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1  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: HO Scale Nia and Rebecca Release Speculation on: March 15, 2018, 12:16:16 PM
Mattel has way more control over Bachmann than I think any of us realize.

Alright, lets take a few steps back here for a moment because that statement is not entirely true.  Yes Mattel does have the final say in what Bachmann can/will produce for the range, but at the same time Bachmann themselves (being the ones that produce whatever is announced) does have the final say on whether or not a product gets made.  A perfect example of this would be items like Large Scale Diesel and/or McColl's Cattle Wagon which even though Mattel approved, we're canceled before release.  Regardless of what I've heard from others, Bachmann do listen to what the fans want to see, but in the end they only have so much leeway.  Still, it's not like Mattel is holding them at knifepoint demanding they make characters like Nia and/or Rebecca.

I'm going to be honest and agree with a few people that Rebecca is out of the question simply because of the fact she's a tender engine.  The last time we had any tender engines announced in the range was back in 2010, and that's because it was a set of twins which in turn made for better costs on both production and RRP.  As I've mentioned before (mainly in large scale) size plays a big factor in whether or not a model gets made, which I think is also an issue engines such as Daisy have when it comes to being produced.  That being said, I wouldn't even get my hopes up to see Hiro added to the range either.

The big issue Nia and Rebecca face at this time is the fact that (as mentioned before) they're not popular characters nor have they even been properly introduced at this time.  2020-2021 seems about right for them to be announced, but a lot could happen within the next 3-4 years.  Going back to a post Mr. Metal made last year, he stated that within a couple seasons the show will probably return to normal.  In other words (or at least in my opinion) BWBA is going to be a complete failure, Nia and Rebecca will be erased, and the show will go back to the original characters just to please the angry mob of Thomas fans that Mattel screwed over.  Put simply, I could honestly see Mattel just sweeping the whole thing under the rug and acting as if nothing ever happened.

-Rusty
2  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: G scale Emily turn radius on: March 13, 2018, 12:14:01 AM
I'll be the first to say that you should steer away from the R1 curves.  Yes Emily and her stock are designed to negotiate these curves, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to run them like that.  R1 curves are better for very short trains under a Christmas tree during the holidays, but not much else.  Regular use tends to shorten the life of your trains and the track overtime.

When I first got into Large Scale I used 4' diameter curves, but at the time I also wasn't running my trains as much as I am now.  The big problem with these curves is they are tight and add a lot of friction to the wheels of your locomotive which in turn causes wear on the motor, gearbox, and the gears.  Not to mention that overtime the wheels on the engine slowly grind down the railhead.  I wish I could say I was joking, but...



In addition to that you'll also start to notice a lot of black dust that is hard to remove from your carpet under the track.  This is a mixture of brass from the metal wheels grinding away the inside of your outside rail and plastic dust from the brass track grinding down the plastic wheels on you rolling stock.  As the rails wear, the gauge of the track will also become larger in time and eventually your rolling stock will start dropping down between the rails.

What I would recommend is to use the largest diameter curve you can fit into the space where you're running your trains.  About 3-4 years ago I went out and purchased a box of Bachmann 8' diameter curves and it was one of the best choices I've ever made with large scale.  As I said before, the best thing is to use the largest diameter curve you can, but I wouldn't recommend using anything smaller than 8'.  Anything smaller than that and you risk damaging your trains and constantly replacing track every 2-3 years.  In this case, bigger is better.

-Rusty
3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: March 12, 2018, 11:23:00 PM
A little late on making this post.  Sorry about that... Embarrassed

On the topic of bringing back the Flat Car with Paint Drums, I'd like to contribute my two cents to this as well.  I have to agree with Chaz that it is odd Bachmann released the Flat Car with Paint Drums (of all things) considering the load only appeared in the disaster that was Calling All Engines.  Many are talking about different loads, but I am a little curious if just the flat car itself would be enough in the end?  Although it's been a while since it was discontinued, the Well Wagon and RF Container Wagon didn't come with loads either, not to mention the vast amount of trucks and open wagons as well.

