General News Updates 2017

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12/18/17 - It is with great sorrow that I report the passing of Gary Kohs (my brother) who most of you that visit this site know was the founder and owner of Fine Art Models. For those interested, additional information regarding his passing can be found HERE. Please keep Gary in your thoughts and prayers.

10/18/17 - Our production realignment continues and the plans for future projects are becoming more resolute. To be completely clear regarding the future plans, O scale remains our primary focus and the special projects that I plan to include in future production will only help in amortizing the support costs that I face in order to develop a consistent cooperative effort among multiple builders in delivering the Best quality models that I require with no compromise. Again, if I find that our O scale projects are not over running the support available, there will be no need for special projects, but time and future experience will only tell that story. With that in mind, The Art of Brass Models page has been updated with a brief listing of developmental projects that I am looking at as our first models in that special series.

9/19/17 - There have been no easy decisions in planning our future production efforts and the costs involved are substantial. If I can not only minimize the delays that we experience, but also fortify the production situation for the future it will be worth it. As a result of our slow production rate, up to this point there has been little concern about the number of active projects over-running the available demand and support from our clients, but going forward this has to be a concern, especially when so many of our clients now desire examples of all the Kohs & Company projects in their collections. It's a delicate balance of having enough production to justify the increased support expense going forward and not producing too quickly. To help keep things in balance, I anticipate expanding our business footprint by adding special edition models in scales other than O, a limited 'The Art of Brass Models' series. This series of models will exhibit only the best quality and features possible, the same intent as our standard O scale production. More information regarding the 'The Art of Brass Models' series will be made available on the page of the same name in coming days. Our O scale faithfuls need not worry about fewer O scale models from Kohs & Company, this whole effort is intended to maximize our O scale output, now and in the future.

A number of project sites have been updated and some new ones are in the process of being created, so be sure to check out all of the latest news and information. More coming soon......

8/24/17 - During the last couple of months maintenance has continued on this site, with over 7,000 files that are available, at this point continuous maintenance is required. Fortunately, I have had zero reports of problems accessing information so the effort seems to be paying off. In addition to maintenance, a number of subtle changes have been made to project groupings, menuing and other graphics in preparation for major project updates and new project listings that will be forthcoming. Many of the changes were made in an effort to provide as clear an understanding of individual general project status as possible, an explanation is provided in the Site Index page introduction. The detailed project status remains included on the project update page included in each project site. The reasons for some of the other changes will become more evident as new material is added to the site.

On the subject of production and expanding that capability, I'm happy to report that considerable progress has been made, but at the same time, there is no easy path forward considering all aspects of the business environment, particularly overseas. The Koreas, both North and South as well as China have certainly been in the news a great deal in the last several months, but the concerns about building models remain much more basic than the threat of war.......easily said! In the event of war on the Korean peninsula there would be no winners and that remains the best deterrent, so I can tell you that just as with the many previous threats the Koreans have faced, for better or worse, the current situation is not a primary focus for any of us involved. More information will be shared in new project updates and listings, so check back often!

6/28/17 - Just a a brief update that a number of people will be very happy to read. As many know, I have been working to provide display cases commensurate with the quality of our models and it has been a real struggle. Following a meeting today on that subject, I believe that I have the perfect source for the most difficult part of our desired display, the glass cover. I have spoken and written of creating leaded glass display covers to avoid using the typical folded acrylic type cases, but now the concept will be taken to the next level. We plan to use colorless, ultra-thin, glare-free, museum grade glass assembled using the most precise techniques possible that will provide an ultra clean finished appearance. Samples of the cases will be under way shortly and once completed, I'll provide a further update. Ultimately there will be dedicated pages on this site to provide information regarding the ordering process, sizes and pricing.

6/19/17 - There are a number of subjects to cover in this update from recently added web features to future production, but I will try to keep it as concise as possible while providing the news you may want.

You may have noticed several new or relocated pages on this site, among them are Project Research and Development and Model Construction (with sub-category pages). While much of this information has been available on the site for quite some time, the effort to make it more visible and accessible is in direct response to the growing number of inquiries that have been received requesting comparative comments regarding the work of other importers. These seemingly simple requests present a real dilemma if they are directly entertained. Point of fact, there are few secrets that exist among model builders in Korea and China and having a regular presence there provides access to much of this information. It would be difficult to draw the proverbial line and not, whether unintentional of otherwise, divulge the business practices of other importers which I have no interest in doing. By providing as much information about my models as possible, I hope to encourage modelers/collectors to seek the same type of information from other importers so they can make the comparisons themselves. If the information from other importers remains unavailable, I would hope that to be taken into consideration when buying decisions are made. I have commented in the past about basic information such as prices not being offered even when project reservation are being solicited, somehow that doesn't make much sense to me either as an importer or a potential buyer. I want people interested in Kohs & Company projects to understand as much as possible about what goes into the development and production to facilitate a full appreciation of our models.

