Date   

Re: Buy or Improve?

Robert kirkham
 

It depends.
- I've used ready to run cars and torn them apart, replacing parts with commercial parts or my own parts to improve accuracy;
- I've started with nothing (using 3d drawing) or with bits and pieces of raw materials and scratchbuilt into something;
- I've used resin kits and built according to the instructions, or deviated from them to better model my prototype or for stylistic preferences on some details (who's brake wheel looks most right; which running board looks most accurate);
- I've done the same with complex styrene kits and with the simpler styrene kits.
- I've modelled with wood kits too, but, as a broad generalization, don't find they offer the same finished look that other materials produce (grooves too deep & wide; angle bracing too coarse; cross sections too thick, etc.).
- I haven't done much with cast metal kits yet.

I can't say the assembly of models is what makes me happy. I often find it frustrating and tiresome. Especially when whatever I am working on doesn't turn out well. But I like a finished model that captures my prototype well. For me, that remains the end goal, and the build - which can be very satisfying - is only a small part of it, as I hope to run it long term.

Rob Kirkham

-----Original Message-----
From: hvyweight41
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 7:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Buy or Improve?

All-
Good evening. I have been a member of this group for but a little while compared to the time many of you have spent in the pursuit of STMFC knowledge. The studying of references and historical documents to discover how things were really done. All for the purpose of improving the models that are available to us. Yet, I get the impression that there are some among us who desire the perfect kit with all the correct details and decals. All one need do is assemble, paint and decal this kit to be happy.
So, I ask you all, would you rather buy the perfect kit or improve a lesser kit through research and the acquisition of knowledge? Do we limit ourselves to the F&Cs and Westerfields of this world or do we take the Accurails and Bowsers and improve them, making them solid running rolling stock with as accurate details as we can?
This may be blasphemy for some but I offer these thoughts as a 50 something who looks forward to many years of modeling pleasure.
Thank you for your patience,
Keith Kempster
Jacksonville, FL



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


Re: Disposition of the Collection of H.K. Vollrath

Gene <bierglaeser@...>
 

Tim,
The "jdbandman@..." in the notice you forwarded is not a "clickable" link. Can you provide his email address?
Gene Green


Re: Sunshine Gifts or Mini-Kits

Jim Hayes
 

Mini-kits were never listed in Sunshine's price lists and were never
assigned kit #s by Sunshine. I assigned the numbers to help me keep things
straight in my All Time list. Mini-kits were sold or gifted only at shows
Sunshine attended. Martin produced a bunch of the alternate standard
mini-kits over several years just by including different decals. The C&I &
Montour version is in my list as mini-kit MK 11D.

I remember the B&O mini-kit with 3 side sills in a blank envelope. It was a
Naperville registration gift and was passed across the counter by the hotel
staff when you registered.

Jim


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Gene <bierglaeser@...>
 

Al,
Are "modelers" and "experts" mutually exclusive categories? VBG
Gene Green


Re: Industry Magazines of the 1950s?

Gene <bierglaeser@...>
 

1891 - Ry Review - 11 x 13 3/4
1893 - Ry Age & NW RRer - 10 3/4 x 14 3/4
1906 - Ry Master Mech - 9 x 12
1917 - Ry Age Gazette - 9 1/4 x 12
1920 - Ry Mech Engr - 9 x 11 3/4
1926 - Ry Review - 9 x 12
1943 - Ry Age - 8 1/4 x 11 1/4
1945 - Ry Mech Engr - 8 x 11
1951 - Ry Age - 9 x 12
1957 - Ry Loco & Cars - 9 x 12

Yes, I am aware the subject line says "1950s."
Gene Green


Re: Buy or Improve?

hvyweight41
 

Greg-

I learned about Cocoa Beach last year but was unable to attend. I have it on my wish list for 2014.

Thanks,
Keith Kempster
Jacksonville, FL

--- In STMFC@..., tgregmrtn@... wrote:

Keith Kempster writes:


"All-
Good evening. I have been a member of this group for but a little while
compared to the time many of you have spent in the pursuit of STMFC
knowledge. The studying of references and historical documents to discover how
things were really done. All for the purpose of improving the models that are
available to us. Yet, I get the impression that there are some among us who
desire the perfect kit with all the correct details and decals. All one need
do is assemble, paint and decal this kit to be happy."
-
-
I think the perfect kit is a challenge not an offering. Some do expect
they can pull a freight or passenger car of the LHS shelf and pop it on the
track and run it and are happy at that level of modeling. Many have benefited
from the research and knowledge of others I haven't met one that wasn't
happy to do so. I personally happen to like assembling, painting and
decaling and wished the market would come back that direction, other say they
don't have time to build kits and build a layout both are a compromise...
-
-

"So, I ask you all, would you rather buy the perfect kit"
-
-
Where can I buy it and what era is it and whose prototype? Perfect you
say?
-
-
"or improve a lesser kit through research and the acquisition of
knowledge?"
-
-
I find this very satisfying as enjoy the research and the modeling
challenge and like to share the process with others. That is why "Shake_N_Take"
exists. That's why we have more modelers than models at the presentations.

