Yesterday I bought a copy of Model Railroders special issue "How to build Realistic Reliable track"
I'm quite disappointed. The title can be seen to be somewhat of a misnomer. "Reliable track" OK so it seems to cover that aspect pretty well with plenty of sound advice and ideas on how to lay track so that trains run well and quietly.
As for "realistic" I'm sorry Messrs Kalmbach but by no stretch of the imagination can 3 rail O scale be seen to be realistic. There are three rails on the model track where there should only be two. How can this possibly be seen to be "realistic"? (In fact how come three rail O scale is still about? It should be consigned to the scrap heap or the model railroad museum.)
But my bigger gripe with this issue is relevant to this blog. Is how can a magazine that claims to cover "realistic" track not mention Proto87 standards?
The magazine starts with a very nice article by Lance Mindheim (who's work I am a big fan of) about superdetailing turnouts, it's why I bought the magazine in the first place. Very decent piece about all the details you can add to an R-T-R Micro Engineering turnout. The painting/weathering looks excellent, I shall try it myself. But you look at the frog/vee of the turnout and there's that RTR "Grand Canyon" of flangeways. Once you notice it the first time it screams out at you at every model turnout you look at.
Go and look at a real turnout. It looks nothing like how things are depicted on a model turnout. Nothing at all.
There are many, many modellers who could have put forward a decent, informative article about realistic trackwork standards. I don't know wether Kalmbach didn't approach anyone or no one knew about this magazine to actually sit down and write a piece.
But as a leading model railway magazine MR has a duty to let modellers know about all options to them. With Modelling realistic reliable track I feel Kalmbach dropped the ball in a very big way.