Model Railroad ethics

arbomambo Feb 26, 2019

  1. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    Brokemoto - exactly why I posted what I did. I do not want credit for some awesome painted models or super detailed models that I did not do. I have a bunch of locomotives form Scott Holwick that are just jaw dropping, and I am never tempted to enter any sort competition because everyone that knows me, like you said, knows I am not any kind of super detailer. I will go so far as to say I have an airbrush, but I have no idea how to use it.

    My strengths are in more metal activities of the hobby like my post in the DCC thread on the Zimo decoders, or in the information I sent to BarstowRick for his website on wiring and a few other DCC subjects.
    mtntrainman and BarstowRick like this.
  2. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

    I'm responding, specifically, to the part of this quote about cash prizes not being very large in this hobby.
    I'm not sure what it's been like in other contests before, but the contest prizes we're soliciting sponsorships and donations for are quite expensive in my personal opinion.
    They range from a brand new Scale Trains locomotive (WITH DCC and sound), on the low end, to a complete brand new Kato Olympian Hiawatha passenger car set WITH the FP7-F7B-FP7 that not considered sufficiently expensive?
    I recall overhearing this individual 'lamenting' his module (built by another) being 'down for repairs' to its animation (being fixed by the person who built it) and not being available for a layout in a train show that was having contests, because he would not be able to win any more awards and prizes...
    The module in question is not a particularly good example of modeling (or even decent modeling) but the subject matter, coupled with the animation make it a crowd pleaser, which, personally I love and will always support! Regardless of the modeling or subject matter, I have no issue with the module being judged and awarded prizes in a module contest. Again, that is NOT the issue I have. As I have maintained, contest judging is subjective, and besides, I don't participate in the contests, but I feel for the others that do.
    The issue I have is the individual continuing to use a module, not built by him, not maintained by him, but simply purchased by him, in order to win significant prizes in various module contests, sponsored at various regional train shows. all the while, never thanking, or even acknowledging the builder, in subsequent photos or press about the contest and awards, but allowing the judges, public, etc to believe that it is his in all aspects.
    In my opinion, that is morally and ethically WRONG! And, from this point forward, in our official contests, it will be made clear, that all modules, entered in these contests and open to judging will be built by the owners, or individuals showing the module (sometimes modules are entered by proxy). In that case, awards will be mailed to the builder; if this is not acceptable then the module will be disqualified from the judging.
    Again, I have ZERO issue with the judging, or the quality of the judging...a poorly modeled crowd pleaser may win over an incredibly detailed gorgeously-modeled module...that's the way of things, and, interestingly, it also helps to include everyone involved. I have no issue with that, but, again, I believe it is completely unethical to 'cheat' the system by buying a module and using it to win prizes for yourself, all the well keeping it well hidden that the module was not built by them.
    When we do announce, in preparations for these shows, the new rules, I'm very sure that the folks you mentioned in the quote above- the people with whom they associate, the people that know the work is not his, will have no problem with the new contest rules...
    I'll be very interested to see/hear the reaction of the person(s) this affects directly.
    Onizukachan, BarstowRick and MK like this.
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    I share some of the above with Dave.

    Yes, I had a website. I hope to get it back-up by this time next year. Sigh!

    The beauty of WAS :sick::coffee::mad: (as in past tense) starting with the cover page (a train station built by Greg McGinnis) most of the content in the posts, are not mine. They belong to a wide variety of model railroaders in the hobby in the form of Video How To's. With proper recognition and credits given with reagard to the presenters. You'll find full links to some of the finer modeler's in the hobby. Including Dave's, DCE Sharkman's DCC contributions. I do share my thoughts and some pictorial How-To's. You can either adopt and use them or smuggly thumb your nose at them. That would be your choice and has nothing to do with ethics. I did say? The smug stuff has nothing to do with ethic's. :(:confused::cool:

    We should all guard the craftsmanship of others and give proper credit for work done. I'd rather tell you, "No, I didn't build that," However, I did modify it by putting in new windows and aging the paint job a little. Maybe change the wording on the station header or added some interior. Take claim for what's mine and not yours. That would be ethical. :censored::cautious::coffee::rolleyes::cool:
  4. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    I never liked the idea of modeling contests, I thought the concept was handled poorly. While contests are intended to show off modeling skills, many times it is handled like “I am a modeling god”, you will never match up. The perfect prize would be year-to-year, showing the progression of your skill.
    gjslsffan and BarstowRick like this.
  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I have never entered anything into a subjective judging competition.
    I know my limitations and low end modeling abilities. I would never use someone elses talent and claim a prize for it

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
    gjslsffan likes this.
  6. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    The worst of which are the guys that won't share their techniques, such as with weathering. They're also typically the guys at shows or meets that act like they're A list celebrities.

