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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Model Railroading Collectors Club Newsletter - August 2012

Hello Collectors Club Member;

It’s been about a month since our last email and we wanted to share some
things with you.

What’s in this month’s email blast?

  • Restock and NEW stock arrivals 
  • What’s happening in and around Calgary?
  • Tip of the Month
  • Fun Video (World's Largest Model Railroad)
  • News (includes Industry Update)
Restock Arrived:
-'HO' handmade, pre-built buildings and building kits by Campbell, Highway Miniatures,
Sylvan Scale Models, Timberline, Tichy and many more...
-Railway DVD's: Canadian Rails, Scarlet & Gray Memories, Great Shortlines West and
more titles available: Check out our Features of the week page for pictures.
-'O' scale only available at our North location
-Woodlands Scenics
-more items available at both stores in Calgary

NEW Arrived:
-'N' Proto 2000 USRA 2-8-8-2
-'N' Atlas, Micro-Trains, Lifelike and more...
-and a new scenery/diorama line DMS
-'HO' Rapido VIA FP9A locomotives
-'HO' Rapido passenger cars CP & CN
-'HO' Intermountain Sultran Cars
-Come check out Both stores for all the neat items arriving weekly!

What’s Happening?
We hear about clubs, events and other things that may interest you. As we can we post
them on the events page of our website.
-         Alberta FREE-MO 2012. Aug. 18 & Aug. 19 Big Valley Agriplex; Big Valley, AB. for more info.
-    Great Edmonton Model Train Show. Sept. 15 & 16; Edmonton, AB. for more info.
-    have you checked out our redesigned website? please let us know what you think.

Tip of the Month

  • When weathering railcars and locos always go from the top to the bottom, so the streaks taper off.
  • Seal your piece with matte finish so you can use chalks or acrylic and you can wipe off any 'mistakes' easily.
  • Use a 300 grit or finer sandpaper with a light touch to 'wear away' decals, do this a little bit at a time as its easier to take off more than to figure out how to put it back.
  • Make sure to seal your project once its done, with a matte finish so all your hard work doesn't get rubbed off.

Fun Video
James May has to be one of the most imaginative big kid I've seen in a while. As a model railroder he had to build the World's Largest HO train layout in the UK. Check out The Great Train Race today! We just love how all ages got involved with this project.
Check it out and share what you think! 


Our next Airbrushing for Beginners class will be in October 2012. Please check out the
 events calendar on our website for more information. You can either email or call Valerie
to pre-book your space.

Help Wanted!
We are looking for a part time person knowledgeable in Model Railroading. Please go to
our website and check out our Job Opportunity page.

Do You Want To Share Your Knowledge With Others?
We are looking for people that would like to share their model railroading tips with others.
It can be in written form or a short video. You would get full credit and if your contribution
gets positive response and you become a repeat blogger for us we would like to share the reward.

Industry Update- So you don't get upset with your Hobby Store
The hobby is in a manufacturing turmoil, due to a lack of production capacity now.
There is no question; you have seen the delays from virtually all manufacturers. Pick any manufacturer’s
name and their products are delayed. Why you ask? There are several reasons.
The primary one is that the largest factory which produced models for a wide variety of manufacturers
 has shut its doors to those manufacturers. After it had been bought and sold several times, it was
bought out by the Bachmann group and now produces models solely for Bachmann.  This was a huge
 production facility, about 10 times the normal size of a typical Chinese factory.  Or think of it as 10
factories operating under one name.

There is no other "big" factory, equivalent in size.  As a result, many manufacturers have been forced
to scramble and find another factory that can produce their models. However, there is no other "A"
size factory, the next size is "B" size, 1/10th of the "A" size. 
If you can imagine the size of China’s manufacturing sector, you might well say to yourself there should
be lots of factories. There is, they produce lots of electronics, such as games, toys, appliances,
telecommunications, etc. However, model trains are way down at the bottom of the list, as it is
such a small market.
Believe it or not, there are very few companies capable of model train production. There are about
three "B" size main factories and some smaller "C" size factories. 

Then you have the issue of complexity.  Our hobby products involve tool and die making,
electronics, motors, plastic extrusion, assembly, and painting. All of this has to be done with fine
tolerances. All of these areas require dedicated areas and skilled employees. Compare all of that
to an example, a “Barbie doll”, with much greater tolerance for error.

The result to you the modeler is that your promised future models have been delayed.

As dealers (your local hobby shop), we and all other dealers are the recipient of modelers’
frustrations, as we are their direct contact. I can certainly understand and empathize with
modelers’ frustrations. We have the same frustration, except it is multiplied a hundred times
or more. We, as dealers and distributors, plan on models delivered in future months for our
cash flow planning, staffing and other commitments. Every store, distributor and manufacturer
is experiencing the same problems. There is no immediate fix or date when “normalcy” will
return to the hobby.

Another issue affecting production is working capital, or more specifically, the lack of working capital,
both in North America and in Asia.  The financial crisis of 2008 has hammered businesses around the
globe. Working capital has dried up for many manufacturers. In foreign countries, a number of
manufacturers may be taking funds from one customer and applying them to another, they are “robbing
Peter to pay Paul” to stay in business.
I know of a number of our North American importers, with manufacturers overseas, who are in this
position of waiting, and waiting, and waiting. They have supplied funds to their overseas manufacturers
for research and development, tooling, raw materials and production costs, and are waiting on receiving
a pre-production sample. They may even have approved the sample and are waiting for production to
occur, but they are still waiting. It is out of their control.

Now is not the time to berate manufacturers for not delivering products to you. It is a global issue.
The only thing we can say to you is to be patient.  Take care.

From Tom Tomblin, President,Canadian Model Trains Inc.

Help Us Improve
We would love for you to share your comments and ideas (even the not so nice ones).
What do you want to see in upcoming emails and newsletters? What would you like to see
on our website, blog and/or our Facebook page? If we’ve done something you love let us
know so we can keep it up.
We want to become the Hobby Store that you want to visit so please share with us!

Please email this to a friend; they can join our Collectors Club too!

Thanks so much and we hope to see you really soon.
From Rob, Val and all the guys at Chinook & Hobby West

North Store: 2604 – 4th St. NW    Ph# 403-984-3438
South Store: 5011 Macleod Tr. SW    Ph# 403-243-1997

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