Athearn - MDC Roundhouse Now Dead?



Well, in that case, you probably should have said they are "going to be destroyed", rather than saying that "they are destroyed". BTW, whose history are we talking about here? As I stated elsewhere, buyouts have been common in model railroading at least since Athearn bought Globe, and that resulted in a model that is still being made today, decades later. Where is the history you mention that signals the end of Horizon/Athearn/MDC?

Oh, well, that's different.

For starters, cities are where the trains went. Most lines I can think of that didn't go to a city at each end are long out of business. Secondly, I happen to have here a 2004 Walthers catalog. Here is a list of non-urban Cornerstone kits/built ups that might fit your needs (IMHO): 933-2822 Route 66 Motel (built up) 933-2813 Wood Water Tank (built up) 933-2806 Golden Valley Depot (built up) 933-2821 Golden Valley Freight House (built up) 933-3613 Benson's Five and Dime 933-3605 Wally's Warehouse 933-3612 109 Elm Street 933-3806 Cottage Grove Church 933-3607 Cottage Grove School 933-3601 Aunt Lucy's House 933-3604 Smith's General Store 933-3600 River Road Mercantile 933-3603 Rocky Point Lighthouse 933-3602 Willow Glen Bridge 933-3608 Lake Forest Cottage 933-3083 Backwoods Locomotive or Carshop 933-3063 Clarkesville Depot 933-3096 Valley Growers Association 933-3036 Farmers Cooperative Rural Grain Elevator 933-3090 Columbia Feed Mill 933-3061 Sunrise Feed Mill 933-3006 Interstate Fuel & Oil 933-3057 Walton & Sons Lumber Company 933-3082 Mills Bros. Lumber 933-3058 Mountain Lumber Company Sawmill 933-3166 Team Track 933-3073 Midstate Marble Products 933-3527 Jim's Repair Shop
I'm not saying that these are all of interest to you, but I don't think you would find too many of the above structures in, say, downtown Boston... LOL

I gathered that for your wish for truss rod cars. :-)

That's not the case around here. Sure, there's one or two that discounts, but the majority in the Boston area do not unless they are having a sale...

If the demand is that small, shouldn't you be blaming your fellow model railroaders for not spending the money on the stuff you like?
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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wrote:

TO be found in those products in the model aviation field that were bought up by bigger companies, then found to be unprofitable within a larger corporate structure. Where we could once buy good flying models, there are few of them left, and what has replaced them fly like they were made of lead. (But are bean counter approved.) If one wants good flying models, he looks for the smaller, often one man, companies.

Yes, there are no more logging roads. And yes, the extent of any common carrier will begin and end in the millyard, being nothing more than a loop to keep it from looking too static.

And I have just bought a 2005, last week to be exact. I have looked through them, and their kit offerings are more that would be found in downtown Racine at the turn of the century. (No, I'm not in Racine, just too damn close to it.) Close enough that it wouldn't be too hard to go through Racine or Milwaukee and find the buildings on which most of them are based.
This is not what I have in mind, and although I wish there was enough diversity that I could use a kit, I'm fully aware that to get what I'm after, I'm going to have to scratch build almost everything.
To further inform, during the period of 1955 through 1963, I lived on a ranch with my parents, and worked for the owner, part time until 1959 and full time until the end of the logging operations on that ranch in 1961. During this period, and in that area, Laytonville Cal., the "good" logging was long since over, although at the time we moved there in 1955, there were 27 sawmills within ten miles of the town itself. By 1963, there were two of them left. The town never had time to achieve anything that resembles any of the kit offerings, with the exception of the "mall", in which most of the shops were less than twelve feet wide by twenty feet long. No, I'm not modeling this town, and haven't seen anything there since 1963. What I want to reproduce, or create, is the feeling of the "town that never quite made it" and is in the beginning of decline, or maybe continuation of the decline is more accurate. The nearest railroad cuts inland at Longvale, some twelve miles south, and the railroad logging was gone long before we ever moved into the area. Which should also tell you how concerned I am with accuracy. Where I am concerned with accuracy is showing things that most people would rather forget. The shoddy construction of the houses on the Indian Rancheria, the clear need for maintenance on the buildings in town and the lack of money to do it. The town that has had it's reason for existance slowly degrade, but most people have too much time and money tied up to abandon what they still have.

