Topics

the future of HON3


Robert Veefkind
 

I wonder if ho narrow gauge will expand any time soon. The lack of reliable motive power is of real concern and even the Blackstone k-27s and c-19s are semi dated and scarce. The brass stuff on ebay is mostly hit and run with many dogs. Also very expensive -example a Sunset c-16 for 500-$600. Some of those had problems that would really discourage folks attempting to start a layout. I will never buy a brass loco again that was owner painted after cleaning out the caked paint under the driver bearings and springs from the last one.
The Blackstone stuff was a real boon for us, ready to run and excellent sound. I wonder what it would cost to get them back in business ? I know Soundtraxx said there wasn't enough interest for the added expense. But if folks are willing to pay $600 for a reliable Westside k-27, how many would pony up more than that for a new k-36 ready to go with sound?. I know this subject had been beat to death and I shouldn't bring it up again but there it is.       Sorry       Bob Veefkind


duncan
 

Bob,

    As you said, this has been discussed before.  But, a couple of new things have developed that weren't present back then.  Maybe they will make a difference.

    About a year ago, at the Sacramento NNGC, Blackstone announced they had broken off dealings with the manufacturer they had been working with.  I believe that is Kader (sp?) who are owned by Bachmann, or who own Bachmann.  At any rate my understanding was that Kader would make the items (locos and cars) for Blackstone, but Bachmann couldn't compete.  So, Bachmann never entered the HOn3 market.

    They did use the drawings, etc. and produced both a K-27 and a C-19 in G scale (Fn3) that were identical to the Blackstone models in HOn3.

    When Blackstone ended their manufacturing relationship with Kader, that would seem to change things.

    At the convention, when I found out about this change I immediately went over to the Bachmann booth and asked if they knew anything about it.  They said they did not.  I related what I had read and been told at the Blackstone booth.  I asked them to check it out and if it was true, might they now consider entering the HOn3 market?  The gentleman I talked to said he'd check it out.  Notice that Blackstone has said they would keep us informed of developments.  It has been almost a year and we have heard nothing new from them.

    At the TCA show here in Denver in March I again went to the Bachmann booth and asked them about the possibility of Bachmann doing something in HOn3.  That gentleman said they would not.  That the market was not nearly big enough.

    I would dispute that claim, because Blackstone was able to sell enough locos to meet the requirements for production.  They ran three releases of K-27's IIRC, and two releases of C-19's.  I know Blackstone had told us (at Caboose Hobbies where I worked at the time) that they needed to sell as many models in a run as Athern, Atlas, Intermountain, Bachmann, or any of the other manufacturing companies had to sell.  And that that number was about 3500 copies.  If that is true, then Blackstone was able to sell something like 10,500 K-27's and 7,000 C-19's.

    So, my thinking is the best bet for new HOn3 locos may yet be Bachmann.  They have the factory that has done that kind of thing before.  There is, now, no agreement existing that keeps them from such a move.  They just need to hear from enough of us that there is a market that is not being met.  And a C-16 would be an ideal loco to produce.  Because I think it is just about the only thing that would have enough sales to warrant a run.  It was the iconic narrow gauge loco.  (Despite Blackstone's claim that the K-27 was the iconic narrow gauge loco!!!)  The C-16 was used by more roads than any other and in numbers exceeding any other design.  A K-28, or K-36 is nice.  But they are large; only used by one, or two roads; numbered about ten of each; were modern in design.  So, for old time, small layouts, of different roads, not of much interest.

    C-16's were used  extensively by the D&RG(W), RGS, DSP&P, DL&G, C&S, SRR, SN, SG&N, W&W, WP&Y and many others.  They were first built in the late 1800s, so fit for early modelers.  They were small, so better fit those with small layouts.  They were used in passenger, freight, logging operations and as switchers, so fit many layouts in those areas.  They lasted into modern times and three still exist, so fit for those modeling modern narrow gauge roads.  I think no loco better fits narrow gauge modeling.  Yet, no one has made a r-t-r model.

    Long answer to you question, but I hope it had some info and ideas that are helpful!

                                                                                                                                                            Duncan Harvey



Ric Case
 

Gents this discussion comes out from time to time, as far as the C-16 yes it’s a great little loco and would fit into many a layout. Some may remember a fellow who was building a model in India took a lot of money from quite a few railroaders but was never able to get any models produced! Lots of good people lost all their investments with no hope of any repayment! I would be happy to have a few more of them as long as they have as much pulling power as the BS. C-19 ! 
I model the EBT and have no need for this loco but I am willing to add a couple more if something comes to fruition! 
Purest I’m not, but I really like the C-16s. 
Would really like to see a nice EBT loco that would fill my needs ! 
I have no idea how many would sell ! 
The bass that were Imported by hallmark are few and far between and expensive when they are available.
For the most part I run my seven teen black stones to save wear on my brass! 
Not the best solution but all have sound and DCC. 
A C-16 would fit into my operating session if it would pull my trains! 
Replacement motors for the westside brass are hard for me to find! I used to use Nwsl motors. 
Not good at finding things on line as replacements ! 
My thoughts! 
Just hoping!  

