Date   

Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Russ Norris
 

I'm thinking something really spectacular that catches the imagination of large numbers of people -- like the train display I remember in the NYC Citicorp building that ran through the holiday season and attracted hundreds of thousands of adults and children.  The NMRA's HUB division recently contracted with Boston's Museum of Science to build and operate a similar multi-scale display that is drawing overflow crowds to see what model railroading is all about.  Think outside the box.

Russ Norris



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...>
Date: 12/10/18 4:48 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

I'm thinking we need to turn our model railroad preservationist focus away from the some 200 million Americans who for whatever reasons could never be active model railroaders and turn toward those with the aptitudes, talents and other personal attributes that fit with creative modeling activities.  If we're talking 1 in 1000 that's 200,000 people.
We're not doing a very good job now if the current level of our activities is any indicator.  It's like taking little kids to a car museum where the most exciting thing happening is the falling of dust particles. We need to have a better idea of what works to attract new model railroaders to active hobby participation. You've heard enough of specific ideas and paths from Ed Weldon.  How about the rest of us getting some positive thinking going? 


Re: Dark clouds? Death of the hobby? was Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

lloyd lehrer
 

Steven, you must not know Darryl.  He has a snid dry wonderfully sarcastic sense of humor and all that he wrote was intended that way.  Get a yellow tee shirt that says "I'm not Darryl" (not so private Joke).
lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097


On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 1:12 PM Steven Haworth <haworth7@...> wrote:
Nonsense - the hobby is booming.  The number of craftsman kit manufacturers and details boggles the mind.  RPM meets are growing every year. The online communities, including a ton of hobby-specific groups on forums, YouTube, Facebook, etc are exploding. Podcasts are exploding - so many I can't find the time to keep up with listening, even listening daily on my commute. YouTube also - far more videos than anyone could keep up with.

Locally (at least here in the Chicago area), there's more layouts running op sessions - amazing, beautiful layouts - than I can possibly find time even to visit.

Hobby shops probably are declining, but sales online (and also research and sharing) are exploding.
Hobby ain't dead.  :-)


- Steve Haworth
RGS history - http://www.rgsrr.info/
Blog - http://rgsrr.blogspot.com/               FB - https://www.facebook.com/stevesrgs/


On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 2:49 PM Darryl Huffman via Groups.Io <darrylhuffman=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I had a hobby shop in 1973.

Slot car tracks were all the rage and everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

Radio control airplanes were just taking off.  Everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

The Gazette had not published issue number 1 yet.

Just think of all the wonderful kits and locomotives and sound systems we have seen introduced in the intervening 45 years.

What a great hobby and how wonderful it has been to be alive to enjoy all the new stuff.

I'm looking forward to the Narrow Gauge Convention in Sacramento next Fall.

I guess if the hobby is dead then I will be the only one there.
 
Darryl Huffman

You can follow my model building career on my blog at:


and


Remember, without closets, model manufacturers would never be profitable.


--
lloyd lehrer


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

 

I'm thinking we need to turn our model railroad preservationist focus away from the some 200 million Americans who for whatever reasons could never be active model railroaders and turn toward those with the aptitudes, talents and other personal attributes that fit with creative modeling activities.  If we're talking 1 in 1000 that's 200,000 people.
We're not doing a very good job now if the current level of our activities is any indicator.  It's like taking little kids to a car museum where the most exciting thing happening is the falling of dust particles. We need to have a better idea of what works to attract new model railroaders to active hobby participation. You've heard enough of specific ideas and paths from Ed Weldon.  How about the rest of us getting some positive thinking going? 


Re: Dark clouds? Death of the hobby? was Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

Steven Haworth
 

Nonsense - the hobby is booming.  The number of craftsman kit manufacturers and details boggles the mind.  RPM meets are growing every year. The online communities, including a ton of hobby-specific groups on forums, YouTube, Facebook, etc are exploding. Podcasts are exploding - so many I can't find the time to keep up with listening, even listening daily on my commute. YouTube also - far more videos than anyone could keep up with.

