General News Updates 2002

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12/21/02 - The rocks pictured below have elicited a number of interesting comments, but no one was able to guess where they were from; they are actually from the Blue Ridge line of the Norfolk & Western Railroad, one from the east side of the summit and the other from the west side. During a return trip to the N&W Historical Society archives, Mr. Charlie Schlotthober, who we originally met when we visited the archives to do Y6b research, gave us a guided tour of Roanoke, Virginia and the surrounding areas of historical significance to the railroad, our sincere thanks to Charlie for again sharing his knowledge and hospitality. During the tour we stood on the spot where the Blue Ridge station use to stand, this is hallowed ground for anyone interested in the N&W and it's unique history.

In returning to the N&W archives I have to tell you how surprised we were at how much work has been accomplished there since our last visit! Mr. Jim Gillum continues to offer the guiding light to the society and he is doing a fabulous job in working to preserve the thousands of documents that have been acquired. The really great thing about the Norfolk & Western Historical Society is that they are not only working to preserve, but to make available to research all of the material that they have, for this reason, I would suggest that if you are looking to support any historical organization related to the preservation of railroading history, the N&W society should be at the top of your list based on our experience. Our sincere thanks to Jim Gillum and all of the volunteers that make visits such as ours so enjoyable and rewarding! A brief side light; during our visit we had the opportunity to view the pre-release version of the society's latest publishing effort and it is a 'must have' volume, we'll have more information about this book for you in one of our future updates.

Now to just a couple of the 'other' comments related to our query on the rocks; we found the comments particularly funny and wanted to share them with you. The first comment came from one of our great supporters in the Portland, Oregon are; he wrote that he suspected that we had stolen secret photos of one of our competitor's (who shall remain nameless) efforts to model a PRR M1a 'Mountain' type locomotive. Another comment came from London, England and a long time supporter; he very up front about not having a clue what the rocks represented, but he did speculate as to whether similar photos would appear shortly on competitor's 'New Project' announcement lists. Finally, in a similar vein, a note from New York, New York expressed the expectation that our rocks would show up sporting a new paint job being touted as a certain importers lasted preproduction sample! We share these comments only in good humor and not to poke fun at any of our worthy competitors.

Stay tuned for more updates, we have a lot to share, but we're running behind as usual, particularly while preparing for the holidays. Be safe and HAPPY during the holiday season!!

12/15/02 - We want to offer you a little brain teaser to work on; pictured below are two souvenirs that were just brought back from our latest research trip, they are from one of the most famous locations in railroad lore. With the following two clues, can you think of where they might be from? They are related to a railroad that operated from the east and they are not from the 'Horseshoe Curve' on the PRR. Give it some thought and we'll give the details in a day or so.

12/10/02 - Just a brief update to let everyone know that we have put up new easier to download files for our November Update, GLe Cement Car Brochure and Union Pacific 'type' brochure. We have noted in our site stat's that there have been a number of incomplete or cancelled downloads and we wanted to make the process easier. The new files are a slightly lower resolution, but still very viewable and you can always request the printed versions for the best presentation. More news very soon!

11/10/02 - A brief further comment about our future support of the Proto:48 segment of the hobby; concerned has been expressed by one of our valued customers that we were casting a broad net over ALL practitioners of Proto 48 and that is not the case. Some of the finest modelers that we have met since the beginning of our business are Proto 48 hobbyists and they have been extremely eager to get behind our efforts because we share so many of the same goals, it is unfortunate that there are not more of them. The bottom line is that we faced a business decision and made it based on the hard facts of the matter, the Proto 48er's that ordered from us and met their obligations in a timely manner need not apologize for those that did not.