So to begin with in terms of loads, Bachmann could easily get away with using existing logs from their HO range.  They already offer an ACF 40' Log Car in their Silver Series rolling stock line, and the log load on that car looks very decent.  Now when scaling down the 40' log car (as I do not have the model to take a measurement from) the scaled down size would be 5 1/2".  The logs are somewhat shorter than the car however, and if I were to guess at their length, I'd say probably 5" would be pretty close.  The flat car from the Thomas & Friends range measures just shy of 6", which would leave the logs being 1/2" shorter than the car itself.  Personally I see no problem with that.

Bachmann also offers a 52' Flat Car with pipe load in their Silver Series rolling stock.  Again using my scaled down measurements, the car would be 7 1/8" in length.  Just like the log car, the load is shorter than the car itself, but my numbers come to the pipes themselves being about 5" to 5 1/2" in length.  However, a Thomas & Friends Flatcar with Pipe Load with about 15 individual pipes seems a little unlikely in my books.  I think in the end Bachmann would probably feel better making an entirely new mold which would have the pipes as one solid load rather than individually.  Unlike logs, the pipes (being hallow and/or individual pieces) would most likely be more prone to damage and/or loss.

If I were to be the judge, I'd say a load of 3-4 logs on the flat car would be the best choice up agents a pipe load and/or paint drums.  There seems to be a demand for a log car, and some have said that's what they would have rather seen the car with in the first place.  Plus as I mentioned earlier, Bachmann could just use the same logs that they've been using for their AFC 40' log car.  Now I know someone probably wants to bring up the whole HO/OO argument as well, but that shouldn't matter in this case as logs can be any shape/size.  In the end, Bachmann taking something such as logs from their existing HO range honestly makes more sense than people whining for Bachmann to introduce Hank by using their existing PRR K4 tooling.

So that's my thoughts on a few new loads for the return of the Flat Car with or without Paint Drums.  At the end of the day however, I feel it would be more of an advantage on Bachmann's part just to recolor the paint drums to be oil drums.  If people want other loads such as logs and/or pipes, they can always track down said loads or easily make their own at a cheaper cost even.  Like I said earlier on in my post however, I do have to wonder if people would possibly be happy just to have the flat car back in the range even if a load is absent?

-Rusty
4  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: March 03, 2018, 02:21:22 PM
Everyone is gonna hate me for this because everyone says large scale is dying.
but I at least want Edward, since he is not that far of a remodel from James
and the red passenger cars that would go with James (since they are JUST a repaint of Annie/Clarabel)
really, any engine past that (since its not ever possible for Henry and Gordon), isn't really worth having anyway, there is bill and ben which would be easy to make, and other small engines like that, like Oliver, Duck, Mavis, lady(even though you never see her in the show anymore), ect
but i still have hope, if not then its time to make a custom Thomas large scale engines

As much as I too would like to see Edward in large scale, chances of him happening seem about as likely as kicking a bear without it attacking you.  Considering Bachmann couldn't even make Diesel (a relatively small model) happen, how do characters like Edward or even smaller ones such as Oliver and/or Mavis have a chance?  I can honestly say that if we do get anymore engines in large scale, I would most likely expect to see James, Emily, and Toby with DCC sound just as we have with Thomas and Percy.  I would very much welcome this addition as it would save large scale modelers from the high cost of converting the stock standard models to DCC themselves.

The red coaches would be another great addition, but they're not just a simple repaint of Annie/Clarabel and/or Emily's Coaches.  While all 3 are based on the LB&SCR Stroudley four-wheel coaches (at least in the case of Bachmann's models), the red coaches in large scale would require a new tooling of the roof along with retooling the back of the coach to have the break compartment.  When taking that into consideration, it seems very iffy to me whether or not Bachmann would actually go though with it at this point, considering the fact recolors seem to be the most prominent choice of additions to the range lately.  Again like I said before, large scale has hit rock bottom in my opinion...

-Rusty
5  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS on: March 01, 2018, 04:57:48 PM
Interestingly enough, what I think is on display with the large scale products is the large scale spiteful brake van.  It even has a product card next to it like any other newly released product that would be on display, but there is just one small problem...

You can't see his face in the video.



