• Just Wondering (Ho Scale Issue)

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by Myke Romeo Angel
 
Why do these companies like Walthers make the commuter cars with no engine to match with them or vice versa.

Examples:

Atlas

AEM-7'S
ALP44'S

There are no passenger cars for MARC & i am not good when it comes to painting or decaling.


Walther's

The Horizon fleet passenger cars came out, yet when they first arrived on the scene there weren't any engines for Metro-North or SEPTA


Also does anyone know why Walthers stopped producing these cars because from my observations they where a hot item.


Also how come they do not issues these cars in sets like they did for O-scale, why does O-scale get all of the special treatment. :angry face: (no offense to the O-scale people)

There is a new generation of commuter modelers on the rise. I'm still waiting for a reasonable priced MP54, Silverliner or Arrow anything to be made. I could use some dummy units and a powered unit sheesh.


Also i purchased some old Metroliner cars from eBay, however some need pantographs, one is missing the front end of the cab part, is there any special place i could look to have this cars fixed. Oh & they also need the lighting fixed as well.


Thanks In Advance for any input to this thread..

  by [email protected]
 
Myke asked:

>Why do these companies like Walthers make the commuter cars with no engine to match with them or vice versa.

Examples:

Atlas

AEM-7'S
ALP44'S

'These companies' do not work with each other or consult each other when it comes to making model railroad products. Why should they? It's business and competition. Simple as that.

>There are no passenger cars for MARC & i am not good when it comes to painting or decaling.

If you want SEPTA cars, try Alfred Cappelli Jr. Hobbies in Philadelphia. (215) 629-1757. He is having Walthers Comet cars custom-painted in SEPTA paint for those that need them. And yes, he is using IHP SEPTA decals (the only serious manufacturer in history to produce these decals).


>Walther's

>The Horizon fleet passenger cars came out, yet when they first arrived on the scene there weren't any engines for Metro-North or SEPTA

Walthers produced the Horizon car primarily with the Amtrak modeler in mind. The commuter versions were done to get more mileage out of the expensive tooling. The only thought in these situations is to produce models, not to worry about what other manufacturers have available or will have available. Heck, Walthers produced VRE versions (totally inaccurate) of the Horizon cars- they were just trying to get some more return on their investment.


>Also does anyone know why Walthers stopped producing these cars because from my observations they where a hot item.

They ran into licensing from some of the agencies, and decided not to pay the licensing fees. In the case of SEPTA, they apparently bought all of Walthers' inventory of the SEPTA cars, and I believe they are now sold out. Walthers has not re-run them since. Since they are not a 'hot item' in places like Milwaukee or Denver or Miami, they are not likely to pay the licensing to do more SEPTA cars in the near future. Not unless you want to pay much $$$ for each car, which you will have to do anyway for the Cappelli custom-paint models, but for those who can't or don't want to do the work, it's worth it to them.


>Also how come they do not issues these cars in sets like they did for O-scale, why does O-scale get all of the special treatment. :angry face: (no offense to the O-scale people)

O scale does not get 'special treatment'. It gets treated as the manufactuers of O scale equipment think it should be treated. It's probably too complicated to go into here, but suffice it to say that it's partially marketplace-related and partially production-cost vs. potential-sales related.


>There is a new generation of commuter modelers on the rise. I'm still waiting for a reasonable priced MP54, Silverliner or Arrow anything to be made. I could use some dummy units and a powered unit sheesh.

You'll be waiting a LOOOONG time. There is just no market for injected-plastic models of any of these cars (not even the venerable MP54). They are too region-specific. If they were ever injection-moulded, the retail price would be high, and then you'd be looking at IHP's prices in a different light!

Think the Atlas AEM7 was a hot model? Atlas doesn't think so! They have said it was a mistake to produce it in HO! I agree with this assessment because I see stacks of them on store shelves, even at $40 each! Even if cars were available for the MARC and SEPTA versions, the market is still very limited, and I am sure Atlas regrets the investment.

I'm going to get on my soapbox here, but I think part of the problem is that this next generation of modelers is expecting to be entertained. It's a symptom of our culture in general that we don't want to be challenged; we want everything done for us. Well, when it comes to model railroading, there are still some things we must do for ourselves. Producing model railroad equipment is not as easy as some people think it is. It is expensive and exacting, and not everyone will be satisfied in any case.

So, what's a manufacturer to do with their limited investment capital, especially in this weaker global economy? Simple: Produce what they know will sell well and QUICKLY to get a return on their investment. WHAT to produce to make this happen is perhaps a little more difficult to determine. It's largely based on perception. The perception for a long time is that commuter and transit models have two strikes against them: 1) they are regional sellers with limited markets, and 2) their designs are mostly different, so that no one model will cover enough different versions from one set of common tooling to get the mileage you need to make the investment worthwhile. This is called Amortisation, and if you cannot achieve it in the model business, a subject probably is less likely to be made.

This is why most of the commuter and transit models of the past, present and future have all been done in expensive brass or resin. These two mediums are tailor-made for short runs of limited-interest equipment, and they do not cost as much to produce, but the per-unit cost is much higher, hence the higher retail prices.

IHP is a company that has decided to invest its limited capital in the field of commuter and transit modeling exclusively. We produce no freight equipment, no MOW equipment, no steam locomotives. We only produce those models that YOU commuter modelers want. No one else- EVER- has done this to the degree of specialization that we have. With some of our products, you must do some things for yourself, but that's part of any hobby. Otherwise, it wouldn't be any fun and you wouldn't learn anything.