"Do we limit ourselves to the F&Cs and Westerfields of this world or do we
take the Accurails and Bowsers and improve them, making them solid running
rolling stock with as accurate details as we can?"
-
-
Why make a distinction between the two? They are both aimed at the same
goal, good, accurate modeling of prototypes perhaps a bit less common. If you
are upgrading the ACCURAIL , Athearn, Atlas, Bowser, Intermountain and
other offerings there are those that need more and others need less it is up
to you to make any compromise.
-
-
This may be blasphemy for some but I offer these thoughts as a 50
something who looks forward to many years of modeling pleasure.
Thank you for your patience,
Keith Kempster
Jacksonville, FL"


Keith, have you made it to Cocoa Beach? You might want to if you haven't,
it is all about the hobby and we check our egos at the door.

Greg Martin
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Buy or Improve?

Greg Martin
 

Keith Kempster writes:


"All-
Good evening. I have been a member of this group for but a little while
compared to the time many of you have spent in the pursuit of STMFC
knowledge. The studying of references and historical documents to discover how
things were really done. All for the purpose of improving the models that are
available to us. Yet, I get the impression that there are some among us who
desire the perfect kit with all the correct details and decals. All one need
do is assemble, paint and decal this kit to be happy."
-
-
I think the perfect kit is a challenge not an offering. Some do expect
they can pull a freight or passenger car of the LHS shelf and pop it on the
track and run it and are happy at that level of modeling. Many have benefited
from the research and knowledge of others I haven't met one that wasn't
happy to do so. I personally happen to like assembling, painting and
decaling and wished the market would come back that direction, other say they
don't have time to build kits and build a layout both are a compromise...
-
-

"So, I ask you all, would you rather buy the perfect kit"
-
-
Where can I buy it and what era is it and whose prototype? Perfect you
say?
-
-
"or improve a lesser kit through research and the acquisition of
knowledge?"
-
-
I find this very satisfying as enjoy the research and the modeling
challenge and like to share the process with others. That is why "Shake_N_Take"
exists. That's why we have more modelers than models at the presentations.

"Do we limit ourselves to the F&Cs and Westerfields of this world or do we
take the Accurails and Bowsers and improve them, making them solid running
rolling stock with as accurate details as we can?"
-
-
Why make a distinction between the two? They are both aimed at the same
goal, good, accurate modeling of prototypes perhaps a bit less common. If you
are upgrading the ACCURAIL , Athearn, Atlas, Bowser, Intermountain and
other offerings there are those that need more and others need less it is up
to you to make any compromise.
-
-
This may be blasphemy for some but I offer these thoughts as a 50
something who looks forward to many years of modeling pleasure.
Thank you for your patience,
Keith Kempster
Jacksonville, FL"


Keith, have you made it to Cocoa Beach? You might want to if you haven't,
it is all about the hobby and we check our egos at the door.

Greg Martin
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean


Re: Buy or Improve?

Jack Burgess
 

<All-
[snip]
<So, I ask you all, would you rather buy the perfect kit or improve a
<lesser kit through research and the acquisition of knowledge? [snip]
<Keith Kempster
<Jacksonville, FL

I thoroughly enjoy research...but only on my prototype. I love continually
discovering new tidbits of information, finally understanding how the
railroad might have handled a major problem or why they did what they did,
and especially, although more rare these days, finding a new prototype
photo. I also love scratchbuilding and building models. However, I have no
desire to research the non-YV freight cars that I need for my layout. I also
don't want to spend my modeling time researching how to improve a "lesser
kit" even if it is the only way to get the accuracy that I want. So, for all
non-YV equipment, I rely on resin kits where someone else has spent the time
and energy developing the prototype information.

Some, as Tony mentioned, do both. I suspect part of Tony's approach to the
hobby is because he has already done a lot of that research.

