Re: reflections on decal rivets

John H <sprinthag@...>


You think the "dumbing-down of our standards has led to reversing the progress we have made through the last 20 years" because of decaled rivets? Have you looked at all the "wonderful" articulated steam that has been made over the past few years? The ones with the two engines pivoting like diesel trucks instead of the way the prototypes are articulated? Traction tires are on on high priced motive power after years fo disparaging remarks about how the "cheapies" used them and how bad and un-prototypical they were? Nowadays there is a product called "Snot" to use on motive power that is so full of electronics that there is no way to make them heavy enough to generate any tractive effort. And now we are being fed diesel and gas turbines with but half the drive wheels powered? And how about the thousands of AHM/Rivarossi "well detailed" steamers sold with pizza-cutter flanges and drivers often 5" underscale to make up for it?

Yes, scale model railroading is being "dumbied-down" and it's been going on for years.

John Hagen

--- In, Andy Carlson <midcentury@...> wrote:

Many of those who know me are aware of my skeptical feelings about decal rivets.
I see a trend of fine modelers loosening their standards to embrace the
convenience of decal rivets. Just a few decades past, modelers accepted large
out of scale details because there were few alternatives. Over the years, rivets
have joined other details on factory produced models which have moved towards
scale sized appearance. After this steady forward progression I now am troubled
by the near-wholesale acceptance of poorly shaped rivets. At first, filling in
some missing rivet detail was a laudable use for these decal rivets, but now I
see more and more resin offerings utilizing these decal rivets for pattern work.
Up to the appearance of decal rivets, 100's of fine resin kits were produced.
It seems as if now the dumbing-down of our standards has led to reversing the
progress we have made through the last 20 years.

I liken decal rivets to "scale pigeon droppings", which are evenly spaced along
straight lines but don't look right as rivets. Some of my friends, hearing my
complaints, say such decal rivets are fine when viewed from several feet away.
Is this where our new standards are heading for, good enough from a distance? I
am amused about how when a lower cost competitor came out with their offerings,
some modelers felt the quality wasn't anywhere near as good as the 1st companies
offerings, eliciting snark comments about how horrible the newer offerings
were. I am equally offended by the use of the "better" decal rivets, when
compared to how much better truly rounded, hemispherically shaped rivets look.

As a modeler who has had some experience making resin masters, I don't see any
cars being potentially unable to be made in resin w/o the use of decal rivets.
Some may say that the time saved makes it worthwhile touse the decal rivets. I
have always felt that patient time is spent on the creation of masters, allowing
better castings then from parts made from "time-saving" patterns. I was inspired
from recent postings on this list about a forthcoming WP 50' fishbelly side
flat car. After viewing a picture showing the master with decal rivet
construction, I explored ways of making this car myself. I abandoned the
original idea of making a .010" styrene side with NWSL riveting machine rivets
when I noticed that a close representation can be kitbashed from two of the Red
Caboose 42' fishbelly flat car kits. The rivets are very fine on those kits, and
my own efforts produced a pleasing copy. I do have two vertical rivet rows
needed per side, which I intend to follow a technique Byron Rose shared with me;
drilling holes for inserting .010' styrene rod, softening the ends with MEK
solvent to round off the edges. If too big, one can use .008" brass wire
instead. More work then decal rivets, I will admit, but the results should be
worth it.

I am worried that the ease of using these new decal rivets will lull us into
believing new patterns can be built more quickly that other, traditional methods
of rivet embossing. I would wager the actual time difference in making a flat
car side pattern with NWSL rivets is not much more than with decalling.

I just wish we would be more critical in adopting and accepting the use of decal
rivets on resin pattern building. Do we really wish to go backwards/

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

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