Topics

How about creating a model prototype database?


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

From: Miles Callan <mileswestern@...>

It has probably been done before, if it has, PLEASE be kind enough to link me to it, but I think this may be a valuble resource.

We've touched on these topics before, most recently the legnthy discussion of the prototypes Accurail looked to to build their models.

The most crucial part is that it should be in ONE FILE, ONE WEBSITE, or ONE easily accessible and free location. It can only benefit our modeling. I get a lot of inquiries such as "Bachmann 2-8-0 prototype" or "Athearn Widevision Caboose prototype" and would like to see it all in one location.

A list of STMFC models produced past and present, starting with the large manufacturers, like Athearn, Accurail, Atlas, etc. and covering:

1. The Actual car the model was based on, or if it was generalized, what car comes closest to the dimensions or unique details present in the model.

2. What railroads operated it from what year to what year and what numbers/ paintschemes it held in those times.

3. Problems, Inaccuracies, or something necessary to know about the model and how to improve or fix it to increase accuracy. (such as adding wire grabs to cast-on grab iron models)

4. Anything that I haven't touched upon, something you'd like to add?


Ed Walters
 

That sounds to me like something that would work quite well as
a "Wiki" format, as it allows people to collaboratively change it,
rather than having a central administrator. Of course, that would
require someone to host it on a website. MediaWiki - the software
behind Wikipedia - is freely available at www.mediawiki.org

Ed
--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

From: Miles Callan <mileswestern@...>

It has probably been done before, if it has, PLEASE be kind enough
to
link me to it, but I think this may be a valuble resource.

We've touched on these topics before, most recently the legnthy
discussion of the prototypes Accurail looked to to build their
models.

The most crucial part is that it should be in ONE FILE, ONE
WEBSITE, or
ONE easily accessible and free location. It can only benefit our
modeling. I get a lot of inquiries such as "Bachmann 2-8-0
prototype"
or "Athearn Widevision Caboose prototype" and would like to see it
all
in one location.

A list of STMFC models produced past and present, starting with the
large manufacturers, like Athearn, Accurail, Atlas, etc. and
covering:

1. The Actual car the model was based on, or if it was generalized,
what car comes closest to the dimensions or unique details present
in
the model.

2. What railroads operated it from what year to what year and what
numbers/ paintschemes it held in those times.

3. Problems, Inaccuracies, or something necessary to know about the
model and how to improve or fix it to increase accuracy. (such as
adding wire grabs to cast-on grab iron models)

4. Anything that I haven't touched upon, something you'd like to
add?


Adam & Laura Eyring <eyrings06@...>
 

I like this idea very much! I was just about to ask if there is a prototype for the N&W 50' gondola with "frozen food" containers produced by Athearn. Did other railroads have it? When were they used? Can't seem to find any info on-line. Thanks.

AME

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Brock" <brockm@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 5:46 PM
Subject: [STMFC] How about creating a model prototype database?


From: Miles Callan <mileswestern@...>

It has probably been done before, if it has, PLEASE be kind enough to
link me to it, but I think this may be a valuble resource.

We've touched on these topics before, most recently the legnthy
discussion of the prototypes Accurail looked to to build their models.
rest deleted


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

This comes up every so often on the list, why do we need to create another
model prototype database. There is much information in this lists archives,
the steam era freight car website, the RPI site (yeah it's not free, it's $5
a month), the modeling e-zines put out by the PRRT&HS, B&O, ACL/SCL
society's and other sites. I realize everyone wants the information freely
and instantly. I used to be the same way, and I think there is a post from
me lamenting when the RPI site went from free to pay, but for the price of a
Starbucks coffee I can access tons of information on models. It's not
perfect but it is a tool. YMMV.

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Denis Kahl <Denis.Kahl@...>
 

There is a database option available within the group - see the
option list on the left hand side.

I've never used it but it may of use for this.

Cheers
Denis

--- In STMFC@..., "Ed Walters" <eddie_walters@...> wrote:

That sounds to me like something that would work quite well as
a "Wiki" format, as it allows people to collaboratively change it,
rather than having a central administrator. Of course, that would
require someone to host it on a website. MediaWiki - the software
behind Wikipedia - is freely available at www.mediawiki.org

Ed
--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@> wrote:

From: Miles Callan <mileswestern@>

It has probably been done before, if it has, PLEASE be kind
enough
to
link me to it, but I think this may be a valuble resource.

We've touched on these topics before, most recently the legnthy
discussion of the prototypes Accurail looked to to build their
models.

The most crucial part is that it should be in ONE FILE, ONE
WEBSITE, or
ONE easily accessible and free location. It can only benefit our
modeling. I get a lot of inquiries such as "Bachmann 2-8-0
prototype"
or "Athearn Widevision Caboose prototype" and would like to see
it
all
in one location.

A list of STMFC models produced past and present, starting with
the
large manufacturers, like Athearn, Accurail, Atlas, etc. and
covering:

1. The Actual car the model was based on, or if it was
generalized,
what car comes closest to the dimensions or unique details
present
in
the model.

2. What railroads operated it from what year to what year and
what
numbers/ paintschemes it held in those times.

3. Problems, Inaccuracies, or something necessary to know about
the
model and how to improve or fix it to increase accuracy. (such
as
adding wire grabs to cast-on grab iron models)

4. Anything that I haven't touched upon, something you'd like to
add?


cvsne <mjmcguirk@...>
 

A quick search under "What's a Wiki?" in the message archives will
take you to March 2006 - where we discussed using a Wiki to
establish a paint scheme data base . . . just like in the other
thread that's going on parallel to this one.

Well, we've had more than two years to get this Wiki rolling. I even
appointed several railroad reps to write their appropriate portions
(Hendrickson gets Santa Fe, Thompson SP) and Schneider even
volunteered to handle the O&W section. As you can see, progress has
been glacial at best . . .

I think the simplest answer is this would be (1) a LOT of work and
(2) the person(s) who would have to develop all this detail have
other things they'd like to do with their time.

9 times out of 10 a simple search of the extensive message archive
for the 7 years or so this list has been active will result in a lot
of answers. If it doesn't then it sounds to me like it's time to
research it and share what you find with the rest of the group.

Marty


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Provided that one KNOWS what they are looking for. I joined the
illinois-central-model list, and searched through their topics for
what
I found out were the IC 75000-series hopper cars that I want to
model.
Eventually I found it, but it took a bit of looking. First I had to
determine what car series I was looking at, not easy considering that
these cars were converted gons that the IC used for less than 20
years. I learned a lot between our and the IC modeling lists!

Maybe this was the "1 out of 10 times" when a topic search doesn't
work?

I understand that there are perennial discussions on lists. I
personally uploaded a scan yesterday of a CN ETT page to the "files"
section of two Canadian lists because a question was recurring on
them that is readily answered by recourse to that ETT page.

And as for sharing what you find (or know), I hold out to you that
what our list members have shared with me both in the group and
privately about modelling Erie and IC hopper cars in the past couple
of days is proof of this. I want you all to know that I appreciate
your help.

Steve Lucas.



--- In STMFC@..., "cvsne" <mjmcguirk@...> wrote:


9 times out of 10 a simple search of the extensive message archive
for the 7 years or so this list has been active will result in a
lot
of answers. If it doesn't then it sounds to me like it's time to
research it and share what you find with the rest of the group.

Marty


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Eventually I found it, but it took a bit of looking

Steve Lucas.