The Art of Brass Modeling page is an effort to highlight the work of our builders as a true fine art form. As the information on the page indicates, my intention is to continue from this point forward an effort to promote our projects in the fine art arena when and where ever possible. I also welcome content that can be shared and I encourage anyone with information about brass models of any type being acknowledged as fine art to submit it to me for inclusion on this page.

On the subject of web pages, I hope to begin the process of making more content on this site mobile friendly. This is a time consuming process so it will take some time to accomplish, but the new pages will be among the first to be affected. There are hundreds of pages related to our previous projects and I doubt that I will get to the point where everything will be included in the mobile friendly content. On a related subject, I've had a couple of questions about whether Kohs & Company will join the social media network craze and I can say definitely no. The time required to maintain this website is substantial and to dive into an effort that essentially duplicates the same information in an alternate format I do not feel is an effective use of time or resources, that goes without mentioning my dislike for the business practices of the hosting social networks.

Now for the big subject. future production. This is an issue that I have struggled with since the outset and as I have written about on many occasions, it has not gotten any easier and in fact is more difficult seemingly by the day. Over the last several months a great deal of time has been spent evaluating existing builders and their capabilities. It became pretty clear that individual builders had specialties or types of project work that they were best suited to handle. The larger builders like high volume and projects that are less demanding in terms of specifications and production time while the smaller are better suited for the more specialized projects. The quantities that I have typically produced have been relatively large in the domestic O scale segment of the hobby, but small by comparison to the larger European importers doing easier high volume projects. Competing for production time with these companies especially when my work is more demanding is extremely difficult. With so many projects to push forward in the near term including the C&O caboose, PFE reefers, UP caboose, wooden cattle car, 50-ton flat car and Bucyrus-Erie crane, it became clear that a new approach was required to begin making serious progress.

A serious concern when thinking about using multiple build sources is certainly maintaining a consistent level of quality and with the smaller builders having access to the most advanced processes for their production. Without going into too much detail for reasons that should be apparent, I have begun the process of selecting builders to handle specific projects. To coordinate and assure consistent quality I am working to establish a technology 'hub' that will be a shared resource for builders working on my projects. This 'hub' will provide access to services such as rapid-prototyping, film production, graphics creation and will have a managing designer to maintain a consistent design philosophy. In addition, there will be access to specialized tools that I have routinely provided to my builders over the years. There will be more information shared when appropriate, but the bottom line is a desire to see the projects that I have discussed over recent months come to life in a consistent, state-of-the-art way.

That should be enough information to digest for now and I'll work to handle questions that I am certain will arise going forward. Also be watching for updates throughout the entire site. Stay tuned as things will certainly get more interesting near term.

5/31/17 - The reports that have come in following O Scale West this past weekend seem to indicate that the attendance was less than was hoped for which is unfortunate. There are shows where a great deal of effort is expended to make it a successful event and when the results are not there it is certainly disappointing for all involved. On the other hand, there are shows where little promotional effort is made and trying to determine which shows those are before they happen makes it difficult to decide which shows to support by attending as a vendor. Very few shows/conventions have an established following like the O Scale March Meet in Chicago which is a must attend event every year. It would be helpful to hear from modelers/collectors that would like Kohs & Company to make our products available at specific events. With the vast majority of our customers having never attended a show or convention and a likelihood that they won't, a decision to target a greater percentage of the promotional budget to direct contact postal mailings becomes more and more logical. Your feedback on this issue would be appreciated.

5/23/17 - As the updated show calender indicates, unfortunately, I will not be attending O Scale West this year due to a schedule conflict that I could not resolve in favor of attending the show. Apologies to those that were anticipating my presence, I'll work to handle whatever questions you may have had by other means with your cooperation. I'll be addressing the issue of future shows in another update very soon.

More updates will be posted over the next several days.

3/31/17 - In response to a number of inquiries requesting comment on our Southern Pacific cab-forward project in comparison to the same project being delivered by Key Models, I have posted a message on our cab-forward project site UPDATE PAGE. Many thanks for your interest in this ongoing project.

