Re: Attitudes of kit producers, was:Wine car ops

Richard Hendrickson

On Sep 23, 2005, at 12:02 PM, Gatwood, Elden wrote:

Jeff, Richard, and all;

Is it your impression that those RRs that are developing and/or keeping
large followings are also those that have more RR-specific products
offered to them?

Is this a chicken and egg thing, or an egg and chicken thing?

Is it your impression that certain RRs are picking up more followers
while others seem to be stagnant? Why?

Is it your impression that the variety of RRs that folks are pursuing
seriously (i.e., as the "theme" for their layout) is dwindling?
Elden, I think you're asking the wrong questions. Almost all of us who are currently active modelers of the steam era formed our preferences about the railroads and regions we model decades ago, when the RRs we model actually existed and we had direct personal experience with them. The market for steam era freight car models consists largely of aging gents who are nostalgic about an increasingly remote past. Almost all of the (relatively few) younger guys who enter the hobby for the first time these days are modeling either the current railroad scene or the railroads they remember from their youth in the '80s and '90s.

As for the historical societies, do they play a role in influencing modeling decisions? Sure, they do. One of the main reasons the Pennsy, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, etc. are popular RRs with modelers is that their historical societies are strong and effective and produce first rate publications. The NYC historical society, on the other hand, has been dominated for years and years by a handful of aged elitists whose main objective seems to have preventing anyone else from having access to historical photos and documentation about the NYC. In that environment, prototypically accurate modeling of the NYC is a difficult and frustrating endeavor, as Jeff English and others can tell you from personal experience.

Richard Hendrickson

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