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I took a look today at the 3 Rail Scale forum, (been a while) to see what was new and what type of modeling was going on.  Usually lots of good stuff.  There were maybe two threads related to the forum subject, and 22-24 advertisements.  So I bailed (probably the opposite of what the vendors want or anticipate) as there was plainly nothing going on, much to my disappointment.  I wonder if other modelers have the same reaction?  I  would like to make a suggestion.   I think these vendors would get more traction on the 3 rail forum, as the number of participants is far greater.  But if their stategy is to have their commercial linger longer on a less popular forum it may have the opposite effect?  Can or should there be  limited number of these advertisements?  In the not so distant past I have told some folks about the 3 Rail Scale forum and the feedback I got was it was just a bunch of advertisements.  I was puzzled but now I understand.

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Vendors are the sponsors of this forum, they pay to keep the lights on, ……limit them, and they’ll limit the money they spend TO keep the lights on, …..it can’t be that hard to scroll past the advertising if it doesn’t interest you, ……I have no issues with any sponsor putting their ads wherever they see fit, …..topics like this sprout up from time to time, and the main reply is always the same,…..break out your wallet and pay the light bill and you can move the sponsors around as you see fit,…..not trying to be rude, but without sponsors, and advertising from those sponsors, there is no forum, ….irregardless of where you think they should or shouldn’t peddle their wares,…..

Pat

@harmonyards, I thought the same, but then I went and took a look. Three posts from members, and twenty-two from vendors on the 1st page of that subforum. One vendor has eight posts for individual products on page 1, and another has eleven posts. Page 2 is better, only nineteen vendor posts to six member posts.

In the end, I tend to just scroll the "Recent Posts" on the right-hand side, but I definitely see the OP's point. In this case, that forum doesn't just host vendor posts, it's been taken over by them.

@Andrew B. posted:

@harmonyards, I thought the same, but then I went and took a look. Three posts from members, and twenty-two from vendors on the 1st page of that subforum. One vendor has eight posts for individual products on page 1, and another has eleven posts. Page 2 is better, only nineteen vendor posts to six member posts.

In the end, I tend to just scroll the "Recent Posts" on the right-hand side, but I definitely see the OP's point. In this case, that forum doesn't just host vendor posts, it's been taken over by them.

Not only that, but much of the "announcements" are for Rail King items, which are certainly NOT 3RS related.

@Andrew B. posted:

@harmonyards, I thought the same, but then I went and took a look. Three posts from members, and twenty-two from vendors on the 1st page of that subforum. One vendor has eight posts for individual products on page 1, and another has eleven posts. Page 2 is better, only nineteen vendor posts to six member posts.

In the end, I tend to just scroll the "Recent Posts" on the right-hand side, but I definitely see the OP's point. In this case, that forum doesn't just host vendor posts, it's been taken over by them.

Y’all can’t help that 3RS isn’t as popular as “traditional “ ….it’s an acquired taste that’s on the verge of 2RS …..but with that being said, and again, start dictating where sponsors can & can not post their ads, and you’ll have vendors dropping out,….I don’t need to tell you the outcome of that??….I doubt any of the powers to be tell the vendors where to place their ads, they choose that for themselves, ….if they feel that’s where they want to be, then so be it, …..sorry to beat the same drum, but break out your wallet too, and then have it your way,…..you guys need to look at it from the sponsors point of view, ( which you’re not ) …….if I was a vendor, and a sponsor, and you don’t want to see my ads, and you want me to move them,..how about I get off here all together??….oh and BTW, I’ll cut off the lights on my way out for ya!….think about it!!!…

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Y’all can’t help that 3RS isn’t as popular as “traditional “ ….it’s an acquired taste that’s on the verge of 2RS …..but with that being said, and again, start dictating where sponsors can & can not post their ads, and you’ll have vendors dropping out,….I don’t need to tell you the outcome of that??….I doubt any of the powers to be tell the vendors where to place their ads, they choose that for themselves, ….if they feel that’s where they want to be, then so be it, …..sorry to beat the same drum, but break out your wallet too, and then have it your way,…..you guys need to look at it from the sponsors point of view, ( which you’re not ) …….if I was a vendor, and a sponsor, and you don’t want to see my ads, and you want me to move them,..how about I get off here all together??….oh and BTW, I’ll cut off the lights on my way out for ya!….think about it!!!…

Pat

Not sure why you're lumping me in and quoting me specifically- I was of the same opinion as you until I actually took a look, and made it clear that I agreed until I scrolled to that subforum.

