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                                       Autumnal gloom
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 17 Oct 2007 19:35
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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topic started 2007



On P4_talk today Tim Shackleton (editor of Model Railway Journal) is being very gloomy:
Personally I don't feel we can attract new blood in sufficient numbers to sustain the long-term survival of this hobby, and I think it would be a waste of time and energy to do so. I think (and this has been my platform all along) those already active within the hobby need to come together in a positive spirit to manage the last few meaningful years of finescale modelling in such as way that we can enjoy it in reasonable comfort and obtain the fulfilment we seek. In ten or fifteen years, max, the lights will go out on railway modelling whatever we do.I started developing Templot 28 years ago in 1979. It was first released 8 years ago in 1999. There is still a long way to go until it is finished (or at least within sight of the finishing post). Progress is now much slower than before because of the time needed to support existing users. I reckon I might get there in another 15 years or so, if the last grey cell is still standing. :)

The question is -- is it worth doing if just as I get it finished there is no-one left to use it? :(

On the other hand, quite often on RMweb there appears a message such as this:

 http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10036

which surely means the hobby has a bright future? :)

Is our glass half-full or half-empty?

regards,

Martin.
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2nd message | this message only posted: 17 Oct 2007 20:09
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from:
Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Is our glass half-full or half-empty?
I would say three-quarters full :)

As has been said on P4_talk, there are a good number of people of my sort of age-group around working in finescale.  I suspect that most of these people are using forums like RMWeb because it's more modern than text-based email.  I think if Tim had a look on there he might find more to be optimistic about - from what I've seen it does seem to more up-beat than either P4_talk or E4um.  I might even sign up to RMWeb myself one day!

Anyway, I had a nice shiny new compound table delivered today so I can mill out those gearboxes properly later, or is that sort of thing the reserve of the previous generation? :)

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3rd message | this message only posted: 17 Oct 2007 22:35
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: On P4_talk today Tim Shackleton (editor of Model Railway Journal) is being very gloomy:
Personally I don't feel we can attract new blood in sufficient numbers to sustain the long-term survival of this hobby, and I think it would be a waste of time and energy to do so. I think (and this has been my platform all along) those already active within the hobby need to come together in a positive spirit to manage the last few meaningful years of finescale modelling in such as way that we can enjoy it in reasonable comfort and obtain the fulfilment we seek. In ten or fifteen years, max, the lights will go out on railway modelling whatever we do.I started developing Templot 28 years ago in 1979. It was first released 8 years ago in 1999. There is still a long way to go until it is finished (or at least within sight of the finishing post). Progress is now much slower than before because of the time needed to support existing users. I reckon I might get there in another 15 years or so, if the last grey cell is still standing. :)

The question is -- is it worth doing if just as I get it finished there is no-one left to use it? :(

On the other hand, quite often on RMweb there appears a message such as this:

 http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10036

which surely means the hobby has a bright future? :)

Is our glass half-full or half-empty?

regards,

Martin.
I can remember in the 1960s when people forecast the end of model railways with the appearance of Scalextric and other interests for children,  and the demise of Hornby.  But here we are almost half a century later with a bouyant and high quality RTR market with new entrants coming from the younger married male generation as in your example.  Maybe Mr. Shackleton is reacting to the news of long time suppliers leaving the trade,  but that is bound to happen and other suppliers will surely appear to make use of modern production methods - just as people did in the 1970s and onward.

I just get worried that Mr. Shackleton is the editor of the one model railway magazine that I still subscribe to.  I don't know if I want to read him chipping out his epitaph on a gravestone for the next fifteen years in that magazine,  so maybe he should move on pretty quickly and peddle his misery in magazine letters pages,  or the forums and mailing lists on the internet.

Jim.

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4th message | this message only posted: 17 Oct 2007 23:03
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from:
Peter_Hirons
Ireland

 

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I believe there will still be people there to use it, although they may not be modelling to P4 standard.  Even RTR looks better on smoother track.

Besides, haven't you got some 12" to 1' modellers amongst your customers?

 

Peter


Martin Wynne wrote:

The question is -- is it worth doing if just as I get it finished there is no-one left to use it? :(

Martin.


