Topics

Necessary Freight cars


Paul Catapano
 

Is it possible to (a) reach a consensus,  and (b) choose say five cars and (c) campaign heavily with the model manufacturers for their production?
 
Then each year update the list bumping those that have been produced and replacing them with cars drawn from the next five?
 
Didn't the SPH&TS recently ask for money up front for the production of a recent flat car and guarantee the donor some cars upon release? (Or something like that).
 
What is your favorite car worth to you?

Paul Catapano

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


Bruce Smith
 

On Apr 13, 2011, at 3:13 PM, Paul Catapano wrote:

Is it possible to (a) reach a consensus, and (b) choose say five
cars and (c) campaign heavily with the model manufacturers for
their production?

Then each year update the list bumping those that have been
produced and replacing them with cars drawn from the next five?

Didn't the SPH&TS recently ask for money up front for the
production of a recent flat car and guarantee the donor some cars
upon release? (Or something like that).

What is your favorite car worth to you?

Paul Catapano
Paul,

No need to come to a "consensus". Jerry Britton sentout a pole to
the PRR lists every year asking for the top 3 requests in a variety
of categories. He simply coalated the responses in each scale and
forwarded it to as many manufacturers as he could find. It is
remarkable over the years how many of the top cars and locomotives
have ended up being produced! Was if cause and effect or simply a
correlation? We may never know ;^)

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
__
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Jack Burgess
 

Bruce wrote:
<No need to come to a "consensus". Jerry Britton sends out a poll to
<the PRR lists every year asking for the top 3 requests in a variety
<of categories. He simply coalated the responses in each scale and
<forwarded it to as many manufacturers as he could find. It is
<remarkable over the years how many of the top cars and locomotives
<have ended up being produced! Was if cause and effect or simply a
<correlation? We may never know ;^)

Finescale Models magazine does the same thing each year, collecting requests
for new kits and it seems the manufacturer's listen. Of course, there are
more model builders than model railroaders.

But to make our requests more attractive, it might be helpful to provide a
background summary on those cars which receive the most votes (how many
prototypes were built, how many railroads ran them) and sources of prototype
information for them...

Jack Burgess
Newark, CA


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 13, 2011, at 1:37 PM, Jack Burgess wrote:

But to make our requests more attractive, it might be helpful to
provide a
background summary on those cars which receive the most votes (how
many
prototypes were built, how many railroads ran them) and sources of
prototype
information for them...
As I think Jack knows, several of us on this list who have some
credibility as prototype researchers do this as a matter of course if
we think a particular manufacturer might be interested in a specific
project, or - as sometimes happens - if we get a request to suggest
one or more future projects. More often than not, nothing comes of
it. But occasionally a seed takes root and eventually results in a
new model, or series of models. I doubt that the Pennsy Society poll
would, in itself, influence anybody very much, but manufacturers are
very much aware that (1) the PRR is a very popular railroad and also
that (2) a number of PRR Society members like Bruce Smith can be
relied on to back up their preferences with copious prototype
drawings, photos, data, etc. as opposed to the usual modelers' hot
air about "if you did those XYZ box cars, me and my friends would buy
a whole bunch of them." Manufacturers' decisions about what models
to produce are influenced by a vast number of considerations about
tooling and production costs, past experiences with similar models,
marketing (to the entire hobby, not just the prototype freight car
freaks on the STMFC list), and even, in some cases, the decision
makers' personal preferences with regard to era, favorite railroad,
favorite car types. etc. If you want to get a model made, forget
about polling the STMFC list or any other group of modelers, many of
whom don't really know what they want until they see it on the hobby
shop counter or on the internet. Gather a really complete set of
drawings, photos, and other information, figure out which
manufacturer is most likely to be receptive, and send 'em the stuff.
If they say no, try another manufacturer (but whatever you do, don't
send it to several at once; that's the kiss of death, as no one will
risk investing in a project that others may also be working on). In
any case, endless discussions on the STMFC list about "the models we
really need" may provide some ego gratification to the posters but
are likely to produce absolutely zero in the way of results. Want to
do something useful? Go do some serious research that might be
helpful to manufacturers or other serious modelers. Or - now, here's
a novel idea - sit down at your workbench and build some of the many
kits you already have stashed away. Almost everyone on this list
already has most of the freight car fleet they need already on hand
in boxes just waiting to be be built/finished.

Richard Hendrickson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jack Burgess wrote:
But to make our requests more attractive, it might be helpful to provide a background summary on those cars which receive the most votes (how many prototypes were built, how many railroads ran them) and sources of prototype information for them...
Jack (and Richard Hendrickson) make a good point: most manufacturers are far more interested in a good data package than in some poll of self-selected respondents. And repeatedly whining to them about some item you want produced is generally COUNTERproductive, according to people I've talked to.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

Tony, that's good to know -- because sometimes it's better to
know where the OFF switch is located, more than the ON switch.
Now we can steer outcomes where we wants 'em -- data packages
to the good guys, deluges of requests to the bad guys. :-)

Tim

And repeatedly whining to them about some item you want produced
is generally COUNTERproductive, according to people I've talked to.
Tony Thompson


Charlie Vlk
 

Jacl. Richard, and Tony hit the nail on the head......

