Model Reviews

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Sun Feb 1 09:32:43 EST 2015

Frank: The VGN project was a suggestion by me to Rivarossi. The gentleman had asked DCC trains what would be a good project to do and I suggested the VGN AG since they had already done the C&O H8. I suggested that basically all they had to do was the correct tender and change the domes saving a tremendous tooling cost. I recommended the NWHS the go to for information which he did. The domes where not changed due to the electronics under the domes ( major cost changes!). Majority of  modelers would not know that the domes where not correct and anything else would be very minor. The AG is a great model for the price , unless you want to spend $2600 for a HO brass model, which only a few can afford. The model is what it is. Take it or leave it. If you are so concerned with the minor problems, then correct them as that is what modelers do with a cheaper model. I sure do not want to put $800 plus in a limited run correct plastic AG that the average modeler cannot afford. The VGN AG is one of those pieces that a lot of modelers purchase like the Big Boy, Challengers, H8, Daylighter, etc. It’s a Classic! Sometime modelers have to take what they can get, knowing the model will not be 100%. How many times has the Broadway H2a coal cars have been done, and yet the letting has not been 100% correct and our society has let this go for a number of years. My 2Cents. 
As for as revue in the mag, our society was approached in advance to support the project which would have most likely been timely in the mag.  It did not as to the discrepancies in the model. Do you piss off the manufacture and he no longer does another project for us? I will leave that up to our modeling committee though I would like to have known. Frank is correct in that the loudest voices  heard are the very few. Enjoy the VGN AG as most of your visitors will never know the difference, and then when you get time make the very few changes and submit and article.

Stephen Rineair


From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2015 7:11 PM
To: NW Modeling List
Subject: Re: Model Reviews


Eric; very much enjoyed your response.  Since I've already annoyed a few people, I'll answer some of your questions, in no order.


Right now COHS is about 50-60% larger than NWHS (yes, I'm a member of both; have been on both Boreds; COHS started about 17 years before Rick Stone started the "new" NWHS).  I'm afraid that the C&O H8 is a lot more "popular" than the AG, partly because the C&O is a bigger railroad, partly because there were a lot more Alleghenies than AG's.  Now we can get into a vigorous discussion as to how many "accurate" H8's have been done compared to "accurate" AGs, but that's better over beverages.  And the Virginian guys are only a portion of NWHS membership (yes; there are a number of people who model both railroads, and more people than you think who quietly model all three).  


I can tell you that both societies are more than happy to make accurate information/drawings etc. available to manufacturers and importers.  First, we have to know we've got it (shamless plug for archival volunteers for both organizations), Second, the manufacturers and importers have to want it.  As we beat to death several months ago, Rivarossi was offered diagrams and whatever we had on the AG, but they told us they were only going to do the tender.  I have to believe the guy I talked to at their stand who said that this was a cost decision.  I can also tell you that from 45 years in the hobby, the number of potential purchasers who will drill down into their materials to question a produced models accuracy is pretty small.  So Rivarossi took a calculated risk.  Both societies have offered assistance to manufacturers who were quite happy to tell us to go pound salt, if they answered at all. 


Marion, Ohio, is about as close to Missouri as we get.  Y'all are invited.  


Frank Bongiovanni

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