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5th message | this message only posted: 17 Oct 2007 23:25
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from:
its_all_downhill
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 

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Martin

I think we are ok for some time as I think this is just schock jock stuff and the reality is more like yes maybe the numbers of younger railway modellers are being lost to console/pc games etc etc.. but it is still not the demise of the whole hobby that Mr Shackleton is predicting, and I think it is up to us existing modellers to bring the next generations through. Just look at how popular Thomas the Tank Engine is..

I think that you should carry on your excellent work

Regards
Tom

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6th message | this message only posted: 18 Oct 2007 06:06
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from:
Graham Evans
Newmarket, Ontario Canada

 

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Interesting.

I think if I were his boss, it would be time to talk to him of a new career.

The journalists and the media should be leading the charge.  The hobby has changed, it will change more and it will need champions that can change with it to continue to promote it.

On this side of the pond (Hey, I am English but now live in Canada as it allows me to live in a lifestyle to which I want to be accustomed) they started the "Worlds greatest hobby" movement 5 years ago including take a train to work day in November.  This has worked wonders in bringing new people into the hobby.

Then again take DCC..  one of the greatest things to happen to the hobby..  why??  because my step grandson and his friends want to play trains all day on the computer and play with the programming and control aspects..  hes now become a through and through train person.

The quality of ready to run has changed the face of this hobby. No longer do you have to spend weeks getting an accurate model, it's in the box.  And moreso..  people now grow up expecting instant gratification..  take it from box and run.

All these things need to be concentrated on to get people into the hobby.  Once they are there, some will automaticaloly gravitate to the finer aspects of handbuilt track etc.  It's always been a minority interest, but the hobby needs to change to get enough people in it to allow the minority to form.

To our stirling editor origionally quoted, I would say, "Suck it up Princess" and go and find a job where you can be useful as opposed to being totally negative and being detrimental to this hobby of ours.

The glass is more than half full, it's just a slightly different glass these days, and it has the potential to overflow :)

 

Regards

 

Graham Evans

 

 

 

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7th message | this message only posted: 18 Oct 2007 22:20
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from:
mattots
United Kingdom

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: On P4_talk today Tim Shackleton (editor of Model Railway Journal) is being very gloomy:
Personally I don't feel we can attract new blood in sufficient numbers to sustain the long-term survival of this hobby[...]. In ten or fifteen years, max, the lights will go out on railway modelling whatever we doThe question is -- is it worth doing if just as I get it finished there is no-one left to use it? :(

On the other hand, quite often on RMweb there appears a message such as this:

 http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10036

which surely means the hobby has a bright future? :)

Is our glass half-full or half-empty?
Well, I'm 32 and recently got back into the hobby in a fairly serious way after 15 years or so of not giving it much thought.
My main areas of interest are the 1950s/early 60s late steam era and  the 1970s/80s blue diesel era, which you might find odd given that I wasn't even born until the mid 70s!
Anyway, I for one have absolutely no intention whatsoever of letting the doom-mongers put me off pursuing my modelling! Please keep developing Templot, Martin. I certainly won't stop using it anytime soon!

Matt
http://line2nowhere.blogspot.com

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8th message | this message only posted: 18 Oct 2007 23:31
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from:
Cynric Williams
 

 

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Jim Guthrie wrote:

I just get worried that Mr. Shackleton is the editor of the one model railway magazine that I still subscribe to.  I don't know if I want to read him chipping out his epitaph on a gravestone for the next fifteen years in that magazine,  so maybe he should move on pretty quickly and peddle his misery in magazine letters pages,  or the forums and mailing lists on the internet.

Jim.
Couldn't agree more, I'm sick of his downbeat editorial attitude. If he was working for me he would get the push, he should be aiming to inspire new modellers not shut up shop. For what it is worth I think the magazine has lost it's way somewhat since he has been in charge anyway.:(

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9th message | this message only posted: 19 Oct 2007 01:37
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Templot User
Posted By Email



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----- from Nigel Brown -----

Martin Wynne wrote: On P4_talk today Tim Shackleton (editor of Model Railway Journal) is being very gloomy:
Personally I don't feel we can attract new blood in sufficient numbers to sustain the long-term survival of this hobby, and I think it would be a waste of time and energy to do so. I think (and this has been my platform all along) those already active within the hobby need to come together in a positive spirit to manage the last few meaningful years of finescale modelling in such as way that we can enjoy it in reasonable comfort and obtain the fulfilment we seek. In ten or fifteen years, max, the lights will go out on railway modelling whatever we do.
Tim Shackleton has a valid point, albeit I think a confused one. You've only to look at the average age of those behind the layouts at shows to realise that a high proportion of the active modellers belong to a generation (or generations) which, if not wiped out, will be very much thinner in 15 years time. This bound to have a high impact, but not necessarily the one Tim envisages.

Where I think he's confused is in what he means by "this hobby". Does he mean "railway modelling" as in the last paragraph, or "finescale modelling" as in the previous, whatever the latter is? Or what? I suspect he means P4 modelling or the equivalent, practised in the way it is practised today. Which may not be the Holy Grail it is often held out to be.

Personally I'm hugely optimistic for the future. There is more investment on the commercial front (Bachmann, Hornby etc) than ever before, standards there are improving by leaps and bounds, and a healthy state there means a healthy future for railway modelling as a whole, including the dedicated modelling side. New technologies are just waiting to be exploited; DCC for example, where remote control of locomotive couplings, and electronically linked lever frames, are just two possibilities. Stuff in fact which is much more likely to appeal to the younger generations. Templot's a good example of using modern widely available technology, and a highly satisfying one.

I'm afraid you're not going to be retired for a long long time, Martin!

Nigel
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10th message | this message only posted: 19 Oct 2007 01:42
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from:
John Lewis
Croydon, United Kingdom

 

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Graham Evans wrote: they started the "Worlds greatest hobby" movement 5 years ago including take a train to work day in November.Does this mean you went by train, and you parked a Eurostar (think big) in the Company's car park? :)

John
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11th message | this message only posted: 19 Oct 2007 08:20
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from:
Roger Henry
Brisbane, Australia

 

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     I worry about Tim. A good man having a bad month perhaps? He is an amazing modeller and pictures I have seen of his work leave me awestruck. Likewise, MRJ occupies a rather unique 'niche'. Sure, it has 'good' issues and less interesting issues but it always inspires me to try a little harder somewhere on my layout. (Keep in mind, a magazine can only be as good as the contributors).

     The cynic in me suggests that, maybe, part of Tim's worry is that commissions might be drying up:-) Now that would be a Death of The Hobby moment.

     Whether all this is really worth worrying about is a moot point. There have been similar dire predictions in the past. One of the best responses I have seen, during the uproar in the USA over the UP trademark 'war', which also passed in due course, was posted to a Yahoo Group. Tongue in cheek but still pertinenet. Quote:

     "Well hell yes. It's been dying for years now.
In case we've all forgotten I'll attach the timeless advice from our
Mr. Netzlof on this subject."

      "Every so often, like at every other club meeting, or every NMRA
division meeting, I am subjected to a general admonishment
regarding "the future of The Hobby", the importance of providing for
the "growth of The Hobby", the dire consequences to be visited upon
those too short-sighted to support the "out-reach of The Hobby".
What do these nimnuls think they are achieving? Once upon a time,
there were a few oddballs who played with trains, enough of them to
support a magazine, a national organization, a handful of
manufacturers and a gross or so of local clubs. People played with
their trains and were happy.
       Now, after over half a century of "growing The Hobby", of "becoming a
force in The Hobby Industry", "The Hobby" has become a big enough
economic target to attract scumbags whose only talent is to work the
system to make a buck. So some clever fellow is out to get "trade
mark protection" for marks he did not devise so that he can harvest
wealth for his cleverness. The UP is out to get a piece of the action
on sales of model trains if the maker uses any of their marks.
"The Hobby" is growing itself to death. It is making itself
increasingly attractive to economic parasites. We do not need
to "grow The Hobby", it is in our interest that the hobby shrink
until it becomes unattractive to the blood suckers.
Ignore the boosters, they know not whereof they speak. They know
only "bigger is better". Ignore the organizers, their hobby
is "running a model railroad club" (they would be equally happy
running a quilting club or a bird-watching club). Ignore those who
say "we must grow or perish", if we grow, we will perish, the only
safety is to vanish below the horizon."