I just had similar comments in an editoria in the latest issue of N Scale Railroading. A solid data package will go a long way to advance the possibility of a model being produced.

Most good projects happen because somebody has collected original railroad/builder drawings (general arrangement, detail and lettering & painting), detailed roster data, as-built photographs, detail photos of components, and in-service photos of all possible paint and lettering schemes. Often field measurements are made of surviving equipment and new hand drawn or CAD drawings are created. Sometimes it is the in-house R&D staff that has the material (often in their own personal collection) and sometimes it is aquired from one of a network of subject matter experts.

Real railroad equipment drawings often are lacking as documentation for tooling people, who are not familiar with the prototype, to design models. "General Arrangement" drawings are often literally referred to as "cartoons" (in the original sense of basic unsophisticated sketches) that are more of a graphic index of reference drawing numbers to innumerable detail drawings of descrete parts. Some drawings are silent on major components because they were so commonly used that they required no further description (an example I am familiar with is Budd passenger car corrugated panels.... I imagine that details of stamped roof panels and ends are equally difficult to find drawings with detailed dimensions sufficient to tool from).

Today we are even beginning to see research packages including drawings of equipment rendered in 3D CAD (Solidworks, etc..) and presented to manufacturers in very complete form ready to turn over to final design.....by Importer R&D Staff and by individuals interested in having specific favorite equipment made in production models.

Charlie Vlk


Andy Harman
 

At 10:53 PM 4/13/2011 -0500, you wrote:
A solid data package will go a long way to advance the possibility of a model being produced.
No doubt, but not all of us are employed in model RR R&D, nor retired and mobile to go travel to Roanoke and pull erection drawings, or chase down survivors in museums and measure them and photograph every detail. Suffice it to say, if I had such a data package on the N&W H10 hopper, I would have already scratchbuilt one. With the quality of materials and parts available today, this kind of data is the only thing that stops me. A car like I'm asking for shouldn't be that hard to chase down, but unless we want to wait another 20 years until I retire assuming I do and assuming I'm still able, somebody else is going to need to come up with it.

Because that someone isn't me shouldn't prohibit me from requesting a model of this car. It probably isn't #1 on anybody's to-do list, but it does have some basic things going for it - it's a transition era car, built in large quantities, operated over a wide area, and it's not a particularly exotic car that will require new ground to be broken in the realm of tooling.

If I were to assemble such a data package, I'd first build one car for myself, then build a second one to fix all the mistakes I made on the first one, and then perhaps pitch it to one of the good guys. I've already talk to Exactrail and Tangent, they didn't seem to be very interested. The larger manufacturers like Athearn, Walthers, Atlas, already have a lot of coal hoppers in their lines already... ditto Bowser. Intermountain I haven't talked to about it, oddly enough, it's kind of up their alley - they have done a bunch of covered hoppers (albeit only one steam/transition era), and not a single coal hopper.

At any rate, I'm glad I brought the topic up even if it brings out the same old posturing about how we ought to think, act, and talk. I found out at least that there may be one coming in resin in the not too distant future, which means that someone may already have a data package, or a good start on it.

Andy


Robert kirkham
 

I've been reading through this thread - resin kits, necessary cars, etc. It makes me wonder about the breakdown of a manufacturer's costs. For a manufacturer of injection molded styrene cars, how much is spent developing CAD drawings in HO scale - would a manufacturer be appreciative of well done drawings if a hobbyist generated them and handed them over gratis?

While I'm not claiming the ability to create such drawings, I wonder what it would take to be able to produce something useful?

For a few months I've been messing around with scale 3D drawings of prototype cars I've measured. I've sent the drawings to Shapeways to generate HO parts. I'm not really keen on what I get back - still too course resolution for a lot of modelling needs, although there is potential. But it makes me wonder - if I have fun creating drawings for that limited purpose, would they be of value to a manufacturer? Or puting it another way - where would they have to be different to be useful to a manufacturer? For example, if I knew more about draft angles, I could build them in. I'm sure there are other technical requirements I've no competence to even assess.