Sponsors have that right, sure. But, if I were looking to learn more on that forum or browse it, I'd leave it without clicking any of their advertising posts, and I wouldn't find my way back. Right now, it's like turning on a TV show and getting 26 minutes of commercials and 4 minutes of programming.

@Andrew B. posted:

Not sure why you're lumping me in and quoting me specifically- I was of the same opinion as you until I actually took a look, and made it clear that I agreed until I scrolled to that subforum.

Sponsors have that right, sure. But, if I were looking to learn more on that forum or browse it, I'd leave it without clicking any of their advertising posts, and I wouldn't find my way back. Right now, it's like turning on a TV show and getting 26 minutes of commercials and 4 minutes of programming.

Andrew, if you’re agreeing with the OP, all I can say is: careful what you wish for!…IF you’re agreeing with the initial post, you’re heading down a rabbit hole that can & will cave in on you guys…..it’s simple math man, …..no sponsors, no forum, limit one, you have to limit all, keep one guy out, the others will think twice before spending their money ……

Pat

I know in my case I don't post in the 3RS Forum because some participants bash Hi-Railers.

It could be that advertisers are just trying to make all forum members aware of new offerings.  There are many RailKing items that are scale and could be modified and used by a 3RS modeler.

If the 3RS forum was Hi-Rail friendly there would be much more content to view there.  Just my opinion...

I've had a few posts in the 3 rail scale forum about detailing scale sized equipment or scratchbuilding scale sized equipment. No Kadees, all lobster claws, and no one has given me flack for it yet. If the post is cross functional (its principals can be applied to Hi-Rail and 3RS) it seems to go over well now. As Bob said, it may not have always been that way here.

~Chris

@MichRR714 posted:

I know in my case I don't post in the 3RS Forum because some participants bash Hi-Railers.

It could be that advertisers are just trying to make all forum members aware of new offerings.  There are many RailKing items that are scale and could be modified and used by a 3RS modeler.

If the 3RS forum was Hi-Rail friendly there would be much more content to view there.  Just my opinion...

3RS is a different animal, …….I build almost exclusively scale locomotives, but most still use the crab claw coupler, ….I use that as the line in the sand, …..I’ve asked on that forum where the line was, and that was the popular consensus, …(not by my choice) …..as example, ….I built two identical scale Hudsons, ….one had coil couplers, the other Kadees, …..both were slightly weathered, both had lots of added details, …the Kadee equipped model went to 3RS, the other to traditional,…..if you use that as your guide, where to post will become a lot easier to decide,……

Pat

@Bob posted:

Early on, it was made abundantly clear that 3RS started with Kadee couplers.  No Kadee, no 3RS, regardless of other details about the modeling.  That did it for me, no posting to the 3RS forum.

Yes, it STARTED with Kadee couplers, but included fixed pilots on diesels, proper ride height on freight cars, and proper scale size rolling stock (including 21" passenger equipment). Also, don't forget weathered track/rails, and equipment & structures.

This might also be a good time for everyone/anyone to read carefully the sticky placed at the top of the 3RS Forum.

At this point it might be easier to rename it the MTH Spam Folder.

For those that are still utterly mystified by 3RS, it was simply the logical direction one could take as the 3 rail market was being blessed with an abundant array of reasonably affordable scale models in the early 2000s. With some minor effort, a lot of these models could be brought closer to true scale looks and performance with some rather easy modifications. It must have made some type of impact if you consider that a lot of the better 3 rail products now have options for scale couplers and fixed pilots right out of the box.

Well, first off things have definitely improved for me here.  I used to be called a lot worse than “The OP”.    Even though it has been, around 20 years (gasp) since I was a regular disturber of the peace, my name is still Pete, er mud.  I can still cause a stir, and it is grand to see I can pull out some of the old timers.  I do graciously accept blame, for not being a supporting member, no longer being a frequent contributor and finally not a trend setter anymore but a trend spotter.  Train spotter.  I think Norm (who’s work I always love to see) may have said it best.  All from the distant past that put in the time may have had an influence.   I used to spend months making scale pilot mounts, fixing pilots to frames, lowering engines, hammering manufactures etc.  Now manufactures have many of these scale features on 3 Rail engines.  At the minimum I recall many folks insisting absolutely that Lionel will never put Kadee mounts on their cars and engines.  Life imitates fake art, and 3 Rail scale work is still going on, but not much on the forum.  It seems that many an old (maybe I should use the word “experienced”) contributor is still having fun detailing their fleet, but we just don’t talk about it as much.  Anyway, I posted an observation that was relayed to me by my recommendation.  I did go 3 or 4 pages deep before writing, and never wrote vendors should not advertise on the forum.  A criticism without suggestion is just a complaint.  So I thought maybe posting these commercials on a more popular forum or limiting them to a few per page may help the content flow.  But I am thoroughly delighted at causing a ruckus.    Some things never change.  

