Re: Should we be mfgr bashing?

Jerry Michels

Rob, to give you some feedback:

- how does prototype modelling advocate for itself (and against certain problem conduct such as actively misleading advertising & product labels, very poor quality/fidelity, etc.)?

I have experience with the Missouri Pacific Historical Society and they had and I think still do have a 'corporate liaison' person who is more than willing to work with manufacturers to 'get it right.'  However, the beginning process to develop a model is pretty hush-hush; contacts may not be publically available so that ideas are not stolen (so to speak).  I am sure that any manufacturer can contact historical societies with a planned model and get some or a lot of information. It works the other way too, groups, such as the Amarillo Railroad Museum can enter into a discussion with a manufacturer regarding a model or paint scheme (which we often do) in which they are interested and perhaps work something out.  Again, advanced notices of this planning stage are rarely public. I for one would never announce plans for a model to this forum to be nitpicked to death before the models even came out. That's just reality.

- how does prototype modelling present a positive force within the wider hobby?

It can be a very positive force, and I think prototype modeling influences manufacturers greatly. We are way past the point where a manufacturer can take a certain model and slap multitudinous paint schemes on it and expect to get a warm reception from the modelers who take the prototype seriously.  If not, we'd still be under the impression that almost every railroad in the country bought old SP boxcars and painted them for their company. Perhaps that is why models approach or exceed the $50 mark. All those prototype-specific parts increase production costs. Heck, if you produce a BN covered hopper (sorry to bust the time period covered by this forum) and don't have the grabs on the roof painted yellow, you'll hear about it.

My question is, do manufacturers look at this and other other fora to get information of planned models?

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

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