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Changes coming for Classic Motor Works and Mini Metals vehicles -

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Changes coming for Classic Motor Works and Mini Metals vehicles -
Posted by dknelson on Saturday, May 06, 2017 10:40 AM

This was recently forwarded to me.  It's good news that CMW will be continuing under new leadership - and interesting insights into the Chinese manufacturing situation for our hobby.

Dave Nelson

Letter From CMW Holdings, LTD to Our Customers 

 


To our valued customers -

As you all know the hobby industry has gone through a tremendous amount of change over the last two decades. One of the most impactful changes has been sourcing our products from China.
The growth of China from a third world country to the second most powerful nation in the world in less than 30 years has caused a cataclysmic shift in far reaching ways. The most impactful for the hobby business, especially small companies like CMW, is being important enough to a Chinese factory's manufacturing capacity. China's "maker to the world" economy has made working with or finding boutique contract manufacturers nearly impossible. And when we do find makers the results are very high pricing coupled with late shipments. These two factors conspired to make business very difficult.

The good news is CMW continues to be the number one seller and innovator of model railroad inspired HO and N scale vehicles. Our products continue to be highly sought after and are featured on numerous model railroads and collections around the world. So how do we continue to provide great products to our consumers while trying to keep pricing in-check and increase speed-to-market?
The solution was to join forces with a qualified US company with the resources to make what we started in 1997 even better. That company had to understand the hobby distributor and retailer, the consumer and have a dedication to producing high quality innovative product. And finally, a company with a large diverse product line that is essential to contracting that factory's total production time.

We accomplished that task which is why I am proud to announce that perfect partner to carry on the legacy of the Classic Metal Works brand - Tom Lowe's Round 2, LLC. Round 2 will now be producing and marketing all of CMW's brands!

My association with Tom Lowe goes back 25+ years to my days at Craft House Corp. We share the same passion for the hobby industry and the products we make. Joe and I could not trust our company's brand equity to a better team. Tom Lowe and the entire Round 2 team understand every facet of the business of hobbies but most importantly they understand our current and future consumer.

Finally and most importantly, Joe and I want to personally thank you for the tremendous support you have given us and our company for the past 20 years. Without you there would not be a Classic Metal Works brand family. We are truly excited for the next 20 years!

Best to all,
Bill and Joe Giacci
CMW Holdings, Ltd. 
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 2:00 PM

The shift away from manufacturing in China is happening in Wargaming as well as Model Railroading. There is not another Asian country with low labor wages and high work skills available. For example, Games Workshop has moved some manufacturing back to the UK. Their new prices reflect this.

.

Since World War 2 we have always had access to cheap labor overseas, Japan, then Taiwan, then Korea, now China. The labor market is changing, and prices are only going to rise.

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Many manufacturers thought that Africa would emerge as the next location for inexpensive labor, but this has not become reality.

.

I am glad to see CMW will continue.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, May 06, 2017 2:15 PM

I too am glad that a smooth transition has been arranged.  I have a lot of CMW vehicles on my layout, and I'd like to thank the company for their products and the contributions they've made to the hobby.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by NYBW-John on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:05 PM

That is great news. Also Oxford continues to come out with some outstanding model vehicles. The more variety we have, especially in transition era vehicles, the better. There are just so many 1950 Dodge Meadowbrooks one can put on a layout without bending credibility.

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Posted by angelob6660 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:21 PM

I recently bought a few N Scale CMW vehicles. They look really nice. I hope they make more cars in different decades. 

I'm glad that I might buy more vehicles later on.

I agree with NYBW John not with Dodge but with Ford. I'm starting to get to much Ford trucks in the 1950s.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by steemtrayn on Sunday, May 07, 2017 4:58 PM

Why go so far away for cheap labor? Can't you just build a plant in Haiti?

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, May 07, 2017 8:16 PM

steemtrayn
Why go so far away for cheap labor? Can't you just build a plant in Haiti?

Asia has a different philosophy about work, and education, for that matter.

I have a friend who worked at a larger military-industrial complex in the Bahamas.  They tried to get the locals to farm fresh vegetables, they had no takers. 

The standing joke was "What do you get if you cross a Bahamian with a goat?"

A weed eater that doesn't work.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, May 07, 2017 10:43 PM

SeeYou190
There is not another Asian country with low labor wages and high work skills available. For example, Games Workshop has moved some manufacturing back to the UK. Their new prices reflect this.

A lot of the clothing manufacturing has left China for Viet Nam and Indonesia as well

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by azrail on Monday, May 08, 2017 2:40 PM

The Oxford line is of better quality than CMW(too many crooked wheels, sloppy paint jobs, unrealistic paint jobs.) Yet Oxford costs less.