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton ,Ohio
513 3757694

On Jun 7, 2020, at 6:31 PM, duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:



Bob,

    As you said, this has been discussed before.  But, a couple of new things have developed that weren't present back then.  Maybe they will make a difference.

    About a year ago, at the Sacramento NNGC, Blackstone announced they had broken off dealings with the manufacturer they had been working with.  I believe that is Kader (sp?) who are owned by Bachmann, or who own Bachmann.  At any rate my understanding was that Kader would make the items (locos and cars) for Blackstone, but Bachmann couldn't compete.  So, Bachmann never entered the HOn3 market.

    They did use the drawings, etc. and produced both a K-27 and a C-19 in G scale (Fn3) that were identical to the Blackstone models in HOn3.

    When Blackstone ended their manufacturing relationship with Kader, that would seem to change things.

    At the convention, when I found out about this change I immediately went over to the Bachmann booth and asked if they knew anything about it.  They said they did not.  I related what I had read and been told at the Blackstone booth.  I asked them to check it out and if it was true, might they now consider entering the HOn3 market?  The gentleman I talked to said he'd check it out.  Notice that Blackstone has said they would keep us informed of developments.  It has been almost a year and we have heard nothing new from them.

    At the TCA show here in Denver in March I again went to the Bachmann booth and asked them about the possibility of Bachmann doing something in HOn3.  That gentleman said they would not.  That the market was not nearly big enough.

    I would dispute that claim, because Blackstone was able to sell enough locos to meet the requirements for production.  They ran three releases of K-27's IIRC, and two releases of C-19's.  I know Blackstone had told us (at Caboose Hobbies where I worked at the time) that they needed to sell as many models in a run as Athern, Atlas, Intermountain, Bachmann, or any of the other manufacturing companies had to sell.  And that that number was about 3500 copies.  If that is true, then Blackstone was able to sell something like 10,500 K-27's and 7,000 C-19's.

    So, my thinking is the best bet for new HOn3 locos may yet be Bachmann.  They have the factory that has done that kind of thing before.  There is, now, no agreement existing that keeps them from such a move.  They just need to hear from enough of us that there is a market that is not being met.  And a C-16 would be an ideal loco to produce.  Because I think it is just about the only thing that would have enough sales to warrant a run.  It was the iconic narrow gauge loco.  (Despite Blackstone's claim that the K-27 was the iconic narrow gauge loco!!!)  The C-16 was used by more roads than any other and in numbers exceeding any other design.  A K-28, or K-36 is nice.  But they are large; only used by one, or two roads; numbered about ten of each; were modern in design.  So, for old time, small layouts, of different roads, not of much interest.

    C-16's were used  extensively by the D&RG(W), RGS, DSP&P, DL&G, C&S, SRR, SN, SG&N, W&W, WP&Y and many others.  They were first built in the late 1800s, so fit for early modelers.  They were small, so better fit those with small layouts.  They were used in passenger, freight, logging operations and as switchers, so fit many layouts in those areas.  They lasted into modern times and three still exist, so fit for those modeling modern narrow gauge roads.  I think no loco better fits narrow gauge modeling.  Yet, no one has made a r-t-r model.

    Long answer to you question, but I hope it had some info and ideas that are helpful!

                                                                                                                                                            Duncan Harvey



kevin b
 

well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
here goes:
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.
Kevin.
aka YUKON.


Lawrence Wisniewski <lwreno@...>
 

Perhaps you should ask the current owners of San Juan Models to review for you the previous owner's experience with marketing an On3 C-16 a few years back.


-----Original Message-----
From: kevin b via groups.io <arcatruck13@...>
To: HOn3@groups.io
Sent: Sun, Jun 7, 2020 11:36 pm
Subject: Re: [HOn3] the future of HON3

well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
here goes:
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.
Kevin.
aka YUKON.


Lawrence Wisniewski <lwreno@...>
 

That company in India did manage to bring at least a small number of their C-16's to market, but their quality was awful and so ended that venture.  I've seen the locomotive offered on e-bay twice over the years but really don't know if it was released world wide, or on a more regional venue.  At any rate, it was a bust.  This discussion of Bachmann-Kander has occurred so many times over the years that I am amazed it has risen from the dead again.  I can't see any point to it's continuation.  I don't think that there are many HOn3 hobbyists that still believe Blackstone is still pursuing the K series project. Their failure to make a public statement about withdrawing from it is really bad form on their part but typical of current American corporate behavior and business practices.  Personally, I would hate to see Bachmann products contaminate the HOn3 marketplace.  Their stuff is notorious for eratic quality control and questionable engineering practices.  Their customer service seems to have become extinct.  Just check out some of the On30 sites for their opinions on Bachmann these days.  I've been in model railroading for over 50 years and have seen a lot come and go.  Longing for a cheap, widely adaptable rod engine only got us the MDC engines, and no serious HOn3 modeler is going to give them a second look.  Why MDC did what they did is not clear, but it is pretty much in line with how they approached their earlier standard gauge efforts.  Those were born of the shortages, engineering limitations and toy train mentality of the 1950's.  Not something to display or run next to our contemporary brass, or even Blackstone locos.  Narrow gauge modeling has always required efforts beyond those needed for standard gauge.  It's a stable refuge for mostly serious and experienced modelers who are willing to develop the craftsman's skills and attitudes.  Unfortunately, this leaves the entry level hobbyist out in the cold unless they want to really work at it for a while.   I'm sorry if I am coming across as an elitist here but there are different levels of interest in this hobby and manufacturers have a lot of competing demands on their plates.  As the upward spiral of Blackstone prices clearly indicates, even RTR manufacturers are not going to become the saviors of narrow gauge modeling, except perhaps for the less technically demanding larger scales like On30.  You can buy and upgrade decent HOn3 Westside locomotives for significantly less money then Blackstone has to charge these days. I can do a RailLine boxcar, complete with good trucks, couplers,  paint and decals for around half of what a Blackstone costs out of the box.  And my model is definitely more satisfying because I got to care about what I was doing when I put it together.



