erroneous captions/RTR vs. kits


ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@..., Jerry Michaels... wrote:
IMHO it's the same mentality that has led to the preponderance of ready to
run cars instead of kits.

I think kits are disappearing because the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits. The hobby is centered around a pack rat mentality - keep buying more and more. Most model railroaders have closets full of unopened kits. Frequently it's a disaster when they try to assemble one.

Many men now prefer to buy one completed item instead of 2 or even 3 kits not likely to ever be assembled.

I'll bet members of this list can profitably trade cars they've assembled for kits in the closet. The only drawback is our time is worth more than that of the people who assemble the kits. But hey, those kits in the closet are lost money, especially for kits that have been "improved" like the 2 bay steam era covered hoppers. I doubt there's much market for the original square hatch covered hopper kit. Remember when that was a car only seen in NMRA contests?

Ed


Charlie Vlk
 

Ed-
Your post is a positive one and I am not jumping on you for your comments..... but I don't agree that "the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits".
While the "old days" of Athearn and Model Die Casting shake-the-box kits dominating availability in the marketplace are over, the advent of high quality RTR does not equate to the death of model building skills or regard for prototypical accuracy... far from it!!!
If you look objectively at what is available today we have more and better kits for specific prototypes than we've ever had.... and more of them are being assembled.
The difference is that the average level stuff is no longer kit-based and is actually better than the original tooling and has vastly improved graphics.
Part of the increased sales of RTR equipment is due to the average hobbyist trading dollars for time..... especially for layout-filling equipment that they don't have a primary interest in. My favorite road is CB&Q.... and while I "need" PRR equipment on my railroad for interchange I would rather buy a RTR car and use my time to build CB&Q-specific kits or kitbash/scratchbuild cars that are not available than spend hours building, painting and decaling an X29... any many other road's cars that I don't care as much about and will accept the RTR car as a "stand in" if necessary.
IMHO the "good old days" when you HAD to build kits and develop a full range of skills to build even a beginner railroad are gone and it is for the better. We enjoy more high quality kits, paints, decals, and detail parts than ever before in the history of the Hobby. This does not signal the demise of kit building and scratchbuilding; it may indicate that more railroads can be built and operated today with a shorter learning curve allowing more time for pursuing building specific kits and scratchbuilding projects.
The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what area you are interested in...... unless you find nobility in assembling an Athearn Blue Box kit or trying to make something out of a box of wood and rubber mold spin castings in a Silver Streak box!
Some may mourn the pioneer days of struggling with sand castings and having an anvil as an essential tool..... but most of us enjoy today's products!!
Charlie Vlk

Along similar lines....I haven't seen any comments about Northeastern's reintroduction of the Northeastern/Ambroid freight car kits...... seems to me they are meeting a non-existant market given today's accurate wood laser kits and resin kits!





--- In STMFC@..., Jerry Michaels... wrote:
> IMHO it's the same mentality that has led to the preponderance of ready to
> run cars instead of kits.

I think kits are disappearing because the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits. The hobby is centered around a pack rat mentality - keep buying more and more. Most model railroaders have closets full of unopened kits. Frequently it's a disaster when they try to assemble one.

Many men now prefer to buy one completed item instead of 2 or even 3 kits not likely to ever be assembled.

I'll bet members of this list can profitably trade cars they've assembled for kits in the closet. The only drawback is our time is worth more than that of the people who assemble the kits. But hey, those kits in the closet are lost money, especially for kits that have been "improved" like the 2 bay steam era covered hoppers. I doubt there's much market for the original square hatch covered hopper kit. Remember when that was a car only seen in NMRA contests?

Ed


.


Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Charlie,

While I applaud your positive comments about kits in general, the near complete disappearance of kits from all the hobby shops I frequent makes me wonder about your statements, at least as a general trend in the hobby. Some kits from Athearn/Roundhouse, Bowser, and a few others are still available in the stores where I shop, but they are a minority compared to RTR. My favorite store has a small stock of Branchline, but they have been gathering dust for years. Proto 2000, Red Caboose and Intermountain, and Kadee, are nearly all RTR, though my favorite dealer stocks a very few kits when he can get them for die-hards like me (sadly, I have just about everything I want, and yes, many are in my closet and will probably never be built in my lifetime). Walthers? What kits? My favorite dealer stocks a very few resin kits in locally popular roads from Sunshine (at cost, no profit), Westerfield, and others, but rarely can sell one. The same is largely true for structures and vehicles. RTR, or whatever tank and auto modelers call pre-assembled, is also becoming more common over on that side of hobby stores. Even 20 years ago, my dealers were getting complaints FROM ADULTS about Athearn cars having too many parts, to say nothing of kids who didn't only thought a screwdriver was for busting out the ignition switch of a joy-ride! While some modelers are pushing the limits of detail and authenticity, to me it looks more and more like kits are generally a dead issue.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Charlie Vlk wrote:

