Author Topic: Blackstone Announcements  (Read 15066 times)

railtwister

  • Yardman
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2011, 10:08:36 AM »
Compare a MicroTrain car with a Blackstone car. I think there's a difference! Thus the difference in price too.

Wolfgang

Hi Wolfgang,

Not being all that familiar with things HOn3 (I only have a couple of pieces, none of which are current production items), the only real differences I can see besides an up to $30 price difference per car, is that MTL freight cars need to have the buyer install the provided ladders and stirrups on the car, while BS cars come with them already installed. This is overlooking the fact that purchasing the BS cars supports the Chinese economy and purchasing the MTL cars supports the American economy. For my comparison, I am looking at the current C&S weathered reefer at $44.95 msrlp from MTL and the new weathered boxcars at $75.95 announced by BS. Please explain to me, what other differences can justify the significantly higher cost of BS freight car models?

At $76 per car, it looks like I certainly won't be purchasing any BS HOn3 models in the foreseeable future.

Bill in FL

sport474

  • Brakeman
  • **
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2011, 03:02:19 PM »
<<Please explain to me, what other differences can justify the significantly higher cost of BS freight car models?>>

Better research, accurate details, greater detail, accurate lettering, better painting, better trucks...need more?

If you can't see the difference, don't buy them. You can have my share of the others....

Jerry Day


NGPhil

  • Conductor
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2011, 09:05:05 PM »
This is overlooking the fact that purchasing the BS cars supports the Chinese economy and purchasing the MTL cars supports the American economy.
Bill in FL

This is the one that gets me all fired up.  I don't own any of either so I can't speak to the accuracy issues etc. but I'm the kind of person who could overlook certain things in exchange for reduced cost and supporting "made in america".  Once again, no disrespect to any of our international hon3 brothers, but this country has completely sold itself out to the point that practically nothing is made in the USA anymore.  I get so tired of buying 4 dvd players and 20 coffee machines and constantly throwing things in the trash because they're garbage.  I'm not saying the BS stuff is junk, it's just that we've created an economy that runs on cheap chinese imports.  We've got record numbers of people out of work and we still want to buy everything from China.  That mentality has got to stop.

Sorry for the slightly OT rant.
Phil Light

sport474

  • Brakeman
  • **
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2011, 09:13:55 PM »
Phil:

Some of us do care about historically correct, accurate models and are willing to pay the price. I don't care where they are made. As far as I know, very few brass models were ever made in the USA.

I don't know how long it will remain so with the current occupant in the White House, but for now, it is still a free country. If you do not want to buy models made in China, then don't buy them. But do not try to stop those of us who do.

Jerry Day
Longmont, CO

NGPhil

  • Conductor
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2011, 10:14:30 PM »
Jerry, I'm not necessarily trying to tell anyone what to do.  I'm simply stating my own dislike for the practice.  This is my opinion, and you're entitled to your own differing opinion.
Phil Light

sport474

  • Brakeman
  • **
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2011, 12:06:26 AM »
Phil:

I have heard this kind of talk before. First it was Japan, then Korea, then Singapore. American politicians, and unions have taxed, and entitlemented, and regulated, and benefited American businesses to the point where they went off shore. I worked for a major computer company for more than 15 years and I sat on meetings where we were determing the price and profitability of products like printers, scanners, computers, etc. When the company moved all that manufacturing (and my job) to Asia, I was not happy about it, but I didn't blame the company, I blamed the US government, state governments, and the unions for pricing US manufacturing out of the picture.

To make models with the quality, accuracy, and features that Blackstone offers here in the US would send the price thru the roof. You are willing to settle for less...I am not.

Jerry Day

NGPhil

  • Conductor
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2011, 02:04:11 PM »
There is the price of an object, and then there is the price that it costs to manufacture that object.  Most people have no idea what the true price of manufacture is.  I'm not talking about dollars or yen, I'm talking about the reason things from developing nations are so cheap.  I'm not some humanitarian nut job, but I do have kids and ever since they became a part of my life, I tend to look a little more closely at things whenever children are involved.  It's no secret that a common tactic is to use a nation's youth for labor to keep costs low.  Our incestuous need for cheaper and cheaper products fuels the practice of paying employees (young and old) below what they really need to survive.

The United States has labor laws, unions, minimum wage and a multitude of checks and balances designed to enhance the way of life of the working class in the country (not that I agree with them all but that's the intent).  That is the reason things cost more here.  We have a far lower percentage of our population who lives out of cardboard boxes than China does, so it must work to some degree.  It's not that we've "priced" ourselves out of competitiveness, it's that we've set higher standards for employee compensation which has driven our products costs up.  China doesn't have these issues, but they're starting to, which is one of the reasons you're seeing a price hike in imports in general.

