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Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal


Bill Welch
 

First is a modeling note on the TN&P B50-14, in retrospect I wish I had cut some strips of .005 styrene sheet to use for the diagonal braces on the end panels. Given how much I love that material, I cannot remember why I did not do so. I think it has a more prototypical thickness to model these braces and it is also easy to wrinkle to mimic the damage seen on such bracing.


Regarding the Model Die Casting 50-foot boxcar molding, I think this was arguably one of the few freight cars MDC did that had the legs it did in lending itself to some many different models and while not perfect, I am happy w/the four models I built. I remember wondering in the years after this kit was released why nothing followed it since their choice of the kit indicated someone with in MDC was trying to get more serious about freight cars. Maybe Brian Leppert can shed some light but in subsequent years I wondered if the late Page Porter was the person behind the project. Shortly after the kit came out he had an article in Mainline Modeler (I think) about the WP's version. I met Page when he did a presentation on Mexican freight cars at Naperville one year but I failed to ask him if he was involved with the project. A really nice guy, very knowledgeable, who died much too young in a freak accident. I also seem to remember that he left MDC not long after this freight car was done, which to me was another clue that the big 50-foot SS car was his baby. With his departure there was no one to push such project I have reasoned.


Bill Welch


Tim O'Connor
 

Bill,

I always heard that Page was behind the single sheathed 50 footers at MDC.
But I also never asked him about it, being more interested in the Mexican cars
at the time.

Tim O'



Regarding the Model Die Casting 50-foot boxcar molding, I think this was arguably one of the few freight cars MDC did that had the legs it did in lending itself to some many different models and while not perfect, I am happy w/the four models I built. I remember wondering in the years after this kit was released why nothing followed it since their choice of the kit indicated someone with in MDC was trying to get more serious about freight cars. Maybe Brian Leppert can shed some light but in subsequent years I wondered if the late Page Porter was the person behind the project. Shortly after the kit came out he had an article in Mainline Modeler (I think) about the WP's version. I met Page when he did a presentation on Mexican freight cars at Naperville one year but I failed to ask him if he was involved with the project. A really nice guy, very knowledgeable, who died much too young in a freak accident. I also seem to remember that he left MDC not long after this freight car was d
one, which to me was another clue that the big 50-foot SS car was his baby. With his departure there was no one to push such project I have reasoned.

Bill Welch


O Fenton Wells
 

As usual Bill you have inspired me to try to build one or two of these.  So the $64 question is will Athearn re release these cars. According to their web site yesterday they are discontinued.  Anyone have any thoughts?

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


brianleppert@att.net
 

Page Porter became head of the Art Department after Model Die Casting moved to Carson City, NV.  Page had Clarence Menteer's ear and had proposed the WP autocar project to him.  John Ryczkowski was probably the real impetus behind the project and provided the general arrangement drawing, without which we couldn't have done the tooling.   Richard Hendrickson also provided photos and diagrams.

Monju Menteer, Clarence's step daughter, pretty much had the say on what new cars we would do.  She felt that the future of the hobby was women in N scale and prototype didn't sell.  The last was, I think, a result of conversations with Richard Schweiger of C&BT Shops.  After Page's departure, Monju had her way.

As for my input, they had offered me the chance to buy one of those vacuum-formed plastic 4X8 layouts at dealer discount, which I declined.  Every real model railroader wants a layout, right?  But my interest then was Southern Pacific over Donner in 1949 and cab forwards on that layout wouldn't have worked.  So Monju and her new art director decided I was just a brass collector and railroad historian and knew nothing of the hobby and thus my opinion was worthless (despite that I've been reading model railroading magazines since 1963).

Brian Leppert
Carson City, NV
MDC moldmaker for 18 years  


Benjamin Hom
 

Brian Leppert wrote:
"Monju Menteer, Clarence's step daughter, pretty much had the say on what new cars we would do. She felt that the future of the hobby was women in N scale and prototype didn't sell. The last was, I think, a result of conversations with Richard Schweiger of C&BT Shops. After Page's departure, Monju had her way."
Dick deserves much credit for both introducing the postwar AAR boxcar models and coming up with the blueprint for the next generation of freight car models to come (multiple detail variations, separate detail parts). Unfortunately, it appears he drew the wrong conclusions from his sales. Prototype does sell; poorly executed prototype models don't.


Ben Hom


Dennis Storzek
 




---In STMFC@..., <b.hom@...> wrote :

"Dick deserves much credit for both introducing the postwar AAR boxcar models and coming up with the blueprint for the next generation of freight car models to come (multiple detail variations, separate detail parts). Unfortunately, it appears he drew the wrong conclusions from his sales. Prototype does sell; poorly executed prototype models don't."


I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.

I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.

Dennis Storzek


Tony Thompson
 

Dennis Storzek wrote:

 

I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.

I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.

   I greatly appreciate these insights into both MDC, from Brian Leppert, and into what Dennis knows about C&BT Shops. But as someone who knew Dick Schweiger well (when I lived in PIttsburgh), I can tell you that Dick was endlessly frustrated with Lloyd's inability to produce molds for more refined parts. Dick does seem to have talked himself into believing it was "good enough," but let's not think for a minute he didn't know better. He was a skilled modeler himself and certainly was very well aware of how details OUGHT to look. What I never understood was Dick's failure to find another toolmaker.
     Then he fell into the belief that molded-on details would result in FAR more sales. On this list, we don't need to discuss the pros and cons of that one.

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
 

I had a conversation with Dick at the NMRA convention in Valley Forge and
also got the same impression of "tunnel vision" ... and without a doubt his
kits had problems. But then Branchline and Proto2000, who produced some of
the finest kits available, also folded up and sold out. So I think at least
part of the problem was there was already a huge shift underway to RTR by
the late 1980's. A one-man shop or any very small business without Chinese
manufacturing partners is fighting a strong head wind in this hobby, especially
with the decline in local hobby shops to stock kits for the "browsers".

Tim O'Connor

I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.

I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.

Dennis Storzek


Bill Welch
 

I really appreciate and enjoy knowing this part of the history of prototype modeling in 1/87th.

Bill Welch


Armand Premo
 

    How do you account for the popularity of resin kits? Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2015 4:24 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

 


I had a conversation with Dick at the NMRA convention in Valley Forge and
also got the same impression of "tunnel vision" ... and without a doubt his
kits had problems. But then Branchline and Proto2000, who produced some of
the finest kits available, also folded up and sold out. So I think at least
part of the problem was there was already a huge shift underway to RTR by
the late 1980's. A one-man shop or any very small business without Chinese
manufacturing partners is fighting a strong head wind in this hobby, especially
with the decline in local hobby shops to stock kits for the "browsers".

Tim O'Connor

>I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.
>
>I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.
>
>Dennis Storzek

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Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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Pierre Oliver
 

A narrow niche of lunatics! :-)
And I include myself in that niche.

In truth resin kits are popular only in certain circles. And the numbers show that. I'm happy to sell 100-150 of any particular kit I release. Injection molded kits need at least 10 times that volume, if not more.
My observations would suggest that the percentage of modelers who buy resin is similar to the percentage of modelers who self-describe as "prototype modelers".
Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com
www.yarmouthmodelworks.com
On 3/21/2015 7:45 AM, 'Armand' armprem2@... [STMFC] wrote:

�

��� How do you account for the popularity of resin kits? Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2015 4:24 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

�


I had a conversation with Dick at the NMRA convention in Valley Forge and
also got the same impression of "tunnel vision" ... and without a doubt his
kits had problems. But then Branchline and Proto2000, who produced some of
the finest kits available, also folded up and sold out. So I think at least
part of the problem was there was already a huge shift underway to RTR by
the late 1980's. A one-man shop or any very small business without Chinese
manufacturing partners is fighting a strong head wind in this hobby, especially
with the decline in local hobby shops to stock kits for the "browsers".

Tim O'Connor

>I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.
>
>I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.
>
>Dennis Storzek

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4765 / Virus Database: 4257/9343 - Release Date: 03/20/15



Armand Premo
 

Pierre,There are those who just like to build whether plastic OR resin. Armand P{remo

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2015 7:53 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

 

A narrow niche of lunatics! :-)
And I include myself in that niche.

