Author Topic: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.  (Read 1199 times)

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wcfn100

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Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« on: March 01, 2014, 08:40:35 PM »
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I guess I'll put this here since it's all N scale related.

San Juan Car Co.

  I talked with John, the current owner, about the car sides.  First of all, he basically inherited the ALM stuff without any sort of paperwork or documentation so much time has been spent getting all that info together.  The story on the the kits is that he's having an issue with one fo the under body details coming out of the mold.  But he is working on it.  It sound like je has every intention to get these back out.  As for the 2D-P5 trucks, he doesn't have the tooling anymore so they won't be from him if they ever are done again.

Walthers

 They had a couple guys there that were really nice to talk with and were ready to discuss the realities of N scale.  They conformed that the C425 tooling isn't theirs so that's out.  As for the Erie Builts, it's not a no, but I wouldn't worry about putting any money aside any time soon for a release of those.  On the passenger trains, they talked about the minimums they need and how HO barely gets there sometimes and N really doesn't stand a chance.  They did mention a couple older rolling stock items that could get a second look, but it would depend on the the state of the tooling.


Bachmann

 The Bachmann booth was manned by cardboard cutouts toeing the corporate line.  He gave me a 'probably' on more UP S-4 road numbers, a 'not anytime soon' for another H16-44 run.  For the next steamer he said 'July is when we make those announcements'.  By his body language, it seemed like there will be something.  And the only models that will be DC only going forward are some of the much older tooling.  Anything recent and going forward will be DC/DCC.  I didn't get into much more than that.  His uselessness was wearing on me and I left.

Intermountain

  I had a good time at the IM booth. I first talked with Bill (owner of Red Caboose for those keeping score).  Before we get into the questions,  I want to pass along that they are looking for any and all feedback for the SD40-2 and I will probably start another thread on that.  Bill said they are planning to do all the details that the HO version is getting (tanks, nose bells, etc..).  He didn't know where the KCS might be on the timeline.  As for the O/B Milwaukee F7 units, he said that all those releases of the F units were effected by the China situation.  All that tooling had to be moved and that they should start seeing some of that come in soon.  The emergency box cars and flats are expected later this year.  They had the box car at the show.  On the 4750's, he wasn't sure, but said to check on the 10th when the next announcements come out.

But enough about what you guys want...

  I went back later and talked Richard about the Modified AAR cars.  I hope I got through to him about fixing the tooling so the under frame fits the floor properly, but more exciting is that he talked about making kits available again on a pre-order bases.  I asked about releasing those without trucks and couplers and he said they were looking at tooling their own trucks with metal wheels.


One last thing that I don't know how much news it is, but ESU is coming out with a SKU for a preloaded sound decoder for the MILW 4-4-2.  He said look for it in a week or two. 


That's it, sorry if I missed something.  It was a good show.  Fortunately we weren't part of the 104 car pile up.

Jason









Dave V

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 08:54:53 PM »
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Good to know...  I'm headed up in the morning, as much for large scale Colorado narrow gauge as for N scale Pennsy.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 08:58:17 PM »
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Thanks, Jason. Good report. Appreciate the legwork.
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wcfn100

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2014, 09:06:44 PM »
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One more thing on Walthers, (this may not be new news), they've modified some of the HO Cornerstone buildings into different structures.  Sort of like the State Line Farm Supply into the Classic Car Restoration, but less obvious like the main building of the Water St. Freight Terminal into the Small Brick Office Building.  I don't know if this will pass down to N or not.

Jason

peteski

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2014, 11:06:39 PM »
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Thanks Jason!
Seems like we (the n-scalers colective) will never reach Walthers minimum quantity needed to produce anything.  :|
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wcfn100

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2014, 11:50:04 PM »
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Thanks Jason!
Seems like we (the n-scalers colective) will never reach Walthers minimum quantity needed to produce anything.  :|

To say it a different way, and this is just my takeaway from the conversation not something they told me, the minimums that N scale require, don't allow for enough margin to get done (at Walthers).  Add to that any tooling changes and it's game over.

One thing I took away from the show after talking to the different companies is that China and RTR has really screwed us.  There are plenty of tools that are shelved because China holds the keys as to whether they get run.  Meanwhile, there are people here in the states with the machines to do the molding.

If it wasn't for assembly, I actually think we could bring back some manufacturing (cost wise).  But I've also had four cans of Throwback Pepsi and on a serious sugar high.

Jason




peteski

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2014, 02:44:01 AM »
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One thing I took away from the show after talking to the different companies is that China and RTR has really screwed us.  There are plenty of tools that are shelved because China holds the keys as to whether they get run.  Meanwhile, there are people here in the states with the machines to do the molding.

If it wasn't for assembly, I actually think we could bring back some manufacturing (cost wise).  But I've also had four cans of Throwback Pepsi and on a serious sugar high.

