You know you have prototype-itis when...

bryan9 Sep 20, 2007

  1. bryan9

    bryan9 TrainBoard Member

    10. You just can't understand, for the life of you, why somebody would freelance a model railroad. You try -- but you just CAN'T. You even feel bad about this, but you still just CAN'T.

    9. You wouldn't run an RS-2 and a GP-30 on the same layout without making SURE (double-check this!) that such a thing could actually have transpired on the prototype.

    8. Having taken Econ 101, you can understand, intellectually, why model manufacturers bring out "Santa Fe" models of every mold in their possession, but on some level you regard this as an attack on your very soul.

    7. N-scale: Code 55 looks unprototypical. (Worst case: Code 40 looks unprototypical.)

    6. You take an interest, bordering on obsession, on flange size (replete with spontaneous, unwarranted invectives regarding something called "Pizza Cutters") that causes concern among friends and family.

    5. N scale MTL couplers seem hideously, distressingly huge.

    4. You can't finalize your track plan until you've obtained the road's 1929 ICC filings, which aren't available at your local library. (Actually, they're not available anywhere.)

    3. You can't proceed with your model railroad until you have obtained and read every available book pertaining to the subject, at a cost of $29,000.

    2. You can't operate your trains until you have obtained a copy of the road's rule book and employee timetable for the exact time and place of operation.

    1. In order to scenic your railroad correctly, you journey to the prototype's site, collect dirt and debris, and ship these home for installation on your pike.

    Ohmigod. I have a problem.


    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2007
  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    You've just finished decaling and detailing a piece of equipment as per your memory only to have the so called experts boo hoo it and you destroy the model.

    You got something there Bryan.
  3. Lark

    Lark TrainBoard Member

    My friend. You have a...

    ...problem. Others will come and lament with you. Try to coddle you thru this episode of your life. Some are planning interventions!

    I am a practical man.

    I say run with it!!!

    I actually happen to be a free-lancer. But take it from me, being on the other side. I undersdtand.

    Uh, when ya get to the point of trying to bring home a 1:1 GP-30 you happened to have found out back in "their" scarp heap and decided to tow it out with a helicopter without permission or paying cash and you're all honery and stuff- can you tell me what channel you'll been on. Take pics and video.

    We all want to know:)

    (Not that I thought about how to get a GG-1 bell home with me,
    tucked in my waistband :-O)

  4. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    - You didn't get that Pacific steamer because your road had engines with two sand domes.

    - You subscribe to a satellite imaging site so that you can get high definition imagery to see if the bridge is painted black or silver. Then you renew the next year just in case!

    - You have exacting XTrkCAD plans for your railroad's yard, but have no chance of ever building a 45' long yard, even in modules!

    - You have corresponded with the author of one of your railroad books, asking for clarification.
  5. Ottergoose

    Ottergoose TrainBoard Member

    Guilty as charged :tb-shocked:

    - You've got a contact with the prototype railroad, and have used it to obtain information on car types, paint schemes, operations, customers, tours of facilities for photographs...

    - At the end of a day of railfanning, you review your photos and find you have 10 pictures of covered hoppers for every locomotive you've photographed, and will meticulously add photos to an online database so other modelers can accurately weather their rolling stock

    - You pass on picking up rolling stock from your favorite railroad, because it didn't even exist in the period you've chosen to model

    - The sight of a modern loco without ditchlights fills you with rage

    - You're disappointed by the color of your loco's LED lights

    - You've negotiated a volume pricing discount with BLMA to upgrade your own personal equipment

    - You make your buddies ride a van to your operating sessions

    - You're still upset that setting up a functional hump yard is more trouble than it's worth

    - You're secretly disappointed by your friends who can't tell the difference between an ES44DC and a C44-9W

    - You can tell the difference between an ES44DC and a C44-9W

    - Your wife gets home from work and tells you that the train she waited for wasn't that interesting, just a couple of H2 BNSF engines pulling covered hoppers

    - You're annoyed at Kato for not producing Hi-Level cars in N, because you can't build an accurate model of the Heartland Flyer circa 1999-2007

    - You're secretly happy that the Heartland Flyer replaced its old hi-levels because now it's possible to run an accurate model of it

    - You've contacted a railcar manufacturer to obtain paint samples for color matching

    - You can no longer comprehend why anyone over the age of 10 still plays with trains that have 3 rail track, even though you did until you were 20

    - You're still waiting for Kato to produce a dash 9 with the correct number of windows for your prototype
  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    ...When you drag your best friend into the most demanding landscape in Colorado, hike miles into the bush, and pitch a tent next to the ROW, just to get te best first-light shots at a particular location...

    ...When you take a vacation, fly 800 miles from home, railfan a tough, rewarding, frustrating route, and cover a couple hundred miles of a favorite route; then you fly home so exhausted, exhilirated, and lusting for more...

    ...When you hike up a 2.2 mile long trail in waist deep snow, gaining 1200 feet of elevation just to catch 3 trains...

    ...When you have physically hiked about 90% of a 50 mile route thru the some of the most demanding topography on the planet, just to document a bunch of tunnel portals and logging thousands of shots for modeling reference later!
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Yes. I have a problem. Ha ha. Am making no attempts to change my behavior!


