Date   

Re: Prototype fidelity

asychis@...
 

Well, by that argument, the societies should only produce models in Prototypical scale (i.e. Proto:48, Proto:87, etc) ignoring the inaccuracies forced by 60+ years of NMRA "standards" and "recommended practices."

I don't have any problem with that!

Others who seek interoperability with heritage equipment following those standards and recommended practices will have a lot of objection with models produced that are fully prototypical accurate.

Arved Grass
That isn't the point since the society is most likely not advertising the model as Proto 87, etc.  If they were and it wasn't, then there is a problem.  I think most modelers would not customarily expect an offering from an historical society to be Proto 87.
 
Jerry Michels


Re: Prototype fidelity

asychis@...
 

Andy, to say that fund raising should be a lower priority of things to do
really ignores that many of the societies exist on the edge of financial
survival. I am not saying that justifies "duds, AKA foobies," but fund
raising is a critical element of their operations. It ENABLES, not the
"promotion," but the documentation of the subject railroad's history.

Schuyler
Agreed Schuyler,  Fundraising is critical.  However, fundraising based on trickery, whether intended or not, is unacceptable (not saying that you suggested this).  There is no problem in my mind with an historical society offering whatever it wants, be that Thomas the Tank Engine or highly accurate models of their railroad's freight cars.  Just as long as I know what they are offering and that the advertising is honest.
 
Jerry Michels
 


Re: Prototype fidelity

asychis@...
 

BTW, if a society exists in making name train dining car settings, then offering bogus mugs would be shameful. But in our societies, no one is looking to their society to offer well-researched coffee mugs.

I sure wish Richard was still with us to speak up on this issue.
 
Andy, I think you captured exactly what Richard would have said.
 
Jerry Michels


Re: Hopper cars from the UPHS and...

Eric Mumper
 

Mike,

The idea of bolsters and center sills on the Atlas car is interesting.  Has Atlas corrected the car, or has the UPHS created parts to correct this?  If the UPHS has created parts, can they be purchased from them?

Eric Mumper


---In STMFC@..., <brockm@...> wrote :


Enter the UPHS. They are now producing a special run of the Atlas car AND
the missing bolsters and center sills are no longer missing. The lettering
is correct also for the 1953 time period. Credit the UPHS.


Mike Brock


Prototype Fidelity - Part 2

George Eichelberger
 

These are interesting posts about railroad historical groups and modeling. Could I add another question to the mix?


I have been rather involved with the Southern Railway Historical Association for about 25 years. One theme that keeps repeating is that we should run more modeling articles in our TIES magazine. In general, I think it is correct to say almost everyone agrees with the concept in principle. Running more modeling articles would certainly create a bridge between the modelers and historians in the group and make better use of the organizations large archives.


But...there is a problem. As a high proportion of modelers are not interested in "nit picking" or "rivet counting", they can, and do, accept models that are less than perfect reproductions of their prototypes. So, if someone were to submit an article on a Southern Railway box car that was truly a beautiful model but they kit bashed a car with an somewhat  incorrect end, or the correct trucks were simply not available, should the article be published or excluded because it was not completely accurate? Bad data published in a modeling article can live for years. Years ago, Model Railroader ran two articles in the same "Paint Shop" that said one of the colors on both Southern and Seaboard Air Line diesels was white. That was an absolutely incorrect statement, SR was imitation aluminum and SAL was a very light green, but it lives on with people citing that article as the correct prototype colors to this day.


So....does a HS only print "perfect" modeling articles and alienate modelers by appearing to exclude their interests and work or should inaccurate article be published with some kind of "good enough" logic? Should the question be dodged (basically what SRHA has been doing) by not running modeling articles at all? People that read the commercial modeling magazines probably recognize that the models it discusses are not always perfect. Should modeling articles be left to them?


PS I see a trend on the Internet where people nit pick a commercial model to an absurd point. With the release of Exact Rail's (beautiful!) Big John hopper cars, people have written they will only purchase the model if it can be proven that it operated on a particular stretch of track within their narrow date range or it has a Plate "whatever" stencil when it should be something else. What's going on with that? Are we to believe people are so detailed oriented or are these simply rationales for armchair modelers to avoid purchasing or doing any modeling? I'd be curious to see what models they have that pass their sniff test for accuracy.