I'm the same myself in hopes that we see something on Rusty soon.  Considering he was announced a little over a year ago now, we should be getting at least an update on his progress if not a prototype image.  Hopefully this isn't another case like Rheneas where we get notified that he's shipping by another retailer before Bachmann themselves.  Then again, even that would be good news.

-Rusty
6  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Narrow Gauge Modeling Thread on: February 27, 2018, 02:09:31 PM
I have a 4x8 space in which I'd like to have either a completely narrow gauge layout or a dual-gauge with predominantely narrow gauge... anyone know where I could find layout ideas? Google isn't giving me very many good results. Thanks!

Personally if I were you, I'd start by drawing what I'd like for a layout on paper or the computer, then start making comparisons to whatever you want to reference be it photos, layouts, drawings, etc.  That's how I've done it in the past on layouts I've built, and probably going to do the same here once I get my HOn30 layout underway.  The key is to have a build plan made up before you start building, otherwise you're going to come to a snag point and need to take time and think before moving further.  As is plans tend to change once you start a project, so having a build plan to work off of makes things a little easier or at least easier than planning as you go along.

-Rusty
7  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Rusty illustration on: February 27, 2018, 02:00:18 PM
I get the feeling this thread would have made more sense if it were posted on April Fools Day. Cheesy  Still, just like everyone else I'm really looking forward to Rusty when he becomes available.  Still need to get my hands on Skarloey and Rheneas though.

Our favorite narrow gauge diesel! I will definitely get Rusty once he is released.

Additionally, hopefully, we will be able to see a clearer image of the Large Scale Spiteful Brake Van very soon. It is in the 2018 catalog after all.

Same.  Stopped in at my hobby shop yesterday, but they didn't have any of the 2018 catalogs in stock yet.  Not sure if it would have helped get a clearer image of things, but I wouldn't have minded picking one up.  Interestingly though, my hobby shop still has Bachmann 2017 catalogs (which they still want full price for) and catalogs dating back to 2011.

-Rusty
8  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: February 27, 2018, 01:50:23 PM
In my personal opinion, Peter Sam is definitely the next character I would like to see in narrow gauge.  Quite honestly I feel he should have been announced this year, but when looking at things from Bachmann's standpoint, it's understandable.  I think Chaz made some very good points in his post, but I also have a few things I'd like to add as well.

I agree that Peter Sam has the most appeal and sales potential, and I've seen the demand for him has been greater than any of the other characters in narrow gauge.  Yes there's been talk about Duncan and Sir Handel too, but it's been an on and off topic.  I personally feel that out of the 3 engines, Peter Sam would be the best one to add to the range for 2019.

When also considering the fact that some people would go out and buy 2 Peter Sam models so they could have one with the old funnel, that's another good point.  However, I'm sure there's probably diehard fans out there who would go out and purchase a 3rd model to make him with his precision engineered special funnel aka the drain pipe.  While I myself would be content just with having a stock standard model from Bachmann, I'm sure there's a few people that would love to do the modifications mentioned earlier.

So my thoughts are that if Peter Sam was made, yes, I would buy him.  I also feel he should be made next considering he's been in the most demand, and I'd honestly rather see him over Duncan considering the chances Duncan may be in his CGI render.  There's also no doubt in my mind that Peter Sam would do just as well as Skarloey and Rheneas in terms of sales, simply because the narrow gauge range is the first ready to run HOn30 and/or 009 range out there.  Although I think many would be happy just to see Peter Sam for 2019, I'm also going to say it would be worth while for Bachmann to add a brakevan to the list as it is a piece of rolling stock that's also been in high demand.  Also, considering announcements the last couple years for HO and Large Scale, HOn30 is the only range I have any hope for at this point.

-Rusty
9  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS on: February 21, 2018, 02:44:23 PM
I agree with your feedback wholly, Plow Bender. I didn't want to come across as petty or whiny, but I guess I kind of did. Hopefully the message I was trying to convey is still present though.

I can see where you're coming from entirely, Mr. Griffin so there's no need to worry about it.  As I said in my previous post, the pendulum may eventually start swinging back, but till then it's more or less a waiting game.


Not everyone in the current generation or the one I'm part of want instant gratification, so using the generation card is kinda wrongful in my opinion, but I'm actually okay with the narrow gauge announcements this year being the coaches so I'm not disaapointed about this year.

