The Foobie File

Re: The Foobie File

Postby milwrd1 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:35 pm

areibel wrote: It's not prototypically correct. OK, but to make a stink about it for nothing, well, that's beating one of the many dead horses in TT. If it fits your era, buy one and fix it! Sand down the roof details and add your own. Or replace the roof. It beats building the whole thing from scratch. If you think it's too bad, or too modern, or too old, or whatever just don't buy one!
It takes all kinds, and TT has them, just like any other scale.


I agree with the above. Buy one and fix it :!: :!: That includes making or learning to make the appropriate lettering or decals for the desired roadname(s). Look at the decals jp has made available recently. I believe we discourage manufacturers (cottage or individual manufactures) when items are critized when the item is not 100% prototypically correct. We certainly can provide feedback on the new products, hoping that the feedback does produce a more prototypical future item. Yes, we can always ask the question "why was the incorrect roof put on that car?" For most modelers on this forum, adding the correct roof to the Railbox car should not be an impossible task. It surely beats building the whole thing from scratch. Buy one and fix it! TT is the builders scale after all, isn't it :?: :?:
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby ctxmf74 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:48 pm

"Why make it wrong on purpose?"

I'm not saying make it wrong on purpose, I'm saying that most guys will still buy it if it looks plausible and comes painted in a scheme they like. They don't want to become expert on number of corrugations of dreadnaught ends or number of side panels in a 3 bay hopper. They buy the stuff and run it and don't sweat the details. So yes we should strive for as realistically built cars as possible but also keep in mind that most cars will be sold to someone who doesn't know if they are correct for a specific day and location and who doesn't care. Take the Bone valley hoppers at Shapeways, they are a Florida car but if they were ready to run in UP paint he could sell lots of them to guys who just want a nice looking hopper to run. I have a Maisto hopper converted to TT gauge, don't know anything about it's correctness but it looks good in a train running by.....DaveB
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby Marquette » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:02 pm

milwrd1 wrote:I agree with the above. Buy one and fix it :!: :!: That includes making or learning to make the appropriate lettering or decals for the desired roadname(s). Look at the decals jp has made available recently. I believe we discourage manufacturers (cottage or individual manufactures) when items are critized when the item is not 100% prototypically correct.


Nobody said 100%. What's being said is, do your best to make it as accurate as possible.

We certainly can provide feedback on the new products, hoping that the feedback does produce a more prototypical future item.


Thing is most (well, the big guys anyways, though also applicable to some of the "cottage" types too, using the airplane world as the example) don't care if they know they'll sell it anyways. Why put in extra effort if they know they'll get your money anyways? I discourage a manufacturer from producing thigns if I point out glaring errors? Well, the manufacturer discourages me from buying their product if they don't put a little bit of effort into getting it reasonable.

As I said in another thread, I cannot afford to buy everything just because it is made. Nor do I really *want* to buy something that doesn't interest me (and for the most part, post-1970 equipment bores me). I have to choose carefully what I spend on, alas... and what that translates to is that if a model is blatantly wrong, I won't buy it because *I* know it is blatantly wrong.

Yes, we can always ask the question "why was the incorrect roof put on that car?" For most modelers on this forum, adding the correct roof to the Railbox car should not be an impossible task. It surely beats building the whole thing from scratch. Buy one and fix it! TT is the builders scale after all, isn't it :?: :?:


True. But if for the price I could scratchbuild several different things, and if the kitbash would entail as much work as scratchbuilding it, why would I buy it? Where is the incentive for me?

ctxmf74 wrote:"Why make it wrong on purpose?"

I'm not saying make it wrong on purpose, I'm saying that most guys will still buy it if it looks plausible and comes painted in a scheme they like. They don't want to become expert on number of corrugations of dreadnaught ends or number of side panels in a 3 bay hopper. They buy the stuff and run it and don't sweat the details. So yes we should strive for as realistically built cars as possible but also keep in mind that most cars will be sold to someone who doesn't know if they are correct for a specific day and location and who doesn't care. Take the Bone valley hoppers at Shapeways, they are a Florida car but if they were ready to run in UP paint he could sell lots of them to guys who just want a nice looking hopper to run. I have a Maisto hopper converted to TT gauge, don't know anything about it's correctness but it looks good in a train running by.....DaveB


Perfect - then there's only one way to make it a win-win scenario: make it right. Make it right, you'll get two peoples' money. Make it not right, you'll only make half the money.

