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RE: [on3] Re: Chama Coaling Tower

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  • Ragg
    Sorry, JD, that you weren t happy with our Placerville Depot kit, but I am a bit upset with some of the statements you have thrown out there. To start with,
    Message 1 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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      Sorry, JD, that you weren't happy with our Placerville Depot kit, but I am a bit upset with some of the statements you have thrown out there. 

       

      To start with, manufacturers that have turned to using strathmore in their kits have done so to save money.  The cost of using real wood in kits has skyrocketed and the best option (better than plastic or basic cardboard) is strathmore.  We don't take short cuts in our kits so I decided not to use cheaper materials.  True, the grain cannot run two directions at once on a single piece of plywood, but I've always felt having some grain is better than none and far better than providing each individual piece (with the grain running correctly) for every door and window mullion.  I do try to "optimize" the direction of the grain on our parts when I lay them out on the sheets for cutting. 

       

      I also firmly believe that wood grain on models is often overdone, over stated (especially considering the scale), and on a painted structure will not be seen.   If you prefer strathmore, you really should consider using Grandt Line windows -- they have the correct grain running in both directions.  Maybe then your laser cut windows and doors won't "always end up looking like hell".  I think ours look pretty darned good, especially when you add the lock plates and door knobs.

       

      Now, as to the adhesive we use, yes, it is an industrial adhesive with greater holding power than what others in the business are using.  I'm sorry you think it "sucks".  We've invested a considerable amount of time and money working with the manufacturer to provide a superior product -- one that can be counted on for holding your parts in place over the long run.  The adhesive we use actually increases in strength over the first several days once it's applied, but the parts can be slightly realigned immediately after they're applied.  If you feel the parts are too large to handle at once, you are certainly free to cut them down into smaller assemblies.  This is particularly true in the case you mentioned:  the walls of battens for the O-scale Placerville Depot.  (Although you're the first to actually mention having difficulty with them.)

       

      Again, sorry you weren't happy with the kit….but you're definitely the exception.

       

      Ragg

       

       

       

         

      Well Im going to throw out some opinions here on laser cut kits. It seems to be the trend now, every add touts laser kits. On the one hand, they can cut super fine lines, especially when doing windows. But they use the thin plywood and the doors and windows always end up looking like hell because the grain runs the wrong way. The guy at Crystal River was cutting doors and windows out of thick cardstock or strathmore which solves that problem, but he is the only one doing it to my knowledge.

      I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building. I grew up on Campbells and Fine Scale as Im sure most here did. Im sure many here even did the old Suydam metal kits etc. I still enjoy a kit like Campbells or this SJE coaling tower, that is basically a bunch of strip wood that the modeler has to measure and cut to length etc. I plan on taking quite a while to build this kit, for me that's part of the enjoyment. And when I say I paid $83 for this kit but it took me 3 months of spare time to build, it really is cheap entertainment! Ive built many laser kits that were almost "shake the box" since they go together so fast. Especially when they have the industrial stickem on the back side which eliminates the need to glue anything together.

      And I gotta tell ya, that industrial stuff sucks. The last laser kit I built was a Raggs Placerville depot. You had to take a long string of battens and put it down on a sheet of plain plywood wall. If you got it just a hair off as you tried to lay it down, good luck trying to get it back up. At least with glue you have some wiggle time. And again, the doors and windows look terrible with the grain running the wrong way. So I guess laser cut is here to stay, but IMO they dont look as good or are as fun to build as regular strip wood kits. JD.

      __

    • brian bass
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion but most of us were/are falling over ourselves trying to get Raggs kits before they close up. I think they have become a
      Message 2 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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        Everyone is entitled to their opinion but most of us were/are falling over ourselves trying to get Raggs kits before they close up.  I think they have become a absolute backbone to On3 CO Narrow Gauge along with San Juan, Banta and Grandt Line and some others.
        Brian
         

        To: on3@yahoogroups.com
        From: raggs@...
        Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 08:46:17 -0400
        Subject: RE: [on3] Re: Chama Coaling Tower

         

        Sorry, JD, that you weren't happy with our Placerville Depot kit, but I am a bit upset with some of the statements you have thrown out there. 

         

        To start with, manufacturers that have turned to using strathmore in their kits have done so to save money.  The cost of using real wood in kits has skyrocketed and the best option (better than plastic or basic cardboard) is strathmore.  We don't take short cuts in our kits so I decided not to use cheaper materials.  True, the grain cannot run two directions at once on a single piece of plywood, but I've always felt having some grain is better than none and far better than providing each individual piece (with the grain running correctly) for every door and window mullion.  I do try to "optimize" the direction of the grain on our parts when I lay them out on the sheets for cutting. 

