any interest?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Pocoblitzkreig, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Pocoblitzkreig

    Pocoblitzkreig New Member

    I have started to make my own O/27 boxcars out of basswood. I have been told that they are impressive. Could anybody give me some insights to how popular a kit would be to a modeler? The kits would be about $20 or so.
  2. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Some recommendations...

    #1. Don't sell yourself short! Materials may be cheap, but you time should be worth something too... Find out what other kits are selling for and price yours in the same ballpark.

    #2. Make the kit so that you can use 2-rail, 3-rail and P48 trucks and wheelsets, as well as different couplers. Most (Many) kit builders will make the body of the car, and leave the choice of trucks and couplers up to the purchaser. Smaller equipment might be suitable for narrow gauge conversion, so that might be a selling feature...

    #3. Make your kits as limited editions so you don't get stuck with a bunch if they don't sell... Better yet, get advanced orders and deposits first...

    #4. Some people would like to buy your product, but prefer RTR... Are you willing to custom build and paint your kits for these people or find someone who will do it for you?

    #5. Many purchasers want a specific prototype and demand a high level of detail and accuracy. Is this a model of a prototype or something generic/freelance?

    I don't know the O/27 segment of the model railroad hobby very well, but I've heard about some successes and failures in the kit market and my suggestions/recommendations come from what I have heard from them... As a scratch building project, you might have better success from writing a how-to article for OTrains magazine. Just a few thoughts on the subject. I hope that these don't discourage you...

    Good luck!
  3. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Sounds like an interesting venture. Any chance of posting some pictures of these cars?
    Here is my take on the O27 market. Most people that I know and who run O27 don't do kits. They tend to buy RTR equipment. There are few who do buy kits, but they are few and far between. If they match O27 cars, they won't match O scale. Now they may cross the scale bridge and work in S gauge. Depending on the car, they may work for early American railroad equipment and then some scale people would be inclined to take a look at the kits.

    What would your kits include? By that I mean things like ladders, grab irons, brake detail, trucks and couplers. It might be a good idea to select a type of truck and design the floor to accept it. Even Lionel, MTH, K-Line, Weaver, Williams and Atlas all have different truck bolster designs.

  4. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I suspect with everyone's prices on the rise, there might be a bit of a market but it's hard to tell. I agree with the others that you've got to put a fair price on your time. I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on an O gauge tanker (plans came from an ancient issue of O Scale Railroading, now O Gauge Railroading, and it was intended to be a 2-rail car but K-Line trucks fit and work just fine on it) and it easily took me 2-3 hours to cut out the parts and get them right.

    I also agree that if you're doing true O27, scaling at 1:64 rather than 1:48, you'll increase your market, because then the S scalers can slap their trucks on it too. And a 50' boxcar for S/O27 could pass for a 40' boxcar for O31...

    Also, I agree that printing a how-to article in a magazine could prove to be more profitable. It could also prove a nice test. Some (though probably not all) magazines allow the author to put a blurb at the end saying he's selling kits or cars based on the technique. So in a way it's better than free advertising; you're getting paid to advertise. Of course a lot of people will just build it. But then at least you got your money for the publication.

    The other thing about writing articles is that often they lead to other articles once you've managed to publish once. The overwhelming majority of writers don't get rich (I can tell you from experience) but publishing commands a lot of respect, and while you won't necessarily make enough to pay for all of your train stuff, it'll help you finance your hobby. Being into O scale and a scratchbuilder puts you in limited company, which probably works to your advantage.
  5. Pocoblitzkreig

    Pocoblitzkreig New Member

    Thanks for all your imput. I was just fiddlin' in the garage and thinking how fun it would be to make a whole set of rolling stock the way I wanted it to look for a reasonable price. I have even given the deskjet printed water decals a try with better than so so success.

    I am having a hard time finding something to be the turn wheel for the manual brake. You know, the one at the top on the end. Any Ideas would be great. My tools are limited also. That is why I just didn't lathe out a bunch of peices.

    My Boxcar design is not detailed to every last aspect.
    Since I have built these out of wood, the detail is limited. The trucks were ordered off of the internet and are labled O scale but the boxcar was built from measurements of an O27 boxcar I had already.
    It is approximately 23cm long and 5.5cm tall. If you would like to see a picture, I can email you one.

    Keep up the good advice! Thanks again.
  6. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    I would like to see one of your box cars.

    As for the brake wheel on the end of the car, those parts are available from different sources. There are some brass ones available that are On3 detail parts and would fit nicely on your O27 box cars.

  7. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member


    What is the status on your box car kit project?


Share This Page