Date   

Re: Product and Model Reviews

waynewhitlow
 

This is a good web site; however, it does not look like it has been
updated since early 2003. There are no new products after then and
there is no way to contact the webmaster since Mr. Culotta is no
longer accepting email at the address listed in the site. For
example, there is no way to send in a classified ad.

Wayne Whitlow
k4rzw@...

On May 26, 2008, at 11:49 AM, Eric Hansmann wrote:


I have enjoyed reading the many posts on standards, product reviews,
the color of freight car
red, and even the banana bunch. I believe we already have a place we
can call home for much of
this information. Someone mentioned the Steam Era Freight Cars web
site earlier.
http://www.steamfreightcars.com/

This was originally started by Ted Culotta as a repository of
prototype detail for railroad
freight cars. There are reviews, techniques, prototype photos,
prototype data, and many more
items that assist in our modeling efforts. I vaguely recall Ted
handing this off to someone
else a while back (Rob Adams, maybe??). It is a huge undertaking to
maintain and improve a site
like this as an individual. Collectively, we can make contributions
to move the information
forward and make it an even more valuable resource. Kurt sent some
guidelines used in military
model reviews. Content guidelines are a first step towards funneling
detail to the Steam Era
Freight Cars site. A monthly message encouraging submissions from
STMFC members may also help
in getting new content to the site. Additionally, many of the
threads here could be edited and
combined to post on the web site to better document prototype
discussion points. I have over
two dozen threads like this saved to my hard drive as Word files. If
I have that many, then I'm
sure many others have done a similar exercise to save some of the
nuggets that have shown up
here.

We have a vehicle in place to further share details on model kits
and prototypical accuracy. We
do not have to reinvent the wheel here. We just need to reactivate
our relationship with the
site and move content forward again. A few people need to help the
web master manage incoming
content. I'll stand up and volunteer to assist as best as I can.

Eric Hansmann
Morgantown, W. Va.



Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Manfred Lorenz
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@...> wrote:

... The broadside photo of the steam loco
is what makes it an honest review. The editors could just as well
have
chosen a high ¾ view which would totally hide this visual
deficiency,
but didn't. Instead they presented an honest example of the
appearance. If the reader knows that half the frame is missing and
it
bothers him, he's not going to buy the product. If the price is
attractive, he has a heads up to start thinking about how he will
modify it to resolve this perceived deficiency. If he doesn't know,
and has never taken the trouble to learn what a steam locomotive
actually looks like, he'll buy it, and be just thrilled that it will
run on curves of half the radius that those "expensive brass locos"
can handle. The review has a non judgmental honesty that doesn't
presume to tell the buyer what should be important to him; it just
presents the reality of the product.
This is the way one German magazine presents reviews: They run
several photos of the model side by side with the same perspectives
of the prototype. This way everybody can judge for himself how good
the manufacturer's representation of the prototype has turned out.
They don't go into the deficiencies of the model and seldom mention
reasons why some shortcuts have been taken or corners cut.

I will not comment on the rest of the reviews as I am not too happy
with them.


Meanwhile, we now have a commercial line of
operating exact scale couplers, the Sergent coupler, that won't mate
with the NMRA dummy.

...

Interestingly, there is a dummy coupler that mates perfectly with
the
Sergent, the Glatzl coupler:
...

The fact that they mate
perfectly points out the advantages of always looking to the
prototype
for your standards.
I think this is a good example how standards should be developed and
that the approach has its natural rewards. Looking at the prototype
and trying to scale it down will result in the most useful standards.
IIRC the wheel profile named RP25 is just that: a scaled down (and
simplified for modelling purposes) prototype standard.

When I was enthused about the new roller bearing and rotating cap
equipped trucks by Athearn (real RP25-088 wheels!)I found to my
dismay that the bolster had a different height than any other car I
have in my possession. The cars which needed this truck failed to
accept it. When challenged to come up with an answer as why there was
this odd height employed Athearn ran out of words.

This again makes my case that the prototype dimensions should rule
standards making for models. But I don't think every truck bolster
has kept the same height when truck technology had evolved. So one
height would probably do no good. A height set today as standard
might become the dodo of tomorrow and hinder development. Like the de
facto standard Kadee coupler pocket. See Frank Sergent's first
efforts to deliver a substitute conforming to obsolete hardware. A
modern freight car has different wheels and different trucks. Nobody
would need to exchange a 100ton r/b truck with an Archbar design. So
why would both need a common dimension for bolster height. The closer
the standards emulate the prototype dimensions the less they hinder
the evolution of the hobby towards a more prototypical look.

