General News Updates 2011

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11/30/11 - Just a brief comment on the continuing escalation of the resale value of our previously produced models. While I still suggest that if you plan to purchase one of our O scale models, that you purchase it for modeling enjoyment and not for investment purposes, it is difficult to ignore that component of ownership. The most recent sale of a Kohs & Company model on eBay was a PRR N5c cabin car that originally sold for $485, the sale price was 200% of the original price. While this level of return is not routine, the current level of appreciation for all documented secondary market sales is 37% above the original selling price, with the latest locomotives selling for more than 150% of the original price. This is great fortune for our owners.

I have always suggested that modelers should objectively evaluate the models that we produce and that has been ongoing since day one of our first offering and resulted in sold out projects. A further judgement seems to be occurring that has resulted in the significantly higher prices now be realized in the secondary market. I have to say that it is very gratifying from my perspective.

11/24/11 - A very Happy Thanksgiving to all as we head into the holiday season. It's a great time of year as we focus on family and friends. Many thanks to all that have passed along greetings of the season!

11/12/11 - Apologies are due to the many of you that have had difficulty contacting me by phone or have had to wait for E-mail responses to questions and inquiries. It was long difficult summer and fall as our family experienced another serious illness and death, staying focused was a challenge since family always has to come first. I want to thank the many of you that have offered your condolences and prayers, apparently learning our our situation through word of mouth, since I had not publicly commented on our loss. A most sincere thank you to you all.

After the recent visits to Korea, it was great to see that serious progress had been made on all of our currently active projects despite my less than daily input which is the normal routine for project development. There will be written project updates going out to all reservation holders based on these recent visits and some of the update information will also be shared on the individual project sites included in this web site.

During the recent visits I had the opportunity to visit with some of the other builders on a social basis, this is something that I have done periodically, but this time it was of particular interest. It was clearly evident that the investment that I have made in terms of time and technology is paying dividends at this point, not based on my perception, but that of other builders. I'll comment further on this as time allows, but needless to say the visits were very gratifying.

One last comment for today; along with a number of other issues that need to be attended to, I am working to update the project accounting and deliver reservation confirmations to many of you that have been so patient. This general update will continue once some of the individual project sites are updated.

Stay tuned......

10/26/11 - It has been an extremely busy month with multiple travel 'adventures', I have just returned again from Korea. Updates on all of our current projects will be posted to the individual project sites in the coming days. There is a great deal to be reported and I am anxious to share the latest information. Please be patient as I work to catch up on your voicemails and E-mails.

10/05/11 - Just a brief update to advise that there may be a change in my show schedule, there has been an existing conflict the weekend of October 15-16th which was initially being settled in favor of attending the U.S. Modeling Convention in Frankfurt, Germany. The schedule may change in favor of attending the TCA Fall Meet in York, Pennsylvania. If you are interested in attending either of these event in order to see our models, please check with me directly to obtain the latest plan. Between shows, multiple Korea trips, research efforts and personal commitments, the last few weeks have been extremely busy and it has and is requiring some juggling to attempt to cover all the bases.

8/12/11 - Over the course of the last several years I have had numerous discussions with clients and modelers in general regarding the preservation of the research, development and production information related to our projects. Many ideas have been kicked around and the concept for doing so has finally taken shape in the planning of a book that will cover those subjects and much more.

The primary purpose for the book project will be to create a revisable production record for all of our projects, including the unique 'specials' that until now have been undocumented. With the advent of our technical pages on the web site, the interest in how our models and brass models in general are produced has been growing each month the pages have been available to visitors. On the web we have highlighted the different techniques used in producing our models, but in the book, one specific project will be documented from from the beginning research process through the sample model development and continue until the project production is completed. By focusing on a single project, the development continuity will be easier to document, understand and appreciate. The subject for this project will be our Union Pacific 'Big Boy', which based on demand, has been our most anticipated subject from the beginning of Kohs & Company. In addition, there will be production photos included from all of the projects leading up to the Big Boy, each and every one has played a significant role in honing and refining the development process and our modeling techniques. The coverage will be evolutionary, dating back more than twenty years when I first started to visit Korea with building models in mind.

In the course of doing our project research, my 'team' has unearthed many previously unknown or undocumented prototype specifications and facts, the most interesting of which will be included in the book. Many interesting anecdotes and first-hand reflections regarding our selected prototypes have also been passed on to me over the years from retired railroad workers and this will be the perfect opportunity to preserve many of them for posterity, otherwise they will be lost forever.

