Date   

Re: RTR Resin

Andy Harman
 

On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:12:46 -0400, Tim O'Connor wrote
MANY HO scalers (I hesitate to say modelers) will not buy Intermountain or
other such cars with delicate details -- but they will and do spend big bucks
for trains that suit their fancies. As Charlie Vlk says, one should be cautious
about trying to "profile" the customers -- The Yardmaster cars were indeed very
successful, I've seen many of them on the club layout. And they stand up to
far more abuse than many highly detailed (and far more expensive) models.
The Yardmaster cars are durable, but they have something else going for them that makes
them popular. They're cheap. Half the price of a Blueprint kit IIRC, and 1/3 to 1/4
the price of a Blueprint RTR. And a shake-the-box build just like an Athearn bluebox.

I don't build my freight cars (or locos, or passenger cars for that matter) to stand up
to abuse. The reason for that is because it's not in my game plan to abuse them, or let
others abuse them, or put them in abusable situations. Granted it still happens even by
my own hand - transporting to RPM meets included. I need something I can get out of the
box without breaking it (I crunched the train line on several Tangent cars, now I just
replace them with brass wire) and it can't have details that interfere with operation.
Styrene gladhands have a habit of disappearing... I put my IM RTR cars on the track, run
them without incident, and both gladhands are gone. I use Kadee or other more durable
parts there.

But I really don't need molded on details just to be able to handle and run my stuff. I
understand those who do, but I have a hard time picturing anybody paying $35 for a
freight car with molded on details. But then there's that Tru-Line Canadian slab side
hopper, which IIRC goes for about that much. With molded on ladders... but an etched
roofwalk. So if the prototype is eclectic enough - and I can't quite picture a die hard
CP modeler, even a good-enougher, passing on a slab-side and settling for a Bowser H-39
in the same scheme - then $35 for a shakey-box, molded-on-details RTR car isn't all that
out of line I guess.

Andy


Re: Tank car question

Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 12, 2011, at 9:08 AM, Bruce Smith wrote:

On Apr 12, 2011, at 10:01 AM, cepropst@q.com wrote:

A friend picked up a Red Caboose tank car kit in a shop that still
has a few kits, Westerfield kits still on the shelf!

The body is silver with data only. He'd like to know what reporting
marks would be acceptable.

Thanks!
Clark Propst
Clark,

As has been discussed here a number of times, there are very few
correct paint schemes for this post WWII welded type 103W car. The
most common would have been the US Army Transportation Corps. While
the Transportation Corps did have some cars in a silver scheme, I'm
not sure that these cars used that scheme. Additional cars were in
the SHPX lease fleet (probably black), SL-SF and few in other private
fleets.
Bruce is correct. Many prewar riveted USQX cars were painted
aluminum when new, but AFAIK all of the welded cars were delivered in
black and stayed that way at least until the late 1950s, after the
reporting marks changed to DODX. In the '60s they were repainted
with light gray tanks, but I've never seen any evidence that any of
them were painted aluminum. Red Caboose issued these models in many
colorful oil co, etc. P/L schemes, but to the best of my knowledge
all of them were bogus, based on P/L schemes applied to earlier
riveted tanks. I have photos of tie cars in both black and gray
which could be used as a lettering guide, but I don't know what's
available in the form of decals or dry transfers.


Richard Hendrickson


Re: RTR Resin

Tim O'Connor
 

Andy

MANY HO scalers (I hesitate to say modelers) will not buy Intermountain or
other such cars with delicate details -- but they will and do spend big bucks
for trains that suit their fancies. As Charlie Vlk says, one should be cautious
about trying to "profile" the customers -- The Yardmaster cars were indeed very
successful, I've seen many of them on the club layout. And they stand up to
far more abuse than many highly detailed (and far more expensive) models.

Tim O'Connor

The 64K$ question here is, do people who don't care about accuracy care enough to buy a
resin car with cast on details when they can buy a faux Intermountain car as a stand in
with the same paint scheme? It's one thing to have an "and also" segment to the market,
but these cars would be aimed dead center at a really small market and those on either
side may not be interested in them at all. Then again, I could be all wet. I didn't
think Branchline's Yardmaster series would go anywhere - but the cars looked enough more
better than a bluebox Athearn that people did seem to scoop them up. But I really don't
know how many were sold as compared to the BL Blueprint series. I do know when I go
searching that auction site for Branchline kits, I have to put "-yardmaster" in the
search to exclude them, because there are a ton of them out there.

I suppose if someone made a one-piece resin of something I really could use, I might buy
it - but I'd want a kit, and I'd be shaving off the molded on grabs and ladders. Deja
vu all over again, at 21st century prices.

Andy


Re: RTR Resin

Tim O'Connor
 

Garth, not really -- you pointed out Ertl's #1 mistake -- they
produced models that ALREADY EXISTED in resin or plastic. The
cars also were too light, and had terrible trucks and couplers.
Not going to appeal to the RTR crowd that way.

And it was an MEC gondola, not ACL. ACL gons had different ends.

Tim O'Connor

Your idea is interesting, but something like this was tried by Ertl in
plastic about ten years ago, and it flopped miserably (at least until
the cars were dumped through discounters). Ertl offered what were
probably knock-offs of resin cars in styrene: a USRA double-sheathed
box, an ACL low-side gondola, and a NC&SL (and others) flat car. In
general, these were nice cars, though they had some flaws. And they
didn't sell.

But you may be on to something, and the markets have changed a lot in
ten years. You are more than welcome to invest your retirement savings
in such a venture. ;-)

Kind regards,
Garth Groff


Re: RTR Resin

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Clark Propst wrote:
I've been invited to a few of the "Op to drop" weekends. Those guys (operators) will buy RTR as time savers, they done really care if the car is actuate or not. A box car is a box car, if it's painted for their road, great.
Clark, this is just plain silly. Plenty of serious operators are equally serious about prototype freight cars; and plenty of guys who can't even spell "operation" buy lots of RTR. Though of course RTR cars are more accurately called "Ready To Refine," when details need correcting and weathering has to be applied, many are nevertheless quite accurate starting points and do not reflect a significant compromise for accuracy. I think those who like to build, and thus prefer kits, are not an exclusive class relative to those who like serious operation.

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: RTR Resin

Andy Harman
 

On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 10:33:06 -0700 (PDT), Ray Breyer wrote
Put away your torches and pitchforks for a minute here. The vast majority of
people who enjoy the hobby of model railroading (I do hate to call them all
"modelers") are NOT "rivet counters". They don't CARE about hyper accuracy.
But what more and more of them DO care about is what's becoming known as the
Jim Six school of modeling: proto REALISM. That means a MORE accurate approach
to building a freight car fleet, which is one reason you no longer see Athearn
40 foot boxcars painted for everything under the sun.
The 64K$ question here is, do people who don't care about accuracy care enough to buy a
resin car with cast on details when they can buy a faux Intermountain car as a stand in
with the same paint scheme? It's one thing to have an "and also" segment to the market,
but these cars would be aimed dead center at a really small market and those on either
side may not be interested in them at all. Then again, I could be all wet. I didn't
think Branchline's Yardmaster series would go anywhere - but the cars looked enough more
better than a bluebox Athearn that people did seem to scoop them up. But I really don't
know how many were sold as compared to the BL Blueprint series. I do know when I go
searching that auction site for Branchline kits, I have to put "-yardmaster" in the
search to exclude them, because there are a ton of them out there.

I suppose if someone made a one-piece resin of something I really could use, I might buy
it - but I'd want a kit, and I'd be shaving off the molded on grabs and ladders. Deja
vu all over again, at 21st century prices.

Andy


Re: RTR Resin

Tim O'Connor
 

Clark, good hypothesis. Now needs to be tested.

Oops. Looks like Kadee, Tangent, and now Intermountain (introducing $70 freight
cars) and Athearn (now introducing $500 diesels with RTR sound + DCC) appear to
contradict your theory.

Whatever the reasons, many people seem willing to spend big bucks for RTR.

Tim O'Connor

Guys that care about accuracy prefer kits. They build models that have a purpose
> on their layouts. Guys that don't mind inaccuracy, will spend the extra cash for a
> model they can just slap on the layout to fill a hole. Detail is not important.
> Clark Propst


Re: RTR Resin

Charlie Vlk
 

This is an interesting discussion as most of the low-hanging fruit for mass-produced models has been picked over and manufacturers do face looking at some marginal, albeit significant, highly railroad-specific prototypes for new projects.

Along these lines I saw the first test samples of the Fox Valley Models B&O M-53 Wagontop Box Cars in N Scale last Friday..... they looked excellent!!!!

I would caution all not to "profile" anyone with generalizations of what various segments of the Model Railroad Hobby would or would not support. I can with some degree of certainty opine that the average level of expectation for accuracy has improved over the years thanks to an increased knowledge and appreciation of the prototype through the efforts of many on this list. While it is true that those who "operate" tend to be less concerned with modeling individual cars to the Nth Degree I suspect their appreciation for accurate models, especially in roads they have a special interest in, is fairly high in spite of their being willing to accept stand-ins to make their railroads function.

There may be alternatives other than resin for lower-volume production that haven't been exploited.... there have been plastic injection molded copies of models that must have been made using non-traditional tooling processes, and this before the CADM era. For example, the Samhongsa N Scale USRA 2-8-8-2 had a plastic cab and tender shell that was injection molded plastic but looked as if it had been made in lower pressure tooling (ceramic?) that can use plastic same-size masters to make tooling. In the low production market niche that specific prototype cars necessarily will fall I don't see any reason to go to molded-on grabs and other details as the few extra bucks needed to provide free standing details is a small incremental cost... maybe only full brake rigging, etc.. would be left to add for those that need it.

Charlie Vlk


Re: RTR Resin

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Ray,

Your idea is interesting, but something like this was tried by Ertl in plastic about ten years ago, and it flopped miserably (at least until the cars were dumped through discounters). Ertl offered what were probably knock-offs of resin cars in styrene: a USRA double-sheathed box, an ACL low-side gondola, and a NC&SL (and others) flat car. In general, these were nice cars, though they had some flaws. And they didn't sell.

But you may be on to something, and the markets have changed a lot in ten years. You are more than welcome to invest your retirement savings in such a venture. ;-)

Kind regards,


Garth Groff

On 4/12/2011 1:33 PM, Ray Breyer wrote:
While I'll agree that turning a Westerfield or Sunshine-quality resin kit into a mass-produced RTR car isn't much of a realistic option, I wonder if anyone's given any thought to a one-piece resin car with - gasp - all cast-on details, creating a resin shake the box car.

Put away your torches and pitchforks for a minute here. The vast majority of people who enjoy the hobby of model railroading (I do hate to call them all "modelers") are NOT "rivet counters". They don't CARE about hyper accuracy. But what more and more of them DO care about is what's becoming known as the Jim Six school of modeling: proto REALISM. That means a MORE accurate approach to building a freight car fleet, which is one reason you no longer see Athearn 40 foot boxcars painted for everything under the sun.

Dennis' idea of pre-lettering a one piece resin carbody is halfway to my point. How about the idea of creating an "Accu-resin" line of cars with Accurail-quality cast-on detailing, already built, painted, and ready to plop onto someone's layout? True, it won't satisfy many of us, but it will satisfy a LOT of other modelers, especially those with ops-based layouts looking to improve the overall look and "texture" of their car fleets, without having to resort to fragile fine details and loads of assembly time. This approach to fleet fillers would be especially helpful in the fields of single sheathed boxcars, old short boxcars, and gondolas. Take the Soo sawtooth car as an example: how many would be sold in IL and WI alone if they were offered RTR in any form?

A decent selection of models like these may well help the bottom line of many resin manufacturers, and as with things like RTR billboard reefers, could help to support other projects that modelers like us DO appreciate. Throwing a bone to the masses once in a while isn't necessarily a bad thing. And if we're lucky, they'd become a "gateway drug" for many modelers into the wider world of fine scale resin kits.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Re: RTR Resin

Ray Breyer
 

While I'll agree that turning a Westerfield or Sunshine-quality resin kit into a mass-produced RTR car isn't much of a realistic option, I wonder if anyone's given any thought to a one-piece resin car with - gasp - all cast-on details, creating a resin shake the box car.

Put away your torches and pitchforks for a minute here. The vast majority of people who enjoy the hobby of model railroading (I do hate to call them all "modelers") are NOT "rivet counters". They don't CARE about hyper accuracy. But what more and more of them DO care about is what's becoming known as the Jim Six school of modeling: proto REALISM. That means a MORE accurate approach to building a freight car fleet, which is one reason you no longer see Athearn 40 foot boxcars painted for everything under the sun.

Dennis' idea of pre-lettering a one piece resin carbody is halfway to my point. How about the idea of creating an "Accu-resin" line of cars with Accurail-quality cast-on detailing, already built, painted, and ready to plop onto someone's layout? True, it won't satisfy many of us, but it will satisfy a LOT of other modelers, especially those with ops-based layouts looking to improve the overall look and "texture" of their car fleets, without having to resort to fragile fine details and loads of assembly time. This approach to fleet fillers would be especially helpful in the fields of single sheathed boxcars, old short boxcars, and gondolas. Take the Soo sawtooth car as an example: how many would be sold in IL and WI alone if they were offered RTR in any form?

A decent selection of models like these may well help the bottom line of many resin manufacturers, and as with things like RTR billboard reefers, could help to support other projects that modelers like us DO appreciate. Throwing a bone to the masses once in a while isn't necessarily a bad thing. And if we're lucky, they'd become a "gateway drug" for many modelers into the wider world of fine scale resin kits.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

--- On Tue, 4/12/11, cepropst@q.com <cepropst@q.com> wrote:

From: cepropst@q.com <cepropst@q.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: RTR Resin
To: STMFC@...
Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 10:02 AM
To throw my 2 cents in this RTR resin
debate. Why?
If I use this guy as an example, he has lots of quality
plastic kits built on his layout. He will not pay the price
of an RTR model. Like me, he sees no value is an RTR model.
Why pay someone else to have the fun (I mean frustration) of
building the model. Aren't we supposed to be modelers?

I've been invited to a few of the "Op to drop" weekends.
Those guys (operators) will buy RTR as time savers, they
done really care if the car is actuate or not. A box car is
a box car, if it's painted for their road, great.

In summation: It's my observation in general;
Guys that care about accuracy prefer kits. They build
models that have a purpose on their layouts. 
Guys that don't mind inaccuracy, will spend the extra cash
for a model they can just slap on the layout to fill a hole.
Detail is not important.
Clark Propst





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    STMFC-fullfeatured@...



Re: Tank car question

Bruce Smith
 

On Apr 12, 2011, at 10:01 AM, cepropst@q.com wrote:

A friend picked up a Red Caboose tank car kit in a shop that still
has a few kits, Westerfield kits still on the shelf!

The body is silver with data only. He'd like to know what reporting
marks would be acceptable.

Thanks!
Clark Propst
Clark,

As has been discussed here a number of times, there are very few
correct paint schemes for this post WWII welded type 103W car. The
most common would have been the US Army Transportation Corps. While
the Transportation Corps did have some cars in a silver scheme, I'm
not sure that these cars used that scheme. Additional cars were in
the SHPX lease fleet (probably black), SL-SF and few in other private
fleets.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
__
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Re: RTR Resin

Bill Welch
 

Well said Clark! Maybe this will get us off the wheel and onto a topic we can do something about.

