Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Tender Trap 9

What is the Tender Trap? It's what happens when someone places the tender of a toy or model locomotive backwards because it "looks right that way." Usually to do so, they have to ignore the connectors that are specifically designed to work only when the tender's facing the right way. 

So to insist on placing the tender backwards, ignorance isn't enough -- you have to deliberately ignore the evidence in front of you. 

There's something wrong with this picture -- or is there?
I see the tender trap all the time -- especially on auction sites -- so frequently, I could probably just title this blog "The Tender Trap" and have at least one new post daily. But there's no real point in that. The posts would get pretty repetitive pretty quickly -- only the actual images would change.

So I limit my posts to unusual examples. And this time, I was the one who was in error. Below is a Nomura train set from the 1960's, offered in the box. With that style of locomotive, the taller part of the tender (where the coal is stored) should be next to the locomotive. So the tender's backwards!

Below is a photo of the locomotive that Nomura modeled theirs after. As you can see, in real life the tender is taller in the front, shorter in the back.

Aha! I thought. Another clear example of the tender trap.

Then I noticed that the couplers were identical on both ends. So if someone wasn't familiar with steam engines, the connectors wouldn't provide any clues as to which end should be connected to the locomotive.

This cover art is gorgeous, but it doesn't help much.
But wait, I thought, this set still has the original box. Why didn't they just follow the box art?

I had already posted about someone who ignored the box art (see: The Tender Trap 3), and was sure that's what happened here.

The box cover doesn't show the tender clearly enough to provide any guidance. And if you compare it to the set's actual contents, you'll see there's a lot of artistic license going on with that cover.

Then I looked closely at the side of the box. There the contents were displayed in an orderly fashion. And the tender is depicted facing backwards! So the person selling the set, whether they know anything about trains or not,wasn't in error. They placed the contents in the box just as the instructions said to.

In this case, the fault's all mine for racing to judgement too quickly.

The side of the box told the tale.

Yep, it's backwards all right, compared to the prototype. But still,
I can't fault the seller for following the directions.

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