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Are Model Railways a form of Fanfic?
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 Posted: Thu Feb 20th, 2014 11:20 pm
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pipopak
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An interesting topic found at:
http://www.kalyr.com/weblog/railways/are-model-railways-a-form-of-fanfic/
Also where to get a "toilet of the month set" (sorry, only N scale):
http://www.kalyr.com/weblog/railways/modelling-news/toilet-of-the-month/
and don't miss this photo galleries:
http://kalyr.smugmug.com/Trains/Models
Jose.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2014 02:16 am
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jtrain
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That is an interesting way of looking at our hobby. I guess, for many of us, it is a fan fiction of sorts. Anyone who models a real railroad usually loves that particular line, and we constantly try to copy the prototype...

...there are exceptions however. primarly, I don't think you could call freelanced railroads fan fiction because it doesn't copy anything in particular, most freelanced lines take good aspects of real railroads and combine those aspects into a great looking model railroad.

But I have seen plenty of layouts that faithfully model particular railroads, especially in the midwest. I can't even count the number of Soo Line, Mil Road, Wisconsin Central, Burlington Route, CNW railways within my Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin region.

I personally like to think of modeling more as an art than anything else. Matching colors together, getting the light just right, detailing everything weathering the equipment, the time spent in making it look good is what gives it an artistic feel. Also, I consider anything that uses the elements of art to give a real message to be real art. In other words, throwing paint on a wall because it was Tuesday is not my definition of art.

In that sense everyone on this site is an artist, and apparently some of us can be considered fan fiction fanatics.

Now if you excuse me I have to go to the Bat-Cave... I mean the train room.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2014 02:35 am
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Ray Dunakin
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Model railroads as fanfic, eh? I never thought of it in those terms but the analogy fits.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2014 02:30 am
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Mr Stumpy
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Some years ago, I was a prototypical HO modeler and finally burned out on it and all the rivet counters who could never be pleased.

Since then, I freelance, following the prototype way of doing things, but more like a movie than reality. I try to give the ILLUSION of a real railroad without drowning myself in the details!

Stumpy in Ahia

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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2014 03:59 pm
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Herb Kephart
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James-





Herb



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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2014 06:43 pm
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pipopak
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We ALL freelance to different extents and see the result thru our personalized rose-tinted goggles. It is downright impossible to model anything down to the last bolt in any scale. Period. Not even in Z scale in a full-size hangar. We compromise=we freelance. Anybody that claims to strictly follow the prototype just have more intense-colored ones. As long as it looks reasonably close it is fine. And I am a sinner like everybody else (so I model my own fanfic). Jose.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2014 10:03 pm
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Dorian Davis
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Personally, I much prefer jtrains' term "pseudo-prototype modeling".

Fanfic is best defined as being both related to it's subject's canonical fictional universe as well as simultaneously existing outside the canon of that universe. [Schulz, Nancy. "Fan Fiction - Literature". Encyclopædia Britannica.] Fanfic is, therefore, more closely related to media expansion than historical re-interpretation.

Two examples ripe for model railroad fanfic would be expansion upon Rev. Wilbert Awdry's "Railway Series" canon (Thomas the Tank Engine) - originally a wooden toy made for his son, Christopher, and which was never based on any known prototype (even the letters "NW" painted on the side tanks, stood for No Where, although this, at the insistence of his publisher, later evolved to being the North Western Railway). Similarly, any expansion upon Rowland Emmett's whimsical canon "Far Twittering: Or, The Annals of a Branch Line, Being Some Interesting and Unusual Aspects of the Far Twittering and Oysterperch Railway" could be considered fanfic.

Anywho, it's all a game of semantics, really. Just as long as we're all having fun doing it ...

Last edited on Wed Mar 5th, 2014 10:04 pm by Dorian Davis



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 Posted: Wed Mar 19th, 2014 03:20 am
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pugbash
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There is, in fact, a "real" a Thomas the Tank Engine, preserved in East Anglia and so named by the Reverend Awdry. Thomas' blue-and-red livery and #1 were copied from the locos used by British Sugar within the Reverend's then-parish. Toby the Tram Engine is based upon the Wisbech and Uowell Tramway which operated close by.

However, model railways as fanfic, good analogy. I'd extend it by offering the observation that just as fanfic consists almost entirely of material written by people who would like to be professional authors but don't know how, a lot of model railways are constructed by people who don't actually know how a railway functions.

I notice this particularly with the vogue for US outline modelling in the UK, caused almost entirely by the availability of Bachmann stock.

I'll mention here that I'm only lately drifting slowly back into modelling after many years away; but I DO have quite a lot of experience of industrial railways, and I've travelled quite widely in the US and seen US style railroad practices in the former European colonies.

Now, my accumulated perception of such lines is that they tend to be quite large, operating primarily using fixed consists of stock, make extensive use of turning wyes or loops for that reason; that they tend to favour large to very large locomotives which almost invariably run chimney first and have various unique fittings such as pilots and large headlights fir that reason ( I'll mention here, for US readers, that European and especially UK locomotives don't have pilots and don't usually gave backing-up lights either)

I'd just like to throw that open for comment to US readers?

- Bryan

Last edited on Wed Mar 19th, 2014 03:44 am by pugbash

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 Posted: Wed Mar 19th, 2014 03:53 am
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pipopak
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Let me regain my breath..... Jose.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 19th, 2014 05:38 am
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W C Greene
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OK OK, we are all playing with toy trains. The "prototype nitpickers" (many around) need to be reminded that until their locomotives are coal, wood, oil, or diesel fired...the cars have fully functioning brakes...AND the "scale figures" are actual miniature humans then they and their ilk are also playing with toy trains. How about them apples?

Woodie-spending too much time with Pam at the local watering hole tonight.



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