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Re: PC: New Product Announcement - PC Class N6A/N9 Transfer Caboose

Excellent Mike. As Chris said, it couldn't be put any better.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 5:27 PM
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 Modeling Committee."
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,
Mike Bradley
Modeling Committee, PCRRHS 

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