Locally (at least here in the Chicago area), there's more layouts running op sessions - amazing, beautiful layouts - than I can possibly find time even to visit.

Hobby shops probably are declining, but sales online (and also research and sharing) are exploding.
Hobby ain't dead.  :-)


- Steve Haworth
RGS history - http://www.rgsrr.info/
Blog - http://rgsrr.blogspot.com/               FB - https://www.facebook.com/stevesrgs/


On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 2:49 PM Darryl Huffman via Groups.Io <darrylhuffman=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I had a hobby shop in 1973.

Slot car tracks were all the rage and everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

Radio control airplanes were just taking off.  Everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

The Gazette had not published issue number 1 yet.

Just think of all the wonderful kits and locomotives and sound systems we have seen introduced in the intervening 45 years.

What a great hobby and how wonderful it has been to be alive to enjoy all the new stuff.

I'm looking forward to the Narrow Gauge Convention in Sacramento next Fall.

I guess if the hobby is dead then I will be the only one there.
 
Darryl Huffman

You can follow my model building career on my blog at:


and


Remember, without closets, model manufacturers would never be profitable.


Re: Dark clouds? Death of the hobby? was Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

Russ Norris
 

See you in Sacramento, Darryl......

😉   Russ Norris


Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "Darryl Huffman via Groups.Io" <darrylhuffman@...>
Date: 12/10/18 3:49 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Dark clouds? Death of the hobby? was Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

I had a hobby shop in 1973.

Slot car tracks were all the rage and everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

Radio control airplanes were just taking off.  Everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

The Gazette had not published issue number 1 yet.

Just think of all the wonderful kits and locomotives and sound systems we have seen introduced in the intervening 45 years.

What a great hobby and how wonderful it has been to be alive to enjoy all the new stuff.

I'm looking forward to the Narrow Gauge Convention in Sacramento next Fall.

I guess if the hobby is dead then I will be the only one there.
 
Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

You can follow my model building career on my blog at:

http://ghosttownmodels.blogspot.com

and

www.GhostTownModels.com

Remember, without closets, model manufacturers would never be profitable.


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Darryl Huffman
 

Bill,

I'm sure there have been articles published about converting HO standard gauge diesel mechanisms to HOn3.
 
Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

You can follow my model building career on my blog at:

http://ghosttownmodels.blogspot.com

and

www.GhostTownModels.com

Remember, without closets, model manufacturers would never be profitable.



From: Bill Nielsen <wrangler@...>
To: HOn3@groups.io
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 1:38 PM
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

The Bachmann HO GE 70 ton switcher would be an ideal starting point for a low cost HOn3 loco. The only new tooling needed would be for new 3’ gauge trucks (Bachmann has already tooled up at least two different versions of these trucks for their standard HO gauge model). According to the web, the prototype loco was offered in meter gauge and 5’3”  wide gauge, as well as American standard gauge. The most logical approach would be for Blackstone to arrange with Bachmann to build a narrow gauge version of the 70 tonner which they could then market to all those HOn3 modelers who are patiently waiting in line for a good running, DCC equipped, affordable locomotive. Adding DCC keep alive circuitry would make it irresistible.

Bill in FtL


Dark clouds? Death of the hobby? was Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

Darryl Huffman
 

I had a hobby shop in 1973.

Slot car tracks were all the rage and everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

Radio control airplanes were just taking off.  Everyone was forecasting the doom of the model railroad hobby.

The Gazette had not published issue number 1 yet.

Just think of all the wonderful kits and locomotives and sound systems we have seen introduced in the intervening 45 years.

What a great hobby and how wonderful it has been to be alive to enjoy all the new stuff.

I'm looking forward to the Narrow Gauge Convention in Sacramento next Fall.

I guess if the hobby is dead then I will be the only one there.
 
Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

You can follow my model building career on my blog at:

http://ghosttownmodels.blogspot.com

and

www.GhostTownModels.com

Remember, without closets, model manufacturers would never be profitable.


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Bill Nielsen
 

The Bachmann HO GE 70 ton switcher would be an ideal starting point for a low cost HOn3 loco. The only new tooling needed would be for new 3’ gauge trucks (Bachmann has already tooled up at least two different versions of these trucks for their standard HO gauge model). According to the web, the prototype loco was offered in meter gauge and 5’3”  wide gauge, as well as American standard gauge. The most logical approach would be for Blackstone to arrange with Bachmann to build a narrow gauge version of the 70 tonner which they could then market to all those HOn3 modelers who are patiently waiting in line for a good running, DCC equipped, affordable locomotive. Adding DCC keep alive circuitry would make it irresistible.

Bill in FtL


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Mike Conder
 

My dad was in model railroading, so I have done of his MR magazines going back to the early '60's.  I do remember an editorial and/or letter to the editor or two that complained about the doing hobby and that it'd be long gone by 1980 or 1990 or so.  

Obviously not ....

Mike Conder

On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 1:33 PM Sean <Cndrsean@...> wrote:
I don’t know you Ed, but well said. 



On Dec 10, 2018, at 10:49, Climax@... wrote:

And its cold outside too!  Time for some Irish Coffee!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...>
Sent: Dec 10, 2018 1:48 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

What a bunch of dark clouds this morning! 


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Sean
 

I don’t know you Ed, but well said. 



On Dec 10, 2018, at 10:49, Climax@... wrote:

And its cold outside too!  Time for some Irish Coffee!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...>
Sent: Dec 10, 2018 1:48 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

What a bunch of dark clouds this morning! 


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Climax@...
 

And its cold outside too!  Time for some Irish Coffee!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...>
Sent: Dec 10, 2018 1:48 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

What a bunch of dark clouds this morning! 


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

 

What a bunch of dark clouds this morning! 


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Mark Lewis
 

Good points, Doug.

Mark Lewis


On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 11:33 AM Doug Cummings <dougcummings@...> wrote:
There is no low cost anything. It is all relative. Income goes up, costs go up. I have rarely seen costs go down, and if they do it is usually only temporarily and/or rarely. Even scratch building is not low cost. 





Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Doug Cummings
 

There is no low cost anything. It is all relative. Income goes up, costs go up. I have rarely seen costs go down, and if they do it is usually only temporarily and/or rarely. Even scratch building is not low cost. 





Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Mark Lewis
 

Dave:

Spot on.

Mark Lewis


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Mark Lewis
 

Cost to enter the hobby of model railroading, particularly narrow gauge modeling- regardless of scale...HOn3, Sn3 or On3/30...IMO- is not the sole reason the doom and gloom forecasters think, that the "hobby is dying".

In no particular order, I see some of the reasons as:  * We have become a nation of "immediate satisfaction citizens" and don't see the fun and challenge of building something of quality, that takes more than 2 hours to complete. *Newcomers to the hobby have so many other areas of interest, that are flashy, electronic, sensory, etc., but don't realize that model railroading can encompass every one of those areas...and more. *Yes- there is a "graying out" of participants, but I see that mainly as folks get older, they may be moving up fro m, say, HOn3 to Sn3 (my case) or On3/30, because it is much easier to work with the larger scales and many modelers today are not interested in huge layouts, but want to focus on highly detailed, smaller or shelf type layouts, along with super detailed building of structures, locomotives and rolling stock and trackwork. *The complaint that RTR locomotives and rolling stock cost too much...well, most young people have no problem financing the purchase of expensive video gaming, extremely high priced automotive audio systems and custom wheels and tires...it seems that their priority's just aren't the same as many of us.

Honestly- if I had stayed in HOn3 as my major modeling scale, the release of a kit locomotive...of Blackstone quality components...would not have made a difference. I would save my limited retirement income to purchase a Blackstone quality locomotive, instead. He with the most locomotives, is not the winner. It is those modelers that are able to purchase and use a few quality pieces of equipment and enjoy this hobby to it's fullest, for a lifetime.

Mark Lewis
Stony Point, NC


On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 10:04 AM kevin b via Groups.Io <arcatruck13=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
maybe it wouldn't die if new people could afford to get into it?
 

