Author Topic: Generic N Scale Vehicles  (Read 3146 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

cfritschle

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 792
  • Respect: +105
    • N Scale Vehicle Association
Generic N Scale Vehicles
« on: February 15, 2014, 06:31:56 PM »
0
Every once in a while, someone mentions they would be satisfied with “generic” vehicles rather than ones representing specific prototypes.  However, I am uncertain just what a generic N scale vehicle model would look like. 

This subject came up in the “Resin 1940s and 1950s vehicle kits” topic, and rather than hijack that post, I decided to start this one.  What I would really like to know is what people are thinking when they say they would like to see manufacturers make more generic vehicles, or in other words, model vehicles that do not represent a specific prototype.

Carter
Carter

N Scale Vehicle Association
"For the modeler and collector of 1:160 scale model vehicles and equipment"
http://nscalevehicles.org/

ljudice

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2986
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +123
    • NS/CR Camp Car Models
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 06:57:50 PM »
0
Just one point,  I am pretty sure in Grand Theft Auto all the vehicles are clever "generic-ized" models - might be one source to look at for inspiration....

jimmo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 902
  • Gender: Male
  • Representing Willmodels
  • Respect: +6
    • Willmodels
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 08:25:47 PM »
0
A good place to start looking for generic vehicles is in architectural modeling supplies. The closest one to 1/160 is 1/16" or 1/196 scale. A little undersized but if you don't care if it looks exactly like something real, I seriously doubt that a little size difference is going to sway you.

Here's one I found in a quick search: http://www.microformmodels.com/catpages/19.html

This company makes all Mopar vehicles but they are not ultra-detailed. http://www.howardmodels.com/supplies/onlineorderform.htm

Plastruct also has a line of generic architectural vehicles in plastic.

I found that a lot of the Asian architectural supply companies sell those inexpensive Chinese vehicles we love so much.

I was thinking that some of these undersized vehicles could be good background vehicles possibly in a forced perspective situation.
James R. Will

Denver Road Doug

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2120
  • Respect: +27
    • Mockingbird Industrial
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 09:05:57 PM »
0
Yeah, I'm guessing the idea is that they have design features from familiar vehicles but don't necessarily have everything 100%, such that they can avoid licensing issues. (and thus cheaper for things such filling autoracks or parking garages or background scenes.)

For me, it's difficult to not have 1999-2003 GM vehicles, modeling Texas during that timeframe.   So, I have to take what I can get.   If I can backfill using generic vehicles that, at very least, look less like the ubiquitous Fords that Atlas puts out, then that's what I'll do.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

Bob Horn

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 167
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: 0
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 11:39:42 PM »
0
I was employed by Hino Trucks for 25 years. When the new conventional cab (Hino was and still is total COE production except for North America) was released our Canadian partners made a approx. 1/150 scale model. they are not available anywhere I am aware of. It is a model I am very proud of as to the time spent. There are many other models  out there just "a little out of scale", work with them. Bob.

cfritschle

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 792
  • Respect: +105
    • N Scale Vehicle Association
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 12:59:12 AM »
0
Lou, James, Doug and Bob,

Thank you for jumping in with sources of generic vehicles, as well as your thoughts on generic vehicle models.  But, I am trying to determine if we as modelers should be encouraging manufacturers to produce generic N scale vehicles instead of models based on specific prototypes.  While Woodland Scenics has taken that path with their Auto Scene series (which appears to be very popular) most of those models are not really foreground quality, and they are not any less expensive than the models that are based on specific prototypes. 

For example, Woodland Scenics' Lumpy's Coal dump truck is a generic version of a Mack E Series. 



However, when you compare it to Athearn's Mack B dump truck, having a model that was approved and licensed by the prototype's manufacturer seems more desirable to me.

 

And, the Athearn model has a lower MSRP than the Woodland Scenics model.  (OK, the Woodland Scenics model comes with two figures and a coal chute, but the driver's arm fills up the side window so you really can't see him all that well.)

Doug, I am also discouraged by the lack of modern GM products, and especially General Motor's unwillingness to license most N sized models.  But, should we be encouraging a manufacturer to invest in producing a model that looks anything like a Chevy with GM's willingness to prosecute unlicensed models?

Bob, I certainly agree that looking at the slightly out of scale models is a reasonable alternative for a modeler to obtain diversity.  For example, the Kato 1:150 scale Toyota Crown shown below has been used as a stand-in for an "American" sedan since the late 1980s.  The recently released Kato 1:150 scale Toyota Probox in the middle looks similar to other small modern station wagons, so again here is another model that can be used as a stand-in.



At this point I am still not sure if there is a good argument for lobbying manufacturers to produce generic N scale vehicle models rather than prototype specific models.

Carter
Carter

N Scale Vehicle Association
"For the modeler and collector of 1:160 scale model vehicles and equipment"
http://nscalevehicles.org/

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6393
  • Respect: +257
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 01:07:47 AM »
0
I would buy generics from the 60s and early 70s.  Like Doug, my thought is a vehicle that looks familiar, but doesn't match any specific prototype.  For example, a "GMC-style" late 60s pickup could have features from several years.  To someone who isn't particularly interested in cars, it would look like a GMC, but wouldn't be a model of anything that GM actually made, and they likely couldn't sue over it.  Just label it "Late 60s Pickup #01", and you can make 98 other variations without ever using a car company name.

