Aug 7, 2015
Still waiting for the ghosts of shays in N scale......
Aren't the Atlas Shays supposed to be here soon?
I think we are all suffering from a short attention span. If there is nothing new introduced for 3-5 days people start asking questions.
They have been backing up the date for 6 years now. There newest time frame is now 1st quarter of next year. I will believe it when i see them at Fifers. Till then, I don't believe it whatever they say!
I'd like to see SD60E's since NS has at least three potential paint schemes they can replicate. Not sure if they would sell like heritage units, but I'd buy em.
It occurs to me that one of the challenges intrinsic in this process, whether we're talking steam, diesels, electrics, or even rolling stock, is choosing road names that have the most draw from the hobbyist. Particularly in the case of steam, certain frames, such as the Consolidation or Mikado, were produced for decades. Conveniently, a majority of the roads used the Rollling Stone Universal Paint Scheme (Painted Black ) for their steam locomotives.
Why, then, wouldn't it be theoretically possible to release a Mikado or Northern, etc., with the decals and cosmetic details to model multiple roads at the discretion of the purchaser. It's UNDEC, but with regionally appropriate customizations, so that with a single purchase, I could decide whether to model the MoPac, UP, Rock, or ATSF, while a Gulf Coast modeler could choose betwteen CoG, L&A, IC... well, you get my point.
Of course, given my new reentry into the hobby, I'm sure that somewhere out there is a company offering this service as a stand-alone feature. But given the challenges of finding more than a handful of popular roads in any given configuration, UNDEC it seems will likely be my solution.
Chris: Your idea is valid and seems logical but let me give you the manufacturer's take... or at least one manufacturer's take.... it comes down to "how much proto detail is possible" as an add on part, how many "non proto specific features" will the market accept, how much modelling will people do and, of course, does it make economic sense for the manufacturer...?
Let's pick a steamer - hardest of the bunch.... you can make add on parts quite easily as a manufacturer and it isn't expensive at all. In fact, if it reduces assembly time and complexity then it's actually cost positive...but.... what parts can you make for this steamer that are going to be able to be applied to a base model that will make it road specific ? A pilot... maybe; if you're clever in design you could supply different pilots; cabs... hmmm.. now you're getting a bit tricky... tender shell.... well; yes, but now we're talking cost increase not decrease.... But what about domes.... often different and exactly how do you supply domes for the modeller to fit... you can't have a bunch of pin holes.... do the "eyeball" it and use glue (oh no; glue.... I can see the returns now....) Valve gear; cylinders, driver sets, rods... all of these would need to be standard, which brings me to the next point..
How much detail is enough for modellers..... maybe you and I would be happy with a proper pilot, cab and decals.... the next fellow... NOPE! Has to be 100% prototypical, so if the domes and valve gear aren't right, no sale.... then there's the other side of the coin.... I want to take it out of the box and run it; no modelling for me.... so he's not buying the "kit" either.... Diesel's are a bit easier but still they have enough variation in hand rails, pilots, fans and ports to cause some of the same issues.
Now maybe a box car kit would work; different doors, ends, roofs... but here's the rub; not only do we have the wide range of modellers to deal with and the large segment that won't touch a airbrush or bottle of CA but the company itself can make an economic case to say that they are better off offering only RTR models, a mixture of prototypical models (say a 40' boxcar with dreadnaught ends and an 8' door, decorated for the three roads that had them) and brightly painted "foobies" that satisfy the average modeller.... why cut into that market to satisfy what is admittedly a small segment of the whole...?
The problem comes down to the wide and varied expectations of modellers.... you have only to look at the new Bachmann K4 thread; the sound of the horn is game breaker for some..... that's fine and a valid point but how do you start to design and produce a product that must satisfy as wide a range of modellers as possible if that range is from RTR only to proto modeller..... it's very hard and that's why the approach you have suggested isn't catching on.
I am unable to comprehend what it is you are saying, as in your world I am still an infant (Born in '73 )
Nonetheless, you make a series of valid points. I recall seeing a thread somewhere about a conversion kit that GHQ released a few years back to replicate Pennsy's L1 Version of the Mike. It makes me think.