-----Original Message-----
From: Ric Case <ebtmodeler@...>  
To: HOn3@groups.io
Sent: Sun, Jun 7, 2020 7:12 pm
Subject: Re: [HOn3] the future of HON3

Gents this discussion comes out from time to time, as far as the C-16 yes it’s a great little loco and would fit into many a layout. Some may remember a fellow who was building a model in India took a lot of money from quite a few railroaders but was never able to get any models produced! Lots of good people lost all their investments with no hope of any repayment! I would be happy to have a few more of them as long as they have as much pulling power as the BS. C-19 ! 
I model the EBT and have no need for this loco but I am willing to add a couple more if something comes to fruition! 
Purest I’m not, but I really like the C-16s. 
Would really like to see a nice EBT loco that would fill my needs ! 
I have no idea how many would sell ! 
The bass that were Imported by hallmark are few and far between and expensive when they are available.
For the most part I run my seven teen black stones to save wear on my brass! 
Not the best solution but all have sound and DCC. 
A C-16 would fit into my operating session if it would pull my trains!   
Replacement motors for the westside brass are hard for me to find! I used to use Nwsl motors. 
Not good at finding things on line as replacements ! 
My thoughts! 
Just hoping!  

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton ,Ohio
513 3757694

On Jun 7, 2020, at 6:31 PM, duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:


Bob,
    As you said, this has been discussed before.  But, a couple of new things have developed that weren't present back then.  Maybe they will make a difference.
    About a year ago, at the Sacramento NNGC, Blackstone announced they had broken off dealings with the manufacturer they had been working with.  I believe that is Kader (sp?) who are owned by Bachmann, or who own Bachmann.  At any rate my understanding was that Kader would make the items (locos and cars) for Blackstone, but Bachmann couldn't compete.  So, Bachmann never entered the HOn3 market.
    They did use the drawings, etc. and produced both a K-27 and a C-19 in G scale (Fn3) that were identical to the Blackstone models in HOn3.
    When Blackstone ended their manufacturing relationship with Kader, that would seem to change things.
    At the convention, when I found out about this change I immediately went over to the Bachmann booth and asked if they knew anything about it.  They said they did not.  I related what I had read and been told at the Blackstone booth.  I asked them to check it out and if it was true, might they now consider entering the HOn3 market?  The gentleman I talked to said he'd check it out.  Notice that Blackstone has said they would keep us informed of developments.  It has been almost a year and we have heard nothing new from them.
    At the TCA show here in Denver in March I again went to the Bachmann booth and asked them about the possibility of Bachmann doing something in HOn3.  That gentleman said they would not.  That the market was not nearly big enough.
    I would dispute that claim, because Blackstone was able to sell enough locos to meet the requirements for production.  They ran three releases of K-27's IIRC, and two releases of C-19's.  I know Blackstone had told us (at Caboose Hobbies where I worked at the time) that they needed to sell as many models in a run as Athern, Atlas, Intermountain, Bachmann, or any of the other manufacturing companies had to sell.  And that that number was about 3500 copies.  If that is true, then Blackstone was able to sell something like 10,500 K-27's and 7,000 C-19's.
    So, my thinking is the best bet for new HOn3 locos may yet be Bachmann.  They have the factory that has done that kind of thing before.  There is, now, no agreement existing that keeps them from such a move.  They just need to hear from enough of us that there is a market that is not being met.  And a C-16 would be an ideal loco to produce.  Because I think it is just about the only thing that would have enough sales to warrant a run.  It was the iconic narrow gauge loco.  (Despite Blackstone's claim that the K-27 was the iconic narrow gauge loco!!!)  The C-16 was used by more roads than any other and in numbers exceeding any other design.  A K-28, or K-36 is nice.  But they are large; only used by one, or two roads; numbered about ten of each; were modern in design.  So, for old time, small layouts, of different roads, not of much interest.
    C-16's were used  extensively by the D&RG(W), RGS, DSP&P, DL&G, C&S, SRR, SN, SG&N, W&W, WP&Y and many others.  They were first built in the late 1800s, so fit for early modelers.  They were small, so better fit those with small layouts.  They were used in passenger, freight, logging operations and as switchers, so fit many layouts in those areas.  They lasted into modern times and three still exist, so fit for those modeling modern narrow gauge roads.  I think no loco better fits narrow gauge modeling.  Yet, no one has made a r-t-r model.
    Long answer to you question, but I hope it had some info and ideas that are helpful!
                                                                                                                                                            Duncan Harvey