Ed-
Your post is a positive one and I am not jumping on you for your comments..... but I don't agree that "the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits".
While the "old days" of Athearn and Model Die Casting shake-the-box kits dominating availability in the marketplace are over, the advent of high quality RTR does not equate to the death of model building skills or regard for prototypical accuracy... far from it!!!
If you look objectively at what is available today we have more and better kits for specific prototypes than we've ever had.... and more of them are being assembled.
The difference is that the average level stuff is no longer kit-based and is actually better than the original tooling and has vastly improved graphics. Part of the increased sales of RTR equipment is due to the average hobbyist trading dollars for time..... especially for layout-filling equipment that they don't have a primary interest in. My favorite road is CB&Q.... and while I "need" PRR equipment on my railroad for interchange I would rather buy a RTR car and use my time to build CB&Q-specific kits or kitbash/scratchbuild cars that are not available than spend hours building, painting and decaling an X29... any many other road's cars that I don't care as much about and will accept the RTR car as a "stand in" if necessary.
IMHO the "good old days" when you HAD to build kits and develop a full range of skills to build even a beginner railroad are gone and it is for the better. We enjoy more high quality kits, paints, decals, and detail parts than ever before in the history of the Hobby. This does not signal the demise of kit building and scratchbuilding; it may indicate that more railroads can be built and operated today with a shorter learning curve allowing more time for pursuing building specific kits and scratchbuilding projects.
The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what area you are interested in...... unless you find nobility in assembling an Athearn Blue Box kit or trying to make something out of a box of wood and rubber mold spin castings in a Silver Streak box! Some may mourn the pioneer days of struggling with sand castings and having an anvil as an essential tool..... but most of us enjoy today's products!!
Charlie Vlk

Along similar lines....I haven't seen any comments about Northeastern's reintroduction of the Northeastern/Ambroid freight car kits...... seems to me they are meeting a non-existant market given today's accurate wood laser kits and resin kits!


Armand Premo
 

Garth,Where is this small hobby shop?I've been looking for some Branchline kits.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Garth G. Groff
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] erroneous captions/RTR vs. kits





