Author Topic: Rapido FL-9 progress  (Read 4534 times)

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Rapidobill

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2015, 10:02:53 PM »
+1
In my case, I was told (by Rapido) that the nose contours were final, which is the only reason I foolishly chose to pursue any of this.

So either the nose is still open to change despite all the rhetoric about blueprints and lasers, or the nose is indeed final and everything I wrote is totally fair to say about the model.

I'm good either way, but I'd most like to see the model be correct.

Jason

Oh, what the heck... It's late, I'm tired from the trip to Cocoa and so I'll bite....

"...but I'd most like to see the model be correct."

So would we!

A few years ago I was invited by the late (that still hurts) Richard Hendrickson to give a presentation at the Lisle RPM meet/Friends of the Freight Car dinner about what is involved in designing and producing a scale model. As part of this presentation I was asked to cover how new product ideas and constructive criticism could best be presented to a manufacturer.

I gave two examples of how NOT to do it. The first involved sending an e-mail to the manufacturer telling us that we (manufacturers) were idiots but that all of our problems would be solved if we would just listen to the author. The second involved placing an open-ended criticism on an internet group along the lines of "I see big problems with your model, but I'm not going to tell you specifically... but I'll tell everybody else that you screwed up." This can be compared to saying "Jeez, your baby is ugly...", no matter how many messages are sent after that saying "well, his/her dimples ARE kind of cute", the original tone of the public post lingers. (I suppose a third might be to combine the two approaches, but I'm not going there...)

The natural gut reaction to such a post is "Go to...". well... somewhere warmer (I just came from Cocoa Beach to Connecticut so I've already done that). It tends to get the dander up.

We (I) spent several weeks when we were producing the FP9 reviewing the nose contours with the factory, comparing the 3D CAD designs with the original EMD blueprints and field measurements and note. (See http://www.rapidotrains.com/telegraph21.html ) There are many limitations to the way that 3D CAD programs render complex shapes. This why we paid to have a CNC sample produced of the FP9 nose after we thought that we had the contours correct. Only after comparing that sample against original prints and field measurements did we give the approval for production.

Having done all of this with some critical success, and after comparing available data on the FL9, our instructions to the factory were "Copy FP9 nose shape." Whether they have been successful in doing so will be judged in the coming days as we review the two side-by-side. As we have openly said, the samples are intended for review and arrived just in time to travel to warmer climes in Cocoa Beach. On the FP9 we completely re-tooled the nose after the initial sample fell short of our goal . Based on this sample and the critical review of those who have seen it in person I do not believe that this is needed with the FL9. However, we WILL be doing a very critical analysis of all details of the model over the coming weeks before we give the OK for production. Those areas that we (and our group of experts) decide need to be revised will be, based on the best available information and constructive input.

Bill Schneider
Rapido Trains


tom mann

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2015, 09:11:13 AM »
-1
I can see how the CAD photo is different from the actual Prototype, but I wonder how the lighting and reflectivity of the materials contribute to the perceived differences?  For example, the crease down the middle probably isn't in the CAD file, but it certainly looks like a razor edge due to the lighting.

Puddington

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2015, 09:54:23 AM »
+1
I can see how the CAD photo is different from the actual Prototype, but I wonder how the lighting and reflectivity of the materials contribute to the perceived differences?  For example, the crease down the middle probably isn't in the CAD file, but it certainly looks like a razor edge due to the lighting.

No question that angle, lighting, limitations of shading on the CAD and other issues can cloud the overall perception of the 3D image; especially when being compared with any given photo. (It helps to have 1000's of photo; until you have to review them all.....yesh!)

The "crease" on the center of the nose is "there" on the prototype and on the file but the drawing does make it look more pronounced due to the shading...



I am glad it's Bill that is working with who he refers to as our collection of FL9 experts; I would refer to them as FL9 zealots.... but those NH modellers are a dedicated bunch! I know they will be as helpfully critical as anyone can be.
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Sokramiketes

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2015, 02:42:57 PM »
+1
It should be easy to rotate the solid model to match the Amtrak shot, so we're looking at the same angle.  When that's done, I'm guessing we will still see the rather high, sharp cheeks, and simple fillet instead of blending around the top of the nose that Jason has picked out as the main issues.  The Kato E5 had the same solid model issues with fillets, and they showed up in the tooling. 

I'm not sure what is being measured to compare to prototype and drawings, but I'd be interested to hear more about how that is done.  Do you section a plastic shell?

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2015, 02:43:25 PM »
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Needs more Conrail...

Any progress on the N version?
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bbussey

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2015, 03:14:53 PM »
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It should be easy to rotate the solid model to match the Amtrak shot, so we're looking at the same angle.  When that's done, I'm guessing we will still see the rather high, sharp cheeks, and simple fillet instead of blending around the top of the nose that Jason has picked out as the main issues.  The Kato E5 had the same solid model issues with fillets, and they showed up in the tooling. 

I'm not sure what is being measured to compare to prototype and drawings, but I'd be interested to hear more about how that is done.  Do you section a plastic shell?

No, because you can't match the perspective of the larger mass to the scaled-down mass.