John Hutnick
 

My suggestion to all is to go to Ebay, search HOn3 brass, look at completed or sold items.  Pick a target price, say $300, and see what you can get(or could have gotten).  If you stay with mostly Japanese, you will minimize problems.  Older Balboa, WMC, and PFM sell at what I think are at least decent prices, if not always bargains.  Stop bemoaning Blackstone, and figuring what someone maybe could manufacture, and get what there is and run trains.


 

Kevin,

If you look at www.westernrails.com they have at least three HOn3 tenders that are 3D printed.  One is a ET&WNC tender and the other two are D&RGW, 0470 (ex-Uintah) water car and W462 water car made from K-27 tender.  I believe these are all below $50 in cost.

Bruce Dunlevy


Dave Trimble
 



On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 6:42 PM duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:

Bob,

    As you said, this has been discussed before.  But, a couple of new things have developed that weren't present back then.  Maybe they will make a difference.

    About a year ago, at the Sacramento NNGC, Blackstone announced they had broken off dealings with the manufacturer they had been working with.  I believe that is Kader (sp?) who are owned by Bachmann, or who own Bachmann.  At any rate my understanding was that Kader would make the items (locos and cars) for Blackstone, but Bachmann couldn't compete.  So, Bachmann never entered the HOn3 market.

    They did use the drawings, etc. and produced both a K-27 and a C-19 in G scale (Fn3) that were identical to the Blackstone models in HOn3.

    When Blackstone ended their manufacturing relationship with Kader, that would seem to change things.

    At the convention, when I found out about this change I immediately went over to the Bachmann booth and asked if they knew anything about it.  They said they did not.  I related what I had read and been told at the Blackstone booth.  I asked them to check it out and if it was true, might they now consider entering the HOn3 market?  The gentleman I talked to said he'd check it out.  Notice that Blackstone has said they would keep us informed of developments.  It has been almost a year and we have heard nothing new from them.

    At the TCA show here in Denver in March I again went to the Bachmann booth and asked them about the possibility of Bachmann doing something in HOn3.  That gentleman said they would not.  That the market was not nearly big enough.

    I would dispute that claim, because Blackstone was able to sell enough locos to meet the requirements for production.  They ran three releases of K-27's IIRC, and two releases of C-19's.  I know Blackstone had told us (at Caboose Hobbies where I worked at the time) that they needed to sell as many models in a run as Athern, Atlas, Intermountain, Bachmann, or any of the other manufacturing companies had to sell.  And that that number was about 3500 copies.  If that is true, then Blackstone was able to sell something like 10,500 K-27's and 7,000 C-19's.

    So, my thinking is the best bet for new HOn3 locos may yet be Bachmann.  They have the factory that has done that kind of thing before.  There is, now, no agreement existing that keeps them from such a move.  They just need to hear from enough of us that there is a market that is not being met.  And a C-16 would be an ideal loco to produce.  Because I think it is just about the only thing that would have enough sales to warrant a run.  It was the iconic narrow gauge loco.  (Despite Blackstone's claim that the K-27 was the iconic narrow gauge loco!!!)  The C-16 was used by more roads than any other and in numbers exceeding any other design.  A K-28, or K-36 is nice.  But they are large; only used by one, or two roads; numbered about ten of each; were modern in design.  So, for old time, small layouts, of different roads, not of much interest.

    C-16's were used  extensively by the D&RG(W), RGS, DSP&P, DL&G, C&S, SRR, SN, SG&N, W&W, WP&Y and many others.  They were first built in the late 1800s, so fit for early modelers.  They were small, so better fit those with small layouts.  They were used in passenger, freight, logging operations and as switchers, so fit many layouts in those areas.  They lasted into modern times and three still exist, so fit for those modeling modern narrow gauge roads.  I think no loco better fits narrow gauge modeling.  Yet, no one has made a r-t-r model.

    Long answer to you question, but I hope it had some info and ideas that are helpful!

                                                                                                                                                            Duncan Harvey



Bill Nelson
 

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.   

On Jun 7, 2020, at 10:36 PM, kevin b via groups.io <arcatruck13@...> wrote:

well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
here goes:
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.
Kevin.
aka YUKON.


TED <MECU18B@...>
 

    I just have to say this,and im sure im going to be the bad guy here. In order to attract younger modelers its time for someone to take the leap and produce........a diesel.  GASP! OMG!  Lets face it, steam is not for everyone. Even the real railroads see it. Look at the new diesels that the Durango & Silverton is buying along with the WP&Y Alcos.  US gypsum wide cabs. And of course the group of new units the White Pass is buying. A DL535 is the logical choice. Just try to buy a brass one. They routinely sell for over $1000 . And if they were to produce a standard cab version, it wouldn't be difficult to add a wide cab. Since Durango & Silverton will be running them down here (along with another pair next year) it might just sell.
   Narrow gauge has been passed on by many modelers because of a couple reasons. Difficulty of finding equipment and the fact that its mostly has been frozen in time. If you want to model what you see now you just can not.  Unless you want to modify some 70 tonner you cant find anything unless you go O scale. I model mid 70s with lots of EBT steel hoppers. And because of the small radius I pack alot more into my space than my standard gauge friends. Everyone likes that fact. But when they find out they can only get steam they move right along. I tell people it the most popular scale except the trains and track are smaller. The best of both world but once again we come back to rolling stock availability.
  Now ive heard someone was interested in doing a dl535 but it might of been just smoke. But here is hoping the a MFG reads this and makes HOn3 as popular as On30 has become.


Mark Lewis
 

Ted, 

That is an interesting idea. Not sure it will fly, but definitely thinking outside the box. 

Mark Lewis 
Narrow gauge modeling in N.C.

On Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 9:24 AM TED via groups.io <MECU18B=AOL.COM@groups.io> wrote:
    I just have to say this,and im sure im going to be the bad guy here. In order to attract younger modelers its time for someone to take the leap and produce........a diesel.  GASP! OMG!  Lets face it, steam is not for everyone. Even the real railroads see it. Look at the new diesels that the Durango & Silverton is buying along with the WP&Y Alcos.  US gypsum wide cabs. And of course the group of new units the White Pass is buying. A DL535 is the logical choice. Just try to buy a brass one. They routinely sell for over $1000 . And if they were to produce a standard cab version, it wouldn't be difficult to add a wide cab. Since Durango & Silverton will be running them down here (along with another pair next year) it might just sell.
   Narrow gauge has been passed on by many modelers because of a couple reasons. Difficulty of finding equipment and the fact that its mostly has been frozen in time. If you want to model what you see now you just can not.  Unless you want to modify some 70 tonner you cant find anything unless you go O scale. I model mid 70s with lots of EBT steel hoppers. And because of the small radius I pack alot more into my space than my standard gauge friends. Everyone likes that fact. But when they find out they can only get steam they move right along. I tell people it the most popular scale except the trains and track are smaller. The best of both world but once again we come back to rolling stock availability.
  Now ive heard someone was interested in doing a dl535 but it might of been just smoke. But here is hoping the a MFG reads this and makes HOn3 as popular as On30 has become.


Paul Sturtz
 

You hit the nail on the head, Ted.  I converted 38 Bachmann 44 and 70 ton diesels to HOn3 and sold 36 of them, most on ebay.  They sometimes sold in less than 4 hours after listing, and sold for as much as $455!  I would still be producing them if the NWSL kits and the old style Bachmann 70t trucks were still available.  I know most HOn3 modelers are diehard steam fans but I would bet that most of them would buy a reasonably priced small DCC/sound diesel if for no other reason than curiosity.  They could be produced for much less than a steam loco and the technology is already there and proven.  Just check out the sound equipped N-Scale standard gauge diesels, you will be amazed.  I would recommend the US Potash 70t diesels as a start.  A simple body with six axles for good pickup.  A US Army Whitcom version would be another.

Paul


Randy Hees
 

The hobby,specifically HOn3, but also model railroading in general has changed since I started in the 1960's...  Back then there was no ready to run anything or track... you hand laid track, you built wood kits... LaBelle still offers wood kits, does anyone build them anymore?  there were brass locomotives which needed painting... this was part of the charm... it was a builder's scale.  

More and better kits were offered (the Railline box car was amazing) More brass locomotives, some painted.  Grandt did a 25 ton GE diesel with a micromotor drive which was the best running thing available... Then MDC did the two 2-8-0's.... Shinohara offered track...   You still had to build things but there were more things to build...

Blackstone changed the game... as did MMM.... but with that, many joined the hobby that did not want to build in the way we did earlier... and scratch building supplies (castings, wood, paint, drivers, motors got harder to get.

It's not Grandt or anyone's responsibility to offer a cheap locomotive... Athern has the right to offer the MDC 2-8-0's but apparently doesn't see a viable market.   Regularly here on this group, and on other similar groups people lament that they no one offers a (pick an obscure railroad) locomotive or car... but in reality the market isn't there.  Some have tried... 20 years ago Railway Engineering offered a Carter Brothers box car kit....   They made several hundred and saturated the market... If not for a sponsor who wanted that kit it wouldn't have happened and if not for that sponsor's dollars it would have been a financial disaster... 

This isn't just HOn3...  We don't have Athern blue box kits anymore in HO... HO locomotives, primarily diesels (because that is the market) now cost well above $100 but come with DCC and sound (or don't sell well)  New brass is close to unaffordable (a company was proposing offering HOn3 SPng locomotives... really nice highly detailed but priced at $2,500...    If there is a possible bright side it is 3d printing...  but with 3d you still need mechanisms...  Which are still available via NWSL, but we nearly lost them a while back...  Much of the old "no longer available" stuff shows up at train shows... but there is a finite supply... 