Charlie,

While I applaud your positive comments about kits in general, the near
complete disappearance of kits from all the hobby shops I frequent makes
me wonder about your statements, at least as a general trend in the
hobby. Some kits from Athearn/Roundhouse, Bowser, and a few others are
still available in the stores where I shop, but they are a minority
compared to RTR. My favorite store has a small stock of Branchline, but
they have been gathering dust for years. Proto 2000, Red Caboose and
Intermountain, and Kadee, are nearly all RTR, though my favorite dealer
stocks a very few kits when he can get them for die-hards like me
(sadly, I have just about everything I want, and yes, many are in my
closet and will probably never be built in my lifetime). Walthers? What
kits? My favorite dealer stocks a very few resin kits in locally popular
roads from Sunshine (at cost, no profit), Westerfield, and others, but
rarely can sell one. The same is largely true for structures and
vehicles. RTR, or whatever tank and auto modelers call pre-assembled, is
also becoming more common over on that side of hobby stores. Even 20
years ago, my dealers were getting complaints FROM ADULTS about Athearn
cars having too many parts, to say nothing of kids who didn't only
thought a screwdriver was for busting out the ignition switch of a
joy-ride! While some modelers are pushing the limits of detail and
authenticity, to me it looks more and more like kits are generally a
dead issue.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Charlie Vlk wrote:
> Ed-
> Your post is a positive one and I am not jumping on you for your comments..... but I don't agree that "the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits".
> While the "old days" of Athearn and Model Die Casting shake-the-box kits dominating availability in the marketplace are over, the advent of high quality RTR does not equate to the death of model building skills or regard for prototypical accuracy... far from it!!!
> If you look objectively at what is available today we have more and better kits for specific prototypes than we've ever had.... and more of them are being assembled.
> The difference is that the average level stuff is no longer kit-based and is actually better than the original tooling and has vastly improved graphics.
> Part of the increased sales of RTR equipment is due to the average hobbyist trading dollars for time..... especially for layout-filling equipment that they don't have a primary interest in. My favorite road is CB&Q.... and while I "need" PRR equipment on my railroad for interchange I would rather buy a RTR car and use my time to build CB&Q-specific kits or kitbash/scratchbuild cars that are not available than spend hours building, painting and decaling an X29... any many other road's cars that I don't care as much about and will accept the RTR car as a "stand in" if necessary.
> IMHO the "good old days" when you HAD to build kits and develop a full range of skills to build even a beginner railroad are gone and it is for the better. We enjoy more high quality kits, paints, decals, and detail parts than ever before in the history of the Hobby. This does not signal the demise of kit building and scratchbuilding; it may indicate that more railroads can be built and operated today with a shorter learning curve allowing more time for pursuing building specific kits and scratchbuilding projects.
> The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what area you are interested in...... unless you find nobility in assembling an Athearn Blue Box kit or trying to make something out of a box of wood and rubber mold spin castings in a Silver Streak box!
> Some may mourn the pioneer days of struggling with sand castings and having an anvil as an essential tool..... but most of us enjoy today's products!!
> Charlie Vlk
>
> Along similar lines....I haven't seen any comments about Northeastern's reintroduction of the Northeastern/Ambroid freight car kits...... seems to me they are meeting a non-existant market given today's accurate wood laser kits and resin kits!






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Charlie Vlk
 

Garth-
The stock carried by any one Hobby Shop can be influenced by a number of factors which I won't go into here but which may not necessarily indicate the local demand or general availability or sales of any item.
I can't imagine anybody so inept as to not be able to assemble an Athearn or Branchline kit, but having said that recall that the MDC N Scale cars did not sell until they wereoffered RTR. Of course, the first thing that N Scalers would do would be to pull off the trucks and replace them with Micro-Trains truck/coupler units... the original kit you had to assemble the Rapido-equipped trucks, paint the underframe casting, and install a brake wheel....so most of the "work" to assemble a kit was going to be done by the same guys that only bought "RTR" cars. Go figure.
I know that the Athearn Blue Box and Accurail, Branchline kits for the most part have to be handled gently otherwise they assemble themselves in the box. I do have some of the Intermountain N Scale kits that I stockpiled before I realized that assemblying them was not fun and did not result in a better car than paying a few extra bucks to have the girl in China do it for me.
I do respect those that want the parts in a kit without them being glued together for what ever reason.... but from many manufacturers standpoint those few sales aren't worth having "kits" run and it is unlikely that they will make it through the supply chain to be at the local shop where and when those that want them can buy kits, especially in a particular roadname.
If there were a market for kits, and undecorated kits, one could start up a mail order/internet business speciallizing in that arena.
But, better your money in the venture than mine.....
Charlie Vlk

----- Original Message -----
From: Garth G. Groff
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] erroneous captions/RTR vs. kits





