Model Analysis and Evolution
I had a little spare time tonight so I paged through a list of freight car
models that I made ten years ago. I'm a compulsive list-maker so it was
enjoyable to look through it, but as I did made some interesting observations
about where I've come int he hobby. I wonder if you have had the same
Exactly ten years ago I had 153 freight car models. Of that total, 98 were what
I considered "unfinished". Of that total of 153, I only have 38 of those models
today--that's a little less than 25%. Of those 38 models, I have completely
rebuilt and/or repainted 16 of them--almost half--and have plans to
rebuild/repaint two more this year.
I don't know the total number of models I have today as I'm rebuilding my
current list, but it is in the 150 range, and about 20 of those
are "unfinished". That's only 13%. Compare that to 67% unfinished ten years
ago. Apparently my philosophy of buying and completing models on hand has also
And another thing. Ten years ago I didn't worry too much if I was using the
correct model for a given prototype, and I didn't install brake gear, or correct
trucks, or uncoupling devices, or other things that today I consider
the fundamentals. I didn't concern myself with getting the car color right.
The reason for this rapid turnover is pretty obvious: it's you folks. Your
generosity has helped me get from modeling trains to modeling freight cars, and
now I'm trying to do everything right--or, honestly--better. Al Buchan was the
first guy that ever told me I was doing things wrong, and he did it in a very
mature way that changed my thinking on the spot. I had a very
carefully-constructed Sunshine car, but the paint and decals and everything were
all wrong, and he politely pointed it out. Around 1999 I joined this list, and
I was later strongly influenced by Ted's freight car series in RMC.
My participation at RPM meets began in 2001 and that helped too. Have I ever
told you the story when Jack Spencer read the dimensional data on one of my
kitbashed SAL box cars and laughed? It was way wrong and yeah, it hurt--but I
thank him for it today. Jack's a friend and I've learned a lot from him over
I know this message kinda sounds like it's about me, but it's not. I thought
you might be interested to read some stats on the evolution of a fellow modeler,
and that you have been the driving force behind that evolution. It leaves me
wondering how we'll evolve ten years from now.
Ned Carey <nedspam@...>
John Golden Wrote:
The reason for this rapid turnover is pretty obvious: it's you folks. Yourgenerosity has helped me get from modeling trains to modeling freight cars, and
now I'm trying to do everything right--or, honestly--better.
I agree and would also like to thank this list for its generosity. It has helped me be a much better modeler.
PS: I avoid "me too" comments but I felt this was important enough to repeat.
Building and operating a prototype layout has made me into a much more disciplined buyer. Seems most cars I've bought on impulse are now gone or I'm thinking about selling.
My fleet stands at 138 operating models and 5 unbuild kits.
I still have my weak moments. Last summer I bought an IM ATSF WE box car RTR at the National Train Show because it was cheap. I then spent time repainting parts, adding decals, changing some appliances and still the base car of the car is wrong!
Last Naperville I bought one of those Sunshine multi-door D&RGW box cars because it was cool looking. Only to find in my documentation I should have bought the 6' door car…I guess I'll build it anyway…
Thanks for sharing your thoughts John : ))