         

        I also firmly believe that wood grain on models is often overdone, over stated (especially considering the scale), and on a painted structure will not be seen.   If you prefer strathmore, you really should consider using Grandt Line windows -- they have the correct grain running in both directions.  Maybe then your laser cut windows and doors won't "always end up looking like hell".  I think ours look pretty darned good, especially when you add the lock plates and door knobs.

         

        Now, as to the adhesive we use, yes, it is an industrial adhesive with greater holding power than what others in the business are using.  I'm sorry you think it "sucks".  We've invested a considerable amount of time and money working with the manufacturer to provide a superior product -- one that can be counted on for holding your parts in place over the long run.  The adhesive we use actually increases in strength over the first several days once it's applied, but the parts can be slightly realigned immediately after they're applied.  If you feel the parts are too large to handle at once, you are certainly free to cut them down into smaller assemblies.  This is particularly true in the case you mentioned:  the walls of battens for the O-scale Placerville Depot.  (Although you're the first to actually mention having difficulty with them.)

         

        Again, sorry you weren't happy with the kit….but you're definitely the exception.

         

        Ragg

         

         

         

           

        Well Im going to throw out some opinions here on laser cut kits. It seems to be the trend now, every add touts laser kits. On the one hand, they can cut super fine lines, especially when doing windows. But they use the thin plywood and the doors and windows always end up looking like hell because the grain runs the wrong way. The guy at Crystal River was cutting doors and windows out of thick cardstock or strathmore which solves that problem, but he is the only one doing it to my knowledge.

        I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building. I grew up on Campbells and Fine Scale as Im sure most here did. Im sure many here even did the old Suydam metal kits etc. I still enjoy a kit like Campbells or this SJE coaling tower, that is basically a bunch of strip wood that the modeler has to measure and cut to length etc. I plan on taking quite a while to build this kit, for me that's part of the enjoyment. And when I say I paid $83 for this kit but it took me 3 months of spare time to build, it really is cheap entertainment! Ive built many laser kits that were almost "shake the box" since they go together so fast. Especially when they have the industrial stickem on the back side which eliminates the need to glue anything together.

        And I gotta tell ya, that industrial stuff sucks. The last laser kit I built was a Raggs Placerville depot. You had to take a long string of battens and put it down on a sheet of plain plywood wall. If you got it just a hair off as you tried to lay it down, good luck trying to get it back up. At least with glue you have some wiggle time. And again, the doors and windows look terrible with the grain running the wrong way. So I guess laser cut is here to stay, but IMO they dont look as good or are as fun to build as regular strip wood kits. JD.

        __


      • Doug Ramos
        I would like to add that like any product there some of more quality than others. These of quality are a pleasure to build and I don t hesitate to adjust
        Message 3 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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          I would like to add that like any product there some of more quality than others. These of quality are a pleasure to build and I don't hesitate to "adjust" some of the methods and materials to give them a scratch built character so to speak. I prefer to add individual battens instead of laser cut ones and there are other little tricks to hide grains. I love some of the neat structures that these manufacturers design and thank them for doing so. Come on JD ! You gotta think inside and outside the box. Is it not just as fun to make a kit with some scratch built vibes?

          Sent from my iPad

          On May 31, 2012, at 5:37 PM, "jdmckee1" <jdmckee@...> wrote:

           



          --- In on3@yahoogroups.com, JGG KahnSr <jacekahn@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >"....It is not so easy to build as the modern laser-cut kits, but On3 modelers have been doing excellent work with them fora generation".

          Well Im going to throw out some opinions here on laser cut kits. It seems to be the trend now, every add touts laser kits. On the one hand, they can cut super fine lines, especially when doing windows. But they use the thin plywood and the doors and windows always end up looking like hell because the grain runs the wrong way. The guy at Crystal River was cutting doors and windows out of thick cardstock or strathmore which solves that problem, but he is the only one doing it to my knowledge.

          I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building. I grew up on Campbells and Fine Scale as Im sure most here did. Im sure many here even did the old Suydam metal kits etc. I still enjoy a kit like Campbells or this SJE coaling tower, that is basically a bunch of strip wood that the modeler has to measure and cut to length etc. I plan on taking quite a while to build this kit, for me that's part of the enjoyment. And when I say I paid $83 for this kit but it took me 3 months of spare time to build, it really is cheap entertainment! Ive built many laser kits that were almost "shake the box" since they go together so fast. Especially when they have the industrial stickem on the back side which eliminates the need to glue anything together.