Charlie,

While I applaud your positive comments about kits in general, the near
complete disappearance of kits from all the hobby shops I frequent makes
me wonder about your statements, at least as a general trend in the
hobby. Some kits from Athearn/Roundhouse, Bowser, and a few others are
still available in the stores where I shop, but they are a minority
compared to RTR. My favorite store has a small stock of Branchline, but
they have been gathering dust for years. Proto 2000, Red Caboose and
Intermountain, and Kadee, are nearly all RTR, though my favorite dealer
stocks a very few kits when he can get them for die-hards like me
(sadly, I have just about everything I want, and yes, many are in my
closet and will probably never be built in my lifetime). Walthers? What
kits? My favorite dealer stocks a very few resin kits in locally popular
roads from Sunshine (at cost, no profit), Westerfield, and others, but
rarely can sell one. The same is largely true for structures and
vehicles. RTR, or whatever tank and auto modelers call pre-assembled, is
also becoming more common over on that side of hobby stores. Even 20
years ago, my dealers were getting complaints FROM ADULTS about Athearn
cars having too many parts, to say nothing of kids who didn't only
thought a screwdriver was for busting out the ignition switch of a
joy-ride! While some modelers are pushing the limits of detail and
authenticity, to me it looks more and more like kits are generally a
dead issue.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Charlie Vlk wrote:
> Ed-
> Your post is a positive one and I am not jumping on you for your comments..... but I don't agree that "the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits".
> While the "old days" of Athearn and Model Die Casting shake-the-box kits dominating availability in the marketplace are over, the advent of high quality RTR does not equate to the death of model building skills or regard for prototypical accuracy... far from it!!!
> If you look objectively at what is available today we have more and better kits for specific prototypes than we've ever had.... and more of them are being assembled.
> The difference is that the average level stuff is no longer kit-based and is actually better than the original tooling and has vastly improved graphics.
> Part of the increased sales of RTR equipment is due to the average hobbyist trading dollars for time..... especially for layout-filling equipment that they don't have a primary interest in. My favorite road is CB&Q.... and while I "need" PRR equipment on my railroad for interchange I would rather buy a RTR car and use my time to build CB&Q-specific kits or kitbash/scratchbuild cars that are not available than spend hours building, painting and decaling an X29... any many other road's cars that I don't care as much about and will accept the RTR car as a "stand in" if necessary.
> IMHO the "good old days" when you HAD to build kits and develop a full range of skills to build even a beginner railroad are gone and it is for the better. We enjoy more high quality kits, paints, decals, and detail parts than ever before in the history of the Hobby. This does not signal the demise of kit building and scratchbuilding; it may indicate that more railroads can be built and operated today with a shorter learning curve allowing more time for pursuing building specific kits and scratchbuilding projects.
> The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what area you are interested in...... unless you find nobility in assembling an Athearn Blue Box kit or trying to make something out of a box of wood and rubber mold spin castings in a Silver Streak box!
> Some may mourn the pioneer days of struggling with sand castings and having an anvil as an essential tool..... but most of us enjoy today's products!!
> Charlie Vlk
>
> Along similar lines....I haven't seen any comments about Northeastern's reintroduction of the Northeastern/Ambroid freight car kits...... seems to me they are meeting a non-existant market given today's accurate wood laser kits and resin kits!






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sparachuk <sparachuk@...>
 

Gentlemen: If I may dip my oar in on the kit/RTR dichotmy, the Internet is the best way to buy your kits these days if you're a builder. Every manufacturer (except Sunshine) sells direct it seems and while it's true you might have to pay shipping costs these costs often compare well to the expense of actually going to the hobby shop. I realise this must seem unfair to hobbyshop owners but it seems many shop owners are still living in the time when they controlled what got sold. I have ordered things from shops only to be told there's no stock when a search of the web tells me something quite other. Still, it's their business, they can ruin it, sorry, run it as they like. But take heart builders! There's more stuff out there than you can build in a dozen lifetimes. If you're in this group you're already in the biggest hobby shop ever, the Internet.
Stephan Parachuk
Toronto

--- In STMFC@..., "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...> wrote:

Garth-
The stock carried by any one Hobby Shop can be influenced by a number of factors which I won't go into here but which may not necessarily indicate the local demand or general availability or sales of any item.
I can't imagine anybody so inept as to not be able to assemble an Athearn or Branchline kit, but having said that recall that the MDC N Scale cars did not sell until they wereoffered RTR. Of course, the first thing that N Scalers would do would be to pull off the trucks and replace them with Micro-Trains truck/coupler units... the original kit you had to assemble the Rapido-equipped trucks, paint the underframe casting, and install a brake wheel....so most of the "work" to assemble a kit was going to be done by the same guys that only bought "RTR" cars. Go figure.
I know that the Athearn Blue Box and Accurail, Branchline kits for the most part have to be handled gently otherwise they assemble themselves in the box. I do have some of the Intermountain N Scale kits that I stockpiled before I realized that assemblying them was not fun and did not result in a better car than paying a few extra bucks to have the girl in China do it for me.
I do respect those that want the parts in a kit without them being glued together for what ever reason.... but from many manufacturers standpoint those few sales aren't worth having "kits" run and it is unlikely that they will make it through the supply chain to be at the local shop where and when those that want them can buy kits, especially in a particular roadname.
If there were a market for kits, and undecorated kits, one could start up a mail order/internet business speciallizing in that arena.
But, better your money in the venture than mine.....
Charlie Vlk