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Posted by tin can on Monday, May 08, 2017 3:03 PM

I am missing something.  What is Round 2?

Remember the tin can; the MKT's central Texas branch...
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Posted by maxman on Monday, May 08, 2017 3:37 PM

tin can

I am missing something.  What is Round 2?

I think it might be : http://round2corp.com/

 

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 3:01 PM

Apparently they bought most of the model car kit brands of the past, such as MPC and Lindberg, and the Johnny Lightning line.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 3:15 PM
Posted by azrail on Monday, May 08, 2017 2:40 PM

"The Oxford line is of better quality than CMW(too many crooked wheels, sloppy paint jobs, unrealistic paint jobs.) Yet Oxford costs less."

------

Oxford is a British company

They make 1:43 British O scale, 1:76  OO scale, 1:144 British N scale, and a small line of very nice 1:87 HO scale

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 10:24 PM

Hopefully this is not the same situation as when Horizon bought Athearn...no brand new product in the past few years, just reissues, repaints, repackaging, and higher prices.

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Posted by NYBW-John on Saturday, May 13, 2017 9:46 AM

When I first got the Oxfords, I thought they were OO because they seemed significantly larger than most of the other cars on my layout which were mainly CMW and WS. Then somebody got out the scale ruler and it turns out they are correct HO scale. If anything the other brands are too small. I just learned recently that the WS vehicles are just generic cars, not models of specific cars. Apparently that saved them from paying licensing fees. They just present them as coupes, or convertibles, or station wagons. They look similar to actual makes but they don't call them by the name of the automaker. I do hope Oxford continues to come out with more HO scale 1950s era cars because they are outstanding.

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, May 13, 2017 11:20 AM

NYBW-John

I just learned recently that the WS vehicles are just generic cars, not models of specific cars. Apparently that saved them from paying licensing fees. They just present them as coupes, or convertibles, or station wagons. They look similar to actual makes but they don't call them by the name of the automaker. 

Like a 1928 Porter, but without Ann Sothern's voice.  Devil

Dave Nelson

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Posted by chutton01 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 8:02 AM

NYBW-John
I just learned recently that the WS vehicles are just generic cars, not models of specific cars. Apparently that saved them from paying licensing fees. They just present them as coupes, or convertibles, or station wagons. They look similar to actual makes but they don't call them by the name of the automaker.

From this Yahoo Group post (link) from a while back, where the author made his best guess attempts to match up the Woodland Scenics to their likely prototypes

5521 - '55* Chevy Pick-Up Truck
5522 - '52 Chevy BelAir 2dr Hardtop
5524 - '55* Chevy Wrecker & '51 Lincoln 2dr Sedan
5525 - '55 Chevy Nomad Station Wagon
5526 - '57 Plymouth Fury 2dr Hardtop
5527 - '48 Ford Convertible
5528 - '51 Ford Sedan & '52 Chevy BelAir 2dr Hardtop
5530 - '51 Lincoln 2dr Sedan
5532 - '55 Chevy Nomad Station Wagon
5533 - '40 Ford Coupe
5535 - '48 Ford Convertible
5536 - '40 Ford Coupe & '52 Chevy BelAir 2dr Hardtop
 *These may be a '56 or '57, but the difference is slight.

Those 4 digit IDs refer to the set #s, the linked Yahoo post provides a cross-ref table.

The author of the post got the ID's right I think - I have the "1948 Ford Convertible" (from the "Hitchin' a ride" set) and except for some minor "chrome" trim differences, it looks a close match to images you see on car collector sites. Since it's kinda hobbtac'ed down in a diorama, I can't really measure it to confirm length/width dimensions without messing other items in the diorama up.

BTW, Oxford has a bunch of new HO models teed up for future production, of which I think the 1965 Chevy P/U was the first out. Sometimes though...can everyone see why their roadside food vendor trailer might not be suitable for North American continent set layouts and modules...

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Posted by angelob6660 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:26 AM

That's a good reference on the WS automobiles. I didn't know the actual dates or makes of models.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by slammin on Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:45 AM

I have many CMW vehicles and have recently bought some of the Oxford offerings. I feel the paint on most of them sems a bit heavy. The 65 Chevy pickup is their best one. I wish them would make some different colors though.

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Posted by NYBW-John on Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:12 PM

slammin

I have many CMW vehicles and have recently bought some of the Oxford offerings. I feel the paint on most of them sems a bit heavy. The 65 Chevy pickup is their best one. I wish them would make some different colors though.