Whether you agree with my perspective on the model railroading hobby or not is fine, but it does help if you at least have a clear perspective on things before you choose to call someone out on it.

As I said before, model railroading is a delayed gratification hobby.  You've got a generation today that is primarily (that doesn't mean everyone...) an instant gratification society.  Things like building kits or much less a model railroad take too long.  A few years back my hobby shop quit stocking a lot of their K&S, Evergreen, and Plastruct supplies due to a decline in the number of sales.  Even your Woodland Scenics landscaping materials just sit on the shelves collecting dust.  As the owner told me, it's a lot easier for someone to go out and buy something premade verses trying to build it themselves.

Model railroading magazine subscriptions have also gone down about 60% or so within the last 15 years.  Then you have manufacturers releasing a limited number of new products compared to previous years.  Combine that with the fact that we as the buyers complain about the high cost of our niche market products, not wanting to pay the cost of the company recovering it's investment to produce a (for a specific product) short run.  Similar to what I mentioned in my previous post, the shorter the product run, the higher the per piece price.  It's simple economics folks.

By all means you are free to disagree with my posts, but you could at least back up your post with some reason rather than just saying I'm using the generation card as a crutch.  Also, was it really necessary to quote my entire post?

-Rusty
10  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS on: February 20, 2018, 01:57:26 PM
Wow. "For the time being"? What sort of sense does that make? LS collectors have had enough trouble with new models already and then Bachmann goes and pulls a move like this? Crazy how the Thomas range as a whole is being treated atm. I don't claim to know everything about what goes on behind-the-scenes with Mattel, production delays, etc. but I do think it's ridiculous that there is not more communication between buyer and seller.

On that note: (in no way is this a knock against you Chaz) why on Earth did Bachmann only reveal this info through a private email? Are they thinking that we somehow won't notice or that it doesn't deserve to be publicly addressed? Jesse even created a whole separate thread which a Bachmann employee could've easily responded to. Just seems to me like something is going on that the GP doesn't know about, and Bachmann certainly isn't sharing. Hopefully this isn't coming across as rude, just words from a frustrated customer.

As I said in a previous post, Bachmann may have stepped back on Diesel considering the minimal number of sales diesels in large scale have had over the years, and it's a possibility that after having second thoughts, Diesel wasn't a risk the company wanted to take, at least not at this time.  Also, I wouldn't really say that Bachmann only reveal Diesel's cancelation through a private email, as the model clearly wasn't in the 2018 catalogue.  It's a simple matter of putting two and two together to figure that out.  In addition to that, bashing the Bachmann Company isn't going to change things.

What I feel most of you are failing to understand is that it's not just large scale, but the whole hobby across the spectrum is down.  As I've found out over the years, large scale is niche market of a niche market.  Model railroading in general is a niche of the overall hobby market and large scale is a niche of that.  When you look at sales within the last 10 years, numbers have gone down not just for large scale, but for model railroading all together.  The big issue is that model railroaders are dying off and not being replaced.  Then you've got a generation these days that want instant gratification, of which model railroading is not.  Throw in the kids who would rather spend countless hours sitting on the couch playing on their tablet or game stations and the hobby is basically struck down with the overriding question: "What is so interesting about model trains?".

Then you have the cost of model railroading which has gone completely out of control.  Manufacturers these days have been shrinking production runs and this is a contributor to the price increase, but as a result to fewer numbers of models produced.  The more models you produce, the more you can spread out the cost of tooling, thus keep the cost per item low.  It wasn't such a big deal in yesteryears when you only had a few manufactures releasing products, but these days everyone has the option to chose between dozens of manufactures and/or scales.  Put simply, why produce models that won't sell?

Many have said that the 2nd-hand market is also a big contributor to the low number of sales for new products as well.  Modelers have a lot to chose from and at better prices.  Some people are also selling off new-in-box items from collections that the original owners never even ran. These put a spanner in the works on the sale of new products from the manufacturers, and they sell for much lower prices. You've also got the younger generation coming into the hobby who are much more tech savvy, and can navigate sales in a digital world.

These days there's not a lot of new stuff being made by any of the large scale manufactures.  Piko and LGB are the only ones I've seen (aside from Bachmann) having new products announced every year, which don't include just repaints.  Other manufactures like Accurcraft are producing new stuff as well, but their locomotives aren't mass-produced.  Then you have Aristo-Craft which went under years back and is no more.  Even though we've lost a couple of manufacturers, and several of the larger distributors, those remaining are cautious about how much they invest. I've only been into large scale for going on 8 years now and in that time I've seen this play out.

There are also those that say HO is more popular and that's why is sells better than large scale, but this is more of an opinion rather than fact.  You've got some people out there who feel you get more bang for your buck by going to a smaller scale, and in most cases it depends on the individual.  Large scale isn't really something for the younger generation because of its high cost.  True I started out young when I got into it, but that's because I had a good paying job and I do my homework when shopping around.  Large scale is more of a scale for the wealthy dentist or the retired carpenter rather than little Timmy Sullivan in the 8th grade.  Still if you're young and you can afford it, nothing beats having a large scale railroad in your front yard.

As I've said before, it's not just the Thomas & Friends line that is suffering this fait.  The last several years I've watched Bachmann discontinue many products from their large scale range.  Last year we lost only Thomas in that range, but the Spectrum and Big Haulers line lost a few locomotives and a handful of rolling stock.  I was disappointed to see for 2018 the same thing, but Bachmann also discontinued several train sets and have begun thinning out the C-19's.  Even the iconic Bachmann Ten-Wheelers have yet again been discontinued.  I'll also say that although Bachmann hasn't come out and said it, the 1:20.3 line is dead.

So to wrap things up, Diesel's cancelation may be a disappointment and/or a surprise to many, but is (believe it or not) understandable in my books.  It may not be what people wanted to happen, but everyone needs to understand the position that Bachmann themselves is in at the moment when it comes to large scale.  That's my thoughts and my perspective on the hobby as a whole and where I believe it is headed.  If others want to provide their thoughts on where things are going, feel free to do so.  The pendulum may eventually start swinging back to where manufacturers feel safe bringing new stuff to market again, but till then it's a waiting game.

-Rusty
11  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS on: February 17, 2018, 01:19:50 AM
Last year's announcements we're really hit and miss in my opinion, but the 2018 announcements are mostly a letdown.  To be fair, you can't really blame Bachmann for this because in the end it's Mattel that has the final say in what makes it onto the market.  The way I see it, they really screwed things up far worse than last year, and needless to say many (myself included) are not happy with the outcome.

To begin with, the only things I see really beneficial to the HO range is the return of the Express Coaches and that we're getting the Spiteful Brakevan.  The Express Coaches have been in demand for quite some time now, and it's great to see them finally return to the range.  It does have me curious though whether or not Bachmann plans to use the same tooling as before, or if they plan on making the coaches more CGI accurate?  I've already heard one theory which says they may just reuse Spencer's Coach's tooling, but again that's just a theory.  My money is honestly on Bachmann just dragging out the old tooling again.

The Spiteful Brakevan is also a welcome addition because as many people see it, this should have been announced last year and before/instead of being announced in Large Scale.  It's also nice to see that they've retired the old Brakevan in what I believe is an exchange for the Spiteful one.  Other than this and the Express Coaches, that's basically it in terms of good rolling stock additions.  The tankers on the other hand are not an impressive addition, and I might just leave it at that...

Grumpy Diesel is by far the one that caught everyone off guard.  Yes we're getting a new face (which may or may not be more appropriate for Diesel's character), but couldn't that time spent retooling Diesel's face been put to better use by making Sidney's face and Sidney himself?  I'm also curious as to why we need both a happy and grumpy Diesel in the range?  I think it would make more sense just to replace the old face no one wanted.  Still many welcome this addition simply just for the face, but I'm also willing to bet out of all the parts Bachmann offers for Diesel, his grumpy face won't be one of them.  Also, can we "PLEASE" get off the whole Daisy topic already?  That ship has sailed, and sank too...

