Re: Attitudes of kit producers

Richard Hendrickson

On Sep 23, 2005, at 7:05 PM, Ed Hawkins wrote:

On Friday, September 23, 2005, at 04:04 PM, bierglaeser wrote:

The fellow at Märklin who developed the Märklin/Trix freight cars is
a friend of mine.  He just totally doesn't get it.  Nice guy but not
a clue.  Believe me, I've tried to wise him up as to where to go to
get accurate information.  I don't wish to malign a fine gentleman
but you all would be astounded to learn to whom Märklin went for the
information to do the UP box car.  Märklin/Trix is a toy manufacturer
and they can't think outside that box.

BTW, as far as the Germans know, apparently the UP is the only RR in
the US.
I probably dealt with your friend when helping Trix with the AC&F Type
27 chlorine tank car. Being totally naive as to what would follow, I
energetically provided the company with prototype drawings from the
AC&F collection at the Museum of Transportation, many photographs, and
paint specs from the original bill of materials. After seeing the
pathetic excuse of a model that was ultimately created, I wrote a
letter stating they should quit pretending (and deceiving the buying
public) that they make scale models in HO and stick to making "toys."
Never again!
Ed's account is only part of the story. Before he became involved in
the research for the chlorine tank cars, I was asked to provide
information about these cars (sooner or later, I would have asked for
his help in any case, since he has ready access to the AC&F archives).
It was my understanding from the American Märklin/Trix reps that they
were still in the process of deciding whether to go forward with the
project, so I sent them some general information, a copy of the AC&F
drawing in the CBCycs, and scans of a whole bunch of photos. I didn't
hear anything more for several weeks, and then I got a peremptory
e-mail from an R&D guy in Germany demanding detailed drawings at once,
as he was traveling to China in a week to contract for the production
of the models. I decided at that point that I wanted no more to do
with it (a wise decision, as it turned out) and referred them to Ed
Hawkins. What happened after that is described above. Word of these
events has spread among those of us who commonly do research and
consulting for manufacturers, and by now I would be very surprised if
M/T could get any well qualified prototype researcher in North America
to do any work for them.

Richard Hendrickson

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