General News Updates 2008

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12/25/08 - Merry Christmas to all and the happiest of New Years.

12/04/08 - The accolades continue to come in regarding our most recent delivery, the PRR G22b gondolas. I suspect that this project has stirred more response than most, because the results came as a bit of an interesting surprise. From the outset the reaction to our doing the G22b w/containers was being somewhat second guessed by arm-chair importers. Now that the results can be evaluated first-hand the project is being proclaimed as probably the best value to date because the models are literally loaded with detail. The feedback is rewarding, particularly from our reservation holders because they placed their trust in us early on and to hear their satisfaction is the ultimate reward. I have to again thank all of our extremely loyal clients that continue to make our projects possible, this core of supporters is ever present and willing to support the projects that we decide to undertake. It has been very tempting to provide price breaks up front or to raise prices once the delivery of a project starts, but that raises the whole issue of pricing, clouds the 'real' value of our models and we have always tried to deliver the best value possible. With closer consideration, it becomes apparent that the 'payoff' for those reserving models at the outset is that they have the pick of the crop so to speak and those buying late in the process have a much more limited choice. There is no secret that every project has it's 'plums' and it is seldom the case that they are still available when the project comes to delivery.

11/27/08 - To all of our friends living in the United States or from the United States living somewhere else in the world, we wish you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING holiday. A special mention and a prayer goes out to our members of the armed forces where ever you are!

11/22/08 - It is with a very heavy heart that I must report the passing of a tremendous supporter of our modeling efforts, but more importantly a fantastic man. Jim Gillum, well known for his efforts with the Norfolk & Western Historical Society and particularly it's archiving efforts, died Wednesday night this week. Jim made working with the archives a joy, he was a man of his word and dedicated to the mission of the society and helping those with a common interest. Jim will certainly be missed within the railroading community and by anyone that had the pleasure of meeting or working with Jim. Our most sincere condolences to Jim's family...................... rest in peace Jim.

11/22/08 - I am happy to advise that all of our paid orders for G22b gondolas have been shipped! The feedback has been coming in from customers that have been reviewing the models and there seems to be two common threads among all of the messages; the first being that the G22b is the finest piece of rolling stock ever produced and secondly that it is very easy to understand the price once you see the finished model. If you imagine 2,400 of the hand-built containers all lined up for processing you can begin to understand why Mr. Sin our builder does not want to see any more projects that involve containers! Each container is constructed to the same standards as the car itself, with punched rivets, fully functioning detail and unique numbering all applied by hand. Needless to say, we are very proud of our combined efforts on this project. Many thanks to all of you that have taken the time to drop a note or call with your comments.

Our web updating continues and I hope that in the next few days we will have a full set of photos from our H-8 project finally posted, even though the project has been sold out for months. I will be adding a photo essay that illustrates the process of creating master patterns for casting parts and also the casting process itself. Having spent a day with Mr. Kim, the gentleman that produces all of the castings for our rolling stock, it was possible to photograph the process from beginning to end. Once you become familiar with this process you can better understand how it can elevate simple brass model trains to an art form when executed with skill and dedication. I hope in time to have all that are interested better versed on the processes necessary to craft fine model trains through hopefully entertaining 'educational' information I present on our site. Let me know if there are certain aspects of the modeling art that you would like to see presented.

There will be an new mail update going out shortly so I would request that if you are on our mailing list and have changed your address since out last mailing and have not updated your information with us, that you please do so right away. The cost of mailing our updates is substantial so when we receive returned update mail those individuals will be dropped from our mailing list whether the postal service has provided a forwarding address or not.

New online updates are coming for our other current projects so check back frequently to see the latest information.

10/19/08 - Having just returned from the TCA show in York, Pennsylvania I wanted to share a bit of the experience in light of the countries current economic situation. In preparing to leave for the show, it was done with great apprehension considering what has been happening with the financial/stock market and the economy in general; would it be worth the time and expense to travel to the show in York? In short, there were over 15,000 people in attendance and the universal feeling among the dealers I spoke with was, that this was one of the best shows in recent times based on sales. What a surprise, the mood in general was positive and people seem to be enjoying themselves more than usual, although there were a number of conversations overheard relating to the economic situation. For those of you we had the opportunity to meet and greet, it was a great time and I thank you!!