In truth resin kits are popular only in certain circles. And the numbers show that. I'm happy to sell 100-150 of any particular kit I release. Injection molded kits need at least 10 times that volume, if not more.
My observations would suggest that the percentage of modelers who buy resin is similar to the percentage of modelers who self-describe as "prototype modelers".

Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com
www.yarmouthmodelworks.com
On 3/21/2015 7:45 AM, 'Armand' armprem2@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

    How do you account for the popularity of resin kits? Armand Premo
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2015 4:24 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

 


I had a conversation with Dick at the NMRA convention in Valley Forge and
also got the same impression of "tunnel vision" ... and without a doubt his
kits had problems. But then Branchline and Proto2000, who produced some of
the finest kits available, also folded up and sold out. So I think at least
part of the problem was there was already a huge shift underway to RTR by
the late 1980's. A one-man shop or any very small business without Chinese
manufacturing partners is fighting a strong head wind in this hobby, especially
with the decline in local hobby shops to stock kits for the "browsers".

Tim O'Connor

>I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.
>
>I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.
>
>Dennis Storzek

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4765 / Virus Database: 4257/9343 - Release Date: 03/20/15


No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4765 / Virus Database: 4257/9347 - Release Date: 03/20/15


mwbauers
 

I think you guys are overlooking the roadblock of financial success.

According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

I give that as background as to why the hobby industry has become so lean and so many suppliers have faded away recently, or moved overseas for production.

In general, increasingly, their former customers just can't afford it anymore. The economy needs to honestly fly along for a while instead of the several years of harsh limping while just pretending it's getting better that it's been doing since 2008.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:45 AM, 'Armand' armprem2@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


    How do you account for the popularity of resin kits? Armand Premo
----- Original Message ----- 
 


I had a conversation with Dick at the NMRA convention in Valley Forge and
also got the same impression of "tunnel vision" ... and without a doubt his
kits had problems. But then Branchline and Proto2000, who produced some of
the finest kits available, also folded up and sold out. So I think at least
part of the problem was there was already a huge shift underway to RTR by
the late 1980's. A one-man shop or any very small business without Chinese
manufacturing partners is fighting a strong head wind in this hobby, especially
with the decline in local hobby shops to stock kits for the "browsers".

Tim O'Connor

>I rarely comment on other people's business; today I'll make an exception. Dick fell into the trap that many smaller manufacturers do... they become "married" to one tool shop and refuse to see the limitations of that shop. Eastern Car Works is another example. Dick relied on the same toolmaker from the beginning to the end of his business... If Lloyd said it couldn't be done, by golly, it couldn't, don't bother me with the pesky detail that others are obviously doing it.
>
>I had an interesting conversation with both Dick and Lloyd back in the nineties when Accurate Finishing was looking to get into developing our own tooling; learned a lot, also saw the limitations. Why Dick never could is beyond me.
>
>Dennis Storzek


Tony Thompson
 

Mike Bauers wrote:

 

According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

    Mike, I'm sure these people are sincere and very likely believe what they told you. But actually, all niche products have been falling in sales in brick and mortar stores. Books are the same. But book sales, like hobby sales and other niche products, are INCREASING, and have been right through the recession. No prizes if you guess it's all about the Internet. Buy a book, buy an Athearn locomotive, it's the same product anywhere you buy it, and both convenience AND price are driving all this. It is silly to say "people can no longer afford it," because overall sales are NOT down.
     For freight cars, this is at least as true as for the other items named. Few hobby shops could afford to carry a complete stock of, say, InterMountain cars, not to mention resin kits. But sales of them are zipping right along. Just not in stores.

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





mwbauers
 

It is a complex problem.

You reminded me that one thing they said was that books and magazines sales were still doing well, but not enough to carry the store. Its a large building and perhaps a third of it are books and magazines. Which is an interesting point, since they are just about four blocks away from a large Barnes and Nobles bookstore.

There were several volumes of local RR'ing books released and carried by them that I bought copies of, as one example.

In general, every hobby section of the store was large and well stocked. They were the #1 R/C store for that half of this county and the next as well.

And I wrote 'increasingly can't afford it' quite intensionally. A growing problem is that the newer modelers have an extremely difficult time finding well paying jobs and far too many are still living in basement bedrooms at the parents home as 30-year-olds. 