 

Roger,

Brisbane
,

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12th message | this message only posted: 20 Oct 2007 00:49
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from:
Simon Dunkley
Oakham, United Kingdom



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Martin Wynne wrote: Is our glass half-full or half-empty?
Depends, really. Are you filling it or draining it?

Or more cogently, as a colleague puts it, depends if it is your round or mine...

(As to Templot, did you develop it mostly for your own enjoyment, plus those who appreciate what you have done, or to make money? If the latter, not many people get rich from model railways!)

Simon Dunkley


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13th message | this message only posted: 20 Oct 2007 01:40
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Simon Dunkley wrote: (As to Templot, did you develop it mostly for your own enjoyment, plus those who appreciate what you have done, or to make money? If the latter, not many people get rich from model railways!)Hi Simon,

Originally it was purely for my own use in connection with my 85A Models business building custom pointwork and kits. And also to help friends with their layout designs. By the mid 90s it had reached a stage where said friends were urging me to make it available for others, so I obtained a PC and set about making a Windows version and adding all the help notes and neat dialogs that you don't need when it's just for yourself.

I've been in the model trade on and off for 33 years, so the likelihood or otherwise of getting rich thereby is not lost on me! :) See for example: http://www.templot.com/martweb/go_hunslet.htm (1992-1998).

regards,

Martin.
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14th message | this message only posted: 20 Oct 2007 03:54
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rodney_hills
United Kingdom

 

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I've been in the model trade on and off for 33 years, so the likelihood or otherwise of getting rich thereby is not lost on me! :) See for example: http://www.templot.com/martweb/go_hunslet.htm (1992-1998).Martin,

By sheer coincidence I picked up a copy of the October 1993 "Railway Modeller" magazine at my local MR club last week, and there, also in glorious colour, your "Ready-to-run 0 gauge Hunslet" is the headline item in the 'Latest Reviews' section (page 472). The (anonymous) reviewer writes in glowing terms about the loco: "This super little shunter is really quite exceptional value, and represents a milestone in the history of gauge 0 model locomotives."

Innovation indeed!

I read therein that R.M. was supplied with the review sample by a delighted customer, not by the manufacturer ("who was pre-occupied with satisfying a considerable initial demand"). Did you you have much explaining to do to potential customers who took R.M.'s unfortunate presumed misprint as literal gospel? "Prices: RTR =£40 post free. Modeller's version [a simple kit] =£99 post free."

I wonder what price examples are fetching at auction these days?

Regards,

Rodney.
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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rodney_hills wrote:I read therein that R.M. was supplied with the review sample by a delighted customer, not by the manufacturer ("who was pre-occupied with satisfying a considerable initial demand"). Did you you have much explaining to do to potential customers who took R.M.'s unfortunate presumed misprint as literal gospel? "Prices: RTR =£40 post free. Modeller's version [a simple kit] =£99 post free."Hi Rodney,

We were extremely annoyed. Not only did we receive no advance warning that this item was about to appear in RM, we then had to waste time returning a flood of £40 cheques and explaining that the error was entirely RM's.

A few days later I received a memorable phone call from Sydney Pritchard (founder of Peco). He explained that he was in charge of the UK model railway trade, that he would take over distribution forthwith, and that we would supply the Hunslets to him for x pounds!

There was a favourable full review of the kit by the late Martin Brent in the preview issue (number 0) of Iain Rice's Rail Model Digest magazine.
I wonder what price examples are fetching at auction these days?eBay is your friend!

regards,

Martin.
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16th message | this message only posted: 20 Oct 2007 13:26
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Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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The (anonymous) reviewer writes in glowing terms about the locoRM write in glowing terms about anything if the company concerned advertises with them :) I'm in my 27th year of subscribing, but still treat the reviews with caution!
A few days later I received a memorable phone call from Sydney Pritchard (founder of Peco). He explained that he was in charge of the UK model railway trade, that he would take over distribution forthwith, and that we would supply the Hunslets to him for x pounds!Was this the same guy that decreed that the internet was just a passing fad, and refused to allow advertisers to publish web addresses?  Anyway, what was your answer to the venerable Mr. Pritchard?

