I note that all of the Combine offerings are in 4-set packages. Maybe it's just me but I really don't need four Combines! I already used a Rio Grande UK kit to make a coach into combine #251 (which was a one-off for the RGS but I lettered for the D&RGW so sue me) and I can't see purchasing a package of them to get a discount. I guess I'll have to wait for some retailer to break up some sets.
That being said, did you catch the bit about the baggage cars? AND we're going to get them in all three colors!! Choose your era!!!! (Isn't it great to have a manufacturer actually bring out what we have been asking for without all of the fingernail-pulling that usually has to happen?) Now, all we have to do is figure out how to make the end rails for an observation car. It's a shame that Trackside Details or Ozark Miniatures or even Accucraft (hint hint!) couldn't market them as a detail item!
I guess I'll have to wait for some retailer to break up some sets.
That's how Accucraft operate. Their website is basically 'wholesale' and the dealers order sets of 4 and sell them individually. (Or you do a deal with a dealer who has excess inventory and buy a set of 4, then sell them to your pals. Guess how I got mine!)
There's no argument that Accucraft's customer service is very good. Unfortunately, they've seemed to have taken railroading modeling to a whole new level, in that their delivery schedule seems to be tied directly to Amtrak's. Some of their products have been two years or more late--products for which they have taken cash deposits. Paying a company a chunk of change and then having them perennially tell you "next year" gets a bit unsettling after a while. Add to that the products which seem to "butt in line" -- announced later, produced earlier, and you can see where the average customer might get a touch frustrated. They make great stuff, and I'm not going to presuppose anything about how they do business, but it's not the way I'd run the railroad.
The truth is that EVERY train manufacturer is plagued by this to one degree or another. Aristo-Craft's been planning a 2-8-0 for how many years (decades)? They're just now getting ready to release it. Bachmann announced the K, then denied it, then announced it, then we waited... Then they didn't announce the Davenport, and we raised holy heck because we found out about it from our friends in Japan who said "hey! Look what I just bought!" The late LGB published an illustration of a plastic K-27 how many catalogs ago, but never produced it despite loud cries of "when, oh when?"
There are two truths in large scale:
1) Until it's on the store shelves, it doesn't exist, regardless of when it was "announced."
2) If you want it that bad, build it yourself.
Well said Kevin!! (That bit of wisdom should be chisled in stone...) Actually, That second part is what I'm posting about. I have been waiting for a combine car since it was announced oh.....how long ago? Anyway, I got tired of waiting and decided to try the kit from Rio Grande UK that modifies an already existing AMS coach. It turned out better than I'd dreamed and I now have the experience (and the courage) to try more kit building! I never would have done so if the combine car had shown up in late 2008! That being said, I don't like waiting any more than any of you and I am just as frustrated at the delays! The thiing is I now have a viable alternative! (Actually, I have always had this alternative! I just didn't have the confidence in my own abilities to go ahead and try!)
I asked David to do a #212 Combine for me and I'm awaiting the kit now. Already have the decals from Stan-delivered today. I'm with all of you. I'm tired of waiting for the "promised" combine and I'm ready to try one of Rio Grande UK's kits.