Freight Cars in Action - USRA DS Boxcars


Benjamin Hom <bhom3@...>
 

Greetings all,

As you may remember, about a month ago we had an extensive discussion of the
concept of a series of books similar to the popular Squadron "In Action"
series of aircraft, armor, and ships for freight cars. To that end, I
presented a two hour clinic based around this concept at last weekend's
Pittsburgh RPM meet to test the waters (I've uploaded my database in the
files area - I also tried to upload the reference slides from the clinic
powerpoint, but I couldn't get the file to open and had to delete it from
the files area.) Response to this clinic was very positive - granted, with
that audience, I was pitching batting practice - but it indicated that
demand is out there among the prototype modeler community.

One of the secrets to the success of the Squadron "In Action" series is the
participation of the scale modeler community - they get many photo
submissions from modelers and historians to enhance the photo coverage of
their books. Here's the proposed content of the first book that we'll need
pictures to support:

Freight Cars in Action: USRA DS Boxcars

Cars will be presented by road:
Original as-built
Rebuilt boxcars
"Clones"
Each road's cars will be presented with representative photos tracing the
life of the cars from USRA allocation through rebuilding (as applicable) to
retirement. Color photos would be nice but are not required.

Modeling section:
Available kits in each scale - we'll need volunteers to write kit reviews
for all scales, as well as photos of completed models. Completed models
must match major details and have the appropriate lettering and number
series for the modeled prototype.

I also need to fill some gaps in the database - information needed is
highlighted in yellow.

Thanks in advance!


Ben Hom


ibs4421@...
 

Today, Ben reshaped electrons to say:

As you may remember, about a month ago we had an extensive discussion of the
concept of a series of books similar to the popular Squadron "In Action"
series of aircraft, armor, and ships for freight cars.

And this too:

Response to this clinic was very positive

Ben,
See, I told ya folks would like it!!
With the available kits section you are branching over into another format, the "Detail & Scale" series formerly published by Aero publishers, and IIRC bought out by Squadron. Those publications had an "available kits & decals" section in the back of each one. While this information can becomedated rather quickly, it was and is of benefit nontheless since most of the kits and decals reviewed are still available. This series used manufacturers photos almost exclusively as well. (They took three volumes tocover the B-17 I think, and they were written by a Boeing engineer no less!)
Ben, I would really look forward to your offering something like this. I'm feeling like Oddball in "Kelly's Hero's". . . . "It's a mother-beautiful bridge, and it'll be there!"
When I got the e-mail notification that you had posted a file "Freight Cars In Action" I thought "Aha!", he's done it!
I am looking forward to this.

Warren Dickinson
Elkton, KY


tgmadden <tgmadden@...>
 

Warren Dickenson wrote, of Ben Hom's excellent post and file:
When I got the e-mail notification that you had posted a file
"Freight Cars In Action" I thought "Aha!", he's done it!


Oh. I thought it was "Freight Cars Inaction", the affliction that causes
modelers to buy 10X more kits than they'll ever build!

Two suggestions: Ben, you might want to consider putting the file on a web
page that doesn't require Yahoo registration to access. I ran into this
problem with my Pullman CCR spreadsheets on the PCL, when I realized that a
large percentage of subscribers had no intention of registering with Yahoo
and thus couldn't access the files. Second, the file opens on the third
sheet. Doubt that this is a problem for anyone familiar with EXCEL, but you
should probably touch this up.

Tom M.


Ed Workman <eworkman@...>
 

Tom MAdden sed

Two suggestions: Ben, you might want to consider putting the file on a web
page that doesn't require Yahoo registration to access. I ran into this
problem with my Pullman CCR spreadsheets on the PCL, when I realized that a
large percentage of subscribers had no intention of registering with Yahoo
and thus couldn't access the files.
Second it because although I was able to get thru the Yahoo BS and register, Yahoo assigned an identity to me arbitrarily, and I can't remember it now.


Richard Hendrickson
 

Tom Madden wrote, regarding Ben Hom's USRA box car files:

Two suggestions: Ben, you might want to consider putting the file on a web
page that doesn't require Yahoo registration to access. I ran into this
problem with my Pullman CCR spreadsheets on the PCL, when I realized that a
large percentage of subscribers had no intention of registering with Yahoo
and thus couldn't access the files.
Strong second to this motion. The more I hear from people who have
registered with Yahoo, the more determined I become not to do so.

Second, the file opens on the third
sheet. Doubt that this is a problem for anyone familiar with EXCEL, but you
should probably touch this up.
If Ben's files are in Excel, I couldn't open them anyway. Contrary to the
impression many computer users seem to have, Microsoft does not rule the
world and some of us (especially Mac loyalists) avoid MS software when
possible (e.g., I think MS Word is an awkward and excessively complicated
word processing program and never use it except when transferring files to
those who do). My preference would be to have Ben's files on a web site
that I can access with Netscape Navigator.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


ibs4421@...
 

Richard "opined"
The more I hear from people who have
registered with Yahoo, the more determined I become not to do so.

Richard and all,
I am certainly no big fan of Yahoo!, but I have never had a moments trouble out fo them in over two years of usage. I don't understand why ya'll are havingso much trouble, and yet I have none.

Warren Dickinson
Elkton, KY


tgmadden <tgmadden@...>
 

Richard wrote:
If Ben's files are in Excel, I couldn't open them anyway. Contrary to the
impression many computer users seem to have, Microsoft does not rule the
world and some of us (especially Mac loyalists) avoid MS software when
possible (e.g., I think MS Word is an awkward and excessively complicated
word processing program and never use it except when transferring files to
those who do). My preference would be to have Ben's files on a web site
that I can access with Netscape Navigator.

Well, it _is_ a spreadsheet so you wouldn't be able to manipulate it if it
was presented strictly as an HTML file. My Pullman spreadsheets are
available in three formats: EXCEL97, comma-delimited for all other
spreadsheet or database applications, and SYLK for AppleWorks users. I
uploaded them to the files portion of our family web page, and put a notice
on the PCL showing links directly to the files. If you have a spreadsheet or
database application on your computer, one of those formats should load and
open directly in your application.

I'll echo Warren's comments about having no problems with Yahoo, but as a
list owner I had no choice about whether or not to register. I picked my own
"handle" and password, and have never had a problem logging in.

Tom M.


Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Richard,

I always though you were a maverick. Congratulations on your excellent
taste in computers. Macintosh forever!

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff
Who got his start in computers selling Macs in 1984.

Richard Hendrickson wrote:

.... Contrary to the impression many computer users seem to have, Microsoft >does not rule the world and some of us (especially Mac loyalists) avoid MS >software when possible ....


David Lenehan <david_lenehan@...>
 

ibs4421@commandnet.net wrote:

Richard "opined"
The more I hear from people who have
registered with Yahoo, the more determined I become not to do so.

Richard and all,
I am certainly no big fan of Yahoo!, but I have never had a moments trouble out fo them in over two years of usage. I don't understand why ya'll are havingso much trouble, and yet I have none.
Warren,

At last - a glimmer of understanding. It must be a loyalty thing! After continuous problems, I have had to remove myself twice from the Yeehaw! system (until I couldn't access any of the lists) then rejoin and
put up with all the BS (it won't let me use my own e-mail address to receive messages from the lists) as I joined. Now here's the really prime bit. Upon resubscribing as a member of Yeehaw! I have found that, even
though I couldn't access anything as a non-subscriber, I was still listed everywhere I had previously been subscribed - both times. And for a while everything worked normally. Bah Humbug to Yeehaw!

It all just gets right up my nose . . .
. . . though I'm still smiling.

Regards
David Lenehan


ibs4421@...
 

David,
I don't get it. I first joined a Yahoo!club in '98 (ellenNmodelrailroaders) using my sister-in-laws PC and her e-mail address. No problem. Then, when we got online here at my house, I changed the subscription to my e-mail address. Once again, no problems. We got off-line for a while (six months), got back on, and I rejoined a bunch of stuff using our new e-mail address. No problems. There is part of me that says there has to be something I am doing that some of ya'll aren't or vice-a-versa for ya'll to be having the problems that you are. I do use a small, local ISP as opposed to using AOL, or MSN, or some-such big corporate monster. Maybe that's it, I don't know.

