As popular as the SD40-2 was, I'm surprised Sunset can't obtain enough reservations to produce the model.

What is the explanation for this?

My own theory is that the current Sunset market is geared toward earlier models, so the venture toward selling more modern equipment needs to capture a different segment if the market. And that market might have been tainted when they produced their first diesel in the 1990s..the GE dash 9, which was really bad compared to what they're doing now.

Other manufacturers have produced this model for the 3 rail market, but the same other manufacturers have produced most of the other stuff that Sunset has no problems selling.

Does anybody have any ideas as to how we can assist Sunset with getting enough orders to run the model?

Original Post
Brad Kowal posted:

As popular as the SD40-2 was, I'm surprised Sunset can't obtain enough reservations to produce the model.

What is the explanation for this?

Apparently not enough SCALE modelers, whether 2-Rail or 3-Rail, are all that interested on any models of SD40-2 units, especially with all the variations.

My own theory is that the current Sunset market is geared toward earlier models, so the venture toward selling more modern equipment needs to capture a different segment if the market. And that market might have been tainted when they produced their first diesel in the 1990s..the GE dash 9, which was really bad compared to what they're doing now.

No comparison. That was way back when.

Other manufacturers have produced this model for the 3 rail market, but the same other manufacturers have produced most of the other stuff that Sunset has no problems selling.

Except, those "other manufacturers", i.e. 3-Rail toys, didn't make them accurately, plus they have that "China Drive" system.

Does anybody have any ideas as to how we can assist Sunset with getting enough orders to run the model?

Just my opinion but, how don't know of ANY method to force more modelers in O Scale, to place enough reservations/orders for models that have already been produced in mass, no matter whether they were/are actually accurate or not.

 

GVDobler posted:

I would ask how many orders they need to produce something and then give them an order for that many. If you can't sell them after you get them, then you'll know why they wouldn't do it.

Yes, AND you’ll also have bragging rights (“I bought ALL of them...”) at your favorite singles bar which I’m sure will make the ladies swoon!😝

Hot Water posted:

I thought that Midwest Model Works was planning on offering SD45/SD40 and SD45-2/SD40-2 models (only 2-Rail SCALE, of course). I saw the samples at the Chicago March Meet, last March.

They are. I have a reservation for a CSX SD40-2. Erik is still taking deposits for this project which includes SD40's, SD39's, SD38's and SD35's.

Neither 3rd Rail (SD40-2) nor Atlas (SD40) received enough interest to move forward with their models.  The MTH SD40-2 is 2-rail convertible but you're still left with swinging pilots, undersized fuel tank and an unsightly gap between the trucks and pilots.

Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

For what it's worth, I am far more interested in 4-axle diesels and smaller steam engines.  They just look better going around 60" radius curves.  Therefore, a correct GP40-2 in any phase would pique my interest.

That said, if a single SD40-2 reservation would make the difference (I doubt it), then I would place one to help get things going...but right now for me that money is better spent on other things.  I have a VERY short 'want' list of 6-axle diesels (NKP and black Erie Alco PA, maybe an SD50).

I suspect my opinion is not representative of the masses, because it seems everyone and their brother owns a Big Boy or Challenger, haha.

Overall, it is a good time for O-scale.  It would be nice if there were a company like A-Line/Rail Power for HO, cranking out undecorated diesel body shells in all variations so we can build our own.

catnap posted:
Hot Water posted:

I thought that Midwest Model Works was planning on offering SD45/SD40 and SD45-2/SD40-2 models (only 2-Rail SCALE, of course). I saw the samples at the Chicago March Meet, last March.

They are. I have a reservation for a CSX SD40-2. Erik is still taking deposits for this project which includes SD40's, SD39's, SD38's and SD35's.

Neither 3rd Rail (SD40-2) nor Atlas (SD40) received enough interest to move forward with their models.  The MTH SD40-2 is 2-rail convertible but you're still left with swinging pilots, undersized fuel tank and an unsightly gap between the trucks and pilots.