So, why is the criticism continuing when (again) the manufacturer has stated that the displayed product is not the final product and has stated the full process that is followed in finalizing the product?  Coupled with the revelation that ACTUAL experts of the prototype are involved in the process?
Bryan Busséy
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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2015, 03:30:40 PM »
0
Needs more Conrail...

Any progress on the N version?

Once we lock down the HO we will go right to tooling of the N scale version.
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2015, 06:27:23 PM »
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Mike will you be able to make it to Springfield this year? I think Brian and Dave will be getting tired of seeing me.
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Puddington

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2015, 06:47:06 PM »
0
Mike will you be able to make it to Springfield this year? I think Brian and Dave will be getting tired of seeing me.

No; unfortunately I am grounded due to dialysis schedule and insurance reasons... but feel free to pull up a chair and camp out with Dan and Bill..... tell them I sent you! :D
Model railroading isn't saving my life, but it's providing me moments of joy not normally associated with my current situation..... Train are good!

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2015, 08:06:15 PM »
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No, because you can't match the perspective of the larger mass to the scaled-down mass.

So, why is the criticism continuing when (again) the manufacturer has stated that the displayed product is not the final product and has stated the full process that is followed in finalizing the product?  Coupled with the revelation that ACTUAL experts of the prototype are involved in the process?

I'm looking at the profile of the cheek's of the nose against the background.  That radius isn't susceptible to the kind of perspective shift that you're referencing.  And it also shouldn't be changing as you rotate your view around the nose very much, which is why I think the comparison is warranted between two photos of otherwise different perspectives.  Because I'm not one to just throw out comments (And listened to Bill's talk at RPM!) I'm circling the areas of concern in Jason's photo.  My opinion only, of course, and I'm not sure if the other "ACTUAL" experts are keying into this or just the locations of vents on the carsides... but having attempted similar solid modeling it sticks out and I know why and how it happens. Solidworks is great for most boxy railroad stuff like gons and flats and boxcars.  F-unit noses are the number one hardest ever thing to get right, especially in a solid modeling program.  And sometimes when you finally nail it (HO Highliner Shell) the tool maker doesn't survive the process.  (RIP) 

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You're a Solidworks guy, Bryan, have you drafted anything with multiple compound curves like this?  It's really hard.  It probably needs a surfacing program like Rhino, otherwise you end up trying to fit the shape with a few fillet calculations.  I've had the same trouble on streamlined observation car roofs.  It's really, really hard.  Even with all the Pullman Standard drawings in the world.  Maybe Jason can teach me a thing or two. 

And in the meantime, are we simply not supposed to comment?

wazzou

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2015, 08:16:41 PM »
-1
I think the areas between your circles, toward the peak of the nose as it meets the headlight looks a little off too.
I think the proto headlight top sits a little more proud of the top of the nose.

I'm out.
Bryan

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rapidotrains

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2015, 08:41:28 PM »
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Once we lock down the HO we will go right to tooling of the N scale version.

*Ahem* N tooling started a couple of weeks ago.  Say when are you coming back to the office? 

 :P

-Jason

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2015, 08:47:11 PM »
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*Ahem* N tooling started a couple of weeks ago.  Say when are you coming back to the office? 

 :P

-Jason

I am so behind the times..... I still thought HO was the most popular scale and that CNR green was yucky...... :D
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rapidotrains

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2015, 09:07:20 PM »
+1
I know we're not that well known in N scale circles but we have been doing this whole model train thing for some time. Our first kit came out in 2004 and our first ready-to-run model came out in 2006. We don't put things into tooling without doing the necessary research first. We did that a few times when we were still green around the gills, but not any more.

Being the president of the company, I am going to step in with the final word on the nose. Mike and Bill are extremely polite (bless them!) but I don't want to give anyone false hope and I'm afraid their posts do just that.

The FL9 nose shape is not changing.  Not at all.

The model nose is matched 100% to the shape of the EMD/GMD prototype nose. We spent over $30,000 ensuring the FP9A nose design was accurate back in 2009 and since our HO scale FP9A came out I have had NOT ONE criticism of the shape of the nose: not from owners of the real locomotives, not from people who worked on them their entire lives, not from EMD employees who BUILT the darn things, and not from the thousands of modellers who own our models.

Quite the contrary, in fact. MRN thought our FP9A was the best F-unit ever produced in model form.

The FL9 nose and the FP9A nose share the same profile. There are subtle differences, which we are replicating. But the overall shape is not changing AT ALL

That being said, if Bill finds that our test sample - not our drawing - has a tooling problem in the nose, that will be fixed. 

I am very proud of the work we've done to ensure our model is as accurate as can be done in model form, and I am especially proud of the nose. The N scale FL9 nose will match the HO scale FL9 nose, as it rightly should.

Best regards,

Jason

rapidotrains

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Re: Rapido FL-9 progress
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2015, 09:10:59 PM »
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I am so behind the times..... I still thought HO was the most popular scale and that CNR green was yucky...... :D

Hey Puddington: Why does your avatar say you want someone to make a single-window heavyweight coach? Dammit, Mike - you're a manufacturer, not a doctor!

 :D

-Jason