Author Topic: N-Scale Trends POLL  (Read 1819 times)

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DKS

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 12:16:50 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

Very well put.
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basementcalling

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 12:57:55 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

I know my wallet cannot vote as much as it used to, Ed. How much of the price increases we are seeing over the last 10 years are impacted by the increased detail and fidelity? Hard question to answer I assume.

While I like knowing the cars and engines I buy are prototypical, I don't know that everyone wants 3 inch detail on their models enough to pay for them. As the level of detail on RTR offerings improves could it negatively impact the overall modeling skill level of N scale? If you no longer have to remove cast on detail to install grab irons or relocate horns, bells, whistles, etc.. at what point does the hobby become about what you can buy, not what you can build?

And then there are the added details that make improving a model harder. My personal pet peeve is cast in windshield wiper detail on diesels. I've yet to see factor wipers look good, and having them on the windows in the cab makes it harder to add GMM windshield wipers to engines.
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Shipsure

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 04:01:39 PM »
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I'm cool with any survey...information is good no matter where it comes from.  Scale fidelity in N scale is somewhat elusive.  I have seen few manufactured products that don't suffer from production limitations that compromise prototypicality.  I think the trend towards being more proto is a good one, but every silver lining has a dark cloud attached to it and that is the cost to make and then the cost to buy.  I do a lot of HO where the average cost for ok cars is $40.00...I miss the days where you could walk into a hobby shop and walk out with an Athearn switcher and hand full of Blue Box cars for $40.00.  Detail was ok, plus they were rugged (you dog could chew on them) and they got the job done.  I think it may have been stated elsewhere, basic physics and material availability can work against production.  I've seen hand scratchbuilt models in N scale that rival anything done in larger scales, but until we have some new manufacturing paradigm we can only push it so far.  N and Z scales will always suffer from a detail "glass ceiling" due to their size...but making things more accurate...always room for that.

Also, the term "prototypical" is loaded...it means different things to different people by degree...but the spirit of the question is till a valid one.

Joe
 

Kisatchie

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2014, 05:40:11 PM »
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I voted "BOTH good and bad, but I lean toward BAD."

Who wouldn't want one's models to look like the prototype? That's good!

On the other hand, if cars get priced beyond most modelers' means, that's bad. Especially if the cars are constantly losing tiny, fine detail parts or having such parts broken.

Oh yeah, I think this poll is a legitimate way to get modelers to discuss the issue. I know I've been priced out of buying some nice cars recently. My maximum price is $20 per car, except passenger cars, where I'll go $30. But if I can, I'll buy the same car used (i.e., cheaper), later on.


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VonRyan

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2014, 06:34:24 PM »
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...

While I like knowing the cars and engines I buy are prototypical, I don't know that everyone wants 3 inch detail on their models enough to pay for them. As the level of detail on RTR offerings improves could it negatively impact the overall modeling skill level of N scale? If you no longer have to remove cast on detail to install grab irons or relocate horns, bells, whistles, etc.. at what point does the hobby become about what you can buy, not what you can build?

...

These are exactly my sentiments. I didn't vote in the actual poll because I couldn't decide how to cast my vote.
I like an increased level of detail, but at the same time I welcome room for improvement.
I don't want my models to be ultra detailed because that not only makes them expensive, but will eventually mean fewer numbers of things made in production runs, and also because currently my models have to travel to train shows and I'd rather not have to reassemble all my cars every time I want to run a train.

Heck, a good number of my MT 36' reefers don't have brake-wheels because they are too fragile. I don't purposely remove them, but when they fall off I'm in no hurry to put new ones on.

I would rather see a more focused push for well-manufactured models that are also more supportive of those modelers who want to make improvements.
I think it would be great if some cars came as almost "modular" where the ends, roofs, and doors are able to be swapped out with other pre-painted pieces that are sold separately.
Will anything like this ever happen? Probably not, mostly because it is too prohibitive for manufactures.
That being said, any manufacture that pushes to increase support for actual modeling is a winner in my book.
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robert3985

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2014, 06:59:00 PM »
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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.


