General News Updates 2005

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12/24/05 - We want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the best of New Years! Thank you all for your support and interest in the past year and we are looking forward to an exciting and rewarding new year. A special thank you goes out to Mr. Lee and the fantastic craftsmen and women at S. J. Models in Korea and the fantastic staff at Dallee Electronics, they are the back bone of our efforts. With two 'Pennsy' projects in the last year, Nick Seman has offered the guidance necessary for us to make every effort to get it right, a special thank you also goes to Nick.

Be watching in the next few days for new updates!

11/27/05 - The time available for updating our web site has been minimal of late; a major effort has been underway to ship our 'Pennsy' N5c cabin cars to all of you that have been patiently waiting, we have had hands-on involvement in wrapping up our 'Pennsy' K-4 project, we have been continuing the development of our 'Allegheny' project, we have been pulling in reference materials for future projects and a serious evaluation of our future planning was in order. Preference always has to be given to completing projects that are in the works rather than spending time promoting. Our desire to be a larger organization on some days to allow for great productivity ultimately has to be tempered with the reality of the situation while keeping in mind what is best for our long-term survival. Updates will be forthcoming for each of the projects mentioned above on their project specific sites.

As part of our future planning we have to evaluate situations and circumstances in the market place that directly affect our business. In recent weeks we have seen a competitor using a photo of one of our models in their advertising with the direct assistance of a publication, we have seen another publication apologize to a competing importer for daring to tell the truth to it's readers about the accuracy of one of the importer's models and we have competitors continuing to jump on projects that we have announced first. Where are the ethics and where is the concern for the future of the hobby? Our purpose in recounting the above is to acknowledge the business environment in which our future planning must take place.

Our policy in the past has been to avoid announcing projects that other importers have expressed an interest in first and were actively working on, but our future decisions will be based solely on the interests of our clients and what makes sense for our long-term planning. We have been operating at a great disadvantage while being committed to the complete-as-possible historic research of our subjects; while we struggle to pull together hundreds of blueprints and photos and search for seemingly nonexistent data, a huge window of opportunity has been open for our competition to decide that, if their thinking about it, it must be a good idea. With a hand-full of photos, a couple of line drawings from an old magazine and an HO sample model their off to the races on producing the same model we have announced. We have often heard from our clients, 'why worry about what the others are doing' and the answer is simple; the worst model from the worst importer will an affect on all O scale brass importers because the market is small and there are only so many dollars to be spent (consider the size of a typical production run). Our future efforts will include trying to enlighten potential model buyers as we work through the process of selecting projects and also how our decisions relate to our competition. As the cost of brass O scale models continues to climb we hope to help future buyers make better investment decisions. This hobby is suppose to be about fun and not investing, but considering the necessary cash outlay, if you can purchase a model of a prototype you desire and make a good investment at the same time, so much the better!

Future project announcements will be coming soon along with a more detailed explanation of what goes into making the selections, check back often.

11/26/05 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING! For all of our international visitors, today is a traditional and very special holiday in the United States, we would like to share our good wishes with all of our friends and visitors this day.

More Business news tomorrow.

10/20/05 - We are overdue for a general update and we felt it was time to bring you up to date at least briefly on where our current projects stand in terms of completion. As you may have seen elsewhere on the site, our 'Pennsy' N5c project is finally finished, the models are inhouse and the shipping is beginning. We are extremely pleased with the results of this project although it took far longer than anticipated. The K-4 project is nearing completion, we have only about three weeks to go and the models are looking fantastic. The K-4 project site will be updated shortly as it has fallen a bit behind as we have concentrated on wrapping up the N5c project. The H-8 project is by far the fastest selling project we have done to date and we are about to close the reservations. The first dedicated project update is in the works now and will be going in the mail once the photos of the first completed sample model have been included in the write up, this of course goes to all of our H-8 reservation holders.

We will be providing information on our new projects in the very near future, both on our web site as well as in the new mail update that is in preparation. Our approach to project selection and completion will be changing somewhat near term to reflect the current state of the hobby, it would seem that we have been too concerned with making selections that did not interfere with other importers and we feel that it's now time to only worry about the interests and satisfaction of our customers. A more detailed explanation will be forthcoming and your input will be welcomed as always.

One additional brief note regarding our mail updates; as your are probably aware these updates go out to all of our customers as well as those that have requested to be on our mailing list. In the past when we have received returned copies that could not be delivered due to addressing issues, if there was a forwarding address provided we would update the address and send out the copy again. Beginning with this next mailing we will no longer re-mail returned updates unless it is for one of our existing customers, anyone else that is really interested in receiving our mailings will have to make certain that we have a current address on file.

Check back for more news soon!

9/15/05 - We have received a number of communications in the last few days regarding Sunset/3rd Rail having used a photo in their promotional materials showing a Norfolk & Western Y6b model that we produced without proper acknowledgement of that fact, we want to confirm that we are aware of this situation and thank those of you that have expressed concern. Let it be said that we have had discussions with the appropriate parties involved and we'll leave it at that.

There will be more project news soon!

9/01/05 - The speed with which our projects are moving now has made it difficult to dedicate the time necessary to do our normal web site updates. With projects moving along quickly, we have had to pay close attention to every aspect of the projects to make certain that they are headed in the right direction. It's critical for us to provide the immediate guidance and support that our builder needs so that the final product is what we are all looking for, unfortunately this has impacted our normal level of web activity. With the delivery of our N5c cabin car project our normal updating should return.

Our attention has not only been focused on currently running projects, we have had to continue our efforts in developing our future projects as well. More information will be forthcoming soon as we are at the point when we will be looking to move forward on our passenger equipment projects, but there are several questions that must be posed to those interested in those particular projects. Quite frankly, the level of input and feedback that we receive regarding these projects will be a big determining factor in how we proceed.

The bottom line for the moment is that be assured that even though our level of web activity is down, that only means that our productive activity is at a very high level. Check back frequently as we strive to provide the latest and most important news regarding our modeling efforts.

8/22/05 - We apologize for the delay in posting new information to our site, but we have been extremely busy managing the details of the currently running projects. Our N5c 'Pennsy' cabin cars are to be finished by the 10th of September and our 'Pennsy' K-4 will not be far behind, making certain of the final details is critical at this point, so again please bare with us and we'll have new information available during this week.

8/05/05 - Our work and experimentation with the issue of DCC technology continues and we have reached several conclusions which we will share over the course of the next several days. We have looked at what we feel is the best of the equipment available and we are very encouraged with some of the new features that we see being incorporated in some new equipment coming a bit later this year, more on that soon as well. The bottom line for us at this point is that we will have an involvement with the technology, the only question remaining is how we will approach and utilize what is available. More soon!

7/25/05 - Our latest postal mail update has again generated considerable interest in our current and future projects, we thank all of you that have provided feedback in one form or another. Again with this update we have received a number of returned updates due to out of date addresses, we are correcting the addresses when possible, but we will not send the current update again. If no forwarding address is provided by the postal service the listing will be deleted from our database. We have never charged a fee for our updates so the expense involved just in the postage is considerable, if you want to continue receiving our mailings please make certain that we have your latest address.

7/06/05 - Please be advised that our network servers will be undergoing maintenance beginning at 10:00PM EST on the 9th of July, this will affect access to our web site and E-mail delivery. This intermittent outage should last 4-6 hours and we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

7/04/05 - It has been too long since we have taken the time to provide a general update regarding what has been going on in our modeling world. We have been extremely busy with our current project production, planning for the launch of new projects and selecting future projects, in addition to all of these activities, we have taken the time to attend some shows with the hope of seeing many of you there. Perhaps the subject of shows is a good place to start.

Our most recent show was in St. Louis for the O Scale National Convention and I would like to extend publicly a sincere thank you to the Big Bend Model Railroad club for their effort in hosting the event. It has to be said that it was not a well attended event, but we enjoyed the opportunity to meet with those of you that were there and we managed to accomplish a number of important tasks. What was probably the most surprising realization was that Kohs & Company was the only brass importer represented at the show. On the other hand, Atlas and Weaver apparently understood the importance of supporting the convention, their presents there affirmed that fact, we'll leave it to you to reach your own conclusions. Our next show is the NMRA hosted National Train Show this coming weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the show we'll be showing three (3) production samples of our 'Pennsy' K-4 project as well as a production sample from out 'Pennsy' N5c cabin car project. In addition we'll have something special to show to those of you who attend. We plan on attending a number of shows between now and the end of the year and we look forward to the face to face exchange of ideas that those opportunities afford, we hope to see you at one of them!

