Re: Getting YOUR Prototype made as a Model

Greg Martin

Mike Brock send us the following...

Charlie Vlk says:
"No one in the Model Railroad Industry is going to turn down better information that will help them do their job."
"Some in the Model Railroad Community (a couple of whom are prominent on this list) are top notch resources and can be counted on to provide solid documentation necessary to design and decorate a model accurately."

"...or worse, they actually have the drawing or photograph you are looking for but don't get it to you within the stated deadline (another unhappy consequence of Model Railroading also being a business.....schedules!)"
"Manufacturers in today's competitive market can't put up a Wish List of potential projects going out 5 years in the future and solicit information from the World Wide Model Railroad Community..... sorting through all the emails, letters, faxes,comments, phone calls and answering them would be more than a full time job for each company. You can debate this but I have lived it at Kato."
"I am not sure that if a customer hears of a project through normal channels that there is much time for them to provide any material that can be used in the design of a model much less the lettering and painting...."
"If there is a particular model that one would like to see I am betting that a few bucks invested in copying to put together a complete R&D package (I imagine that most on this list would know what such a package should ideally contain?) would be worthwhile... pick a manufacturer that the model would make sense for them to add (new inserts on existing tooling, fits into their production profile and methods of manufacturing, etc. etc.) and mail it to them."
From what Charlie says, it appears that the only really workable process between manufacturer and those with information is that which already exists. IOW, those associations between manufacturers and known, reliable and cooperative individuals. So...what does one do when they have information that might be useful to a manufacturer of a product that appears to be "significantly" out in the future?
Mike and all,

You have hit the nail on the head. There is a circle of folks that the manufacturers go to to get material and data on a regular basis. Richard Hendrickson made a good case when he shared the note about a manufacturer that was made aware of an error by one in the know and the information was casted aside rather abruptly. This happens as well. So if you know and they discount the info all you can do is, "Keep quiet and then be critical after the fact?" in your words... So of us that speak out get the " slapped" for speaking out and told," where were you when..." Some do their homework far in advance.

At the PRRT&HS we have started an online magazine (The Keystone Modeler)designed for the PRR specific modeler and formed a committee to help the industry when in need of information on and upcoming project. Now we are not looking to put a PRRT&HS stamp of approval on a specific project but we as PRR modelers want to see more accurate offerings in the market place. My personal goal is eliminate short falls like Dark Green Locomotive Enamel (Brunswick Green) that appear on recently released ICON locomotives that are far too Green to properly represent to true color. The information stream is out there and the folks making the decisions were informed of where to go to get it but neglected to do so... So the mistake is made and the inaccuracies are compounded.

Cocoa Beach has been a good venue for manufacturers to collect good information on needed projects and we as modelers have benefited and will continue as well with the coming event. I have always said the best thing for this industry to do is get into a room for a limited amount of time and digest what they have learn from one symposium and then decide who can and is will to do what. They would see less duplication of goals, ideas and projects.

Charlie is correct in that as a modeler just "wishing" doesn't cut it. Do the groundwork for the manufacturer and present your case. Do a little marketing and research the prototype, but as a modeler you will never know the manufacturers capacity. Save your research as it may be rejected and you may not be able to retrieve it.

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