Manfred
Bonn


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
...the editorial policy of TKM is that no-one who works on a
project with a manufacturer may then write the review and that
seems like an appropriate policy.
Well..... I certainly appreciate it when consultants like Ed Hawkins
and Bill Welch make informative posts here regarding shortcomings of
commercial models they are involved with. If those who know best what
the problems are won't tell us, who will?

Tom Madden


Re: NH 36000-36990

Richard Hendrickson
 

On May 26, 2008, at 8:46 AM, Brian J Carlson wrote:

I need some help in identifying the above NH series. It doesn't
appear to be
one of their 2000 1937 AAR cars or the postwar 10' cars, or their
early PS-1
cars. I'm trying to determine when this series was constructed and
what type
of car it was 10 panel, 12 panel, riveted, welded, etc. Thanks





I have several photos of cars in this series; they were 1937 spec.
AAR box cars built in the early 1940s in the 30000-32999 series and
renumbered in the mid-1950s. I can supply more detailed information
as well as scans if needed.


Richard Hendrickson


Product and Model Reviews

Eric Hansmann
 

I have enjoyed reading the many posts on standards, product reviews, the color of freight car
red, and even the banana bunch. I believe we already have a place we can call home for much of
this information. Someone mentioned the Steam Era Freight Cars web site earlier.
http://www.steamfreightcars.com/

This was originally started by Ted Culotta as a repository of prototype detail for railroad
freight cars. There are reviews, techniques, prototype photos, prototype data, and many more
items that assist in our modeling efforts. I vaguely recall Ted handing this off to someone
else a while back (Rob Adams, maybe??). It is a huge undertaking to maintain and improve a site
like this as an individual. Collectively, we can make contributions to move the information
forward and make it an even more valuable resource. Kurt sent some guidelines used in military
model reviews. Content guidelines are a first step towards funneling detail to the Steam Era
Freight Cars site. A monthly message encouraging submissions from STMFC members may also help
in getting new content to the site. Additionally, many of the threads here could be edited and
combined to post on the web site to better document prototype discussion points. I have over
two dozen threads like this saved to my hard drive as Word files. If I have that many, then I'm
sure many others have done a similar exercise to save some of the nuggets that have shown up
here.

We have a vehicle in place to further share details on model kits and prototypical accuracy. We
do not have to reinvent the wheel here. We just need to reactivate our relationship with the
site and move content forward again. A few people need to help the web master manage incoming
content. I'll stand up and volunteer to assist as best as I can.

Eric Hansmann
Morgantown, W. Va.


NH 36000-36990

Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

I need some help in identifying the above NH series. It doesn't appear to be
one of their 2000 1937 AAR cars or the postwar 10' cars, or their early PS-1
cars. I'm trying to determine when this series was constructed and what type
of car it was 10 panel, 12 panel, riveted, welded, etc. Thanks
Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Re: Santa Fe Bx48 Boxcar Image

Greg Martin
 

Richard,

I have a follow up question regarding this car class... What style roof did
it have? A diagonal panel roof or a simple panel roof?

Greg Martin








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N & HO items for sale

atsfsd26 <davenorth@...>
 

Hi guys,
I'm currently posting a whole bunch of N scale and some HO on ebay.
http://search.ebay.com.au/_W0QQsassZdn052

My seller ID is dn052

cheers
Dave


Re: Other Military Freight Car Photos

Richard Hendrickson
 

On May 25, 2008, at 10:09 PM, Rob Kirkham wrote:

Thanks John and Robert for taking the time to help rule out the
possible GN
ownership of the car. I don't suppose anyone has managed to make a
positive
ID of the car?




I-GN 8500-8599, built by AC&F in 1943.


Richard Hendrickson


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Jim Betz
 

Hi All,

This thread has been very interesting - in the good way. Stimulating
would be another word I think fits.

Dennis and others have hit on something key ... the idea that the NMRA
should "pass judgement" on -any- product is a mistake. If they want to do
something along those lines they should issue something similar to the
Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Carrots only, no hammers.

Yes, they should issue RPs/Standards - as long as their purpose is to
create an environment that promotes both both new products -and- the
free interchange of components.
This is precisely the thrust of my recommendation to limit all of the
"specs" for the trucks and couplers to "just two pads and the relative
distance between them". And let the mfgrs sort out the shape and size
of the coupler box, coupler, truck, etc., etc., etc.
It has been pointed out to me that I left out "axle length". I agree.
We do need an RP for axle length. And there should be no more than 2 or
3 different axle lengths for any one scale - how about short, medium, and
long (and a spec for same)?
- Jim in San Jose


Other Military Freight Car Photos

Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>
 

Thanks John and Robert for taking the time to help rule out the possible GN ownership of the car. I don't suppose anyone has managed to make a positive ID of the car?

