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Re: [Z_Scale] Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed features

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  • Alan Cox
    I think its also easy to forget that there are tradeoffs and manufacturers can t anticipate everything people will try and do. We ve seen reviews where MTL has
    Message 1 of 14 , May 5, 2009
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      I think its also easy to forget that there are tradeoffs and
      manufacturers can't anticipate everything people will try and do.

      We've seen reviews where MTL has been found wanting (the trucks review
      for example) but I don't think its fair to criticise them for putting the
      locating lugs on the corners which from a certain perspective is
      completely logical. They don't interwork with Märklin, and everyone else
      happens to have followed Märklin but I guess they never anticipated
      people mixing and matching containers.

      Nor is accuracy everything anyway - it has to be buildable and work. If Z
      accuracy is a concern then the thick track, large flanges and big fat
      wheels are a much more visible problem than where the pegs on a container
      are stuck. OTOH the big fat toy wheels mean it's much more "just
      works"....

      Alan
    • Alan Cox
      ... Nobody - but the funny thing is even though they don t look for them it *does* look better if they are there. Alan
      Message 2 of 14 , May 5, 2009
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        > it can be interpreted and used either way. At Z and N
        > scale sizes who's looking at the cracks in the sidewalk?

        Nobody - but the funny thing is even though they don't look for them it
        *does* look better if they are there.

        Alan
      • Jim Gawenis
        Time for me to chime in.... Any time anyone tries to scale-down anything from an engineering standpoint, they MUST be amenable to loss of detail. This is even
        Message 3 of 14 , May 6, 2009
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          Time for me to chime in....

          Any time anyone tries to scale-down anything from an engineering standpoint, they MUST be amenable to loss of detail. This is even understood in my industry--the making of custom precision scientific instrumentation. The mantra here is you have 2 of 3 options: cheap, fast, or high precision/detail.

          Point being...if you want to be able to rivet count your stuff...pay up. Otherwise, work with what you have and if you want to super-detail, cool. Post your pics and let the rest of us stand in awe....

          Doc
        • Loren
          Doc, Are you going to send us a bill for that good bit of advice? :o) Loren ... From: Jim Gawenis To: Sent:
          Message 4 of 14 , May 6, 2009
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            Doc,
            Are you going to send us a bill for that good bit of advice? :o)
            Loren

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Jim Gawenis" <gawenisj@...>
            To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 9:18 AM
            Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed
            features


            > Time for me to chime in....
            >
            > Any time anyone tries to scale-down anything from an engineering
            > standpoint, they MUST be amenable to loss of detail. This is even
            > understood in my industry--the making of custom precision scientific
            > instrumentation. The mantra here is you have 2 of 3 options: cheap, fast,
            > or high precision/detail.
            >
            > Point being...if you want to be able to rivet count your stuff...pay up.
            > Otherwise, work with what you have and if you want to super-detail, cool.
            > Post your pics and let the rest of us stand in awe....
            >
            > Doc
          • Alan Cox
            On Wed, 6 May 2009 10:55:36 -0700 ... It is fortunate the bill scales down faster than the models.
            Message 5 of 14 , May 6, 2009
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              On Wed, 6 May 2009 10:55:36 -0700
              "Loren" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:

              > Doc,
              > Are you going to send us a bill for that good bit of advice? :o)

              It is fortunate the bill scales down faster than the models.
            • Jim Gawenis
              LOL! Nah, just keep the kits going and eventually I can afford them myself (gotta pay off them other bills first). Tony showed me some of the new stuff
              Message 6 of 14 , May 6, 2009
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                LOL! Nah, just keep the kits going and eventually I can afford them myself (gotta pay off them other bills first). Tony showed me some of the new stuff coming out....Sweeeet!