There are only so many hobby items one can put in their bedrooms when they can't get a place of their own.

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Books may be an exception. I leap for them in effect. But I work with many people in a huge company that generally don't read anything other than the occasional contemporary magazine. They're not buying books as much as we could hope.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

And the new media is a competing problem. A couple of years ago I bought a cd that contains 15,000 books in it. Yes, 15,000 books.....

For under $5 .......... 

I don't even have a dedicated digital reader like a Kindle. But I do have all 15,000 books on my computer and use an App to read them. Where some years ago I bought nearly every reprint like the TOC Car Builders Dictionary with their thousands of RR car photos and equipment drawings in each. Now I've gathered even more of them in freely downloadable .pdf's that I can directly port into computer programs, transform, and build from....

The print versions will be going on eBay later this year.

Well, aren't I a downer ............

I'm still looking forward to doing all of the catch-up building of stuff that I just can't find to buy in the first place.

I just think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

We can work with that..........

My more recent buy is the second volume of the Milwaukee Road Streamliner plans.......... Soon to be mated with a low-cost laser cutter to give me the models I can't find to buy.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:25 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Mike Bauers wrote:

 

According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

    Mike, I'm sure these people are sincere and very likely believe what they told you. But actually, all niche products have been falling in sales in brick and mortar stores. Books are the same. But book sales, like hobby sales and other niche products, are INCREASING, and have been right through the recession. No prizes if you guess it's all about the Internet. Buy a book, buy an Athearn locomotive, it's the same product anywhere you buy it, and both convenience AND price are driving all this. It is silly to say "people can no longer afford it," because overall sales are NOT down.
     For freight cars, this is at least as true as for the other items named. Few hobby shops could afford to carry a complete stock of, say, InterMountain cars, not to mention resin kits. But sales of them are zipping right along. Just not in stores.

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


Brad Smith
 

Face it; it's an old man's hobby. 

Brad

Sent from Brad's iPod

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:56 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

It is a complex problem.


You reminded me that one thing they said was that books and magazines sales were still doing well, but not enough to carry the store. Its a large building and perhaps a third of it are books and magazines. Which is an interesting point, since they are just about four blocks away from a large Barnes and Nobles bookstore.

There were several volumes of local RR'ing books released and carried by them that I bought copies of, as one example.

In general, every hobby section of the store was large and well stocked. They were the #1 R/C store for that half of this county and the next as well.

And I wrote 'increasingly can't afford it' quite intensionally. A growing problem is that the newer modelers have an extremely difficult time finding well paying jobs and far too many are still livi ng in basement bedrooms at the parents home as 30-year-olds. 

There are only so many hobby items one can put in their bedrooms when they can't get a place of their own.

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Books may be an exception. I leap for them in effect. But I work with many people in a huge company that generally don't read anything other than the occasional contemporary magazine. They're not buying books as much as we could hope.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

And the new media is a competing problem. A couple of years ago I bought a cd that contains 15 ,000 books in it. Yes, 15,000 books.....

For under $5 .......... 

I don't even have a dedicated digital reader like a Kindle. But I do have all 15,000 books on my computer and use an App to read them. Where some years ago I bought nearly every reprint like the TOC Car Builders Dictionary with their thousands of RR car photos and equipment drawings in each. Now I've gathered even more of them in freely downloadable .pdf's that I can directly port into computer programs, transform, and build from....

The print versions will be going on eBay later this year.

Well, aren't I a downer ............

I'm still looking forward to doing all of the catch-up building of stuff that I just can't find to buy in the first place.

I ju st think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

We can work with that..........

My more recent buy is the second volume of the Milwaukee Road Streamliner plans.......... Soon to be mated with a low-cost laser cutter to give me the models I can't find to buy.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:25 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:


Mike Bauers wrote:

 

According to the recent closing of a major hobby shop here, the owners stated that sales of everything have steadily dropped since the panic of 2008.

They closed due to projections that they would be unable to make the payroll in two more years of decline, and assessments of what additional costs were expected as various governmental programs kicked in over the next couple of years, increasing their overhead as well as further reducing the general public's ability to buy leisure items from anyone. The economy hasn't recovered and is being driven further down. Just paying the constantly increasing electric and heating bills became a challenge to a hobby shop as sales reduced.