Ike



Re: Prototype fidelity

paul.doggett2472 <paul.doggett2472@...>
 

Although l model Southern Pacific circa 1950 l have have an interest in the UK steam era and the problem is the same over this side of the pond.  Produce one car and paint it in 20 or more different  liveries. Wagons in the UK (Freight cars in the states) apart from specialist books wagons are very much a secondary interest you see model trains with models that are all the same dimensions but in wrong liveries headed by a loco that's absolutely superb. Look at any steam era freight train photo and there's cars of all shapes and sizes variations are anything from a couple of inches to a couple of feet in height and also variations in width. Unfortunately we are a minority interest just be thankful that there a few manufacturers that do produce accurate models and kits and trying to get accurate decals well that's just a nightmare. Rant over.

Paul Doggett UK




Sent from Samsung mobile

"Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

Greg Martin wrote

The sad reality is that most modelers are far more concerned about their locomotive fleets than their freight car fleets with the possible exception of signature cars. They can tell you every phase of a locomotive and it's respective differences, the oddities, the paint schemes and love to debate the color a locomotive builder chose to paint it, mostly making reference to DuPont colors when likely Rinshed Mason was the body color. They spend hundreds on their locomotives while they ignore the most basic details on their fright cars. They spend countless hours detailing them to the neath degree. MY My... 


Greg, you're sure right about locos vs freight cars! Modelers, photographers,
railfans, and former employees alike -- it's all about the locomotives! Just
pick up any "history" book and see what is chosen to represent the railroad --
people, tracks, stations, bridges, locomotives, passenger trains... and buried
in there might be one or two freight car portraits. I have over 300 railroad
books (not counting any of the freight car books that have appeared) so I can
testify that this is largely true.

Oh well this whole discussion is exhausting... The Southern Pacific group on
Facebook now has almost 4,000 members. That greatly exceeds the number of people
who belong to the SPH&TS, which is a large and very healthy society. Many other
societies are much smaller and marginal. Yet I agree with those who think there
is a lot of untapped potential out there.

Let's recognize that we Prototype Modelers are a minority. We're an important
minority, and we've had HUGE SUCCESS in the last 20 years. I can't think of a
major manufacturer (or importer as is now mostly the case) that has not fully
embraced Prototype Models (with varying degrees of fidelity). Let's not spoil
our success by bashing what societies do. Get in there and roll up your sleeves
and try to make accurate models available, if you think that's what will help
your Historical Society to survive.

Tim O'Connor

P.S. The Facebook SP group is totally obsessed with locomotives, trains, and
telephoto photography! I think the ratio of locomotive to freight car photos is
at least 99 to 1. When I post a freight car photo I always try to include some
information about the car. Maybe I'll "hook" some unsuspecting fan and they'll
start taking a greater interest in freight cars.


Re: Identity of very large FD built February 1941

 

I have attempted to upload a photo of CISX 500, used as part of a United
States Steel ad, to the STMFC photos folder in a folder named Brian Ehni
photos.

We¹ll see how well that worked.

Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni

From: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Date: Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM
To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Identity of very large FD built February 1941







Thanks Eric and Marty,


Someone on the Kalmbach forum came up with CISX 500 (from the fine folks at
Fallen Flags):


http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-frt/cisx500alb.jpg




<http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-frt/cisx500alb.jpg>

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-frt/cis...
<http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-frt/cisx500alb.jpg>



View on www.rr-fallenflags.org
<http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-frt/cisx500alb.jpg>
Preview by Yahoo









It shows in my April 1941 ORER as a new entry. It's gone from my July 1945
ORER. There's talk of it getting new reporting marks. I'm not finding it
in any private car listings in the 1945 book.



Evaporated??????







