Guess I'm not going to buy any more Scaletrains

greatdrivermiles Aug 14, 2018

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I wonder if it would be worth while, next time ordering from anyone, to do a screen capture of the finalized order. With this evidence, nobody should be able to argue.
    mtntrainman likes this.
  2. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

    Oh the stack of screen captures I've printed off and keep in the desk of orders and/or pre-orders(probably a good thing I'm not married). Years in the transportation business have me hard wired to CYA. That being said, my pre-order email confirmations from Scaletrains have matched my screen captures. I did find when ordering the layout of their produce web page to be a bit on the cumbersome side. I triple checked everything before merrily hitting the enter key for that very reason.
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  3. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member


    Well if I remember correctly Atlas did the Trainmaster as a gift to Paul Graf. No one wanted to do it but it turned out to be very popular and I think Atlas did a follow up run too. One more thing, this hobby is composed of more than just the rivet counters. Yes they are a piece of the hobby but only a piece. There are also those who like to run their stuff and to them all that separate detail stuff tends to be lost. Watching a train at a scale 480-500 feet away (3 feet or so) those details are not noticeable.
    Hardcoaler and rpeck like this.
  4. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

    Inkaneer i think you just summed it up a little detail fine but as runners no need to hyper detail.

    As you stated won't see most of it anyways
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  5. Carl Lawson

    Carl Lawson TrainBoard Member

    This is the major issue with the rivet counter approach in N scale. The major advantage of N scale is the ability to have the scenery dwarf the trains as is the case in the real world. Rivets in N scale are smaller than the hairs on a flea’s butt, so there’s not that many super detail modelers in N scale to begin with. There’s more in HO, but most super detail modelers go for S or O scale if they have the room.
  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    It is true that we don't see these details from where we stand when running, but I sure appreciate having a "good" level of detail on the locos so that when I take track-side photos, the loco and scenery look realistic. None of this detail is visible from 500' away (even if it was really this big), and you can still tell this is a model, but we also wouldn't want to go back to what the models were like back in the 60's-70's, either

    Do I need, or want to pay for, absolute fidelity? Of course not. But I also don't want to use the "it's good enough from this distance" argument. One of my joys of the hobby is "rail fanning" with my locos and layouts.
  7. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

    That's why I said a little detail.

    Good points though.
  8. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    I agree with Rick. I like to photograph my train up close. ‘Good enough’ doesn’t cut it for me. I’m glad companies keep improving the detailing on N Scale equipment. I sold off my ExactRail Trinity Hoppers to make room on my layout for ScaleTrains 5188 Gunderson Hoppers. I’m always in favor up an upgrade.
    pastoolio likes this.
  9. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

    And that is why there is room in the hobby for various levels of detailing. People approach the hobby differently. I don't take close-up photos of my models (well, I did once, for an article in the 2018 Model Railroad Planning); instead my interest is in operations. When I've got 8 people in the basement doing an operating session, no one pays any attention to the level of detail on my engines or cars. They are concentrating on their job. As Ikaneer pointed out, some detail is preferable to none even in this situation, just as some scenery is preferable to none to inject some level of realism into things. But if your main objective is operations, detailing scenes like you might do to enter a model contest simply isn't high on the to-do list. My most detailed model is a Key brass Berkshire. It looks great in close-up photos. In op sessions, I prefer my Life-Like Berks because they run better.

    John C.
    SP-Wolf, mtntrainman and BoxcabE50 like this.
  10. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

    Agree with you J.C.
  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Perhaps our aging eyesight also has its place in what we desire in detail. I do agree with Rick in that photography immediately shows up detail, or lack thereof. I'm not a detail hound, but as a result of photography, I substantially reworked a kitbash I'd nearly completed. It looked fine to my old eyes, but under the lens I could see lousy paint application and poor fitment with parts I'd made. The project looked so much better afterwards.
  12. ScaleTrains

    ScaleTrains TrainBoard Member


    I’m truly sorry if my reply to your inquiry about offering the SD40T-2 “Tunnel Motor” in N Scale was upsetting. That certainly was not my intention. I was trying to gain a better understanding of what N Scale modelers are willing to pay for unique, super-detailed, roadname, and road number specific locomotives with DCC, sound, and special lighting effects.