          And I gotta tell ya, that industrial stuff sucks. The last laser kit I built was a Raggs Placerville depot. You had to take a long string of battens and put it down on a sheet of plain plywood wall. If you got it just a hair off as you tried to lay it down, good luck trying to get it back up. At least with glue you have some wiggle time. And again, the doors and windows look terrible with the grain running the wrong way. So I guess laser cut is here to stay, but IMO they dont look as good or are as fun to build as regular strip wood kits. JD.

          =
        • Mike
          I have had 3 coal towers and a sand house kit from Ragg, and can only say this, WOW.  They are superbly thought out, and detail is fantastic.  They are not
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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            I have had 3 coal towers and a sand house kit from Ragg, and can only say this, WOW.  They are superbly thought out, and detail is fantastic.  They are not all that difficult to build, with the way Ragg layed them out.  My only regret is that I've sold them off.  Hopefully in the future, Ragg will be able to recover enough to redue them
            A very satisfied customer
            Mike Pierce
             
            H. Michael Pierce



            From: Ragg <raggs@...>
            To: on3@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Fri, June 1, 2012 8:46:34 AM
            Subject: RE: [on3] Re: Chama Coaling Tower

             

            Sorry, JD, that you weren't happy with our Placerville Depot kit, but I am a bit upset with some of the statements you have thrown out there. 

             

            To start with, manufacturers that have turned to using strathmore in their kits have done so to save money.  The cost of using real wood in kits has skyrocketed and the best option (better than plastic or basic cardboard) is strathmore.  We don't take short cuts in our kits so I decided not to use cheaper materials.  True, the grain cannot run two directions at once on a single piece of plywood, but I've always felt having some grain is better than none and far better than providing each individual piece (with the grain running correctly) for every door and window mullion.  I do try to "optimize" the direction of the grain on our parts when I lay them out on the sheets for cutting. 

             

            I also firmly believe that wood grain on models is often overdone, over stated (especially considering the scale), and on a painted structure will not be seen.   If you prefer strathmore, you really should consider using Grandt Line windows -- they have the correct grain running in both directions.  Maybe then your laser cut windows and doors won't "always end up looking like hell".  I think ours look pretty darned good, especially when you add the lock plates and door knobs.

             

            Now, as to the adhesive we use, yes, it is an industrial adhesive with greater holding power than what others in the business are using.  I'm sorry you think it "sucks".  We've invested a considerable amount of time and money working with the manufacturer to provide a superior product -- one that can be counted on for holding your parts in place over the long run.  The adhesive we use actually increases in strength over the first several days once it's applied, but the parts can be slightly realigned immediately after they're applied.  If you feel the parts are too large to handle at once, you are certainly free to cut them down into smaller assemblies.  This is particularly true in the case you mentioned:  the walls of battens for the O-scale Placerville Depot.  (Although you're the first to actually mention having difficulty with them.)

             

            Again, sorry you weren't happy with the kit….but you're definitely the exception.

             

            Ragg

             

             

             

               

            Well Im going to throw out some opinions here on laser cut kits. It seems to be the trend now, every add touts laser kits. On the one hand, they can cut super fine lines, especially when doing windows. But they use the thin plywood and the doors and windows always end up looking like hell because the grain runs the wrong way. The guy at Crystal River was cutting doors and windows out of thick cardstock or strathmore which solves that problem, but he is the only one doing it to my knowledge.

            I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building. I grew up on Campbells and Fine Scale as Im sure most here did. Im sure many here even did the old Suydam metal kits etc. I still enjoy a kit like Campbells or this SJE coaling tower, that is basically a bunch of strip wood that the modeler has to measure and cut to length etc. I plan on taking quite a while to build this kit, for me that's part of the enjoyment. And when I say I paid $83 for this kit but it took me 3 months of spare time to build, it really is cheap entertainment! Ive built many laser kits that were almost "shake the box" since they go together so fast. Especially when they have the industrial stickem on the back side which eliminates the need to glue anything together.