Regardless, one still needs to continue to acquire a certain amount of
general freight car knowledge about things such as brake wheels, trucks,
doors, roof walks, safety appliances, etc. That knowledge will aid in
building better models regardless of whether you are building resin kits
from Westerfield, Sunshine, and others or detailing plastic kits.

Jack Burgess


Re: Sunshine Gifts or Mini-Kits

Benjamin Hom
 

Gene Semon asked:
"Can anyone help me to determine if the following two items from Sunshine Models were Gifts at Naperville or Mini-kits? I
have reviewed Jim Hayes Sunshine Models site, but can not find them listed anywhere.
 
They are:
C&I and Montour Alternate AAR Hopper Side Conversion"
 
Mini-Kits consisting of side overlays designed to be used with the Atlas offset twin hopper.
 
Ben Hom

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Buy or Improve?

Benjamin Hom
 

Keith Kempster asked:
"Good evening. I have been a member of this group for but a little
while compared to the time many of you have spent in the pursuit of
STMFC knowledge. The studying of references and historical documents
to discover how things were really done. All for the purpose of
improving the models that are available to us. Yet, I get the
impression that there are some among us who desire the perfect kit
with all the correct details and decals. All one need do is assemble,
paint and decal this kit to be happy."

Desire, yes. Will we ever get one? Not at a cost companies are
willing to invest, and not a price people are willing to pay. Search
through the group archives for "product development", "needed freight
car prototypes", or words to that effect for a sampling of the issues
involved (which I'm not going to recap here as we've gone over this
ground A LOT in the past).


"So, I ask you all, would you rather buy the perfect kit or improve a
lesser kit through research and the acquisition of knowledge? Do we
limit ourselves to the F&Cs and Westerfields of this world or do we
take the Accurails and Bowsers and improve them, making them solid
running rolling stock with as accurate details as we can?"

Keith, I get the feeling that you are looking for an absolute black
and white answer for your this and your previous questions. I can't
give you one as it depends on your modeling philosophy. If you're
taking the same approach as that of a military modeler of building
highly detailed models for display or the approach of finding
pleasure solely through building a model, then limiting yourself to
doing resin kits or state-of-the-art injection molded kits might
scratch your itch.

However, most of us don't take that approach, instead choosing to
model rolling stock to support an overall layout concept. This fleet
approach requires a large variety of equipment, particularly boxcars
as they were general service cars that could appear on any road at
any time. In this case, sticking only to resin kits (even including
state-of-the-art injection molded kits) will not give you the full
variety of prototypes needed to reflect the variety of the
steam-to-diesel transition era (or any other modeling era for that
matter). For some prototypes, your only recourse may be to upgrade
or accept an older-style tooling model with molded-on details as-is.
Examples in HO scale include the Ulrich GS gon, which is the only
option to model several classes of common SP gons; the C&BT car shops
12-panel riveted and welded 10 ft 6 in IH postwar AAR boxcar
(Branchline didn't do this variation; the Intermountain car is a 10
ft IH prototype), and the Stewart "fishbelly" twin hopper used by
several eastern coal haulers.

One compromise approach was developed by Geoff Hubbs at the
Rensselaer Model Railroad Society in the early 1970s when the current
version of the New England, Berkshire and Western was in its
infancy. In John Nehrich's words:

"To have operating sessions (and regular open houses) at the
Rensselaer layout while freight car models are still being built, our
club formulated a minimum set of standards that we call Green Dot.
Cars not meeting those standards, but that are good enough as
temporary stand-ins are called Tan-Dot. (At one time we actually put
a green or tan dot on the car's waybill, but now the philosophy is
ingrained and more flexible.)"

"Club member Geoff Hubbs devised the Green Dot/Tan Dot concept. This
idea arose following Dennis Storzek's article "Five Box Car
Improvements" in the April 1982 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.
Dennis drastically changed the appearance of an Athearn box car with
5 simple detail changes - thinner roof walk, wire stirrups, improved
hand brake details, added air brake rigging, and rebuilt full-height
doors with thinned door guides."

"In the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, once the child points out
that the king is not wearing any clothes, everyone else immediately
sees the truth. The same was true for us after reading this article,
in regards to the undersize door and toylike door slides. From then
on, we could no longer look at a shake-the-box kit without noticing
this problem. (Today's new generation of styrene kits have corrected
this and in late 2001, MDC has retooled the side of their box car
with cast-on scale doors.)"

