What is your general thoughts on your endeavor into the model railroading hobby?

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#1
I have given my opinions on this hobby at times and it sometimes seems to get me into trouble. I must cast the appearance of an overbearing outlook on things at times; however, that isn't really how I think!

I'd like to think I am actually pretty casual about the hobby. As a liberal, I am firmly convinced that everyone can have an opinion and everyone can do things however they like. At present I am an HO Modeler. I know that the most stuff is available in this scale. I also started with HO probably close to 60 years ago and before that my brother and I had an American Flyer S Scale layout, on a 4X8 sheet of 3/4ths plywood.

I model the Northern Pacific in 1953. 1953 so that I can model both steam and 1st generation diesels. I love steam, with all the side rod action I find them fascinating to watch and now that we have sound, the cuffing of a steam locomotive mesmerizes me! I also like 40 foot cars and cabooses. I saw John Allen's Gorre & Daphetid layout in the magazines in my teenage years and like John love to see trains snaking through mountains with spindly trestles with cliff side road beds and then boring through mountain tunnels.

Running trains for me takes a distant back seat to building models. Although I can get into scenery, it's been a few years since I actually did any. Once in awhile I will take a break from model railroading to build some other types of models. I have been involved in Radio Controlled Model airplanes, however when everyone in that hobby started buying ready to fly; or, almost ready to fly airplanes I quickly lost interest in that hobby. I have also built model sailing ships in both wood and plastic! Having been a Tool & Die maker, using my hands and brain to build things is a natural expression of who I am.

So, what trips your trigger? Or, "What Plunks your magic TWANGER Froggy?
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#2
Back when I was heavily into modeling ... I liked to build, detail, and paint (mostly from scratch) freight cars - nothing over 40 feet and mostly On3. I still have 10-15 in various stages of completion - I just seem to NOT want to find the time to work on them.

Most of today's modelers seem to only want RTR and DCC.
 
#3
Back during WW2, my Dad was a Fireman on PRR Mikados (2-8-2), and Consolidations (2-8-0). (This was during 1941-1944)

When he wasn't on Mainline Duty, hauling mile-long consists of Steel to War Production Plants in the East, he would have Yard Duty, assembling trains for more shipments.

If I happened to be out of school when he had Yard Duty, he would take me to work with him, where I would spend the day in the cab of an 0-6-0 Switcher, a very exciting adventure for a 6-to-8-year-old!

I would learn the function of every Valve, Lever, and Gauge by asking questions and carefully watching every move made by the Engineer and Fireman!

This was the days before OSHA, when a kid could have fun in many interesting and exciting ways!

Brakemen Hal, now 83 years old!
 
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max diyer

Well-Known Member
#5
Other than 2000 - 2003, I have always had a layout and/or trains. So it's been a large part of my life.
I enjoy every aspect of the hobby. Be it bench work, track laying, wiring, scenery, scratch building and operations.
Even train shows, open houses and railfanning. When I go to a MRR shop, I'm like a kid in a candy store.
All of it keeps me in the hobby. I do stray away from MRRing as I do woodworking, leather work, steel fabrication, fishing and a avid motorcyclist. But when the weather turns toward winter . . . MRRing is at the forefront.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#6
Other than 2000 - 2003, I have always had a layout and/or trains. So it's been a large part of my life.
I enjoy every aspect of the hobby. Be it bench work, track laying, wiring, scenery, scratch building and operations.
Even train shows, open houses and railfanning. When I go to a MRR shop, I'm like a kid in a candy store.
All of it keeps me in the hobby. I do stray away from MRRing as I do woodworking, leather work, steel fabrication, fishing and a avid motorcyclist. But when the weather turns toward winter . . . MRRing is at the forefront.
My guess is that most of us have other activities we're involved with, especially when the weather gets nice.

Brakeman Hal, you've had an interesting childhood, doing something many of us could only dream of, thanks for sharing!
 
#7
I like the fact that you can have a 45 ton GE locomotive in your basement because you can have something so big and cool at your finger tips. I also like building the actual buildings for my layout and doing the scenery.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
#8
Wow, I could write an entire book about my inspirations and experiences of this hobby! I need to find some way to condense it all...

There are things I really like about the hobby, such as scratch building structures and painting/decaling trains to resemble their prototype, and planning/hosting op sessions with my local mrr friends. Other things I can get enjoyment from include building not-too-complex rolling stock kits, tracklaying, and scenery [aside from the mess it generates]. The only things I dislike are those that involve working under the layout, such as soldering wires above eye level or mounting and aligning Tortoise machines - IOW, anything that forces me to hold my arms above my head for extended periods or squeeze my body into a contorted position [I'm simply not as 'flexible' as I used to be!].
 