Freight cars have been "genericized" for years, especially boxcars.  Make a model with ends, roof, side, doors, ladders, etc. that are all accurate, but were never used in that combination and most people will buy them, not knowing the difference.
N Kalanaga
Be well

Nato

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2064
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +45
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 01:16:11 AM »
0
 :|         Woodland Scenics with their "Auto Scenes" have modeled generic vehicles to avoid copy right and license issues. "Fixer Up Flat" a almost 1957 Plymouth, "Hall & Duke, a almost Chevy Pickup, and these are just a few on the list. Yes as pointed out with the coal dump truck. Do we want these? It is hard to say, maybe if they look close to a prototype yes, however it would certainly be better if we could have only exact prototype vehicles. Nate Goodman (Nato).Salt Lake, Utah.

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6393
  • Respect: +257
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 03:12:20 AM »
0
"however it would certainly be better if we could have only exact prototype vehicles"

While I agree that exact prototypes are nice to have, and it would be good to have such a model for every prototype, I would disagree with the "only".  I'd be quite happy with the generics if they were readily available, of good quality, and savings on licensing fees were passed on to the customer.  I imagine there are a lot of people. like me, who wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
N Kalanaga
Be well

Denver Road Doug

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2120
  • Respect: +27
    • Mockingbird Industrial
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 03:12:41 AM »
0
Doug, I am also discouraged by the lack of modern GM products, and especially General Motor's unwillingness to license most N sized models.  But, should we be encouraging a manufacturer to invest in producing a model that looks anything like a Chevy with GM's willingness to prosecute unlicensed models?

At this point I am still not sure if there is a good argument for lobbying manufacturers to produce generic N scale vehicle models rather than prototype specific models.

I'm not sure anyone is lobbying *for* manufacturers to do this, per se.   I think that all things considered almost everyone would prefer a licensed true-to-prototype vehicle for every model of vehicle available during their era.   Yet, we know that is impossible, and that some car makers simpy won't allow it for any amount of money.   I don't know the latest on the GM saga, but what I understand is that it's pretty much "no, never" and that's that.   So, in that instance we wouldn't tend to beat the dead horse there.  Ya pick your battles...

Now, for vehicles that CAN be licensed then yes I say bring it on.  I know personally I try to buy everything "proto" that I come across.  I'll admit I have a laundry list of cars and trucks that I want to buy that aren't readily available but I'll buy them if I come across them at shows, on eBay, etc.

I guess what I am getting at is....we're fighting the good fight.   We recognize the value of accurate models but we can't buy what isn't made.  In some cases that means we have to fill those holes somehow.   We have the same issue with freight cars...do we encourage foobs by buying them?   Well, my take is...none of us are getting any younger.  I think folks want representative models for their model railroad sooner than later if better ones aren't available.  Personally I would upgrade them, although I know that the majority probably wouldn't when it comes down to plopping down a credit card.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

daniel_leavitt2000

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5303
  • Respect: +492
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 05:02:28 AM »
0
I can't for the life of me figure out why WS vehicles are so expensive. I really wish they would spend the time to tool their models more carefully. The Mack E is a perfect example. Why make the windows so small? What's up with the 2D grill? What are those black bands around the fuel tank?

On a side note, I actually visited the spin caster who makes the vehicles for Howard's Models. The photos do not depict the real models and the castings are VERY crude.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

dualgauge

  • Posts: 15
  • Respect: 0
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 09:15:04 AM »
0
Can still find some of the old Atlas AHM & Bachmann auto carriers. They have what looks to be late 60's early 70's cars. I have seen people add windows and a little paint . Good way to get cheap cars.

Loren Perry

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 261
  • Respect: +40
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 06:28:07 PM »
0
A nice set (say, a half dozen) of different-style generic cars that are close to the prototypes being represented would really help with parking lots, city scenes, and so on. If they are cleanly molded, well proportioned, and nicely painted (in several color schemes for different sets of the same cars), and have see-through glazed windows, I think they would be very popular. 1940's and 1950's cars were still common well into the 1970's and even the 1980's. Used car lots of those eras had plenty of them. Factory and railroad workers drove them during those times. Only dyed-on-the-wool car guys (and gals) would be able to tell they're generic. The rest of us would use them as scenery.

ljudice

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2986
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +123
    • NS/CR Camp Car Models
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 06:42:39 PM »
0
I think the concept of generic vehicles is a great one, but (my modern bias is coming into play here) - there seem to be tons of 40's and 50's models out there - and so very little for modern day (and I am really loose on my definition of modern - I'll take from the 1970-today.)

- Lou


Baronjutter

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 499
  • Respect: +8
Re: Generic N Scale Vehicles
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 06:59:16 PM »
0
I've heard licensing being a chief reason why we don't see a lot of modern stuff from people who would like to make them.  I'd be quite happy with "grand theft auto" style vehicles that are obvious copies of real vehicles but just re-named and tweaked enough to not have to worry about legal insanity.  And at our scale it's not like brand logos are really visible anyways.

That or just realize that we're small-fry enough that the companies most likely aren't going to go after a little niche hobby vendor.