Can RTP Become Finescale?

Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby iL Dottore » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:30 pm

Firstly, hello everyone. I have been encouraged to join the forum by two excellent finescale modellers of my acquaintance - so I decided to add my own two pennorth to the mix.

The question I have is regarding RTP (Ready-To-Plonk) resin buildings. Whilst the early models from Hornby and then Bachmann could not - even by the most generous of standards - be considered "finescale"; the forthcoming Bachmann Great Western Railway box at Highley station seems to have moved the RTP model far closer to accurate, if not finescale, standards (although I haven't got my hands on one yet). So my question is - could selected RTP models serve as a basis for finsecale modelling (much as current OO RTR can and does)?

What do other finescale modellers think?

F
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby John B » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:18 pm

Welcome, Flavio - good to have you onboard.

I'm firmly of the opinion that if the RTP is of sufficient quality, and used in the appropriate setting, then it can indeed serve as the basis for a "finescale" model. After all, we use "generic" kits for footbridges, water towers/cranes, etc. I've not yet seen the Highley model from Bachmann, which I'd consider a somewhat strange candidate for RTP as it's already been "done" as a relatively ubiquitously-used kit by Ratio. I'd have thought that there's much scope in RTP circles for "Company Standard" models, though, which may well be strong sellers.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Neil » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:34 pm

I think the answer is in this part of the question
serve as a basis for finsecale modelling


Perhaps on their own and fresh out the box they aren't 'finescale', but just as nearly any kit or rtr piece of stock can become a finescale model then there's no reason why a resin building can't also make the grade. I realise that we're making huge assumptions about the meaning of the word finescale, but I think we all share a similar idea of what it represents.

morfa buildings.jpg


I hope this sort of illustrates the point; the building on the left is a relatively straightforward hack of the Airfix garage kit vaguely inspired by a prototype but a measurement free build that on the right is a 100% scratchbuild and accurate to the prototype. Though of very different origin I think they sit well together. Admittedly I think it's perhaps easier to bring a not very finescale kit up to scratch that it is to do the same with a ready to plonk structure as the kit by its nature demands more input. Having said that I have a couple of the old Triang station buildings (the old brown plastic ones) waiting for me to tart them up; if they can cut it then frankly anything can.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby MartinWales » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:05 pm

Hmmm....that name looks familiar! :mrgreen:
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Color fast » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:34 pm

Quite honestly, the only person that can make that decision is yourself. Are the buildings good enough for you? It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby chrisf » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:05 pm

Welcome aboard, Flavio!

Like others, I think the key is in the words "serve as a basis". Once the building is 'plonked' you decide how much or how little needs to be done to it and then unplonk it to carry out the work! I have no idea how complete the Bachmann model will be: does it have the lever frame, block instruments, stove and all the other stuff found in signal boxes or will they need to be added? Whatever the answer, what you will be doing is making a model of a signal box using the Bachmann product as a starting point.

I reckon that at least a part of finescale is an attitude of mind. That is why Neil's rebuilt Airfix garage sits so well alongside his 100% accurate replica. Someone, I forget who but probably a politician, once said of restrictive practices that he could not define them but would know one if he saw it. I think finescale is equally difficult to define. Can of worms, anyone?

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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Butoxeter » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:46 am

Hi Flavio - I'm using a Hornby 'Thomas' range 'bookshop' as the basis for a chip shop on 'Callow Lane'. I've done an interior and re-painted the brickwork and other parts of the building, there are photos up on the older version of RMWeb in the 'Layouts' section - I'll try to put one or two of them up here later.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Butoxeter » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:47 am

Oh, and I've also got one or two other Skaledale buildings lined up for 'Callow Lane', which will get the weathering treatment plus possibly one or two minor tweaks, but essentially 'as per'....
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Danum » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:08 am

Hi.