In some ways we get exactly what we deserve... 

Randy Hees



On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 9:01 PM Bill Nelson <dgccandwrr@...> wrote:
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.   
On Jun 7, 2020, at 10:36 PM, kevin b via groups.io <arcatruck13@...> wrote:

well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
here goes:
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.
Kevin.
aka YUKON.


Gordon <boomer1944@...>
 

For those who have seen pictures of Teds modern narrow gauge layout know he knows what he is talking about. I entirely agree with him. Modern reliable running narrow gauge diesel locomotives might bring some converts over to ng. I've tinkered with many a loco to get it running right, detailing and etc. but at this point in my life I don't want to do that anymore. A RTR loco out of the box appeals. I model HOn30 so a switch to HOn3 would be easy if I wanted to.

Gordon Spalty


Climax@...
 

Isn't this the same posting that was posted a few days ago?

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Trimble
Sent: Jun 8, 2020 6:53 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] the future of HON3



On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 6:42 PM duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:

Bob,

    As you said, this has been discussed before.  But, a couple of new things have developed that weren't present back then.  Maybe they will make a difference.

    About a year ago, at the Sacramento NNGC, Blackstone announced they had broken off dealings with the manufacturer they had been working with.  I believe that is Kader (sp?) who are owned by Bachmann, or who own Bachmann.  At any rate my understanding was that Kader would make the items (locos and cars) for Blackstone, but Bachmann couldn't compete.  So, Bachmann never entered the HOn3 market.

    They did use the drawings, etc. and produced both a K-27 and a C-19 in G scale (Fn3) that were identical to the Blackstone models in HOn3.

    When Blackstone ended their manufacturing relationship with Kader, that would seem to change things.

    At the convention, when I found out about this change I immediately went over to the Bachmann booth and asked if they knew anything about it.  They said they did not.  I related what I had read and been told at the Blackstone booth.  I asked them to check it out and if it was true, might they now consider entering the HOn3 market?  The gentleman I talked to said he'd check it out.  Notice that Blackstone has said they would keep us informed of developments.  It has been almost a year and we have heard nothing new from them.

    At the TCA show here in Denver in March I again went to the Bachmann booth and asked them about the possibility of Bachmann doing something in HOn3.  That gentleman said they would not.  That the market was not nearly big enough.

    I would dispute that claim, because Blackstone was able to sell enough locos to meet the requirements for production.  They ran three releases of K-27's IIRC, and two releases of C-19's.  I know Blackstone had told us (at Caboose Hobbies where I worked at the time) that they needed to sell as many models in a run as Athern, Atlas, Intermountain, Bachmann, or any of the other manufacturing companies had to sell.  And that that number was about 3500 copies.  If that is true, then Blackstone was able to sell something like 10,500 K-27's and 7,000 C-19's.

    So, my thinking is the best bet for new HOn3 locos may yet be Bachmann.  They have the factory that has done that kind of thing before.  There is, now, no agreement existing that keeps them from such a move.  They just need to hear from enough of us that there is a market that is not being met.  And a C-16 would be an ideal loco to produce.  Because I think it is just about the only thing that would have enough sales to warrant a run.  It was the iconic narrow gauge loco.  (Despite Blackstone's claim that the K-27 was the iconic narrow gauge loco!!!)  The C-16 was used by more roads than any other and in numbers exceeding any other design.  A K-28, or K-36 is nice.  But they are large; only used by one, or two roads; numbered about ten of each; were modern in design.  So, for old time, small layouts, of different roads, not of much interest.

    C-16's were used  extensively by the D&RG(W), RGS, DSP&P, DL&G, C&S, SRR, SN, SG&N, W&W, WP&Y and many others.  They were first built in the late 1800s, so fit for early modelers.  They were small, so better fit those with small layouts.  They were used in passenger, freight, logging operations and as switchers, so fit many layouts in those areas.  They lasted into modern times and three still exist, so fit for those modeling modern narrow gauge roads.  I think no loco better fits narrow gauge modeling.  Yet, no one has made a r-t-r model.

    Long answer to you question, but I hope it had some info and ideas that are helpful!

                                                                                                                                                            Duncan Harvey



Climax@...
 

