Date 1 - 6 of 6
Scale Measurements -vs- Details
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Along the lines of ...
"it is my observation ("opinion"?) that sometimes I loose sight
of my real goals" ... and ... this isn't a "flame" ... nor is
it a ... "you're wrong and I'm right" kind of thing ... but
rather it is:
In the interest of sharing my approaches to this
hobby - and hoping that others will share theirs -
without getting into a round of personal attacks.
And maybe we will both gain something from the
Personally - I don't pay a lot of attention to how long/high
an individual model is. I pay a lot more attention to stuff
like the existence/absence of particular details, the quality
and placement of the details, and questions such as "what kind
of roof/doors/ladders/grabs did this car have?". If it is
supposed to have/not have truss rods and it doesn't/does - then
of course that matters. Yes, I try to put the correct trucks
and doors on my models.
Yes, the overall scale dimensions matter - and if you have
a "yard full of cars and they are all the same height" then
you should be using a larger variety of kit manufacturers.
For me the scale measurements are the third or more likely
even the fifth-or-more thing I use to judge a model.
And the quality/accuracy of the paint - especially the
lettering - makes a lot of difference (to me). For instance
if a model should have a black roof and it is silver ... then
that has to be fixed or the model is a candidate for selling
off. Or a model that represents a "solidly steam era car"
that has modern graffiti ... just won't do. Or if it is
supposed to have or not have such-and-such lettering and what
is on the model is not what should or shouldn't be there.
Height problems are more obvious than length. I challenge
any one to look at an HO scale model sitting on a layout and
tell me if it is 39 or 40 or 41 feet long. Even if it is
sitting in front of/behind/next to a model you -know- the
length of ... but isn't lined up with it. A scale foot - in
HO - is about an 1/8th of an inch.
I don't know about you but I can't tell that difference -
unless I am either measuring with a scale ruler or lining two
cars up side by side on parallel tracks and then looking
directly down both ends.
Please don't misunderstand me. If there ever were two models
that were "identical in all other ways" ... but one was the
correct length and the other was not ... I'd probably choose
the correct one. So far I have very rarely been faced with
anything even close to such a decision. But to be honest if
I saw those two models and someone else didn't point out the
difference in the length it's a pretty good bet I wouldn't
even see the difference and therefore would probably choose
on some other basis.
Yes, I value scale accuracy. And strive for it. But it is
unlikely I'll ever accept or reject a model based solely or
even mostly upon whether it is the correct height or length.
In fact I have to admit I probably won't even notice most of
the time ... because I am not in the habit of hauling out
the scale rule and seeing how tall, long, or wide it is.
And I have to admit that you won't find me reworking a
model because it is 3" or even 6" too long or too high.
Adding a "sill detail" is not the same as "changing the
measurements in the interest of scale accuracy. In fact
I can't say I've ever measured my freight cars and compared
the length or heigth against a plan.
Sometimes I think I don't 'belong' here on this group ... I'm
more of a "how good does it look from 3 feet away" or an
"I'll compare it to a picture and see how well it represents
the picture" than a "let's get out the scale ruler and see if
it is perfect" kind of guy.
Then someone posts something or other that leads me to
several hours of prototype research ... and I remember
why I think there are so many amazing modelers on this
group. Not so much because they produce "the best models
in the world" but rather because of their individual and
collective knowledge. And so I stay. And most of the time
just read without comment.
I'll just slink off into my "that'll do" world and be
quiet now. Does anybody have an Athearn blue box freight
car I can shake the box for instant gratification? *G*
--- In STMFC@..., Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:
any one to look at an HO scale model sitting on a layout and===============================================
I might have agreed with that, but there's a lot of interest in mixing-and-matching kits and parts for prototype modeling. So when a well-detailed "41 foot steel boxcar" was accidentally put on the market a few years ago, the choices for alternate running boards were severely limited (because those had been made for "40 foot boxcars"-- of course.)
There might be more leeway for "39 foot gondolas" and "41 foot flatcars" but there are sure to be some problems there as well.
On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:01:56 -0000, scottpitzer2002 wrote
I might have agreed with that, but there's a lot of interest in mixing-and-Yeah, being able to interchange parts is a good thing and is generally indicative that
the manufacturers got the dimensions right. Or at the very least made identical
mistakes and of course that would never happen unless they relied on erroneous published
drawings and we all know that never happens ;-)
I'm really just a beginner at freight car modeling, and I'm slowly replacing and
upgrading my "three foot" fleet. Not to say I can't accept a stand-in, but if the
correct car is available, I'd rather have it than a stand-in, I'd rather have an
Intermountain or Red Caboose AAR box car than an Athearn bluebox. And if I'm going to
do any painting, detailing, kitbashing myself, then it's a lot more important to get it
right. I don't mind buying a stand-in, if it's close, but I don't really want to put my
time and efforts into *building* a stand-in.
Jim Betz wrote
Excellent. I hope you'll buy my Branchline 41' box cars when thePersonally - I don't pay a lot of attention to how long/high
times comes. Of course you might have to fight the Collectors --
you know, the guys who think an improperly stamped coin is worth
more than other coins. I personally don't understand it, but I'm
glad some people feel that way.
Jim,Height problems are more obvious than length. I challengeJim Betz <jimbetz@...> 02/16/11 12:36 PM >>>
You're absolutely right when it comes to the freight train passing you
on the track (an oft discussed example on this list being our
listmeister's "test" with the Branchline boxcar), or even, perhaps that
car in the yard, but you are just as wrong when those two cars are side
by side in two tracks at the produce house... then you have 2 FGE
reefers of the same "class" that are visibly different lengths.
On a more general note, I'm not sure why my post should induce you to
feel the need to defend the way that you model. You will note that I
was just reporting the facts and did not express an opinion with regard
to which kit anyone ought to use ;^) In fact, I have both the Sunshine
kits (1922, 1927), an Accurail car modified a la Shake-n-Take (1922) and
a shortened Intermountain (1927, with more to come).
We all make compromises and many of us adjust those as we go along,
reassessing our fleets of freight cars and modifying our personal
standards to achieve our goals. That may include lowering standards to
create large enough fleets to start operations, and it may include
replacing freight cars with more accurate models as commercial
offerings, our personal skills, time and desire allows.
On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:55:18 -0600, Bruce Smith wrote
We all make compromises and many of us adjust those as we go along,I think this is true with all of us, to varying degrees. I think it's also important to
remember that most of us bring only our best work to RPM meets. I can tell you right
now, if I put 10 freight cars on an RPM table, they are my best 10 and in terms of
really prototypical cars that I built myself, just about my only 10 at this point.
Obviously I'm compromising somewhere just to run a 30-car train. And I think many of us
do follow the "upgrade as we go" action plan. I'm on a freight car binge right now, but
this is likely to change big time because I'm also throwing up framing in the basement
and could be starting benchwork by the time you hear fireworks on the 4th this summer.
I'd say sooner, but I'm going for gallbladder surgery in a little over a week which will
probably slow down Handy Andy the Carpenter for a few weeks.
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