ET kits

Jim King



I’m not interested in expanding my product line to western-road modelers but thanks for the suggestion.  There is a MUCH longer list of manufacturers doing that, including RTR Blackstone products.  I have plenty of projects to keep me busy with S and O standard gauge, however, I still think there is a “need” for good-quality trucks in HOn3 and Sn2/3. 


I produced 3 runs of Sn2 freight and passenger trucks using traditional SLA patterns and urethane castings and included Kadee HOn3 wheelsets, which makes a very nice “complete” package.  Fantastic detail but the passenger truck is a little “tedious” to assemble with 28 part per truck.  I’m now evaluating rerunning those using my CAD files as 3D printed parts to reduce assembly time.  You can see all of the trucks (diesel sideframes, too) I produce on 2 pages of my web site, all in S scale.


There are several archbar-type truck styles that have only been produced in HOn3 in white metal or brass; both mediums required a LOT of fiddling to get them to roll even at $20/pr (brass).  Lawndale had unique “upside down” trucks and, of course, the combine had “pretty” trucks that could easily be applied to other cars, especially for freelance modelers.


Taking the time to research/design accurate, detailed cars in a limited ET HOn3 market is not something I want to tackle with competition already established.  I am a bit surprised at prices associated with 3D printed kits that require the customer to supply his own detail parts, trucks, couplers and (possibly) weight.  A $60 “carbody kit” could easily end up costing a modeler $85 when all parts/decals are accumulated.  If I was producing a $60 kit, it would, at least, include all of the detail parts and decals required to finish it.  Trucks are very much a personal choice (some like Grandt’s D&RGW trucks because they roll like a greased pig) and some folks use Sergent’s HOn3 couplers.  I get that.  But it’s increasingly difficult for new-to-the-game modelers to acquire detail parts and that’s where the kit’s mfr should help.


Jim King


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