Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mike Skibbe Sums it Up

From a thread on Trainboard about new Z scale boxcars, Mike Skibbe summed up my feelings about many manufacturer shortcomings. Check this out.

There is a misnomer that "Prototype Modelers" and "Rivet Counters" take things too seriously and arn't having fun. Things couldn't be further from the truth. We have tons of fun doing what we do too. The fun just comes in different ways. This is similar to the on-going debates about Tony Koester/Bill Darnaby hard core operators vs roundy-round runners. Many people say, "Oh, too many rules and it's too much like real work, that would never be fun for me." And they are probably correct, maybe they never would enjoy it. But for those that are really into operations, it's fun to follow the rules! It's fun to treat running trains like it was a real job. It doesn't make either camp wrong, and it certainly doesn't mean either group is "eternally frustrated."

He continues, emphasis mine.
First, the NP geeps MTL just released. I read a review (Model Train News?) that said MTL used a number series on the NP that didn't have dynamic brakes, yet the model does have dynamics. The kicker is, that NP did own geeps with dynamic brakes! MTL just didn't use the right numbers. You say, "We can split hairs on what's "prototypical" or obvious structural differences, or we can strive to do the best we can with what we have and offer Road Names that help folks realize their dream layouts." Would it have cost any more to use the right number series on the NP geeps? Was using the wrong number really "striving to do the best with what's available"?

The N and Z scale RI 40' boxcars in pullman green are another example. MTL put a non-Pullman Standard built number series on their PS1 boxcar body. Yet RI also had a number series that is almost a perfect match for the PS1, with the exact same paint scheme. Doing it right satisfies both the everyday modeler and the prototype modeler. Doing it wrong only satisfies the every day modeler. Why leave out a portion of the customer base, when doing it right doesn't cost any more?


1 comment:

Mr. 1967 said...

having worked in the business, i blame apathy on the part of the reseachers at MTL for the number errors. been there, done that, lost my job.