Randy
I actually build wood kits still.  I do a lot of rebulds too.  I get a lot off of eBay because people just don't appreciate them and I rebuild, replace parts, and refinish them with Dry transfers.  A lot less costly than always buyind the RollsRoyce Blackstone cars at 50 to 100 bucks a car.  I just recently refinished over a hundred old Central Valley cars with new paint and Dry Transfers.  Really made them pop out.  There is nothing like the sound of wood cars or the feel.  I have close to 500 cars, 300 up on 4 narrow shelves surrounding the RR room.  Colorful boarder.  I never really got into Plastic cars at all other than the MDC ore cars which I heavily weathered and heat weathered to resemble a very used look.  
I built my fair share of Tyco, Mantua, and other kit engines including brass you put it together engines.  Instead I liked the already built Brass ones.  My first was purchased back in '63 or '64 and was a PFM 2-8-0 Ma&Pa Consolidation 24-26 for only $34.95 new.  My parents thought I was nuts for spending that much on a toy.  They are now gone but I still have the engine.  Prices of new Brass....$2500.00?  I can't see a big market for it out there as there are too many other things people want to spend that much money on.  Have I spent that much on a locomtoive, yes....A United (not PFM) Whitney #5 3 truck Climax.  I looked for one for nearly 20 years to go with my A-L Climax and McGoldrick Climax.  It was the last builds of United's Climax line and estimates of production range from 10 to 25 each for world wide distribution.  Do I run them, no as I consider them like fine art to sit on a shelf behind glass and be viewed.
My track has always been Code 70 had laid track which I just thought looked more prototype to the small equipment I use.  I learned Jack Works method of building turnouots and such.  I have made turnouts both directions, gantlett track, gauge separations, about the only thing I haven't done is a crossing.  I find it enjoyable although lately I must say I have been using a lot of Shinohara C70 track both HO and HOn3.
I do agree with you that manufacturers are looking at the bottom line and were the same effort will result in the most profit.  After all, that's why they are in business.  We can say we need a HOn3 widget but unless the market will support X amount of Widgets it just won't happen unless you build your own widgets.  There is the big difference between the instant gratification society and the OF (oldfarts) society, the latter figures out a way to make something instead of hoping, wishing, and praying a manufacture will make it for them, but everyone to their own desires.
These are just thoughts while I sit waiting for my turn on the rip track of live.

Dave    Mule

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Hees
Sent: Jun 9, 2020 11:39 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] the future of HON3

The hobby,specifically HOn3, but also model railroading in general has changed since I started in the 1960's...  Back then there was no ready to run anything or track... you hand laid track, you built wood kits... LaBelle still offers wood kits, does anyone build them anymore?  there were brass locomotives which needed painting... this was part of the charm... it was a builder's scale.  

More and better kits were offered (the Railline box car was amazing) More brass locomotives, some painted.  Grandt did a 25 ton GE diesel with a micromotor drive which was the best running thing available... Then MDC did the two 2-8-0's.... Shinohara offered track...   You still had to build things but there were more things to build...

Blackstone changed the game... as did MMM.... but with that, many joined the hobby that did not want to build in the way we did earlier... and scratch building supplies (castings, wood, paint, drivers, motors got harder to get.

It's not Grandt or anyone's responsibility to offer a cheap locomotive... Athern has the right to offer the MDC 2-8-0's but apparently doesn't see a viable market.   Regularly here on this group, and on other similar groups people lament that they no one offers a (pick an obscure railroad) locomotive or car... but in reality the market isn't there.  Some have tried... 20 years ago Railway Engineering offered a Carter Brothers box car kit....   They made several hundred and saturated the market... If not for a sponsor who wanted that kit it wouldn't have happened and if not for that sponsor's dollars it would have been a financial disaster... 

This isn't just HOn3...  We don't have Athern blue box kits anymore in HO... HO locomotives, primarily diesels (because that is the market) now cost well above $100 but come with DCC and sound (or don't sell well)  New brass is close to unaffordable (a company was proposing offering HOn3 SPng locomotives... really nice highly detailed but priced at $2,500...    If there is a possible bright side it is 3d printing...  but with 3d you still need mechanisms...  Which are still available via NWSL, but we nearly lost them a while back...  Much of the old "no longer available" stuff shows up at train shows... but there is a finite supply... 

In some ways we get exactly what we deserve... 

Randy Hees



On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 9:01 PM Bill Nelson <dgccandwrr@...> wrote:
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.   
On Jun 7, 2020, at 10:36 PM, kevin b via groups.io <arcatruck13@...> wrote:

well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
here goes:
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.
Kevin.
aka YUKON.


TED <MECU18B@...>
 

Paul, I have seen your work. Very impressive to say the least. But how about going one better. And much less costly. Since NWSL is back in business perhaps a HOn3 complete replacement truck could be made? One that fits under the 70 tonner and the 44 and 45 tonners. Im sure the cost of a truck to convert small diesels is a fraction on a whole new locomotive??? What think you?


Russ Norris
 

You made me remember back in the mid-1970s I saw a brass FED Spartan 2-6-0 in the window of a hobby shop in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania for about $40.  I had just married and my bride was in the car when I asked if I could buy it.  We're still married after 46 years, but she still looks at me in the same way when I suggest buying a brass Pennsy I-1s on line for "only" $250.  The 2-6-0?  I painted it for the Narrow Gauge Chatters and used a "Silvertongue Special" decal on it.  It's still cut as a button, and I have the remotoring kit from Loco Doc -- but still haven't installed it.  I'd also like to drop in a small mobile decoder.  But Jeez -- $40 for a brass loco?  Those were the days.

