To all newbies!

Hi,
I guess one can't expect wonders when paying only 6-8 dollars for a freight car, but what a piece of garbage I got with Athearn's bargain
freight cars! I would heartily recommend not purchasing bargain freight cars, but go for the higher quality, regardless of the brand. I bought (6) such freight cars and upon arrival I learned that they were kits!!! And what a hassle putting them together. Laying the coupler on the pin and then trying to clip the lid onto the coupler box was one thing, but getting that lid to stay clipped...well, that's a whole 'nother story. Just don't plan on spending less than $15 for a good qualtiy freight car, where you'll probably get decent couplers and maybe you won't have to spend any time struggling to put them together.
I bought (6) of these and now I'm sorry!. I may have to glue the coupler lid onto the coupler box on a few of them because of the bad alignment! And maybe, I just may throw good money after bad and buy decent trucks and couplers. Or maybe I may just leave them on the side as scenery...in shops, abandonesd, etc.
Mike Picture Rocks, AZ
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Well, that used to be part of the hobby - leftover from when ALL cars had to be aasembled. If you have some time, and are willing to deal with a little frustration, I think you might find some of the lost joy of the hobby - looking back at your work with a sense of accomplishment. The more you do, the better you get, the more enjoyment you can derive from the hobby. But, ready to run is a sign of the times, and after all, it is what keeps me in business.
Don Cardiff Model Railroad Design Kaneville, IL
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Mike Gabriel's recent frustration with Athearn kits makes a good segue to an informal poll I'm conducting at http://www.greenbayroute.com /:
Athearn HO Kits: When was the last time you built an HO scale Athearn 'blue box' freight or passenger car kit? - Last month - Within the last year - One to two years ago - Two to five years ago - Five to ten years ago - Over ten years ago - Never
To vote, go to http://www.greenbayroute.com /. You can vote right on the home page; the poll is open through July 31.
If you'd rather just see the current results of the poll, they are at http://htmlgear.tripod.com/poll/control.poll?u=gb_route&i &a=vote
--
Mark Mathu
The Green Bay Route: http://www.greenbayroute.com/
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You forgot:
- I've got tons of these packed away for future assembly.
Paul K. - "The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling 1969 In HO.)
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good segue to an

http://www.greenbayroute.com /:

Athearn 'blue

right on the home

they are at

http://htmlgear.tripod.com/poll/control.poll?u=gb_route&i &a=vo te

That's the one that would get my vote!
--
Len
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But when was the last time that you built one? Vote at http://www.greenbayroute.com/
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The last time I built one was last November. I was holding a clinic at the LHS on how to put them together for Mom's on a low budgets, that wanted to get their kids trains as Christmas presents. Several have since moved up to Branchline 'Blueprint' kits.
Now I've finally got a house to build a layout in, I'll probably start on my stash of BB kits in the fall.
--
Len
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That, Sir, is a very cool idea and I really like it. It would probably work for various winter time after school programs for kids of the right ages, too. That has got to be a warehouse full of old blue boxes which someone could donate. Only glue might be a problem, but introducing folks of modest means to model trains and how to do it on a budget is very cool.
Thanks for giving!
Ed
in article PTpAc.4661$ snipped-for-privacy@bignews3.bellsouth.net, Len at snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote on 6/17/04 4:42 PM:

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Ed Oates
http://homepage.mac.com/edoates
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Ed,
Thanks for the idea of some kind of after school program. I'll keep that in mind for this coming Fall.
--
Len
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Brian Paul Ehni wrote:

Chalks are good, but Dullcote marries with the chalk somehow and turns it nearly invisible. I had a really good chalk weathering job just sort of disappear after one coat of DullCote. on structures, which don't get the handling that rolling stock does, I omit the Dullcote step. You want to be careful with "or simular" I had a bad experience with a satin clearcoat spray, it made all the decals wrinkle badly, something that DullCote never did.
David Starr
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On 6/18/04 8:10 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@theworld.com, "David J.

If you're gonna quote me, at least spell it correctly, as I did. 8^)
David makes a GREAT point here. When working with any unknown, try to test the product before ruining the project. I built, painted, and decaled a Sunshine PFE 50' wood reefer (and it looked GREAT, if I may say so), then a close friend offered to weather it, after I had admired some of his previous work.
It's been five years, and he STILL won't let me see it.....
--
Brian Ehni


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Mark Newton wrote:

Agreed that the "clown face" look is easier to achieve than the realistic, subtle look.
But one other observation is that the model MUST be painted to agree with the lighting under which it is to be viewed. A model painted to look good under 'flat' interior lighting will look overdone in harsher outdoor lighting. Similarly, a mode very subtlety done to look right in direct sunlight will appear too 'flat' under softer lighting.
Similarly, the different lightings produce color shifts, with incandescent lighting being too 'orange' or 'yellow', and fluorescent lighting being too 'blue'. Sunlight is greenish-yellow in color. Different paints react to these illumination colors differently. Hence a model that looks great, perfectly color matched, under one lighting, may look quite strange under a different illumination.
All such things affect how we perceive the model.
Dan Mitchell =========
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Daniel A. Mitchell wrote: ...snip...