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Shown above is a photo of our latest K-4 sample model, this is a 'post-war' version with a 130P75 tender. Be sure to check out our individual project sites for the latest information on all of our active projects. In addition to our currently running projects we have been planning well into the future for new projects so that the appropriate reference material will be on hand when the active design work begins. Beside the usual core reference materials, we have been soliciting the hands-on involvement of the most knowledgeable individuals possible in terms of our newly selected subjects, announcements will be made regarding these selections in the coming weeks.

We are not only looking at new locomotive projects, but we are looking to develop new rolling stock as well, both freight and passenger. Shown below is a test 'shot' of an early production Sherman M-4 tank that we cast in brass, it is an exact 1:48 replica and may well wind up being a future flat car load consistent with our desire to develop a complete war-time (WWII) consist appropriate for a number of different roads.

We could go on and on with all that we have been working on, but there is a new update in the mail headed to all of our customers and those of you that have requested to be placed on our mailing list, the update should be arriving this coming week. We would like to leave some fresh information for the update and once they have arrived we'll continue our on-line update. It has to also be mentioned that the reservation brochures and forms for our 'Allegheny' class project are in the mail and should be arriving for all of our customers in the next few days, there has been extreme anticipation over the start of this project and it promises to be our highest demand effort to date.

5/08/05 - We want to provide a bit of a 'heads up' regarding a special offering that we will be announcing in our forthcoming newsletter; as we have previously done, in conjunction with Dallee Electronics we will be offering a special price on the finest throttle unit available for any scale, the Dallee Engineer. This offer will be available for all of our existing customers for a limited time only, the details of the unit and pricing will be in the newsletter. We thought that advance notice was appropriate since there will be a limited number of units available for this offer, if your interested act fast!

4/15/05 - Once again we find ourselves having to apologize for the incompetences of our hosting company, if you have tried to visit our site in the last five days you know that it has been unavailable. Although we have just moved to this new Internet home and initially had high hopes for consistent performance, our confidence has certainly been shaken by a problem that should have never taken five days to resolve! We will begin to update our project sites now that 'things' are hopefully back to normal. Again, we thank you for your patience during this past week.

3/30/05 - If you have tried to visit our site in about the last twelve hours you know that it has not been available, the outage was due to a technical problem with our new hosting company. The Network Solutions system shut down countless web sites as a result of their system indicating that web sites had exceeded their bandwidth provisions, this triggered the automatic shutdown of sites. The situation has hopefully been corrected! We relocated our web home to a faster hosting location which also offers greater flexibility and advantages for the future..............at least when the sites are up! We will be doing some site revamping so the move was required to meet our expanding needs, the most basic benefit of the move is that you should be able to access our site and larger files more quickly.

Many of you know that we have recently experienced the sadness of a death in our small family, this has had us very distracted from our normal routine, but we are working to get back to normal as quickly as possible. We will be posting new information regarding several of our current and future projects in the next few hours, we had hoped to due this last night, but the outage problem prevented us from working on the site.

3/13/05 - Since posting our initial comments after returning from the Nürnberg Toy Fair, we have received considerable feedback and inquiries about what our plans are for the future. In short, our efforts will not diminish or lessen in terms of what U.S. prototypes we produce, but we have struggled for the past two plus years to increase our production capacity and we now need to decide what is the most effective use of that capability. We must determine what additional simultaneous projects our current dominate market will support, we will not change what we have planned, but we can certainly add to it. Many of you know that we have been quietly pursuing the development of EMD 'F' units as a pet project, with all of the times they have been done they have never really been done 'right', is there enough firm support for us to advance this effort along with what we already have in place? Other possibilities that we must consider near term are the Pennsy BP-20's which have only been done once rather crudely and another favorite of ours, the Union Pacific 'Big Blow' which although previously produced, has not been developed to the extent that we would like to do it. The other possibility which many have assumed we are favoring is the production of European prototypes, while we have already selected two likely candidates that we would really like to develop, no firm decision has been made in that regard. We make mention of our deliberations in an effort to be responsive to our supporters and to begin providing some insight into where we are in fact headed in the future. As we do with all of our efforts, we will be actively seeking input on the subject and more specifically, trying to determine what specific projects will garner enough 'real' support to make them viable in concert with our current agenda. If you have thoughts on the subject, now is the time to let us know!