<More Jeeps
http://lvaimage.lib.va.us/cgi-bin/photo.cgi/VTLS/SC/19/036

Rob Kirkham
[snip]
--- In STMFC@..., "John Monrad" <jrmonrad@...> wrote:

---Rob Kirkham wrote:

Interesting photos. Can anyone identify the flat car beneath that
load of jeeps. I'm thinking I see GN, but I don't know their flat
cars at all.
Probably not GN. Great Northern did have riveted flatcars with
fishbelly side sills and 15 evenly spaced stake pockets in the
65000-65499 series, blt 1928 by Seims-Stemble (S. Thompson's GN Book
2, p. 80). However, the GN flats had a shorter (i.e., not as long)
fishbelly section that accommodated only 5 stake pockets, as opposed
to 7 shown in the photo, and the flat in the photo shows what appears
to be an AC&F logo and NEW n-4x. (The flatcar in the photo appears
identical to L&N and NP flats shown on p. 212 of Kaminski's AC&F book,
including closer spacing between stake pockets 7 and 8.)

Perhaps I-GN?

John Monrad
No, I don't think it is GN as well, for a couple of reasons. First, GN didn't build or buy any
riveted fishbelly flatcars in the 1940s. They did buy a series of flatcars from ACF in 1945,
I believe, that had a deep fishbelly centersill and straight sidesills, but were of all welded
construction. They are similar to the NP flatcar produced by Northern Specific Models.

Also, every photo I have seen of GN steam era flatcars shows the roadname spelled out.

Hopefully this info helps. I am working from memory and my reference material is packed
in boxes.

Sincerely,
Robert D. Heninger
Stanley, ND


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

David North wrote:
But is it in our collective interests to punish the sons for the sins of the fathers?
Nobody is punishing anyone. But some of us are pretty skeptical, and will need some serious convincing. If you ask, "do I distrust the sons because of the fathers' performance," then the answer is yes. But you are right, David, it is not a permanent disavowal on my part.

What Richard is talking about is people, not the organization.
Please. Of COURSE he is talking about the organization: the people he interacted with represented it and used its name. To my knowledge, there is no abstract, impersonal organization anywhere in the world which has ever worked on standards: just people in organizations.
I am impressed with the number of people on this list who believe that standards work is very much needed, and that the NMRA can and should do it. A number of quite specific standards needs have been identified, always mentioned as possible NMRA actions.
But that doesn't mean that the NMRA gets a free pass for the behavior of its previous representatives in this area. I agree with David that the disrespect cannot be permanent, but let's not be Pollyannas and think there is no problem here.

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, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

With reference to the unremarked steam loco minus 1/2 of its frame
depicted in a critique , Dennis comments-
The broadside photo of the steam loco is what makes it an honest
review.
From one narrow view, you are correct. Most editors do use the artful
3/4 view to hide such defects. (Is this deception by another name?)

However, from another more likely view IMHO, the telltale broadside
photo is more likely to expose to a knowledgeable reader the editor's
deficient knowledge of accuracy and attention to detail, not to
mention a condescending lack of respect for all readers- any or all of
which indeed may, or may not know better.

Spen Kellogg said it better than I. Critiques and reviews should be
sober efforts to evaluate and *educate* and improve the hobby. Where's
the received education or "improvement" when a reading audience is
shown a shiny new car ad with no explanation for a wheel or a fender
that is obviously missing?

The skating over of these great defects does not advance the hobby in
any way, especially when in this vacuum of silence serious defects are
soon judged to be "OK" by those who have not bothered to lift up the
rug; and then out of the blue these egregious errors are suddenly
perpetuated by molds planned to last for the next 20 years.

Conformance Warrants: To clarify, yes, my proposal would be to boldly
retire ASAP that entire Conformance program, NOT the relevant
Standards and RPs.