----- Original Message -----
From: Garth G. Groff
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] erroneous captions/RTR vs. kits





Charlie,

While I applaud your positive comments about kits in general, the near
complete disappearance of kits from all the hobby shops I frequent makes
me wonder about your statements, at least as a general trend in the
hobby. Some kits from Athearn/Roundhouse, Bowser, and a few others are
still available in the stores where I shop, but they are a minority
compared to RTR. My favorite store has a small stock of Branchline, but
they have been gathering dust for years. Proto 2000, Red Caboose and
Intermountain, and Kadee, are nearly all RTR, though my favorite dealer
stocks a very few kits when he can get them for die-hards like me
(sadly, I have just about everything I want, and yes, many are in my
closet and will probably never be built in my lifetime). Walthers? What
kits? My favorite dealer stocks a very few resin kits in locally popular
roads from Sunshine (at cost, no profit), Westerfield, and others, but
rarely can sell one. The same is largely true for structures and
vehicles. RTR, or whatever tank and auto modelers call pre-assembled, is
also becoming more common over on that side of hobby stores. Even 20
years ago, my dealers were getting complaints FROM ADULTS about Athearn
cars having too many parts, to say nothing of kids who didn't only
thought a screwdriver was for busting out the ignition switch of a
joy-ride! While some modelers are pushing the limits of detail and
authenticity, to me it looks more and more like kits are generally a
dead issue.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Charlie Vlk wrote:
> Ed-
> Your post is a positive one and I am not jumping on you for your comments..... but I don't agree that "the average model railroader has a hard time assembling kits".
> While the "old days" of Athearn and Model Die Casting shake-the-box kits dominating availability in the marketplace are over, the advent of high quality RTR does not equate to the death of model building skills or regard for prototypical accuracy... far from it!!!
> If you look objectively at what is available today we have more and better kits for specific prototypes than we've ever had.... and more of them are being assembled.
> The difference is that the average level stuff is no longer kit-based and is actually better than the original tooling and has vastly improved graphics.
> Part of the increased sales of RTR equipment is due to the average hobbyist trading dollars for time..... especially for layout-filling equipment that they don't have a primary interest in. My favorite road is CB&Q.... and while I "need" PRR equipment on my railroad for interchange I would rather buy a RTR car and use my time to build CB&Q-specific kits or kitbash/scratchbuild cars that are not available than spend hours building, painting and decaling an X29... any many other road's cars that I don't care as much about and will accept the RTR car as a "stand in" if necessary.
> IMHO the "good old days" when you HAD to build kits and develop a full range of skills to build even a beginner railroad are gone and it is for the better. We enjoy more high quality kits, paints, decals, and detail parts than ever before in the history of the Hobby. This does not signal the demise of kit building and scratchbuilding; it may indicate that more railroads can be built and operated today with a shorter learning curve allowing more time for pursuing building specific kits and scratchbuilding projects.
> The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what area you are interested in...... unless you find nobility in assembling an Athearn Blue Box kit or trying to make something out of a box of wood and rubber mold spin castings in a Silver Streak box!
> Some may mourn the pioneer days of struggling with sand castings and having an anvil as an essential tool..... but most of us enjoy today's products!!
> Charlie Vlk
>
> Along similar lines....I haven't seen any comments about Northeastern's reintroduction of the Northeastern/Ambroid freight car kits...... seems to me they are meeting a non-existant market given today's accurate wood laser kits and resin kits!






------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

Garth wrote:
While I applaud your positive comments about kits in general, the near
complete disappearance of kits from all the hobby shops I frequent makes
me wonder about your statements, at least as a general trend in the
hobby.
True, but I think hobby shops are also obviously feeling the pitch of
Internet sales. If you want resin kits, you can purchase them direct from
the manufacturer via the web (or a check and envelop in the case of
Sunshine). By-passing dealers allows the manufacturer to make more profit
selling kits at resale rather than wholesale and also allows for small
volume manufacturers to produce limited-run kits for less popular
prototypes. If I were a hobby shop dealer, I'd stock RTR freight cars and,
like our local train shop, pile them on the counter so that everyone sees
them as they come into the store. While I don't bother to look, I suspect
they sell a lot of them...they look great, provide instant gratification,
and the price is within reason for many modeler's budget. There are also a
lot of modelers who have more interest in operations than in building things
and RTR cars fulfill a real need to get a layout up and running. Hopefully,
those modelers, once into operation, plan to go back and start "filling in
their roster" with more prototype variety and, in the process, discover kit
building and even scratchbuilding.

