For many decades I have been quite outspoken in lobbying for less aggressive model freight car wood siding gaps in the Single and Double Sheathed car sides. Our very own Brian Leppert, who was the tool maker for the HO MDC 50' SS auto box car back in the Carson City days of Roundhouse, tells how he was instructed to make the car side's grooves "very noticeable", which Brian dutifully followed.
I know a very nice guy who is a major contributor to resin car production whom years ago was unapologetic in sticking to Evergreen factory scribed siding for the house car sides being made back then. In the years following he now makes some of the best siding for HO freight cars and he is justifillably proud of those results.
I show some examples of DS sides, both real and model.
This is probably the latest DS tooling in HO.
Model Single sheathed cars have seen huge improvements in the last few decades, but I would like to see even further gains.
Even in a tired and old SS car, the wood siding does not grow excessively apart.
This was called to our attention last week in the STMFC and though extreme, it isn't excessive.
This SS side was a quite common condition for SS car sides and you will notice some areas the joints are missing to view.
Fresh paint on an older car and yet the boards still fit close together.
I am certainly glad to see movement towards nicer boards on our wood sided cars. Let us not stop yet.
-Andy Carlson, Ojai CA
I talked with one of these resin makers not too terribly long ago (certainly more recently than 10 years ago) at CCB and this person told me that if you can't see the boards from more than several feet, people don't purchase them. Admittedly neither this person or their firm was at CCB or Chicagoland this last year so there may have been some incremental progress, however that is what I am talking about. We seem to be in conflict here with my first hand conversation and your first hand perceptions.
Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN
Indeed. Just because something is dead-nuts-on doesn't mean it will look right on our RRs. We can match paint to a specific car, but as soon as it gets on the layout, the color may look wrong. Just because board spacing is exactly right, it effect may be lost when viewing it at arm's length. Even more, it the car is 10 feet away, we don't notice much detail; when you're deeply engaged in operations, sometimes all you see is the road #.
Not to say we shouldn't go for perfection, but we must balance perfection against effect.