Re: model magazines and freight cars


raildata@...
 

I usually refrain from getting into discussion such as this because I have
been deeply involved doing work requested by the magazines as well as
engineering design for most of the major manufacturers for almost 50 years. This design
work includes some cars that recently have just hit the dealer shelves.

So it is not ethical for me to discuss my "clients" plans or internal
workings.

However, in the way of general comments relalting to freight car modeling, I
think the publication of prototype drawings of cars and locomotives wi;ll be
gone from the model press in the next three or four years. It costs a lot for
the magazines to have someone make such drawings plus there are few of us
"old timers" who are willing to do such time consuming drawings. It also costs a
lot in terms of space in the magazine and my sources report very low general
reader interest in them.

The making of protpype drawings is an interesting one. They have progressed
over the years in therms of detail, accuracy, etc much as we have progressed
from "claw" door guides on Athearn models. But I think the end is in sight. Much
of what I ahve drawn is from crumbling blue prints or measuring a real car;
and if I didn't draw them up the data would be lost forever.

While technology advances in leaps and bounds the idea of scanning photos and
turning out an accurate model is something else. It reminds me of the story
of the photographer who took a picture of a woman's little boy. Then she asked
if he could remove the cap from the picture. He said that he ceratinly could
but asked which side the boys hair should be aprted when he did the retouch.
To which the woman replied "Don't be silly, you will see when you take the cap
off!". Moral: if the data isn't there, the data isn't there.

But rapid prototyping is an exciting new development. No doubt you can scan
an O gauge car and make an HO model. A local outfit has done this to one of my
daughters horse sculptures and made a 1/4 size copy...cost about $2000.

The times are a changin....

Chuck Yungkurth
Boulder CO

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