PRR steam rant

Inkaneer May 14, 2012

  1. kornellred

    kornellred TrainBoard Member

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    drasko: Inkaneer gave everyone fair warning in the original post about this being a PRR steam rant. Not everyone in N Scale is interested in PRR steam. I am - but I am also interested in everything else, including Santa Fe. Thirteen years before you were born, I was aboard the combined Super Chief/El Capitan having dinner in the high-level dining car at 90 miles per hour across Kansas. I care about what Santa Fe models are available in N Scale. And I'll bet steam locomotive enthusiasts who work in N Scale also care about what PRR steam models are available, at least peripherally.
     
  2. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

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    AMEN!!......................
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Folks-

    There is absolutely no reason anyone needs to get grumpy here. If the topic is of no interest, just skip to another. It's just that simple.

    BoxcabE50
    TrainBoard Administrator
     
  4. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

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    Not grumpy...................

    Not grumpy........just tired of always hearing the manufacturers barked at and belittled because they don't make every little thing, in every little variety that every little body wants.
    I think, in this economy, we should be happy with what we are getting, not endlessly belly-aching about what we don't.
    I agree with some of the previous posts, if you can't get it.......build it!! If you can't buy it, build it, or have someone else build it, give it up already.
    These endless "rips" on the manufacturers get old, and I wouldn't blame them a bit if they just turned a blind eye to it and gave up on "N" altogether.........it would aggravate me if I ran a company trying to please everyone and had to always read this stuff.
     
  5. drasko

    drasko TrainBoard Member

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    Im glad you got to ride it. I take a different stand as i DO build what i want and im sure if you look around, you can find some of my models. Everyone wants to whine instead of trying to MODEL what they want. This is MODEL railroading after all.
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Discussions of this type, tiresome or not, are allowed.

    Build it if you wish. Enjoyment of model railroading is to any level a person chooses. Whether R-T-R, or completely scratched.

    As I stated previously, if a topic doesn't suit, just skip it. If there is a real concern, contact TrainBoard Staff and discuss it.

    Boxcab E50
    TrainBoard Administrator
     
  7. drasko

    drasko TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly, if the models arent there, try to do something constructive instead of get on here just to cry. Contact a mfg maybe? I mean, we know the guys been modeling something so hows about you just keep doing what youre doing and wait quietly like everyone else to see what comes out. Hell at least you guys had a good PRR model announced! Others havent even gotten that glimmer of hope! I mean really, its not like i have my plastic mass produced and affordable ATSF northerns, 3800 class 2-10-2s, and others have their (insert road and loco of choice) sitting on their layouts right? Just be quiet and wait for new models like the rest of us and keep the butt hurt to yourself.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I suggested this over forty posts ago.

    Please let Staff determine when things have reached this point.

    BoxcabE50
    TrainBoard Administrator
     
  9. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I was having trouble going to sleep. However, after reading through about 2/3rds of this thread....*Yawn...* I model the UP through 1956, and I'm pretty happy...

    I think I'm goin' t'bed.

    G'night!

    Bob Gilmore
     
  10. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have no problem with the original post, nor the civil comments made thereafter on both sides. Personally, I remember Aurora model trains and early Atlas stuff and that choice was non existent. I also realize that people in business will manufacture what sells. Too much variety and a lot of stock is going to be sitting in a shipping container or in someone's warehouse.

    A possible solution, but it might cost a bit more-

    I THINK Model Power came out with (I don't remember which) either a 4-4-0 or something else really small and old? My memory fades. If MP didn't, it could be done anyway. Include different smokestacks and one or two other variants in the box. How about including the same for several roads to be road specific and several decal sheets road specific and a painted but undecorated engine and tender? Other custom parts can be purchased from a few sources to customize the engines. You want a correct PRR Mikado or such? With minimal modeling skills and some decal work, it can easily be done. This just might help solve the larger problem of unsold inventory.
     
  11. Dave Vollmer

    Dave Vollmer TrainBoard Member

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    I have 5 prototypical PRR steam locomotives; all but one required significant kitbashing or other work to get to where they could contribute to my layout. If RTR PRR steam were made, I would most certainly buy. However, I wanted it badly enough not to wait. I'm a better modeler because of it.

    I argue that Shapeways and other 3-D rendering capabilities that are evolving will make PRR (and every other unique) steam so much easier in the several months-to-years timeline. Imagine taking PRR Juniata Shops plans and converting them to 3-D renderings of boiler and tender shell replacements for existing mechanisms. Fo me personally, the only thing limiting me from doing this is the learning curve for 3-D rendering software.

