Re: B&O Wagontop Comparison

Donald B. Valentine

--- In STMFC@..., "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...> wrote:

Greg and Steve-

In a way, I agree with both of you….

…..IMHO, the reviews we get are overblown ego trips of the reviewer or gratis further exposure for advertisers. “Look how much I know about this prototype, blah, blah, blah, blah blah!!.....�

I much prefer the format that the German Magazines use….objective reviews of like equipment compared against the prototype, with photos taken from similar views of the real car and competing models, with basic dimensions and any comments limited to measurable items or direct analysis of mechanical features (Higgins-style performance data) where applicable. Not endless streams of opinion padding column-inches.

That way the consumer can make the judgment if Brand A’s rendition is better than Brand B’s. After all, many times it comes down to “which one should I buy?� and with the present setup no review is going to give you the information, side by side, which allows you to make such a determination.

Perhaps the manufacturers would not like to see their new product compared to their competition, or vice versa, but hey, that’s what it is all about. Maybe that sort of review might make some companies decide not to do “knock-offs� of existing models and do some of their own market research to come up with a different product that consumers would like to have.

With (sometimes) inadvertent or unavoidable duplication of models a direct head-to-head comparison might be welcome by the consumer especially in a mainly photo format as a picture is worth a thousand words….. and the reviewer would not have to overlook obvious errors to make the advertising department happy.

I think in the long run it would raise the bar for accuracy and performance of our models.

Charlie Vlk

Agreed 100%, Charlie. Bob Higgins was one of the best reviewers we have ever had in this hobby. It is unfortunate that he is not still with us even though his reviews were limited to motive power. Back in the mid-1980's he obtained samples of the first two brass models I imported and one that I had designed for another importer. All three were reviewed in the NMRA Bulletin. His reveiws provided an accurate, carefully measured review of each model that could easily be compared to other reviews he had done because each model was subjected to the same carefully chosen criteria. I was impresed enough with them, even though we disagreed on the basis of the test for comparsion to prototype speed, that I paid Bob to test subsequent models to see if the characteristics sought in each were obtained.
Now I am gratified to see photos of the various models produced so often in publications depicting steam era modeling.

Cordially, Don Valentine

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