Re: [ResinFreightCarBuilders] RPM Chicagoland Photos

Peter Ness



I’m glad you mentioned articles.  A lot of the conversation has focused on resin car kits, and manufacturers (which I think may be cause of the majority of the conversation since that constitutes the bulk of the timeline from the 1970’s onward), but there has been less conversation on the articles. I think it may be more productive to focus on authors than articles , perhaps?


For example, I know (from reading, not memory!) that Frank Ellison was writing articles on prototype modeling in the 1930’s…there were others as well. Tools, media and technology made evolution of prototype modeling possible (my opinion) and in the 1970’s (maybe late ‘60’s?) there were publications devoted only to prototype modeling. Eric Neubauer, David Casdorph, Richard Hendrickson, Frank Hodina, Dennis Storzek and many, many others who have or continue to support this group are authors that come to mind.


While I suppose it’s possible we may all recall “the same” article that “showed us the way” I think it’s more likely it was a group of different articles in different publications that influenced us and perhaps this aspect of the hobby, which is why I propose authors rather than articles may have more meaning to the casual timeline reader.


Also, again, my opinion, some manufacturers that do not jump immediately to mind nowadays were providing prototype modelers with detail parts decades ago – Walthers, Cal-Scale, Red Ball, Precision Scale come to mind…and today there are newer manufacturers of detail parts as well as a couple of the oldies.


Lastly, I can understand the original timeline, produced under deadline and I am sure most gratefully accepted, can probably stand some correction even if it stands as is.  The one that jumps out to me is the 1950’s statement that “standards for models are introduced”. I just checked the website, and NMRA was founded in 1935. So perhaps if there are some specific standards from the 1950’s that drove prototype modeling, they bear mentioning….otherwise, standards should probably be shifted earlier?


I think whether the timelines stays focused on supporting the 25th anniversary of the event or is expanded to embrace prototype modeling in general, some of the above should be reviewed for consideration to include on the timeline.


Re: the Steve Hile timeline.  I think this is a great start – may also have contributed to the spate of conversation on resin car makers…so, an observation… before resin there were prototype model kits produced – and built, right? So, for the timeline extending back to the 1930’s would it be appropriate to also consider the manufacturers of wood, cast metal or brass prototype models? Dale Newton-Red Ball, Ulrich, Walthers and others? And for the scratch-builders, Northeastern Scale Lumber ( or was Kapplers first or is there a predecessor?) Central Valley, others?


I get it if the intent is to focus on prototype modeling with resin and contemporary technology, but if the point is to show how the path began and grew to get to today, these may be other considerations.


My two cents,

Peter Ness

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