Back to being a 3RS guy but a poor documenter of my fun.

Again, I certainly have no issue with sponsors making announcements; it's just a puzzle (to me) that so many opt to use the "3R Scale" forum to do so, when so much of what they offer can be used by other groups as well.

Let's just say Atlas (or whoever) releases a new freight car. It's designed to operate on small radius "train set" curves, with "lobster-claw" couplers and large flanged, uninsulated wheels. But it's also got great details, so it's a prime candidate be converted to either 3R Scale or 2 Rail. (In fact, don't a lot of the newer cars feature "built-in" conversion features? I know K-Line did that with their nice die-cast hoppers...)

Better than even money says the announcement for this car will appear in the 3R Scale forum, and here's why I say this:

I just looked at the first (20) topics in the "Traditional", "3R Scale" and "2 Rail" forums, just to see who started them. Of those 20:

5 in the "Traditional" were from vendors; the balance (15) were started by members.

All of the first 20 posts in the "2 Rail" group were started by members; zero "ads".

18 of the 20 in the "3R Scale" category were started by vendor/sponsors.

Nothing wrong with it; simply curious...

Mark in Oregon

I would suggest if you want to see more posts in this forum you might want to be a more flexible with regards to builds that don’t use Kadees. Those of us that take two rail engines and convert them to three rail or super detail a three rail engine don’t really have a specific forum to post on. Not really toy trains nor 3RS by definition of this forum but surely more scale than the majority of factory three rail engines. Think about it.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

I kind of follow all the rules of 3RS. It’s what I enjoy doing.  Kadee’s , weathering, fixed pilots and extra details. I read every post on there and do to try to contribute at times with projects. My own opinion. I just like to read anything that has to do with modifying an out of the box product. It could involve painting, decaling or even motor swaps. I know there’s a lot of joy in opening the box of a new Loco or what’s in the next catalog. I read all of that to. The posts I read the most are from those that like to tinker and modify.

@Strummer posted:
I just looked at the first (20) topics in the "Traditional", "3R Scale" and "2 Rail" forums, just to see who started them. Of those 20:

5 in the "Traditional" were from vendors; the balance (15) were started by members.

All of the first 20 posts in the "2 Rail" group were started by members; zero "ads".

18 of the 20 in the "3R Scale" category were started by vendor/sponsors.

Nothing wrong with it; simply curious...

Mark in Oregon

It simply speaks to the low volume of posts in 3RS, the ads are cross-posted in the other forums, but there are a lot more threads started in those forums, so the ads are spread out.

@Norton posted:

I would suggest if you want to see more posts in this forum you might want to be a more flexible with regards to builds that don’t use Kadees. Those of us that take two rail engines and convert them to three rail or super detail a three rail engine don’t really have a specific forum to post on. Not really toy trains nor 3RS by definition of this forum but surely more scale than the majority of factory three rail engines. Think about it.

Pete

I agree with this.

I think the 3RS forum is trying to draw a non-obvious distinction between whatever 3RS is and is not.

The manufacturers have organized around scale proportioned items and non-scale proportioned items. Roughly, Premier for "Scale" and RailKing for "non-scale" (except for "RailKing Scale") for MTH. Legacy  (Scale) LionMaster/LionChief (non-scale) for Lionel. Atlas has Master/Trainman (and also Premier now) and had the Industrial Rail series but the later seems to have been shelved.

I think if we could discuss Premier, Legacy, Master, and Trainman products as well as GarGraves, Ross, Atlas, and MTH  ScaleTrax track products in the 3RS forum, it  would foster the sub-forum more. Obviously these would be generic discussions, not ones centered on control systems or a specific product itself - there are other sub-forums for that.

This is easy. If you see 2 rails it's 2 rail, If you see 3 rails it's 3 rail. Whether it's to scale or not is decided by measurement. Calling something scale whether or not it has a Kadee coupler is ridiculous. Putting a Kadee coupler on a car doesn't change it's dimensions. Want to be accurate, why don't we go proto 48 3 rail. This stuff will never be perfect! Get over it. Do what suits yourself. Have fun.

ECI

@rplst8 posted:

I agree with this.

I think the 3RS forum is trying to draw a non-obvious distinction between whatever 3RS is and is not.