3/22/17 - One last follow up from the March Meet. I received a message this morning resulting from conversations about the mental health of brass collectors and a doctor friend forwarded some supporting evidence. He provided X-rays of a 'Demented' brass collector head and a totally normal one, if you're interested, CLICK HERE.

3/21/17 - Just a few brief comments in the wake of the Chicago O Scale March Meet this past weekend. First of all, a sincere thank you goes out to the entire Hill family and particularly Melissa for another fantastic job in producing the most important event of the year for serious O scalers. I would also like to thank all of those that attended the gathering we had on Saturday night in our suite. It again was a great opportunity to hear directly from myself, Lee Marsh of Lee Marsh Model Company and Erik Stott of Midwestern Model Works about our current as well as future projects and it was also a prime opportunity to hear feedback from those in attendance on a number of issues. We had hoped that Jimmy Booth of Glacier Park Models would be able to attend again this year, but personal circumstances unfortunately prevented that, Jimmy was certainly missed. Finally, many thanks to all that came by the display to hello and see what we are up to.

3/15/17 - With the Chicago O Scale March Meet this weekend, I wanted to mention to customers and potential customers that I will be again hosting an informal get together on Saturday evening after the dinner hour at a location in the hotel. This is an opportunity to discuss projects with less interference that normally happens with the rush of the show. I expect Lee Marsh of Lee Marsh Model Company and Erik Stott of Midwestern Model Works to also be in attendance. We had hoped that Jimmy Booth from Glacier Park Models would also be with us again this year, but difficult circumstances I am afraid will prevent his attendance at the show. If you are interested, make sure that you mention it to me at the show and I will provide more details. Looking forward to another great march Meet!

3/13/17 - Just a brief FYI for today. I wanted to advise that if you have tried to contact me by E-mail in the last several days or have phoned, you have definitely not received a response to your E-mail as yet and you may well not have gotten an answer if you called. Like several million other residents of Southeast Michigan who were hit by the tropical type wind storm last week, we were without power, Internet service or cable service until late last night, just shy a week. Our trusty generator took care of the power, but there was certainly a communication deficit. There was wide-spread property damage including our home and there was a major effort to affect repairs before the snow that was predicted began falling during the night. 

I will be responding to all inquiries over the next day or so, as fast as possible, as I also get prepared for the annual show in Chicago this coming weekend. Many thanks for your patience!

3/03/17 - We're into the month of March already and the new year is flying by. I am remiss in updating this site with new information, but that does not indicate a lack of activity here at Kohs & Company, on the contrary, there has been so much to deal with already this year that the website updates have taken a back seat to numerous other priorities.

Beginning right after the holiday season there was a concerted effort to complete extensive background maintenance initially on the website and then our E-mail system. With the level of visits during the holidays in particular and the subsequent electronic correspondence, adjustments needed to be implemented to keep our information flowing on a reliable and responsive basis. A byproduct of a relatively high-profile website (as rated by Alexa) is the increased SPAM that related accounts attract. I am just finishing the fine tuning on a new SPAM filtering software package that was installed on our server and from all indications, this has been manged without affecting wanted incoming messages. The system has been taken from over three hundred (300) SPAM messages a day to less than a half-dozen....thankfully, since the regular messaging consumes a couple of hours every day.

In part the influx of new activity on this site can be attributed to some new ads that have been run informing on our modeling efforts. You may not have seen the ads if you only follow model railroading publications, the latest ran in a special holiday issue of Art & Antiques magazine. This magazine is among a small group of high-end publications that provide coverage of valuable artistic and collectible items. I have always considered the work that the finest Korean model builders do to be very artistic both in process and results, so our current ads promote the work of our builders on that basis. The image below is an example of our ad in Art & Antiques in case you have not seen it in the publication. (text continues below)

The purpose of this promotion is certainly to pursue new sales opportunities, but just as important to me is the effort to support the investment our current owners have made in our models by further explaining and highlighting their inherent value as very limited handcrafted items to be admired in addition to being operating components in the model railroading world. I have never taken the support provided by our 'family' of owners for granted as they have made our endeavors possible. The ads have been very simple with the model images speaking for themselves, the feedback has been very interesting is a real understatement!

In addition to everything else that has been happening, our model shipping efforts have continued, the work on existing projects has continued and serious efforts to ensure future production capability have consumed substantial amounts of time. With that said, regular project updates will continue in short order with special comment on upcoming shows.

1/01/17 - Wishing all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! Sincerely thanking all those that continue to support our projects making them possible.

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