IMHO, just retiring the Conformance program alone would give a huge
and much needed lift to the NMRA's credibility, respect, and sense of
seriousness within the entire standards development community.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento


ADMIN: Standards and the NMRA and the STMFC

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Well...if we want to continue discussions about standards...particularly with regard to frt cars...I think the STMFC can handle that...at least for awhile. Naturally, since the NMRA is the only organization I know of that sets standards for model railroading, the NMRA will likely have to enter into the discussion. However, as I have pointed out, discussions about the NMRA as an entity except as they might relate to frt cars are out of scope. The STMFC is not the place to argue the pro's and con's of the NMRA. If the members want to continue such discussions I would be glad to establish a group just to discuss the NMRA.

Thanks,

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


Fw: SP&S Boxcars

briankd.usf.net@...
 

I had asked the President of the SP&S Hist. Society this question last fall. This was his reply. I'm sorry I couldn't reply sooner. Hope this helps you, Brian Dick.
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2007 6:18 PM
Subject: Re: Boxcars


Hi Brian,

I do believe the 1949 date is correct. The billboard lettering started in July 1957!

Bruce

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:15 PM
Subject: Boxcars


Bruce, I have a few more questions for you. All I have for references is the C.Wood and the Ed Austin /Dill SP&S books. I understand the oval (football) SP&S emblem came into use in 1949, is this correct? Also then, what year did the smaller billboard SP&S on boxcars come into use? Thanks for your help, Brian.







--- Get FREE High Speed Internet from USFamily.Net! -- http://www.usfamily.net/mkt-freepromo.html ---


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

David North <davenorth@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
However, with all due respect to Mr. Voss, who doubtless means well, I
want nothing whatever to do with the NMRA standards committee, and
that's based not merely on personal animosity but extensive and
uniformly negative past experience. His predecessors have poisoned
that well past redemption.
Tony Thompson replied:

This is an important point for NMRA apologists to keep in mind.
Whatever Mr. Voss's personal qualities and whatever his determination
to get a job done, there are numerous people out here, potentially
helpful with the standards work, who possess fingers well burned by his
predecessors. Mr. Voss is not only having to overcome present problems
but has a head wind, not of his own making, to deal with also.



Your collective points are well taken guys.

But is it in our collective interests to punish the sons for the sins of the
fathers?

Maybe things won't change, maybe they will. Time will tell.

But if we poison the seeds of change, that tree will never grow.

What Richard is talking about is people, not the organization.



I used to sell for an organization, and starting in a new territory, called
on new customers (for me).

I was roundly rebuked by most. Their typical response was "I hate you guys,
I'll never deal with you".

My response was, "How can you hate me, we've never met before.

Give me a chance and if you find within a few calls that we haven't changed
then I'll

accept your rebuke and not annoy you again. If on the other hand I don't
screw

you around and earn your respect, I want your business. Fair enough?"

The business name hadn't changed but the people within it had.

These customers had been burned once and most (not all) took the risk to try
again.



How many of you now own a LIFE LIKE loco or freight car?

Something sure changed there, huh?



Any of you been divorced and yet have happy second marriages?

So I guess you took the risk to try again.



All Di is asking for is a chance to try and gain your respect, assistance,
and acceptance.

Not "one more time". This is Di's first attempt.

We are in danger of painting him with the same brush as his predecessors.

That is the worst example of a self fulfilling prophesy. And the reward for
that?

The dubious distinction of being remembered for saying "See, it failed. I
told you so".



OK, so there are a number of you who feel the NMRA has screwed up.

So do we want to focus our energies on blame or resolution?



Di, I'm offering my services to you in whatever capacity you can use them.

Please let me know where and how I can help.



The following is my OWN reason for that and NO reflection on ANYONE else.

Whether it works or not, I want to be able to look myself in the mirror and
know that I tried.

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

David North


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Bruce Smith

It is an issue and one reason why you are unlikely to see me review any
more of Broadway Limited/Precision Craft Models releases in TKM. I
believe that the editorial policy of TKM is that no-one who works on a
project with a manufacturer may then write the review and that seems like
an appropriate policy. Even though we fall into the "unpaid consultant"
category, we recently had a discussion about publishing a "how to improve"
article on a commercial project we are working on. I think that this
would be a bad idea, given that the manufacturer might not take kindly to
our pointing out defects on the very model we advised them on (based on
"insider information"). OTOH, a "how to" article designed to convert the
model to a non-modeled version would seem to be perfectly OK for a team
member to write. It requires editorial judgement to be sure...