    As an example, let’s use the N Scale Tier 4 GEVO as the benchmark for locomotive unit sales. We estimated we would sell 50% less units for the N Scale C39-8. However, C39-8 preorders are only 13% of Tier 4s. Unfortunately this does not come anywhere close to recovering our tooling investment and paying for the inventory let alone making a profit to pay our employees, bills, and future new tooling.

    The SD40T-2 “Tunnel Motor” is also a unique locomotive. To offer a similar price point to the C39-8, we would need to sell 50% of the Tier 4 GEVO quantity. The “Tunnel Motor” would likely be more popular than the C39-8 so let’s say sales were 25% (instead of 13%) of the HO Tier 4 GEVO. This means we would need to double the selling price to make a profit.

    This is why I asked for feedback. I’m just trying to determine the viability of offering the SD40T-2 in N Scale.


    Shane Wilson
    President, Inc.
  13. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    Shane, thank you for the honest reply. The honest answer from me is that the problem with the SD40T-2 is Intermountain has all but flooded the market with their inferior model. I was able to pick up a pair for $60 each about 4 years ago. Instead of making a model of a unique loco that has already been built, might I recommend looking at a locomotive that has not been made, such as a Baldwin road switcher or an FM switcher?
    SecretWeapon likes this.
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Or something as simple as a Phase III GP9?
  15. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    I looked hard at those carbon black cars and was kind of surprised that they were all the 'new ones'. I model the early 70's and there were just out of the era on the paint and lettering schemes. I have a personal interest in the CABX "certified" carbon black scheme and would have snapped a bunch of those up, but that scheme wasn't on that new a car from what I can see.

    I always thought this was a killer scheme, saw these cars once.

    I was really impressed by the car though.
  16. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

    I can see both sides of this argument. Scale Trains needs to make money for the money they invest, but they should also listen to the modelers as to what they should invest their money into. It doesn't matter what Intermountains tunnel motors are like, coming out with another tunnel motor (especially since they are a locomotive that was only owned by a very limited number of roads) is probably a poor choice of models. Everyone who wanted a tunnel motor, probably has at least one. While I do model SP I don't model that era, so I wouldn't get one no matter what.

    Carbon Black cars: same story, too modern (but I would most likely get at least one of the ones randgust posted because it IS my era)

    Turbines: really wanted one but once again, not my era and I wasn't going to pay $350 for something that didn't fit what I model.

    Baldwins (like AS-616s): I'm IN. Here's a locomotive that nobody has done, multiple roads had them, and are from the era I model. While I really don't need 'rivet counter' detail (that's why I left HO for N), I would have to get (probably) several (black widow or tiger stripe paint please). Shoot for a reasonable price, say $100-$150ish. DCC - yes sound - no (actually optional but I won't buy a sound loco).

    Doing yet ANOTHER E unit/F unit/PA is just going to be a waste of money since they have been done by multiple manufacturers (some good, some VERY BAD). Eventually they will sell but it will probably take longer than an engine not yet done that multiple roads owned. Don't blame the scale for unsuccessful sales, try asking the modelers what they want/need and fill that gap.
  17. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

    Very well said JM1 these manufacturers need to get back in touch or in the groove with the modelers
  18. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

    Personally I would be in for a half dozen SD40T-2's, about half with sound. I've got a dozen of the IM version, and have had another 4 on order for about 3-4 years now, which I've lost hope of ever seeing. If the Gevo is any indication of what the SD40T-2 would look like, I could see myself replacing all the IM tunnel motors I have. These may be specific to only a few railroads, but there are a lot of SD/DRGW modelers out there.
  19. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Shane, I love the quality and details that you all are putting into your products (and I loved running the dash-8 in SLC during the NSE Conv). But, you've definitely put your products outside my preferred modeling era (except for the turbine, sort of, which I love). I think the "unique" locos will always be a hard justification economically, but there are lots of untouched areas which might garner greater enthusiasm from the customer base.
  20. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

    Well said Rick!

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