Re: Necessary Freight cars


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 13, 2011, at 1:37 PM, Jack Burgess wrote:

But to make our requests more attractive, it might be helpful to
provide a
background summary on those cars which receive the most votes (how
many
prototypes were built, how many railroads ran them) and sources of
prototype
information for them...
As I think Jack knows, several of us on this list who have some
credibility as prototype researchers do this as a matter of course if
we think a particular manufacturer might be interested in a specific
project, or - as sometimes happens - if we get a request to suggest
one or more future projects. More often than not, nothing comes of
it. But occasionally a seed takes root and eventually results in a
new model, or series of models. I doubt that the Pennsy Society poll
would, in itself, influence anybody very much, but manufacturers are
very much aware that (1) the PRR is a very popular railroad and also
that (2) a number of PRR Society members like Bruce Smith can be
relied on to back up their preferences with copious prototype
drawings, photos, data, etc. as opposed to the usual modelers' hot
air about "if you did those XYZ box cars, me and my friends would buy
a whole bunch of them." Manufacturers' decisions about what models
to produce are influenced by a vast number of considerations about
tooling and production costs, past experiences with similar models,
marketing (to the entire hobby, not just the prototype freight car
freaks on the STMFC list), and even, in some cases, the decision
makers' personal preferences with regard to era, favorite railroad,
favorite car types. etc. If you want to get a model made, forget
about polling the STMFC list or any other group of modelers, many of
whom don't really know what they want until they see it on the hobby
shop counter or on the internet. Gather a really complete set of
drawings, photos, and other information, figure out which
manufacturer is most likely to be receptive, and send 'em the stuff.
If they say no, try another manufacturer (but whatever you do, don't
send it to several at once; that's the kiss of death, as no one will
risk investing in a project that others may also be working on). In
any case, endless discussions on the STMFC list about "the models we
really need" may provide some ego gratification to the posters but
are likely to produce absolutely zero in the way of results. Want to
do something useful? Go do some serious research that might be
helpful to manufacturers or other serious modelers. Or - now, here's
a novel idea - sit down at your workbench and build some of the many
kits you already have stashed away. Almost everyone on this list
already has most of the freight car fleet they need already on hand
in boxes just waiting to be be built/finished.

Richard Hendrickson

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