The manufacturers have organized around scale proportioned items and non-scale proportioned items. Roughly, Premier for "Scale" and RailKing for "non-scale" (except for "RailKing Scale") for MTH. Legacy  (Scale) LionMaster/LionChief (non-scale) for Lionel. Atlas has Master/Trainman (and also Premier now) and had the Industrial Rail series but the later seems to have been shelved.

I think if we could discuss Premier, Legacy, Master, and Trainman products as well as GarGraves, Ross, Atlas, and MTH  ScaleTrax track products in the 3RS forum, it  would foster the sub-forum more. Obviously these would be generic discussions, not ones centered on control systems or a specific product itself - there are other sub-forums for that.

If I’m reading your reply right, and you’re suggesting the 3RS forum is used for modeling those products, then that I could get into…..like Pete mentioned, some of us are converting 2 rail brass to 3 rail, one would think that’s a shoe in for 3RS …but alas, the coil coupler ( as what I’ve been told by those on that forum ) is a no-no for 3RS,…..guess we need a sub-sub forum for those teetering on the brink……3RSISH ?……I totally agree the 3RS forum is lightly traveled, but again, let the advertisers advertise where they see fit, and when they see fit,…..if we look at it from the perspective of the people running this forum, advertising contacts can and do change at the drop of a hat, ….keeping them secure & satisfied is probably hard enough without adding “ you can go here, but not there” ….”oh wait, you’re over your limit “ ……a sponsor of this forum can be gone like the wind in a flash,…..it wasn’t ohhhh toooo long ago, a sponsor of this forum got irritated to the point he pulled out,….we worked really hard to keep his advertising dollars ( AND THE LIGHTS ON ) here on this forum ………imagine the maylay trying to police sponsors,……so, yeah, I agree whole heartedly, if there were more 3RS posts, the ads will wash in cycle and not be so “ bothersome” to some folks,…..NONE of the ads bother me,…..I see one and hope it’s working for them!!….

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

If I’m reading your reply right…

I can’t tell from your reply if we agree, but let me try to distill it down.

1. Agree, sponsors can do as they please.

2. I think the 3RS forum is too tightly policed, leading to less participation. No one really knows what it means.

For instance if there were a topic say comparing the detail on Atlas Master SD35s to MTH Premier SD35s, I’d say that should be OK here, even if they still have factory lobster claws.

I think some would probably turn their noses up at it though.

Last edited by rplst8

Pete,

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is IT IS good to see you posting here again and stirring the pot.  While I have been horrible at keeping up with my modeling assignments due to the demands of a certain nameless manufacturer, a more than full-time job, and a recently turned teen daughter who keeps me on my toes much more than my two adult daughters ever did, I would love to see what you have been up to.  It is no doubt fantastic regardless of what another formerly active NYC modeler on this forum who shall also remain nameless may say in both private and public.

@rplst8 posted:

I can’t tell from your reply if we agree, but let me try to distill it down.

1. Agree, sponsors can do as they please.

2. I think the 3RS forum is too tightly policed, leading to less participation. No one really knows what it means.

For instance if there were a topic say comparing the detail on Atlas Master SD35s to MTH Premier SD35s, I’d say that should be OK here, even if they still have factory lobster claws.

I think some would probably turn their noses up at it though.

Boiled down expertly, ………I agree…😉

Pat

I find this an interesting topic.  I have no problems with the sponsors, but I do have a hard time with the 3 rail scale definition requiring the scale couplers.  Projects I have worked in the past (such as craftsman caboose kits) that I am requesting help/advice on in making close to the prototypes, the expertise is in 3 rail scale group, but because I still use the larger couplers, posting there is frowned upon.

Maybe I am alone, but I don’t feel like my modeling style or  train preferences on my hi-rail layout fit into the traditional toy train forum.  I am  a much closer fit to the 3 rail scale, minus the scale couplers and fixed pilots.   I am having trouble suggesting revised guidelines, but it seems to me that scale engines (or near scale) operating in a hi-rail environment is in the general area.

Last edited by Hump Yard Mike

I agree Mike. I think it should be any modification, detailing, weathering,  engine or car building project as long as it’s a scale model should be part of 3RS. Anything you do make  it more detailed or prototypical. To what level you take it is up to you.  I don’t see why it has to start with running Kadee’s to be included. Most are still running 3 rail wheelsets. When that sub forum was started. Many posters were interested in going with Kadee’s and there was a lot of info. provided as to how to go about it. Once everyone that wanted to go that route figured out how to add them. The interest died.

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