NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Fri Feb 6 14:49:31 EST 2009


Thank you for your professional input. My investor has told me the current budget is $2 million. He and his two sons are technically investing in me and “the passion I have for the N&W locomotives” as they stated. I have loved trains for over 30 years, since my first set on a 4x8 plywood table. I first saw #611 in Manassas, VA in the early 90’s while living only 100 yards from old Orange to Alexandria line formerly Southern railway. I never liked steam on my layout until then, now I can’t get enough. I unfortunately never got the chance to see #1218 under steam power in person. I first met him when I worked for The Great Train Store retail store. He is a retired Microsoft software engineer and now consultant. He purchased a lot of Lionel, MTH, Atlas and K-Line O gauge for testing the software he was writing to control switching operations for railroads. I helped him build his home HO layout which took about two years and 4000 square feet. The “large group” is not funding the project they are just very interested if it will workout and will be some of the first in line to purchase if it does. Like me they are not all large scale modelers but would like to have a large scale representation of Norfolk and Western’s majestic steam locomotives. I know this is an enormous undertaking but will give it my 100% best.

Jon Kelley

norfolknwestern1218 at

From: nw-modeling-list-bounces at [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 12:19 PM
To: NW Modeling List
Subject: Re: Research

Hi Jon;

Before you do all of the historical research, I suggest that you do a quick economic analysis.

For a 1/32 scale J or similar size locomotive model, you are looking at approximately $500,000 (½ million) in tooling, if done in China or similar economy, figure 50% more in the USA. This is for injection molded plastic and/or die-cast parts. Above an beyond the tooling cost, you have between $100- and $200- in material (includes equipment time). Not included in the above is the product design time - figure $100/hr and a thousand hours if your are starting from scratch. And then there is detailed research - photographs, drawings, etc.

Do the math - is the "large group" big enough to support a reasonable quantity of models to pay for the design and tooling?

I am a product design engineer, with experience tooling products in the USA and off shore.

For comparison, an simple HO diesel runs around $100K in tooling, the highly detailed ones like Atlas's F-M TM are at least 50% higher. Atlas and similar are probably running around 1000 hours research and design time for a highly detailed diesel model, it is that short of time because they re-use many things from previous models.

Nigel F Misso, PE.
----- Original Message -----
From: "NW Modeling List" <nw-modeling-list at>
To: "NW Modeling List" <nw-modeling-list at>
Sent: Friday, February 6, 2009 7:24:49 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: RE: Research


Thank you for your input. This is why I stated I am doing research into what it will take to make this project come to fruition. If we find it will not be at those prices then we will make the necessary changes if the project moves forward after research is completed. If it doesn’t work out then I will scratch build the locomotives myself for my layout. No one makes a ¼ scale J #611 static display out of wood either but it is in progress in my workshop.

I am primarily an HO modeler that has a very good friend (investor) willing to help research the possibility of manufacturing some large scale models of popular east coast steam locomotives. We have a large group of fellow modelers here in VA supporting our iniative. We know that it is likely it may not come to fruition but we are willing to try because MTH, Bachmann, USA Trains, Aristocraft and so forth currently have none to offer. Aristocraft I know has a 2-8-8-2 which from what I have heard and read about sounds like a great locomotive. Just trying to see if there is any interest outside of our group.

Jon Kelley

norfolknwestern1218 at

From: nw-modeling-list-bounces at [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 1:38 PM
To: nw-modeling-list at
Subject: RE: Research

At these suggested prices the models cannot be of any good quality. The "Scale" scale is 1/32.

MTH makes a good scale 1/32 product, if your source can follow these premises then you may have something, but they will not
be at the prices you quoted far from it! The HO market is reaching those prices, how in the world does he think a G scale product
would be when they a double their size. I so not think your investor is living in reality. I wish him well, but this will not happen.

Stephen Rineair

What experience do you have in actually designing, manufacturing, importing and distributing a product that leads you to say this? Also, are you the propietor of Track 2 Hobbies?
Robb Fisher

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