On a happier note, we have decided to revisit a special offer that was made to our customers earlier in the year regarding special pricing on the best power supply available for O scale operation. We have again made arrangements with Dallee Electronics to offer their Engineer throttle at a price of $449.50, this is for the 18V, 8amp unit. We have stressed from our beginnings the importance of using a quality power supply not only to protect your investment, but to also experience the best possible performance from any of your models. It is difficult to believe until you see it with your own eyes, how much improved the performance of a typical model locomotive is improved using a quality power pack, that goes for DCC as well as standard DC operation. This offer will be officially reintroduced in our next mail update, but our customers can get a jump on ordering by calling Dallee Electronics directly, make sure you have your Kohs & Company customer number available, you will need it to take advantage of the special price. If you would like to review more details regarding the Engineer, please visit the Dallee Electronics web site.

11/03/02 - Since our last general news brief we have been busy as usual on several different fronts, shipping our first rolling-stock project, developing our next locomotive project, attending shows and taking time to present a clinic on brass importing at our local regional NMRA convention. Time is always too short and our web updates do not happen as frequently as we would like while it's even more difficult to get our thoughts and activities into print for those that do not have access to the Internet.

There have been several hot topics of discussion lately not the least of which has been how to promote the O scale segment of the model railroading hobby. As we do with our modeling projects, we would like solicit feedback from those that follow what we do as a company regarding how we can better promote our chosen scale. Let us know what you feel is the most effective way to communicate the merits of O scale, not only to those already involved in the hobby, but to those that may be seeking an enjoyable pass-time. We also continue to field questions regarding project selection, more specifically, how and why do we make our prototype selections? We have not altered our approach since the second year of our business; very simply, we listen to the requests put forth and based on the frequency of the request and how we feel the prototype fits into our overall plan, we move forward. If you have a favorite, let us know!

When ever we start into the reservation process for a new project there is always a concerns voiced regarding the availability of the new and future projects to new customers. Our perspective has been that we owe a degree of preference to those that have supported our past efforts, particularly those that have made the substantial investment to purchase every project that we have completed. We will continue to offer fair access to all of our projects, our only advice being that if a particular model project is of interest that the reservation information once received be acted upon as quickly as possible. As we acquire more and more support, each and every project has sold out quicker, that makes our advice that much more important.

A footnote for the future; we will no longer make the effort to support the Proto 48 segment of the hobby. Without going into detail, we have had very limited orders for product in the P48 configuration and to complicate the matter, we have had difficulty in collecting final payments for that portion of our orders. All factors considered, the situation has gone from a minimal profit situation to a loosing proposition. If in the future we come up with an alternative approach to supporting Proto 48 we may revisit the situation.

Last but not least in this news brief is a sincere thank you to Greg Bergman who wrote and submitted a review based on his ownership experience with one of our Y6b's and O Scale News, that dedicated page space in their most recent issue to run the review. Greg's experience is what we are hoping for in each and every case and we will continue to work towards that goal with the guidance of our clients. The review was totally unsolicited by us and we have taken the stance of not asking anyone to do reviews and not submitting models for review by the periodicals, we have felt that our customers are the best judges and that if any felt strongly enough, either positive or negative, that they would share their experiences without our solicitations. We seek only fair, knowledgeable and objective evaluation of our efforts.

Several of our individual project sites will be updated in the next few days so be sure to check back to see what is happening with specific projects. As always, feel free to submit questions that we may not address otherwise.

9/22/02 - It has been a very busy couple of weeks and we're finally taking a few minutes to do some basic updating on the current happenings. Two weeks ago we attended the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Warwick Rhode Island, what a great group of modelers, the interest they expressed in what we are doing as a company was overwhelming, even our first rolling stock project seemed to strike a cord at the meet. We look forward to our next opportunity to meet with this community of enthusiasts.

Last weekend we attended the O Scale meet in Indianapolis hosted by Jim Canter, one of our can't miss shows. It's always an opportunity to get together with many of our friends/customers and this year it was particularly exciting, as we were honored as the 'Manufacturer of the Year' at the show. Our sincere thanks to Jim and all who helped put the show together, the honor was a particularly nice bonus and is greatly appreciated by all of us that are involved in producing the Kohs & Company models.