Ed



Edward Sutorik















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


Re: Identity of very large FD built February 1941

 

The weapons themselves were not that heavy (dropped on Japan by B-29,
remember). CISX 500 was used to transport the Jumbo only. As said before,
Jumbo was designed to contain a non-critical explosion of the Gadget (code
name for the Trinity test device), so as to no lose all the plutonium should
the shaped TNT charges not implode the plutonium correctly.

In the event, Jumbo was not used (may have been too heavy for the tower that
Gadget was suspended from), and weathered the explosion.

I would heartily recommend listers watch Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb
Movie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_and_Beyond while in no way
related directly to STMFC, it¹s fascinating. For example, I never knew they
actually stacked up 1000 tons of TNT to use as a baseline explosion!

Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni

From: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Date: Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 9:02 AM
To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Identity of very large FD built February 1941







I'd surmise, based on the what's shown in the photo, and the photos in the
same group on Flickr, that this car was used to transport the test weapon to
the detonation site. Not sure if the car was moved away before the test
weapon was detonated or not. IT might have been used to transport the two
other bombs to the coast for loading on Navy vessels.

Marty McGuirk


Re: Prototype fidelity

Tim O'Connor
 

Greg Martin wrote

The sad reality is that most modelers are far more concerned about their locomotive fleets than their freight car fleets with the possible exception of signature cars. They can tell you every phase of a locomotive and it's respective differences, the oddities, the paint schemes and love to debate the color a locomotive builder chose to paint it, mostly making reference to DuPont colors when likely Rinshed Mason was the body color. They spend hundreds on their locomotives while they ignore the most basic details on their fright cars. They spend countless hours detailing them to the neath degree. MY My... 


Greg, you're sure right about locos vs freight cars! Modelers, photographers,
railfans, and former employees alike -- it's all about the locomotives! Just
pick up any "history" book and see what is chosen to represent the railroad --
people, tracks, stations, bridges, locomotives, passenger trains... and buried
in there might be one or two freight car portraits. I have over 300 railroad
books (not counting any of the freight car books that have appeared) so I can
testify that this is largely true.

Oh well this whole discussion is exhausting... The Southern Pacific group on
Facebook now has almost 4,000 members. That greatly exceeds the number of people
who belong to the SPH&TS, which is a large and very healthy society. Many other
societies are much smaller and marginal. Yet I agree with those who think there
is a lot of untapped potential out there.

Let's recognize that we Prototype Modelers are a minority. We're an important
minority, and we've had HUGE SUCCESS in the last 20 years. I can't think of a
major manufacturer (or importer as is now mostly the case) that has not fully
embraced Prototype Models (with varying degrees of fidelity). Let's not spoil
our success by bashing what societies do. Get in there and roll up your sleeves
and try to make accurate models available, if you think that's what will help
your Historical Society to survive.

Tim O'Connor

P.S. The Facebook SP group is totally obsessed with locomotives, trains, and
telephoto photography! I think the ratio of locomotive to freight car photos is
at least 99 to 1. When I post a freight car photo I always try to include some
information about the car. Maybe I'll "hook" some unsuspecting fan and they'll
start taking a greater interest in freight cars.


Re: Prototype fidelity

Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton
 


 >>>Dave may be right about some societies, but the ones I know about which have surveyed their members do NOT find that the bulk of members are former employees only joining for fellowship with guys they worked with. 

Tony's hit something here

Some UK railway societies follow companies that ceased operations in 1948 and several more focus on companies that lost their separate identities in the grouping of 1923. I suspect there are not that many former employees left from before 1948  former and possibly a mere handful who started their careers before 1923. 

The key difference however is that many of these organisations were formed as modeller-oriented societies decades after the companies they follow ceased to operate; some have formed relationships with various museums and societies as well, but the great majority of the membership comes from modellers (of both active and armchair varieties) or modeller friendly historians.

Perhaps this does run the risk of skewing the way history is represented? Modellers have a natural fixation on the physical plant and appearance and, while articles on Highland Railway luggage barrows and platform seats or Sacramento Northern trolley poles and collector shoes are essential reading for the serious modelmaker, they might not always be a topic that appeals to social/serious historians.  

Aidrian



Re: Prototype fidelity

Greg Martin
 

Dave Evans writes in part:

"Really guys?
 