Bill Welch

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

To throw my 2 cents in this RTR resin debate. Why?
If I use this guy as an example, he has lots of quality plastic kits built on his layout. He will not pay the price of an RTR model. Like me, he sees no value is an RTR model. Why pay someone else to have the fun (I mean frustration) of building the model. Aren't we supposed to be modelers?

I've been invited to a few of the "Op to drop" weekends. Those guys (operators) will buy RTR as time savers, they done really care if the car is actuate or not. A box car is a box car, if it's painted for their road, great.

In summation: It's my observation in general;
Guys that care about accuracy prefer kits. They build models that have a purpose on their layouts.
Guys that don't mind inaccuracy, will spend the extra cash for a model they can just slap on the layout to fill a hole. Detail is not important.
Clark Propst


Re: RTR Resin

Clark Propst
 

To throw my 2 cents in this RTR resin debate. Why?
If I use this guy as an example, he has lots of quality plastic kits built on his layout. He will not pay the price of an RTR model. Like me, he sees no value is an RTR model. Why pay someone else to have the fun (I mean frustration) of building the model. Aren't we supposed to be modelers?

I've been invited to a few of the "Op to drop" weekends. Those guys (operators) will buy RTR as time savers, they done really care if the car is actuate or not. A box car is a box car, if it's painted for their road, great.

In summation: It's my observation in general;
Guys that care about accuracy prefer kits. They build models that have a purpose on their layouts.
Guys that don't mind inaccuracy, will spend the extra cash for a model they can just slap on the layout to fill a hole. Detail is not important.
Clark Propst


Tank car question

Clark Propst
 

A friend picked up a Red Caboose tank car kit in a shop that still has a few kits, Westerfield kits still on the shelf!

The body is silver with data only. He'd like to know what reporting marks would be acceptable.

Thanks!
Clark Propst


Re: RTR Resin

Tim O'Connor
 

Pieter I'm not a casting expert, but I think vacuum molds can produce
parts consistent enough -- Tom Madden or Gene Fusco probably could explain
it, but perhaps it is a trade secret! I think if I knew how to cast resin
as well as either of those gentlemen, I wouldn't be too forthcoming on
the details. :-)

Tim O'Connor

The difference is that one resin type is injection molded in molds made of metal or epoxy are dimensional consistent, while the other type is generally hand-molded in relatively flexible rubber molds that allow greater variability.
Pieter Roos


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Re: RTR Resin

Pieter Roos
 

The difference is that one resin type is injection molded in molds made of metal or epoxy are dimensional consistent, while the other type is generally hand-molded in relatively flexible rubber molds that allow greater variability.

If you went to the more stable mold type, the parts would be more similar but the cost savings of using rubber molds of prototype masters would be lost.

Pieter Roos
Connecticut

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Jeff Aley states

>> ASSUMPTION: All of the "common" prototypes are already available in plastic.

Definitely not true.

>> ASSUMPTION: It is un-economical for manufacturers to produce plastic models
>> (RTR or kits) for the "less common" cars we still want / need.

Not entirely true. Production quantities on many plastic cars are quite low but
still profitable. The question is, how much sunk investment cost do you have to
recover?

You know what plastic manufacturers call plastic? RESIN. All this talk about resin
vs plastic is kinda silly IMO. We're really talking about injection molding versus
vacuum molding. The materials, and engineering of the final product do not have to
be that different from one another. It is only the manufacture of the parts that is
different -- the assembly process of Tichy flat kits, and Sunshine flat kits, is not
different, or it at least it need not be different.

>> ASSUMPTION: Too many resin kits sit unbuilt, primarily due to "Westerfear".

Ah, but there is always the model that you DON'T HAVE yet, and must have.