Although the model subjects will be primarily of Kohs & Company produced models, I will also highlight significant contributions to the brass modeling art by other builders along with some company history for those companies that have become synonymous with the hobby. As this effort moves ahead, a special page or development site will be created within the Kohs & Company web site so you will be able to following the planning if you so desire. This will be a large undertaking, but will be spread over the period from now until our 'Big Boy' project is completed. I would be very interested in any suggestions or ideas for material to be included.

6/15/11 - As many who are interested in our projects know, I have been trying to pull together the prototype reference material necessary to take on what many have felt would be a fantastic future project, the Santa Fe 'Texas' type. Although I have searched for several years to locate material on the 5000, 5001 and 5011 class locos, it is just in the last couple of weeks that I located the final pieces of reference that makes at least the 5011 class doable. The search will continue for material on the other two classes, but the prospect of developing the 5011's is particularly exciting for me since the Santa Fe was my favorite road in my early days of model railroading many moons ago. Shown below is a builder's photo of the first in the 5011 class, the photo is courtesy of the Rich Yoder collection. More information will be offered as the situation develops further.

5/24/11 - You have probably noted that there have been a number of updates posted to my various project sites, please be sure to check them out. I have one additional comment to add; as I have written about, there is a great deal of interest in our C&O steel caboose project and that will be officially launching in the next few days. Many individuals that have contacted me about that project have also been requesting that I consider a C&O wooden caboose project, so I am throwing that idea out to gain further feedback. I am a little surprised by the number of requests since there was a nicely done project by Rich Yoder not that long ago, but I suspect that the approach we have used with real wood sheathing on our other wooden caboose projects has garnered great favor. If this is something of interest, let me hear from you.

5/05/11 - As it is often said, when it rains it pours and so it has been with new reference material coming to surface in the last several weeks. It is very exciting, but unfortunately the time and travel associated with collecting the material has the promised web updates behind schedule. Please bear with me, the updates are coming. You'll notice that the 'Roundhouse' has been updated again with new listings as a service to my owners.

4/29/11 - Just several brief update comments that will be expanded on further in the next couple of days on the relevant project sites and pages. I recently again made mention of the 'Roundhouse' page and free listing service offered to my clients, that has generated several new listings on the page so you may want to take a look at the latest offerings.

In addition to pushing our current projects along as quickly as possible, I have spent a lot of time pursuing reference for several of the projects that have been stalled for lack of material. There has been great success on a couple of existing projects and also a couple of new ones. If you have an interest in the NYC Niagara project, be sure to check that project site for the latest information and updates in the next day or so. While mentioning the New York Central, there is a new project to be added to the site as a result of the recent research success. In recent months again and in the last 3-4 years, there have been consistent requests for an NYC caboose project. I will be adding a 'standard' wooden 19000 series NYC caboose to our project list very soon, photos and basic information will be posted at that time.

Additional new material has been located for the UP and SP caboose projects and also the PFE reefer project, these project sites await updating. Substantial progress is to be reported on the PRR cabin car and flat car projects as well. My efforts are always going in multiple directions, but even to a greater extent than usual in an effort to make up for lost time. Doing the work is one thing, but then finding time to update the web site is another, so please be patient!

4/20/11 - I am just back from the TCA York Spring Meet and although I believe the overall attendance was down for several reasons, I spoke to more O scale modelers at the meet than ever before. The TCA meets typically attract 3-rail or tinplate modelers, but it seems that more scale modelers have been testing the water than ever before. If you have never been to one of the York Meets which happen twice a year, give one a try, there are usually approximately 20,000 people in attendance that have some level of interest in model railroading and there are more than a half-dozen large buildings stuffed with model trains and related items to consider over the three-day show. If you interested, but not sure of the 'when' or 'where', just let me know and I'll be happy to help you with the pertinent information.

It seems that it is again time to mention the free service that is provided on the 'Roundhouse' page on this web site. In response to a number of inquiries about the listing, it is in fact free for all Kohs & Company clients. Just provide the type of information that is listed on the 'Roundhouse' page for any model that you would like to sell and I will post the listing for you. When there is an inquiry regarding your listing, I simply put you in touch with the person making the inquiry and you can strike your own deal, I am not involved. I do not list Kohs & Company models except for those that I have in my possession, this is to avoid rampant speculation regarding our models. If you are interested in selling your Kohs & Company model, just let me know and I will add it to the list I maintain from which I provide information for new clients seeking models from previous projects. This also is a free service for original owners of the models in question. I have not taken the time recently to figure out the value of all models sold through this service, but the last time I did check, it was well over $150,000.00 with every penny going to the listing client. One last note, please be considerate enough to notify me when an items sells so the listing can be removed, this saves a lot of extra work in providing false leads and creating disappointment for potential buyers. I have considered including a listing date on each listing and deleting a listing after a predetermined period, but this is extra time and effort invested in a free service that should be sell-patrolled.

