Author Topic: N-Scale Trends POLL  (Read 1820 times)

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robert3985

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N-Scale Trends POLL
« on: August 11, 2014, 12:26:08 AM »
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Just for curiosity's sake, I'd like to do a no-holds barred poll (with comments) about whether you think the trend for more true to prototype models in N-scale is a good thing, or a bad thing, or something in-between.

I'm not offering a definition of "good" or "bad" because part of this poll is for you to explain your positions.

Let's make this civil and keep a thick skin as I think there are some strong opinions on either side. I think it will be interesting to find out what the reasoning is behind the answers.

Bob Gilmore

Chris333

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 12:47:18 AM »
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Good because how could it be bad?  The more correct model may cost more, but I'm saving money by not buying the "other" stuff.  :)

bdennis

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 12:56:08 AM »
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To me.. Better fidelity = better quality models = better experience. Can only be a good thing and most manufacturers manage to keep the price point at a reasonable level for great models.
Brendan Dennis
N scale - Delaware & Hudson Champlain Division

Nato

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 01:12:13 AM »
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 :|      "Lucy you go a lot of Spalnin to do." Mostly good, but for example your locomotive has a exact scale pilot that in the real world sits just a foot or so above the rail and the track work on your layout is less than perfect or the rails are to a larger non scale code size then the pilot might short out unless plastic, when it contacts the rails. This is just one possible example. While I would like everything to be to exact proto sizes and scale that just will never be possible unless our entire layouts, track included are modeled to exact one on one scale. I do think the tend towards more exact scale and standards is a good thing in the long run even if some problems are created. "Now what was that you wanted to do at the club with Fred and Ethel?"                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nate Goodman (Nato).
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 01:13:59 AM by Nato »

robert3985

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 01:45:28 AM »
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:|      "Lucy you go a lot of Spalnin to do." Mostly good, but for example your locomotive has a exact scale pilot that in the real world sits just a foot or so above the rail and the track work on your layout is less than perfect or the rails are to a larger non scale code size then the pilot might short out unless plastic, when it contacts the rails. This is just one possible example. While I would like everything to be to exact proto sizes and scale that just will never be possible unless our entire layouts, track included are modeled to exact one on one scale. I do think the tend towards more exact scale and standards is a good thing in the long run even if some problems are created. "Now what was that you wanted to do at the club with Fred and Ethel?"                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nate Goodman (Nato).

Hahaha!!  Love this!!

Andrew Hutchinson

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 04:24:52 AM »
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I put down bad. Part of the reason why is due to the way I read the question. If it is referring to some store bought SKU, then yeah, bad. If we're talking about something that a modeller has really invested themselves in, regardless of whether it is made of gold or toilet paper rolls, and it just happened to be a prototype model then that would be really really good- but I think we're talking about more of whatever as it relates to store bought goods.

In isolation I really don't care about outright "realism" (naturalism) or "prototypical accuracy". If either fits the project at hand then all the better but they aren't alone in my considerations when I think about miniaturization or modelling as an act. For example if I see some crafted item that solves a challenge of sorts or indicates tremendous perseverance on the part of the constructor then I'm really not going to be concerned about how prototypical it is. Give me magic, creativity, sheer will and technical ability over rivet counting and it's commercial outgrowth any day of the week. With products I take a less is more approach. Give 'em all a CN F9 and let them figure out the rest.

Andrew Hutchinson

DKS

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 07:16:16 AM »
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I'm not quite sure how to approach this. I don't think the answers provided can really address the question because the issue is far more complex. And the question itself is a bit vague as well (and not simply what constitutes "good" and "bad"), since there are multiple ways to look at the term "fidelity."

Let's address "fidelity." Basic physics imposes some pretty steep practical limitations on N scale. While it would be possible to approach (but not hit) true dimensional accuracy, it would be quite impractical: for one thing, the manufacturing cost would be prohibitive. Then there's the problem of being functional--no way are you going to keep true scale wheels on true scale track, not unless everything is machined to insanely tight tolerances, and you've got fully sprung and equalized trucks. And many things simply won't scale down, like paint. Finally, there's the practical aspect of being able to handle the models; I'd hate to touch a loco that had .008" railings. This can be dragged on to absurd lengths, but you get the idea: 100% accuracy is impossible, and 90% (an arbitrary number chosen for argument's sake) is impractical.

