Accuracy of paint schemes...


eabracher@...
 

In a message dated 3/27/06 10:15:40 AM, harper-brown@... writes:


I think the MRIA ought to set up a committee of some of the freight car
gods, Richard, Tony and Ted, perhaps, and run all the paint schemes by
them as to prototype accuracy.
I doubt it would happen in my life time.

eric


Jared Harper <harper-brown@...>
 

I think the MRIA ought to set up a committee of some of the freight car
gods, Richard, Tony and Ted, perhaps, and run all the paint schemes by
them as to prototype accuracy.

Jared Harper
Athens, GA


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jared Harper wrote:
I think the MRIA ought to set up a committee of some of the freight car
gods, Richard, Tony and Ted, perhaps, and run all the paint schemes by
them as to prototype accuracy.
Jared, MRIA has never touched the topic of accuracy or any other discriminator among products. The only organization to do that was the NMRA, and under today's timid management, it ain't likely to ever happen again. How about a committee of RPM? <g>

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


Tim O'Connor
 

fugitaboutit :-)

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
Jared Harper wrote:
I think the MRIA ought to set up a committee of some of the freight car
gods, Richard, Tony and Ted, perhaps, and run all the paint schemes by
them as to prototype accuracy.
Jared, MRIA has never touched the topic of accuracy or any other
discriminator among products. The only organization to do that was the
NMRA, and under today's timid management, it ain't likely to ever
happen again. How about a committee of RPM? <g>


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Mar 27, 2006, at 10:34 AM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Jared, MRIA has never touched the topic of accuracy or any other
discriminator among products. The only organization to do that was the
NMRA, and under today's timid management, it ain't likely to ever
happen again. How about a committee of RPM? <g>
Well, de facto, that's what we have now. Those few manufacturers who care about getting it right consult on a regular basis with a number of the subscribers to this list about steam era freight car painting and lettering schemes, and some of them also follow the list discussions on this topic, either as "lurkers" or as active participants. And those of us who act in this capacity are in frequent communication with each other, so in a way we have a committee already.

The problem isn't that the manufacturers don't have access to comprehensive and accurate information, it's that some of them don't care (because they think most of their customers don't care). Also, as I've noted here before, there's ongoing in-house tension at some model RR manufacturing companies between the R&D guys, who usually do want to get things done right and who know where to get the information to do so, vs. the sales guys, who are willing, nay eager, to produce bogus models if they think they'll sell well (and who often have strange opinions, and almost no hard data, about what buyers actually want).

Bottom line: despite our best efforts, there are still a lot more toy train bozos in the hobby than prototype modelers. The bozos will buy anything if (1) it's painted and lettered, however incorrectly, for their favorite railroad(s) or (2) it catches their fancy, especially if it's colorful (e.g., Boraxo covered hoppers). Even prototype modelers are not entirely immune from these tendencies, as we have seen in recent exchanges on the STMFC list. So it's pointless to blame the manufacturers for making what sells. While we may feel that they're pandering to the bozos, they're in business to turn a profit so they can stay in business and (if only occasionally) produce something that's prototypically accurate.

Our best course of action here is to vigorously support those like Kadee, Branchline, and Proto 2000 who make a strong and ongoing effort to do things right and to spread the word as widely as well among other, perhaps less well informed, model railroaders about what's accurate and what isn't.

Richard Hendrickson


Charlie Vlk
 

The NMRA is actually once again going down the road of self-destruction in attempting to set itself up as a Consumer Protection Bureaucracy for the Hobby of Model Railroading.
I believe that one of the main reasons for the decline of the NMRA has been its talent for alienating the manufacturers. The organization was founded by a group of Manufacturers, Modelers and Publishers who all had a vested interest in the Establishment of Interchange Standards and Promotion of the Hobby. At some point in the sixties or seventies the Manufacturers and Publishers left the NMRA (probably because of the NMRA's preoccupation with vests instead of those vested interests) with today's active participation down to one major manufacturer of DCC systems and decoders on the DCC Committee. The NMRA is busily working on revising their NMRA Standards without any, as far as I can determine, participation or input by any manufacturers.
A minority volunteer organization such as the NMRA does not have the resources or mandate to pass judgment on active, full-time for-profit businesses. That is the function of the marketplace in a free economy. No manufacturer is going to submit the fortunes of its product releases to a committee of self-appointed volunteer experts, nor can such an organization assume the liability for assuming that role.
Issues regarding accuracy or applicability of details, paint and lettering are very subjective and best left to the marketplace. These are matters of opinion, sometimes even among well-informed experts.
As Richard points out, the way to improve the gene pool is to support the products that are prototypically correct (even if it doesn't claim to be so on the box label). If you see an opportunity for a correct product, support the manufacturers with complete, accurate, and timely information. Continue to educate the general Model Railroad public with articles and information about freight cars (and locomotives, passenger cars, operations, etc..) If there are more Informed Modelers than "Bozos", Prototypically Correct products will dominate the marketplace.
Charlie Vlk
Railroad Model Resources

Jared, MRIA has never touched the topic of accuracy or any other
discriminator among products. The only organization to do that was the
NMRA, and under today's timid management, it ain't likely to ever
happen again. How about a committee of RPM? <g>
Well, de facto, that's what we have now. Those few manufacturers who
care about getting it right consult on a regular basis with a number of
the subscribers to this list about steam era freight car painting and
lettering schemes, and some of them also follow the list discussions on
this topic, either as "lurkers" or as active participants. And those
of us who act in this capacity are in frequent communication with each
other, so in a way we have a committee already.

The problem isn't that the manufacturers don't have access to
comprehensive and accurate information, it's that some of them don't
care (because they think most of their customers don't care). Also, as
I've noted here before, there's ongoing in-house tension at some model
RR manufacturing companies between the R&D guys, who usually do want to
get things done right and who know where to get the information to do
so, vs. the sales guys, who are willing, nay eager, to produce bogus
models if they think they'll sell well (and who often have strange
opinions, and almost no hard data, about what buyers actually want).

Bottom line: despite our best efforts, there are still a lot more toy
train bozos in the hobby than prototype modelers. The bozos will buy
anything if (1) it's painted and lettered, however incorrectly, for
their favorite railroad(s) or (2) it catches their fancy, especially if
it's colorful (e.g., Boraxo covered hoppers). Even prototype modelers
are not entirely immune from these tendencies, as we have seen in
recent exchanges on the STMFC list. So it's pointless to blame the
manufacturers for making what sells. While we may feel that they're
pandering to the bozos, they're in business to turn a profit so they
can stay in business and (if only occasionally) produce something
that's prototypically accurate.

Our best course of action here is to vigorously support those like
Kadee, Branchline, and Proto 2000 who make a strong and ongoing effort
to do things right and to spread the word as widely as well among
other, perhaps less well informed, model railroaders about what's
accurate and what isn't.

Richard Hendrickson




Yahoo! Groups Links







Don Burn <burn@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hendrickson" <rhendrickson@...>
Bottom line: despite our best efforts, there are still a lot more toy
train bozos in the hobby than prototype modelers. The bozos will buy
anything if (1) it's painted and lettered, however incorrectly, for
their favorite railroad(s) or (2) it catches their fancy, especially if
it's colorful (e.g., Boraxo covered hoppers). Even prototype modelers
are not entirely immune from these tendencies, as we have seen in
recent exchanges on the STMFC list. So it's pointless to blame the
manufacturers for making what sells. While we may feel that they're
pandering to the bozos, they're in business to turn a profit so they
can stay in business and (if only occasionally) produce something
that's prototypically accurate.
While I concur, I think there may be a lot of folks in a middle ground. They would choose something accurage if they knew it was there, but have not taken the time to learn enough to know. As a newcomer to this list, I keep learning things, that changes my perception and choices!

Search the web and you will find sites that provide a list of models for a chosen roadname. Many of these models are wrong for that prototype but the people just know that it is lettered for a road they like. Yes there are some good references out there, but without searching the archives of this list (and lots of time even if you do), many a modeler will have no idea if the model is correct at all, whether the prototype had such a car, and whether the paint scheme reflects reality.

Don Burn


armprem
 

While I tend to agree with much of your statement,personally I feel that the decline came about because of internal bickering.Everyone's ego needed to be stroked.Too many wanted to be chief.I dropped out after the pettyness of a few started dividing the group into cliques.As a result IMHO NMRA has lost direction.Perhaps trying to satisfy too many differing opinions.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 3:16 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Accuracy of paint schemes...


The NMRA is actually once again going down the road of self-destruction in
attempting to set itself up as a Consumer Protection Bureaucracy for the
Hobby of Model Railroading.
I believe that one of the main reasons for the decline of the NMRA has been
its talent for alienating the manufacturers. The organization was founded
by a group of Manufacturers, Modelers and Publishers who all had a vested
interest in the Establishment of Interchange Standards and Promotion of the
Hobby. At some point in the sixties or seventies the Manufacturers and
Publishers left the NMRA (probably because of the NMRA's preoccupation with
vests instead of those vested interests) with today's active participation
down to one major manufacturer of DCC systems and decoders on the DCC
Committee. The NMRA is busily working on revising their NMRA Standards
without any, as far as I can determine, participation or input by any
manufacturers.
A minority volunteer organization such as the NMRA does not have the
resources or mandate to pass judgment on active, full-time for-profit
businesses. That is the function of the marketplace in a free economy. No
manufacturer is going to submit the fortunes of its product releases to a
committee of self-appointed volunteer experts, nor can such an organization
assume the liability for assuming that role.
Issues regarding accuracy or applicability of details, paint and lettering
are very subjective and best left to the marketplace. These are matters of
opinion, sometimes even among well-informed experts.
As Richard points out, the way to improve the gene pool is to support the
products that are prototypically correct (even if it doesn't claim to be so
on the box label). If you see an opportunity for a correct product, support
the manufacturers with complete, accurate, and timely information. Continue
to educate the general Model Railroad public with articles and information
about freight cars (and locomotives, passenger cars, operations, etc..) If
there are more Informed Modelers than "Bozos", Prototypically Correct
products will dominate the marketplace.
Charlie Vlk
Railroad Model Resources


Jared, MRIA has never touched the topic of accuracy or any other
discriminator among products. The only organization to do that was the
NMRA, and under today's timid management, it ain't likely to ever
happen again. How about a committee of RPM? <g>
Well, de facto, that's what we have now. Those few manufacturers who
care about getting it right consult on a regular basis with a number of
the subscribers to this list about steam era freight car painting and
lettering schemes, and some of them also follow the list discussions on
this topic, either as "lurkers" or as active participants. And those
of us who act in this capacity are in frequent communication with each
other, so in a way we have a committee already.

The problem isn't that the manufacturers don't have access to
comprehensive and accurate information, it's that some of them don't
care (because they think most of their customers don't care). Also, as
I've noted here before, there's ongoing in-house tension at some model
RR manufacturing companies between the R&D guys, who usually do want to
get things done right and who know where to get the information to do
so, vs. the sales guys, who are willing, nay eager, to produce bogus
models if they think they'll sell well (and who often have strange
opinions, and almost no hard data, about what buyers actually want).

Bottom line: despite our best efforts, there are still a lot more toy
train bozos in the hobby than prototype modelers. The bozos will buy
anything if (1) it's painted and lettered, however incorrectly, for
their favorite railroad(s) or (2) it catches their fancy, especially if
it's colorful (e.g., Boraxo covered hoppers). Even prototype modelers
are not entirely immune from these tendencies, as we have seen in
recent exchanges on the STMFC list. So it's pointless to blame the
manufacturers for making what sells. While we may feel that they're
pandering to the bozos, they're in business to turn a profit so they
can stay in business and (if only occasionally) produce something
that's prototypically accurate.

Our best course of action here is to vigorously support those like
Kadee, Branchline, and Proto 2000 who make a strong and ongoing effort
to do things right and to spread the word as widely as well among
other, perhaps less well informed, model railroaders about what's
accurate and what isn't.

Richard Hendrickson




Yahoo! Groups Links









Yahoo! Groups Links









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Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Charlie Vlk wrote:
A minority volunteer organization such as the NMRA does not have the
resources or mandate to pass judgment on active, full-time for-profit
businesses. That is the function of the marketplace in a free economy. No
manufacturer is going to submit the fortunes of its product releases to a
committee of self-appointed volunteer experts, nor can such an organization
assume the liability for assuming that role.
I suspect that the liability point is the decisive one. But Charlie is way wrong to assert that non-manufacturers cannot or should not rate or evaluate products. There are plenty of examples, Charlie, and AFAIK manufacturers do not "submit the fortunes of product releases" to Consumers Union or other testing organizations. Those organizations evaluate whether or not the manufacturer is pleased about it.

Issues regarding accuracy or applicability of details, paint and lettering
are very subjective and best left to the marketplace.
To assert that issues of paint scheme are "subjective" is ludicrous for many examples out there of paint which was never a scheme on ANY real car, or of schemes never applied to a body even close to what was done with a model. I can recognize those--so can Charlie--and identifying them to the buying public certainly COULD be done. Of course, there are minor errors, variations, or shades of paint which could indeed be subjective as to degree, so gray areas would remain.
The bottom line, though, is that the NMRA for whatever reasons no longer wants to take on this problem and I can't see anyone else who wants to or could. Just don't interpret that to mean that no one SHOULD do it, whether or not we live in a "free economy."

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


Greg Martin
 

First let me say we don't know just how lucky we really are to have as comprehensive of a membership as we do and certainly Richard, Tony and Ed have carried the flag for many years...

Richard writes in part...

"Well, de facto, that's what we have now. Those few manufacturers who care about getting it right consult on a regular basis with a number of
the subscribers to this list about steam era freight car painting and lettering schemes, and some of them also follow the list discussions on
this topic, either as "lurkers" or as active participants. And those of us who act in this capacity are in frequent communication with each
other, so in a way we have a committee already."
We take this for granted and we shouldn't. There is much they can do and sometimes little they can change.
"The problem isn't that the manufacturers don't have access to comprehensive and accurate information, it's that some of them don't care
(because they think most of their customers don't care). Also, as I've noted here before, there's ongoing in-house tension at some model
RR manufacturing companies between the R&D guys, who usually do want to get things done right and who know where to get the information to do
so, vs. the sales guys, who are willing, nay eager, to produce bogus models if they think they'll sell well (and who often have strange
opinions, and almost no hard data, about what buyers actually want)."
Sometime the marketing folks even have the hard data that supports the buyers and are not willing to commit for the sake of error in the market (read as their unwillingness to support the data they themselves have amassed.)

"Bottom line: despite our best efforts, there are still a lot more toy train bozos in the hobby than prototype modelers. The bozos will buy
anything if (1) it's painted and lettered, however incorrectly, for their favorite railroad(s) or (2) it catches their fancy, especially if
it's colorful (e.g., Boraxo covered hoppers). Even prototype modelers are not entirely immune from these tendencies, as we have seen in
recent exchanges on the STMFC list. So it's pointless to blame the manufacturers for making what sells. While we may feel that they're
pandering to the bozos, they're in business to turn a profit so they can stay in business and (if only occasionally) produce something
that's prototypically accurate.

I always like Richard's descriptive use of words, I can just imagine these guys... BOZO's! But as he suggest we too are often caught up in modeling the oddities and I have many
times heard Tony reflect on this as well and how we should resist,i.e. the Rutland green and yellow PS-1. A truly rare car and I am willing to bet that there are more on layouts
and in model consists than really need be.
It is pointless to bite the hand that feeds you because Richard is correct, as with a stroke of luck we do get a good one once in a while... 3^)

"Our best course of action here is to vigorously support those like Kadee, Branchline, and Proto 2000 who make a strong and ongoing effort
to do things right and to spread the word as widely as well among other, perhaps less well informed, model railroaders about what's
accurate and what isn't.