"Took a bit of looking." Well, geez, yeah, finding information CAN take a bit of looking. It can
take a LOT of looking. I did drawings of ERIE 0-6-0s, for my own pleasure and eventually, for
publication in The Diamond, the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society magazine. I started having basic
erecting drawings, side elevation and a couple of sections, plus the rear end. But it took me THREE
AND A HALF YEARS to get all the info I really needed to do the locomotive in both the Stephenson and
Baker valve gear versions, plus two tender variants. I wound up in three archives (California
State, SMU, and another one that escapes me at the moment, as well as significant help from Ed King,
who actually >understands< how valve gear works, and more personal photo collections than I can
remember. I have a binder with over 120 images of ERIE B5 and B6 engines.

Sorry to blast YOU, Steve, but you tipped over my apple cart on this issue. I'm amazed at the
impatience of people if the information they want isn't available Right Now, Right Here.



OK, OK, I'll go get my glass of Scotch . . . tough day at the office, sorry . . .

SGL


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

A little explanation is in order---

What my orignal posting was about was in reply to Marty McGuirk's
posting regarding people asking about stuff in a group such as STMFC
without first checking the archived messages. Being first a CN/proto-
freelance railway modeller, I am way out of my depth exploring
nuances of steam-era IC hopper cars, and know it. But I also know a
list or two where I can get some solid info to start me in the right
direction ;)

If I was after instant gratification, I'd have left this hobby a long
time ago. So I too make the trips and calls to the archives and
photo sellers (they know my interests, and tell me if they have any
new Lindsay, ON photos every time that I see them at a train show) to
get info on stuff such as that GTR/CN slide-valve 2-6-0 that I want
to build in HO before I die.

To me, research has become a hobby in itself. Every new photo or
piece of information helps me mentally assemble the jigsaw puzzle
that was that location, car, or loco that is now gone or changed
forever. Consequently, I have way too many books, binders, and files
of RR stuff (unknown linear footage, and accrued over many, many,
years) for my wife's liking. I'm lucky to have been married for 21
years!

Hope that you enjoyed that Scotch, and no offence taken. I have big
shoulders.

Steve Lucas.

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


Eventually I found it, but it took a bit of looking

Steve Lucas.

"Took a bit of looking." Well, geez, yeah, finding information CAN
take a bit of looking. It can
take a LOT of looking. I did drawings of ERIE 0-6-0s, for my own
pleasure and eventually, for
publication in The Diamond, the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society
magazine. I started having basic
erecting drawings, side elevation and a couple of sections, plus
the rear end. But it took me THREE
AND A HALF YEARS to get all the info I really needed to do the
locomotive in both the Stephenson and
Baker valve gear versions, plus two tender variants. I wound up in
three archives (California
State, SMU, and another one that escapes me at the moment, as well
as significant help from Ed King,
who actually >understands< how valve gear works, and more personal
photo collections than I can
remember. I have a binder with over 120 images of ERIE B5 and B6
engines.

Sorry to blast YOU, Steve, but you tipped over my apple cart on
this issue. I'm amazed at the
impatience of people if the information they want isn't available
Right Now, Right Here.



OK, OK, I'll go get my glass of Scotch . . . tough day at the
office, sorry . . .

SGL


cvsne <mjmcguirk@...>
 

Steve,

You seem to think I was picking on you which certainly wasn't my intent.

To clarify - I wasn't attempting to suggest that you not ask a
question of the list. My reply was regarding the comment that people
make on this list on an almost annual basis suggesting "we" - being
the members of this list - create some sort of massive database where
they can locate whatever they want to know about steam era freight cars.

Someone suggested this be a "wiki" - my point was to show we discussed
that very idea 2 years ago, in detail. To date nothing has been done
to create it - and I'm not in the least surprised by that since the
people who have the knowledge and resources to create these detailed
Wiki entries on each railroad have other things to do with their time.