    Boxcab E50
  8. Sizemore

    Sizemore TrainBoard Supporter

    When you rebuild the same GP-35 pilot three times because you werent happy with one item or another....


    And then you're going to rebuild it again cause you cant stand the handrails or the walkways....
  9. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    -you get into a shouting match over the correct shade of red for Mandarin orange

    - you wish to heck at least ONE manufacturer would include nose-mounted Gyralites on their GP38-2s, or L-shaped windows on their SD45s

    - never, NEVER buy an extended- vision caboose in stock Frisco colors, realizing you must first rework all the windows before painting & decaling the shells.

    -Never allow any diesels out on the road without the proper Leslie airhorns, rotary beacons, plow pilots, etc.

    Sure makes Allen Mclelland's theory of "good enough" sound pretty inviting, if not so anal-retentive...... :D :D
  10. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have done this....I have a problem! ;):)
  11. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    When you try to rig an N-scale 1950s freighter completely, using 2-lb monofiliament.

  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, this is _one_ problem I don't have.
    Hmmmm, let's not list the others.

    CHARGER TrainBoard Member

    Or a modern loco built post 1985 pulling a long train trailed by a "cute" little caboose

    - Multiple unit lashups where every locomotive has a beaming headlight on them.

    - Amtrak PH V Locos followed by MHC in PHIII, trailed by PHI heritige fleet cars.

    And worst of all California Zephyr consists pulled by non WP, DRGW or CBQ "period" headend power.
  14. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    Wow, this is really alarming when I've actually done about half the stuff posted here.....

    My 'advanced case' is when you add over 750 miles of driving and a full day on a 'business trip' to go out of your way to check out some prototype sites you model, take several hundred photos, and deliberately stay in an ex-railroad hotel.

    Possibly my most 'completely insane' unnecessary detail is that my digital sound recordings for the crossing gates were actually recorded on-site, because I wanted to get the peculiar horn echoes through the downtown just right.....

    Oh yeah, proto-itis!
  15. Mr. Train

    Mr. Train TrainBoard Member

    Oh this is wrong? But then I am running HO scale it's OK there right? HA!
  16. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    Gotcha on that one. I confess to taking over a YEAR to locating the National Archives Copy of the 1917 ICC valuation maps of the Hickory Valley Railroad, because I wanted to be sure I had the track plan right on the new HVRR module. You actually can get them - remember two copies were drawn, the railroad got one and the government got the other. Even if the railroad copy is long gone, the government copy can be scanned by a contractor. There's a company in Maryland, called "Do You Graphics" that has access and can get the ICC maps digitally scanned and sent to you, but it takes time, research, and you have to match up the valuation and section maps exactly with what you want, at two miles to the map. Every railroad that existed in 1917 has these maps. If you've never seen a valuation map, they have extraordinary survey-quality detail. Every building is scaled, every culvert, road crossing, signpost, fenceline. The originals run 48" long, drawn at 1:100 scale.

    Similarly, I contacted the California State Railroad Museum library to find a copy of the actual blueprints of Hickory Valley RR 2-6-0 #5 (Lima). You can imagine how surprised I was to find out that the mechanism for an Atlas 2-6-0 is dead-on. It will be scratchbuilt, someday, to replace the original Rapido 2-6-0 I'm running as a kitbash now.

    I'm tellin' ya, I've got a serious problem!
  17. piston_8

    piston_8 TrainBoard Member

    When you fully detailed the Interior of an N-scale caboose and your Disappointed nobody notices.

    You add passenger and porters to your passenger trains and nobody notices
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2007
  18. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

    This is a great thread! Yep, guilty on several counts! Besides bringing back dirt and rocks from Tehachapi, I:

    - immediately drilled holes in the cab of my brand new Kato SP S70M (the day I received them) and installed correct nose grabs, because I couldn't stand how the incorrect high grabs looked

    - never run my Atlas B40-8W's or Athearn SD75M's on the point of my Santa Fe trains, because they don't have working ditchlights (still waiting on the Kato 75M!)

    - even though model SP in a prototypical SoCal location, I almost didn't buy a GS4 & 10 car set because it didn't run over Tehachapi in 1995

    - only run loaded centerbeams and lumber flats on eastbound trains, and empties on westbounds, because that's how they run in real life

    - have renumbered some of my locomotives (and all that I custom paint) to match road numbers of engines that I have taken pictures of on Tehachapi, to be more correct
  19. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona TrainBoard Supporter

    Great thread. I also am guilty (at least in spirit) of almost everything that has been said here.

    I'll add another one to "do you have prototype-itis":

    - You absolutely cannot stand beautiful, exquisitely super-detailed contest-quality models, that have a Kadee or Micro-Trains coupler and "airhose" attached (i.e. the magnetic uncoupling pin).

    This sticks out like sore thumb to me!

    (and no, I have *not* yet commenced, nor will I, to converting my N scale fleet to full body-mount Z scale couplers).

  20. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    You show up at a train show after having failed to bathe for three weeks and change your clothes for ten days and stand in middle of the aisle with two other guys of similar appearance and loudly discuss the number of spokes on the drivers of Scrogginzitley and Grophusroggins consolidateds. While you do this, you steadfastly refuse to let any show attendees pass by you.

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