Mark Rossiter writes to the RealSTMFC [ but should be writing OFF GROUP ]:
“Yes but . . . while I understand it is out of scope to comment on Mr. Hundman as a person, Mainline Modeler was his product. If one of the purposes of this list is to share the information necessary to build accurate freight car models, I think it’s important to share information about which reference materials are accurate and which are not.”
The rule involved: “Members are permitted to criticize or praise manufacturer's products free from criticism from other members.”
Responding to your comment ”I think it’s important to share information about which reference materials are accurate and which are not”, I agree and the group’s rules protect you if you chose to point out an error in a product. Mind you, another member may not agree with you. Hence, a member may criticize a product while another may praise the same product…both free from attack.
However, you are not allowed to attack the manufacturer…” Criticism of a manufacturer's business practices is, however, not within the scope of the group.
“Again, I’m not sure that ‘making stuff up’ qualifies as a business practice, but the consumer should at least be warned that not everything shown in drawings of the type under discussion is based on good solid evidence.”
As I state above, the group rules allow a member to point out a possible error in a product free from criticism. Nevertheless, such an error does not allow criticism of a manufacturer in general.
“I don’t see much difference between being critical of inaccurate drawings (whose primary purpose was for encouraging the building of accurate models) versus pointing out that a manufacturer used the wrong trucks or paint job on a freight car offering.”
I don’t either. However, given that we are discussing models that, generally, have to operate, it is possible that “errors“ might crepe into a design. How many of us are using “scale” couplers or “scale” wheels?