As my modelling eras are distinctly different (BR 'Banger' Blue in China Clay Land and the Southern Railway in WWII) I was in my WWII incarnation when I came across this website.

http://www.militarymodelling.com/news/a ... asp?a=4083

Any of these ideas could be applied to RTP (Love that name!) to lift a good model into the 'Finescale' category. Anything that saves time is surely a bonus however much we would all like to be 'hairy shirted' scratchbuilders.

David

PS Being new to this site I apologise if I am just repeating something that has already been said/posted/linked.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Butoxeter » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:24 am

I met Emmanuel Nouaillier at the Utrecht show last March and had a close look at his amazing work, it is every bit as good in the flesh as in the photos!
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Butoxeter » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:23 pm

Butoxeter wrote:Hi Flavio - I'm using a Hornby 'Thomas' range 'bookshop' as the basis for a chip shop on 'Callow Lane'. I've done an interior and re-painted the brickwork and other parts of the building, there are photos up on the older version of RMWeb in the 'Layouts' section - I'll try to put one or two of them up here later.

Here are a couple of photos showing a Skaledale stores building, that I've re-painted and put to use on Callow Lane - the first image is from last year, before I'd done anything to it, the other photo shows it in situ, next to the scratchbuilt shunters/C&W office (sorry that the new paint job isn't that obvious):
Callow08-6-08d.jpg

IMG_6251.jpg
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby iL Dottore » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:21 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome. :)

I am pleased that the emerging consensus is: Yes, RTP can serve as a basis for a finescale model. I've hacked a couple of RTP buildings (including upgrading the Hornby McKenzie and Holland Signal Box to a Great Western Box [published in one of the modelling magazines :o ]) and would hate to bin them and start afresh...

My current (ongoing) RTP upgrade is taking the Bachmann Scenecraft Brick Engine Shed and Brick Water Tower, combining them and adding features from the Tetbury and Morehamptonstead engine sheds. However the one, at present insurmountable, problem is the thickness of the shed walls - not noticeable from any angle except from the front - where the doors are.

Has anyone had a close look at the Bachmann Scenecraft Highley Signal Box? - from the photos it would appear the walls are a lot thinner than is routine for current RTP

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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby chrisf » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:19 pm

iL Dottore wrote:... the one, at present insurmountable, problem is the thickness of the shed walls - not noticeable from any angle except from the front - where the doors are.


Wouldn't you need thicker walls to support the water tank? Alternatively when were cavity walls introduced? I don't know the answer to either of these questions but when you are working with a plausible parallel universe, or have been trained as a manager, you get used to asking silly questions!

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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Sunshine Coast » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:24 pm

I would not worry too much about the thicker walls ......this shop has 18" walls at ground floor level..then reduce for 1st and 2nd floors....and that is not unusual for a lot of 1900 ish domestic type buildings......let alone industrial buildings which usually are much thicker to support gantries and other internal workings or heavily loaded areas ...

Regards Trevor .... :D
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Sunshine Coast » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:35 pm

Image002.jpg


For your reference ....

Regards Trevor .... :D
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Wenbridge » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:02 pm

Sunshine Coast wrote:
Image002.jpg


For your reference ....

Regards Trevor .... :D


What a cruel shot - proof that Fred Flintstone worked at Reading signal works perhaps....
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Butoxeter » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:59 pm

Wenbridge wrote:
Sunshine Coast wrote:
Image002.jpg


For your reference ....

Regards Trevor .... :D


What a cruel shot - proof that Fred Flintstone worked at Reading signal works perhaps....

Of course, it's just not 'S&D' enough, is it, Simon? :P :P :lol:
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Dave and his mutt » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:13 am

Like any off the shelf product, it's best to view RTP models as raw material to be developed an tailored to suit the needs of the individual. That's how I view any proprietary product. Nice enough in its own right, but so much nicer when you put something of yourself into it.
It gives the model soul! 8-)

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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby MartinWales » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:02 pm

Exactly Dave! Could'nt put it better myself!
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Tim Hale » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:05 pm

I look forward to the release of the Scenecraft Wadebridge box with some anticipation, I have already collected some other RTP stone buildings from one or two sources which, when repainted and detailed, more than satisfy my need for a SR scene west of Yeovil.