Richard Hendrickson"
There are other manufacturers that can be added to the list above and I am sure Richard was only being brief as I do believe that on a good
day most manufacturers out there would like to do it right the first time, but you have to have the right resources.
Greg Martin


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Greg Martin wrote:
There are other manufacturers that can be added to the list above and I am sure Richard was only being brief as I do believe that on a good day most manufacturers out there would like to do it right the first time, but you have to have the right resources.
Good point, Greg, though I'm not sure "most" manufacturers would "like to do it right" unless it's convenient. But the resources point is certainly key: Richard has led the way in providing information, both in magazines and in direct consulting with manufacturers, and has been doing so for years. I have tried to do the same in a more modest way, and certainly noticed an upsurge in good PFE models after the PFE book was published. But those of us who have information and don't get it out there are shortchanging both the manufacturers and our fellow modelers.

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


Tim O'Connor
 

I agree with most of what Charlie Vik wrote. I would say the NMRA
could facilitate access to prototypical information, and continue to
foster good modeling practices and a commitment to interoperability
using good "scale" standards, without causing offense or hindering
the ability of the manufacturers to conduct their affairs. Whatever we
think about S3.1 (or whatever the track standards are) and RP-25
(etc) they have done a great deal to enshrine the idea of "scale"
standards -- If you think about it, interoperability is not a natural
state of affairs (just look at other consumer products). Vendors do
sometimes have a strong interest in standards (like track and wheels
and couplers) and sometimes have an equally strong contrary interest
(Bachmann "On3" trains that run on HO track). I am somewhat worried
if only one DCC vendor is involved with the NMRA, but this has a lot to
do I'm afraid with the recent (esp. last 20 years) of increasingly lax
attitude of the U.S. Patent office in granting absurd patents to very
simple extensions of existing ideas -- and now DCC vendors, instead
of formulating common standards, are at war with one another over
these "patents" and the whole process of standardization looks like
it might devolve into a quagmire of proprietary products. But in the
end the vendors large and small will lose more than they gain -- the
pie will shrink rather than expand if consumers are put off by vendors
trying to lock them into their schemes. Personally I'm going on a DCC
"holiday" until they shape up.

Which may not sound like it has anything to do with freight cars, but
it illustrates what anyone who tries to create a consensus is going to
be up against.

Tim O'Connor


Martin McGuirk <mjmcguirk@...>
 

On Mar 27, 2006, at 4:46 PM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Greg Martin wrote:
There are other manufacturers that can be added to the list above
and
I am sure Richard was only being brief as I do believe that on a
good
day most manufacturers out there would like to do it right the first
time, but you have to have the right resources.
Good point, Greg, though I'm not sure "most" manufacturers would
"like to do it right" unless it's convenient. But the resources point
is certainly key:
No one wants to do anything wrong -- at least not deliberately -- but I think most of you would be shocked to see what passes as a "reference library" at some major manufacturers.

Take the Morning Sun book selection at a decent hobby shop, halve it, and you'd be close.

That's the reason I tried to make maximum use of my contacts, and to expand the reference library, while I was at InterMountain.

Most special run customers wanted to do "accurate" cars -- an indication of the influence of the overall RPM movement. But the interpretation of what was "close enough" and not is entirely subjective. And, when someone has a run of cars produced, and they don't sell well (because the "word on the street" says they're inaccurate -- the manufacturer has to try and move that product. Just one of the many reasons the "special run" mentality is ultimately doomed to fail.



