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49437Re: AZL/SZL trip to Korea/ MTL's Trip to Walmart

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  • Joe DAmato
    Dec 4, 2006
      Hi All,

      This is Joe, from the firm Brand X, formally known as MTL (wonder if
      my paycheck will be difficult to deposit this week?) Just back from
      a trip to Walmart where I got sheets of plywood to fabricate our new
      GP-9's, also got a gallon of black housepaint and rubber stamps so we
      could do PRR as our first release. We also opted for rubber band
      drive so I picked up a few boxes of those from the Office Supply
      isle, modern rubber bands have more life than the ones I used to
      shoot my neighbor's cat as a kid. So far, production is going
      well... :o)

      Seriously, if that is possible....Rob made the point about undec's
      I'd like to underscore. We produced a boat load of Undec's at the
      urging of Rob Kluz :op and were confronted with the cost and extra
      inventory (Rob, we need to talk :o0 ). Folks expected a price
      reduction cause they were undecorated, but the painting and printing
      represent a small part of the cost to build these guys. I thought
      they would be cheeper too, but when I saw the numbers, realized the
      most you would save was a few dollars, so...Marketing made the call.
      Since I don't expect Rob to send me a check for the extra inventory,
      do me a favor and buy a few of these so I can pay for Breakfast with
      Loren next week.

      Well the lights are flickering and I have to go out back and whip the
      burro's turning the wheel on the generator...


      Brand X

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Allbritton" <robert@...>
      > Hi All,
      > Normally I let Rob Kluz handle all of the AZL/SZL Corporate
      > but since I just got off a 14 hour flight from Korea, and I'm half
      > from too much kimchi, let me share a little of my visit with Ajin:
      > First, the question of undecorated models came up. Let me set the
      > straight on this one. AZL does not get any price break from Ajin if
      we order
      > a model as "undecorated". I know this doesn't make any logical
      sense, but
      > this is just the way Ajin does their pricing. There are minimum
      > for each paint scheme, so if we were to release an undecorated
      model, it
      > would be the same price as a painted model, and we would have to
      give up one
      > of our slots (roadnames) to make room for the undecorated model.
      > that undecorated models are the least popular, we have decided that
      we will
      > not release any undecorated models.
      > To sum up:
      > 1) Undecorated are the same cost as fully painted models
      > 2) We would have to eliminate a roadname to make room for an
      > undecorated model
      > 3) Undecorated are historically not big sellers.
      > If you want to repaint, I suggest the PRR model - it is mainly
      black, which
      > makes a nice base coat.
      > Second, the pictures that were posted are hand made samples. Hans
      and I took
      > the pictures while they were still working on them. In fact we were
      > getting in their way from finishing their work, so don't read too
      much into
      > parts being a little off on assembly.
      > Third, we got a chance to visit the tool makers (mold makers) and
      > injection plant. The quality of these models is really fantastic.
      We have
      > made a strategic decision to make our AZL models as prototypical as
      > possible.
      > While both AZL and "Brand X" models use high quality motors (we use
      > Faulhaber, they use Maxon) our colleagues at "Brand X" have
      oversized the
      > width of the hood and cab on both their GP35 and GP9 products. This
      > them to put more metal in the frame and have a heavier locomotive.
      We chose
      > to take another path. We imbed a photo etched brass panel in the
      sidewall of
      > the hood of the locomotive. This has two benefits: First, it allows
      > additional heat wicking away from the motor, and Second, it allows
      the shell
      > to hug the motor closer. The result is that the width of our hood
      and cab on
      > our SD70 and GP7 products are the correct in scale dimension and
      > To compensate for the lighter weight of our locomotives, we have
      included a
      > traction tire on one axel. Our tests have shown that this gives us
      > pulling power than additional weight would have provided. Modern
      > give these traction tires an expected lifespan that is greater than
      > other part of the locomotive. In fact, it makes for a lighter, but
      > locomotive.
      > AZL also builds molds that have many "slide changes" to them. This
      allows us
      > to bring prototypical details to our SD70 and GP7 products. Our
      SD70 mold
      > has over 6 variations. If you buy a BNSF locomotive, it will have
      > correct window in the cab door, whereas the UP locomotive does not
      > this. The same is true for headlight locations, and various vents
      > grills. Historically our competitor has built a single mold which
      does not
      > allow for these details.
      > We have just concluded many days of exciting discussions and I can
      say that
      > the future of Z scale looks great! Perhaps the best news is that we
      > listened to you, our customers, and we intend to deliver what you
      want. We
      > will continue to expand our line of plastic injection models with a
      focus on
      > prototypical detail, outstanding decoration, and superior operating
      > characteristics. We will also continue to develop short run Brass
      models for
      > both the collector connoisseur and operator.
      > Thanks for buying AZL.
      > -Rob Allbriton
      > PS: I'm not an engineer, so please don't take me to task if I got
      > details wrong. If I got a few things messed up, I really am
      horribly jet
      > lagged.
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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