3/22/11 - It has been a very busy week since the March Meet in Chicago and I had indicated that I would comment on the show. I have had a number of individuals interested to know how the show was. Speaking for myself, it was a great show and much better than last year. The attendance, although I don;t have the official numbers, seemed to be up and there were no empty tables until the very end of the show. A special thank you goes out to the entire Hill family for a great job done in organizing the show, the March Meet remains as 'the' O scale show of the year.

A sad note following the show, I received word that John Clemens, a long time dealer, died suddenly following the show. I have heard conflicting accounts of his passing, so I won't recount what I have heard. Although I did not know John well, he had been involved in the hobby as a supplier of rolling stock for many years and I know that he will be missed by many. My condolences to his family.

3/14/11 - Having just returned from a great show in Chicago, the O Scale March Meet which I will discuss at a later time, I would like to offer my sincere sympathy to all of my customers and friends in Japan who are suffering the results of multiple disasters. Having visited Japan numerous times and viewed the devastated area from the air only a handful of weeks ago, it is unimaginable to correlate my memories with the images we have all seen on television over the course of the last several days. I wish that there was more that I could personally do to help, but I can at least offer, when priorities dictate, a helping hand to any of my customers that have had their Kohs & Company models damaged. When the time is right, anyone requiring help should feel free to contact me directly to plan a course of action. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with you all in Japan.

3/01/11 - A number of customers over the past 3-4 years have been requesting to purchase scale couplers, like the ones we use on our rolling stock, in quantity so they can convert all of their equipment. I have been working to design several variations that would be adaptable to different types of installations, much the same as prototype couplers that are built with different shank styles. The effort thus far has been based on the standard type 'E' coupler, but will also include a 'tightlock' version that will be appropriate for passenger car use. It seems like this effort has been ongoing forever, but with the production of our separate trucks looming, it seemed appropriate to have couplers to go with them so the 'push' is on.

In the course of developing an updated coupler design for general release, the idea of a remotely controlled coupler in scale form has always seemed like the grand goal for scale operations. After working on several design concepts in simulation software, today was a really good day, we had the first repetitively successful testing of a physical sample that would be practical for use on one of our models. I can not say much more at this point, but the first availability if all goes well will be on one of our next production locomotives with an eye towards migrating the design to a more general usage including some rolling stock.

As the coupler project becomes more organized, a dedicated page with be put up on the web site to cover the subject and to prepare those interested for the product availability.

2/17/11 - A new page has been added to this site, the Kohs & Company Models In-service Video page. As mentioned previously, the hope is to add some video footage of Kohs & Company models in action in the coming months. I just became aware that one of my long-time customers, Christopher Smith a fan of the N&W, has two videos on YouTube. With Chris' permission, the videos have been embedded on the new video page for your enjoyment. Chris has done a fantastic job on his road and I know that a number of East Coast modelers have had the opportunity to view the layout in person. Many thanks to Chris for his efforts.

This is just the beginning of what I hope to have available for visitors to this site. If you have video footage that you would like to share, or still images, please do not hesitate to pass them on to me.

2/07/11 - As the various mailings have been going out to customers, it has become apparent from the returned mail that a number of customers have moved and either not provided a forwarding address or the forwarding order has expired. If you are a customer, have in fact moved and still want to receive mailings from Kohs & Company, be sure to let us know your new address so we can update our records.

2/06/11 - Several days ago I posted on our PRR N5/N5b project sight that the idea had been suggested by customers that the price of unreserved models should be increased once the production is ready for delivery. Let me first say, I do not believe their intent was meant as a punishment of sorts for not reserving prior to buying, I believe the intent was to reward reservation holders for backing a particular project with a reservation. While I understand the sentiment of the idea, Kohs & Company models have been unique from the beginning for having only one price and everybody pays that same price. While I would like to give every advantage and acknowledgement possible to our supportive reservation holders, I do not want to cloud the issue of value. The 'market' has been setting the pricing most recently and quite frankly, to the advantage of sellers. With the average Kohs & Company model appreciation nearing the 30% mark, it pays to be one of my owners. While some modelers/collectors dislike the reservation process, it is quickly becoming the only way to acquire a Kohs & Company model first hand unless one is welling to settle for what may be available. With a quality produce, fair and consistent pricing, the market will typically handle the rest.

2/01/11 - O Scale West was this past weekend and the photo below shows the Kohs & Company booth setup. Many thanks to Rod Miller and his great crew for again putting the show together, it was great to be back after a years absence. The gentleman behind the table is Jim Gormely, the Sales Manager for Cameron Micro Drill Presses, Jim was present throughout the show to explain the micro drill presses on display in the both. Kohs & Company has provided a special pricing situation for all of our customers since becoming a dealer for Cameron, the information is available on the tools page of the 'Backshop' site. I would also like to thank Mr. Steven Treat, the Vice President of Cameron who drove some distance despite the pending delivery of his third child to be with us on Friday morning, I hope he made it back from the show in time!