I have always been, in my heart, an advocate for heritage and history. I began my reemergence into the hobby a decade ago, while living in Colorado Springs, and my stepsons lived in La Junta. I wanted to model the La Junta Division yard on to Pueblo, because the kids traveled that route regularly. But I didn't want to recreate what they saw every day. Instead, my target was the merger that created the Burlington Northern, as I believed that they, as I was in my youth, would be intrigued by the flashy colors of the various diesels and rolling stock that came together, the Red & Silver of the Q, the bold greens of the BN, etc. Then we moved to Columbus, GA. My new prototype was Opelika, AL, where the Western Alabama Railway once met the Central of Georgia. The piece d'resistance was to be a steam-era "Man O'War" passenger train, with each car appropriately named and every piece painted in the silver and purple that screamed CoG in that era. A 3-year hiatus in central Florida had the SCL on my mind for a time, but when I finally escaped, it was at the expense of all of my MRR gear.
Now I am "home." I live a mere 31 miles from the west end of the branch line where I grew up. I want to pay homage to my father's childhood. The Plainville branch passed through my hometown, and I have researched the details down to the make and road number of both west-end freight locomotives. Passenger service continued along the lile from Nov 1928 through May 1958 via the "Jitney," a doodlebug.
When I started this journey a decade ago, finding models was easy, as the major lines involved were popular and commonplace. But as I move forward, I find an increasing difficulty in RTR fixes for my needs. It leads me to believe that, to a certain extent, "settling" is more common in this hobby than we'd like to admit. Not just prohibitions from the spouse about the kitchen sink doubling as a water feature complete with double-tracked suspension bridge, but in the identity of what we model. Not simply downsizing that 20-stall roundhouse to a 7 holer, or shrinking the 46 sidings in your prototype yard into 9, or even having to substitute motive power types because your prototype had all 18 of the U-27j diesels ever made, and nobody has ever modeled them, so you work off of a U-25. I'm referring to the desire to model, as an example, the Class II railroad that serviced the small town you were raised in during the 1960s. Track is track; structures and scenery can be adjusted to fit any need, but to be able to model a specific road requires some luck. Otherwise, your choices are to fictionalize the ownership (<poof> Speedbump, Minnesota is no longer on the St. Paul Southern, it's now a branch of the CNW or WC, etc.) or relocate.
I suppose this tl/dr manifesto is merely my way of expressing that, to myself and untold scores of others, there has to be a better way. I just wish I could a) figure out what it is, b) create an effective process to do so, and c) start up a company that will generate a really nice budget for expanding my layout.
That's exactly what I was hoping for, but I've been looking for a Thread on the N Scale side of the house here and doesn't appear as if any N Scalers from here went. Or they are still in the midst of the show as I type. One can only hope since I didn't go this year
Chris, You make some good points on recreating your favorite railroad era and the compromises. If you want to customize/scratch build, O and HO scales are much easier and have the components to support it. I find that N-scale works much better with heavier and larger locomotives, such as the larger diesels and steam locomotives. I got lucky as I like Union Pacific and UP and Santa Fe have always been the best supported in N scale. The advantages of N-scale are in long trains and impressive scenery.
ACS-64, Veterans P42, Shay, K4, Centipede, M1, Eurostar, RS-3, Not sure my budget can handle another release at this point!
That announcement list looks nice. I'm in for one of those P42 Veterans Locos. Excited about that.
I have to believe a veterans ACS64 is right behind that one!
Just spent an hour or so going through various pics from Portland. The availability of HO vs. N is enough to make me start considering jumping ship, despite the hit I'll be taking on operating capabilities.
and that is only locos. Rapido announced a new Baggage Express car (NSC CN prototype).
And a new run of Atlas SD60s are in stock! I'm debating a GM Demo.
Rapido's look great. Count me in for minimum one Amtrak Heritage baggage and the Bachmann 72' Heavyweights have my interest as well
Well, there is one that slipped through the cracks..
Athearn open sided bilevel autoracks.. http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/23530?page=3 About 1/2 the way down the page..
It is what it is and can't be no more.
That said, I'm shaking my heard over the new releases. Have you seen the prices? Aiiyeeyii!
Athearn's comment that they'd forgotten they had brought along the samples of the autorack cars speaks volumes about where N scale ranks among their priorities.