Author Topic: Where are all the passengers?  (Read 2873 times)

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Alaska Railroader

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2014, 03:41:05 PM »
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What about using a few of the cheap Chinese figures in Z scale and only use a few. They would fit better and the scale? Who cares on something not seen much. And what if you painted all of the figures a dark gray? From the outside I would think they would appear to be mere shadows anyway but at least you'd have the human form. If the car is parked unlit I doubt the people would show.

I had a respectable amount of sales on the silhouettes but only those made for the passenger cars. The others, though nice, were designed for business/home interiors and others for setting just inside an open loading dock doorways. These were ignored almost completely.

The passenger sets were mounted on a strip of basswood and each car side had different people arranged so they would look decent if looking straight through the windows. They were removable but I recommended tacking them down.  Whether this would be suitable for N scale is beyond me. It would be a bit of a challenge to design them to fit all of the various manufacturer's car window configurations, therefore no "one size fits all" sets.

I very much enjoy making and lasering silhouettes but I also doubt you guys would want them if the Z guys passed them up.

mmagliaro

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2014, 06:50:32 PM »
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If the metal weight is a contributing factor to the out-of-scale proportions of the seats... then perhaps the manufactures need to get rid of the weights.
Besides, excess weight means that you can't pull proto-length trains with a proto-consist.

Who can't???    :trollface:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4t8Vj6SMwE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvuABS6WWWM

Okay, okay, I know I'm being an :ashat:  with that one, but seriously, passenger cars are mighty free-rolling
these days.  It's not hard to pull 12 of them or more with a single engine, either diesel or steam.  I really don't think that
should be a consideration with regards to putting figures in the seats.

mmagliaro

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2014, 06:55:51 PM »
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And now seriously...
The car makers could include a package of, say, 10 cheaply-cast, painted figures, already seated and small enough
to fit, and let the buyer glue them into various seats if they wish.   Or offer them as a separate product.
To me, the biggest pain is painting them, and then contorting them to make them fit (or the pain of
paying for ready-made ones in seated poses which are expensive).

But if there were some cheap (less-than-Preiser, but not "blobs") seated figures that would just fit, I'd be up for it.

Even the most "ready-to-run" buyer probably would not mind putting a drop of glue on a seat and plunking a figure in
there. 

The dividing line to me is this:  Every passenger car has seats, so it's reasonable to include an interior in the car.
But every car does not necessarily have passengers, or have them all in exactly the same place inside every
car, so it does not make sense to include passengers.  That's how I see it.

Kisatchie

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2014, 07:07:29 PM »
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Hmm... please everyone,
make a contribution to the
"no blobs in passenger
cars" fund, care of Ms.
Dee Rayle, Treehouse,
St. Joseph, LA 71366


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

peteski

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2014, 07:51:12 PM »
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That gives me an idea for a B-movie:  A blob that invaded Lake Shore Limited.
 :D
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

Robbman

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2014, 08:05:30 PM »
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Manufacturers are well within the capability to produce cheap passenger cars with acceptable representation of figures included by default, whether molded in or otherwise. 

Remove the word cheap... and you would have an accurate statement.  You can do a simple interior with a two-part mold (i.e, no undercuts on the tables and chairs)... but the only figures you can do with that would be horribly crude... they'd make Lego Minifigs look like wax replicas.

OldEastRR

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2014, 06:05:02 AM »
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Almost all the seats on N car interiors are double seats. If you want to stick one person sitting there, yeah, you'll have to chop off everything just below the belt (because the interior floor is several feet higher than the prototype) but you can get him/her in there. However, two people sitting in a seat are  close together, so if you want to put a couple in one seat you have to also chop off matching parts of their sides (including arms) to get two typical single figures into one seat. (How do I know this? Don't ask).
And yes, interiors are not accurate. The dome decks on the Kato COLA are compressed and flattened: the aisle down the middle should be 2 feet wide but is only 1, the chair backs barely stick up above the cast floor. The seats themselves are also too narrow, because this deck has to fit under the dome side edges of thick plastic and on top of the car shell roof of thick plastic, etc. Because N car floors, walls, ends, roof, bulkheads, etc are way way scale thicker than the real cars, the interior by necessity has to be shrunk to fit. Plus figure in the window glass thickness, any lighting bar that might be added, whatever, and its easy to see why N scale figures do not fit inside N scale passenger cars.
However, you can modify the Kato dome decks to ride lower (sitting on the light bar) and widen the seat backs enough that putting people in them looks pretty good.
That said, I can see why the plastic for an interior floor would have to be thick, but why the interior partitions for sleeper compartments, dining areas, etc? They really don't need to be because they are only cosmetic and form no structural part holding the car together. Certainly thinner interior walls would also mean less plastic used per interior cast, thus making some economic sense for the maker.
And I agree that figures in N cars are hard to see, especially when the train is moving, but empty car after empty car is very noticeable. Maybe representation of "somethings" added to the car interiors, of colors different from the interior - enough to give the impression that people are in the passing car -- could be done by using different bits of colored modeling clay: make a torso out of one color, stick a small colored bead on for a head -- add a piece of bent plastic stock maybe as a raised arm -- and put it away from the windows, or behind a shade in a lighted sleeper. Add a few Preiser figures placed here and there where they can be clearly seen, and that may do the trick without too much expense or fussing about detail. Sort of like when you make a forest backdrop: put some super-detailed trees up front, switch to foam clumps behind them, and cutouts of furnace filter material way in the back. 