Jason

This looks like one of those chicken or egg kind of problems, but I think that the manufacturers are too blame here. Or is it the consumer?  Here is how I see this (greatly simplified):

In order to maximize profit, and to keep the prices low, manufacturers started farming the model production out to China.  This was the beginning of the current problems, but it didn't look that way back then.

Next, since labor was really cheap, and manufacturers started trying to outdo each other, they started producing more and more road name choices, with more and more details applied to their RTR models.  Consumers jumped at these offerings, since it meant that they no longer needed to detail the models they purchased.  Next, there were company mergers and changes in labor cost in China.  That resulted in where we are now.

Now we have well-detailed RTR models for a decent price, but only when the American companies can get their Chinese companies to produce them.  But even if the molds could be brought back to US, I have feeling that the model prices would go up dramatically. This would create some serious kvetching from the modelers.  Seems like a no-win situation to me.  :|
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drgw0579

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2014, 09:41:18 AM »
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headed there shortly.  I want to know if someone will have a sound decoder that will fit in a N scale hood unit without body work.

Bill Kepner

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 10:02:31 AM »
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headed there shortly.  I want to know if someone will have a sound decoder that will fit in a N scale hood unit without body work.

Bill Kepner

I don't have any inside information, but we know that ESU LokSound is producing the decoder for the Atlas S2 and Intermountain SD40-2, as well as the Rapido GMD-1.   Assuming that these models are going to use the now-standard split-frame design with a drop-in PC board, that board will need to be narrow enough to fit between two frame rails - so I'd say about 8mm wide.  It also probably isn't any longer than the length of the hood of the S2.  Once this design is done, it is relatively easy to turn it into either a wired decoder, or a set of boards that can fit into current DCC-ready units. 

CT Elektronik of Austria already makes a sound decoder, the SL76, that is about 17mm long by 8mm wide, by 2.5mm high.   Unfortunately, CT doesn't actively pursue the US market, and there are no US prototype factory sound files for this decoder.  But the fact that it exists means that it is indeed possible to make a full-function sound decoder that will easily fit an N scale hood diesel.  It's bound to be coming from someone, somewhere, somehow.  My bet is on ESU, but don't count out SoundTraxx, which has been at work on a new decoder design for some time.

John C.

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 10:08:56 AM »
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Need those UP S-4's in the 1950's scheme ( Road of the Streamliners /Serves all the West ) . This has been a heartbreaker seeing them all dressed UP but wearing the wrong logo . 

asarge

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2014, 10:12:32 AM »
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Quote
One more thing on Walthers, (this may not be new news), they've modified some of the HO Cornerstone buildings into different structures.  Sort of like the State Line Farm Supply into the Classic Car Restoration, but less obvious like the main building of the Water St. Freight Terminal into the Small Brick Office Building.  I don't know if this will pass down to N or not.

Jason, Walthers has already done the Classic Car Restoration and the Railcar Restoration kit's in N. At the National Train Show in Atlanta last July, the Walthers product development people were might proud of those repurposed kits and VERY obstinent about any new tooling in N scasle. They kept pointing out the freight and passenger car sales issues and when I mentioned structures they were only slightly interested. The sales and marketing people are way more open minded but when it get's to the product development gang, we're just plain screwed.

wcfn100

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 11:08:27 AM »
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Jason, Walthers has already done the Classic Car Restoration and the Railcar Restoration kit's in N. At the National Train Show in Atlanta last July, the Walthers product development people were might proud of those repurposed kits and VERY obstinent about any new tooling in N scasle. They kept pointing out the freight and passenger car sales issues and when I mentioned structures they were only slightly interested. The sales and marketing people are way more open minded but when it get's to the product development gang, we're just plain screwed.

Yeah, we had talked about it here last year which is why I was using it as a quasi-example (before I decided to link the photos to the new ones).

The Walthers reps said the new Post Office was a repurpose, but I don't remember from what.



Jason

wcfn100

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2014, 11:17:29 AM »
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I don't have any inside information, but we know that ESU LokSound is producing the decoder for the Atlas S2 and Intermountain SD40-2, as well as the Rapido GMD-1.   

Something the Reps aren't shy about bringing up (nor should they be). :D   


Jason

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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 01:56:51 PM »
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Interesting to know that if Walther's doesn't have the tooling for the C425, then who does? They bought Life-Like and it was a Life-Like product.

Unless it is one of those ones that is under lock and key from an offshore manufacturer.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Toy Train Show Manufacturers answers.
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2014, 02:02:27 PM »
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Interesting to know that if Walther's doesn't have the tooling for the C425, then who does? They bought Life-Like and it was a Life-Like product.

Unless it is one of those ones that is under lock and key from an offshore manufacturer.

I believe they said Hobby Craft Canada like Tim (POVC) said in my pre-show thread.

Jason