My comment reflects one pet peeve I have. I know how many questions I
get on a monthly basis on Central Vermont items - I can't imagine how
many Richard Hendrickson gets for the Santa Fe. I have no problem
answering the questions for folks, but over time my initial answers to
inquiries have gotten more curt -- I don't' have the time to do all
the research and modeling I want to do for myself and spending time
replying to fishing expedition questions ("Tell me about CV freight
cars in the 1950s" and "I'm interested in building a layout based on
the CV between White River Junction and Essex Junction - can you tell
me about the traffic, track arrangements, locomotives, and schedules"
are two actual examples of questions I've received in the past year.

These are examples of poorly asked questions - they simply aren't
specific enough. The only way to answer them is very broadly, a
lengthly tome, or to suggest the person spends some time researching
things and asking specific, targeted questions. I actually enjoy
researching and answering those.

Another pet peeve is the idea some folks have that simply by paying an
ISP and getting a computer they have some sort of right to expect to
get information that I've spent years (and not an inconsiderable sum
of money) accumulating . . . but I won't go into that any further.

Marty

--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

A little explanation is in order---

What my orignal posting was about was in reply to Marty McGuirk's
posting regarding people asking about stuff in a group such as STMFC
without first checking the archived messages. Being first a CN/proto-
freelance railway modeller, I am way out of my depth exploring
nuances of steam-era IC hopper cars, and know it. But I also know a
list or two where I can get some solid info to start me in the right
direction ;)

If I was after instant gratification, I'd have left this hobby a long
time ago. So I too make the trips and calls to the archives and
photo sellers (they know my interests, and tell me if they have any
new Lindsay, ON photos every time that I see them at a train show) to
get info on stuff such as that GTR/CN slide-valve 2-6-0 that I want
to build in HO before I die.

To me, research has become a hobby in itself. Every new photo or
piece of information helps me mentally assemble the jigsaw puzzle
that was that location, car, or loco that is now gone or changed
forever. Consequently, I have way too many books, binders, and files
of RR stuff (unknown linear footage, and accrued over many, many,
years) for my wife's liking. I'm lucky to have been married for 21
years!

Hope that you enjoyed that Scotch, and no offence taken. I have big
shoulders.

Steve Lucas.

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


Eventually I found it, but it took a bit of looking

Steve Lucas.

"Took a bit of looking." Well, geez, yeah, finding information CAN
take a bit of looking. It can
take a LOT of looking. I did drawings of ERIE 0-6-0s, for my own
pleasure and eventually, for
publication in The Diamond, the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society
magazine. I started having basic
erecting drawings, side elevation and a couple of sections, plus
the rear end. But it took me THREE
AND A HALF YEARS to get all the info I really needed to do the
locomotive in both the Stephenson and
Baker valve gear versions, plus two tender variants. I wound up in
three archives (California
State, SMU, and another one that escapes me at the moment, as well
as significant help from Ed King,
who actually >understands< how valve gear works, and more personal
photo collections than I can
remember. I have a binder with over 120 images of ERIE B5 and B6
engines.

Sorry to blast YOU, Steve, but you tipped over my apple cart on
this issue. I'm amazed at the
impatience of people if the information they want isn't available
Right Now, Right Here.



OK, OK, I'll go get my glass of Scotch . . . tough day at the
office, sorry . . .

SGL


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Marty, I took absolutely no offence to your or Schyuler's postings.
I didn't FEEL at all that I was being "picked on". And I don't
recall asking for a database to be set up, but I'd gladly contribute
to it if one was.

I model a location in Eastern Ontario that, for a railway line in
Canada, saw many US freight cars hauling grain, locomotive coal, and
home heating coal. Even MDT reefers loaded with potatoes. So I find
myself modelling many of those roads' cars. ATSF raised-roof steel-
frame boxcars, NYC USRA boxcars, IC, L&N, Southern, and many Eastern
US roads' hopper cars, B&O M-53's, Georgia RR USRA steel-side rebuild
boxcars, LV "wrong-way" boxcars, just to name a few off the top of my
head. And I see myself modelling many more US roads' cars yet,
breaking me from a diet of CN 40' steel and steel-frame boxcars that
I always seem to be working on.

I'd imagine that you and Richard Hendrickson must get many broad
requests for info on the roads that you both are very knowledgeable
of. For someone to make that broad e-mail enquiry of you about "CV
freight cars of the '50s" or want you to tell them everything about
the CV Essex Junction--White River Junction line--that's a bit much.
They really should get out and do some research to at least winnow
their request down to specific group of cars, or go to White River
Junction for starters--that can be as much fun as modelling! And
IMHO, having a computer and paying an ISP means that one has the
ability to surf the web. Anything else--make an informed query very,
very, nicely, once and wait for an answer.

BTW, I have to model one of those CV steel-frame 40' cars
eventually. ;)

All the best,

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "cvsne"
<mjmcguirk@...> wrote:

Steve,

You seem to think I was picking on you which certainly wasn't my
intent.

To clarify - I wasn't attempting to suggest that you not ask a
question of the list. My reply was regarding the comment that
people
make on this list on an almost annual basis suggesting "we" - being
the members of this list - create some sort of massive database
where
they can locate whatever they want to know about steam era freight
cars.

Someone suggested this be a "wiki" - my point was to show we
discussed
that very idea 2 years ago, in detail. To date nothing has been
done
to create it - and I'm not in the least surprised by that since the
people who have the knowledge and resources to create these detailed
Wiki entries on each railroad have other things to do with their
time.

My comment reflects one pet peeve I have. I know how many
questions I
get on a monthly basis on Central Vermont items - I can't imagine
how
many Richard Hendrickson gets for the Santa Fe. I have no problem
answering the questions for folks, but over time my initial answers
to
inquiries have gotten more curt -- I don't' have the time to do all
the research and modeling I want to do for myself and spending time
replying to fishing expedition questions ("Tell me about CV freight
cars in the 1950s" and "I'm interested in building a layout based on
the CV between White River Junction and Essex Junction - can you
tell
me about the traffic, track arrangements, locomotives, and
schedules"
are two actual examples of questions I've received in the past
year.

These are examples of poorly asked questions - they simply aren't
specific enough. The only way to answer them is very broadly, a
lengthly tome, or to suggest the person spends some time researching
things and asking specific, targeted questions. I actually enjoy
researching and answering those.

Another pet peeve is the idea some folks have that simply by paying
an
ISP and getting a computer they have some sort of right to expect to
get information that I've spent years (and not an inconsiderable sum
of money) accumulating . . . but I won't go into that any further.

Marty






Tim O'Connor
 

There is already such a database. It's called the INTERNET.

The STMFC archives as well as ALL Yahoo groups are downloadable
to your hard drive with a tool called "PG Offline" and you can
then make sophisticated search requests (e.g. find 'this' plus
'that' but not 'those') locally.

There are HUNDREDS of web sites with prototype information,
modeling information, photographs, spreadsheets, lists, drawings,
you name it.

I only got serious about prototype models 15 years ago -- and I
think we only started the STMFC about 10 +/- years ago. Almost
everything I know, I've learned from friends, books, magazines,
emails, web site resources, and my small collection of photos,
and my digital scans (about 45,000 downloaded images).

As Marty says, it takes TIME and EFFORT and MONEY and no one
is obligated to package it up for someone else's instant
gratification.

Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor
 

Another note: If you open a GMAIL account, you can direct your
Yahoo mail (STMFC, etc) to that account. Then with Google Desktop
Search enabled on your Windows PC (or Mac?) Google will create a
search index that you can access at any time -- it's almost
instantaneous. Since the Desktop tool also indexes my hard drive,
I can search for something like "SP A-50-13" in about 2 seconds
and locate emails, gmails, text files, photos, etc. You can also
tell the Desktop search tool to index specific web sites (if you
have access, like RPI) and it will add that to your personal
search database. These free tools are incredibly powerful and
can save a lot of time.

Tim O'Connor