The local etched supplier, Scalelink, provides some good exLSWR add-ons as does Dart Castings.

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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Clive » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:21 pm

Dave and his mutt wrote:Like any off the shelf product, it's best to view RTP models as raw material to be developed an tailored to suit the needs of the individual. That's how I view any proprietary product. Nice enough in its own right, but so much nicer when you put something of yourself into it.
It gives the model soul! 8-)

Dave.


Hi Dave

There are times when leading manufacturers get things almost right as for the item to be very useful. As many know I have an interest in diesel depots, three of our main manufacturers have given us excellent RTP depots.
Peco....It is a (very) small section of Bounds Green HST shed, I think 15 or so are need to make the full building.
Hornby...There two road shed is a two road version of Ripple Lane ideal as it stands for a flat roof ER servicing shed. I am not sure I have ever seen it used as such.
Bachmann....Two of their wonderful sheds would form the basis of Ebbw Vale depot. On another forum when it was released to the great unwashed I posted a track plan to inspire some of those who were going to buy it. I think it whizzed pass them faster than a TGV.

Sadly I deleted the trackplan when getting rid of unused files.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Dave and his mutt » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:11 pm

Certainly the latest Coaling tower scheduled from Bachmann looks like being a seriously nice model - enough to make me consider changing part of my layout plan...!

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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Andy C » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:20 am

Dave and his mutt wrote:Certainly the latest Coaling tower scheduled from Bachmann looks like being a seriously nice model - enough to make me consider changing part of my layout plan...!

Dave.


From what I hear from someone who is involved with Carnforth they took quite a while studying it whilst they were up there so its likely to be a decent model - as with all these things though my very first thoughts were on how to mechanise it and convert it as a working model. Unfortunately as building a shed layout is definately not on my agenda (If I had the space and locos to do Newton Heath then I may reconsider that!) I will probably never get the chance to find out!

I must admit to being a bit cautious about RTP buildings - I'm now starting to see layouts at shows that have used them and they look wrong - the building style quite often doesnt suit the geographical location, They are often just the basic product with no attempt at repaint / weathering / detail and all off a sudden, layouts all sort to look identikit. As my next layout is a ficticious ex LNWR line in the early 80s I have seriously considered using the Bachman LNW signalbox, but decided in the end i'd just end up using the shell and replacing everything else with etched or scratchbuilt parts. far easier to build the box from scratch, or get one of the etched kits on the market.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Neil » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:13 am

Andy C wrote:.... I must admit to being a bit cautious about RTP buildings - I'm now starting to see layouts at shows that have used them and they look wrong - the building style quite often doesnt suit the geographical location, They are often just the basic product with no attempt at repaint / weathering / detail and all off a sudden, layouts all sort to look identikit. ....


Yes I've noticed it too, mainly through the medium of print and here on the net as I don't get to that many shows. I suppose that there's a danger with the indiscriminate use of very recognisable structures devaluing their use at times when it would be appropriate. Looking back I suppose similar could be said of the Superquick goods shed, the Airfix coal office and the Wills tin chapel but perhaps it's the very completeness of the latest RTP buildings that exaggerates the effect.
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Re: Can RTP Become Finescale?

Postby Dave and his mutt » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:47 am

I understand this fully and would always look to add some kind of individuality to an RTP model. However, in a hobby where I'm currently fully immersed in learning the art of locomotive and rolling stock construction and itching to get some kind of layout under way, there's no doubt that the RTP structures are an very useful 'stop gap' until I can turn my hand to some proper building construction.

That said, I do like the Scenecraft 1948-style signal box and will only be detailling mine rather than making any serious material changes. I think the standardised nature of the basic design probably justifies this though.

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