I'm usually quite circumspect and diplomatic on this blog.
I try not to go in for polemics or to stir up controversy for the sake of it, or just to get attention.
Every now and then, however, I feel that there is something which has to be said, and this is such an occasion.
The subject is 3D printing.
Or to be correct, 3D printing design and the degree of care and attention which does - and more frequently, doesn't - go into it.
This is not a rant against the technology.
We have a couple of 3D printed locomotive bodies ourselves which were designed by Robex who have created wonderfully detailed and fine models.
Here, for example, is a screenshot of one of their FR slate wagons.
The other day, as I was googling around for pictures to research a model, I was led to a 'shop' on perhaps the most well-known 3D print site where I was appalled to come across a fleet of what were purported to be scale models of FR stock - some of it of very rare items of rolling stock of which I know of only a few previous models, all painstakingly scratch built.
(Many of which by me.)
In most cases what is presented are computer simulated images, not actual printed models, so it is impossible to judge them in reality, but what I can see on the screen makes it exceedingly hard for me to accept the stated claim that they are accurate scale models.
There are some dimensions which are just grotesque, and other parts which, frankly, might as well be built using Lego.
It seems to me that many of these designs are being 'knocked up' in almost indecent haste with seemingly not a care that parts of them bear no obvious resemblance to the real thing.
Some of the prices are, frankly, iniquitous, and I don't mind telling you that it makes me mad.
In my view it is even more important in this digital age to keep the words caveat emptor at the forefront of your mind.