Immediately following the show in Indianapolis, we headed for Japan and Korea to follow up on projects that we have underway or are contemplating, more news about this in the coming week, so please stay tuned.

8/21/02 - While we have been updating individual project sites on the web, we have not taken time lately to update the news page and at this point, there's a lot going on! In the last several weeks have finished off some old projects, are in the process of finishing others and we are in the throes of developing the new projects.

Regarding our N&W Y6b project, we still have a couple of loose ends to tie up. While the project has been sold out for quite some time, it has taken longer than it should have to collect the outstanding funds, this has had a direct impact on our plans to provide a Norfolk & Western Historical Society membership to the appropriate customers, not in all cases have we known who the final customer for a particular model would be. We are now at the point where we can move forward with the memberships and the appropriate customers will receive notification by mail that a membership has been arranged with the society.

While all of the locomotives have been sold, we still have three (3) 'A' tanks (auxiliary water cars) available for sale, once these are gone there will be no more of this version. There have been a number of inquiries about whether we will offer 'A' tanks with our future N&W projects, which we will, but they will be a different version and our original classic style will not be redone. For those customers that chose to purchase only the locomotive, this is your last chance to acquire a matching 'A' tank for your Y6b. The price remains at $650 and they can be seen by clicking here.

On the subject of N&W, we have been asked a number of times if we are or will be considering the production of a Y6a in O scale, until now we have not anticipated such a project. Because of the inquiries, we are giving serious consideration to producing a very limited or short-run of Y6a's. If this would be of interest to you, let us know, if we determine that there are enough serious individuals interested in this idea, we may very well drop this special project into our existing schedule.

Our first rolling-stock project, the Pennsy GLe class cement car is wrapping up and we are thrilled with the results of our efforts. It has taken tooooo long to produce, but the ends justify the effort we feel. We did produce a few extra of each style that we did and they are destined to sell out quickly once they are seen. If you are interested, they can be seen here, and there is a downloadable order form available. The price is $375 not including the shipping and that is a steal for what we are delivering!

The development of our newest project, the Union Pacific 'type' 4-12-2 is well on it's way with the first completed sample model in hand. We are really excited about this project because of the wealth of information we have on hand for the design and more importantly, as previously noted, John Bush well known coauthor of the definitive reference on this prototype has graciously agreed to help us get it 'right'. We also have a new member of the development team, Kevin Bush, John's son who may prove to be the toughest critic of all! Many customers have felt that it would be extremely difficult to improve on what we produced with our N&W Y6b, but based on what we are seeing with the first sample of this project, we are way ahead of the game in a number of development areas. This is a historically significant prototype that deserves our best effort and it is definitely getting it. You can follow the development through the photos that we have posted here. The reservation information will be going our shortly for this project, all existing customers will automatically receive the mailing, if you are not a customer and have not made us aware of your interest in this project, please do so to ensure that you will receive the material.

The Pennsy K-4 project is well underway with the first bits and pieces already being prototyped and we have narrowed down the versions and variations that we will be producing, this information will be released in the very near future along with a projected time-line for the project. We feel certain that this will be our highest demand project ever, with the desire to order far out stripping the quantity to be produced, but we will strive to be as fair as possible when the time comes. This will prove to be a fabulous companion piece for those customers that have one or more of our NYC J3a Hudsons, these two locomotives represent the two most directly competitive prototypes to ever operate on American rails, their battle for bragging rights is legendary. Stay tuned for more details as they develop.

We have had a number of conversations with customers about our next project in line, the C&O H-8 Allegheny and what we are planning with this project seems to be finding great favor thus far. We will be producing a couple of versions which to date surprisingly have not been done which should keep things interesting. We will discuss more on this subject in our next installment. One last note for our NYC fans; we have one last PT-4 tender available for sale at $950. The PT-4 can be seen here.

