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What idiot writes the Walthers building instructions?

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What idiot writes the Walthers building instructions?
Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, April 29, 2021 5:54 AM

Just finished a second building of several I have stashed away. One plan says to install windows and glass then the backside of the wall over the windows.  In the next step it says  be sure you didn't put the glass too high or the wall won't fit. Great thinking. So on the second wall I reversed the order and it was easy.  Many other examples that somebody threw the instructions together looking at a finished model. And don't get me started on the corner seams.

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Posted by mobilman44 on Thursday, April 29, 2021 6:00 AM

Please don't think that this situation is unique to Walthers........  Over the last two years I've built up a few model cars and one very expensive Sherman tank kit.  The instructions were a joke, likely translated by a non-native speaking individual - and certainly not anyone that actually built the kits.

I can't say when I first noticed this, but I recall the kit instructions of the 50s, 60s, and 70s were (IMO) pretty straight forward, accurate, and in proper order.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, formerly modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, April 29, 2021 6:19 AM

I have lots and lots of Walthers Cornerstone buildings, and I find them easy to build and the instructions are easy to follow. But, what I do is to read the entire instruction sheet(s) and check out all of the parts on the sprue before starting construction of a building.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, April 29, 2021 6:54 AM

- Douglas

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, April 29, 2021 7:36 AM

Like many, I've built plenty of Walthers and no issues here.  What I find is sometimes easier buildng the larger pieces first and then hunting for the smaller ones.  Of course I always check that a piece fits BEFORE gluing.  Being a visual person, the instructions are more a guidline.

A hobby knife, file, or sprue nipper are invaluable.  

 

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, April 29, 2021 7:51 AM

mobilman44
but I recall the kit instructions of the 50s, 60s, and 70s were (IMO) pretty straight forward, accurate, and in proper order.

Yes, but then there were only 8 parts.

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Posted by josephbw on Thursday, April 29, 2021 7:56 AM

I have A LOT of Walther's buildings. The biggest consistent issue I have with them is the warping of the bases and walls. Probably from overheating in the containers coming fron china.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, April 29, 2021 8:05 AM

Whomever it is how did he (won't be a she) read all the instructions before he began....

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, April 29, 2021 8:15 AM

ndbprr
Great thinking.

So I will sympathize with you.  I've noticed issues on a few Walthers building kits.  I've had a couple now where part numbers in the instructions and on the sprue don't match up, yet the picture clearly shows the part needed.  I also have one of their background buildings that is obviously a partial of the complete building kit.  The instructions indicate placing 4 very small pieces in place on the roof that are not included in the kit.  I'm sure they are part of a sprue in the full building kit, but apparently Walthers didn't realize that particular sprue with those particular pieces are left out of the background building kit.  If they were visible where my building sits I would care.  I let it be.

Mike

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 29, 2021 9:14 AM

ndbprr
Many other examples that somebody threw the instructions together looking at a finished model.

These problems are universal in the plastic model industry.

Nearly every review of a high-end ultra precision plastic kit in Fine Scale Modeler has a section on where NOT to follow the instructions because they are incorrect.

Sorry about your frustration.

I generally do a "dry run" without glue of most structure kits to find these annoyances.

I have not read the instructions for any freight car kits (except the Intermoutain Caswell Gondola) in years.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, April 29, 2021 9:51 AM

richhotrain
I have lots and lots of Walthers Cornerstone buildings, and I find them easy to build and the instructions are easy to follow. But, what I do is to read the entire instruction sheet(s) and check out all of the parts on the sprue before starting construction of a building.

Rich

Try building the Tank Car Oil Loading Platform sometime. Surprise Those instructions are shot through with errors.

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, April 29, 2021 10:52 AM

My cousin makes a six-figure income re-writing foreign translated manuals for all things computer. Mostly medical equipment is what he does but lots of other stuff as well. 

Back in the late sixties, we would buy R/C  model airplane kits from Japan and our eyes would just glaze over trying to decipher the translation of the instructions.Laugh We got 'em built though.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, April 29, 2021 11:17 AM

BATMAN
My cousin makes a six-figure income re-writing foreign translated manuals for all things computer. Mostly medical equipment is what he does but lots of other stuff as well. 

When I was in college, one of my professors (History-read and write an amount second only to English majors) showed up one day asking if anyone wanted to quit school and get a job several states away, starting immediately, excellent pay and benefits, and the company would pay all moving expenses.  He had a friend that worked for some "shake the box" furniture manufacturer/importer and they were having huge trouble finding people who could write coherent assembly instructions for their products.  Sometimes I wish I would have taken him up on it.  As a society we worry less and less about writing skills and it shows.

Mike

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 29, 2021 11:52 AM

BATMAN
Re-writing foreign translated manuals

All technical manuals we used at work that were originally written in a foreign language contained the original text on the left page, and the translation on the right page.

That way if there were any questions about the translation, it could be resolved by a native language speaker from the original verbage.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, April 29, 2021 12:48 PM

I've built lots of Walthers' structure kits, but most were modified during construction by using parts from other kits (usually also from Walthers) or by using two identical kits to create a larger building with a much different footprint.