I agree with Charlie that we are in the Golden Age of the hobby but I would
add a couple other reasons. Not only has the quality of the kits improved
tremendously but the amount of prototype data available is so prolific that
it can sometimes be somewhat overwhelming. Even so, I don't want to spend a
couple of weeks gathering all of the data, plans, photos, decals, and parts
needed to scratchbuild that NYC X29 box car that Charlie talked about...I
want that available as a resin kit. If I am going to scratchbuild something,
it will be a YV freight car or structure.

I also think that things are just going to get better....as rapid
prototyping and custom resin casting become more available, even more unique
kits and parts will become available. I'd love to see our hobby grow into
the type enjoyed by the airplane and armor modelers where there is a huge
variety of after-market parts to convert more generic models into replicate
even more specific prototypes. And finally, groups like ours have also made
it easier to find information that may be well-known by followers of one
prototype but not necessarily well-known by everyone else. When I asked
about information on early Rodgers ballast cars a few months ago, Gene Green
hooked me up with the archivist at the C&NW Historical Society where I was
able to purchase a CD of prototype drawings....finding that resource years
ago would have been impossible.

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Charlie Vlk
 

Jack is correct... except I didn't mention a NYC X29.... even a Burlington fan knows that is a PRR prototype....<gggg>
The volume of prototype data that keeps surfacing, both in print and digital, is amazing!!!
Charlie Vlk

----- Original Message -----
From: Jack Burgess
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:51 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] erroneous captions/RTR vs. kits





Garth wrote:
> While I applaud your positive comments about kits in general, the near
> complete disappearance of kits from all the hobby shops I frequent makes
> me wonder about your statements, at least as a general trend in the
> hobby.

True, but I think hobby shops are also obviously feeling the pitch of
Internet sales. If you want resin kits, you can purchase them direct from
the manufacturer via the web (or a check and envelop in the case of
Sunshine). By-passing dealers allows the manufacturer to make more profit
selling kits at resale rather than wholesale and also allows for small
volume manufacturers to produce limited-run kits for less popular
prototypes. If I were a hobby shop dealer, I'd stock RTR freight cars and,
like our local train shop, pile them on the counter so that everyone sees
them as they come into the store. While I don't bother to look, I suspect
they sell a lot of them...they look great, provide instant gratification,
and the price is within reason for many modeler's budget. There are also a
lot of modelers who have more interest in operations than in building things
and RTR cars fulfill a real need to get a layout up and running. Hopefully,
those modelers, once into operation, plan to go back and start "filling in
their roster" with more prototype variety and, in the process, discover kit
building and even scratchbuilding.

I agree with Charlie that we are in the Golden Age of the hobby but I would
add a couple other reasons. Not only has the quality of the kits improved
tremendously but the amount of prototype data available is so prolific that
it can sometimes be somewhat overwhelming. Even so, I don't want to spend a
couple of weeks gathering all of the data, plans, photos, decals, and parts
needed to scratchbuild that NYC X29 box car that Charlie talked about...I
want that available as a resin kit. If I am going to scratchbuild something,
it will be a YV freight car or structure.

I also think that things are just going to get better....as rapid
prototyping and custom resin casting become more available, even more unique
kits and parts will become available. I'd love to see our hobby grow into
the type enjoyed by the airplane and armor modelers where there is a huge
variety of after-market parts to convert more generic models into replicate
even more specific prototypes. And finally, groups like ours have also made
it easier to find information that may be well-known by followers of one
prototype but not necessarily well-known by everyone else. When I asked
about information on early Rodgers ballast cars a few months ago, Gene Green
hooked me up with the archivist at the C&NW Historical Society where I was
able to purchase a CD of prototype drawings....finding that resource years
ago would have been impossible.