Undersized fuel tank? Undersized how... Length or width? The width looks perfectly fine with me on the PS2 & PS3 models.

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

It's been a while since I brought up the world's greatest loco and it could be built for 4 railroad lines.

Milwaukee, Soo Line, Wisconsin Southern, Wisconsin Central, and FEPASA (regauged to 5') in Chile.

PLEASE, SOMEONE, MAKE THESE LOCOS, AS I WOULD BUY A MILW AND THE FEPASA. My wife was raised in Chile.

Dick

 

Dick Donaway

VietNam Veteran

One of the turn-offs for me in the 3rd Rail offerings is the QSI sound.  Certainly the 3rd rail detail and drive are better than most competitive offerings.  I've standardized on Loksound with a few Tsunami's still remaining.  If a straight DC version or Loksound equipped was offered I'd be in for at least 6.   If the newer Lionel units (SD40 and SD40-2) with the Kinematic pilots could more easily be converted to 2R I'd be just as happy with those as i can get the twin motors working well enough for fine operations.  Also, plenty of options to add ditchlights and the correct details, not to mention the market has been better for reselling the legacy components then the QSI decoder, at least for me.    

Thank you,

Mike

GG1 4877 posted:

Too many inferior versions to pollute the market for a good one.

That's the conundrum of  2 rail O scale.  Quantity seems to overrule quality.    Pennsy steam is that way.  For such a "popular" road with a supposedly saturated O scale following I NEVER see anything other than a few PSC K4s or Westside J's or H6sbs for sale in 2 rail.   Where did  all the rest of the 2 rail PRR steam go?

The -40-2 is arguably one of the best modern locomotives ever made but has seemingly a small following in O scale.  Too "pedestrian" maybe?

At the same time E and F units are done again and again and again in seemingly endless variations, ad nauseam.  They must have buyers or they wouldn't be made.

 

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

At first glance, MTH may have saturated the market?  Here is a quick search on their website for catalog releases for the SD40-2.. Granted later releases had some improvements.   Looking at recent years they seem to average a run, or at least a listing every year or two.

Thank you,

Mike

Attachments

Photos (1)
Rule292 posted:
GG1 4877 posted:

Too many inferior versions to pollute the market for a good one.

That's the conundrum of  2 rail O scale.  Quantity seems to overrule quality.    Pennsy steam is that way.  For such a "popular" road with a supposedly saturated O scale following I NEVER see anything other than a few PSC K4s or Westside J's or H6sbs for sale in 2 rail.   Where did  all the rest of the 2 rail PRR steam go?

The -40-2 is arguably one of the best modern locomotives ever made but has seemingly a small following in O scale.  Too "pedestrian" maybe?

At the same time E and F units are done again and again and again in seemingly endless variations, ad nauseam.  They must have buyers or they wouldn't be made.

 

For a model railroader, E and F units span the period from steam into full dieselization. Thus they allow a lot of flexibility in settings and acquisition of motive power. SD-40-2's are restricted to just the modern era.

I see most of the Pennsy Models from USH and MG and sunset at O scale shows.     Maybe not all at all shows, but within a year, I have seen 4-5 L1s, 4-5 I1s, some USH K4s, CLW H10s, GEM B6, USH C1, MG C1, Various M1 and M1A, N1 and J1

I also see many of these for sale on EBAY, but I have never dealt that way.  

Norm's O Scale, Allegheny Scale models usually have 5-10 pennsy models on their websites or in their ads.     They usually have many tables at the March Meet in Lombard IL (Chicago area).     American Scale Models (Bill Davis) also has a large variety of stuff that changes rapidly.        

The L1s seem to be most available, ie least popular.     I1s show up pretty often too, and then probably 3rd are the mountains.    K4 are actually probably most available, but are passenger locos.

Too many Remakes of F & E units and Museum pieces are what dominate O gauge, Sadly.