If a car is too foobie for you - don't buy it."
 
Dave's right we are a FELOWSHIP and we need to support our Historical Societies whenever we can by whatever means we can.
 
The sad reality is that most modelers are far more concerned about their locomotive fleets than their freight car fleets with the possible exception of signature cars. They can tell you every phase of a locomotive and it's respective differences, the oddities, the paint schemes and love to debate the color a locomotive builder chose to paint it, mostly making reference to DuPont colors when likely Rinshed Mason was the body color. They spend hundreds on their locomotives while they ignore the most basic details on their fright cars. They spend countless hours detailing them to the neath degree. MY My...  
 
We are a small group and we do our best to properly inform others of what we know. We are a vocal group and we speak out when we know things are wrong. We should/shall continue to apply what we know to help make well informed decisions based on our research (I dare say expertise) when we have the opportunity. If there is someone who wishes to put (as Ben Hom would remind me) "lipstick on a pig" then perhaps we can at least make sure that it is the correct shade and applied correctly. If there is a profit in the end for the, in this case, the society then so be it. Is it a foobie, perhaps? It should be our job to remind the fellowship that it is, but perhaps in a way that it doesn't disturb the intent of the project itself.  Should we strive to do it as accurately as possible, sure no one here would deny that. If there are budgets involved and compromises occur than as Dave says don't buy it unless you wish to support the effort for the sake of the effort.
 
As they say, "let the man without stones cast the first sins..."
 
Greg Martin   
 
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean
 


Hopper cars from the UPHS and...

Mikebrock
 

Well, coincidentally, I have had a recent experience with a historical society and a car which Atlas first offered a few years ago and which I included in an article...A Tale of Two Hoppers in Ted Culotta's Prototype Railroad Modeling, Vol One. Atlas actually produced a rather nice model of the Rogers Hart 70 ton ballast hopper car, UP's HK-70-1 except, amazingly, they produced a model lacking bolsters and center sills. Instead of bolsters the car had what I called tubular uprights and, Regretfully, both the missing bolsters and center sills was very noticable...IMO. So, I added parts to simulate bolsters and center sills.

Enter the UPHS. They are now producing a special run of the Atlas car AND the missing bolsters and center sills are no longer missing. The lettering is correct also for the 1953 time period. Credit the UPHS.

I will note that the other hopper car in my article, a UP H-70-1, a 3 bay hopper car, suffered also from a strange fate. The area under the hoppers at each end contains a solid plate rather than the "L" shaped, open structural braces of the prototype. I have heard a rumor that this car's end design was due to some degree by the need to have a firm support for the very unusual coupler mechanism. Some say that a similar device was found near the wreckage of a strange looking craft located about 20 miles north of the UP mainline in Wyoming. At any rate, I was able to remove the models of the strange looking couplers, and replace the solid plates with open braces. The last step was to locate the Andromeda Galaxy on a dark night and throw them back as hard as I could.

Incidentally, the two hopper cars are rather important for the UP modeler. Oh, I have to admit that on pg 60 of my article, the last car in the string of UP hopper cars is...well...an N&W hopper car. Couldn't resist.

Mike Brock


Re: Prototype fidelity

devansprr
 

Schuyler,

Interesting perspective. I am sure the PRRT&HS also had its share of railfans in the early days, but it is pretty hard to mint new rail fans for a long-fallen flag. Still the same problem.

You mention "Classic era" (transition modelers). I find it interesting that when I returned to the hobby ten years ago I was warned that the Pre-WWII and WWII era modelers were becoming a small minority, and that the manufacturers would be producing less WWII and earlier models and more transition era and modern era models (which is exactly what has happened.) Ten years later I hear transition era modelers worrying about the same fate for their era. Time moves on.

I bet for every newly minted transition era modeler, there will be 10 or more modern era modelers buying GEVO's and double stacks.

If historical societies are to survive, they need to be "big-tent" organizations. Just as some societies really struggled because former employees in positions of leadership were unwilling to embrace the modeling community, a similar fate will befall societies if the leadership will only support "fine scale" modeling - whatever that means....