Narrow gauge in my opinion is the range that really made out this year.  Many would have been happy with a brakevan and/or tipper wagons, but instead we got coaches which seemed unlikely.  Still this is by far a very positive thing because as Mr. AJW98 said in his post, it does in fact bring in some rolling stock diversity to the range.  It is however a bit of a downer not to see Peter Sam announced (considering his demand), but with literally no updates on Rusty, it's somewhat not a surprise.  Hopefully in the future we can expect to see him, along with a breakvan to go with our coaches.  I also agree with Mr. TerrencetheTractor525 that it would be nice to see some resin buildings for narrow gauge as well in the future.

And lastly there is Large Scale which in my opinion has finally hit rock bottom.   I have to admit that the choice of 3 new tanker recolors is beyond lazy.  It literally has me asking the question what was Mattel thinking when they made this decision?  On second thought, I don't even want to know...  There was far more demand for rolling stock such as the Red Coaches or a Troublesome Van, but instead we got 3 tankers that honestly no one even asked for.  If Mattel was really hell-bent on tanker recolors, why not bring back the Oil Tanker and put a face on it?  I guarantee a troublesome tanker would've sold a lot better than a Toffee Tanker...

When also considering the fact Diesel has been canceled, I have strong doubts (as do others) that we will be seeing any other engine characters in the range.  I personally had my heart set on Mavis and/or Edward in the future, but the recent news on Diesel has me rethinking the chance of any new engines coming into the range.  As a friend of mine told me and I quote, "You might as well get Toby because he's the last Large Scale Thomas character Bachmann's going to make."  Oh, you're probably right about that, buddy...

I think the real issue with Diesel that brought his demise was probably to do with either cost or lack of potential sales.  Clearly Bachmann didn't see making Arry and Bert (or even Paxton apparently) as a good option to fall back on (after Diesel's release) considering the direction the Large Scale range has been going.  Then again, going back to my previous posts, I mentioned that Bachmann themselves said that diesels don't do well in large scale.  Bachmann had made the decision to take a stab at Diesel with hopes that he would do better being in the Thomas & Friends range rather than the Spectrum line.  I think it all boils down to Bachmann may have had second thoughts and backed out on him at the last minute.  Either way, Diesel's cancelation may very well be something we'll never know the answer to.

It also came as a surprise to see both the Thomas set and the Christmas set discontinued when they were in fact better sellers than the Percy set.  It's a bit strange to see a character who isn't Thomas manage to keep their own set.  Because Thomas' set has been discontinued, this leaves only the DCC sound Thomas on the market.  Considering the DCC sound models (Thomas and Percy) can run on digital and/or analog, this doesn't seem like an issue for those still running DC railroads.

From what I've seen with other Large Scale products in the 2018 catalogue, the Thomas & Friends range honestly got off easy in terms of discontinued items.  The Spectrum line has lost several locomotives including their 55 Ton Three-Truck Shay.  The 4-6-0 - Anniversary Edition Big Haulers have also been wiped out entirely, amongst other locomotives and/or rolling stock in the range.  I will say that the saving grace here is that the range got new items that were far better than 3 mediocre tanker recolors in the Thomas & Friends announcements.

So in the end the 2018 announcements were pretty much an underwhelming lineup to say the least, but at the end of the day it's been something I guess.  As I said before, Narrow Gauge is the range that made out this year and is pretty much the only range I have hope for at this point.  HO is still going for now, but Large Scale has been on a steep decline for years.  That being said, I think it's best to keep expectations low and not get hopes too high.  Things may bounce back, but only time will tell.

-Rusty
12  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Thomas & Friends in 2018 on: February 16, 2018, 02:11:13 AM
Since Plow Bender brought up items that may be discontinued, I thought that I should also mention that I think that the HO Switch Tower will be discontinued as well. The first reason is that it is not in the top 10 best-sellers list in the Accessories subcategory. The second reason is that it is $49.00, which is even more expensive than the resin Signal Box, which is $45.00. And, I am sure that we can all agree that the resin Signal Box is much better quality than the plastic Switch Tower.

Speaking of resin buildings, let's not forget the possibility of a new addition or two in tomorrow's announcements either  Smiley.

Not to mention the old Switch Tower is the only building leftover from when Bachmann first introduced buildings into the Thomas & Friends range by redecorating the old Plasticville kits.  Personally I'm surprised it even lasted this long considering it's been some time now since the old buildings were discontinued.  Needless to say, Bachmann has come a long way with their buildings ever since they introduced the resin ones.