10/14/08 - Driven by requests, we have been working towards publishing a comprehensive listing of our production information for each and every project. Although most of the basic information has been available on our individual project sites, we hope to put it into a more user friendly form that can be filed away with other pertinent information. We will also include information on special very limited versions that have not been formally announced or previously discussed. As part of this effort we hope to provide information that can be filed away with estate planning documents so it can be used by executors in dealing with estate matters. We will be encouraging our owners to take advantage of this information in an effort to protect their estates against what we refer to as the 'vulture syndrome', the practice of friends and acquaintances looking for bargains in the event of an untimely death. If you have any specific ideas that may be helpful in this regard, please let us know.

9/30/08 - Just a brief update for tonight, Korea trip number 93 is in the books which is exciting because I am drawing closer to earning my golden chopsticks and getting a personalized complaint pad to use with Northwest Airlines. Number 93 was an interesting trip because aside from reviewing our current projects and discussing future plans with our two fantastic builders, Mr. Lee and Mr. & Mrs. Sin, which will be the subject of several future updates, it was time to make my annual effort to accept invitations from several builders to see what they have to offer someone interested in producing brass model trains. In short, times are changing rather quickly now and it is not making model production easier for anyone interested in quality production. This will be a subject line included in our forthcoming mail update because the situation is now a major factor in our future planning. Are we leaving the model business...........that is not our plan at this point, but careful planning will be required to accomplish the goals that we have set for our models.

We have considerable new information to offer on our current projects and have already started to do so on the individual projects sites, but there is more to come including photos. Be sure to check back for the latest.

9/18/08 - If you tried to visit our site yesterday around mid-day Eastern time you probably were unsuccessful. This has been a reoccurring problem that remains unexplained so far by our Hosting company Network Solutions. We are aware of this situation and are pushing to have the situation corrected. This has happened a number of times in the last few months and we understand that it is a real inconvenience for those interested in what we do. We can tell from the daily site logs that based on average daily visitation, several hundred people had problems accessing our site yesterday. Please be aware that we are working on the situation!

9/17/08 - We have posted our initial findings resulting from O scale track comparisons and if you're interested in that type of information for your layout, you may want to check out what we have done. We undertook the comparison in an effort to answer some of the questions we have been asking for several years and decided to try and get the answers for ourselves. You can view this information by going to the Technical Information page.

9/15/08 - You may have noticed that we have been working at updating our web site and offering up the latest information for a number of our projects. We're not done yet, new projects will be listed shortly and there is more information related to current projects to share, but I had to take time to share some hot news. For the first time (that I are aware of) Kohs & Company has been immortalized in scale size on an owner's layout, notice the sign on the side of the building. The photos below illustrate Dr. Steve DeLoach's impression of our 'global' operation. I am flattered that I am shown with more hair than I actually have, thanks Steve!!

8/27/08 - If you have tried to contact us by e-mail in the last week you probably know that there has been a problem. On the 23rd we suffered a devastating lightning strike that destroyed all of our computers and networking equipment so we have not been able to respond to messages since that time. We have recovered all of our data except for messages sent to us during the time period of 8/16/08 through 8/23/08. If you contacted us by e-mail during that time please resend your message so we can respond as quickly as possible. Also, if we sent you a message during that time it would be very helpful if you could forward a copy of our message to you so we can maintain as complete a record of our communication as possible. All should be back to normal as of tomorrow. More updates will follow shortly.

7/14/08 - If you have been trying to reach us by phone in the past 3-4 weeks you are probably very frustrated! We have just gone through another bought of medical problems in our family and it has been a priority to spend most of my time at the hospital. I am back at it so to speak, so I should be available in the coming days. The first priority at hand is to get our new project information in the mail and to catch up on responding to numerous voicemail and e-mail messages. Your patience and understanding is again greatly appreciated! We will be posting information on new locomotive projects shortly, this too is overdue and we have had numerous inquiries about our future plans, this information will be forthcoming. We hope to see many of you at the rapidly approaching O Scale National Convention, it should be a great place to do some catching up!! More soon.

5/04/08 - Just a brief update to advise that our work continues, all be it quietly, our hands have been very full with model deliveries and our continuing family health issues which sap a great many hours out of our work week. We have several of our projects that will be released for reservations this month, our UP Challenger, PRR N5/N5b cabin cars and PRR FD2/FW1 flat cars among them. Beyond continuing the development of our announced projects, we have been working to fortify our position in Korea so we can optimize our pricing and delivery. As we all know, the U.S. dollar has been suffering against most other international currencies and that has not helped the brass model business much at all. We are happy to report that the demand for our projects has never been greatly and that certainly is reassuring all things considered. We hope to have a more regular update schedule in the coming weeks, but at least understand that we are working hard to achieve that goal with very full hands! We have had a huge influx of new inquires and orders from new people in recent weeks so we will be back tracking with our updates a bit trying to provide a better insight into our business for these new modelers so please bare with us, we'll try to make it interesting and informative for everyone.