            And I gotta tell ya, that industrial stuff sucks. The last laser kit I built was a Raggs Placerville depot. You had to take a long string of battens and put it down on a sheet of plain plywood wall. If you got it just a hair off as you tried to lay it down, good luck trying to get it back up. At least with glue you have some wiggle time. And again, the doors and windows look terrible with the grain running the wrong way. So I guess laser cut is here to stay, but IMO they dont look as good or are as fun to build as regular strip wood kits. JD.

            __

          • don mckenney
            Boy, JD, I knew you d stepped in it as soon as I read your post yesterday. I hesitate to throw my two cents in, but what the heck, price is cheap. Main point
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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              Boy, JD, I knew you'd stepped in it as soon as I read your post yesterday.
              I hesitate to throw my two cents in, but what the heck, price is cheap.
              Main point in my view:  most modelers are in it for the pleasure, to have fun, so whatever floats your boat.  JD is merely describing his druthers, what he likes and dislikes about laser-cut kits.  I didn't read his comments as more than that.  He's not condemning laser kits or putting scratchbuilding on a pedestal.  I suppose I'm even further to the "left."  I have pretty much no interest in building kits.  I love the challenges of scratchbuilding, even rock and brick work and hardware not available commercially, and I don't mind how long it takes as I'm doing something I enjoy and that brings me a lot of satisfaction.  I even feel a pang of loss (the enjoyment of building something I've dreamed about) when the project is finished.  But that's just me.  
              Whatever approach to modeling others enjoy is fine with me.  I like seeing what others accomplish and I find the philosophical aspect behind our modeling important and interesting too, though it's rarely talked about.  No approach will satisfy everyone.  Modeling, like life, is an art of balancing.
              I don't understand folks getting "How can you say that?!" fired up.


              On May 31, 2012, at 5:37 PM, jdmckee1 wrote:

               



              --- In on3@yahoogroups.com, JGG KahnSr <jacekahn@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >"....It is not so easy to build as the modern laser-cut kits, but On3 modelers have been doing excellent work with them fora generation".

              Well Im going to throw out some opinions here on laser cut kits. It seems to be the trend now, every add touts laser kits. On the one hand, they can cut super fine lines, especially when doing windows. But they use the thin plywood and the doors and windows always end up looking like hell because the grain runs the wrong way. The guy at Crystal River was cutting doors and windows out of thick cardstock or strathmore which solves that problem, but he is the only one doing it to my knowledge.

              I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building. I grew up on Campbells and Fine Scale as Im sure most here did. Im sure many here even did the old Suydam metal kits etc. I still enjoy a kit like Campbells or this SJE coaling tower, that is basically a bunch of strip wood that the modeler has to measure and cut to length etc. I plan on taking quite a while to build this kit, for me that's part of the enjoyment. And when I say I paid $83 for this kit but it took me 3 months of spare time to build, it really is cheap entertainment! Ive built many laser kits that were almost "shake the box" since they go together so fast. Especially when they have the industrial stickem on the back side which eliminates the need to glue anything together.

              And I gotta tell ya, that industrial stuff sucks. The last laser kit I built was a Raggs Placerville depot. You had to take a long string of battens and put it down on a sheet of plain plywood wall. If you got it just a hair off as you tried to lay it down, good luck trying to get it back up. At least with glue you have some wiggle time. And again, the doors and windows look terrible with the grain running the wrong way. So I guess laser cut is here to stay, but IMO they dont look as good or are as fun to build as regular strip wood kits. JD.


            • Jim Noel
              Don, I wish everyone had your outlook. If a hobby is not fun I don t think it is a hobby. I enjoy MRR in a far different aspect than you, but I certainly
              Message 6 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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                Don,
                I wish everyone had your outlook. If a hobby is not fun I don't think it is a hobby. I enjoy MRR in a far different aspect than you, but I certainly admire those of you who can work as you do.
                Jim

                On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 9:04 AM, don mckenney <don.mckenney@...> wrote:
                 

                Boy, JD, I knew you'd stepped in it as soon as I read your post yesterday.

                I hesitate to throw my two cents in, but what the heck, price is cheap.
                Main point in my view:  most modelers are in it for the pleasure, to have fun, so whatever floats your boat.  JD is merely describing his druthers, what he likes and dislikes about laser-cut kits.  I didn't read his comments as more than that.  He's not condemning laser kits or putting scratchbuilding on a pedestal.  I suppose I'm even further to the "left."  I have pretty much no interest in building kits.  I love the challenges of scratchbuilding, even rock and brick work and hardware not available commercially, and I don't mind how long it takes as I'm doing something I enjoy and that brings me a lot of satisfaction.  I even feel a pang of loss (the enjoyment of building something I've dreamed about) when the project is finished.  But that's just me.  
                Whatever approach to modeling others enjoy is fine with me.  I like seeing what others accomplish and I find the philosophical aspect behind our modeling important and interesting too, though it's rarely talked about.  No approach will satisfy everyone.  Modeling, like life, is an art of balancing.
                I don't understand folks getting "How can you say that?!" fired up.


