Author Topic: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line  (Read 1800 times)

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Alaska Railroader

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Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« on: November 01, 2011, 01:40:51 AM »
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It has arrived! The first kit from the TownBuilder System collaboration:
Plain Jane's Thrift Store. How did we come to choose this modest little
storefront? We had two primary motives. For starters, we didn't want to
go overboard with our first kit, since this was a completely new
venture into new territory. Likewise we wanted a relatively simple kit
for modelers, since we're introducing a somewhat unusual style of
construction—that being mixed media.

At the same time, we clearly wanted to demonstrate the strengths of this
approach to kit design, so there's some really nice brickwork featured
on the otherwise ordinary building face. And details abound, from the
cut granite wall caps to the fancy window cornices and sills; from the
scuppers and downspouts to the electric meter. Not to mention the
fully-decorated window displays! We also provide the builder with some
choices; an alternate sign turns it into Top Drawer Athletics, and
there's even alternate window decorations.

Of course, this is just the beginning. We have so much more in store for
Z Scale, because each month will bring a new TownBuilder System
release. By this time next year, you'll have an entire Z Scale town at
your disposal—hence the name of our product line. So watch this
space to see what Stonebridge Models <http://www.stonebridgemodels.com>
and NZT Products <http://www.nztproducts.com> have in store for you!

TBSZ-0001: Plain Jane's Thrift Store
Introducing the first in a series of Z Scale classic American downtown
structures from the TownBuilder System, a collaboration of talent
dedicated to bringing you the finest kits possible. Plain Jane's Thrift
Store (a.k.a. Top Drawer Athletics) is not based on a specific single
prototype building, but is instead representative of timeless
architecture unique to Anytown, USA.

Featuring authentic styling and exceptional brickwork, this lighted kit
is highly detailed yet easy to build, requiring no special tools or
skills. Everything you see in the photos is included—right down to
the complete window displays!
Exploiting the salient qualities of different media, this hybrid kit is
comprised of super-detailed first-generation high-pressure resin
castings, molded in a rich brick color, plus precision laser-cut
windows, doors and other parts. Together these high-quality components
produce an outstanding structure suitable for a foreground location on
any layout. Check out the copious detailing: the wall caps and front
window sills have a remarkable cut granite texture; the back wall
features scuppers and downspouts, electric meters, and a (non-working)
light over the door. Plus, you have your choice of two signs and two
sets of window displays. We believe it's the most detailed kit of its
kind in Z Scale, all at an affordable price.

Assembled size: 1.24"w x 1.8"d x 1.6"h (31.5 x 46 x 40.8mm)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 02:01:44 AM by Alaska Railroader »

Chris333

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 06:26:41 PM »
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I just checked out the PDF instructions and these are similar to what DPM kits are in N scale.  Maybe now I plan a bigger city?

David K. Smith

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2011, 07:47:28 PM »
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I just checked out the PDF instructions and these are similar to what DPM kits are in N scale.  Maybe now I plan a bigger city?

Yes, we've essentially brought DPM to Z--without the troublesome all-one-piece windows to paint.

One year from now you can plan on having twelve kits, as we're releasing one a month.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

davefoxx

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 07:53:50 PM »
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DKS,

This is great news for Z scalers and a great-looking product!  But, don't forget to market these to N scalers as background structures for forced perspectives.

DFF

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

wcfn100

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 07:57:00 PM »
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Yes, we've essentially brought DPM to Z--without the troublesome all-one-piece windows to paint.

One year from now you can plan on having twelve kits, as we're releasing one a month.

You're making hard to not want to build something for the convention next year.

Jason

tom mann

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 09:33:51 PM »
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Looks great and the price is good considering all the detail included.  Thanks!

Does the electric meter work? :trollface:

Chris333

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 05:53:50 AM »
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I'm waiting for the Haberdasher shop selling the worlds finest asshats.

 :ashat:

David K. Smith

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2011, 07:21:33 AM »
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I'm waiting for the Haberdasher shop selling the worlds finest asshats.

 :ashat:

That'll be Kit #3, January 2012.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Catt

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 10:57:32 AM »
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Would be nice if you were really doing the DPM thing to Z. :D The building looks great ,but it would really be nice to have modular wall panels available in Z.
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
Sole owner of the
Grande Valley Railway
100% Michigan made

David K. Smith

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 12:03:21 PM »
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Would be nice if you were really doing the DPM thing to Z. :D The building looks great ,but it would really be nice to have modular wall panels available in Z.

I appreciate your feedback. A few issues... first, the DPM downtown buildings are not modular. Their modular products are geared for industrial buildings, while the downtown series consists of complete kits, each one unique.

A really serious problem with true modularity is that it imposes many undesirable restrictions on what you can do with downtown buildings. In real life, they comprise an endless stream of different shapes and sizes; but modularity requires a set of dimensional limitations that hamstrings kit designers looking to produce interesting, creative structures. Modularity works better for industrial buildings, as in the DPM example.

Another problem that faces any kit designer is the need to get it right, and a modular system is a harshly demanding thing to design correctly. There have been a number of failed attempts by other companies in other scales to serve as warnings to those who would embark on such a thing.

Then, if we had gone modular, it would have pushed our launch date back by many, many months as we worked to get the system down. We just weren't willing to invest that much time and effort in something as risky as a modular system as our introductory product.

And lastly, the reality is that modular stuff is a hard sell. I've been in countless hobby shops that had racks loaded with dusty little packages of DPM (and other) modular items that have been there literally for years. Dealers hate this kind of thing; they don't want to be saddled with piles of poor-selling items they need to keep stocked just to maintain a full system.

So, while we may eventually explore some sort of modular system for industrial buildings, the downtown series will be complete, stand-alone kits much like DPM's. That said, being a big-time kitbasher myself, the kits will be very carefully designed to optimize kitbashing; so while it won't be modular, it will be "kitbashing friendly."

I sincerely hope you enjoy what we have in store for Z Scale.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 12:08:46 PM by David K. Smith »
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Catt

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Re: Announcing the Start of a New Z Product Line
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2011, 04:39:08 PM »
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David,
   I think the TBS thing is an excellent idea and will do quite well,what I don't think is that I did a very good explanation of my idea.I believe the buildings will be great but my moduar idea was not meant for building industrial buildings but using parts of your stores say the front of this one with a varieity of sides and back walls with the side walls being of different lengths and window/door treatments.Probaly still doing a lousey job of explaining this so how about an example ? Using the front of Plain Janes with a side wall of slightly longer length with a display window matching the front so you could put the building on a street corner.

  I haven'y got a clue as to wether or not this would be practical for you and Karin but it makes sence to me.
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
Sole owner of the
Grande Valley Railway
100% Michigan made