Summary, Likeability bias problem

James Mischke <jmischke@...>

Thank you all for your clarifying input and suggestions.

My thinking as evolved to thus:

- The main problem with a likeability bias .... a Better Homes
and Gardens contrived look ..... seems to be with boxcar
selection. Even in boxcar red days, prototype boxcars were big,
colorful, and eye catching. We all have our favorites. Many
prototypes are virtually rolling billboards for their owners.
Some diverse weathering will help reduce their eyecatching
nature. Some ubiquitous PRR boxcars will tone it down further.

- My hopper fleet and its mix are driven by types, lettering,
and roadnames of the era and locale. For an effective era
look, I need to have this mix whether I like them or not. (I
like them all anyway, but it is not a selection factor). Hoppers
are also mainly black and grubby.

- Tank cars and flat cars are rather innocuous. Black and
red/brown, respectively, with plain lettering predominate. Most
do not draw any attention to themselves.

- Reefers are colorful, yet with B&O's inferior competitive
position in refrigerated foodstuffs, and the local nature of the
Pittsburgh market, I can have several around and they don't
dominate any scene, making their way one by one to the cold warehouse.

- Here is the biggest point: In trains and yards, these car
types are all mixed up and the boxcars spread out a bit amongst
the others, leading to a more realistic uncontrived look. In
fact, this likeability bias first became apparent in my
temporary yard, full of boxcars, which have been my most recent projects.

One last thought. Remember when we were all constrained by the
Athearn blue box road names? My fleet and all my friends' were
instantly recognizable as drawn from this available supply. The
Athearn Boxcar Bias. As more products became available, I vowed
to eventually replace all the Athearn blue box freight cars in
my fleet. Long accomplished, I thought I had left unintended
and recognizable biases behind, but I had not.

Thank you for helping me talk this through. I hope there was
something useful in this discussion to ponder for each of you.