KL> I have been in this same situation. When I give a vendor information it's up to them to choose what they will incorporate into a model. Clearly manufacturing technology if not laws of Physics prevent the production of 100% miniatures. I sort of look at two classes of "errors" - comission and omission. Features omitted may be necessary to make a model. Comission errors are things like misproportioning. Both of these need to be evaluated as to effect and relevance on the total model. That's where skill comes in. Thus, if you gave a vendor full details of a doodlebug's interior and they chose to simplify the details on something you just can't see very well through the windows, I don't think anyone would have a problem with an article on how to make it better. If on the other hand you kept the interior info to yourself and then slagged them for just guessing, they you have sandbagged them and you are a bad man.


I will also note that TKM has a specific policy that models given to TKM
for review must be returned to the PRRT&HS by the reviewer and these then
serve as "door prizes" at our annual meeting. Thus, unlike some major
mags, the reviewer does NOT get to keep the models. However, by far the
largest number of models reviewed were purchased by the reviewer.

KL> See the link on samples I provided earlier. Keeping kits has not been a problem for most of the sites I know.

KL


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

W. Lindsay Smith <wlindsays2000@...>
 

I've heard complaints about NMRA folks for fifty years. Those who
don't belong <Intended double meaning> complain about what someone
has done. They want someone else to do something that forces
compliance with what they preach as the golden rules for the hobby.
Since it is a free country; that is sophistry. The NMRA workers
have the N+1 rule at every meeting. That is, if the room has N
workers, there are N+1 solutions to every problem. Remember that the
mission is to get operationally compatible equipment from the
providers. You complain that it should include prototype fidelity.
Vote with YOUR buck! Let me do the same!
Sounds like my golfing Naval Officers comments about Medicare in
1968; they were retired from the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. As
it has come about, they would declare Murphy an optimist. With more
rules (standards are rules), we just get more failures. Let's get
more models and much less paper.


--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@...> wrote:

In the strongest terms, the long term health of our good hobby
requires the existence of core fundamental standards and "best
practices", a thoughtful means of such development, and an
effective
and diplomatic means of encouraging acceptance by both
manufacturer
and user.

That said, I increasingly feel that the standards Conformance
program
in and of itself may well be a major obstacle to this goal, is a
dead
end, should now be honorably but firmly retired, and then replaced
with a new program that addresses the land as it currently lays.
The
Conformance program was generated at a "green field" opportune
time
of much less sophistication in our hobby. For various reasons the
program fell fallow, and in the process it has subsequently became
overrun by events. IMHO, the current attempt to now put this old
wine
into new bottles is destined to failure, is indeed failing (at
least
in my eyes), and worse, it is seriously diverting resources and
energies from a new more positive program that might well be
engaged
more productively to fashioning a worthy successor. R.I.P.

Dennis Storzek's astute comments say a great deal about the nature
of
current dilemma. The current successful model railroad industry as
we
know it obviously thrives in the absence of warrants, and are
indeed
leery of them for good reasons. A lot of water has passed over the
dam, never ever to return- and efforts to do so are futile.

As to critical reviews: I DO note the very well intended current
warrant conformance comments in one of our publications- but I
have
perceived it to be pretty ham-handed, negative like a Scarlet
Letter,
and not very instructive. A far better and more effective and
instructive program would be to dispassionately tabulate in some
simple but effective graphic way the perceived important Standards
or
RP measurements on one side vs. the same real time measurements of
the
model in question on the other side. Readers and manufacturers
alike
are then free to learn and then draw their own conclusion, free of
an
offensive and confusing CONFORMANCE NOT AWARDED stamp).

It is also good to hear the news that a publication is seeking
help
for its critical reviews, and that they will be now be getting
that
help from "NMRA Members". It is filling a glass only half full,
however. Speaking for myself only, the overwhelming majority of
such
qualified fine modelers in my extended circle of friends are not
NMRA
members (they probably should be, but they are not). To exclude
(and
thus not encourage) the wider world only increases a perception of
a
self-feeding inward-looking insularity.

Published Model Review examples in the MR press that come to mind:

A review of an expensive model steam locomotive that features a
broadside photo demonstrating clearly that almost one half of the
locomotive frame is by design and in fact missing, i.e. not
there.
This glaring defect is ignored, and when challenged the reviewer/
editor avers that "The world is flat".

An expensive model steam locomotive with commonly-known serious
sound
quality issues is reviewed with a single comment, "The locomotive
emitted the appropriate sounds".

A popular scale sized coupler is reviewed as "unsatisfactory"
because
it would not reliably automatically couple on "curves". Unsaid was
that the test curves were 22" or less- not exactly the minimal
curvature the majority of potential modeler/users of scale
couplers
might be in fact using, not would the prototype equivalent without
its
only problems requiring manual coupler centering.

