N Scale Prototypes

Published: 2018-10-19 - By: gdm
Last updated on: 2021-01-04
visibility: Public
We recently received an excellent question from one of our contributors. He wanted to know how to associate a Prototype brand with an N Scale model. Here is how you do it.

What you do is associate the prototype with the body style. You do this through the body style editor. Normally users cannot modify body styles as there is room to do a fair amount of damage if you don't know what you are doing. However, if you feel you are ready for it, please request "Curator" access to N Scale through the permit requester.

Now that you are a curator you will have a bunch of new options. One of these is access to the body style editor. If you go into any item and edit it, you will now see a lot of new options towards to bottom of the editor under a new heading "Curator Functions".

For the N Scale database, the very first of the "Curator Functions" is the Body Style. There are usually four buttons in the body style section, "Create New", "Delete", "Synchronize" and "Edit/Rename". The first two should be self-explanatory, the third is VERY useful but kind of difficult to explain. The fourth button, "Edit/Rename" is the one you will be interested in.

Press the "Edit/Rename" when you are in the editor for an item that belongs to the body style you would like to edit.

The body style editor is a little complex, but mostly self-explanatory. Please fix the "Scale" field if it is wrong for the body style you are working on. Next, the 6th and 7th fields are labeled "Prototype" and "Prototype Description". You should fill in one or the other of these two fields (but typically not both!) and set the other one to blank. "Prototype Description" is the old way we used to put in prototype information, but the field is still there for backwards compatibility. It is also useful for when something that is being modeled that just doesn't fit in the vehicles database, such as N Scale deer or bushes. But for most new items, we don't use this field, we instead use prototype.

So - use the prototype pull-down to select the correct prototype for that bodystyle. The prototype manufacturer is automatically selected through the prototype. For example, if the prototype is a Ford Fairlane, the prototype manufacturer is automatically set to Ford, though you won't see that here in the body style editor.

Then, make sure the Prototype Description is blank. Then hit the UPDATE button at the bottom of the page.

This will set the prototype for the body style, BUT IT DOESN'T SET THE PROTOYPE FOR THE N SCALE MODELS associated with that body style. You need to do this through the synchronization function.

After you hit update on the body style, you will see all the body style fields again, with the prototype and prototype description set appropriately. However, at the bottom, next to the update button, is a NEW button called synchronize. Press this button.

This takes you the the body style synchronization screen. This allows you to find all the models that are associated with the body style and set their prototypes equal to the same one on the body style. It also allows you to synchronize many of the other fields. Typically, you may have just blanked out the prototype description, so you will want to synchronize both the prototype and the prototype description fields. The prototype will have a NUMBER next to it, though I will fix this to show a name instead soonish. The Prototype Description should be blank. When you push the button to the right of the prototype description it will blank out the prototype description on all N scale models with this body style. Then when you push the button that says "Synchronize XXXXX" next to the Prototype button it will set the prototype field (and all associated fields such as era, region, and prototype manufacturer) to the correct value(s). Then you are all set!

About the Author

George has been collecting trains for more than two decades. He started writing about the models and the process of collecting more recently. As well as the TroveStar Blog, George's written work has appeared in the N Scale Enthusiast Magazine. He loves talking about collecting, models, manufacturing and modular railroading. His background in management of massive amounts of financial data made him interested in using some of that knowledge to benefit various collectors. He lives on Cape Cod in the state of Massachusetts with his wife and three cats.