Re: Consumer Prototype Protection - was Athearn's new John Deere Tractors

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Charlie Vlk wrote:
I have direct knowledge of the model preparation process and the kind of
documentation that has been suggested would add another
day at least in overhead for each model and would be incomplete in many
instances. Because you have research information on hand to do the model
does not mean that it is in the format necessary to write up a narrative on
the history of the prototype. Often times you are lucky to find enough
pictures of the model you want to do much less have the information or time
to do the detective work of when the prototype was delivered, what the first
use of the scheme was, and how long it lasted.
I can't tell here if Charlie is saying that manufacturers don't HAVE the info, don't want to take the trouble to write it up, or don't want to PUBLISH it. He certainly seems to be saying they don't really want to know the details of the prototype history. But surely they DO have some of it.

How do you verify the correct dates a particular car or paint job (or for
that matter, car number in that paint job) is truly correct for?
Yeah, yeah, research is hell. Paint it however it looks good, right, Charlie?

how reliable do you think any information on the outside of a box over the
full range of manufacturers is going to be?
So tell us again, how good is the information NOW on the end of the box?

Is any manufacturer going to turn over control of their products to
a bunch of volunteers before they are allowed to market them?
Control? Hello? The NMRA might check for accuracy (gasp! mfgrs. fainting all around) but hardly would be able to, or want to, CONTROL anything. Gosh, Charlie, maybe once we get past all these straw men you're throwing up, we can discuss the real issues.
Manufacturers usually (certainly not always) do have photos, plans, and roster info: how else do they construct, paint and letter the models? Is it too much to ask that some of it be passed on? Oh, heavens no, somebody might not buy something . . . and others WOULD buy if they knew what they were getting. But less information is cheaper, and as Charlie points out, that tends to dominate the thinking (if that's not too grand a term) for the decisions many manufacturers make.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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