Re: Accuracy of paint schemes...

Charlie Vlk

(Was that a lull in the battle??? Let me stick my head up from the trench and look....)
I've found that the Gurus tend not to tell us how much they know what's right or wrong but
help us learn by SHOWING us.... through articles, books, digging up and sharing obscure photos, etc...
True, they tend to accumulate credibility by doing so, but certifying a model as being right or
wrong doesn't mean much to me unless I can see what the deviations are and make my own
judgements if this is a horrible thing or not. And yes, this is a sliding scale for me (and I suspect
for many of us) as what is a MAJOR mistake on a CB&Q car ("my" road) is probably okay
in a train of foreign road cars that fill out a train...say an MKT car.
There are people who have other interests in the Hobby beyond the Pursuit of the Perfect Freight Car
(like building a railroad to hold and operate those 1500+ freight cars) but that doesn't make their
interest any less real, just not as intense!
The best part of the development of the internet is the free(er) exchange of knowledge and
information. If someone cares about the accuracy of a particular car never before could they
do research as easily as they can now. On top of that we have books on a ton of subjects that
10 years ago we would never dared hoped for (a comprehensive book on one design family of metal
box cars!!!) and TWO series of prototype references.
If the Gurus (or anybody) are thinking of starting a rating/evaluation service it would be interesting but I don't
think it would advance the state of the art more than doing more of what they already are doing....
Having been involved in creation of models it is always amazing to find how much material comes out
AFTER the tooling is cut. Establishing a network of Gurus goes a long way to solve that particular
problem, but stuff still happens.... one does what one can.
That being said I agree that the product reviews in the major magazines lack information. I like the approach
the German magazines use.... they show pictures of the model(s) (they often show competing similar or same
prototype models against each other) with same view pictures of the prototype. A few model and prototype
measurements are given (and in the case of powered equipment performance specs similar to the Higgins model)
and very few subjective comments are made. If the model is horrible, the photos will show it. If Brand A looks
more realistic than Brand B, it will be obvious (if you care). No advertiser's feelings are hurt and the modeler has
more information to make a buy decision.
A recent example of such a review was posted on the 4 N Scale website when the Micro-Trains and InterMountain
FT locomotives came out....two of the most comparable products to be released in the Hobby in a long time. They are
very, very close and which one had the slight edge was pretty much left up to the consumer to decide. AFAIK both
are doing relatively well in the marketplace in spite of the spotlight being turned on them in this manner.
Charlie Vlk

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