    You guys have already seen the Shapeways PRR E44 and other Shapeways steam. Imagine a PRR H10sb Shapeways shell for the Bachmann 2-8-0, or perhaps a PRR M1a shell for a heavy Bachmann 4-8-2... While an SPF would know the differences in driver spacing or valve gear, the majority of us would be able to get over that and enjoy the overall impression, such as double-headed K4s on the point of a string of Fleet of Modernism sleepers.

    The PRR steam situation will improve dramatically, I predict, but not from traditional manufacturers. 3-D printing to the rescue!

     
  12. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    Being that the tough part of the model construction is making the chassis. Have you guys cross referenced the ones available in Europe or Japan?
     
  13. muktown128

    muktown128 TrainBoard Member

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    I totally agree. As much as I would like Kato, Bachmann or Atlas to offer PRR steam, I am expecting it to come sooner as a 3D printed shell along the lines of what mmyers05 is doing through Shapeways and then put it on an existing mechanism I was also hoping that Matt @ FVM might give PRR steam a shot since he got such a positive response for the Hiawatha set.

    Scott
     
  14. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think the last few posts have got around to hitting on the solution to some missing steamers. And the recent developments in Shapeways has added another dimension. I possess a copy of the N Scale Steam Locomotive Handbook probably a little outdated by now, 1999 edition, but still useful that was put out by Ntrak. Beside improving some of the lousy runners it also covers bashing some steam that isn't made, from existing bodies and mechanisms that are, or were available. Just looking at it now there was at least one Pennsy steamer shown that started with a Trix chassis and shell I believe a G5 4-6-0.

    And faced with the reality that I probably wasn't going to get any GN steam, other than the couple of conventional boilered steamers made, I sat down and fabricated a number of my own Belpaire boilers to go on existing mechanisms. Thus I have ended up with a S-1 4-8-4, a P-1 4-8-2, a O8 2-8-2, a couple of H-5 4-6-2s, and a 2-6-8-0. I'll probably do one more, a 2-10-2 but I'm holding off to see if Bmann makes a heavy version. So if one is not a rivet counter and a total perfectionist, it is possible to have some of the steam one wants with the unique look of the road modeled. A lot of life is about taking some compromises and being happy that you got close enough.

    So I think Shapeways probably offers the best option to come up with some unique road specific boilers that can be tweaked slightly in dimensions to fit an existing chassis. The only problem is to come up with the chassis to put under the shell. I've only done five major chassis modifications in my long time modeling. Three were sucessfull two were a disaster. Most of the others only involved adding leading or trailing trucks, some which were fabricated, and there are how to articles out there to do that. Kato and in turn MicroAce make a number of steamers that can give the wheel arrangements for any number of locos, and there is Marklin. One just has to realize that they are not going to be able to exactly match the wheel diameters, but if one is not a rivet counter, a scaled out 60 inch driver is going to be close enough to a 63 inch driver. And a few inches shorter or longer is not that noticable in N scale.

    So I think the future is probably going to be with Shapeways, or something similar to it. Take the time to research what will work mechanism wise, then get together the vital statistics on the loco, and find somebody with the skills to do what one needs in the way of a body shell and maybe tender shell. Coming up with a 6-4-4-6 body is not the issue but coming up with a mechanism is. And that is not an impossibilty if one bashes some mechanisms together. I've done it with a limited shop, and the folks at Ntrak have done it so it can be done.
     
  15. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    My stumbling block is not usually the chassis but the valve gear. European and Japanese equipment looks so much different than US valve gear and cylinders. Even in US prototypes there are issues with right chassis, wrong valve gear. Valve gear is much more outwardly visible than a few inches here or there in wheelbase or driver diameter.
     
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I read most of the (as of now) 7 pages of replies.

    Yadda...yadda...yada...blah...blah...blah...etc...etc....etc.

    Short and to the point >>>

    N Scale is the Red Headed Stepchild of model railroading.

    We wont/dont except that and we soldier on...but it is what it is !!

    End of story....
     
  17. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

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    No. It's not the "End of story".

    I agree about Shapeways and other 3D printing and rapid prototyping services. I would like to add that the learning curve for 3D modeling software isn't that steep. I went from zero knowledge about Sketchup (a free 3D drawing program) to a viable 3D model of my first product to be introduced shortly, in less than 12 hours. Unfortunately, I started at 8:00PM and ended as it was time for breakfast! Truthfully, it took me longer to travel to find the prototype, take photos, then scale my photos than it did to do the actual Sketchup rendering.