This then poses the question, what is the acceptable threshold for fidelity? Now we enter the realm of personal taste, and that's a far thornier issue than simple physics, because what's acceptable fidelity for one is garbage for another. The matter is further complicated because there are two points at play here: physical (dimensional) fidelity, and appearance, as in paint schemes, lettering and so forth. Some people are more concerned about the number of louvers on the battery box, while others will be double-checking the size and weight of the font used for the rebuild date.

I imagine all of this drivel this falls outside the spirit of the original question, so let's just focus on general trends: is it better to move towards more scale fidelity--in the broadest terms--or not? Personally, I don't think it's a bad thing, because it results in more sales, since it will pique the interest of more proto-modelers. But, as noted elsewhere, that also bumps up the cost. Is this worth it in terms of ROI? Because each manufacturer has a different business model, I think it's up to them to answer this. And because each modeler will have different criteria, each modeler will need to decide the trend's value.

Bottom line, most of the modelers reading and responding to this poll will be members of a rather small segment of the market, and it's hard to say how much of an impact our wallets have on the industry.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

pjm20

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 07:40:02 AM »
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To me.. Better fidelity = better quality models = better experience. Can only be a good thing and most manufacturers manage to keep the price point at a reasonable level for great models.

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 08:47:25 AM »
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Without specifically responding to the poll, I'll comment on two aspects of the question.

1. The trend towards producing a greater variety of models is good.  There was a time when we were lucky to have a 40' and 50' boxcar.  We now have a pretty good selection of different prototypes to choose from (even though everyone still has their own top-5 list of most-needed cars and/or locos).  Variety goes a long way towards enhancing realism.

2. The trend towards greater detail on any given model is a mixed blessing.  IMHO, some of the designs rely too heavily on the skills of the assemblers at the factory, and I have seen plenty of examples where the assembly quality is so-so at best.  This is not a good trend, and I for one would prefer to do some of this assembly myself.  The FVM model of shipping locos with user-added parts is a perfect example of the type of offering I would like to see more of.

Albert in N

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 09:07:28 AM »
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Good for scale realism, but Bad for price increase plus loss of sturdiness for beginners.   Added delicate detail can break off during handling.  Kato beginner sets are about the only ones left that can be useful when the owner expands into the hobby.   

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 09:24:32 AM »
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It's bad because I can't buy brand new freight cars for $5.

Also, because I can't let my german shepherd play with my passenger cars because the details might break off in his mouth.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 09:47:10 AM »
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Have to go with what NATO said on this. 

ednadolski

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 11:39:46 AM »
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Robert, if you really want honest, no-holds barred opinions, here is mine:   I think that subjective polls like this are meaningless, uninspiring, and a complete waste of time.   The only 'votes' that count for anything are the ones made by Mr. Wallet.   Everything else is just a re-hash of the same stuff that we have heard over & over again for years, and AFAICT the only effective purpose served by polling on this stuff is to help (re-)inflate people's self-appreciation of their own opinions.   Was that your intent?

Let's all put our energies into real ideas and real modeling.  That is what I would call a "good thing" for N-scale and for the hobby.

Ed

Smike

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 11:44:09 AM »
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Overall its good, as if we had the same level of prototypical equipment that we had in the 70's most of us would be modeling HO.

Other than that, I can't see what the validity of the question is. 

Bendtracker1

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 12:02:47 PM »
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Robert, if you really want honest, no-holds barred opinions, here is mine:   I think that subjective polls like this are meaningless, uninspiring, and a complete waste of time.   The only 'votes' that count for anything are the ones made by Mr. Wallet.   Everything else is just a re-hash of the same stuff that we have heard over & over again for years, and AFAICT the only effective purpose served by polling on this stuff is to help (re-)inflate people's self-appreciation of their own opinions.   Was that your intent?

Let's all put our energies into real ideas and real modeling.  That is what I would call a "good thing" for N-scale and for the hobby.

Ed

+1