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Discussion > Inspiration and reproduction

The recent thread on MRR forums was wrenching in it's conflict about who developed what and who copied who and who did or did not get credit / compensation. We design a lot of kits in the course of the year and I am influenced by other modelers. So if you want to get down and dirty, here's your forum. No pulled punches. well see how it goes.
August 17, 2009 | Registered CommenterThom

That's one of the reasons that I stopped contributing much to MRR Forums. There seem to be two sets of people who participate in that forum: (1) people who are incredibly supportive and always willing to help and (2) those who believe that there is only one medium from which good models can be made - wood (with a few additions of metal and plaster, if necessary). Unfortunately, MRR Forums seems to be well populated with the latter and not enough of the former (although some of the former are now my close friends). I'm not convinced that many of those people even appreciate plaster ... if they have built one of Tom Yorke's incredible kits, they would know that both plaster and resin can be made to look just like wood and, certainly, so can cardstock ... you guys have been proving that for a long time. I like cardstock simply because it offers a completely unique construction challenge compared to other craftsman kits. Yes ... they are craftsman kits and they take just as much patience and skill as working with wood, metal, resin, or plaster. There is a diffferent skill set involved, sometimes, but a skill set that is unique, never the less. I am just about finished building my new brewery on the Jemez & Rio Grande. It started as a "second" from Mount Albert (I had the laser-cut subwalls and some of the plaster walls but not much else) and I have been using all kinds of Clever textures to good use. Now, when that new shed becomes available, as a free download (in O I hope), it will become the barrel-makers shop at the rear of the building.

My compliments to you and Dave ... your models have always been incredible. The first model I tried was absolutely misverable because I had to develop the skills before I could make them look like craftsman models, but, after the skills were developed, I discovered that your models can, indeed, look like any craftsman model. Indeed, visitors to my layout have never been able to figure out the differences between the scratchbuilt, wood craftsman kits, and Clever crafstman kits. I use the textures for walls, roofs, water tank bands, and, now, some interior details, as well. I have been lucky enough to give some NMRA clinics on constructing cardstock models and, even in person, most people can not tell the difference.

I am not sure what caused the great rift on MRR Forums but I think I will spend less time there and more time at other fora (forums?) that promote supportive comments rather than "the only good model is my model" approach ... I really don't care who made the model first or who got compensated. As long as the kit I purchased is legitimately licensed and copyrighted, then I care about only one result ... my result on my layout. If other's like it, that's gravy! These forums need to be more supportive. There is so much more to learn from all of those modelers and too few teachers, in my opinon. Far too many judges who never show us their own work ... just comment as the great authorities.

Anyway, keep up the good work, guys. I am looking forward to the O Scale discs and to many new buildings.

August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJim Gore
Jim, I'll send you the O scale version asap
August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThom M
Hello all,

I recently found this site after the recent drama at the MRR forums. Somehow I followed a link and that caused me to follow another link and somehow I landed here. Lucky me!

I've not built a paper/card model yet. I do recall pasting paper cutouts of little buildings and the like when I was a child. That was a while back. But as far as a sure-enough model, I've not done one.

So, to stick to the topic, I liked the mercantile design used by the yellow box fellow (George at FSM) and the not-so-well-known O scale fellow (Roger at Stoney Creek).

I've been buying the yellow boxes direct from George for a good while. I often order the yearly kit before a photo of it is released. I am a big fan of those kits.

When I go back through much of the yellow box designs I notice great influence by John Allen. George admits that. I have no problem with that. The end result is great.

Because I model HO I don't always know of designs by many others in different scales. I am not sure if George finds himself in that situation.

I live in a part of the country that is starved for good model railroad activities. Because of that, the only time I get to see the work of others is on the magazines and possibly the National Narrow Gauge Convention and recently The Craftsman Structure Show. I am confident that George and Roger do not have that handicap.

Now that the internet is readily available to all, it is much easier to stumble upon the work of many modelers. I wonder if that influences kit manufacturers to some degree.

Once George and Roger were able to provide their story it became evident George was given bad advice by well-intentioned friends. I am sure that was not an easy decision for George as he seems to stick to his own designs (even if influenced by others). I know George gets many requests to produce kits based on structures found on the F&SM layout. Why I even quizzed him about making a kit about one particular structure I've always liked that is found on the F&SM.

I felt some fellows on the MRR forum were too quick to pass judgment and then swear they'd never buy a yellow box ever again (that is drastic). That is regrettable. However, I am glad that it all came to surface as I now know of Stoney Creek and Clever Models. I need all the cool kits I can buy before my wife finds out how much I'm spending :-)

I have no problem with manufacturer A giving credit to designer B regarding a newly released kit. It must be difficult as a kit manufacturer to ensure all due diligence has been done prior to manufacturing a kit. Furthermore, I trust it is even tougher to safeguard one's creative work. And that is why I don't have a problem paying the price asked for those big kits.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJaime Z.

Somewhere in the string of posts at MRR Forum, I posted several pictures of my version of Roger Malinowski's Turner's Mercantile (for which I was lucky enough to win several NMRA awards). I used quite a bit of Paper Creek and Clever Models material on it and I am now building another Roger design with lots of modifications, using Clever materials. Gee ... I suppose I managed to get into the controversy whether I wanted to or not.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJim Gore
Hi Jim,

I am glad that some good is coming out of that thread. I had not heard of Stoney Creek before and when I went to their website I was very impressed with their offerings. I also found Clever Models along the way.

I am hoping to build the contest model (maintenance shed) and give paper/card models a try. After all, the price is right :-)

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJaime Z.
As a manufacturer and designer I am influenced by lots of other models. I just want to make things that are usefula nd designing the kits is my hobby. I see great interesting roof lines or textures from so many sources. i feel as lons as i am using all original art and photography it's ok to let my self be influenced.
August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThom M