January 2019
Hello and Welcome!
My name is Bruce B. Blackwood, I have been elected president of the O Scale Kings and
thus we are under new management. Please go to "about us" then "board" on our website for
a bio of the Board members. Don't worry, we did not get rid of all the good folks who had
been working hard in the past for the O Scale Kings. For this month’s Presidents Message, I
want to let you know of some of the plans that have been made and are being made and

Our membership numbers have dropped to possibly an all-time low, so goal number one is a
membership drive for both renewals and especially new members. One of the first things I
did after being elected president was to look at our membership roster. For the end of 2018
we had 104 dues paying members. As a side note, 52 of you voted in the last election cycle.
Yours truly ran unopposed. The secretary reported to me that one of the contests was won by
one vote! I don't have any hard records, but understand from past leadership that all time
membership may have hit 800 or so individuals. So, as I said membership is goal number

So how do we get there? When I looked at the membership roster for my home state of
Maryland, I saw that we had five paid members. Of the five I knew myself and one other. I
look forward to meeting the other three. However, out of all my friends and acquaintances in
Maryland, only one other was a due paying member. So, at our first board meeting I asked
each one to reach out to friends and set a goal of tripling membership by June 1st.
For our general membership, I am asking each of you to reach out to 1 new or 1 member
renewal each quarter. So, if each of the 90 (102 - 12 board) members recruit 4 people during
the year, we will be over 500 members by the end of 2019. So, I am asking each of you to
reach out and find a renewal or new member for each quarter of this year. Besides personal
outreach, there are many other things that we can do. My personal goal for the OSK's is 1000
members by 2020.

Which brings me to our display booth. I'm not sure if we all know that we have a professional
display booth for use at trade shows and conventions etc. This booth packs into a small
shipping crate which also acts as a podium. Weight is about 62 pounds and is available to
ship. Return shipping by call tag. The key to the booth is to have somebody manning the
booth to talk up O scale 2 rail in all of its different facets. I am looking for a member that will
step up and volunteer to maintain a list of trade shows and conventions that we want to send
the booth to and a list of those who will donate their time and efforts at these shows and
conventions to man the booth.
Another item that I want to bring to your attention is the new “what’s on your workbench”
area on the website. Please take a look at it and send the webmaster a brief article, maybe a
picture or two of what’s on your workbench! Please understand that you don’t have to be a
Master Model Railroader to write up an article. Be sure to include any tips you may have
found along the way. These articles can be something as simple as coupler insulation to fine
tuning your DCC decoder. What I hope to have happen here is a bunch of ideas traded about.

About the website, to make a long story short, the board has decided to take up Dan Dawdy’s
offer to redo the website and change the hosting over to his company. I suspect we will have
a new rollout mid-February. In the meantime, Jim is doing a great job of keeping the current
website up to date and is pleading for input from our membership. So, until the new rollout,
please keep sending your articles and show information to Jim.

One of my goals is to have wise stewardship of the treasury. This is one of the reasons I
pushed to make a change in hosting and development of the website (at no charge to the
Kings) a big thank you Dan and his crew. And speaking of being wise stewards of the
treasury please send your suggestions and comments to me directly if you think there’s a way
that we could save money. And along those lines we want you to know that we are trying a
new conference call provider that will be a free service to us, so we do not incur costs.
Speaking of the treasury, as you guys all know everything costs money. In order to promote
to O scale 2 rail, realize we are going to incur some expenses. Things such as printing flyers,
applications etc. shipping to the booth to and from, even sending out ballots. Please help in
our membership drive and if you feel especially flush, and want to make a donation, please
send it to our treasurer.

And did I mention we are having a special on membership dues? $10 a year. What a bargain!
Join or renew now!! --this won’t last forever.

I am often asked what a member gets for membership in the O SCALE KINGS? But, I’d like
to answer that with the question, "What would you like to get for your dues?" Again, please
send your comments directly to me.