Andrew, the question "reads" like it reads, with no implications.  Your assumption of how it reads is just that...your assumption.  That's why I phrased the question the way I did and gave no definitions in my opening post, so the participants can voice their opinions with minimal influence from the question, or the choices. 

robert3985

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2014, 07:13:39 PM »
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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.

DKS, 

The answers are not meant to "address the question", but are mere gateways for participants to offer opinions and explanations for their positions.

More detailed definitions would "tilt" the poll which would render it less interesting.  The explanations will take it in several directions, which I hope will be interesting to explore.

Although your thoughts about "fidelity" and what is practically achievable are not "drivel", this direction is solely the direction you decided to go.  The poll does not guide you into that arena.

There is no mention of "industry" in the poll question or choices.  This is totally your direction (which is understandable).   


robert3985

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2014, 07:23:20 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

Ed,

Thank you for you non-opinion on the poll question.

I have no "intent".  As I stated, I am merely curious as to what direction this poll will go here at TRW.

The poll choices are merely gateways.  The real interest is generated by participants' explanations...which are requested as part of each choice.

However, I am sure I am not the only one who is disappointed that you choose to not participate.

I agree that time could be better spent actually working on a modeling project, but that does not mean that we should cease to communicate with each other.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 07:34:04 PM by robert3985 »

DKS

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2014, 09:44:47 PM »
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I am sure I am not the only one who is disappointed that you choose to not participate.

Ah, but you see, he did participate--it's just that his remarks did not fit neatly into the options you provided. Had he not participated, he would not have posted. :trollface:
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bbussey

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2014, 12:08:09 AM »
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I didn't vote, because basically I care about fidelity to the prototype more than anything else.  And an entry-level model such as the Bachmann single dome tankcar or the Atlas Trainman ACF 3560 Centerflow hopper is not as detailed as higher-end models yet is accurate to the prototype.  The Atlas GP15 is entry-level yet accurate to the prototype.  A modeler can always add detail to any model.  But it's difficult to turn a non-prototypical model into a prototypical one.

And prototypically-tooled models are the first step.  The second step is having prototypically-accurate paint schemes as well.  For example, the Bachmann USRA hopper is prototypically accurate tooling-wise, but most if not all of the offered paint schemes are not.  So the model must be stripped and repainted to be authentic.  Now, this is merely an inconvenience, because the tooling in this case is accurate.  But, from an advertising aspect, I'd rather know before purchase whether or not the paintscheme is accurate.  Then it's my choice if I want to buy and use the model RTR, or buy undecs (or strip painted models) and repaint them.
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robert3985

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2014, 04:37:04 AM »
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Ah, but you see, he did participate--it's just that his remarks did not fit neatly into the options you provided. Had he not participated, he would not have posted. :trollface:

DKS,

I beg to differ with you.  Ed did not make a single comment about the subject.  His comments have nothing whatsoever to do with the question or the choices.

Although his comments have validity, they are on a completely different subject.

If I were to write: "Ducks quack but geese honk."  It'd be true, and the opinion has validity, but has nothing whatsoever to do with this poll...just like Ed's remarks.

Frankly, I think Ed would be offended to think that he "participated" since that is evidently one of the last things he wants to do and I also believe he designed his remark to make sure it did not have any words or phrases that might implicate his participation.

Since Ed's detail work is well know here to be extraordinary, I, for one, am disappointed by his decision.

DKS

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Re: N-Scale Trends POLL
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2014, 07:34:43 AM »
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DKS, 

The answers are not meant to "address the question", but are mere gateways for participants to offer opinions and explanations for their positions...   

Not much of a poll, really. More like a classroom essay assignment.

DKS,

I beg to differ with you....

Where's the meme or emoticon for jokes passing over someone's head...? :facepalm:

Edit: Got it.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 07:45:38 AM by David K. Smith »
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