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com






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Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

On Tue, 26 May 2009 15:58:08 -0500, Charlie Vlk wrote
Jack is correct... except I didn't mention a NYC X29.... even a
Burlington fan knows that is a PRR prototype....<gggg> The volume of
prototype data that keeps surfacing, both in print and digital, is
amazing!!!
Charlie Vlk
Yes but the NYC sampled 100 of them. See the latest RPC for a picyure of one.
Brian Carlson


asychis@...
 

The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of
years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages
tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what
area you are interested in

Amen to that Charlie!

Jerry Michels
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
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asychis@...
 

Everyone, would you pleas to consider trimming your posts so that we don't
have to scroll down through seven or eight pages of old posts to get at the
message? Please, have some internet courtesy!

Jerry Michels
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
steps!
(http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1222377034x1201454326/aol?redir=http://www.freecreditreport.com/pm/default.aspx?sc=668072&hmpgID=62&bcd=
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Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

Jack is correct... except I didn't mention a NYC X29.... even a
Burlington fan knows that is a PRR prototype....<gggg>
That only proves my ignorance about any prototype except my own and my
complete reliance on others! <g>

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Charlie Vlk
 

Brian-
Yes, I've got the RPC library too, but for the purposes of this list, even though the sides were identical to the X29, other major dimensions varied according to the table included in that issue so calling them X29s isn't strictly kosher. They were 1923 ARA proposed standard design cars of NYC Lot 504-B.....the length over strikers and truck centers varied between them and there were no doubt appliance differences as well.
Charlie Vlk




Yes but the NYC sampled 100 of them. See the latest RPC for a picyure of one.
Brian Carlson

.


Charlie Vlk
 

Jack-
And you, sir, have shown us a great model for documenting our own favorite railroad or segment thereof!!!
Thanks for sharing through your numerous articles in the model press!!
Charlie Vlk

----- Original Message -----
From: Jack Burgess
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] erroneous captions/RTR vs. kits





> Jack is correct... except I didn't mention a NYC X29.... even a
> Burlington fan knows that is a PRR prototype....<gggg>

That only proves my ignorance about any prototype except my own and my
complete reliance on others! <g>

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com






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Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

I'll throw in my view from the tank/airplane hobby. . .

1. While there are a ton of conversion/correction kits in resin and photo-etched brass, it is a rare hobby shop that has even 100 items of the type in stock Most people get them from internet shops or shops that travel the shows selling in the vendor areas.
2. As I've said before, any tank/aircraft model part supplier (or car, or ship, for that matter) that doesn't use the Internet is someone with a longing to be an ex-supplier. This hobby has a bizarrely large number of "don't do computers" suppliers. (Any number > 0 is bizarre to me . . .)
3. The aftermarket suppliers have had some unusual competition since about 2000: More and more of the "they'll never make that as injection-molded kit" subjects are being released. There are a number of kits out there where your average hobby shop has more copies of the kit than the Army or Air Force made of the real vehicle. These aren't cottage industry resin kits but top-of-the-line injection molded kits.
4. One complication in Model RRing is that you have to build EVERYTHING to one extent or another, while in the other hobbies the modeler can concentrate on the vehicle. I think this dilutes the spirit to put as much effort into a box car as in your typical tank or fighter jet.
5. The Internet has helped greatly - fantastically - with research. I remember waiting for the twice monthly armor magazine to arrive and writing letters - and waiting. In contrast, yesterday afternoon I got wind of a heretofore "unknown" tank in upstate NY. Last night I emailed a guy - from a website forum - and asked he would be interested in stopping by to take some pics. Today I got an answer that he's going that way (to a hobby shop!) later this week and will take pix and email them. Previously that would eat up about three months span, I recon.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Jack Burgess

I also think that things are just going to get better....as rapid
prototyping and custom resin casting become more available, even more unique
kits and parts will become available. I'd love to see our hobby grow into
the type enjoyed by the airplane and armor modelers where there is a huge
variety of after-market parts to convert more generic models into replicate
even more specific prototypes. And finally, groups like ours have also made
it easier to find information that may be well-known by followers of one
prototype but not necessarily well-known by everyone else. When I asked
about information on early Rodgers ballast cars a few months ago, Gene Green
hooked me up with the archivist at the C&NW Historical Society where I was
able to purchase a CD of prototype drawings....finding that resource years
ago would have been impossible.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jerry Michels wrote (replying to Charlie Vlk):
The Prototype Modelers movement far exceeds NMRA contest participation of years past and the level of craftsmanship exhibited by modelers of all ages tells me that we are in the Golden Age of Model Railroading no matter what area you are interested in
Amen to that Charlie!
I agree too. There is no more telling indictment of the NMRA than the turnout of models at RPM meets all over the country. And most of the NMRA brass still cannot figure out how to speak politely to RPM types.

