Author Topic: N scale lobbyists at Walthers  (Read 1952 times)

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thomasjmdavis

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Re: N scale lobbyists at Walthers
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2019, 04:32:57 PM »
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Rossford Yard,

Well, just to be clear, I also hope Walthers continues to do well with their N scale structures.  I have 1 each of just about all their industrial-commercial buildings that fit into a 1950s time frame, and have made a couple of large buildings from their modulars- in the days when one could still acquire the columns and corners. And, of course, a Dairy Queen. 

The modular issue for Walthers was clearly one of poor packaging decisions- without the columns-which were packaged and sold separately (unlike DPM, which includes some with the wall sections), the rest of the system was near useless (I did do some walls substituting styrene strip painted as "concrete")- and those were always hard to come by, since many modelers bought just the columns and made their own walls from brick sheet.  And even when it was still in production, 75% of hobby shops I visited had all the parts EXCEPT the column and corner package.  On the other hand, their "3 in 1" kits included a whole lot of parts (many more than you would get by buying 3-4 individual parts packs for the same cost), were good values, and a couple of those would yield a good sized factory.

One building I wish they (or woodland scenics/DPM) would do is the urban 3 flat that are so common in Chicago and many other cities.  Of course, they essentially did the BACK of those buildings (although a 4 story version) with their "tenement" background structures (which I also have several of).

As far as the limited run companies go- I have always known that those folks are certainly not in it for the money.  The run of 300 is consistent with numbers I've heard from folks I've talked to- and would also back up the assertion that large buildings don't sell as well as small ones.  I learned this myself in my days as a starving artist- custom woodworker.  Everyone just loved my $500 tables and several literally stopped to photograph a $1500 piece I did.  But what people BOUGHT were $75 plant stands.  OK, I did sell some of the bigger pieces, too.  But I certainly sold 10 of the plant stands for every one of the tables. 

We do the best we can with what we got.

Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

Rossford Yard

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Re: N scale lobbyists at Walthers
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2019, 05:16:08 PM »
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thomasjmdavis,

Sounds like we are birds of feather.  We both like structures.  Also, both seem to have some artistic bent - you a wood worker and me a landscape architect.   

Different era for me, but yes, seem to have one of everything and two of some on my layout - painted differently and on opposite sides in hopes visitors don't recognize the repetition.  I also have several of their tenement flats, which work for me, since I only model the back of buildings where the track goes as much as possible.  So, not sure the typical Chicago fronts would be good for me. That said, I have a stockpile of Walther's structures with no particular place to go, just in case they aren't available when I expand my layout (so far, just dreams, of course)

I probably stand up for the mfgs more than most, maybe more than is warranted.  I did get a chance to talk to the Wally guys at Salt Lake, and none of them had the horns some here accuse them of having, LOL.  Listening to them, they want to be providers in the N scale market, but of course, less willing to take a risk on something than we are, spending their money, of course and LOL.



dem34

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Re: N scale lobbyists at Walthers
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2019, 07:28:15 PM »
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thomasjmdavis,
I suspect one bad project from a company that does limited runs of structures would be even more catastrophic than a poor selling loco, but I can't know.  An insider tells me the runs of their structures are just 300 as it is (too many plywood centrals out there)

And that should be be a little tidbit that should be plastered in more than a few places. People vastly overestimate how much stock the MFGs move and that directly correlates to this stuff like variety and pricing. Like, as a more extreme example take Lionel. You see fairly popular locomotives in fairly popular Liveries at fairly steep prices. How many of those Santa Fe Alco FAs or NYC Hudsons got made?... Around 30 of each...

Just kinda jumped out at me recently when you see people go on about the vast untapped market that is thier random local one off boxcar.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 07:44:38 PM by dem34 »
-Al

thomasjmdavis

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Re: N scale lobbyists at Walthers
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2019, 09:19:47 PM »
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Rossford Yard,
Yep, I also have a big collection of unfinished and half finished kits waiting for the basement empire to take shape.  And a major league scratchbuilding project.

Spent most of my years as a set designer and owned a scene shop in Chicago for a number of years.  More recently worked for a small university managing their arts center.  The woodworking was 10 years in between.

dem34
Good point about the one offs.  But now that you mention it, I have been lobbying for a single window coach from Micro-trains for the past 10 years.  I hope for their sake, and ours, that I was right, and they sell some beyond the 4 or 6 that I will end up with...
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)