Individual local MRR clubs can and do prosper for a wide variety of reasons - one being leadership that sets reasonable and popular goals and expectations for the vast majority of its members. Good lesson learned there.

It will be much harder for a large, dispersed historical society to provide the same amount of interaction and bonding of a local club.

Tearing these societies apart by setting unattainable goals for a volunteer organization with very limited resources does not do any of us any good.

If you want more accurate models, then it may be better for all of us to expect the manufacturers to make them, not historical societies - they should not be taking the financial risks that a manufacturer can take. And if the manufacturers can't make money making the models you want, why on earth should a historical society take the same financial risk?

Intermountain has made a ton of money on cylindrical hoppers that have no doubt covered the losses on a few of their RR specific models that failed to hit sales targets (as Frank A. his hinted at Cocoa Beach, but never openly confirmed, to my knowledge). Historical societies do not have similar opportunities for large volume sales "winners" to offset a fine scale model that fails to generate the overly wishful predicted demand.

A reminder - the membership count of this group - which includes many very accomplished "fine scale" modelers, is just over 2/3rds of the membership of just one historical society (PRRT&HS), so even within the smaller community of railroad enthusiasts willing to preserve their favorite railroad's history, this group remains a distinct minority.

Dave Evans




---In STMFC@..., <schuyler.larrabee@...> wrote :

I agree with Tony on this.  My model RR Club has been gaining members rapidly the last couple of years, and they are not all the 30somethings that are looking for a nice quiet hobby that the missus will allow.  They’re in their 20s, even late teens and some are as interested in the Classic era (transition) as in modern stuff.  The ELHS has always had a majority of railfans and modelers; the employees/retirees actually rather shunned us as “foamers” or worse.

 

Schuyler

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2014 11:21 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Prototype fidelity

 

 

Dave Evans wrote:

 

Here is a sad reality check - most Historical Societies are losing all of their former employee members. Members who worked side by side on the real railroad for decades - they joined the societies almost as a retirement club to preserve bonds and fellowship they had before they joined the society, and those members have provided all of us a very valuable service by preserving and disseminating important railroad history.

 

       Dave may be right about some societies, but the ones I know about which have surveyed their members do NOT find that the bulk of members are former employees only joining for fellowship with guys they worked with. Every society survey of which I know has found that 85 to 90% or more of the membership are modelers first. Of course some may also be former employees, but that is not the primary reason for membership. That is why I believe his premise about losing those former employees is simply incorrect as an implication for the future of societies, And that is also why modeling issues are indeed paramount, including whether or not a society sells foobies, or Thomas the Tank Engine, or for that matter T-shirts, or hats, or socks and underwear. 

 

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

 

 

 


Re: Tangent Acid Tanks Cars Once Again

Thomas Olsen <tmolsen@...>
 

I received my three Saturday. Tangent has another winner with these!

Tom Olsen
Newark, Delaware, 19711

On 11/22/14, 'Brian J Carlson' prrk41361@... [STMFC]
<STMFC@...> wrote:
Due to the snow in Buffalo, (I have 4.5 ft of it) I've had no mail for
awhile. All I got today was bills hope mine come next week.



Brian J. Carlson, P.E.

Cheektowaga NY





From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2014 8:41 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Tangent Acid Tanks Cars Once Again





I received my five today. MAGNIFICENT! Thanks Dave.



Jerry Michels




A dose of reality to the fidelity thread

NicholasF
 

Gents,

If the Steam Era Freight Car Prototype Modeling community was the economic engine it thinks it is in the hobby, you'd have no problem finding any model you want from this era in any store, hobby shop or museum gift shop.  The Walthers catalog would be full of every car you could think of. 

I'm sorry folks, but you're not.  There aren't enough of you to make economic sense for historical societies to do many of the projects you want to the level of accuracy you want and allow the historical society to make a profit.  I wish there were more of you.  (The B&ORRHS has done well with several car projects of the steam to transition eras.  We do have a strong group of modelers involved in our leadership and that does shape what projects are undertaken.  Other groups have evolved along different lines to preserve the history of their railroad.)