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


Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Kurt,

If you are a tank modeler, are you familiar with the U.S. ARMY ORDNANCE MUSEUM, MUSEUM GUIDE & REFERENCE CD? This thing has photos of tanks and other heavy metal stuff preserved at Aberdeen, including some German, Italian and Japanese WWII pieces. These are the real deal, not models.

If interested, I can send you the order address.

I am not a tankist, and don't know much about the images on the disk (I'm into medieval bows and swords). My sweetie, who works for the Army, bought this disk as a gift when she went there for a seminar.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Kurt Laughlin wrote:

. . . The Internet has helped greatly - fantastically - with research. I remember waiting for the twice monthly armor magazine to arrive and writing letters - and waiting. In contrast, yesterday afternoon I got wind of a heretofore "unknown" tank in upstate NY. Last night I emailed a guy - from a website forum - and asked he would be interested in stopping by to take some pics. Today I got an answer that he's going that way (to a hobby shop!) later this week and will take pix and email them. Previously that would eat up about three months span, I recon.

KL


Tim O'Connor
 

Tony T wrote

I agree too. There is no more telling indictment of the NMRA
than the turnout of models at RPM meets all over the country. And most
of the NMRA brass still cannot figure out how to speak politely to RPM
types.
I have no contact with national NMRA folks, but the Boston "Hub"
regional NMRA is not only RPM friendly but for many years has given
talks and local meets that feature regional prototypes. And I also
found scores of wonderful prototype models at an NMRA regional in
Austin TX almost 20 years ago.

To paraphrase Tip O'Neil, "all modeling is local".

As for RTR vs kits, I think Kadee has the answer: an RTR model
that can be turned into a kit in about 5 minutes!

Tim O'Connor


up4479
 

And most
of the NMRA brass still cannot figure out how to speak politely to RPM
types.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
IMO, its always been that way and it can get worse. I plugged into RPM with Joe Delia at the 1986 NMRA convention in Boston. I entered a kitbashed caboose in the NMRA model contest. They trashed my model because of the paperwork I submitted. Little did I know but the decision maker for a major award was a supporter of RPM. I came in last in category in the NMRA contest but won the UTU Brass Lantern Award! I was encouraged to take my model to the RPM room (where there were a lot more models) and got a blue ribbon in the popular vote contest! Everyone was supportive and enthusiastic. I met really nice people that I still keep in contact with 23 years later. I took more interest in the steam era after looking over Richard H's ATSF models. The rest is history. (I go to NMRA nationals for the RPM guys!)
But there's more to the story. The NMRA told me to put on a suit, show up at the banquet and be prepared for photos during the awards.
My wife and I go home for my suit and show up at the banquet with Joe D in tow. They had me arrive at the beginning and told me that it would be about 3 hours before they got to me and that we couldn't eat because we didn't buy tickets with our registration. We couldn't even buy our way in.
We left for a nice Italian dinner at one of our favorite spots. The photos were done another day.
So I was a bad boy because I didn't understand the paperwork requirements and took first place at the RPM room and the UTU rep decided I had the best caboose to represent their organization despite a poor showing in the contest.
I won't ever enter a NMRA contest and I won't attain NMRA master model railroader (though I could qualify) because IMO they want peopoe to fit their mold. That's OK! Its a big hobby. They can have fun their way and we can have fun our way.
I have to go do some steam era model work now.
Steve Solombrino


Tim O'Connor
 

Sides identical to the X29? Which X29? The 1924 or the 1928?

Tim O'Connor

Brian-
Yes, I've got the RPC library too, but for the purposes of this list, even though the sides were identical to the X29, other major dimensions varied according to the table included in that issue so calling them X29s isn't strictly kosher. They were 1923 ARA proposed standard design cars of NYC Lot 504-B.....the length over strikers and truck centers varied between them and there were no doubt appliance differences as well.
Charlie Vlk