                On May 31, 2012, at 5:37 PM, jdmckee1 wrote:

                 



                --- In on3@yahoogroups.com, JGG KahnSr <jacekahn@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >"....It is not so easy to build as the modern laser-cut kits, but On3 modelers have been doing excellent work with them fora generation".

                Well Im going to throw out some opinions here on laser cut kits. It seems to be the trend now, every add touts laser kits. On the one hand, they can cut super fine lines, especially when doing windows. But they use the thin plywood and the doors and windows always end up looking like hell because the grain runs the wrong way. The guy at Crystal River was cutting doors and windows out of thick cardstock or strathmore which solves that problem, but he is the only one doing it to my knowledge.

                I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building. I grew up on Campbells and Fine Scale as Im sure most here did. Im sure many here even did the old Suydam metal kits etc. I still enjoy a kit like Campbells or this SJE coaling tower, that is basically a bunch of strip wood that the modeler has to measure and cut to length etc. I plan on taking quite a while to build this kit, for me that's part of the enjoyment. And when I say I paid $83 for this kit but it took me 3 months of spare time to build, it really is cheap entertainment! Ive built many laser kits that were almost "shake the box" since they go together so fast. Especially when they have the industrial stickem on the back side which eliminates the need to glue anything together.

                And I gotta tell ya, that industrial stuff sucks. The last laser kit I built was a Raggs Placerville depot. You had to take a long string of battens and put it down on a sheet of plain plywood wall. If you got it just a hair off as you tried to lay it down, good luck trying to get it back up. At least with glue you have some wiggle time. And again, the doors and windows look terrible with the grain running the wrong way. So I guess laser cut is here to stay, but IMO they dont look as good or are as fun to build as regular strip wood kits. JD.



              • jdmckee1
                Hehehehe, well I accomplished what I was after, and that was to stir up this list and get some conversation going. It gets too dull around here once in awhile,
                Message 7 of 27 , Jun 1, 2012
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                  Hehehehe, well I accomplished what I was after, and that was to stir up this list and get some conversation going. It gets too dull around here once in awhile, gotta stir the pot a little. With that said, here are my thoughts again.

                  First off, Joe you need to chill a bit. If you read my post more carefully you will see that I never said I was "unhappy" with your Placerville kit. I said the LAST KIT I BUILT was your Placerville depot. I dont like the industrial grade glue that is applied to the backside of all the parts, on EVERY laser kit....not just yours. I prefer glue, always have and always will. I mentioned the battens again because it was the last kit I built, and despite your claim that the parts can be moved around a bit, they would not move for me without damaging them. You do say that you use stronger glue than everyone else. The only saving grace was that it was on the backside of the depot. I prefer glue since it still allows me to adjust parts if need be.

                  As far as wood grain goes, I agree it is usually overdone. But the fact is that with laser cut windows and doors, the grain does run the wrong way and even painted it can still be seen. I think it looks bad, thats my opinion and its not going to change. Again, it applies to ALL laser cut windows, I did not single yours out.

                  If you really digest the post, what I said was that I fear that in the future everything will be laser cut and scratchbuilding will die off. Here is my exact quote "I kind of fear that as time goes by, modelers will come to rely on laser cut everything and take some of the craftsmanship out of building". Laser cutting has its pros, like I said you can get super fine windows and everything usually fits like a glove. But I dont want to lose sight of good old craftsmanship. I dont want the hobby to get to the point that if things are not cut and laid out perfectly then people cant build the model. I admire the guys who can scratchbuild anything, like Jerry Lawrence, Chuck Doan, Ted Edgell and Troels Kirk. Doug Ramos is another super modeler when it comes to kits and altering them. Look at their work:

                  http://public.fotki.com/ChuckDoan/model_projects/

                  http://coastline.no13.se/#home

                  http://www.terrapinnarrowgaugesociety.com/

                  Sorry you took offense to the post but I think you mistook the tone. If I was "unhappy" with your Placerville depot it would still not be sitting on my layout. JD.
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