Author Topic: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)  (Read 1760 times)

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Philip H

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2014, 08:55:17 PM »
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What's funny about that is atlas has done KCS on 5 or 6 of its locks in white, grey, and the original red, yellow and black. And Kato has done retro Belle as has FVM. All have sold well. Yet they won't do the iconic white SD40-2 (but will do IC Deathstars). Makes me hope IM's version is worth it and they do it
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Ian MacMillan

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 09:06:44 PM »
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Do these have the right ride height?
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

peteski

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 09:28:56 PM »
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I've always wondered the same thing. In Europe it seems as if there are some Kato models sponsored by Lemke and some which are not.  (and I'm not referring to the Hobbytrain stuff which is not Kato and differently sourced).

I would bet the problem is that Kato's minimums/terms are difficult to surmount. I've said it before and been told I'm nuts but my guess is Kato's production runs are a lot
bigger than any of the competition.

You're right, while Hobbytrain and Lemke seem to be together, Lemke is the only part of that partnership which is involved with Kato. Hobbytrain stuff is of inferior quality.

Kato and Lemke have been partnering for years, but I suspect that the quantities they deal with would make a custom Kato-run out of reach for an average modeler (even with a decent-sized wallet).
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bbussey

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 10:02:28 PM »
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... Anyway, there's probably a reason BevBel is no more...  :|

Yes — they retired!  Bev was getting up in years and decided to wind it down.  Nothing nefarious occurred.
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Rossford Yard

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 11:31:47 PM »
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Ed K and MB Klein did a custom run of Maryland Midland GP38s in 3 numbers several years back ..   you can do it ..

Sad part is Wig Wag still shows the remaining stock of the 300 made (100 each road no.)  Maybe that was the very deal that killed the N scale special paint jobs, but maybe minimums are less now, with new tech.  Still might have been the choice of road.

I think Kato and Atlas are too big to fuss with things like that, except on special one time deals.  (Atlas did sell parts to IM for a loco model they were never going to do in the SD40-2T line)  I wonder if others might find it useful.  It is said by some that the first run breaks even, and profit comes from later runs.  If true, I might be tempted to sell off another 1000 undecs in the first run, with the understanding that only XX road would be done, and timed to avoid other releases.  But, the numbers just may not work.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2014, 10:38:05 AM »
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Ed K and MB Klein did a custom run of Maryland Midland GP38s in 3 numbers several years back ..   you can do it ..

MB Klein did the custom run (ie, took the financial risk). I just did some leg work.

It's entirely possible to do it yourself. You just need to be able to bankroll the investment.

The numbers have changed, I'm sure, but just for a ballpark, you'd need to be able to invest at least $15k for a custom run of locomotives, assuming you can get away with only doing 300 of them, and can get the insanely low price of $50 each (which probably isn't doable).

Would you want to risk $15k just so you can get a few of them?

Then, after you've done it, you have to go about selling them (meaning credit card processing, shipping, dealing with cranky model railroaders, etc...).

Freight cars are a lot easier because of the lower price point, but it's not a walk in the park (right Lee?).

learmoia

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2014, 10:52:57 AM »
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When doing special runs locomotives with model companies.. Are you committed to invest in the entire model?

A successful special run business model in the locomotive marked could be "Shell Only" - You supply the frame.

Say a custom run shell would be $30-40 - you (the modeler) supply the frame.. (with a well known model that could be $30-$40 in the aftermarket)  then the modeler has $80 invested in a specific model, the person doing the custom run reduces his exposure in production costs by at least 50%-60%.

I think Micro Trains and Atlas both do this with extras.. but 'Select-A-Shell' locomotives seems like viable business model in the special run department.

~Ian

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Kisatchie

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2014, 11:08:16 AM »
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When doing special runs locomotives with model companies.. Are you committed to invest in the entire model?

A successful special run business model in the locomotive marked could be "Shell Only" - You supply the frame.

That's a good idea!


Hmm... Kiz woulda never
thought of it...


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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2014, 01:56:17 PM »
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That's a good idea!


Hmm... Kiz woulda never
thought of it...




I don't know, I think you'd have even less enthusiasm from the common modeler who really does make up the bulk of the hobby (and makes stuff like this work), if it's not ready-to-run, you'll lose a bunch of market.

bbussey

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2014, 02:20:38 PM »
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N scale for the most part is a ready-to-run market.  You'd be hard-pressed to sell enough decorated diesel bodyshells to get a return-on-investment, let alone a profit.  If you're itching to gamble $15k-$20k on a painted/decorated model, do it with a ready-to-run freight car or passenger car model.

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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 02:23:05 PM »
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I don't know, I think you'd have even less enthusiasm from the common modeler who really does make up the bulk of the hobby (and makes stuff like this work), if it's not ready-to-run, you'll lose a bunch of market.

This.

Shell only would be taking a bad financial risk and making it worse, IMHO.   First, you would never be able to sell them for $30--and probably not $40--and expect to make any money. (read, "not lose money")

The other thing is, those "$30-40 mech's you can find aftermarket"...well after about 20 customers that supply dries up and then your potential customers bail because they can't find a way to make them work. (even if they were willing to do the legwork to begin with)   See the Kaslo F45 release, when the SD40/45 mech's disappeared virtually overnight.

Sorry, not trying to stomp on your idea.  From a modeler's standpoint it sounds GREAT.   But, from a "guy trying to get a custom run done" I would hate to see someone attempt that without really thinking it through.   But hey, it could work with the right product maybe.
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learmoia

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Re: Let me try! Dear Penthouse?!? (Micro Trains)
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2014, 05:59:52 PM »
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This.

Shell only would be taking a bad financial risk and making it worse, IMHO.   First, you would never be able to sell them for $30--and probably not $40--and expect to make any money. (read, "not lose money")

The other thing is, those "$30-40 mech's you can find aftermarket"...well after about 20 customers that supply dries up and then your potential customers bail because they can't find a way to make them work. (even if they were willing to do the legwork to begin with)   See the Kaslo F45 release, when the SD40/45 mech's disappeared virtually overnight.


Yeah.. I considered that after the post, and it might throw a wrench into the idea.... Wow.. I didn't realize Algoma Central SD40s fetch such a premium these days!.. Who'd a thought!.

I was talking to my LHS owner and she reminds me there is a WIDE gap in modelers..  (From.. That Tender's logo is 2 mm off center).. to "I want a Great Northern steam engine.." 

In the grand scheme of things, I think there is more in column B than column A.

What were we talking about??.. Ohh yeah.. Conrail Covered Hoppers in Grey instead of Brown...

IM and RC have both done CR Grain Hoppers in BCR, yet IM is 'just now' doing the grey scheme.
In my observation, there seemed to be many more gray rib-side hoppers than BCR..

(I guess same concept of model companies produce a lot more Pacemaker Boxcars, instead of plan jane NYC Cars.) when the prototype was likely the opposite.

~Ian
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 06:07:01 PM by learmoia »
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