A benchmark in our development process is that we receive physical parts for evaluation after molds have been cut. This is the first time that there is something physical from which to construct a model. And, as you would likely expect, that is what I do. I assemble the model. I evaluate everything along the way, and in this round, I realized something:
I am a terrible, terrible person...
...and I will burn for what I've done.
Honest truth: This was my exact stream of thought when I laid out the parts of our next all-new model. There are so many fragile pieces--so many little bits. To knit 199 fine-scale brass, wire and plastic pieces is deeply painstaking. Even with the parts to assemble just one car, it is quite intimidating. And, I realized the degree to which I set my team up for this challenge: this has to be done at a commercial scale. The assembly strategy is daft. It is Sisyphus and the rock and the hill, and I engineered it.
Guys: I am so sorry: 199 parts per car.
Most people aren't familiar with manufacturers talking in terms of part count, so allow me to give this a little perspective. Leading freight car replicas generally have between 40 and 60 parts per car. Recently, a popular manufacturer announced that its upcoming passenger car has 163 parts per car. It is the headline of a full page ad. They are in the process of producing a remarkable model that indeed deserves rich praise. So it bears mention:
Ours isn't a passenger car. Our part count doesn't include electronic bits, wiring and harnesses. It isn't 70 ft long; it doesn't have the complexity of a passenger car's underbody, nor its ornate interior detail.
It is a freight car--a relatively simple one at that. And, it is unbelievably detailed.
It has 3x the parts as many replicas that bear the acclaim of being industry-leading, and it has 18% more parts than a passenger cars at the cutting edge of the same medium.
Second honest truth: we have done something truly exceptional. We cannot wait to show you how or why.
Raise the glass as we raise the bar! 2020 is going to be a great year.