Historical Societies are getting to the point where we are going to have to start looking at the MFCL for ideas.  Middle age people today do not remember steam.  (CSX turns 30 in 3 years.)  We aren't hobby shops for any one clique, our job is to educate about the railroad.  If that's done via a magazine and/or a museum and retail is just done to keep the lights on, that's it.  As a director, if a foobie returns 40% off our investment, I say keep selling it until it stops moving.  The models are not necessarily the mission.  Some groups make a strong effort to use models to educate and that's super.  But don't condemn a group that chooses not to.  I don't.  I've been through the meetings where we look at income vs expenditures and red ink or the potential for red ink makes for some tough choices.

If that's something that gives you heartburn, I suggest you remember that making accurate models is not an IRS 501c3 requirement.  Then take a deep breath, relax and go look at the Barriger Library's Flickr page.

Take Care
-Nick Fry


Re: Identity of very large FD built February 1941

Greg Martin
 

Sorry guys I just got through my mail and discovered it was resolved.

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

In a message dated 11/23/2014 7:10:27 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, STMFC@... writes:
 

Was this ever resolved? I was away over most of the weekend and it occurred to me that I know of that car it was a 50-ton car built for Carnegie_Illinois Steel Corp. CISX 500 or at least I believe that is the correct car number.
 
Greg Martin
 
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean
 
In a message dated 11/21/2014 6:03:36 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, STMFC@... writes:
 

Over on the Kalmbach forum, there's discussion about the identity of a car in a photograph:



http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/1600x1200q90/907/opML58.jpg



I get the car having 4 6-wheel Buckeye trucks.  Capacity is 500,000 pounds.  And build date is February 1941.


Does anyone know what the reporting marks might be?  I can't find anything anywhere near the numbers above.


The big thingy is JUMBO.  It was designed to contain a non-critical detonation of a plutonium bomb.  And it weighed a lot.


Here is perhaps a better copy of the photo:




TR-017





Ed


Edward Sutorik


Re: Georgia rr usra box car color

genegreen1942@...
 

OK, I screwed up.  I seemed to recall a discussion in the recent past about the CofG box cars with the silver oval.  Earlier today I blundered across the Railway Age item and, in my haste, posted it to the wrong discussion.  I do know the difference between the Georgia Railroad and the Central of Georgia.  I plead guilty to failure to exercise due care.
Gene Green


Re: Prototype fidelity

A&Y Dave in MD
 

At 10:33 PM 11/23/2014, you wrote:
Here is a sad reality check - most Historical Societies are losing all of their former employee members. Members who worked side by side on the real railroad for decades - they joined the societies almost as a retirement club to preserve bonds and fellowship they had before they joined the society, and those members have provided all of us a very valuable service by preserving and disseminating important railroad history.

But now the HS's need to attract new members, and that will only happen by creating a sense of fellowship between mostly modelers (and a few historians) - who did NOT spend their careers working together.
...SNIP...
If you want something better, volunteer to help the society produce a better product.

If they determine it can't be done, or will not do it - for whatever reason, then do it yourself - I am SURE the historical society will be happy to provide you the prototype information required for you to develop an accurate model and sell it yourself.

I am one of those historians/modelers without a direct history with a given railroad who joined an historical society and found that it was mostly former railroaders with a considerable clique'ishness that made me feel like an outsider.  I stayed a member because there were a few friendly faces and I still learned a lot about history.  Of great importance, that particular society has never put out anything decal or model wise that wasn't very accurate (to the point that many modelers with less historical bent than me complained about the lack of models and/or complained that the accurate ones made weren't fit for their particular time frame or region of interest, so they didn't buy them).  The society put out historical documents in fairly great number, but not much for modelers unless they considered it scratchbuilding plans.  The only problem with your argument above, is this particular society is absolutely NOT happy to provide the prototype information required for someone else to develop an accurate model and sell it themselves.  This society paid dearly for the prototype information (for acquisition, storage, and now for indexing it) and, it seems to me at least, that they want to make money off that prototype information to underwrite all the expenses they've incurred to date.  I know they WILL share with existing manufacturers if they know a manufacturer is going to produce a model and they want to ensure (as best they can) that the model will be accurate.  But, for the most part, they will not provide that prototype information to an individual modeler interested in scratchbuilding, kitbashing, or attempting to learn how hard/expensive it is to become a manufacturer of commercial kits. They will claim the info is in the archive if you can afford the time and travel to visit the archive when it is open. While that seems only fair, it is not a way to generate interest beyond the brotherhood of former railroaders and the few wealthy or retired historians with sufficient resources and curiousity to come to them. To me, it would seem a reasonable survival strategy to spread correct info as far and wide as you can, hoping you get a sufficiently high number of people interested to carry on.