peteski

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2014, 01:48:21 PM »
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Almost all the seats on N car interiors are double seats. If you want to stick one person sitting there, yeah, you'll have to chop off everything just below the belt (because the interior floor is several feet higher than the prototype) but you can get him/her in there. However, two people sitting in a seat are  close together, so if you want to put a couple in one seat you have to also chop off matching parts of their sides (including arms) to get two typical single figures into one seat. (How do I know this? Don't ask).
And yes, interiors are not accurate. The dome decks on the Kato COLA are compressed and flattened: the aisle down the middle should be 2 feet wide but is only 1, the chair backs barely stick up above the cast floor. The seats themselves are also too narrow, because this deck has to fit under the dome side edges of thick plastic and on top of the car shell roof of thick plastic, etc. Because N car floors, walls, ends, roof, bulkheads, etc are way way scale thicker than the real cars, the interior by necessity has to be shrunk to fit. Plus figure in the window glass thickness, any lighting bar that might be added, whatever, and its easy to see why N scale figures do not fit inside N scale passenger cars.
However, you can modify the Kato dome decks to ride lower (sitting on the light bar) and widen the seat backs enough that putting people in them looks pretty good.
That said, I can see why the plastic for an interior floor would have to be thick, but why the interior partitions for sleeper compartments, dining areas, etc? They really don't need to be because they are only cosmetic and form no structural part holding the car together. Certainly thinner interior walls would also mean less plastic used per interior cast, thus making some economic sense for the maker.
And I agree that figures in N cars are hard to see, especially when the train is moving, but empty car after empty car is very noticeable. Maybe representation of "somethings" added to the car interiors, of colors different from the interior - enough to give the impression that people are in the passing car -- could be done by using different bits of colored modeling clay: make a torso out of one color, stick a small colored bead on for a head -- add a piece of bent plastic stock maybe as a raised arm -- and put it away from the windows, or behind a shade in a lighted sleeper. Add a few Preiser figures placed here and there where they can be clearly seen, and that may do the trick without too much expense or fussing about detail. Sort of like when you make a forest backdrop: put some super-detailed trees up front, switch to foam clumps behind them, and cutouts of furnace filter material way in the back.

All you said is true, but you never indicated if your preference is to, or not to include factory installed/molded figures in passenger cars.  :D
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

OldEastRR

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2014, 02:23:03 AM »
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Quote
All you said is true, but you never indicated if your preference is to, or not to include factory installed/molded figures in passenger cars.  :D

Don't want cast-in figures. Detail level, fixed placement, identical  arrangements car to car all are negatives.

Nato

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2014, 02:55:34 AM »
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 :|       In the old days late 1970's early 80's when the Rowa / Con Cor / MRC highly detailed C&O passenger cars came out I decided to put passengers inside some that I had custom painted into Rio Grande single stripe paint. The then current Preiser figures fit in the seats with no leg or lower body cut off. I quickly concluded that in sleeping car rooms they were not visible, these were in non lighted cars, but in cars like coaches that were see-thru from one side to the other with large windows they looked ok. I did a Con Cor dome coach and concluded that figures in the dome were a nice touch. Simply used modeling clay to secure the figures to the seats. A waiter serving drinks on a tray looked great viewed through the extra large windows in the round rear end of Con Cor's Mountain Series GN observation car. Then I stopped, concluded that in lighted cars figures would be better if the heat from the huge bulbs in  Atlas Pennsylvania cars did not melt the figures. That was the end of my experimentation Alas my 200+ passenger cars with those exceptions do not generate any revenue as they travel light (empty). We could have windows like the old Lionel or American Flyer cars, or better yet Marx, who had cool color photos of real Eastern Rail Rider Folks on a long strip with a yellow background and green if I recall green window shades, thank G we don't. Someday I may get around to populating my domes and "hey!" wouldn't the bedroom scene from the Movie "Northwest Passage" in a 20TH Century Limited bedroom with Carrie Grant be great. Nate Goodman (Nato).

Nato

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2014, 03:24:30 AM »
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 :|          I forgot to mention in my previous post "Senior BF" that latest run of the Walthers  (Wally World) HO Santa Fe SF Chief passenger cars can be ordered  (more expensive) lighted with Preiser Figures installed. Nate Goodman (Nato).

R.Groff

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Re: Where are all the passengers?
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2014, 08:18:25 AM »
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I'm not sure my 67 year old eyes would readily know if passengers were in the cars or not.I live in Ont.Hamilton and the  club I belong to we have a modular n -scale layout we set up in local areas. I run a GO train at these outings as most of the viewers are children at the library or local school.Most of them point and say that either mom or dad is on that GO train IMAGINATION a wonderful  thing to have.I really don't get the point of adding cost were imagination can do the same.
Rickl Groff