from Ted via everyone's favorite auction site.

Some may sit on the shelf for a while, but they will always be viable challenges and ultimately assembled.

Best Wishes--Carl

Carl G. Camann
Atlanta, GA

____________________________________________________________________

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Koehler" <buygone@...> wrote:

I got a chuckle out of your E-Mail, but I think that there are only a few of us that are old enough to remember what you are describing.


Marty McGuirk
 

I was going through the MR DVDs looking for something the other day and stumbled across an editorial written by ACK himself - he mentions several modelers were distressed that all these newfangled "kits" - you know, where you could get all the parts in a box - that were even coming with "printed" sides would be the ruination of the hobby.
I didn't note the exact date of the issue, but it was sometime in the mid-1930s.

Marty McGuirk

____________________________________________________________________

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Koehler" <buygone@> wrote:

I got a chuckle out of your E-Mail, but I think that there are only a few of us that are old enough to remember what you are describing.


Paul Doggett <paul.doggett2472@...>
 

We have the same problem in the UK, younger modellers when you can actually find them and a lot of older ones (the majority) cannot be bothered to build kits let alone scratch build something. Another thing is the amount of good quality ready to run stock in todays colourful liveries, this leads to a lot of modellers running the same stock. Train shows over here are very boring now because of this. Also like yourselves in the states less and less modellers actually remember/model the steam era. We have a lot of preserved railways over this side of the pond which run a lot of steam but only occasionally run a token goods (freight)train which does not even resemble a typical steam era train, or the working of one with picking up and setting out of wagons (cars). This one of the main reasons I model SP circa 1950.
regards to you all Paul Doggett (England)

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


geodyssey <riverob@...>
 

I consider this subject to be a subset of the "The End of the hobby in near" argument. I've been hearing variations of that since I started doing serious modeling in the early 70s. Yet today the variety of hobby products (including steam era freight cars) is greater than ever, and inflation-adjusted prices are not out of line with those of 20, 30, or 40 years ago.

Robert Simpson

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:

This discussion reminds me of the 1950s, when the emergence of injection-molded plastic threatened the then-dominance of metal, wood and cardstock. "There won't be any more craftsmen," was one of the cries often heard. And the emergence of kits that didn't require creating or finishing some parts yourself? Sacrilege! "Soon there won't be anyone capable of building anything by themselves." 'Nuff said.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


 

Agreed, and there's a model train store on every street corner, right? Tell
us how many stores have closed in the past five years alone.

Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni

From: geodyssey <riverob@gmail.com>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:39 PM
To: STMFC List <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: end of kits






I consider this subject to be a subset of the "The End of the hobby in near"
argument. I've been hearing variations of that since I started doing
serious modeling in the early 70s. Yet today the variety of hobby products
(including steam era freight cars) is greater than ever, and
inflation-adjusted prices are not out of line with those of 20, 30, or 40
years ago.

Robert Simpson

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> , Tony
Thompson <tony@...> wrote:

This discussion reminds me of the 1950s, when the emergence of
injection-molded plastic threatened the then-dominance of metal, wood and
cardstock. "There won't be any more craftsmen," was one of the cries often
heard. And the emergence of kits that didn't require creating or finishing some
parts yourself? Sacrilege! "Soon there won't be anyone capable of building
anything by themselves." 'Nuff said.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

One thing I have noticed with RTR is that people who don't build things
now have time to develop weathering and painting skills -- There were some
kids (20's) at the Springfield show with a spectacular collection of
beautifully weathered cars (including many with added open loads). I mean,
if you need a couple dozen cars of one type, would you like to build AND
weather them, or just concentrate on the weathering? There are now many
specialized paints sold specifically for weathering.

Tim O'Connor

Agreed, and there's a model train store on every street corner, right? Tell
us how many stores have closed in the past five years alone.
Brian Ehni

From: geodyssey <riverob@gmail.com>

I consider this subject to be a subset of the "The End of the hobby in near"
argument. I've been hearing variations of that since I started doing
serious modeling in the early 70s. Yet today the variety of hobby products
(including steam era freight cars) is greater than ever, and
inflation-adjusted prices are not out of line with those of 20, 30, or 40
years ago.

Robert Simpson


Simon <simon_dunkley@...>
 

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


One thing I have noticed with RTR is that people who don't build things
now have time to develop weathering and painting skills -- There were some
kids (20's) at the Springfield show with a spectacular collection of
beautifully weathered cars (including many with added open loads). I mean,
if you need a couple dozen cars of one type, would you like to build AND
weather them, or just concentrate on the weathering? There are now many
specialized paints sold specifically for weathering.
Is this not the way in, though? They start with weathering, such that they can make 20 cars in the same paint scheme look different. Then they move onto repaints before the weathering stage, to create more variety, then detail changes/upgrades, and finally onto conversions and kits.
Each time they "advance" a stage, they know that they can always finish off the project - a stage many who start by building are reticent about.

Where's the problem, other than in our failure to reach out to interested young modellers?

Simon


Tim O'Connor
 

Simon, modeling is modeling. But I'm not sure that I buy the "stages"
of modeling. Many of our finest scratchbuilders, kitbashers and builders
on this list (you know who you are! :-)) have never weathered anything!

Tim O'

One thing I have noticed with RTR is that people who don't build things
now have time to develop weathering and painting skills -- There were some
kids (20's) at the Springfield show with a spectacular collection of
beautifully weathered cars (including many with added open loads). I mean,
if you need a couple dozen cars of one type, would you like to build AND
weather them, or just concentrate on the weathering? There are now many
specialized paints sold specifically for weathering.
Is this not the way in, though? They start with weathering, such that they can make 20 cars in the same paint scheme look different. Then they move onto repaints before the weathering stage, to create more variety, then detail changes/upgrades, and finally onto conversions and kits. Each time they "advance" a stage, they know that they can always finish off the project - a stage many who start by building are reticent about.

Where's the problem, other than in our failure to reach out to interested young modellers?

Simon


asychis@...
 

But Brian, how many of us who live miles and miles from hobby stores now
have almost unlimited access to everything a person could want or need in
model railroading. I can browse anytime day or night, if one internet store
doesn't have what I want, the rest of the world is open to me to search. I
don't have to travel another 30 miles or place a backorder that may take a
month to fill when the store owner gets enough orders to send them to
Walthers.

I find it much better than the old way when I'd go to a hobby store and
find the Floquil rack half empty, or a stock of one bridge pier. Everyone has
their opinion, but I am truly optimistic that we're living in the best time
ever in the history of model railroading. The sky is not falling and
Timmy isn't in the well. :^),

Jerry Michels