The short answer is this: if your product is related to model railroading, I am willing to review it. I have a few quick rules about the reviews.
- The product to be reviewed must be related to model railroading. It can be a model, a kit, an accessory, a book, a video, reference material or any of a number of other items. If it is intended to be used by model railroaders in the process of practicing some aspect of the hobby, then it is included in my broad category of "model railroad products."
- I retain the copyright on all reviews that I write. In the modern world, copyrights have become more and more important to companies looking for new ways to get money out of the model railroading community (the evil companies should know who they are). If you would like to use my review in your marketing materials, you are required to obtain my permission first so I know where my words are being used. I reserve the right to prosecute any and all infringements that I discover at any time.
- All products submitted for review become my property whether I complete a review of the product or not. It doesn't much matter to me what the suggested retail price of the product is; if I receive it as a product for review, the sample that is sent to me becomes my property. I am willing to make some limited exceptions for items that retail for a substantial dollar amount (like more than $1,000), but talk to me before you send it to me so we are both in agreement on this term. If I bought the product on my own, then it's already mine, so it doesn't matter anyway. As to whether I can complete a review, every product that has been sent to me for a review in the past has a completed review published somewhere (not necessarily on this site, but published nonetheless).
- I do not reimburse shipping costs in getting the sample product to me. If I didn't order or otherwise purchase the product, then you can't charge me for it or for shipping it to me. Unless we have made some agreement before the item arrives at my front door, I reserve the right to refuse any and all COD shipments.
- Unsolicited product shipments are assumed to be product review requests and any and all materials within the shipment will become my property upon my receipt of the shipment whether or not I write a review for it. If you send me a product without contacting me first, I will assume that you want me to review it. I will try to get a review posted to the site, but whether I do or not, the product becomes mine because you sent it to me without contacting me first.
- Reviews that I write will be posted into the front page queue on this website as soon as they are finished. I will post my reviews to the site, I will not send you my review for you to review first. I will, however, send you a note when I do post my review so you know when it is done.
- I reserve the right to post a negative review. This is my website, not yours, and let's face it, some products are just bad. Most of the products that I use in building my own model railroad are of superior quality (or at least acceptable quality), but when something is truly bad, I will not hold back and I will say it is bad. If you want to be guaranteed a good review, then write your own review and post it on your site. If you want me to review it and post my thoughts here, you've got to take the bad with the good.
- The reviews I write for this website will follow the format that I create them in. You are not allowed to specify what you want to see in the review or in what order I put the material in my review. Like I said, this is my website, not yours.
- I am assuming "fair use" rights for images of products that I review. I'm writing about the product, and as I understand it, including an image of the product being reviewed falls under my "fair use" rights on the product's likeness.
- I cannot review software written for any version of Apple's Macintosh operating system. I don't have a Mac (yet). 'Nuff said.
- These rules are subject to change without notice. If I think of something that should be changed or added or removed, I will just make the change. I will not send you a notice that these rules have changed; it is your responsibility to keep track of this page if you want me to review your product.
In addition, keep in mind the following:
- My reviews might be influenced by other modelers. I attend a lot of model railroad shows, and I talk to a lot of other modelers. I also read almost everything I can find about model railroading, so it's pretty likely that I've at least seen or heard something about products that have already been released. It is possible that I may be influenced in my review by these other views that I've been exposed to.
- I am more likely to finish a review if the product can be used somewhere on my own model railroad. I model primarily in N scale, and my home layout is based on the Milwaukee Road between Portage and LaCrosse, Wisconsin, set in 1984. If the product you want me to review is not one that can easily be used in my home layout (a G scale box car from an 1894 prototype, for example), the review will take a little longer for me to finish.
- Reviews are posted as I finish them. Model railroading and this website are, unfortunately, not what I do for a living, so I don't necessarily have as much time to devote to the site as I would like. Unless you and I make an agreement before I receive the product, my review will be posted when I'm done with it. If you want a review by a specific date, talk to me first to see if I can write it within your desired timeframe. I've still got reviews in the works that I started quite a while ago, so please be patient.
- I might use the product you submit in a manner you didn't expect. A big part of model railroading is creativity, so don't be surprised when I use the product you submit in a way that is different from your product's assembly or usage instructions. I might kitbash it or cut it up and use a part of it for another project on my layout. I might bury it in simulated water, I might bend, fold, spindle or otherwise mutilate it. Hey, the product sample is mine anyway (see the rules above), and I'll use it any way I want to.
- Anything I post on this website is subject to change at any time without notice. Generally, once it's up, it stays that way; usually updates will be put in comments so it's obvious which is the original text and what the update is. But, like I said, this is my website, and I can change anything about it at any time.
Okay, so how do you get your product to me for a review? Contact me through the standard webmaster email address for this website. Eventually, I plan to open a postal box where you can send the product, but for now, send me an email and I'll send you my "ship to" address. Be patient, because it may be a day or two before I respond to your email (like I said, this website is not how I make a living).