#9
What I really enjoy about model railroading is the opportunity to use a lifetime of acquired skills and talents to create something that I'm really excited about. Of course some of us have more of those skills than others but I would say that many of us would need to count on both hands and maybe more to list all the things that we have had experience in that we now use in our layout construction. I started building my Gorre Northern, a Gorre & Daphetid Revival in 2017 and even thought this is my first layout now at the age of 62 I am having a very rewarding experience. The benchwork is all done and soon the track will all be laid and the next steps and layers will be very exciting for me. my foray into artistic painting with acrylics and oils some years back has given me confidence to tackle backdrop painting and those other more artistic areas of layout construction. I really just love every part of our great hobby. I know there can be some misunderstandings on these internet forums, and some few that cannot get along with others ( not refering to you Mark) but on the whole I think model railroaders are some fine gentlemen always willing to help out those with less knowledge and experience. What floats my boat in this hobby? All of it! I'm still at the beginning of building a great empire and there will be lots of rails, trains, buildings, rivers, bridges, and mountains but even now I get a thrill just hooking up a few cars behind an old Mantua steamer and running down the track on bare wood. It's the imagination that brings this whole thing to life.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#10
Revival, I think your right, the hobby is about your personal enjoyment. It's my opinion that as well as working and relationships, personal time to seek out and enjoy something for ourselves, is as important as any other aspect of our lives.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
#12
I sometimes look at my (small) layout, and the boxes and tubs stacked around it and under it, and think: 'Wow, I sure spent a lot of money on stuff I hardly use'.
My wife said the same thing to me this weekend......lol

In HS I had build a rather large Lionel layout in the basement (along and around all the aquariums I had down there as well). I couldn't find a lot building for it that I cared for, so I built several on my own. They looked pretty good for what they were. I based everything off of a freight station (doors and windows) and scaled everything else accordingly. I had a realistic feed store and a couple of houses I scratch built with balsa wood and cereal boxes. That was what I really liked doing most.
 
#13
I sometimes look at my (small) layout, and the boxes and tubs stacked around it and under it, and think: 'Wow, I sure spent a lot of money on stuff I hardly use'.
Funny you mention that. I am in the early planning stages of my first layout and last night my wife was asking/pleading with me to not just buy a bunch of ‘train stuff’ and hoard it in the basement. Apparently I have a small collecting issue...
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#14
20 years ago, when my skills were at the top, I did LOTS of model making, weathering and steam loco collecting. In 2007 I had a place to build my model RR. Lots of stuff changed and my skills have decreased along with a desire to finish the layout. Glad I never weathered the track or put down ballast, so I can sell all of the code 83 track & turnouts. Still have lots of unbuilt, out of production kits I started collecting in the late 1980's through 2004. I'd just like to sell it all including benchwork. I modeled the Norfolk and Western between 1920-1940. have lots of unbuilt Jordan kits, and I even have some HOn3 engines and rolling stock and many Shinohara #6 and #8 turnouts. I have early arthritis and tinitus. Getting old is not for sissies.
 
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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#15
Mark: All I have to do is look at the cover of the December 1981 issue of Model Railroader which features John Allen's Squaw Creek High Bridge and the fabulous scenery that John created. Only a photograph like this can express or show the many facets of the hobby of Model Railroading. Let us not forgot the likes of Howard Zane, George Sellios, Jack Work to name just a few.

Very few hobby's can offer an individual a chance to hone his electrical, carpentry, engineering, scratch building skills, model making from kits, artistic talents, design skills, lighting, the mechanics of working on miniature working locomotives or the history of the prototypic railroad. An individual can decide on when and what areas of the hobby the individual desires to work on without outside influences or just maybe decided to read his favorite book or website.

I'm on my second copy of the December 1981 issue and will likely with go through one more copy before I hit the end of the line. Hopefully, someone else will find my last copy and be as inspired by John Allen as I was back in 1981 and today.

Need I say more...?

1575309280780.png


Greg

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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#16
I sometimes look at my (small) layout, and the boxes and tubs stacked around it and under it, and think: 'Wow, I sure spent a lot of money on stuff I hardly use'.
Ditto, I look around at my non-existent layout and the hundreds of boxes in the train storage room and think the same thing. Sigh - I am not even going to get to set up the new outrageously expensive Polar Express at Christmas time this year. :(
 
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JazzDad

Gandy Dancer
#18
Similar to what Robots said, I once had a friend visit. I proudly showed him my layout. With sort of glassy eyes he asked, "How much could you sell it for?"
 



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