Another point of view
i thought I would share a mail received from a very old and enthusiastic fan of ACE in the USA which expresses an alternative view to ours,
The only new A4 that will emerge from the ACE works is a live steam version with a body made in a similar way to the Coronation. I know its been threatened for quite some time but a working example ( nearing completion) has to be approved by John Shawe -not easy.
With the news of Darstaed's (ostensibly) coming A4, many of us who missed it (Mallard, for me) the first time around are guardedly hopeful. If they do indeed finally deliver on this painfully prolonged promise, I imagine there will be many sold, as so many relatively recent ACE customers and others missed it the first time around. Were a mint ACE Mallard available at a reasonable price, I would buy it, but I don't care to buy anything less than mint, and I know of nothing like that for sale. The only Darstaed item I've ever bought was a set of Pullman coaches.
I know we've been over this ground before, but I see no harm in ACE's running a new batch of A4s, A3s, or of any of the earlier glamourous locos you did previously, given, of course, that there is a market for it, and with the global prestige of ACE Trains now, as well as the number of recent newcomers to ACE in particular, and tinplate in general, I can't imagine there would not be. I know I've never bought model trains as any kind of investment, nor with an eye to future price appreciation. I buy them because I like them; any investment I make is in cash; nor do I care about feeling exclusive, so I don't get a thrill from imagining I own a loco of which there are only 50, or something like that. There is one other factor to consider: most of us do not have the money to buy multiple trains over a short time span; second and third runs at later dates give many a chance to pick up something which they weren't able to get earlier. As for other companies providing A4s, I know that Sunset and others have, but it's not the same model, has not the same lustrous paint job, etc, - in other words, it's not true tinplate - meaning, for me, it's inferior. And as superb as the Castles are, and the Coronations and Duchesses will be, to me nothing can possibly surpass my Flying Scotsman or my A4 Osprey. Equal them, maybe, but not surpass. They had a charm and sparkle that nothing new will ever top. So, in case you're ever so inclined in the least, please just consider this a vote cast for bringing back a few things from the earlier days.
As for Darstaed, I can no longer believe they really will come through until I see it. It's so easy to talk, but delivering is quite another thing. ACE has delivered so consistently for so long that I fear many of us may take it for granted. It's easy for us, your fans, to speculate on what we'd next like to see, as I just have, but we don't have to incur the risk, make the difficult business decisions, etc., though we do recognize what an audacious achievement it has been. Without you in Britain, there still would be no tinplate there today; without Mike Wolf over here, there would be no American Standard Gauge tinplate today. And if pressed, I'd have to say that my very favourite models are my Ace Scotsman, ACE A4 Osprey, Lionel tinplate Hiawatha, American Flyer President's Special, Ace A3 Windsor Lad, and Bassett-Lowke Princess Elizabeth -- all tinplate models. Tinplate's fans are few, but we're a passionate few, and I'm sure that accounts for the friction within the fraternity. Still, I'd rather have a small but passionate group of adherents than a tepid multitude that cares more about making "scenery" than about the trains themselves.