6/4/02 - We recently had the pleasure of having the two principals from our Korean builder visit us in the Detroit area, a rare opportunity since we usually do the traveling. During that visit we had the opportunity of reviewing the progress on our latest project, the Union Pacific 4-12-2 and we were overwhelmed by what we saw. As good as our Y6b is, the UP 'type' promises to be even better! From this page, be sure to check out the UP site as well as the GLe cement car site to see the latest information.

There seems to be new activity among our O scale competitors and if the old phrase, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery is true, we should be feeling pretty good. After reviewing the specifications for one of the new projects, it felt as though we had been reading one of our own project outlines. For the good of the hobby, it's nice to be able to push the competition, but it would be better if the others were interested in innovating rather than copying. Their approach will certainly limit what we are able to tell you about our new projects, any development that we have not previously included in one of our projects will need to remain unmentioned until introduction. Our sincere hope is that with more quality product to select from the O scale hobby will grow even stronger.

We have been working on a new print update to mail out all during the month of May and we finally have it ready to go, the delay was created by a previously mentioned situation, but better late than never. Along those same lines, we would like to thank everyone that has expressed their best wishes for our family in dealing with an ongoing health situation involving an elderly parent, the support is truly appreciated. We also need to thank those that have exercised great patience in waiting for us to deal with outstanding issues, we are now working at full speed to wrap up all of the loose ends that have developed over the last three and a half months.

4/29/02 - We have had several inquiries recently from serious collectors about some of our earlier and more rare models and variations, in particular there have been several requests for us to post images of one of our 'Builder's Photo' version NYC J3a Hudson, something we have not previously done. Shown below is a 5437 version with Scullin disc drivers.

In the near future, we will make the effort to post all of our production data for projects to date so that those interested will be able to determine exactly what versions, variations, quantities of each and road numbers we have delivered for the prototypes that we have modeled. This information will be posted to the individual project sites under a new heading, 'Production Data'.

4/3/02 - The news for the day involves the scheduling of four of our already announced projects: the C&O K-3 'Mikado', the C&O H-8 'Allegheny', the Union Pacific 'Big Boy' and the New York Central 'Niagara'. As we have previously discussed, we have had great difficulty in pulling together reference material for the C&O K-3 project, as a result we are officially swapping schedule positions with the two C&O projects, the H-8 will be produced next year instead of the K-3's. Rather than cancelling the K-3 project and moving on to a project from another road, we opted not to totally disappoint those waiting for our first Chesapeake & Ohio project. We have a sincere hope that we will be able to follow through on the 'Mikado' project when the material comes together.

Because of this shift in the schedule, we do not want to produce two of our big projects back to back, so we have also swapped the 'Big Boy' and the 'Niagara' schedule positions. As we continue to push the envelope in terms of detail and features with our models, complete and accurate reference material has become essential to our efforts in precisely modelling our chosen prototypes. We will no longer head into the production of a project without first having everything that we feel we need, the delays create by seeking out last minute information cause huge additional expense and lengthen the production and delivery time for all subsequent projects. The implementation of sound business practice is now even more essential to our effort of delivering quality models of our type at fair and reasonable prices.

We will be updating all of the project sites involved in the schedule change as time allows. There are further updates coming shortly, check back soon!

4/2/02 - We are long overdo for an update and at this point, we must offer some apologies to those customers that have not received their orders as yet and for those that have tried to contact us during the month of March with little success. Our efforts are usually frantic and our time very short during the period when we are delivering a new project, but the month of March has been a disaster. I'll spare you the details, but our family has been dealing with a major medical situation since the 1st of March and it has required continuous attention both night and day, unfortunately there has been little time for any other activity, business or otherwise. We offer our sincerest apologies to all affected and there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel as they say.

The update mailing that was being prepared for delivery early last month will be going out within the next week, information included will be a project outline for our Union Pacific 'type' project and a description of where the Pennsylvania K-4 project is headed. Our online updates will begin today with the announcement of project scheduling changes for at least two major projects and an update regarding the Pennsy GLe class hopper cars that are being finished up as this is written.