Marty McGuirk


Charlie Vlk
 

I guess I don't understand why HERE there is a perceived need for an organized authority to certify accuracy of paint schemes.
The study of Steam Era Freight Cars is a subset of the Hobby that many of us enjoy to varying degrees. I don't know how many
people are willing to accept some individual's or group's evaluation or rating of a particular product at face value or consult same before making
purchase decisions.
Even more problematic would be if the same group were to be involved in supporting the research for manufacturers and then be
judge and jury for certification of the product. In the real world this is a difficult enough dilemma (Arthur Anderson, et al) much less
for a unelected group of volunteers.
I did not say that no one should make evaluations or ratings.....just that they should not hold themselves out as a certifying authority
without having any way of being held responsible for their actions.
Ted's Essential Freight Cars series in RMC doesn't take a car and complain about all the bogus paint schemes it is offered in....it takes a
car and offers ways to make it accurate, to varying degrees, for a prototype car. This seems to me a better approach than grading all
cars and paint schemes for accuracy.... one is going to use up a lot of black marks depending on how wide they cast their nets and how fine the
mesh is.... or instead they could continue to advance the state of the art by working on positive projects. Like the PRRHTS web-based modeling
magazine or people who post freight car pictures/drawings on STMFC or other sites.
I know that some of you have been "burned" when assisting manufacturers only to find that everything didn't work out as you think it should have.
Welcome to the real world! The only way to avoid that kind of disappointment is to pull out a few hundred thou from your savings account and go have your own product made.....of course you'll want to submit it for "expert review" before being allowed to release it for sale!!!
Charlie Vlk


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Charlie Vlk wrote:
I guess I don't understand why HERE there is a perceived need for an organized authority to certify accuracy of paint schemes.
What, you would prefer a disorganized authority? and who said "certify?"

I don't know how many people are willing to accept some individual's or group's evaluation or
rating of a particular product at face value or consult same before making purchase decisions.
Good straw man, Charlie, but that's not the point. I don't live or die with a Consumer Reports evaluation: I read it and compare it to my own needs and knowledge. Doubtless the same would be true for model evaluations, much as we regard those in the magazines. Even MR now occasionally dares to criticize a product, probably anathema to those who like to pontificate about the features of a "free economy."

I did not say that no one should make evaluations or ratings.....just that
they should not hold themselves out as a certifying authority
without having any way of being held responsible for their actions.
Another fine straw man. No one asserted there should be no responsibility, nor has anyone but you referred to a "certifying authority."

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


Tim O'Connor
 

Charlie, who here is advocating that??

On the other hand, it might be appropriate for the NMRA membership to
choose to create an "RPM Seal of Approval" or perhaps a simple labeling
standard -- and vendors could choose to comply or not to comply. Of
course, this might result in the loss of advertising in NMRA pubs until
enough vendors got on board to make it painful for those who choose
not to go along with it... :-) There are many ways to skin this kitty.

Tim O.

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...>
I guess I don't understand why HERE there is a perceived need
for an organized authority to certify accuracy of paint schemes.


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Charlie Vick writes:


The NMRA is actually once again going down the road of self-destruction in
attempting to set itself up as a Consumer Protection Bureaucracy for the
Hobby of Model Railroading.
I guess I don't quite understand this statement. Certainly the NMRA has established a standards that manufacturers don't follow. as far as I know, no manufacturer has received a fine or jail time because of it.


I believe that one of the main reasons for the decline of the NMRA has been
its talent for alienating the manufacturers.
Putting on my STMFC Head Judge's hat for a moment, Sorry to have to do this, but discussions about the NMRA in general including its decline etc. are out of scope on the STMFC.

Charlie continues with: "No
manufacturer is going to submit the fortunes of its product releases to a
committee of self-appointed volunteer experts, nor can such an organization
assume the liability for assuming that role."
Issues regarding accuracy or applicability of details, paint and lettering
are very subjective and best left to the marketplace."

But, Charlie, isn't this exactly what certain members of the STMFC do? I mean, I don't ask how many people bought the Athearn mill gon with NKP lettering in the last two weeks to decide to purchase one. I ask the STMFC. If Richard says it's not correct, I know he means that it REALLY isn't correct. The error is so great that it would be easily noticeable. If Richard or Ed Hawkins note that a particular car is close but has errors that they point out, I would then make a subjective decision. For example, Ed found quite a few errors in the Atlas tank car...including some paint scheme issues. I decided the errors weren't so bad for the car I wanted, so I bought a couple.