2/21/08 - The new year has once again started out to be extremely busy, just past the holiday season and off to the shows! We are trying to minimize our show attendance until our model shipping is completed, but there are a couple of mandatory appearances that must be made. Unfortunately we again could not attend O Scale West, because the dates this year conflicted with the toy fair in Nurnberg, Germany where we displayed for the four year in a row. We understand that O Scale West has it's dates set for later in the month next year and we look forward to being there again, we miss meeting with all of the great modelers on the west coast when we can not attend.

Shown below are a couple of photos of our display at the toy fair this year, you may notice the 'Big Boy' on steroids that we had the pleasure of exhibiting with Mr. Lee out builder, this is his personal project that we ave previously reported on. Needless to say, the BIG Big Boy created quite a stir throughout the run of the show! For the record we displayed: UP Challenger, C&O H-8 Allegheny, standard production PRR K-4, weathered PRR K-4, PRR N5 sample, PRR N5 with collision posts sample, PRR N5b sample, PRR FD-2 flat car sample, PRR FW-1 flat car sample, version #1 PRR G22b gondola, version #12 PRR G22b gondola, N&W CF-2 caboose, N&W C2-1 caboose, weathered N&W C2-2 caboose, Virginian C10-1 caboose and our latest Sherman M4 tank sample complete with working scale brass track.

During the course of the show we greeted clients from a dozen countries including the United States and interested enthusiasts from many additional countries. We were again one of two U.S. companies involved in displaying in the train hall, for the record, Hall 4A, booth C-228. We would encourage you to attend the Toy Fair next year and we would be happy to help you in planning your visit including supplying passes to the show. There are a number of railroad related museums to see in addition to some wonderful German cities to visit.

Now back from the show, we are anticipating the arrival of the PRR G22b gondolas at our shop and the shipping of those models will begin as we wind down from the shipping of Allegheny and caboose models. As of this writing, we are working on a long overdue postal mail update that will highlight all of the new projects that we are working on and will introduce a couple of new ones not previously discussed. The reservation process for the PRR N5/N5b project will begin in the next couple of weeks as will the UP Challenger reservations. Our work to update the web site continues and there will be a number of new photos added in several locations, most importantly to the UP Challenger project site. One final comment in closing, for anyone interested in the development of the Union Pacific 1:16 scale Big Boy project, we are helping our builder Mr. Lee launch a web site dedicated to his personal projects his site can be located at: http://www.sjmodels.com.

1/28/08 - Just a brief update to advise that we continue our efforts to get all of the models we have on hand shipped so we can bring in the next load, the PRR G22b gondolas with containers! Shipping remains our focus above all else even though progress on other issues continues with the help of some extremely dedicated individuals. There will be more extensive updates as time allows, including information on our freight truck production, passenger equipment and new locomotive projects.

1/04/08 - I just wanted to confirm that we are again shipping model orders, both the Allegheny's and the N&W/Virginian cabooses. We had stopped shipping a few days before Christmas as a result of several alarming reports from customers that had received boxes that had been thoroughly trashed during the delivery process, happily there has been no significant damage reported. As we resume our efforts delivery services will be somewhat back to normal after the rush. Again, we do not make the overt decision to deliver our projects at this time of year, it is always as a result of the collective circumstances involving the builder, the airlines and U.S. Customs, given a choice, it would certainly not be this time of year.

1/02/08 - Happy New Year to all that are interested in our work! The new year is underway and we are getting back up to speed after a fantastic holiday season. Our web updates have already begun and there are many more to follow in the coming days. You may have noticed a somewhat different type of photo featured on our home page, it was provided courtesy of Dr. Stephen DeLoach. In the future when we feature a photo from an owners layout you will find the credit listed on the 'Introduction' page for our site. We encourage more of you to share both your railroading and photographic skills! ................................PLEASE!

A special thank you goes out to Joe Giannovario, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of O Scale Trains Magazine for his review of our new Norfolk & Western and Virginian cabooses. You can read the review in your copy of the January/February issue #36 or be sure to pick one up at your local newsstand or better yet, consider a subscription that will support one of only two regular publications that provide coverage to our segment of the model railroading hobby.

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