Bruce Blackwood


A good friend of mine told me that the O Scale Kings was nothing more than a “Rat Hole” for
your hard-earned money. We had a long hard discussion and he was surprised to see what the O Scale Kings have accomplished with so little money. So . . . where has your $10 dues been going?
I. The O Scale Kings have given you a new website. Our secretary built this new
website free of charge, saving us thousands of dollars. He developed it as a college
project, enlisting his classmates and professor to work on it for free. The only cost we
incurred to build the website was for some necessary computer programs. And of
course, going forward, we have to pay for the hosting. What does the website offer?
A. In conjunction with O Scale Directory, we are very much involved in a
vender/manufacturing list to help you locate the source of the products you are
looking for. It includes a listing of “out of business” manufacturers.
B. In conjunction with the O Scale Trains Magazine, we are coordinating an event
calendar where we endeavor to list all “O” scale events throughout the country.
Note, though, that you, the “O” scale community, must advise us of these events
so we can post them.
C. Also in conjunction with OST, we are compiling a list of all the clubs and modular
groups that are in “O” scale… 2-rail, high rail, ON30, Proto48, and Maine 2 Foot.
OST is developing and maintaining the Club Listing, and has made it available to
us for the OSK website. Please let OST or the Webmaster of the OSK know of
your organization and whether your membership is open.
D. Work has begun on posting historical catalogs, as we continue to give you a
background of what was once out there, and may be lurking in those dark
corners... perhaps in someone’s collection. Somewhere out there may be that item
for your collection or project that you are looking for.

II. The O Scale Kings endeavor to bring O Scale to the forefront of model railroading by
encouraging our module groups to bring their layouts to train shows outside the O
Scale community, giving them small stipends to help defray their costs. These shows
include the NMRA, TCA, World's Greatest Hobbies, the Amherst show in
Springfield MA, and other high visibility shows. We have seen some success with the
conversion of some of our friends in their smaller scale they call “Half O” and getting
other people to get rid of that center rail.

III. Our O Scale Kings’ great-looking display booth had to have its center two panels with a mural depicting a terrific O Scale layout replaced because they became severely damaged.

One thing we do not use your dues for. . . The OSK Board of Directors and officers travel to
shows, at their own expense. We do this to promote the OSKs, in hopes of having you join us or renew your membership. These shows include the March Meet in Chicago, O Scale West,
Indianapolis, Cleveland, Strasburg PA, and Springfield MA. Please stop by our booth and talk toone of the officers or directors.

Sometime in the future we hope to have the ability for you to check out layouts throughout the
country. When traveling, you could visit a home or club O Scale layout. We envision you e-
mailing OSK, and we would endeavor to hook you up with someone in the area with a layout…clubs or individuals. Of course, we will also need you, the O Scale community, to be willing to open your home or club layouts. More to come on this concept.

Thanks to a member of our board of directors, we were incorporated as a tax-exempt 501c3
group. Your dues and contributions are, therefore, totally tax-deductible, which is the envy of a
lot of groups.

Yes, we have done a lot, but a lot more needs to be accomplished. We need your help by eitherjoining, or continuing your membership in the O Scale Kings. I hope you will agree that you'renot sending your money down a “Rat Hole”.

Yours truly,
Bob Lavezzi
President, O Scale Kings

March 2017

O Scale Kings State of the Organization Newsletter March 2017

Greetings Oskers,

This is one of a continuing annual series of newsletters from your president. As we look back at another fine Chicago O Scale Meet it reminds one of jus thow large and serious the 2 rail o scale hobby still is. What with 600 sales tables and over 1000 (estimated) in attendance coming from all over the US and at least6 foreign countries we are an affirmatively serious-about-2 rail-O Scale group! I can't help but believe that the O Scale Kings is and has made an impact in the “culture of o scale”.

Inside the O scale group lies the O Scale Kings the only group of its kind supporting all factions of 2 rail o scale i.e. standard, narrow, P-48, foreign and O17 scale. Our membership over the years has decreased but we still have been able to maintain a loyal membership in excess of 100.