Final-final notices have gone out as of today to those that have not paid their final balances on the Y6b project, after a reasonable response time is allowed for, the models in question will be sold on a first come first serve basis. We will make notice of what models are available as there have been a number of requests for specific versions. We want to again thank those that have shown incredible patience during our period of difficulty.

3/10/02 - Just a few quick comments on a variety of subjects: We are currently working on our latest update which should hit the mail in the next two weeks, as usual the update will also be posted to the web shortly there after. The main focus of the update will be our next two projects, the Union Pacific 'type' and the Pennsylvania K-4.

The final, final notices will be going out to customers this week that have balances due on their Y6b reservations. The feedback continues to be very positive from collectors and operators alike, thus the demand is high for any available model, the models of those with unpaid balances will be made available for purchase unless special arrangements are requested by those holding the original reservations.

For those interested in acquiring a Norfolk & Western auxiliary tender, we still have a very limited number available for purchase separately from our Y6b. The price of our 'A' tank is $650 shipping included, the details of this model are available on the Y6b site. On the subject of tenders, we currently have two of out New York Central PT-4 tenders available for sale, the price is $950 shipping included.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the good staff of O Gauge Railroading for their kind mention of our modeling efforts and inclusion of numerous photos of our models in their April, 2002 issue. We would highly recommend that anyone confused about the difference between the many variations of 'O' modeling, that you pick up a copy of this issue as it goes a long way towards answering the basic questions that we often hear about O Gauge versus O Scale. Check out their web site.

If you plan on attending the March O Scale Meet in Chicago this coming weekend, plan on being there Friday evening if you have any questions about the who, what and why of brass importing. Mike Hill the organizer of the meet is once again putting together a panel discussion on the subject of brass importing and we will again be participating. The get together will be held at 9:00PM in a room to be announced, detailed information will be available during registration and check in, we look forward to see you there and answering your questions!

2/21/02 - After showing our latest project, the Norfolk & Western Y6b at three shows and getting the first of them in the hands of their new owners, the revues are starting to come in. We are gratified by the comments of collectors and serious operators alike and it is a great finish for a three year process. As is our practice, we will not compare what we have accomplished with this model to any other manufacturers or importers, but it is our finest effort to date. Our 'Y' is our best 'runner' as well as our most detailed, electronically advanced and quality consistent model yet produced. We look forward to demonstrating our latest at the remaining shows that we are planning to attend. One last comment for today; we will be providing an update on our attendence at O Scale West and our customer meeting held during that show as soon as time allows, in the meantime, a special thank you to Rod Miller and his staff for putting on a show that we look forward to every year!

2/12/02 - For those of you that will be attending the O Scale West show this coming weekend, we will once again sponsor a chat session on Friday evening, this is an opportunity for customers and non-customers alike to get together to discuss the hobby and share ideas for the future. As we did last year, we will invite other importers we feel would be of interest to those that we are speaking with on a regular basis. If your at the show, please stop by our tables (#122 & 123) to get the details of the meeting, make sure that you bring your questions and ideas!

1/19/02 - Just a brief update regarding our Y6b project and the shipping of models. The model shipment finally arrived in Detroit this week and will clear U.S. Customs on Monday so the shipping will begin to the delight of everyone! We appreciate the patience of all of our customers, the process of getting the models here in one piece from Korea is always a nerve racking proposition, but was particularly so this time around due to all of the extra considerations as a result of 9-11. We are especially proud of the results with this project and feel certain that most everyone will feel that the wait was worth it. If you have not taken a look at the production model photos, you may want to do so by navigating to the Y6b project homepage.

1/4/02 - Happy New Year to all! Our site will be updated shortly with new areas of interest for serious modelers. We will be adding a parts and components section as well as a specialty tool shop. We have had a number of inquiries about where to find some of the tools that we use for working on the models that we produce and we have even supplied some of those same tools to a few of our customers, we will not be making them available to all interested. The new year promises to be an exciting one and we are working harder than ever to deliver only the finest models possible. Please keep checking back frequently for the latest information.

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