By the way, $140 for a Silverliner III kit is very reasonable, when you consider the costs that went into making it, the limited number that are being made, and then the fact that we are not using the industry standard price markup structure in order that we may attempt to keep the price low. If we were to use the industry formula, the kit would be near $200 (or perhaps more) in price! See? We're trying to help YOU better afford our products and still make us a decent living!

Those who are better off will be able to immediately afford these prices and get the models when they are available. Those who cannot will usually find a way to afford them. I was buying brass in high school because I was finding ways, even with my limited teenager income, to afford the models I knew I couldn't get any other way at any price. So, don't complain about prices. There are reasons why they are what they are. Think of them as admission fees. Shop around, too- discounts do exist. You don't always have to pay full retail.

Enough about this subject, even though it's one of my favourites. Most people don't really know or care about how or why the hobby business works, but one has to vent once in awhile.

>Also i purchased some old Metroliner cars from eBay, however some need pantographs, one is missing the front end of the cab part, is there any special place i could look to have this cars fixed. Oh & they also need the lighting fixed as well.

I have some Bachmann Metroliner spare and reproduction parts, but if you get damaged bodies, you'll have to cannibalize other Metroliner bodies to repair them, or just buy them in good condition to begin with and keep your damaged ones for parts.

Mike Bartel
IHP
http://ihphobby.tripod.com

  by Myke Romeo Angel
 
Thank you for clearing that matter up Mr. Bartel.

Now my question is where can i purchase the Arrow III cars. I tried a few

of the dealers you had listed on your site, however they did they did not

carry any of the Arrow cars. Can you point me in the right direction, i

want to purchase two cars when after i get my tax return..

  by [email protected]
 
IHP does not produce an Arrow III car. We produce an Arrow I, which is an earlier version, sort of. It is not in stock at the moment, so it is likely that no dealer will have it to sell you.

If your IHP dealer does not have a model you want in stock, tell them to BACKORDER it for you.

Mike Bartel
IHP
http://ihphobby.tripod.com

  by Otto Vondrak
 
I can't tell you how many young modelers are looking for a $25 Metro-North M-1, or NJT or SEPTA Silverliner... it just ain't gonna happen. Those models are too region specific. Don't even wait for the $40 FL-9, either.

Life-Like ran a series of R-17 NYC Subway cars in two schemes... $150 for a four-car set. Not bad for the hobby's first mass-produced mass-marketed subway car model (not counting the Walther's BART and DC Metro cars... what were they thinking??)

-otto-
Last edited by Otto Vondrak on Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by Myke Romeo Angel
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:I can't tell you how many young modelers are looking for a $25 Metro-North M-1, or NJT or SEPTA Silverliner... it just ain't gonna happen. Thos models are too region specific. Don't even wait for the $40 FL-9, either.

Life-Like ran a series of R-17 NYC Subway cars in two schemes... $150 for a four-car set. Not bad for the hobbie's first mass-produced subway car model (not counting the Walther's BART and DC Metro cars... what were they thinking??)

-otto-
You know i forgot all about the Bart & Metro cars. Gee I wonder if they could be converted to resemble the M-1 cars, that would take a lot of work, but i'm quite sure some modeler out there would be up to the challenge.

I would pay the high price for a Arrow car, they are just so hard to find.. I'm the kind of person, when i want it, i want it now I don't like to wait.. :(

  by CRail
 
im with myke on the waiting issue

  by Sir Ray
 
Heh, makes me damn glad I got my SEPTA horizons when I did. They laid around for 4 or so years (time flies real fast in the 21st century - I guess no longer being 9 years old adds to this perception), then early this Spring I walked into Trainland of Lynbrook (yes, affliated with THE Trainworld of Brooklyn) and got one of those SEPTA AEM7s at that 39.99 (or thereabouts) price - I actually asked the man behind the counter why the price was a third or so of the MSRP, and he stated that was an unpopular roadname. Ironically it worked out great for me...
Hmmm, if what you guys say is true, maybe I need to add Plexiglas sidewalls on my modules to prevent my R7-Trenton train from making that long trip to the ground.

  by Myke Romeo Angel
 
Sir Ray wrote:Heh, makes me damn glad I got my SEPTA horizons when I did. They laid around for 4 or so years (time flies real fast in the 21st century - I guess no longer being 9 years old adds to this perception), then early this Spring I walked into Trainland of Lynbrook (yes, affliated with THE Trainworld of Brooklyn) and got one of those SEPTA AEM7s at that 39.99 (or thereabouts) price - I actually asked the man behind the counter why the price was a third or so of the MSRP, and he stated that was an unpopular roadname. Ironically it worked out great for me...
Hmmm, if what you guys say is true, maybe I need to add Plexiglas sidewalls on my modules to prevent my R7-Trenton train from making that long trip to the ground.
you know i wish i could have predicted the future. I purchased two Amtrak AEM-7's & my SEPTA AEM-7 @ full price when they came out. I paid about $150 a piece for the three of them. Now like stated earlier you can get them dirt cheap, however it depends on the model. The Acela one did not go down in price yet. I was lucky and snagged two MARC AEM-7's off eBay for a really good price. :-D Me personally i think you can never have enough AEM-7's around, plus they run so smoothly... :P