    No, I am not going to divulge what I am working on at this time. I still have to see what my test prints look like before moving on to the next step.

    Although there are agencies that print higher quality than Shapeways does (also more expensively), I am not aware of any that offer to produce, sell and ship your product so that you have zero inventory to worry about or pay taxes on.

    The major problem I have with Shapeways is them not allowing you (the customer) to specify what orientation is required to print your model so that maximum quality is always maintained. Printing in the incorrect orientation will literally ruin an otherwise great model! And, it is at the complete whim of their subcontractors how they decide to orient your printing.

    Rumor has it that Shapeways is reconsidering this policy. I hope the rumor is correct.

    As for PRR steam...I really don't care, since I have absolutely no interest in it whatsoever. BUT, if a new process comes along (like Shapeways) that revolutionizes the model designing and manufacturing process (which 3D printing does) and eventually allows metallic parts to be printed economically and accurately (3D printing is not quite there yet) which will allow much of the mechanisms to be economically manufactured to get the correct driver styles and heights as well as spacing, with printed metallic rods and valve gear too, then watch out! The whole concept of "limited runs" takes on a whole new meaning because it will transform model manufacturing into an "on demand" delivery system, with just about anything available that someone has taken the time to render into a 3D model! WOW!!...I'll be first in line for some kits of UP 9000's, or MacArthurs!

    Okay...it'll be a while (if ever) that 3D printing totally eliminates ALL machining or etching of mechanical and/or detail parts. Items such as axles and driver tires will probably have to be machined for a long while. See-thru grills, perforated walkways and running boards will need to be etched for a while too. But, basic boiler shapes, domes, cabs, tender bodies, truck sideframes, underbody details, some add-on details such as bells, generators, whistles, marker lamps, water hatches, backheads, stanchions, number boards etc., etc., will be fairly easy to manufacture using 3D printing...especially when the resolution becomes better and more economical.

    Having ordered several N-scale products from Shapeways website, this process is already in its rudimentary stages. I believe it is a ball that will roll unstoppably through the hobby industry...with gathering inertia and speed, and if you want to get on this ball...NOW is the time to spend a few hours getting to know a 3D program that produces sufficient detail and the correct files for 3D printing. It will be time well spent!

    And, all you neglected SPF's will finally get your wishes.

    Those neglected SPF's who are impatient but not content to whine and wait for someone else to do the job...can start TODAY learning Sketchup and designing your own Pennsy steam to slap on available mechanisms. Hey...it's FREE, so why not?

    You will notice that I mentioned SPF's and Pennsy steam a couple of times, so this posting is not TOTALLY off topic!

    Cheers!
    Bob Gilmore
     
  18. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree that it does cause a problem with the old square steam chest on the early stuff that stayed there until the 50s in some cases. My way of working around that has been to research the locos, often finding one of a later build date that had a more modern steam cylinder arrangement. The slanted cylinders are also a problem. Of course my problem is a little more simplified in finding which parent of the road I model had a wheel arrangement that was similar to the model since about 90% of their steam was inherited or hand me down.
     
  19. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

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    I'll admit I didn't read all of this thread (too much wall-o-text for me), but I want to add my 2ยข. First, I too saw the BLI announcements and couldn't help but think, "No fair, we haven't had ours yet." I still hold hope that we will one day. In the conversations that I've had with BLI, they seem interested in doing at least some of their PRR line in N, they're just concerned about how well it will sell. Seeing as they're treading into a somewhat unknown market, I can't say that I blame them.

    Second, the absence of a modern quality N Scale K4 is IMHO just ridiculous and one of the most conspicuous absences in the current N Scale market. If BLI, Bachmann, MTH, (and I'm sure that I'm missing others) can all make K4's for HO, there's got to be room for one manufacturer in N. I saw a comment about lack of traction. To that, I say:
    [video=youtube_share;tvuABS6WWWM]http://youtu.be/tvuABS6WWWM[/video]

    Finally, I strongly recommend to everyone that if you want to see a specific model, contact the manufacturers directly and ask for it. Going out of your way and taking the time to contact them is a very powerful way to get the point across.
     
  20. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    "Finally, I strongly recommend to everyone that if you want to see a specific model, contact the manufacturers directly and ask for it. Going out of your way and taking the time to contact them is a very powerful way to get the point across.[/QUOTE]"

    And most definitely thank them for what they do produce!!:cool:
     

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