>> Why doesn't somebody [Tim O'Connor?] produce RTR models made out of resin

I definitely do produce such models. They're just not for sale. :-)

>> In this discussion, I will argue that the resin RTR car only needs to be as
>> accurate as any other RTR car; similar "manufacturability" compromises can be
>> made, just as if the RTR car was plastic. The fact that it is resin doesn't
>> automatically mean that it has to meet some higher standard of accuracy.

Totally agreed. I think it's been well established that vacuum molded resin is no
guarantee of 100% fidelity to the prototype. And many injection molded models are
top notch, almost impervious to improvement (e.g. Tangent).

Tim O'Connor


Re: RTR Resin (was: speaking of SANTA FE)

armprem2 <armprem2@...>
 

Apples and oranges Ben,Al's parts while useful, were limited to a narrow number of options.Jim Singer and Stan Rydarowicz have done some nice work with many more possibilities.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Benjamin Hom
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: RTR Resin (was: speaking of SANTA FE)



Armand Premo wrote:
"How about Sunshine's Mini kits?"

Apples and oranges, Armand. You're comparing resin detail parts to the
injection molded kit parts described by Bill Welch. Besides, Al Westerfield
just gave you an answer about resin detail parts. Martin's Mini Kits are very
useful (especially for significant cars that aren't available in any other
format such as the AAR alternate standard offset hoppers), but they haven't
exactly been marketed effectively.

Ben Hom






____________________________________________________________
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If you owe under $729k you probably qualify for Obama's Refi Programs
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Re: RTR Resin

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
You know what plastic manufacturers call plastic? RESIN. All this talk about resin vs plastic is kinda silly IMO. We're really talking about injection molding versus vacuum molding. The materials, and engineering of the final product do not have to be that different from one another.
Tim, you're right that "resin" is not a unique term and that raw plastic materials of many kinds are called "resins." But styrene is a thermoplastic--you can take previously molded styrene and inject it as scrap and then re-form it into a different shape, because it softens on heating and can be injected into a mold. But most casting resins are thermosets--once they form their chemical bonds, they CANNOT be reformed, and will break down on heating rather than merely soften, as does styrene. But thermosets can be injection molded (just not re- molded) and the raw materials are indeed called "resin."
The materials ARE considerably different in their behavior and in most situations are not interchangeable. But the term "resin" is indeed not distinctive, as Tim says.

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: RTR Resin

Tim O'Connor
 

Jeff Aley states

>> ASSUMPTION: All of the "common" prototypes are already available in plastic.

Definitely not true.

>> ASSUMPTION: It is un-economical for manufacturers to produce plastic models
>> (RTR or kits) for the "less common" cars we still want / need.

Not entirely true. Production quantities on many plastic cars are quite low but
still profitable. The question is, how much sunk investment cost do you have to
recover?

You know what plastic manufacturers call plastic? RESIN. All this talk about resin
vs plastic is kinda silly IMO. We're really talking about injection molding versus
vacuum molding. The materials, and engineering of the final product do not have to
be that different from one another. It is only the manufacture of the parts that is
different -- the assembly process of Tichy flat kits, and Sunshine flat kits, is not
different, or it at least it need not be different.

>> ASSUMPTION: Too many resin kits sit unbuilt, primarily due to "Westerfear".

Ah, but there is always the model that you DON'T HAVE yet, and must have.

>> Why doesn't somebody [Tim O'Connor?] produce RTR models made out of resin

I definitely do produce such models. They're just not for sale. :-)

>> In this discussion, I will argue that the resin RTR car only needs to be as
>> accurate as any other RTR car; similar "manufacturability" compromises can be
>> made, just as if the RTR car was plastic. The fact that it is resin doesn't
>> automatically mean that it has to meet some higher standard of accuracy.

Totally agreed. I think it's been well established that vacuum molded resin is no
guarantee of 100% fidelity to the prototype. And many injection molded models are
top notch, almost impervious to improvement (e.g. Tangent).

Tim O'Connor

97941 - 97960 of 196852