NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Sun Apr 21 10:53:56 EDT 2019


The latest benchmark I know of for new brass prices is the K-37 that DP just landed—at an MSRP of $2280.  I’d say the level of prototype surface detail isn’t all that far from that of a PA.  The K-37 has an extra driver axle and lit classification boards, but a PA model would probably have a somewhat larger motor installed.  Assuming no change in the exchange rate between the dollar and the won, I don’t see a PA MSRP any lower than $2200 in our future.

As for the passenger cars, Boo Rim just isn’t much interested in producing cars that can retail for much less than $800 in the US.  They would be absolutely beautiful (especially if UTI or TCY did them), but let’s face it, paying $2400 for two run-of-the-mill HWT coaches (that could be modeled pretty decently with Branchline models) and either a third coach or a combine, plus $2200 for a pretty run-of-the-mill (visually and technologically, although it is appealingly proportioned) Pacific is a tall hurdle.  I’ve paid similar money (in then-year dollars) for models of prototypes that were spectacularly interesting (visually and/or technologically) (e.g., an East Wind set plus a B&M P-4 to pull it on its northernmost leg), and I would like to model the Virginia Creeper—but $4600 doesn’t work for me in this case.

I will note, however, that the VGN’s driver wheelbase was 8” shorter than an USRA Light Pacific’s, and the overall wheelbases were identical.  It wouldn’t be all that hard to source some 69” drivers into a BLI or a Sunset USRA frame and go from there, if the 8” didn’t bug you for the rest of your lifetime.  If so, then I’ll note that a D&RGW P-44 driver wheelbase is “only” 4” longer than a PA’s (but you’ll still have to source 69” drivers because the P-44s’ were only 67”.)  The PFM model isn’t all that bad, either, being one of their later Korean models with a can motor and backhead detail.

SP P-11 was close, but I don’t think there has been a model of it, at least in HO.  C&O F-15 (and the several OMI models of it) is worth a look, with a 5” disparity in driver wheelbase.  I haven’t tried hard to find a prototype with associated model that has the same driver wheelbase as the PA, but I’d guess that one or another of the mountain RR’s would have had something close as a starting point.  Maybe I’ll have to start another spreadsheet…

Just saw Bill’s response.  I haven’t seen a single projected price on any “future model” by any of the current importers other than Kohs in more than 4 years.  The last time I saw a “projected price”, it was by Mark Mogenson of PSC, for a Commodore Vanderbilt Hudson to be made by Boo Rim.  I put money down on that model, and it came in 4 years later, at $400 higher price than projected, and NOT made by Boo Rim, but rather by some ass-monkey outfit that produced an execrable model that couldn’t even run on a tangent.  I don’t think that lack of a projected price is a distinguishing indictment of Jack, although it’s certainly accurate.  In the current power balance between Boo Rim and all the US importers, all the currency fluctuation risk is borne by the Importers—and in that situation, I’m not sure any of us would offer a projected price for delivery two years into the future.

Which by no means makes it easy for any of us to put a downpayment on an “future model”.  That said, I intend to do just that for George Kohs’ announced HO UP Late Challenger model.  He has always met his commitments, as far as I can determine.  And if his first HO model project works out well, we might expect him to produce his Y-6b and A models in HO in the future, and we shall bend him to our will to produce an AG as well.  Bwahahahaha!!!

-Eric Bott

From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2019 14:21
To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: EXTERNAL: Re: DP Blues

I believe I have most of the facts correct, and I welcome correction.
DP was in discussions with us for years about a brass VGN PA. (and a three car passenger set)
There was a minor issue as to which version they should do.
We put out the word and suggested that people make reservations.
I seem to recall that DP figured they'd need 30 reservations to run the locomotive.  The tiny handful of reservations led them to believe that there was not a market for 30 $1,700 Virginian Pacifics. I would be very reluctant to argue with that. (the passenger set would have run about $900 for the set; the way brass passenger cars are going I suspect that would be a lot more now).

Observation: it has been noted for several decades that brass collectors/modelers see some correlation between the number of wheels and the price they're willing to pay for a brass steam locomotive.  It's easier to market and sell a $2,000 articulated than a $2,000 Mikado, generally. Rarity and quality enter into the discussion, but I would still suspect that a $1,700 4-6-2,  (probably more now)that is correct for one railroad would be difficult economically.  Yes, Overland did a (wonderful)MB, but the railroad had a stack of those, and only 5 (IIRC)Pacifics.

I'm sure someone would like to point out the number of times the PRR S-2 has been done, or even the Jawn, but that's a different discussion.

Frank Bongiovanni

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 7:26 AM NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org<mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>> wrote:
If the VGN PA is ever proposed again as a 'future project', I'll be sure to sign up for one.

Greg Harrod

-----Original Message-----
From: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org<mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>>
To: nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org<mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org> <NW-Modeling-List at nwhs.org<mailto:NW-Modeling-List at nwhs.org>>
Sent: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 9:34 am
Subject: DP Blues
Ah, then there is the sad tale of listing the VGN PA in three versions for years and years as a future project before dropping it. Claimed lack of reservations, but never solicited reservations, nor did he ever seriously put out any information about the project.

UTI might be (is) expensive, as is Coach Yard, but those two produce what they say they will. They produce for a market of collectors that is shrinking, so the runs are small.


Bill McClure

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