    Mike, I'm sure these people are sincere and very likely believe what they told you. But actually, all niche products have been falling in sal es in brick and mortar stores. Books are the same. But book sales, like hobby sales and other niche products, are INCREASING, and have been right through the recession. No prizes if you guess it's all about the Internet. Buy a book, buy an Athearn locomotive, it's the same product anywhere you buy it, and both convenience AND price are driving all this. It is silly to say "people can no longer afford it," because overall sales are NOT down.
     For freight cars, this is at least as true as for the other items named. Few hobby shops could afford to carry a complete stock of, say, InterMountain cars, not to mention resin kits. But sales of them are zipping right along. Just not in stores.

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
< /p>


mwbauers
 

Trust me..........

The world only looks flat..........

Young and creative people -are- out there, all around us.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Mar 21, 2015, at 7:08 PM, Brad Smith  wrote:


Face it; it's an old man's hobby. 

Brad

Sent from Brad's iPod

On Mar 21, 2015, at 6:56 PM, Mike Bauers  wrote:

 

It is a complex problem.


You reminded me that one thing they said was that books and magazines sales were still doing well, but not enough to carry the store. Its a large building and perhaps a third of it are books and magazines. Which is an interesting point, since they are just about four blocks away from a large Barnes and Nobles bookstore.


Tony Thompson
 

Mike Bauers wrote:

The trends are not positive and have been steadily negative for far too many years.

Look at the numbers over time and see if book sales match those of the past. I think if they had stayed very strong, so many bookstores would not have closed over the last several years.

I just think the hobby has changed radically around us. Its still there, just very changed.

     You're still not listening, Mike. Total hobby sales and trends are NOT negative, just store sales. Books likewise have held up, even hardbacks, and e-books, though no longer growing by leaps and bounds, continue to show strong sales. The book business is FAR from failing, though physical stores are struggling.
     Your last statement is the key. Our hobby, and much else in the world of retail, is indeed changing, in some ways radically. But to understand it, you have to recognize Internet sales. It won't be long before people react the same way to remarks about hobby shops, as some already do to the idea of a camera store. One person said to me, "what camera stores?"
     With respect to freight cars, Richard Hendrickson was fond of saying, "THESE are the good old days." Look at the selection and quality of today, and the fact that there are NEW manufacturers offering ready-to-run freight cars. Doesn't sound to me like "the trends are not positive."

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
 

Face it; it's an old man's hobby.
> Brad


Not old -- but most people get into the hobby (or come back to it, as I did)
in their 30's and 40's after they "settle down" and develop an interest in doing
some activity in their leisure time at home. But I think the median age of NMRA
membership was always in the low 40's... It's probably climbed now since a lot
of new model railroaders no longer join because there are so many other outlets
for sharing in the hobby. Like STMFC!

Ah well it's nothing to worry about -- considering everything that is out there,
there's never been a better time to enjoy this hobby than right now!

Tim O'Connor


david ellzey
 

I have to agree somewhat that that it's an "old man's hobby". Back in the early 50's just about every kid had a Lionel or American Flyer train set under the Christmas tree. Now, the kids want computer games and other hi-tech stuff. Changing times.
I remember steam on mainline railroads (yep, I'm a dinosaur), that's why most of us in our 60's and older model the transition era, we can relate. It was a very interesting era.
But this hobby is getting more hi-tech and sophisticated all the time, great to lure the younger generation in. I personally think it will be around a very long time.
 


From: "Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2015 8:08 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Random Thoughts from my two articles in Volume 3 of Speedwitch's Modeling Journal

 

> Face it; it's an old man's hobby.
> Brad

Not old -- but most people get into the hobby (or come back to it, as I did)
in their 30's and 40's after they "settle down" and develop an interest in doing
some activity in their leisure time at home. But I think the median age of NMRA
membership was always in the low 40's... It's probably climbed now since a lot
of new model railroaders no longer join because there are so many other outlets
for sharing in the hobby. Like STMFC!

Ah well it's nothing to worry about -- considering everything that is out there,
there's never been a better time to enjoy this hobby than right now!

Tim O'Connor