-Rusty
13  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Thomas & Friends in 2018 on: February 15, 2018, 10:43:48 PM
Not to get off topic but what happened to Plow Bender?

Still around, just been busy with life outside of the Bachmann forum.  Currently getting ready for an upcoming show I'm attending in April and I'm making plans to start my own timbering business come Spring.  I'm still doing large scale projects, but most of my posts lately have been in the Large Scale board.  I haven't done much with any Thomas & Friends projects due to lack of time.  Once you get to be my age work tends to take priority over hobbies.

While I'm on here, I guess I'll take time and throw in my predictions on what this years announcements will be.  I'm not saying I see everything on my list happening, but this is more or less what I feel has a chance at this time.

HO:
Daisy or Sidney (Charlie seems like a likely slap in the face)
Rolling Stock (recolors)
Spiteful Brakevan

One more thing, If Daisy gets announced, people like me can finally shut up about her.

Yes, please make that happen...

Narrow Gauge:
Peter Sam (seems like he's had the most demand) or Duncan
Tipper Wagons
Coaches (seems like wishful thinking)
Brakevan

Large Scale:
Arry and Bert (inevitable at this point) or Paxton (would be a better choice in my opinion)
Mavis (wishful thinking, but I'd like to see her) or Rosie (I'd take her over Arry and Bert)
Bill and Ben (2 for 1 deal, Bachmann)
Troublesome Truck #3
The Red Coaches
Emily, James, and Toby with DCC Sound
Diesel with DCC Sound
Sound Module for Diesel (amongst other diesel characters that may be announced in the future)
 
And just real quick on what I see being taken out of the catalogue this year, I'd say Arry and Bert are set to be discontinued in the HO range along with maybe a few older pieces of rolling stock.  Personally I think Bachmann should also consider dropping the Peco wagons in Narrow Gauge considering that they now have the Slate Wagons which are far cheaper.  I'm not really sure the Peco wagons did that great in terms of sales in the first place, but when they were introduced, the range didn't have any other options for rolling stock at the time.  If Bachmann discontinued the Peco stock, I'm sure the Slate Wagons would do for now.

Large Scale may loose Percy (which would make him a set exclusive) or his set may get discontinued considering it's the least popular of the 3 available sets.  Last year Thomas became a set exclusive (with the exception of the DCC version), but Percy on the other hand is kind of iffy being he's not as popular as Thomas.  I'd also say the Tar Tanker, Cream Tanker, and/or the Blue Open Wagon may get dropped considering they're the least popular sellers in the range.  Given the direction the large scale market is going, we may loose far more than that...

-Rusty
14  Discussion Boards / Large / Stock is in Short Supply on: February 06, 2018, 04:23:14 PM
As of fall of last year, I've been buying a lot of things from Bachmann's parts department either for modifications or upgrades, but have been waiting months to order other parts that I need.  The issue here is that Bachmann's parts department (in terms of large scale) has many parts that have been sold out for months and not been restocked.  It has me wondering what exactly is the hold up on more parts and when can we expect these sold out parts to be back in stock?  What concerns me the most is that it's not just a handful of parts that have been unavailable, but that its more or less around the hundreds mark.  Many accessories such as wheels, trucks, couplers, screws, etc are the most common parts that sell, which has me curious why Bachmann has not restocked them in the last few months.  Hopefully someone out there can shed some light on this for me.

-Rusty
15  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Thomas & Friends in 2018 on: January 14, 2018, 02:01:14 PM
Something I recently noticed (which is sad considering it's been almost a year since it was announced) is that the Spiteful Brakevan is actually missing the 13 and the 20T along the bottom that the previous Brakevan had.  It kind of leads me to wonder if this is the livery we can expect for the model to be in and if the face Chaz recently showed is the one Bachmann plans to put on the model.  I'll be honest, if the Spiteful Brakevan does infact come with his proper face, I'll defiantly be getting him to go along with my other Brakevan, but if he ends up with the one on the sample image, I think I'll invest my money into a piece of Bachmann Big Haulers rolling stock instead.

-Rusty
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