I'm holding on to my custom painted O gauge equipment, but have been purchasing stuff in HO (which is not available in O) SDP45, SD40-2, GP40X, GP40-2, GP50, SD45-2, U36C, B23-7, B30-7, B36-7, F45, SDF40 etc.

prrjim posted:

I see most of the Pennsy Models from USH and MG and sunset at O scale shows.     Maybe not all at all shows, but within a year, I have seen 4-5 L1s, 4-5 I1s, some USH K4s, CLW H10s, GEM B6, USH C1, MG C1, Various M1 and M1A, N1 and J1

I also see many of these for sale on EBAY, but I have never dealt that way.  

Norm's O Scale, Allegheny Scale models usually have 5-10 pennsy models on their websites or in their ads.     They usually have many tables at the March Meet in Lombard IL (Chicago area).     American Scale Models (Bill Davis) also has a large variety of stuff that changes rapidly.        

The L1s seem to be most available, ie least popular.     I1s show up pretty often too, and then probably 3rd are the mountains.    K4 are actually probably most available, but are passenger locos.

I hesitate to reply as not to make this a PRR steam thread.   Most of the PRR steam for sale dates to the 70's and earlier and few of it is even close to being accurate.   Anything accurate (other than the current run L1s that are /were slow sellers) like Key H9's (which are long in the tooth, sparsely detailed and without sound but are physically accurate) are well over a grand.   Strangely, most 2 railers don't care about accuracy but even Lionel did PRR H's with a choice of lines east or lines west tenders.    

I'm not putting down E and F units just saying they seem to be cranked out and selling at the same time that the SD40-2 shows little interest.    And the SD40-2 is synonymous with modern railroading as much as F units are to the transition era.

Human nature I guess that looks rule.  We'd choose the show horses before we'd choose the work horses. 

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

Unfortunately for all of this, the manufacturing of trains is a business and the items that come to market are the ones that sell.  Sadly, as I had two on pre-order, the SD40-2 does not seem to have captured the excitement we all hoped it would.  In that sense the market has spoken for the time being.

Jonathan

 

Any model that you measure closely, will mostly like have some inaccuracies.     Some are due to compromises to allow it to run on our track which is 5 ft gauge and some due to wrong drawins sent or wrong interpretations.      Remember the people that build these have never seen them and may have no idea what they are, they just work from whatever plans and drawings that are provided.     And many of the importers are not modelers, simply businessmen, so they work with whatever is provided them by so-called "experts".

On the other hand, many issues in detail are often on the order of 3-6 scale inches, which is no big deal in my opinion.   

As or electronics, most scale modelers in any scale have their preferences, so not being available in a brass steamer is also no big deal.    Most of my HO buddies have favorite sound systems of various brands and rip out whatever comes in the loco and replace it with their favorites.     I know a lot of BLI and Proto 2000 HO locos that have the electronics stripped out to put in "better" ones.    So if you are going to install your own, why pay for whatever the importer puts in.   

And the market does decide whether a model project will fly or not.     Apparently at the price point Sunset wanted to meet, they could not get enough reservations for the SD40-2.     Now in reality  while the SD4-2 is considered modern by us old guys, it is an antique to the young guys and no longer seen on the big RRs as far as I know.   

As for market, the Sunset GP7/9 announcement apparently went very well and that project is well on the way to production.

 

Rule292 posted:

I   Strangely, most 2 railers don't care about accuracy but even 

I'm not putting down E and F units just saying they seem to be cranked out and selling at the same time that the SD40-2 shows little interest.    And the SD40-2 is synonymous with modern railroading as much as F units are to the transition era.

Human nature I guess that looks rule.  We'd choose the show horses before we'd choose the work horses. 

Hogwash. Why do you think we're in 2 rail? The problem with the modern stuff is it has ZERO styling. B.O.R.I.N.G! The designs make sense, but aesthetics go out the window. I understand it, it's business, but I don't have to like it. Add to that, less road names, less color schemes, more B.O.R.I.N.G!

Simon

PRR Man posted:

'Strangely, most 2 railers don't care about accuracy'

curious how you derive that Rob? From my experience about 70% of 2 railers look for accuracy in their modeling.