"Our Green Dot standards were set low enough and practical enough for
the modeling at the time that club members could meet, and yet high
enough so that cars meeting the minimum standards could run with the
best contest models. The concept at the time was that only Green Dot
cars would be added, and the fleet of Tan Dot cars would slowly
decrease as Green Dot cars replaced them. (See the article on our
Green Dot standards in the December 1991 issue of Model Railroader.)"

"The standards were devised to encourage a minimum amount of work
being done on each car. This was back in the days when the Athearn
and MDC box cars represented the standard steam-era box car, and our
standards were set up around these kits. In general, a Green Dot car
should be better than a Tan Dot car, but not always. For instance, an
Ambroid or other wood craftsman-type kit would be classified as Green
Dot, and the new Accurail cars would be technically Tan Dot."

"Actually, in my opinion, an Accurail car has better overall
detailing despite the cast-on grabs than a wood craftsman kit. Any
Green Dot kit, if poorly built, may not look as good as a Tan Dot
kit. Separate grabs are nice, but if crudely installed, are more
objectionable than cast-on ones."

"For years I had been talking about the "Green-Dot" fleet, but now I
want to talk about the "Tan-Dot" models."

"With the arrival of the Accurail single-sheathed box cars, our
concepts have modified. First of all, we noticed how many 1940's and
early '50's box cars we had on the layout, the result of the easy to
build CB&T, McKean, [BFH: really not that easy in retrospect] and
IMWX factory-lettered plastic kits. Cars that took longer to build,
with many fragile parts, generally were only brought out for
operating sessions, but these were the models of the earlier, less
standardized car, ones that don't lend themselves as well to
mass-production demands. Yet as the numbers on the following pages
[on the pay side of the RPI website at
http://railroad.union.rpi.edu] show, the 1950 fleet should be mainly
composed of cars from the '10's and '20's.

"The Accurail single-sheath cars are the first "shake-the-box" kits
representing pre-1930 cars that have been made since the freight car
revolution. While the details are cast on, they are made much finer,
and look better than some of the separate ones if done poorly. They
made us realize that we needed to balance the fleet, especially for
the open houses. We needed older cars, more wood and composite cars,
and more variety in terms of heights, lengths and construction types.
We needed to build Tan Dot cars. However, we have modified Tan Dot
standards, reflecting the new products in the hobby that have been
become available in the decade since we first starting working in
earnest on freight cars."

"The Tan Dot standards are now not much different than Green Dot
standards, the only real difference being the grab irons, and to a
lesser extent, stirrups. Cars with cast on grabs can be easily
reworked to shave off the grabs and replace them with separate ones.
This, however, can be time-consuming, enough so that when the car is
done, it gets put away during open houses. In general, a Tan Dot car
now means one that can be built quickly, the time of construction
being less than the time it takes to decal the car."

The bottom line is those of us who need a fleet of cars to support
operations on a medium-to-large layout have to consider some measure
of compromise to be able to assemble this fleet in a reasonable amount
of time and effort. At RPI, we've been at this for almost 30 years
and are still refining the fleet as better models come out and as we
get better information on what was showing up in trains of the period.
Keith, if you wanted an incontrovertible answer, I can't give it to
you. In the end, it's up to you to decide what will make you happy.

(For those of you in the DC area, I'll be giving a clinic on
developing and refining the NEB&W's freight car fleet at the NMRA Mid-
Eastern Region Convention at Rockville MD on Columbus Day weekend.)


Ben Hom


Sunshine Gifts or Mini-Kits

Gene Semon
 

Gentlemen,

Can anyone help me to determine if the following two items from Sunshine Models were Gifts at Naperville or Mini-kits? I have reviewed Jim Hayes Sunshine Models site, but can not find them listed anywhere.

They are:

C&I and Montour Alternate AAR Hopper Side Conversion

An envelope labeled B&O M-27 Mod Kit which appears to be three side sills and perhaps a large tack board.

Thanks,

Gene Semon


Re: Buy or Improve?

Tony Thompson
 

Keith Kempster wrote:
Do we limit ourselves to the F&Cs and Westerfields of this world or do we take the Accurails and Bowsers and improve them, making them solid running rolling stock with as accurate details as we can?
My answer: Yes. That is to say, I do both, according to need.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Coupler Droop

hvyweight41
 

Thank you to all who have responded to my inquiry of the same subject. I have been provided with several options for dealing with this problem. I will be experimenting to find the method that works best for me. I will report back when I have some results.
Thanks,
Keith Kempster
Jacksonville, FL


Buy or Improve?