We have currently a solvent treasury. We wisely use these monies to set up at large train shows of all gauges and design. We also advertise and support the O Scale Trains and O Scale Resource magazines and maintain our O Scale Kings website and by the way we will be making some changes and improvements to our website in the future so stay connected. To further see what your dues are doing go to the OSK website www.oscalekings.org and read the article “The Rat Hole”, written by past president Bob Lavezzi. Bob is spot on with what we at the O Scale Kings have been doing. It truly is making an impact.

Our group has monthly board meetings of the conference call style to discuss and plan how to inform model railroaders and anyone of that persuasion to get involved with the king of the hobby 2 rail O Scale.

We are truly in the “golden era of O Scale“,with an abundance of models to choose from and at bargain prices. So let's take advantage of this by spreading the word and enjoying the hobby. If you know someone who has been debating whether or not to get into o scale now is the time to get in.

Hoping you always have a clear right-o-way ahead.

Sam Shumaker President

Sunday Morning Musings on the State of O ScaleFebruary 2019

In true railroad terms, “old heads” will tell you O Scale is dying off, there is little available, it’s too expensive and woe is us.Bull shipments!I’ve heard those complaints since I changed to O scale at the age of 24 back in the early 1980s. We need to rethink the present by reflecting on the past. Oh, the future will be as good as we make it.

I have herea 1970-vintage Atlas F9 and a 1985-era Weaver FA2. The first lesson is simple. O Scale isn’t completely like its younger and smaller scale siblings. Around 1970, Atlas (and AHM) introduced low-priced locomotives, rolling stock, and track. Think of entry level train sets. The product lines were not well accepted by existing O scalers who grumbled about plastic bodies and lightweight drives. New hobbyists confused them with 3-rail. But overall, the models themselves were exceptional in detail and they are still to be found today at train meets.

“Train set” products have not been effective in growing O scale, either through attracting new hobbyists or those changing scales. One could argue the time is ripe for Atlas to consider marketing an entry level set at a price point that works.

Following Atlas, Weaver got it right a decade later with the affordable RS3/FA2/GP38 locomotives with better drivecomponents and an amazing variety of cars that looked and felt like HO. Weaver made it easy to start in -or switch to -O scale.

These locomotives originally sold for prices approaching $200, later discounted to $125. Today? Used ones can be found for under $100.

This brings us to the second lesson. Atlas reintroduced O scale in the late 1990s with a much different approach. These models are more robust, accurate, and detailed. When introduced, a Trainman RSD5 retailed for $240. That may seem expensive for some, yet look at the price of HO and N scale locomotive models.

Relative to other scales, O is just as affordable and available (although not stocked at as many hobby shops). Well-detailed O scale flextrack has increased little in the past 20 years. This is not as true for HO. The smaller scales have scaled up their prices (and to be fair, their detail and quality).

And let’s give a nod to Red Caboose Geeps of the 1990s and the O scale items from MTH and Lionel and Golden Gate and Woodland Scenicthat have come to us more recently. Add in Pecos River and P&D. There are plenty of past and present manufacturers‘ products at hand. Whatever period you want, rolling stock is available.

It’s been said that O Scale is actually less expensive per square foot than HO and N scale. I believe that to be true, unless you are into collecting brass locomotives.For those who want O scale to be just like HO and N -think ready to run train sets -it doesn’t work that way. Yet today O Scale is easier to appreciate and enjoy than ever before. Like old school Athearn O scale kits? Cool. Most everyonemade is still out there. Prefer plastic InterMountain kits? Ditto. And all at prices really no higher than HO or N.

The arguments about space requirements, minimum radius and other comparative arguments are equally easy to offset in a rational evaluation.

Does O scale have a future? Yes. Has there ever been a better time to model in O scale? No. Need proof? Go to a regional O scale-only event, such as the March Meet in Chicago. While there, talk to the people who are immersed in buying, selling, smiling, and chatting. It’s a collaborative and cooperative scale.

O scale most likely will grow through modelers switching over from smaller scales. Let’s make sure we welcome them with honest insights and advice and encouragement. It’s that easy.

Bob Kjelland Northern Colorado