Re: Prototype fidelity


Hi Clark, 
You wrote,"How many group members trust what an historical society offers to be reasonably prototypical? I feel the average Joe modeler does."
In my opinion historical societies are responsible for offering cars that are as prototypically correct as possible, and point out significant differences in the model and prototype. Doing paint schemes as you mentioned do not reflect well on that society, and that is sad for the C&NW Historical Society which has a pretty good reputation. 
I agree with you that the "average Joe modeler" most likely assumes that an historical society will take pains to produce an accurate model.  I sure do.  I can't know all the details of a specific offering unless someone does a review of the product, or I know the reliability of a society. Same for manufacturers.  I immediately assume a car produced by Accurail or InterMountain has a 90% chance of being bogus and will not buy unless convinced otherwise.  But if it comes from Kadee, Tangent or Exact Rail, the opposite is true.  So, I think the C&NWHS will sadly damage there reputation with the bogus box car they plan.  And just as sadly, it will take years to regain their reputation.
Curiously, though, I don't think this is uncommon in the leadership of some societies.  When the Amarillo Railroad Museum hosted meeting of a rather large southwestern historical society a few years back we were pressured to produce a bogus "Amarillo Merchandise Service" reefer that was "close."  Since we had produced a number of custom cars before, the idea was we had the capital to sink into this project whether it was accurate or not.  We refused, and were greatly appreciative that Richard Hendrickson supported us, stepped in and chided this society.
On the other hand, we have also had the experience of producing a very accurate car with the proper body paint (well researched with Pantone color matching), and were not so tenderly ripped apart on a freight cars list we all know and love because a photo on eBay did not register the color well.
It goes both ways.
Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

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