Happy New Year to the OS2R community. May your 2021 be better than 2020 (not that that is asking for much)!
I am David Vaughn, the new President of OSK. I thank the members for the privilege to serve. I also thank Bruce Blackwood, George Wallace and the OSK Board of Directors for their work during this last term. They have set the organization on a path to succeed.
Our mission is to promote O Scale 2-Rail (OS2R). It’s a great scale, alive and well with great people who model in it. The job of the OSK is to increase the satisfaction present OS2R modelers get and to get more people involved.
There have been two big gaps in OS2R: the first is that there has been no scale-wide place to go to find products and services and no central place for information on how to get started in the scale. The second is that there have been no OS2R starter train sets. These factors have helped push OS2R visibility down below critical mass.
A group of involved OS2R modelers has developed O Scale Central™, a network of websites including O Scale Info™ [https://oscaleinfo.com/WP/], which has a comprehensive Guide to OS2R products and services: [https://oscaleinfo.com/WP/os2r-product-and-service-guide-product-categories/]. The Guide has over 160 listings and will be growing. The Guide is searchable by categories and includes ways to contact providers. The OS2R Product Guide™ is free for vendors to be listed in and free for users to access. It is provided as a service to the O Scale community by OSK. The Guide is now live: check it out.
O Scale Info™ also includes information about OS2R for people curious about the scale and for new modelers: how to get started, switching from 3-Rail to 2-Rail, where to find other OS2R modelers, where to go to get answers and how to build skills and general news in our part of the hobby. O Scale Forum [https://oscaleforum.com/] is available for modelers to raise questions about modeling issues and get help from the community answering them. Down the road is an OS2R YouTube Channel, with on-line clinics, “how to” videos and layout tours planned.
The second large deficit for OS2R has been the absence of starter train sets. Many modelers start out with train sets, including sets gifted to them as kids. Folks who start out in another scale tend to stick with the scale. Convincing those modelers to convert to OS2R is a battle. HO, N and 3-Rail O all have starter sets. OS2R does not. OSK is working actively with manufacturers to develop and market OS2R train sets. Having them available will raise the visibility of the scale and make it easier to get people started in it. We are hoping for the first results in 2021.
We will also be working actively to build OS2R visibility at all-scale train shows, giving modelers in other scales and the public the opportunity to see O Scale 2-Rail models running and to talk with OS2R modelers about the Scale. We have available for display at such shows the Wingate Indiana module built by Tony Koester and featured in Model Railroader.
OSK/O Scale Central™ is developing on-line programs to give our community the contact and updates we have missed during the pandemic. OSK is also providing assistance and support to the upcoming O Scale National Convention [https://oscalenational.com/] to be held in Denver June 17-20, 2021.
These projects are not simple, and they are not cheap. They represent the work of dedicated volunteers and some paid and professional help. I want to thank, in particular, Nick Bulgarino (who has just assumed the office of Secretary of OSK) and Dan Dawdy (publisher of O Scale Resource [https://oscaleresource.com/WP/], who has provided invaluable assistance in the development of the O Scale Central™ websites. The projects also represent your OSK dues dollars at work. Thank you for helping make the projects possible.
OS2R is on the way up! There are lots of good things happening. OSK is leading the way. We need – and deserve – your support. Go to the [https://oscalecentral.com/product-category/membership/] section of our website to renew your membership for 2021! If you are not a member, fill out the Membership application and join. Consider making a donation to OSK. The Membership Section tells how. Be a part of the neat things that are going on.
Got a question or comment about the organization? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, O Scale Central, Inc.