But it makes me wonder - would useful CAD drawings substantially reduce a manufacturer's costs and make some projects more viable?
Rob Kirkham



--------------------------------------------------
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@signaturepress.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:45 PM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Necessary Freight cars

Jack Burgess wrote:
But to make our requests more attractive, it might be helpful to
provide a background summary on those cars which receive the most
votes (how many prototypes were built, how many railroads ran them)
and sources of prototype information for them...
Jack (and Richard Hendrickson) make a good point: most
manufacturers are far more interested in a good data package than in
some poll of self-selected respondents. And repeatedly whining to them
about some item you want produced is generally COUNTERproductive,
according to people I've talked to.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Bruce Smith
 

On Apr 13, 2011, at 11:36 PM, Andy Harman wrote:

At 10:53 PM 4/13/2011 -0500, you wrote:
A solid data package will go a long way to advance the
possibility of a
model being produced.
No doubt, but not all of us are employed in model RR R&D, nor
retired and
mobile to go travel to Roanoke and pull erection drawings, or chase
down
survivors in museums and measure them and photograph every detail.
And yet, somehow, some of us still manage to put together information
for manufacturers, review their drawings and test shots AND get some
modeling of our done too... It is, in reality, a matter of
priorities that you set for yourself, and the efficient use of your
time.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
__
/ &#92;
__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________
|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |
| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
|/_____________________________&#92;|_|________________________________|
| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0


Andy Harman
 

On Thu, 14 Apr 2011 08:13:01 -0500, Bruce Smith wrote

And yet, somehow, some of us still manage to put together information
for manufacturers, review their drawings and test shots AND get some
modeling of our done too... It is, in reality, a matter of
priorities that you set for yourself, and the efficient use of your
time.
Doing research is also a skill in and of itself. There's more to it than just grabbing
a camera and note pad and heading out with a full tank of gas. It requires some
practice and some intuition, as well as patience and persistence. In terms of
priorities, it's not so much about doing the deed but having to learn a whole new set of
skills. Or, I can do anything I want in my life, but I can't do everything I want.
2011 may go down as the year Andy started his layout. I don't want it to be the year
Andy spent all his vacation time chasing H10 data for a car that didn't get made, while
his basement is still an unfinished concrete cavern of unbuilt kits. Perhaps if I do my
own job, by the time I have that Gibson-Osborn coal connection built, someone will have
some H10s for me to put on it. I'd certainly accept them - and pay for them - in RTR
form if they are of Tangent or EXR quality (EXR done right, not their shakey-box). In
the mean time, it costs me nothing to keep mentioning it, although I'll probably get
more interest on the BBFCL and MFCL.

Andy


Schuyler Larrabee
 

From: Andy Harman


A solid data package will go a long way to advance the possibility of a
model being produced.
No doubt, but not all of us are employed in model RR R&D, nor retired and
mobile to go travel to Roanoke and pull erection drawings, or chase down
survivors in museums and measure them and photograph every detail.

Andy, you don't have to do that.

I managed to create drawings of the two most modern classes of 0-6-0
switchers the ERIE had. I began the project working with a general
arrangement drawing I got many years ago from the California State Railroad
Museum. When I got that, I also asked if they had a list of other drawings
that might be available. I got a package of 11x17 photocopies of pages in a
ledger book, listing all the drawings that were in the Lima Fire File that
they have. A fire file, for those who might not know, was a duplicate set
of drawings kept "somewhere else" in case of a fire at the main plant. Much
the same as you might keep a backup of your hard drive at your best friend's
house (suitably password protected, of course!). Eventually, I cut and
pasted the various copies together to get a reasonably legible list of the
overall set of drawings. I called and asked if they actually had all these
hundreds of drawings. "Well, we have the vast majority of them."

Now, I started these drawings because I was thinking of scratch-building
one, and the absolutely most expeditious way for me to make an error is to
use math, and the idea of drawing the plans to HO scale was a "forget it"
proposition. But with CAD, I could draw them at full size, then reduce them
to 1/87th of the original size to get HO scale versions of the drawings. So
I began, and ordered a lot of other drawings from CSRRM. Amazing stuff.
One interesting thing was that during the course of the project, I realized
that the original drawing contained an error, which had been "corrected" by
changing a couple of dimensions, but not redrawing the drawing. With CAD,
this was a relatively simple thing to fix. Therefore, I believe my drawings
to be more accurate than Lima's!

But as time went on I began to realize I was missing some critical drawings.
The tender tank, for instance. The headlight. Valve gear. And somewhere
along the line, the drawings themselves became the project, not the building
of the model. But little by little, I began to find these other drawings in
other archives, SMU, Alco in Schenectady, a couple of private collections,
and so on. And of course, I had about 60 or so photos to work with. Some
of them were pretty much square-on shots, and I could scan them right into
the drawings and size them so I could draw right on top of the image.

Here's the point: I never got out of this chair I'm sitting in right now to
make these drawings. I never got out of this chair and onto the work table
stool to build the models, either, but that's another story. Building these
is in the plans, so to speak. But all the information I needed I found in
archives where the staff would copy them and send them to me, would answer
questions, would suggest other places to look. You don't have to wander off
to find some real beast and measure it. (Though I have done that trip too,
about freezing my uh-HUH! off in the snow in the D&H yard in Oneonta NY one
winter day getting up close and personal with an ex-EL caboose.) If you
want to create the drawings you can find the information, more, or sometimes
less, easily, but you can find it. I have two other projects I'm doing
more-or-less the same thing with now, one a box cab, another a cute little
track inspection car. By asking around, I found drawings for both of them.

The drawings and an article I wrote about the locomotives were published in
the ELHS "The Diamond."

SGL





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