Excellent Mike. As Chris said, it couldn't be put any better.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 5:27
Subject: Re: PC: New Product Announcement
- PC Class N6A/N9 Transfer Caboose
As a member and chair of the PCRRHS Modeling Committee, I feel compelled
to respond to your comment regarding the society's first model offering, the
NYC/PC/CR N6A/N9 transfer caboose. You took the time to share your
impression that it "seems like a bias toward HO has formed in the PCRRHS
A railroad historical society like the PCRRHS, which is relatively
new, has to carefully decide what projects it will undertake in order to meet
the needs of its membership (and to share with nonmembers when
feasible) and to insure that the society does not go draw down its
assets, if the project is less than successful.
When the society made the decision to publish a passenger diagram book,
provide PC paint and publish an annual calendar, rest assured that the
interests of members and nonmembers alike, modelers or non modelers and all
scales were included. When a decision was reached to offer a model of
the transfer a number of issues were considered.
First, the society's modeling committee and trustees had to be reasonably
sure that the project would be successful, i.e., the project would sell enough
models to provide the means for the society to pay all costs involved required
to bring the car to market. Buy the way, all costs to produce the car
from scratch, design, casting, etching, acquisition of additional parts and
decals, etc. were borne by the society. Hopefully the sales of the
caboose will allow the society to proceed with plans to produce additional
kits in the future.
Many societies or clubs that produce cars pay a manufacturer like
Accurail or Athearn to pad print a car for which the manufacturer has
already recouped his costs. The manufacturer charges the club/society a
cost (discounts the undecorated car and charges for printing, packaging and
shipping). Can you imagine what a club or society would have to sell a
kit for if they had to underwrite the R&D, tooling, packaging,
advertisement and all other associated costs?
The decision to produce the kit in HO only was based on the fact that the
preponderance of modelers (inside and outside the society) is in HO
scale. This has been documented time and again by statistics in the
modeling press. To have undertaken the costs to produce the kit in
any other scale, versus the anticipated sales would have probably resulted in
either the cost of the kits to be prohibitive (compared to other kits in that
scale, e.g., N scale) or for the society to have lost a significant amount of
money. The decision was a simple one of costs versus anticipated
sales. It was safe (and fair) to assume that the society would probably
sell at least twice as many kits in HO as they would in any other scale.
Perhaps other larger societies like the UP, B&O, ACL/SBD or
PRR, that have been around a lot longer, and who have several
thousand members, could have undertaken a multi-gage project. The
PCRRHS, as I mentioned, is relatively new and steadily growing
society. Perhaps at some point the society may consider a multi-gage
modeling project. For now our decisions to produce models have to be
sound economic ones.
I am sorry that you feel that there is a modeling bias in the modeling
committee. In this instance there may appear to be a bias and, if
so, it is by necessity, not by design. I can sympathize with the
fact that it appears that N gage, as well as O, S TT, Z and the larger gages,
have less models produced than HO. I would have to believe that
this is so due to basic economics. If N or any of the other scales had
the majority of modelers, then perhaps your view would be true if you were
modeling in HO.
While it is unfortunate that the N6A/N9 transfer caboose could not
be offered as a multi-scale project, I am hopeful that your interest reflects
a larger interest in the PCRRHS. If you are not presently a member, I
would invite you to join and (bring other N scalers into the society) so as to
be more representative of your interests.
Thank You for Your Interest,
Modeling Committee, PCRRHS