                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                >
                > Doc,
                > Are you going to send us a bill for that good bit of advice? :o)
                > Loren
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Jim Gawenis" <gawenisj@...>
                > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 9:18 AM
                > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed
                > features
                >
                >
                > > Time for me to chime in....
                > >
                > > Any time anyone tries to scale-down anything from an engineering
                > > standpoint, they MUST be amenable to loss of detail. This is even
                > > understood in my industry--the making of custom precision scientific
                > > instrumentation. The mantra here is you have 2 of 3 options: cheap, fast,
                > > or high precision/detail.
                > >
                > > Point being...if you want to be able to rivet count your stuff...pay up.
                > > Otherwise, work with what you have and if you want to super-detail, cool.
                > > Post your pics and let the rest of us stand in awe....
                > >
                > > Doc
                >
              • Loren
                Hi Reynard, I m just now getting around to responding to your post, and one comment made me chuckle. You mentioned the #91219 brick/cinder block which you say
                Message 7 of 14 , May 8, 2009
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                  Hi Reynard,
                  I'm just now getting around to responding to your post, and one comment made
                  me chuckle.
                  You mentioned the #91219 brick/cinder block which you say is both correct
                  for Z and N. Then you said and I quote....
                  "At Z and N scale sizes who's looking at the cracks in the sidewalk?"

                  I would say that some folks really are looking for detail cracks in the
                  sidewalk. It helps to be over 60........you can't see the cracks no matter
                  what size they are. :o)

                  Thank you for the compliments on the bridge piers and abutments..........and
                  yes, some of them do have cracks and chinks intentionally.........and 'yes'
                  I can see them.......I put them there !!

                  Best to you,
                  Loren

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Reynard Wellman" <micron@...>
                  To: "Zgroup" <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 2:48 PM
                  Subject: [Z_Scale] Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed features


                  > Hello Loren & Karin,
                  >
                  > Some good observations in your last post. As for details...
                  >
                  > My experience in designing for three different scales, N,
                  > Z & HO, has awakened my sympathy for those attempting
                  > some degree of accuracy in any of those scales! Differing
                  > materials, styrene, wood, cardboard, brass and injection
                  > molded plastics -- each have advantages and disadvantages
                  > in regards to expressing those details and to the final
                  > performance of the product as used.
                  >
                  > I agree, the model builder himself could regard his/her
                  > purchase as the starting point of an artistic adventure. Some
                  > like to "super-detail" to the point of photo-realism while others
                  > will live with those objects as they come out of the box but
                  > then come up with a very original paint scheme for the model!
                  >
                  > Take the GP7 vs GP9 comparison for instance. It is nice
                  > to see and understand those differences but frankly I
                  > could care less when those trains are running around.
                  > Both look great and both are successful!
                  >
                  > I have a "Scratch" product, #91219 that I have labeled:
                  > "N Brick or Z Cinder Block". Both answers are correct,
                  > not because the product is absolute, but because
                  > it can be interpreted and used either way. At Z and N
                  > scale sizes who's looking at the cracks in the sidewalk?
                  >
                  > Loren has done a fine job with cast piers and abutments
                  > and I am very impressed with all the fine laser cut kits
                  > that others are creating as well. We certainly have many
                  > more choices than we did just five years ago!
                  >
                  > Warm regardZ,
                  > Reynard
                  > http://www.micronart.com
                • Elizabeth Hayes
                  weren t there some ready to run models made of Lajos kit? There was Burlington Northern and CBQ as I recall, were there any other roadnames? Extremely
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 9, 2009
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                    weren't there some ready to run models made of Lajos' kit? There was Burlington Northern and CBQ as I recall, were there any other roadnames? Extremely limited run, have never seen any on secondary market, so guess they sold out right away? I think I have seen some of them in the Uncle Will ads pulling his Full Throttle cars in his photos?



                    To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    From: bigtrain6@...
                    Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 14:22:18 -0700
                    Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed features







                    all I want for christmas or anytime is a couple of R-T-R SW1200/1500/ SW-1 or similar switchers no matter the roadnames( I see every day on the tracks behind my house all railroads even though IHB ownes the tracks)

                    --- On Tue, 5/5/09, Harbormaster <harbormaster@...> wrote:

                    From: Harbormaster <harbormaster@...>
                    Subject: [Z_Scale] Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed features
                    To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 12:16 PM

                    I agree that we should continue this prototype property vs. model scale replication in a positive discussion, as Rob has suggested.