It was great to see many of our west coast customers and the feedback was invaluable. The best part of every show is sharing ideas and listening to recommendations regarding the projects that we are working on. I will be sharing some of the ideas developed during the show on the individual project sites over the course of the next couple of days.

Shown below is a closer look at the Cameron equipment that was on display. It was amazing how many modelers at the show were already familiar with Cameron drill presses or already owned one or more. If you are a serious modeler that builds, you sure need to consider acquiring one of your own.

1/25/11 - A brief comment regarding my upcoming participation at O Scale West scheduled for this coming weekend. As some of you may know, several weeks back I added a new line of equipment to those offered to my customers at special pricing. Shown below is a Cameron Micro Drill Press, the base product for that company. This line was added in response to a number of customers that had been looking for a true quality piece of equipment that would provide predictable results while working on their models. The Sales Manager as well as the President of the company will be in attendance at the show to answer any questions that show attendees may have, they'll be located at my tables with a couple of machine samples. Aside from the basic quality, the greatest aspect of this piece of equipment is that every part on it is manufactured in the United States by Cameron. If you will be attending O Scale West, be sure to stop by the Kohs & Company tables.

1/20/11 - As some of you may know, I am in the midst of another visit to Korea. Back in August of 2004, I posted a photo of Mr. Lee, my locomotive builder, with his hand-built Eiffel Tower model. The photo below is an update on that project again showing Mr. Lee and the model which has just been completed. The tower is now covered with hundreds of LED's which rhythmically change colors and lighting patterns while the miniature elevators go up and down automatically. There were so many comments after the original posting that I figured that a photo of the finished project was in order. Mr. Lee will be accepting orders directly for a limited edition version which will be available in the coming months. If interested, let me know and I will put you in touch with Mr. Lee directly.

This is just the first bit of information to result from this visit, I will be updating on a number of projects and issues before and after my return.

(Place cursor over above image to access the player controls)

1/04/11 - As we all head into the new year it's time to renew my call for feedback on projects and our efforts in general. As many of you already know and understand, Kohs & Company is a very small operation with finite resources and where, out of necessity, most everything that is done other than production is done by me. There is never enough time to accomplish all of the things that I would like to do or that customers would like for me to do, so it is ever more important to carefully target my efforts.

It is of obvious critical importance to provide effective product information, both for existing customers as well as potential new customers. For the past several years the Kohs & Company web site has served as the primary means for distributing information and the following for the site has continued to grow with the popularity of the models that are offered. In the past year there have been over 200,000 visitors and more than 2,000,000 pages viewed, so based on those numbers it makes all the sense in the world to continue with our web presence and do everything possible to enhance that experience for visitors. If you have suggestions in that regard, please let me know your thoughts, your effort would be greatly appreciated.

Understanding that not everyone has or wants access to the Internet, decisions have to be made about the use of other forms of contact. All of my project offerings are provided by postal mail and I would like to do more postal update mailings, but the cost has become almost prohibitive. Despite the expense, our mailings will continue on a basis that makes sense in the overall scheme of things. I continue to evaluate the use of print media to help 'spread-the-word', although I do not currently feel that there is an appropriate O scale related venue for that purpose, but I am considering some other publication types. The last traditional venue for interacting with modelers/collectors is at train shows and conventions, I will continue those efforts as well, but on a very selective basis. Unfortunately many shows have become stale in that it's always the same piles of boxes and complaining about no one spending money. Aside from business considerations, I'll be looking for some fun shows to attend, regardless of how big or small. It would be great if visitors to this site would offer up some ideas for shows to attend that are enjoyable or ideas to make shows more enjoyable, who knows where that might lead?

The bottom line is that, I would like to hear from you about any and all subjects related to Kohs & Company and scale model trains, your thoughts are important to me. Happy modeling in 2011!

1/01/11 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2010 has been a year of working to get all of our efforts back on track (no pun intended) after the events of the previous several months. All of us involved in Kohs & Company projects are looking forward to wrapping up our current active projects and getting started in pushing our new projects ahead, new agreements reached in the last month pretty much guarantee that 2011 is going to be an exciting year. More detail will be offered up on individual project sites, so check the site index frequently for new developments.

In the meantime, I would like to offer my sincere thanks for those of you that have patiently continued your support of our efforts, your loyalty will be rewarded. I wish you and your families all the very best in the New Year and hope that the personal challenges that we will all face will be resolved successfully!

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