You are right that somewhere there has to be a balance, because the number of living railroaders retired from fallen flag railroads is dwindling, and soon memberships in the historical societies will be made up mostly of those people who never experienced the railroad firsthand if the historical societies for fallen flags wish to continue as separate organizations. In order to keep membership at a reasonable level, the organizations might have to merge as the prototypes did.  Or they might have to start reaching out and being more dependent upon the modelers and interested historians.

No matter where it goes, as the number of firsthand observers dwindles, it seems like the concern would be to have the most correct information out there.  Because there will be fewer and fewer people who can say for certain that a steam era freight car model is a foobie if there is a lot of bad secondary evidence out there.  I would think a patch or a photo collection, or a clearly marked reproduction artifact--something other than a foobie model--would be a better money-maker and interest generator.

Whatever a society's plan for the future, I would think it should be focused on accurate information, and at least warn the modeler, AND the future historian, how to tell the real from the foobie.  I think that is all that can be asked for no matter your strategy: provide enough info so that it's not caveat emptor for the next generation.

Dave


Re: Prototype fidelity

Schuyler Larrabee
 

I agree with Tony on this.  My model RR Club has been gaining members rapidly the last couple of years, and they are not all the 30somethings that are looking for a nice quiet hobby that the missus will allow.  They’re in their 20s, even late teens and some are as interested in the Classic era (transition) as in modern stuff.  The ELHS has always had a majority of railfans and modelers; the employees/retirees actually rather shunned us as “foamers” or worse.

 

Schuyler

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2014 11:21 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Prototype fidelity

 

 

Dave Evans wrote:

 

Here is a sad reality check - most Historical Societies are losing all of their former employee members. Members who worked side by side on the real railroad for decades - they joined the societies almost as a retirement club to preserve bonds and fellowship they had before they joined the society, and those members have provided all of us a very valuable service by preserving and disseminating important railroad history.

 

       Dave may be right about some societies, but the ones I know about which have surveyed their members do NOT find that the bulk of members are former employees only joining for fellowship with guys they worked with. Every society survey of which I know has found that 85 to 90% or more of the membership are modelers first. Of course some may also be former employees, but that is not the primary reason for membership. That is why I believe his premise about losing those former employees is simply incorrect as an implication for the future of societies, And that is also why modeling issues are indeed paramount, including whether or not a society sells foobies, or Thomas the Tank Engine, or for that matter T-shirts, or hats, or socks and underwear. 

 

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

 

 

 


Re: Prototype fidelity

Tony Thompson
 

Dave Evans wrote:

Here is a sad reality check - most Historical Societies are losing all of their former employee members. Members who worked side by side on the real railroad for decades - they joined the societies almost as a retirement club to preserve bonds and fellowship they had before they joined the society, and those members have provided all of us a very valuable service by preserving and disseminating important railroad history.


       Dave may be right about some societies, but the ones I know about which have surveyed their members do NOT find that the bulk of members are former employees only joining for fellowship with guys they worked with. Every society survey of which I know has found that 85 to 90% or more of the membership are modelers first. Of course some may also be former employees, but that is not the primary reason for membership. That is why I believe his premise about losing those former employees is simply incorrect as an implication for the future of societies, And that is also why modeling issues are indeed paramount, including whether or not a society sells foobies, or Thomas the Tank Engine, or for that matter T-shirts, or hats, or socks and underwear. 

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




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