Just my opinion but I don't see the same interest in "prototype fidelity" in O as I do in  other scales. .  This scale seems to be stuck in the blue box Athearn era where others have moved into the Kato and BLI postmodern scale model world.

I always think of O scale RS3 models.  Not a single one done in the past 25 years has the handrails mounted properly to the walkway and not to the frame/side sill.   This isn't a trivial detail, it's one of the trademarks of the breed.

It's all in good fun since no other scale offers the fun and play value of O scale.

And of course Sunset/3rd rail is working hard to give us those state of the art models.    Ne'er a better time to be here even if an SD40-2 shows little current interest.

 

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

My Atlas SD40.  Not bad for a mass produced 3-rail model.  It doesn't have exclusively CB&Q details but still....

My one complaint is the prime mover sound.  It sounds like a SW7, not a turbocharged 16 cylinder diesel with guts.

By contrast, the  horn is like a heavenly host of angels, it sounds that good.  Probably too good.  Just ask my wife

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

As I'm on the Wrong Side of The Pond, my observations about US O Scale might be way out, but here's what I see:

The main Era of interest is still the Transition Era circa 1950s. Is that partly down to the average age of O Scalers? It's often true that we model what we recall from our youth, and those in O Scale tend to be older - so that's the Era the majority of current O Scalers remember & want to model.

Being older & likely retired, they will also have more 'disposable income' to spend on stuff. Younger modellers interested in, say, 1980s onwards, either aren't into O Scale anyway, or even if they are (like me) can't yet afford mega-bucks models, as they still have mortgages to pay & families to feed (like me!!)

And although prices are relative, for myself with a mortgage & family, Sunset prices ARE mega-bucks, so even if I didn't have to factor in Shipping cost to the UK plus 20% 'Value Added Tax', a Sunset SD40-2 would be way out of my pocket, so it's pointless for me to express interest. Maybe there's a lot of Stateside O Scalers in the same position, which gets mis-read as "no demand for modern diesels", rather than what it really is - "want modern diesels BUT can't afford them at that price".??

A question was asked a while ago on this Forum, after a discussion about the Santa Fe CF7 rebuilds - "would we buy it if Sunset made it?". My answer had to be a sad "No", because no matter how much I really want a CF7 (& I REALLY want a CF7!!!) I couldn't afford a Sunset model if they did it.

If there was more stuff out there similar to first-gen Weaver, & Red Caboose; i.e. plastic-bodied locos with can motor & chaindrive, for 2nd & 3rd generation diesels types, at an affordable price point a bit below current Atlas & MTH, then maybe it would attract those modellers of the 1980s-on scene, create the demand for more, and ensure 2-rail O Scale prospers, rather than dying off - literally - as the inevitable happens to those who remember the Transition Era, taking their demand for stock of that Era with them.

Just my thoughts....

Modelling the Soo Line in 2-Rail, from 5,000 miles away & 27 years too late.

We have to be realistic about costs - vs - what we want them to be.    About 25-30 y ears ago I asked Bowser to if they would make a PRR 4 bay H21 hopper as they were doing in HO.     Their reply was that the dies/tooling for the body would cost about $75,000 to begin with and they didn't think they could sell enough.

Based on that I would guess the dies/tooling for just the shell for the SD40 has to be at least 100,000 today.    If so and you sold 100, each one would have to cover 1000 in costs before you make anything.    If you sold 1000, (probably realistic number in O), each one has to cover 100 for cost of shell tooling.    Then  you need to do the frame, the trucks, the drive train, add detail parts and assemble them.    then you need to ship them to US or where-ever.     After all that,  you need to make enough on them to help pay your mortgage and your grocery bill.    So 7-800 for a plastic/diesel does not sound so outrageous.

Phil McCaig posted:

My Atlas SD40.  Not bad for a mass produced 3-rail model.  It doesn't have exclusively CB&Q details but still....

My one complaint is the prime mover sound.  It sounds like a SW7, not a turbocharged 16 cylinder diesel with guts.