Many of my structures have only three fully-modelled sides, one of the advantages of an around-the-room style of layout.  The unseen wall is usually a blank sheet of .060" styrene, which I buy in 4'x8' sheets.
Here's Walthers' George Roberts Printing, built from parts of two identical kits, and modified to fit into an oddly-shaped location (hence the need for making all walls detailed, rather than blank styrene)...

I used Walthers' Vulcan Manufacturing to build my version of Bertram's Machine Tool Manufacturers, making it larger by using the two long walls on the side from which the layout is viewed....

...while the main structure's rear wall is blank styrene (it faces a "concrete" retaining wall) I thought it wise to replicate the clerestory windows on the normally unseen side, since I had used both kit pieces for the side facing the aisleway, as viewers should be able to see right through, rather than see a slab of blank styrene.

Here's a view of the backside, possible only by placing the camera on the layout...

...and, as you can see, at the bottom of the frame, there's full signage matching that on the side that's normally visible.  The only possible viewers are the LPBs on the station's platform.

Here's a view taken from the room's entry aisleway, with the camera handheld and steadied against the backdrop...

The Walthers grain elevator, which was originally here (and likely to interfere with the adjacent coal & ice dealer's business when loading grain into boxcars)...

...was moved to a nearby location, and to give it  a little more character, I added a scratchbuilt farm supply store...

...not only does it make the elevator more unique, but it also adds another "spot" for cars delivering goods to the store...

Walthers often includes that ubiquitus "storage shed" with several of their kits, like this one at a small lumberyard...

...but it's easy to substitute a "concrete" foundation for the kit's pilings, using sheet styrene, and perhaps adding a few details to turn it into a totally different business...in this example, I've made it into an egg-grading station (in honour of a favourite cousin)...

I usually view Walthers kits for structures as a parts source, made for improvisations.

Wayne

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, April 29, 2021 12:59 PM

Wayne,

By any chance did you study under Art Curren? LOL Love your stuff.

oldline1

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:07 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
BATMAN
Re-writing foreign translated manuals

 

All technical manuals we used at work that were originally written in a foreign language contained the original text on the left page, and the translation on the right page.

That way if there were any questions about the translation, it could be resolved by a native language speaker from the original verbage.

-Kevin

 
And it is for those reasons and others on this thread why I so much liked the Revell model company in the 70s.  You didn't even have to read the pages that were only printed in English.
 
You just took out the page with the exploded view on it and threw the other pages over your shoulder.  That exploded view with the lines going towards the center made things so simple a two-year-old could put the model together.
 
 
 
P.S.  Great looking models Wayne, I always enjoy looking at those.
 
 
 
 
 
 
TF
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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, April 29, 2021 3:06 PM

oldline1

Wayne,

By any chance did you study under Art Curren? LOL Love your stuff.

oldline1 

Thanks for your kind words, oldline1.  I was a huge fan of Art's work, and it was very inspirational.  From the first time I saw his work, it was like a door opening into another world...I wondered why I hadn't thought something similar on my own.

Track fiddler
P.S. Great looking models Wayne, I always enjoy looking at those.

My thanks to you, too, T.F.  I was a big fan of the Revell's stuff, too, although I started out with their models of the sailing ships. 
When they released their HO kit for the engine house, I wanted one, but could find none locally.  I decided to settle for the Superior Bakery model, but couldn't find it either, as they seemed to fly off the shelf as soon as the hobbyshops got them.
I finally settled, reluctantly, for the Weekly Herald version of that same kit.

I always seemed to be a step behind, and wanted the train station model, but settled for the Schoolhouse version.
I did manage to get the farmhouse with outbuildings, the water tower, the sand and fueling station, and the switch tower.

When I found interests other than model railroads, that layout was sold, and I kept only the sand and fuel station, and the Weekly Herald building, thinking that I might later convert it into an enginehouse.

When I got back into model railroading, the Weekly Herald got a slight revision to eliminate that tiled fascia, an architectural feature that was quite common in my hometown, but not one which I much cared for (except on a now-long-gone business called the "Sugar Bowl", a vintage ice cream parlour with a pale green tile fascia, and the interior also in soft greens, with giant ceiling fans...like stepping back in time...I would have been 5 or 6 at that time).

Here's the revised Weekly Herald, now the home of the Lowbanks Livestock Auction House...

Last year, I dug out the Revell fuel and sandhouse kit, but used only the base and stand for the fuel tank, along with some of the sandhouse equipment, as some of the parts are either missing or not all that well-done. 
I used a plastic tube to fashion a new fuel tank, then scratchbuilt an office/workshop and a pumphouse, the latter for both filling the elevated fuel tank and for re-fueling my diesel/electric doodlebug, "The BEE".

I used Evergreen siding and strip material, along with Tichy windows and doors...

Here's "The Bee", so-named when it used to "buzz" into towns along the line as a gas-electric...

Wayne

 

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Posted by NS-Modeler on Monday, May 3, 2021 3:56 PM

Love the MASH reference Douglas!
Dan

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Posted by NS-Modeler on Monday, May 3, 2021 4:01 PM

My favorite is when there are extra parts that are for some other kit.... I bought two Walthers Lakeville Modern-Style Warehouse kits and they both have some extra parts.

Dan

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