 

Perhaps their most interesting offering is the 1961 Lincoln Continental presidential limousine which is the vehicle JFK was riding in when assassinated. I recognized it instantly when I saw one at my LHS. I have a large scale model of that same car. After the assassination it was competely rebuilt as a hardtop with a bullet proof half bubble and used by both LBJ and Nixon. Nixon rode it during his first innauguration. Later it underwent another rebuild as a full hardtop and is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:37 PM

Regardless of who's producing the vehicles, I find most of them to be pretty pricey for what is basically scenery.

My modelling era, the late '30s, isn't all that well represented by any manufacturer - Jordan covered the earlier stuff, most of which was still in use into the '30s (and even later) and I have quite a bit of theirs, along with some solid cast-resin ones which look decent in the background.  Sylvan offers some nice stuff, especially in trucks, but a bit pricey for my budget.

chutton01
...can everyone see why their roadside food vendor trailer might not be suitable for North American continent set layouts and modules...

Sorry, but I must be missing something obvious...not the first time that's happened. Stick out tongue  Please enlighten me.

Wayne

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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, May 14, 2017 5:08 PM

chutton01
BTW, Oxford has a bunch of new HO models teed up for future production, of which I think the 1965 Chevy P/U was the first out. Sometimes though...can everyone see why their roadside food vendor trailer might not be suitable for North American continent set layouts and modules...

A bit more garish than many, but given the wide variety in trailer types and decoration, not out of line.  Go for it. 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by chutton01 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:25 PM

doctorwayne

chutton01

...can everyone see why their roadside food vendor trailer might not be suitable for North American continent set layouts and modules...


OK, this is probably overthinking it a bit, but I think that trailer represents a roadside concession (food) trailer as opposed to a carnival/fair food trailer. Carnival location, no vehicular traffic (you'd hope), so might as well have the trailer open on the driver's side (given LHD with traffic keeping right - hence the convoluted construction of my statement of geographic restriction to omit, say, the US Virgin Islands which has LHD keeping left) so the left side (given front side has the trailer hitch) of trailer opens for easy access. The few true roadside trailers I have seen (as opposed to the normal converted step-van units that are vastly more common) meaning they are pulled to the curb have the window on the right side, for customer access from the sidewalk.
"But, chutton" you say "What if the food vendor purchases a second-hand carnival food trailer [always a second hand one] and pulls it onto a large gravel lot [always a gravel lot] off the shoulder of the road, so customers can access the left-side vending window without stepping into traffic". Well, now there are several considerations here:
-- I really am overthinking this trailer bit too much
-- Actually, in Oxford's home land of the UK, they are called "Burger Vans" even if they are trailers, and even if they sell say Fish & Chips or Kebabs (the latter may be called a "Kebab and Burger Van".
-- The trailer would also be likely called a caravan as well
-- The Google Street View on the US Virgin Islands seems wonky, but when it does decide to work it's kind of neat to see big US pickup trucks driving on the left of rather narrow roads. Yes, the Stop and other traffic signs are on the left side of the roadd. Also, the homed seem to have really big yards for an island only twice the size of Washington DC.
-- Come to think of it, the last roadside food trailer I saw was several months ago. The vending window was on the curbside (right side of trailer), and the pickup that pulled it there uncoupled and left.  I think the nearby McDonalds eventually ratted out the trailer to the cops, as the trailer stopped coming to that spot a few days later.
-- Converted step vans...yeah, that's really the typical roadside food vendor vehicle I see in NY. I wonder where that Atlas Step van model I brought years ago is?  OTOH, maybe get some styrene, bare metal foil, a pickup body, and make a true roach coach... (Some silly people call them a "lunch truck", but what do they know?)
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Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, May 15, 2017 2:35 AM

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by chutton01 on Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:18 PM

[quote user="DSchmitt"]Airstream consession trailers

 http://www.airstream-connection.com/Concession-Airstream-trailers.html/quote]

After looking at those airstream trailers in various fairs and Austin lots, thanks for proving my point.

But, chutton" you say "What if the food vendor purchases a second-hand carnival food trailer [always a second hand one] and pulls it onto a large gravel lot [always a gravel lot] off the shoulder of the road, so customers can access the left-side vending window without stepping into traffic".


Anyway, what I revived this thread for is to post that I took some measurements of that Woodland Scenics 1948 Ford Convertible Coupe...erm...doppleganger. I mentioned upstream.
Prototype dimension from: Classic Car Specifications
Wheelbase: WS model = 9'6"; Prototype = 9'6" (Exact Match)
Length (bumper to bumper): WS = 16'6"; Prototype = 16'5.2" (Really Close)
Width (I used front fenders): WS = 6'3"; Protoype = 6'1.25" (I was probably a bit off with this one).
Didn't measure height, but Prototype = 5'6.25" (top of windshield?)
So, for that vehicle, the Woodland Scenics model is pretty close to scale.

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