That's the reason that the quest for "prototypically correct paint" is doomed to failure.
Besides, two protoype cars painted the protoype colour could look quite different after a few years, depending on the sunlight, weather, dust, etc that they wre exposed to in different parts of the country.
Moral: trust your taste and judgement. And respect other people's.
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wrote on 6/17/04 4:42 PM:

```````` We do something similar each year for two sessions over the course of a Saturday as part of helping Boy Scouts who are interested in earning their Railroad Merit Badge.
Very satisfying...
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling the 1960'a in HO.)
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```````` And your guess would be incorrect...Not true at all, unless possibly applied to the masses who are recent entrants into the hobby or more "rivet counting" oriented. The vast majority of modelers I've met and known over the years have layouts populated almost entirely with shake-the-box kits, and continue to purchase them and assemble them. It's what they've gotten used to - in appearance, ease of building, and reasonable price. Tbese guys are more "model railroaders" versus "railroad modelers". The BB, et al offerings are simply "good enough" for their needs.
Very many are extremely knowlegeable on their prototype having become so after years of what those who wished to learn more about railroading and prototypes before there was the Internet did: read magazines and books on the subject and attend clinics. To many of them, the relatively recent Internet method of knowledge and research is either not going to tell them much new or not be of much interest at this point in their modeling. They may occassionally buy a high end, resin type kit, or even one of the highly detailed RTR offerings, but usually only to try something different or to get a model of something their prorotype had, and is sorely needed for their layout's operational orientation or era, which isn't available at lesser cost. I'm in that camp as well...
Basically, I just hope you weren't suggesting that only the "ignorant", "simple minded", or non-"serious" model railroader would bother to acquire, build, and actually run on their layouts a BB style, shake-the-box kit...because you would be wrong. Very, very wrong!
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling 1960's In HO.)
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Paul K - The CB&Q Guy wrote:
>> I'd guess that most people doing the blue boxes are informal >> hobbiests with a track on plywood kind of set-up.
> And your guess would be incorrect...Not true at all, unless possibly > applied to the masses who are recent entrants into the hobby or more > "rivet counting" oriented. The vast majority of modelers I've met and > known over the years have layouts populated almost entirely with > shake-the-box kits, and continue to purchase them and assemble them.
Obviously our experiences differ - most of the modellers I associate with prefer the high-end kits. They are not neccessarily rivet counters, but they are simply no longer challenged by BB kits.
In all fairness, most of the BB kits are crude and inaccurate by comparison with contemporary shake-the-box kits.
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It's unfortunate, but kids today don't seem to build models anymore. My club helps Boy Scouts out with the Railroading Merit Badge and the inability to understand even easy instructions or how to hold basic tools is shocking. Watching one try to assemble an Athearn 40 foot boxcar can be a real learning experience. Gene ABV61-1043.001.HCB <A HREF="http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot ">http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot </A> Find "Skinny Dipping and Other Stories" On the web at www.publishamerica.com or www.military-brats.com and look for "Into Joy From Sadness" soon.
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...and that's why we are seeing a rise in the RTR product mix.
My overall take on this is that some of us (my 12 year old daughter included) really enjoy building a model. She happens to like structures better than rolling stock. Others just want to get stuff on the layout and will buy RTR and built up structures, trading time for money. If one doesn't enjoy building stuff, and the attendant disasters while you are learning how, then why would you spend money and time doing it.
My additional experience with others is that many newbies start with RTR and build up structures, and then decide that they want something they can't buy, or a different color, whatever. After they get over the initial smeared glue hurdle, many find that they actually enjoy the build it yourself aspect of this and similar hobbies (model cars, doll houses, etc.).
Ed
in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m04.aol.com, STEAM GENE at snipped-for-privacy@aol.comOpFoot wrote on 6/25/04 8:26 AM:

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Ed Oates
http://homepage.mac.com/edoates
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RE: "how to hold basic tools is shocking" - as someone who built MANY models as a kid, and went on to build plenty of custom trains, this is exactly WHY, when I have a "home project", and my four year old boy asks to help, he DOES. The other day I was assembling a stereo stand, and he asked to use the screwdriver to put a screw in. I was happy to hand it over.
In a society which merits laziness, remote controls, television "everything", and a "throw away consumer ethic", it's no wonder kids can't/don't do anything, and aren't interested. Why mow your own lawn when you can pay someone to do it? Why change your oil when someone else can do it? Why spend $75 and an hour of your time to fix your dryer when you can spend $200 on a repairman, or buy a new one?
Not my kid - he's gonna learn basic skills.
Chris
STEAM GENE wrote:

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Chris Munson wrote:

Many parents won't let their kids "help", afraid they'll hurt themselves, or simply too impatient to wait for the kid to figure out what the, er, "helpful hints" from the parent actually mean. :-) Etc. And many, many more don't know how to assemble those "easy-to-assemble" book cases themeselves, so how can they teach their kids? And all these factors operated in the past, too. IOW, modelbuilding has always been a minority sport. I certainly can't remember us modelbuilders to have been a majority when I was in school.
I suspect that Steam Gene would have been just as shocked a generation or two ago.
HTH
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