Russ

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 10:28 AM <Climax@...> wrote:
Randy
I actually build wood kits still.  I do a lot of rebulds too.  I get a lot off of eBay because people just don't appreciate them and I rebuild, replace parts, and refinish them with Dry transfers.  A lot less costly than always buyind the RollsRoyce Blackstone cars at 50 to 100 bucks a car.  I just recently refinished over a hundred old Central Valley cars with new paint and Dry Transfers.  Really made them pop out.  There is nothing like the sound of wood cars or the feel.  I have close to 500 cars, 300 up on 4 narrow shelves surrounding the RR room.  Colorful boarder.  I never really got into Plastic cars at all other than the MDC ore cars which I heavily weathered and heat weathered to resemble a very used look.  
I built my fair share of Tyco, Mantua, and other kit engines including brass you put it together engines.  Instead I liked the already built Brass ones.  My first was purchased back in '63 or '64 and was a PFM 2-8-0 Ma&Pa Consolidation 24-26 for only $34.95 new.  My parents thought I was nuts for spending that much on a toy.  They are now gone but I still have the engine.  Prices of new Brass....$2500.00?  I can't see a big market for it out there as there are too many other things people want to spend that much money on.  Have I spent that much on a locomtoive, yes....A United (not PFM) Whitney #5 3 truck Climax.  I looked for one for nearly 20 years to go with my A-L Climax and McGoldrick Climax.  It was the last builds of United's Climax line and estimates of production range from 10 to 25 each for world wide distribution.  Do I run them, no as I consider them like fine art to sit on a shelf behind glass and be viewed.
My track has always been Code 70 had laid track which I just thought looked more prototype to the small equipment I use.  I learned Jack Works method of building turnouots and such.  I have made turnouts both directions, gantlett track, gauge separations, about the only thing I haven't done is a crossing.  I find it enjoyable although lately I must say I have been using a lot of Shinohara C70 track both HO and HOn3.
I do agree with you that manufacturers are looking at the bottom line and were the same effort will result in the most profit.  After all, that's why they are in business.  We can say we need a HOn3 widget but unless the market will support X amount of Widgets it just won't happen unless you build your own widgets.  There is the big difference between the instant gratification society and the OF (oldfarts) society, the latter figures out a way to make something instead of hoping, wishing, and praying a manufacture will make it for them, but everyone to their own desires.
These are just thoughts while I sit waiting for my turn on the rip track of live.

Dave    Mule
-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Hees
Sent: Jun 9, 2020 11:39 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] the future of HON3

The hobby,specifically HOn3, but also model railroading in general has changed since I started in the 1960's...  Back then there was no ready to run anything or track... you hand laid track, you built wood kits... LaBelle still offers wood kits, does anyone build them anymore?  there were brass locomotives which needed painting... this was part of the charm... it was a builder's scale.  

More and better kits were offered (the Railline box car was amazing) More brass locomotives, some painted.  Grandt did a 25 ton GE diesel with a micromotor drive which was the best running thing available... Then MDC did the two 2-8-0's.... Shinohara offered track...   You still had to build things but there were more things to build...

Blackstone changed the game... as did MMM.... but with that, many joined the hobby that did not want to build in the way we did earlier... and scratch building supplies (castings, wood, paint, drivers, motors got harder to get.

It's not Grandt or anyone's responsibility to offer a cheap locomotive... Athern has the right to offer the MDC 2-8-0's but apparently doesn't see a viable market.   Regularly here on this group, and on other similar groups people lament that they no one offers a (pick an obscure railroad) locomotive or car... but in reality the market isn't there.  Some have tried... 20 years ago Railway Engineering offered a Carter Brothers box car kit....   They made several hundred and saturated the market... If not for a sponsor who wanted that kit it wouldn't have happened and if not for that sponsor's dollars it would have been a financial disaster... 

This isn't just HOn3...  We don't have Athern blue box kits anymore in HO... HO locomotives, primarily diesels (because that is the market) now cost well above $100 but come with DCC and sound (or don't sell well)  New brass is close to unaffordable (a company was proposing offering HOn3 SPng locomotives... really nice highly detailed but priced at $2,500...    If there is a possible bright side it is 3d printing...  but with 3d you still need mechanisms...  Which are still available via NWSL, but we nearly lost them a while back...  Much of the old "no longer available" stuff shows up at train shows... but there is a finite supply... 

In some ways we get exactly what we deserve... 

Randy Hees



On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 9:01 PM Bill Nelson <dgccandwrr@...> wrote:
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.   
On Jun 7, 2020, at 10:36 PM, kevin b via groups.io <arcatruck13@...> wrote:

well fellers, I've had an idea bout the HOn3 market for some time.
here goes:
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.
Kevin.
aka YUKON.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


kevin b
 

Paul, I have seen your work. Very impressive to say the least. But how about going one better. And much less costly. Since NWSL is back in business perhaps a HOn3 complete replacement truck could be made? One that fits under the 70 tonner and the 44 and 45 tonners. Im sure the cost of a truck to convert small diesels is a fraction on a whole new locomotive??? What think you?


I totally support that idea.

and or, make a set of axels and gears to "drop in" one of the kato power trucks.
Kevin.