I realize I'm not going to change this and our culture has made this such a part of our way of life that it may never change.  I just think most people choose to ignore the realities of why things from other countries are so cheap.  I'm not implying that BS or BS's manufacturer in China and/or Korea uses child labor, I'm speaking in general terms about the manufacturing ecosystem in those countries and how it relates to our purchasing habits. 

With regard to MRR, and US made products, in my opinion, the issues on the rolling stock are nothing that an exacto knife, styrene, brass bits and a few enjoyable evenings doing what we love can't fix.  Case in point; on my bench right now is a vintage C&BT shops (made here in pittsburgh) EBT 3 bay hopper kit.  They are mostly rubbish because the grab irons and a lot of the framing is molded far too big and it just looks funny.  I've been having a blast super detailing that kit though by cutting out the framing and replacing it with styrene channel and "L" members and then making new grab irons from brass wire.  It's fun, it cost me $23 plus a few bucks in materials and I might have 2 hours involved in the job to this point.  Compare that to the $60 for the BS model and I'll build C&BT, Funaro & Camerlengo, La Belle etc. kits all day long.  I do buy import models, but I try to make a concerted effort to buy American whenever I can.

We're way off topic here and I've said my piece.  I'm going to bow out of this one.  I shouldn't have gotten involved in it in the first place, but it is something that bothers me a good bit.  Hope I haven't offended anyone with my ranting and raving like a lunatic.
Phil Light

sport474

  • Brakeman
  • **
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2011, 07:33:34 PM »
Phil:

I don't think either of us is ranting. It is supposed to be a discussion group and we are discussing in this awkward medium called the web.

We see things differently, different approach to the hobby. Some people like scratch building, some like kit bashing, some like fixiing up old kits or cars as you describe. That is not for me. I am primarily a historian and more of a collector than a builder. I want my models to be accurate, well detailed, painted correctly, etc. Blackstone offers me that and I do not really care where they are made. I was buying brass models made in Japan in the 60s. Japan at that time was still recovering from WWII and things were not so great...i know I lived there for four years.

If I could purchase affordable models with the Blackstone quality made in the USA, I would. But the MMR stuff does not meet my standards.

Jerry Day

NGPhil

  • Conductor
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2011, 06:41:45 AM »
Jerry,  I forget that our hobby has so many facets and tend to project my own interests on everyone else.  Thanks for reminding me that not everyone in MRR likes wielding an exacto blade.  Knowing that, I can absolutely see your point of view and why accuracy out of the box is a number one priority for some.
Phil Light

jackpine savage

  • Brakeman
  • **
  • Posts: 86
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2011, 04:13:19 PM »
A lot of good points by everyone, I've always said, I completely understand those who are willing to fork over the cash for prebuilt models, as it alws those who's interests lie elsewhere to invest their time in what they enjoy. My problem is I wish there was an option for the rest of us, who don't mind a little building or modifying and can't afford $70 freight cars. Something like what micro trains offers is perfect: affordable, separate details (not an issue for me) and made here (a bonus!). It's just their lack of attention to accuracy that is perplexing, I mean if you are going to spend the time to machine the tooling, set up, and all the rest, you would think making sure the models follow a prototype would be the easiest part. I mean, it's not like narrow gauge drawings are hard to come by. They are some of the best researched cars out there. I just don't get it. I know I'm repeating myself and others here, but it's just, as I said, perplexing. I mean if you are going to go through the trouble, why make phantasy stuff?

swissboy

  • Yardman
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2011, 10:30:41 AM »
They seem to make lots of money in the N and Z scale market with that strategy. Thus, they probably expected the same for HOn3.

And as an additional point, the models chosen were from a very restricted set of prototypes. A rather unfortunate selection despite the fact that it looked interesting at the onset.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 05:16:34 PM by swissboy »
Robert

SundayNiagara

  • President
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 247
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2011, 08:36:27 PM »
A C-19 with a "Russian Blue" boiler?

swissboy

  • Yardman
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2011, 05:14:06 PM »
A C-19 with a "Russian Blue" boiler?

Yep! And much more. The BS announcements are finally out. They can be found on their blog page: http://soundtraxx-soundbytes.blogspot.com/

All the C-19s that were on the unofficial lists that one could find at times. Plus, there are three NF tank cars in UTLX livery, and as a surprise two in CYCX livery! Thus a great list of models. Unfortunately, prices are up again, and by a rather large margin! And these engines come with sound only. Thus, if you don't want/need that feature, you pay for it anyway.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 05:30:07 PM by swissboy »
Robert

SundayNiagara

  • President
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 247
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2011, 12:09:05 AM »
So it's still anyone's guess which numbered/letter Russian iron blue tendered loco/tender will have the

swissboy

  • Yardman
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Re: Blackstone Announcements
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2011, 04:09:50 PM »
So it's still anyone's guess which numbered/letter Russian iron blue tendered loco/tender will have the

No, it's a painted but unlettered model!
Robert