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Not surprised. I don’t thinks it’s going to be a mass market . I built a couple MDC 2-8-0s, built a Keystone/NWSL Shay, bought a con door goose, , and a blackstone C-19. most of my power is old brass, and most of it had to be reworked to get it to behave properly . got no interest in Ks, as I model a fictional eastern outfit , This is what us old time Hon3 modelers did, and I probably have enough locomotives now, after 54 years. Y’all might not have that much patience , but it has been fun.
The tiny stuff, would be of the greatest interest to me. but I seriously doubt that will happen.
well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
I think, first of all, over seas production is sort of the problem.
yes, I know it's cheap and alla that.
but, what I think could work, is for the folks who bought Grantd line to step up to the plate.
ok, right now i'm sure they have enough to deal with just getting detail parts etc made and shipped and so on.
however, seeing as how they have, in house, pretty much everything it takes to produce train parts and bits and so on, i'm talking injection mold machines, and I would imagine they have some mold making ability and or access to getting new molds made or old ones repaired etc.
so, IF they'd take on the task, I think given some time and support from us, they could produce some version of an affordable RTR HOn3 loco.
for my money, i'd be tickled pink to get a 2-6-0 or a 4-6-0 or 2-8-0 or...……………..
what i'm saying is, i'm not particular.
start small, work up...…
ok, in my opinion, the thing to do to get the ball rolling so to speak, without taking on the WHOLE task of a complete loco all at once, would be to start with the simplest portion of the loco, which is the tender.
ok, so, please don't tear a strip of hide of may back about this, just to get things going, all they'd need to do, is make a tender, no dcc, no sound just a plain tender.
it don't have to be painted, or decorated, etc.
the idea here is IF they go to making RTR locos, or kits even, they gonna have to make a tender anyhow, so, just make that first.
and, to help things out, we SURELY can install the trucks and drawbar and coupler ourselves. I think they'd need to make the trucks themselves too, and there has been discussion about that topic already, what better thing than this to get THAT project back alive.
ok, so, see, if they start off with tenders, just tenders, their start up cost is MUCH lower than an entire loco for one thing and they could recover their investment really fast i'd think.
plus, once they got back their investment etc, and I would hope some profit, then they could afford to start the job of making the loco itself.
now, i'd like to think that since a tender is sort of basically the same kinda thing as a freight car, sorta, from a production standpoint at least I mean, really a tender is just a type of car on trucks.....
I would hope they could sell the thing direct from their shop for under 50 bucks or thereabouts.
for now, don't worry about distribution and dealer discounts and all the things that will come later. sell direct to us and get the books back in the green FIRST.
i'd bet, if we pre order enough, the tender might come in at a 35 dollar price point.
i'm basing this price point off what I know an RTR freight car can be made for by microtrains.
I had 100 cars special made and still have some for sale, so I KNOW that a dollar figure of between 35 and 50 dollars is in the ball park.
ESPECIALLY if it's not painted or decorated.
ok, I can hear the feed back and all that now.
boo hiss, I don't wanna paint it.... and who wants a tender all by itself? and so on and on and on.
well, I tell you, i'd rather it come painted myself, but this is NOT the end game.
the tender project is simply to get part of the whole project done and TO MARKET while keeping the company afloat and profitable etc.
trust me one thing we as modelers DO NOT want is for Sau Juan to take on a boat load of debt and go under.
if we, the HOn3 crowd, really do want more locos and so on, it is imperative that ANYBODY taking on the challenge MAKE money at it.
i'm not saying they need to put it on us and make a ton either.
a fair profit is a fair profit and that's how business works.
anyway, get the thing made and for sale and have it affordable enough everybody can buy one.
and, I encourage EVERYBODY to buy one at least just to help out.
later on, we can get more concerned with paint and decoration .
for now, remember, this is just to get the thing in motion.
as for who needs a tender by itself, well, I see no reason at all there can't be the odd tender sitting next to the engine shed on every layout there is.
maybe the loco is IN the shed getting a major refit, and the tender is outside out of the way.
it's your RR, you make up the story why it's there.
anyway, the thing is, the whole point of the tender by itself is to get the ball rolling for loco production IN the U.S.
those guys are making detail parts IN the U.S. and we can afford those, this is not that much a bigger deal.
and, i'll put my money where my mouth is:
San Juan, if you're reading this, and we're in synch for what you can sell tenders for, i'll take a dozen just to help you get going.
ok, really, it's up to us.
if we as a group, seriously approach the folks at San Juan, show them there IS a market for what we want, pony up a few bucks even, etc.
it can happen.
ok, so I know there will be hurdles when time comes to actually make the loco itself.
motors, gears, drivers, blah blah blah.
those are all bridges we'll need to cross later on.
I say, make a tender, recover the investment, make a few bucks and then take the next step.
thanks for reading.