Warren Dickinson
Out where God lost his shoes (ie: Elkton, KY), but Yahoo! still seems to work. 8^)

----- Original Message -----
From: David Lenehan
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Freight Cars in Action - USRA DS Boxcars


ibs4421@commandnet.net wrote:

> Richard "opined"
> The more I hear from people who have
> registered with Yahoo, the more determined I become not to do so.
>
> Richard and all,
> I am certainly no big fan of Yahoo!, but I have never had a moments trouble out fo them in over two years of usage. I don't understand why ya'll are havingso much trouble, and yet I have none.

Warren,

At last - a glimmer of understanding. It must be a loyalty thing! After continuous problems, I have had to remove myself twice from the Yeehaw! system (until I couldn't access any of the lists) then rejoin and
put up with all the BS (it won't let me use my own e-mail address to receive messages from the lists) as I joined. Now here's the really prime bit. Upon resubscribing as a member of Yeehaw! I have found that, even
though I couldn't access anything as a non-subscriber, I was still listed everywhere I had previously been subscribed - both times. And for a while everything worked normally. Bah Humbug to Yeehaw!

It all just gets right up my nose . . .
. . . though I'm still smiling.

Regards
David Lenehan


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Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>
 

It appears that I will have to unsubscribe, due to the number of Mac bozos
present on this list. :o)

Regards,

-Jeff


On Mar 27, 3:42pm, Garth G. Groff wrote:
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Freight Cars in Action - USRA DS Boxcars
Richard,

I always though you were a maverick. Congratulations on your excellent
taste in computers. Macintosh forever!

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff
Who got his start in computers selling Macs in 1984.

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
.... Contrary to the impression many computer users seem to have,
Microsoft >does not rule the world and some of us (especially Mac
loyalists) avoid MS >software when possible ....

-- End of excerpt from Garth G. Groff


--
Jeff Aley, Development Engineer jaley@pcocd2.intel.com
Graphics Components Division
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


byronrose@...
 

Ben,

I've been giving our discussions this past weekend much thought, as well
as your recent posting to the STMFC list. Here are some of my thoughts,
for whatever they're worth:

I The "In Action" series as Squadron-Signal publishes them now are
strictly prototype data books, or more correctly, monographs. They don't
cover any modeling directly and because of this they never become
obsolete! S-S also publishes a series called "Detail and Scale." This
group does has references in it to scale models. When the series started
the modeling section was very long. Over the years it has been shortened
considerably, to no more than a brief paragraph on the better models, a
brief sentence on the shorter ones. Five years from now those short
paragraphs and sentences will seem way too long. So will any modeling
remarks in a book on freight cars. Unless you cover all models in all
scales, past and present and even future, you will have some people avoid
it because it doesn't cover their scale. And if your book is worthy,
most of the models available will be corrected, withdrawn, or replaced by
better models, making that entire section obsolete. Think about it. I
know I'd be upset paying good money for page after page of photos of F&C
models when there could be even more prototype photos printed instead.
Besides, why provide free advertising?

2 Look at the Prototype Cyclopedias that Ed Hawkins publishes, I think
that he has hit on an Ideal format, especially after he stopped taking
advertising. The vertical format with square binding allows for normal
width bookshelf storage and a readable title. The photos print at about
7 1/4'" wide, ideal in my eyes for quality photo printing and the ability
to see small details on car sides. He even gets a small amount of color
in each issue. His magazine sells for 20 something bucks; about half the
number of pages and cost would be ideal. I've heard that he prints
between 2000 and 3000 copies each and has had a semi hard sell of the 5
issues to date. That said, I think Ed may be the perfect person to deal
with for getting started, either as a source of information or as a
publisher/partner. Unless you feel you can bankroll it by yourself.

3 Come up with something other than "In Action" for your title unless
you want to start by doing battle with Squadron-Signals lawyers. They
have been using that title for 20+ years for 5 or 6 different series
about planes, armor, boats, etc., and I suspect they have it tied up in
law. Besides, you are not actually discussing anything about freight
cars that needs to depict action. Besides a better title could be then
used for other areas of railroading: like passenger cars, turntables,
bridges, and stations. I'd hate to think of a book called "Stations in
Action."

