Hello fellow O Scale 2 Railers,
A word about dues. I would like to announce that starting January 1st 2020, the dues for the organization known as the O Scale Central will be increased from $10.00 a year to $24.00 a year. Payable and due on January 1, 2020. Now, before you leave all upset about a 140% dues increase, let me tell you about the DEAL. The Board of Directors and I understand that this is a substantial increase if you look at it in percentage points. If you look at it as a $14 increase, it doesn’t sound quite so bad. (I learned this one a former governor of Maryland, who raised our sales tax from 5% to 6%, then touted it during his presidential campaign as only a penny increase.) Those who of us (including yours truly in retail hobby shop sales at the time ) did not in favor his 20% tax increase & were not happy. It’s all about how you look at & spin the numbers. I will state for the record that this organization cannot promote O Scale 2 Rail adequately at a $10 a year dues structure. I also understand this is the 1st increase in the history of the O Scale Central, and that someone may have made a campaign promise way back when that dues would never increase… Well, I told you this would happen, and made you a promise that it would happen. But I digress, back to the DEAL – if you pay for 2020 and 2021 before December 31, 2019, we will honor the $10 a year current dues amount. Yes, that means that you can save $28 by prepaying your dues two years in advance! Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying your dues for the next two years. This should also add a nice kick to our kitty. The board and I are looking at some a pretty progressive campaign to let the masses know about 2 Rail O Scale. This includes a possible ad campaign in a major modeling magazine and sending our booth out to several train shows throughout the year, In addition to building up a fund to help get future SONCs (Scale O National Conventions) funded. And of course, were looking for help. I would love to hear from many of you that you can man the booth for a couple hours at a train show. Contact me direct at Bruce@oscalekings.org
It’s the wrong time year for this maybe, but then again, maybe is the perfect time year for a report on the condition of the hobby. A week ago, I was able to attend the Indianapolis O scale show. So, some observations: Number one, I walked about and asked several vendors to report off the record how the sales were. Most of the vendors reported that sales were better than last year. Although nobody told me that they had an outstanding breakout show in sales, only one vendor indicated that he was thinking of not coming back next year. I did not have a table. I was helping with the O Scale Central booth and a little bit of promotion for the 2020 SONC. Although John Wubble, the convention chair did most of the promotion work, I did help a wee bit. I think we had a good showing at Indy. I know we collected dues for several people, and received promises from quite a few more that they would sign up online. Thanks to all those who sat at the table during the show! We also had a great O Scale Central membership meeting on Saturday morning. Many many, many great suggestions were made how to improve the work of the O Scale Central. Several of those will be brought to the board’s attention at our next meeting. Please contact me at Bruce@oscalekings.org with any positive suggestions. But back to sales. This is just my opinion. And comes from my own views of the show. I will tell you that green boxes seem to still be a hot commodity. I am seeing fewer and fewer of these on dealer’s tables. I’ve got to believe that what is happing is that people are willing to pay to get what they want and then tend to hold onto those items. I also have noticed that most of the premium pieces, whether they be brass or plastic, seem to be holding their own and some of the brass may have had higher asking prices than a year ago. Another thing that I’ve noticed a shortage of, at least from the buyer side, is MTH two rail locomotives. Even at three rail shows, I do not see a lot of MTH for sale on the used market. I will also tell you that I saw quite a few people carrying stuff out from the show, and I’m not talking about the dealers on Sunday afternoon. My personal thanks to Amy and Dan Dawdy for their efforts! I am planning on a trip back next year!
Now, time for a plug: seems like Labor Day has become the official start of train show season. I thoroughly enjoy going to train shows. Yes, I love to actually see something, laying my eyes on it, maybe even feel the heft of a O Scale piece over looking at countless pictures online. And yes, I like to haggle, as long as it’s not ridiculous or insulting by purpose. It probably won’t surprise you that I love to trade to. I find these things are almost impossible online. Fortunately for all of us, Indy and shows like this, are more than just a than just some tables with the same guys dragging the same old stuff into the show. Indy had a couple of clinics and several model railroad open houses. I was able to go to two of these open houses. Both layouts motivated me to go home and try my hand at something new. I will tell you that if you’re not going to these open houses, whether at an O Scale 2 Rail meet or a round-robin group or local club, you are missing out. I will say that again, you are missing out. I keep hearing that the number one thing that membership wants from the O Scale Central is fellowship. I totally agree. I feel that I have made some great friends over the years by attending open houses. But the key verb here is attending. I don’t know of a way to develop fellowship by sitting at home in the easy chair. Okay, so I know some of you are going to say there’s no other O scale 2 Railer around. Well then be a renegade and join in HO club and promote O Scale 2 Rail. A We can learn from HO scale layouts and HO scale modelers can learn from O Scale 2 Railers. And / OR — Host the HO gang at your layout! No Layout you say? Get to it! Start small but get started! Did someone say module? I am looking for a volunteer to take charge of a committee to develop an O scale module group.