Our Internet home has moved in the last two days so if you have experienced interruptions while trying to view our site that is probably the reason. Our new home will provide greater capabilities and will hopefully be faster in response to our ever increasing viewership. If you encounter broken links or missing files, please let us know so we can correct the situation right away, we hopefully haven't missed too many at this point!! We should also mention that our E-mail was probably briefly affected during this time frame, so if you tried to send us a message and it was returned, please send it again. A major factor in our move was in fact due to problems created by SPAM, our last hosting company tried blocking more of the flood of spam and wound up blocking much of the communication that we normally receive from the 'Pacific Rim' area of the world, our apologies to those of you in that area that have been affected, we are pretty certain that the situation has been corrected because we have already started to see the return of mail from your area.

3/02/05 - The photos below are just a sampling of what we saw during our visit to Germany and while taking part in the Nürnberg Toy Fair. Needless to say, we were one of the smaller exhibitors, but our location in the show really couldn't have been better. The closest thing we have in the states to compare with just the train portion of the toy fair would be the annual NMRA National Train Show and it pales by comparison. The shots of the larger companies exhibits will give you an idea of how lavish their displays were, everything from custom built computer controlled train layouts to fully complemented conference/sales rooms within their exhibits were 'essentials' for the likes of Marklin, Fleischmann and LGB. Walking into the show as a new exhibitor was a bit intimidating, but it didn't take long to feel at home once the show opened for it's six day run.

The feedback that we received from other exhibitors, importers and show attendees was extremely gratifying; routinely the comments were along the lines that we had the finest models in the show and that for many, our models were the finest they had ever seen. Our initial interest in doing the show was to see how we stacked up against the overseas competition and to be judged as we were was very exciting to say the least. Seven of the largest train publications in Europe sought out our exhibit to request the use our of models for photo sessions that they were conducting in their studios which were contained within their own exhibits at the show. The magazine efforts were so sophisticated that one of them, Eisenbahn Kurier used photos taken during the first two days of the show in their publication that was released on the fourth day of the toy fair. In their show issue, Eisenbahn Kurier referred to Kohs & Company as, 'a presenter of samples of the finest detailed models'. We had been cautioned at the outset that we may have a language barrier to deal with, but we learned very quickly that there was a universal language in play, 'Allegheny, Big Boy I want' and it was music to our very tired ears!

We had the opportunity during the show to see first hand what we have been told about our models from our very first project, compared to our overseas competition, they are very under priced. As a comparison, one of the best known importers was displaying a nicely finished 'pacific' size locomotive in O scale that had etched rivets, sprung horn-block driver suspension with minimal additional suspension detail, what would be considered not very complete underbody detailing by our standards and no sound or special electronics, the price, $6,450.00US and this was not an isolated instance. Models priced in our range typically had: etched rivets, etched boiler bands, minimal underbody detail, basic sprung drivers, minimal cab interior detail, piping often without elbows/couplings, few opening doors or compartments and no sound or control electronics. When we responded to queries about our prices there was inevitably a look of surprise on the face of the person making the inquiry.

Outside the show we stayed in a wonderful town, which will remain nameless, away from Nürnberg and had the fun of either driving the Autobahn or taking the ICE train back and forth to the show. A special thank you has to go out to Jack McGarry who helped me man the show and his wife Cheryl who helped with the planning. Cheryl and my wife Sharon really saw the sites during our stay visiting three countries and when all was said and done, there were 2600 new kilometers on our rental car! The people we encountered during our stay in Germany were great, it was a very pleasant experience and we are all looking forward to going back, especially my wife who made a new friend at our favorite restaurant, I wouldn't let her bring him back!!!

In future updates there will be further comment on conclusions drawn from taking part in the show and also plans in the making as a result of what we learned.

The main entrance building to the twelve building complex.

Our modest, but effective exhibit booth which was positioned in the center of the hall.

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The three shots above will give you an idea of the sophistication of the show.

A midnight shot of the wonderful hotel that Cheryl Jones found for us, thanks again Cheryl!

2/20/05 - The Nürnberg Toy Fair is now over and we have a lot to report regarding the experience as well as some general news about of our projects. Check back over the next couple of days for the very latest information.

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