Because I clearly realize that what I want is the tiniest of niche markets. Those that like diesels can probably blame me for not buying them, but I have some, and they haven't seen daylight for over ten years. I have no interest in them. But, this is a hobby, I don't have to compromise, if it's not available, I scratch build. If the loco I want isn't available, I bash something. I realize that for any company to survive, they have their bottom line, and unprofitable items have to fall by the wayside. But it doesn't mean that I have to like it.
Greybeard.
(It's my world, I'll bloody well build it any way I want.)
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was long since over< Gee Graybeard, You have heard me talk about my new layout in the North. You should recognize the town, Covelo!
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wrote:

Not too surprisingly, about a days stagecoach travel, east, over the Dos Rios road, in Round Valley. (Stationed there in the Forestry for a couple of months, but then got a job in a machine shop. No contest.) I also spent some time splitting redwood grape stakes, but don't think I want to include that scene. It's one I'd rather not remember. Dad and his partner used to "let" me make the first split on the log, which is done standing on top of it with a maul and wedges. Get a crack started then continue down until it finally splits. I think I'll pass.
Greybeard.
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But you realize that the MR market is quite different from the model airplane market. The best models in MR are mass produced by the big companies (for example, the Athearn Genesis F's are considered to be the best F's ever, in any medium). The best drives are Kato. And Atlas is doing outstanding work these days with their products. About the only thing thing small independant manufacturers are doing these days are craftsman kits, and the big manufacturers are staying away from them (mostly because they wouldn't sell enough).
<snip>

Ah, I understand now. Sorry, I didn't know you meant *that* far into the sticks...
<snip>
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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best F's ever, in any medium).< Remember that Athearn did not design or develop or cut the molds for this product, it was acquired by Athearn within the framework of dual production. I don't mean this to be a bad thing (good actually) but all was actually done by a small independent manufacture!
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was
And how long did Lubliner actually advertise "A-units coming soon!"? He was never able to come out with it by himself, and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think he ever had a drive for his B-units... BTW, all of the above kinda proves my point. Here we have a small, independant company not being able to actually produce his models being bought out by a much larger company. And what happens? The much larger company comes through and actually makes the product, and makes it better. This is in total opposition to the "big company buys small company and destroys it" argument I heard earlier.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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produce his models being bought out by a much larger company.< While I don't really disagree with what you say it's has nothing to do with Paul not being able to bring this model to market. It has more to do with it didn't interest him anymore<VBG>. In the deal Paul sells the undecs but it would be interesting to know _who_ really owns the molds!
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It's been a while since I contributed here. Busy, busy!
I can confirm that Horizon does NOT have a strict storefront requirement. They did, initially. Some months into the Athearn purchase, they changed the requirement. Non storefront dealers must meet a number of requirements, key ones being a website with its own domain name AND being located in commercial space.
One such dealer is Tom's Trains of Connecticut. Tom started as internet only, eventually opened a storefront, and later closed it. He was, and is, a Horizon dealer, with their blessing. (IIRC, he actually came here and stated that, although I can't come up with the right combination of search terms to find it.)
Non-storefront dealers such as Big Al, who operate out of their homes, are not allowed by Horizon.
I should comment that this isn't meant to put either of the above businesses in a bad light. Both are run by fine gentlemen, and are fairly well known and respected here on this group.
I'd also like to add that, contrary to popular opinion, Walthers does not have a strict storefront requirement, either! They do allow internet-only dealers, with similar restrictions to Horizon. (EXCEPT that they do not require dealers to be in commercial space.)
As for "the demise hasn't happened yet", while the takeover was about a year ago, Athearn and MDC have only been out out of the Walthers catalog for about 4 months. Not that I believe that they will go out of business because of it, but I don't think they'll feel the full impact until the 2006 catalog comes out. I still believe that, eventually, Horizon will be trying to get back into Walthers. They can't advertise everything every month, and the Walthers catalog is still wildly popular as a source of what's available, even with the internet available.
Another often-ignored point is that, prior to Athearn and MDC, Horizon was a minor player in the model railroad market. They may be a powerhouse in other hobbies, but before last year, there was no real reason for a trains-only store to buy from them. Virtually every line they carried could be had from several other distributors. If you had 8 other sources for Atlas, and didn't need RC planes or plastic model kits, why would you need another account? (Remember, these remarks apply to shops selling TRAINS ONLY, not general hobby shops. I understand why a general hobby shop would want Horizon as a major supplier.) For all practical purposes, Horizon was buying their way into model railroading by gaining control of a major manufacturer. And in light of that, it's clear why they pulled out of other distributors. It's not strictly about keeping all of the cash from an Athearn sale. It's also about "forcing" (for want of a better word) a certain segment of dealers to buy from them, when they previously didn't need to.
I don't think any of the dire predictions will come true, but the last chapter isn't written yet. And that chapeter is going to dribble out over the long term.
Peter King in NY
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Lubliner and Cathcart are friends from way back.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
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wrote:

They're not much different in most respects. If someone wants a good quality product, you won't get it from the big names. Where the smaller companies have an option, if something moves slow, they can produce very few of them and maintian high quality. The bigger companies have their bottom line, and if something isn't over that mark, they don't think twice about dropping it. Anything that contributes below a certain percentage of their profit is dropped, the effort is supposedly put into one or more of their more profitable lines. Great for them, but it always leads to fewer and less diverse product lines.
I've worked making dies, and reworking them, they're not cheap for anyone. The problem in the bigger companies, they don't have the room or the will, floor space costs money too, to keep dies that have proven to be slow movers. Then the thing that I consider almost criminal, they send them to a recycler and that product is lost forever. The smaller, one or two man companies will try to hold on to them, maybe someday to recoup some of their costs, but how often they do, I don't really know.
I don't know much about diesels, I've got a few but don't plan on ever seeing them on track. Not my thing, so I can't say anything about their drives. With the steam, I haven't seen a drive that I've been satisfied with yet, but it doesn't bother me to make what ever I have to that will make it run like I want. The "supersonic 0-4-0" somehow doesn't look right.