    Then I ran into a guy that I consider to basically be an A list celebrity of the modeling world and a weathering "god" at a recent show. Couldn't have been a nicer, more humble guy who actually loved to share his techniques. I think he even gives clinics.
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter


    Is the original builder of the module aware of what the new owner is doing ???
  8. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    This is what I really like about Railroad Prototype Modeling meets. There are no prizes, there is little if any pretension, and I think everyone has a really good time. And this concept is growing. I heartily encourage checking one out, even though there's not much N Scale on display. (That could be changed...)
  9. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    That’s like my Overnight box cars. A good chunk I bought already weathered by another modeler... But some I bought new, and many of the weathered ones I partially de-weathered. Which ones are which? I absolutely can’t tell to be honest. The ones with paint peeling on the roofs are not my work. The rest, I have no idea.
    BarstowRick likes this.
  10. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    I would like to comment by saying I agree with many of you but especially Bruce's comment. Back in 2003 or 2004, can't remember exactly when, I had a module win "Best of Show" at the Oklahoma City Train Show. I did not even know anybody was judging modules but when I came in Sunday morning, for pancake breakfast, there was a plaque sitting on the module. Cash or gifts were not in the book back in the day.

    I did not build the module with the intent of entering any contest, it just happened. I built the module to enjoy the build and strictly for my pleasure. Now, if the public viewing the scene got a chuckle, grin, or laugh and gracious comments, that was really reward enough for me.

    If there are organized contests then the entries should be restricted to include only modules or scenes built by the owner/entrant. Just my thoughts. BTW that module still exists today although never displayed anymore.


    Off my soapbox now, so have fun,
  11. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Carl, I really like what you did with that
    Carl, I really like what you did with this module. I can see myself peering out the window of either house watching the trains go by. How awesome!

    For sure a seasonal modular and one that should be shown off.
  12. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Rick, 'preciate it.

    BarstowRick likes this.
  13. W Neal

    W Neal TrainBoard Member

    In my own recent case, I was awarded best of show for a layout that someone else 60% designed (as far as benchwork, trackplan, and even signage). Yet, it was my scenery work that helped win the award and it was my effort that brought the layout to the show. And further, I should mention that this was after a "Thanks, it was fun" message from my layout partner. So, in that case, I didn't feel that it was also his award, per se. Judge me how you will.
  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    I can design a layout for someone else but that doesn't make it mine.
    I can construct the bench-work and sub-roadbed and it still doesn't make it mine.
    I can lay road-bed and track and you guessed it.
    I can wire the dammed thing and I think you've caught on.

    Those were all favors for the owner of the module, home layout or whatever.
    All I'd ever want is a thank-you for the work I put in. Some mention of credit.
    And I've done that.
    Just don't expect me to do that anymore

    I'll be lucky to get my own back-up and running.
    Onizukachan likes this.
  15. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    Wish I was closer Rick. I know I wouldn’t mind exchanging some wiring etc skills for some hands on MRR practice and helping out!
    BarstowRick likes this.
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Richard M.,

    I could certainly use the help. A bit shy about asking guys and gals I don't know yet.

    The one guy I knew would help me get it back on it's legs, he and his family moved out of here headed for eastern locations. So, I'm back to figuring out how to get the legs back under it. It turned out heavier then I can handle. Thinking it will take two of us and some jacks to get the job done. Sigh!

    El Paso Texas. I drove through there 29 years ago on my trip back to California from Ohio. I liked what I saw of the place. Didn't like what I saw happening on the freeway at the time. Mexico was trying to reclaim what they thought was there land. So traffic was being rerouted off the freeway through El Paso. Loads of train watching.

    I discuss the topic of Operations Night on It's not up right now. My son-in-law is the original procrastinator. It was a gift from him and it will be up to him to get all the security checks needed to get it back-up. They've got their hand out. I'm still thinking we've been hi-jacked with the idea being a ransom to be paid, to get it back up. Hope I'm wrong about this.

    Actually it's very simple. Get yourself a scanner, tune it to the local Rails Chatter. Sit track-side and watch what they go through to switch out a industry, then go to a small yard and again take notes on how they switch it. What you won't know is what car goes where. Easy to figure out on your own layout.

    Some guys and gals use the card system for each car, a manifest list for the whole train. One fella I know has recreated his former job with the railroad. He has it all computerized. That's okay but to much like work for me. I use a switch list primarily and a scheduled train board for run through's. Lot's of fun if you have a hidden staging yard to work from.

    I could go on here but then we are switching gears here into a different discussion. That wouldn't be ethical. :eek:o_O:oops:;)

    More later.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    Onizukachan likes this.
  17. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

    Would something like this help? Looks like they have a location in Boise. Don't know what they would charge, but it doesn't cost much to ask.
  18. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    Wow!! That's the coolest module I've ever seen! (I realize this is an aging post, but I haven't been in this thread for a while)
    Carl Sowell likes this.
  19. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Jack for the very kind words.

    I built the module to "learn" about LEDs and fiber optics. There is over 1,200 feet of fibers. I used 3 diameters, especially for the night sky. As I look at it today, I think I over did the #'s of stars a tad. I used 0ne each red, green, & yellow LEDs to illuminate the house and the mobile home. The sky is lit with two LEDs only. I had a great deal of fun and put a lot of work drilling some very small diameter holes to slip the fibers into. All of my other NTrak modules are gone but I still have this one and set it up occasionally.

    As always, have fun,
    Calzephyr likes this.
  20. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I think the module looks great as it is! Anyone criticizing the number of stars should refer to Vincent Van Gogh's classic painting "Stary Night"... while listening to Don McLean's tribute song 'Vincent' in the background.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk

Share This Page