By contrast, the  horn is like a heavenly host of angels, it sounds that good.  Probably too good.  Just ask my wife

 

We are talking about SD40-2, very different. Both Atlas and Lionel Straight SD40 (not Dash 2) locomotives are fine.

Mike DeBerg posted:

At first glance, MTH may have saturated the market?  Here is a quick search on their website for catalog releases for the SD40-2.. Granted later releases had some improvements.   Looking at recent years they seem to average a run, or at least a listing every year or two.

I talked to two 3-railers and neither of them are satisfied with MTH or Lionel's offerings.  I don't know how to reach other 3-railers as I'm not allowed to post this same question to the 3-rail forum.  I tried but it was deleted with the explanation that it's against the rules........

Brad Kowal posted:

As popular as the SD40-2 was, I'm surprised Sunset can't obtain enough reservations to produce the model.

What is the explanation for this?

My own theory is that the current Sunset market is geared toward earlier models, so the venture toward selling more modern equipment needs to capture a different segment if the market. And that market might have been tainted when they produced their first diesel in the 1990s..the GE dash 9, which was really bad compared to what they're doing now.

Other manufacturers have produced this model for the 3 rail market, but the same other manufacturers have produced most of the other stuff that Sunset has no problems selling.

Does anybody have any ideas as to how we can assist Sunset with getting enough orders to run the model?

I've read all the reaponses and appreciate the input.  I'm just wondering where the modern era guys are hiding.  Everything modern Atlas produces sells.  The better more detailed freight cars  that Lionel and MTH produces (there are not many of them) sells and can't be found except at high collector prices.  So, I am not shutting out any other facts, but we really need to hear from the modern era guys a bit more before we can write this off.

There is a possiblily of producing SD40-2's in brass along with variants such as SD38-2's and SD39's etc.  That would expand part of the market as well as shrink another part of the market at the same time.   Once I have more information, I will put together some kind of survey and see how many orders we might be able to come up with for somebody, whether it be Sunset or perhaps somebody else.

Hot Water posted:

I thought that Midwest Model Works was planning on offering SD45/SD40 and SD45-2/SD40-2 models (only 2-Rail SCALE, of course). I saw the samples at the Chicago March Meet, last March.

One issue with MMW is the Kohs level cost.  Alhough impossible for most, it is duable for a few when you're looking at one steam locomotive.  When you need 2-3 of the same diesel, $2900 a copy becomes futher out of reach unless those are the only locomotives you will have or you're not building a layout.

Not knocking MMW, but the Sunset SD40-2 was in the $700 range with DCC and Sound.  We might not like the sound, but you could pull it out of the box and put it on almost any layout (DC or DCC) and run it.  Not possible with MMW if you're running DCC.

One big plus for MMW is that he's doing something unique with the option to have opening hood doors with a detailed interior.  While that increases the cost significantly, it does offer something unique that you're not going to get anywhere else and as a result I could see where one of those models makes it on a few poeples' bucket lists of items they want to own.

I am not in the market for these - as you guessed, I am long in the tooth, and lose interest completely beyond the SD9.  Most of my Diesels are sand cast PAs, E7s, and a lonely Erie-Built.  

And worse - for no rational reason, I prefer metal and wood models to plastic.  Scott's E7s are things of great beauty, but I am taking a step backward and hopefully getting some sand cast sides (reminds me - I ought to call the foundry).

It would be interesting to do a poll - first question would be "can you tell the difference between an SD40 and an SD70? "  My answer would be no, and I would be excused from the poll, but counted as an O Scaler.

If you said yes, the next question would be " can you tell the difference between an SD40 and an SD40-2 ?"  A yes answer would lead to question 3:

Would you buy an accurate SD40-2 in plastic with horizontal drive for $700 ?

My guess is that at that point you would be dealing with 1% of current 2-rail O Scalers.  That may be enough - probably not.

But best of luck - hope springs eternal.

Add Reply

Likes (1)
SPSF
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×