This is kindergarten-level math: 1+1=2.
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:53 am

The math is right but the numbers are not. Make it wrong and you'll get 95 people's money. Make it right and you'll get 5 more. Those extra 5 usually don't justify the extra time and money - diminishing returns on investment.

There are specialist companies dedicated to those 5 people. And their products are naturally more expensive.

Someone above mentioned designers who don't care for trains or the correctness of what they're designing. It's unfortunate but that's life.
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby ctxmf74 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:58 am

"then there's only one way to make it a win-win scenario: make it right. Make it right, you'll get two peoples' money. Make it not right, you'll only make half the money."

If you can make it right but not cost much more than making it wrong that's the way to go, but if additional details and complex construction price it out of the mainstream buyer's price range then you'll lose sales. Many thousands more Athearn blue box cars have been sold than Westerfield kits over the years. and before the HO plastic cars Athearn sold thousands and thousands of O scale metal boxcars all identical except for being painted for various roads all around the nation without regard to correctness. The metal O scale cars are about 70 years old and still running on most O layout today despite not being state of the art or prototypically correct. .....DaveB
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby Marquette » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:33 am

Comparing Athearn blue box to Westerfield kits is comparing apples to astronauts.

Another way to put it.

Just because other scales did it doesn't mean we have to do it.

And nowhere did I say that we need additional details and complex construction *at all*. I said, *accuracy*, which means, getting the basic things right - roof design, doors, ends, dimensions. Which are all things you need to do anyways if you want to produce something... so may as well do it right.

Is Gold Coast's 1937 boxcar out of the mainstream buyer's price range? *THAT* is the sort of accuracy I've been going on about. That model is quite accurate for those 1937 AAR cars that incorporated the design features the model has.

I don't know what sort of work copying that MDC car entails, but if you're going to do that work anyways and are insistent on copying a model from another scale, why not get a model from that other scale that is generally accepted as being reasonably accurate?
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:56 am

Marquette wrote:.....*accuracy*, which means, getting the basic things right - roof design, doors, ends, dimensions....


I fully agree with this.

The point though is that most people don't know (probably don't care) about those things. Therefore manufacturers can produce inaccurate stuff.

I'm not at all saying this is how we should do things. I'm pointing out why that's the industry "standard".
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby Marquette » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:08 am

Okay, I get that it is the "standard". All I'm saying is that since we have no "standard" - or put another way, we are defining that standard as we go - we really should endeavour to avoid "foobies" if at all possible. And nowadays, with the internet, research for manufacturers is easy... and possibly even free. All they need to do is put out a thing: "Okay, we want to do this and this boxcar - who can supply info?" and then of those 100 potential customers you mentioned, the 5 who want it accurate will (very likely, since they've been given the opportunity!) provide said info, and an accurate model can be made for no extra effort or cost.
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Re: The Foobie File

Postby krokodil » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:01 am

Marquette wrote:And nowadays, with the internet, research for manufacturers is easy... and possibly even free. All they need to do is put out a thing: "Okay, we want to do this and this boxcar - who can supply info?" and then of those 100 potential customers you mentioned, the 5 who want it accurate will (very likely, since they've been given the opportunity!) provide said info, and an accurate model can be made for no extra effort or cost.


Unfortunately the industrial environment is very far from such process. Even the smallest manufacturers had to introduce different internal procedures ( sometimes I do not know why - it just happens - :wtf: ), what should "improve" the production and sales results. In the same time it makes everything very complicated and slow.
Yes, the designer has all possibilities to find information about the model ( especially about a modern vehicle), on the other hand he has to start very complex internal processes to get all permissions ( every decision will be analyzed financially, from point of resources, what will delay the process). These processes are very slow and require personal engagement ( very often pops up the question: why shall I do it?) and this kills many improvements in modern production ( not only in model railways, but also in electronics or car industry). From one side, we have many excellent products, on the other side you can find even in top ( most expensive) products critical ( cheap :wall: ) details which were perfectly solved many decades ago.... :boohoo:
Sometimes I have a feeling, that nobody really cares what is going to the shop shelves, it should make just money. Some companies will spend millions for advertisment, but will save every cents from the improvement of their expensive products.
Recently I had such experience with a high-end video camera, where the simple battery replacement resets all prior settings, incl. a clock and date...

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Re: The Foobie File

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:24 am

krokodil wrote:nobody really cares what is going to the shop shelves, it should make just money. Some companies will spend millions for advertisment, but will save every cents from the improvement of their expensive products.


That's it! :thumbup:
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