Yep, where days are long, tempers are short and jobs don't exist. The land of the gyppo logger and fly by night sawmill operator. Fortunes are made or lost by, well, forget that. I saw a lot of them lost but never saw any made. Optimistic hopelessness rules. Best thing I ever did was get OUT!
Greybeard
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Greybeard wrote:
>> But you realize that the MR market is quite different from the >> model airplane market. > > They're not much different in most respects. If someone wants a good > quality product, you won't get it from the big names.
> I don't know much about diesels, I've got a few but don't plan on > ever seeing them on track. Not my thing, so I can't say anything > about their drives.
If you knew anything about modern model diesels, you'd know that the quality products DO come from the big names. In that respect, the model railroad market is nothing at all like the model aircraft market.
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 13:04:29 +1100, mark_newton

I have yet to see any loco, diesel or otherwise that I couldn't put a couple of hours work in and have it run better. Then again, I don't know many people that would have the machines and instruments that I have to revert to their ways of being a "professional a**hole." as I can.
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Exactly what do you find wrong with the aircraft on the market. If you want to harp on big corporations making "lead aircraft" I'd say you haven't done your homework. There are hundreds of models produced under Horizon, Great Planes, and others as proprietary aircraft. The Top Flite kits are exclusive to Great PLanes. Hangar 9 to Horizon. Apparently you haven't seen many of these planes fly. Check out a Top Flite fighter or Hangar 9. Think the new Funtana models are made of lead? Well let me tell you that "lead planes" do not hover, roll, and loop as these agile planes do. So please tell me what you have been looking at that are made of lead.
Dave
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On 27 Jan 2005 01:29:44 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HobbyOasis) wrote:

Zeppelins perhaps?
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On 27 Jan 2005 01:29:44 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HobbyOasis) wrote:

Starting place, RCM trainer 40. I have one that was made by Bridi, and even in that incarnation, it's a piss poor trainer, and heavy flying. Since great planes, it's even heavier. A plane that will hover suffers from too much engine, no plane should need even a 1:1 thrust/weight ratio to fly at all. (And don't point to the square loop, I've done them with a Balsa USA Smoothie and a K&B .40, 10-6 wood prop and FAI fuel.) Hobby Lobby, Circus Hobbies, Tower Hobbies, almost all of their "house brand" kits are disgustingly heavy. I don't fly on the engine, I flew on the wing.
Agile depends on what you call it, with my CG sometimes at 50%MAC, I call it agile. Everyone else says "twitchy."
The other names you give, the only one I know is Top Flite, but since I stopped flying ukie, I didn't need any more Combat Cats. When the norm at the field became someone with too little experience, too little common sense and too much engine, I stopped going there. Spending the day looking over my shoulder somehow takes all the fun out of it.
However, some of the people that I've taken advice from are probably considered unknowns, like Joe and Eddie Konefes, Jim Noonan, Wally Simmers, I've even been known to speak to Carl Goldberg. All who had the same advice, a heavy airplane is a poorly designed one. Building to crash is inferior to building to fly. I'll take a Flyline kit long before any of the last crop I looked at.
Greybeard (Who still flys HLG in the football field across the street, and loves it.)
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Greybeard wrote:
>> Where is the history you mention that signals the end of >> Horizon/Athearn/MDC? > > TO be found in those products in the model aviation field that were > bought up by bigger companies, then found to be unprofitable within a > larger corporate structure. Where we could once buy good flying > models...
What? You BOUGHT a model aircraft? <VBG!>
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 13:10:48 +1100, mark_newton

Ummm, yeah. Being as I've spent some $800 on model RR supplies in the last two months, that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Mostly scenic materials, and ummm, no, I've been down the food color and sawdust, paper mache and plaster route already, you aren't going to find me twisting tree armatures out of tag wire either. Using a rotary wire brush and foam beats the hell out of plywood forms, paper stuffed under it, then more layers of paper, then plaster and hope like hell you never have to move it. Besides, learning to work with the new stuff is fun, too.
Greybeard
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wrote:

I'm confused. What exactly is the LHS policy that has got everyone so riled?
CL
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riled?< It's on their web site, pictures of the stores, pictures inside the stores, etc. The only part of it they really inforce is how much a month you need to buy from them.
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