Why would anybody start manufacturing in what has been reported as a dying hobby?


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Climax@...
 

Look around, where are the noses of 90% of the youth today?  In I-Phones, I-Pads, on the Internet, TV, and little on learning the skills to live as we did in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's.  They are learning the skills to live after the millennium turned.  Look at our education system, it's too scared to turn around, to offer classes on electronics, metal and wood working, drafting, auto mechanics, and a whole lot more, all things that give us the skills to work with our hands,   How is our hobby going to expand if nobody know how to do anything more than plunk down a credit card for a ready to run item and have little input into the actual understanding on how to make it run or build it?  I know I am off subject for HOn3, so I will digress back into my corner and be quiet.
Dave
MMR#200

-----Original Message-----
From: "kevin b via Groups.Io"
Sent: Dec 10, 2018 10:04 AM
To: "HOn3@groups.io"
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

maybe it wouldn't die if new people could afford to get into it?
 

Why would anybody start manufacturing in what has been reported as a dying hobby?


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

kevin b
 

maybe it wouldn't die if new people could afford to get into it?
 

Why would anybody start manufacturing in what has been reported as a dying hobby?


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

Climax@...
 

Why would anybody start manufacturing in what has been reported as a dying hobby?

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...>
Sent: Dec 10, 2018 12:25 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Low Cost HOn3?

Every time the subject of low cost HOn3 locomotives comes up I have fun rethinking why we don't have any.  It always comes back to "there's not enough market" even at "low" price points to pay for the development of the tooling and processes needed to keep manufacturing costs low.  And what market there is insists on a high level of perfection in appearance and operation and is able to pay for it.  And the final issue seems to be that the last several years have produced a fundamental change from the motivation to "fill every space in that closet" to making more space available there up to "no longer  need for the closet or anything in it. (aka death). 
So one thing I always have to make assumptions over is just how big a market is there for a $50-$100 running HOn3 loco.  So this begs several questions:  Who would want one?  Would they prefer a  $50 diesel or faux geared loco over a mechanically more complicated rod loco?  How many potential customers would be buying their first HOn3 loco and how many would be adding to an existing roster?  For the latter how many would buy the loco as a base for a follow on customizing project?  How many would first look on the used market (eBay) for their starter hardware?   How many would prefer to save some by buying just a good performing mechanism for later completion using easier construction techniques common for static structures or rolling stock?  This is close to what David Hoffman has done.  And given their engineering knowledge and experience with these small mechanisms would such a venture motivate NWSL or an importer like Blackstone.  And I suppose a logical question at this point do we have any visibility of new model building markets developing with an interest in railroad models?
Ed Weldon


Re: Low Cost HOn3?

 

Every time the subject of low cost HOn3 locomotives comes up I have fun rethinking why we don't have any.  It always comes back to "there's not enough market" even at "low" price points to pay for the development of the tooling and processes needed to keep manufacturing costs low.  And what market there is insists on a high level of perfection in appearance and operation and is able to pay for it.  And the final issue seems to be that the last several years have produced a fundamental change from the motivation to "fill every space in that closet" to making more space available there up to "no longer  need for the closet or anything in it. (aka death). 
So one thing I always have to make assumptions over is just how big a market is there for a $50-$100 running HOn3 loco.  So this begs several questions:  Who would want one?  Would they prefer a  $50 diesel or faux geared loco over a mechanically more complicated rod loco?  How many potential customers would be buying their first HOn3 loco and how many would be adding to an existing roster?  For the latter how many would buy the loco as a base for a follow on customizing project?  How many would first look on the used market (eBay) for their starter hardware?   How many would prefer to save some by buying just a good performing mechanism for later completion using easier construction techniques common for static structures or rolling stock?  This is close to what David Hoffman has done.  And given their engineering knowledge and experience with these small mechanisms would such a venture motivate NWSL or an importer like Blackstone.  And I suppose a logical question at this point do we have any visibility of new model building markets developing with an interest in railroad models?
Ed Weldon

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