As an aside, I admire Mike's forbearance for an open discussion of
this broad and important topic on this intelligent and very
knowledgeable list. As an offering to our moderator, I will now
gratuitously and publicly withdraw my recent aspersions on his eye
sight (even if true).

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

See embedded comments below.

----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Storzek

Published Model Review examples in the MR press that come to mind:

A review of an expensive model steam locomotive that features a
broadside photo demonstrating clearly that almost one half of the
locomotive frame is by design and in fact missing, i.e. not there.
This glaring defect is ignored, and when challenged the reviewer/
editor avers that "The world is flat".
I agree with many of the thoughts my friend Doc Denny expressed, but I
have to disagree with him here. The broadside photo of the steam loco
is what makes it an honest review. The editors could just as well have
chosen a high � view which would totally hide this visual deficiency,
but didn't. Instead they presented an honest example of the
appearance. If the reader knows that half the frame is missing and it
bothers him, he's not going to buy the product. If the price is
attractive, he has a heads up to start thinking about how he will
modify it to resolve this perceived deficiency. If he doesn't know,
and has never taken the trouble to learn what a steam locomotive
actually looks like, he'll buy it, and be just thrilled that it will
run on curves of half the radius that those "expensive brass locos"
can handle. The review has a non judgmental honesty that doesn't
presume to tell the buyer what should be important to him; it just
presents the reality of the product. Most reviews are that way, and
have to be, when placed in venues partially supported by advertising
dollars. Speak no ill of the product, but present it fairly. I've
never had a problem with this kind of review policy, either as a
manufacturer, or as a consumer of other manufacturer's products. I'm
happy that my product doesn't get trashed by reviewers pushing their
own agenda, and likewise I'm happy not to have my intelligence
insulted by a reviewer pointing out something like Thomas The Tank
Engine's eyes aren't prototypical. If buying a replica of Thomas, I'm
most likely not worried about fidelity to prototype.

KL> I don't like the "speak no ill" policy. The good review mentions the negatives but puts them in perspective/proportion with the item as a whole. A model loco may have yellow rather than the proper Dulux Gold stripes, but _that alone_ does not make it an 'overpriced piece of junk' as I once read. I have written reviews of models that I rated in the 4 out of 5 range yet I still included a list of about 20 tweaks and details that the interested modeler could do to make a completely accurate replica. In other words, a solid kit that most people would enjoy, but also a good base for superdetailing if that's your pleasure. No rating conflict in my mind.

One thing that Doc Denny alludes to, but doesn't actually say, is you
can have standards without enforcement. you can use the carrot without
the stick. you catch more flies with honey. well, you get the idea.
One of the reasons that the NMRA track and wheel standards have been
as successful as they have been is simply because they are there, and
they work. Once they were in place, every manufacturer could just
refer to them rather than literally re-inventing the wheel. Most of
the problems noted about conformance issues concerning the track and
wheel standards can be traced directly back to their poor presentation
concerning tolerances. Conversely, no amount of enforcement will cause
poorly conceived standards to be adopted; if they don't work, the
manufacturers and their designers will simply adopt something else.

KL> Agree with Dennis here. There is really no need for enforcement by an organization. Once the [standards] are out there, "enforcement" comes down to honest appraisals in reviews to see if they match or not. If the [standard] presents a usable system, modelers will seek reviews that evaluate to them and products that follow them, and avoid those products that don't.

KL


Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

This question has come up as well on the armor sites I mentioned. Although there was - and is from time to time - a good bit of "what if" handwringing, there hasn't been a significant - or notable problem to my knowledge. After about 10 years now the most "disclosure" you'll typically see is "Thanks to XYZ Co for the review sample." and people are fine with that. It is a very rare review that is 100% positive. Invariably there are negative aspects mentioned, so the spectre of a whitewash doesn't appear.

As I said initialy, it does take long to tell who you can trust and who has their head up their butt - or someone else's.

FYI, here are links to a set of review guidelines that have built a solid system, one that has almost 2000 revews to date.
http://www.track-link.net/reviews/
http://www.track-link.net/reviews/types
http://www.track-link.net/reviews/rating
http://www.track-link.net/reviews/samples

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: David Smith

This works fine as long as reviewers and publishers of these mags disclose
their potential conflicts of interest, since a number of prototype modelers
have personal or financial interests in the production of models. Even
unpaid "consultants" may have a personal stake (access to inside
information, ability to steer future product choices, or just personal
friendship) that makes them less likely to provide an unfavorable review or
even to notice a product's flaws.

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