hvyweight41
 

All-
Good evening. I have been a member of this group for but a little while compared to the time many of you have spent in the pursuit of STMFC knowledge. The studying of references and historical documents to discover how things were really done. All for the purpose of improving the models that are available to us. Yet, I get the impression that there are some among us who desire the perfect kit with all the correct details and decals. All one need do is assemble, paint and decal this kit to be happy.
So, I ask you all, would you rather buy the perfect kit or improve a lesser kit through research and the acquisition of knowledge? Do we limit ourselves to the F&Cs and Westerfields of this world or do we take the Accurails and Bowsers and improve them, making them solid running rolling stock with as accurate details as we can?
This may be blasphemy for some but I offer these thoughts as a 50 something who looks forward to many years of modeling pleasure.
Thank you for your patience,
Keith Kempster
Jacksonville, FL


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Kenneth Montero
 

Brian,

I think the flexicoil sideframe is within this group's parameters. EMD used it on SD-7, SD-9, SD-18 and SD-24, all manufactured in the 1950's. I don't know if any were used on the FL-9.

Ken Montero

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian" <cornbeltroute@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:25:04 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage







I would add -- Especially if you care about underframes! . . . Kadee has a reputation for perfection, but their models often have incorrect running boards, or trucks, or underframe details.
For over 17 years we've been discussing freight car models online in this (and predecessor) mailing lists so it's easier to answer specific questions about specific models. Painting with a broad brush doesn't cut it, usually. -Tim O'Connor <
An example of my 3D art, the basis for the sort of advice and critique I would wish to receive. Since this is a 1960s EMD Flexicoil sideframe (for a TT scale project), I uploaded it to my flickr page (is such a link ok, since this list stops at 1960?)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ttscale/9277126167/lightbox/




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Brian <cornbeltroute@...>
 

I would add -- Especially if you care about underframes! . . . Kadee has a reputation for perfection, but their models often have incorrect running boards, or trucks, or underframe details.
For over 17 years we've been discussing freight car models online in this (and predecessor) mailing lists so it's easier to answer specific questions about specific models. Painting with a broad brush doesn't cut it, usually. -Tim O'Connor <
An example of my 3D art, the basis for the sort of advice and critique I would wish to receive. Since this is a 1960s EMD Flexicoil sideframe (for a TT scale project), I uploaded it to my flickr page (is such a link ok, since this list stops at 1960?)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ttscale/9277126167/lightbox/


Re: ACL yellow ventilated box car

Ron Morse
 

Thanks Ray for the ton of info.
Ron Morse
O scale in Springfield, MO

Hi Ron,


I've got about a dozen different photos of these cars in yellow paint; I'll send them to you off list in a couple of minutes.

Essentially, the cars have all yellow bodies, boxcar brown roofs, and "grunge" underframes and trucks. Keep in mind that at least according to the ACF builder's photo collection, the road switched to brown bodies in 1911 (same lettering standards though; looks like they didn't significantly change the lettering until 1927).

Regards,

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Re: Model kit hierarchy and heritage

Brian <cornbeltroute@...>
 

Stating resin kits are *100%* accurate is a dangerous assumption. It's true for the most part (especially for Westerfield), but you still need to model from photos and other sources to keep the manufacturer honest. Trust, but verify. -Ben Hom <
I'm working on a couple of 1950s resin products. I wish to be as accurate as I possibly can. I might have a better chance of reaching a highly appreciated product if I received suggestions and advice from railroad modelers as a project moved along.

For example, I usually convert my 2D CAD drawings, made from plans / photos / field research, into 3D drawings to inspect how parts and sub-assemblies fit together. And for general appearance, too. When satisfied, I move on to CNC machining.

IIRC, in the past, on a list or two, I've asked if modelers wished to be part of a product critique and review as the project neared maturity. Never got much of a bite.

Bottom line, personally, I'd rather eliminate errors beforehand rather than make corrections afterhand, following release of a model, that is.

If someone here has a thought or two about this approach to project development, I'd enjoy reading your comments.

-Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


Re: Industry Magazines of the 1950s?

Brian <cornbeltroute@...>
 

I wonder, then, if Railway Age and Modern Railroads were the primary industry magazines of the 1950s. There is a university library just a few miles away, I should go snoop through the stacks.

I think the large format magazine(s) hooked me on railroading. Photos with romantic vistas, rails curving out of site behind lush scenery, and such. I'm hit with a bit of nostalgia, I guess.

Thanks,

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


Re: Coupler droop

Tom in Texas
 

I have success with both bending up the lip of the metal cover and also super gluing a narrow piece of .010 thick styrene to the lip of the cover

Tom in Texas