Mike Brock


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Charlie VlK...sticking his head up above the trench where the bullets are flying<G>...says:


I guess I don't understand why HERE there is a perceived need for an
organized authority to certify accuracy of paint schemes.
I think the term "organized" and "certify" might need to be examined. Certainly I would not favor the NMRA or MRIA or even the RPM to establish a board to approve [ certify ] a model. OTOH, as I noted before, we accept, not by appointment, but by their proven knowledge and actions a group of so-called gurus. In some ways this IS the market speaking because such individuals are accepted by their actions rather than appointment or decree. This is, IMO, one of the strong points of the STMFC, one writes and others accept...or reject...based on what is written rather than the writer's position.

I don't know how many
people are willing to accept some individual's or group's evaluation or
rating of a particular product at face value or consult same before making
purchase decisions.
Well...I'm certainly one who pays particular attention to the comments of Richard, Ed, Tony, Ted and others who have PROVEN that they know what they're talking about.

I did not say that no one should make evaluations or ratings.....just that
they should not hold themselves out as a certifying authority
without having any way of being held responsible for their actions.
In some ways, our gurus ARE held responsible. Like all such experts, to be found in error is to possibly longer be treated as a guru...not good.

Mike Brock


Charlie Vlk
 

Mike-
(Was that a lull in the battle??? Let me stick my head up from the trench and look....)
I've found that the Gurus tend not to tell us how much they know what's right or wrong but
help us learn by SHOWING us.... through articles, books, digging up and sharing obscure photos, etc...
True, they tend to accumulate credibility by doing so, but certifying a model as being right or
wrong doesn't mean much to me unless I can see what the deviations are and make my own
judgements if this is a horrible thing or not. And yes, this is a sliding scale for me (and I suspect
for many of us) as what is a MAJOR mistake on a CB&Q car ("my" road) is probably okay
in a train of foreign road cars that fill out a train...say an MKT car.
There are people who have other interests in the Hobby beyond the Pursuit of the Perfect Freight Car
(like building a railroad to hold and operate those 1500+ freight cars) but that doesn't make their
interest any less real, just not as intense!
The best part of the development of the internet is the free(er) exchange of knowledge and
information. If someone cares about the accuracy of a particular car never before could they
do research as easily as they can now. On top of that we have books on a ton of subjects that
10 years ago we would never dared hoped for (a comprehensive book on one design family of metal
box cars!!!) and TWO series of prototype references.
If the Gurus (or anybody) are thinking of starting a rating/evaluation service it would be interesting but I don't
think it would advance the state of the art more than doing more of what they already are doing....
Having been involved in creation of models it is always amazing to find how much material comes out
AFTER the tooling is cut. Establishing a network of Gurus goes a long way to solve that particular
problem, but stuff still happens.... one does what one can.
That being said I agree that the product reviews in the major magazines lack information. I like the approach
the German magazines use.... they show pictures of the model(s) (they often show competing similar or same
prototype models against each other) with same view pictures of the prototype. A few model and prototype
measurements are given (and in the case of powered equipment performance specs similar to the Higgins model)
and very few subjective comments are made. If the model is horrible, the photos will show it. If Brand A looks
more realistic than Brand B, it will be obvious (if you care). No advertiser's feelings are hurt and the modeler has
more information to make a buy decision.
A recent example of such a review was posted on the 4 N Scale website when the Micro-Trains and InterMountain
FT locomotives came out....two of the most comparable products to be released in the Hobby in a long time. They are
very, very close and which one had the slight edge was pretty much left up to the consumer to decide. AFAIK both
are doing relatively well in the marketplace in spite of the spotlight being turned on them in this manner.
Charlie Vlk


Jared Harper <harper-brown@...>
 

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


In a message dated 3/27/06 10:15:40 AM, harper-brown@... writes:


I think the MRIA ought to set up a committee of some of the freight
car
gods, Richard, Tony and Ted, perhaps, and run all the paint schemes
by
them as to prototype accuracy.
eric
You guys failed to realize what I suggested was tongue in cheek, or do
Richard, Tony and Ted really believe they are gods?

Jared Harper
Athens, GA