4 Unless you destroy the concept and print the photos too small, don't
try to squeeze too much into this first book. I think you'll find that
just the original USRA cars will fill a nice first volume. Save the
clones and rebuilds Whatever you do, don't stop with only pictures. Get
drawings, from the modeling magazines if necessary, or pay to have a set
drawn. The info is out there. Be sure to include everything that a
modeler could and should have to build a good model, such as brake
rigging, differences in details between the cars built by the various
builders or for the various railroads. Just the differences in AB brake
rigging added by the various railroads will fill a full chapter. Include
all those neat little sketches that will show the detailing differences.
Another big help would be a photo gallery of detail shots from one or
more of the several USRA d/s cars still in existence.

5 Try to think of your efforts as the first of many by establishing a
flexible format that others can add to and create a library covering a
wide range of railroad subjects.

5 There are a lot of photographs out there. Sometimes it may take a bit
of digging to get at them. Don't count on just the members of this list
to provide everything you need. Contact all the relevant historical
societies for whatever they can provide. Many of them have access to
drawings, builders and insurance photographs, dates, car and lettering
diagrams. In case you haven't discovered it yet, this will be one hell
of a huge undertaking.

Good luck.

Byron


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Richard Hendrickson
 

Byron Rose wrote:

Ben,

I've been giving our discussions this past weekend much thought, as well
as your recent posting to the STMFC list. Here are some of my thoughts,
for whatever they're worth....
I don't always agree 100% with Byron, but in this case I strongly second
his very astute observations.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


ibs4421@...
 

Byron, one of my freight car knowledge heroes wrote:

3 Come up with something other than "In Action" for your title unless
you want to start by doing battle with Squadron-Signals lawyers. They
have been using that title for 20+ years for 5 or 6 different series
about planes, armor, boats, etc., and I suspect they have it tied up in
law.

I always thought that "(blank) In Service" was kinda catchy, but hey.

Warren Dickinson


Richard Hendrickson
 

Richard wrote:
If Ben's files are in Excel, I couldn't open them anyway. Contrary to the
impression many computer users seem to have, Microsoft does not rule the
world and some of us (especially Mac loyalists) avoid MS software when
possible (e.g., I think MS Word is an awkward and excessively complicated
word processing program and never use it except when transferring files to
those who do). My preference would be to have Ben's files on a web site
that I can access with Netscape Navigator.

Well, it _is_ a spreadsheet so you wouldn't be able to manipulate it if it
was presented strictly as an HTML file. My Pullman spreadsheets are
available in three formats: EXCEL97, comma-delimited for all other
spreadsheet or database applications, and SYLK for AppleWorks users. I
uploaded them to the files portion of our family web page, and put a notice
on the PCL showing links directly to the files. If you have a spreadsheet or
database application on your computer, one of those formats should load and
open directly in your application.
I've never found that I needed anything more sophisticated than Filemaker
Pro 2.1, which dates back to 1994. Do you suppose it would enable me to
work with Ben's files? My very limited past expereience in such matters
tells me that, even when you can open spreadsheet files, the formatting
gets all screwed up.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


tgmadden <tgmadden@...>
 

Richard wrote, regarding Ben's files:
I've never found that I needed anything more sophisticated than Filemaker
Pro 2.1, which dates back to 1994. Do you suppose it would enable me to
work with Ben's files? My very limited past expereience in such matters
tells me that, even when you can open spreadsheet files, the formatting
gets all screwed up.

Ben hasn't commented on this yet, but it's certainly true that the bells and
whistles tend to disappear when you save a data file in one of the universal
formats, like <.CSV>. On the other hand, setting fonts, column widths and
row heights, word wrapping, etc., are basic operations which have to be done
when opening a data file in anything but its native format.

All this is moot until/unless Ben posts his file in <.CSV> or <.SLK>.

Tom


dixierails <dixierails@...>
 

Ben,
Were the files ever made accessible by any other method than thru Yahoo?
It's not that I can't cut thru their BS, just that I stronly object to their
farming our files. Would appreciate any reply. Thanks.
Larry Sexton

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Workman" <eworkman@fix.net>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 11:25 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Freight Cars in Action - USRA DS Boxcars



Tom MAdden sed

Two suggestions: Ben, you might want to consider putting the file on a
web
page that doesn't require Yahoo registration to access. I ran into this
problem with my Pullman CCR spreadsheets on the PCL, when I realized that
a
large percentage of subscribers had no intention of registering with
Yahoo
and thus couldn't access the files.