Author Topic: News from Blackstone  (Read 1158 times)

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Mike C

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News from Blackstone
« on: September 17, 2019, 06:25:52 PM »
+2
  For those that don't do Facebook , this was posted yesterday ....

Blackstone Models Update!

As many of you know, our originally projected completion of the K-36 and K-28 Hon3 Blackstone Models engines have been wrought with various issues. Primarily difficulties with drawings, resources and issues with regard to tooling, have left the project with very little movement to date. Things to note:
1) The project is not dead.
2) The very delayed quotation from our factory was received in June and is over twice what was projected. It is clear the factory does not wish to take on these projects and their pricing reflects this. It would result in a plastic and die-cast model that had an MSRP of approximately $1250 to $1400. This is unacceptable to us and it should not be acceptable to you.
3) The delays have nothing to do with the closing of a major Chinese factory, tariffs, or the conditions in Hong Kong.
4) We now have our documents out for quotation at four other factories, one of which we have direct experience with and the others recommended by other manufactures. Given that a trip may be required to move/examine our tooling, this process may take a while and we’ll provide any updates we can as decisions are made.
Nobody is more disappointed than our staff at SoundTraxx. We’ve invested many hours in both these projects and can reap no benefits until they are here in the country and for sale! We thank you for your understanding and continued support.
We appreciate your patience.

Hawghead

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Re: News from Blackstone
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2019, 12:44:20 PM »
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Are the contractors Blackstone intended to use ones they have used in the past or did they try to go with new ones?  I just wish they'd re-release the models they already know they can make.  (K-27s and C-19s)

Scott
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Dave V

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Re: News from Blackstone
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2019, 12:55:05 PM »
+1
Are the contractors Blackstone intended to use ones they have used in the past or did they try to go with new ones?  I just wish they'd re-release the models they already know they can make.  (K-27s and C-19s)

Scott

I spoke with them at the 2017 Narrow Gauge Convention and again online this past week about exactly that.  The factory they were working with wanted so much more for any re-runs of existing product that they would not have been able to sell any.  They're hopeful--as am I--that if they can secure a new factory, that re-runs of the previous releases (locomotives and cars both) may be able to be negotiated at reasonable MSRPs.  But their first priority remains producing the big Ks.

Hawghead

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Re: News from Blackstone
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2019, 02:10:17 PM »
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I spoke with them at the 2017 Narrow Gauge Convention and again online this past week about exactly that.  The factory they were working with wanted so much more for any re-runs of existing product that they would not have been able to sell any.  They're hopeful--as am I--that if they can secure a new factory, that re-runs of the previous releases (locomotives and cars both) may be able to be negotiated at reasonable MSRPs.  But their first priority remains producing the big Ks.

I know that when the Chinese first started making R/C airplane engines, which were just copies of long time producers, they were very inexpensive but the quality was pure junk.  However over time the quality has improved exponentially so that now they are both inexpensive (comparatively) and of very good quality.  I wonder if, in the realm of model railroading, the factories that have learned to produce quality products are now in a position where the comparatively small market, especially a niche market like narrow gauge, they feel is not worth their time, at least not at the desired price point.  As a result people like Blackstone are forced to seek newer/"hungrier" producers and wind up in another round of quality control issues.

Am I wrong in thinking the "big" K's are a niche market inside a niche market?

Thanks,
Scott 
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Dave V

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Re: News from Blackstone
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2019, 10:06:59 PM »
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I know that when the Chinese first started making R/C airplane engines, which were just copies of long time producers, they were very inexpensive but the quality was pure junk.  However over time the quality has improved exponentially so that now they are both inexpensive (comparatively) and of very good quality.  I wonder if, in the realm of model railroading, the factories that have learned to produce quality products are now in a position where the comparatively small market, especially a niche market like narrow gauge, they feel is not worth their time, at least not at the desired price point.  As a result people like Blackstone are forced to seek newer/"hungrier" producers and wind up in another round of quality control issues.

Am I wrong in thinking the "big" K's are a niche market inside a niche market?

Thanks,
Scott

I don't know...  It's all niche.  The narrow gauge didn't really have a USRA equivalent where you had the same general equipment style on multiple roads.  The closest thing would have been a C-class 2-8-0, but more like the D&RGW C-16 rather than the C-19.  A substantial number of similar 3-foot gauge locomotives left Baldwin for destinations outside of Colorado.  Otherwise it's all D&RGW/RGS-specific.