                    We should accept that each manufacturer will try to achieve their own goals of perceived market acceptance and product performance. Manufacturers all have the same goal - sell more products that satisfy market needs. Why don't we concentrate the energy in this discussion on the determination of what products the market needs, please?

                    If you want to read my "two-cents" worth, then plunge on. If not, I would rather you respond with what products you want or need.

                    So, to continue;

                    "Exaggeration is not corrupt when achieving desired perception."

                    In scale modeling, manufacturers are expected to adhere to strict scale replication. We are, after all, providing a return on the client's investment and are expected to perform to a scale standard.

                    That precise scale standard is "modified" in model replication to achieve acceptable market perception.

                    The reproduction of overall length, height, width of any component (any component!) is, in Z scale, governed by perception not precision. For example, some products in this market "look" and "feel" good. They have an acceptable representation of surface detail. But, those details may not be precisely to scale. Manufacturers compromise to achieve market acceptance. (see "RIVET" example in a postscript below)

                    From a manufacturer' s point of view, the accuracy standard in the Z scale market appears to be;

                    "If it looks right, feels right, and performs without failure, it is 'right'."
                    So, as manufacturers, we compromise. And, in some cases, we accept compromise in favor of accuracy.

                    I know I'm going to get "dumped on". But, we have learned this lesson of compromise, and have directed our efforts at supplying the best product we can produce that meets market acceptance standards. I believe all successful manufacturers follow that rule.

                    In closing, and quoting that great philosopher Jagger, "... You can't always get what you want. But, if you try sometimes, well you might find,
                    You get what you need!..."

                    Jim

                    PS. Using an example of the sight and feel of rivets; their perception by the client requires "correct" placement and number, and this quality of detail reproduction (not necessarily rivets) is more important to a significant portion of the market than adherence to precise scale.

                    e.g.: a one inch (1") diameter rivet, with a one half inch (1/2") dome above the surface is, in reality, marginally above 1/32" x 1/64" in scale. These dimensions are extraordinarily difficult to perceive using ANY of our normal human senses.

                    Ask yourself this question - Can I see 0.01625" (1/64")? That's 3.5" in Z scale. Handrails, for example, are not usually more that 0.75" in prototype diameter and a precise replication would be 0.0034". Forget about feeling 1/124", can you even see it?

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









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                  • Reynard Wellman
                    Hi Loren, Yes, paying attention to surface subtleties does count. Between you and John Cubbin, I have some very fine bridge piers and abutments that fit
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 9, 2009
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                      Hi Loren,
                      Yes, paying attention to surface subtleties does count.
                      Between you and John Cubbin, I have some very fine
                      bridge piers and abutments that fit beautifully into
                      the scenery. Closeup photos do reveal just how important
                      the tiny detail points are, like 1] concrete form plank marks;
                      2] variations in stone shapes that have to be carefully fitted
                      (even though mortar will forgive a lot of sins when building
                      a retaining wall or a pier)... indeed, these details add very
                      much to the pleasure of building an interesting layout.

                      I'll post some photos of my "Big River Crossing" once the
                      layout is complete.

                      Concerning sidewalk cracks here is an informative note I
                      received from Alan Cox in the UK:
                      "I'm quite serious:
                      If you are using soft plastic embossed with paving stones don't just run
                      a sharp knife between each stone to bring up the texture but scribe a
                      few
                      very fine cracks on then the usual wash of light paint, dry brushing
                      of concrete or similar and dusting with weathering powder. The cracks
                      will just faintly show but more importantly they will break up the
                      regularity of the paving. One other thing I want to try but have yet to
                      be patient enough is to file a bit of wood into a paving stone shape and
                      then use it an a mallet to disturb the apparently layering and levelness
                      of the stones by hitting them with a mallet to change the level of the
                      plastic in various places.

                      And if you are using printed sidewalk surfaces then the scalescenes ones
                      already come with cracks and when you shrink the sheet down to Z scale
                      they are still there.
                      Alan"

                      Many warm regards to you and Karen
                      Reynard
                      http://www.micronart.com
                      On May 8, 2009, at 11:25 PM, Loren wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Hi Reynard,
                      > I'm just now getting around to responding to your post, and one
                      > comment made
                      > me chuckle.
                      > You mentioned the #91219 brick/cinder block which you say is both
                      > correct
                      > for Z and N. Then you said and I quote....
                      > "At Z and N scale sizes who's looking at the cracks in the sidewalk?"
                      >
                      > I would say that some folks really are looking for detail cracks in
                      > the
                      > sidewalk. It helps to be over 60........you can't see the cracks no
                      > matter
                      > what size they are. :o)
                      >
                      > Thank you for the compliments on the bridge piers and
                      > abutments..........and
                      > yes, some of them do have cracks and chinks
                      > intentionally.........and 'yes'
                      > I can see them.......I put them there !!
                      >
                      > Best to you,
                      > Loren
                      >
                      >
                      > EDITED
                      >
                      >



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Loren
                      Reynard, You really shouldn t put my work in the same catagory as John s. In my opinion, there isn t another modeler out there who does the detail like John
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 9, 2009
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                        Reynard,

                        You really shouldn't put my work in the same catagory as John's. In my
                        opinion, there isn't another modeler out there who does the detail like John
                        does. On second thought, I would praise David Smith's work also. He also
                        does some amazing stuff and when I put my name next to theirs..........it is
                        so small!!!

                        Hey, bottom line?..................everyone who has something, anything
                        decent to contribute to Z scale should get involved.
                        It then becomes a matter of public record that 'we' collectively are
                        building Z into a very recognizable and wonderful hobby scale.

                        I have to admit, Alan Cox carries the sidewalk aspect to new heights of
                        'super detail'. The only trouble is that most of us can't quite see that
                        much detail, or don't take the time to get up close and personal and really
                        look for the detail.

                        Sadly, many do not care about super detail, and I have to lump myself into
                        that catagory. But for those who do like to show each scratch, dent, ding,
                        chip, etc. they are the ones who need to be spot lighted. In other words,
                        "think and see small"

                        All of you inventors, designers, manufacturers, and dabblers, let's continue
                        to explore the frontier of Z and expand our borders.

                        Or as Captain Kirk would say......"space, the final frontier" But in my
                        case......"space, the distance between my two ears"

                        Loren

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Reynard Wellman" <micron@...>
                        To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 8:15 AM
                        Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Precision scale modeling of prototype detailed
                        features


                        > Hi Loren,
                        > Yes, paying attention to surface subtleties does count.
                        > Between you and John Cubbin, I have some very fine
                        > bridge piers and abutments that fit beautifully into
                        > the scenery. Closeup photos do reveal just how important
                        > the tiny detail points are, like 1] concrete form plank marks;
                        > 2] variations in stone shapes that have to be carefully fitted
                        > (even though mortar will forgive a lot of sins when building
                        > a retaining wall or a pier)... indeed, these details add very
                        > much to the pleasure of building an interesting layout.
                        >
                        > I'll post some photos of my "Big River Crossing" once the
                        > layout is complete.
                        >
                        > Concerning sidewalk cracks here is an informative note I
                        > received from Alan Cox in the UK:
                        > "I'm quite serious:
                        > If you are using soft plastic embossed with paving stones don't just run
                        > a sharp knife between each stone to bring up the texture but scribe a
                        > few
                        > very fine cracks on then the usual wash of light paint, dry brushing
                        > of concrete or similar and dusting with weathering powder. The cracks
                        > will just faintly show but more importantly they will break up the
                        > regularity of the paving. One other thing I want to try but have yet to
                        > be patient enough is to file a bit of wood into a paving stone shape and
                        > then use it an a mallet to disturb the apparently layering and levelness
                        > of the stones by hitting them with a mallet to change the level of the
                        > plastic in various places.
                        >
                        > And if you are using printed sidewalk surfaces then the scalescenes ones
                        > already come with cracks and when you shrink the sheet down to Z scale
                        > they are still there.
                        > Alan"
                        >
                        > Many warm regards to you and Karen
                        > Reynard
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