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Roger Henry
Brisbane, Australia

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: rodney_hills wrote:I read therein that R.M. was supplied with the review sample by a delighted customer, not by the manufacturer ("who was pre-occupied with satisfying a considerable initial demand"). Did you you have much explaining to do to potential customers who took R.M.'s unfortunate presumed misprint as literal gospel? "Prices: RTR =£40 post free. Modeller's version [a simple kit] =£99 post free."Hi Rodney,

We were extremely annoyed. Not only did we receive no advance warning that this item was about to appear in RM, we then had to waste time returning a flood of £40 cheques and explaining that the error was entirely RM's.

A few days later I received a memorable phone call from Sydney Pritchard (founder of Peco). He explained that he was in charge of the UK model railway trade, that he would take over distribution forthwith, and that we would supply the Hunslets to him for x pounds!

There was a favourable full review of the kit by the late Martin Brent in the preview issue (number 0) of Iain Rice's Rail Model Digest magazine.

regards,

Martin.

LOL There must be something in the water. Years ago, an acquaintance in Australia was slowly developing a range of Australian outline models. He had sold some at shows and placed items at a few hobby shops. He also receieved a phone call from a gentleman, purporting to be the 'distributor' of Australian made models, who demanded that he be given the right to place said products, failing which my acquaintance would never be allowed into another show. The demand was declined and the 'distributor' has since faded away from the hobby scene.

  Mr. Netzloff knew whereof he spoke:-)

Roger


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18th message | this message only posted: 20 Oct 2007 19:56
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Boyd wrote:Was this the same guy that decreed that the internet was just a passing fad, and refused to allow advertisers to publish web addresses?Hi Paul,

The "no web site advertising" wasn't quite the Luddite attitude it's often painted -- Peco actually had a web site of their own at the time.

It was actually a ban on mentioning anything to do with "home computers" rather than just the internet. At the time home computers were seen as a hobby in their own right, rather than just another domestic appliance. RM has a policy of not accepting any advertising of hobbies other than railway modelling. Which makes a sort of sense -- all hobby activities are competing for the same disposable income. Adverts quoting web sites were an obvious incentive to go and buy a computer rather than spend the money on model railway products!
Anyway, what was your answer to the venerable Mr. Pritchard?Naturally I apologised for venturing onto his patch without asking permission, but declined his kind offer. Very politely, I'm sure... :D

regards,

Martin.
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Is our glass half-full or half-empty?Things sure change fast nowadays, don't they?

From doom and gloom a week ago, railway modelling is now the trendiest of hobbies :) :

Guardian

Mail

Just now looking up the advertising rates for Templot in "Hello!" magazine...

Martin.

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from:
BeamEnds
 

 

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For what it's worth, here's a viewpoint from a recent "returner" to the hobby after a gap of about 25 years.

Firstly, having decided that getting back into trains was the thing to do, I had to decide what gauge I was going to use. I'd had extensive 00 and N layouts in the past, but always had a hankering for 0. The trouble with 0 was I'd have to make everything - but after some thought I concluded that that was what I actually realy wanted to do, the concept of "playing trains" (no offence intended, each unto their own) didn't appeal, but modelling did - with a purpose though. I can see no point im making all the stuff but it not actually working. That's just me though. I've included this just for a bit of background.

So, I poppped into Smiths and had a look at some magaznes. First surprise, Railway Modeler was still going (virtually unchanged!), but there were a lot more on offer - I'm still not sure how many exactly, as I can't remember the names. The fact that there are so many magazines now is certainly a Good Thing. But not for me - I'll explain. I always found the two that were around in my pervious existence rather dull - with the exception of a wonderfull article
in Railway Modeler about building your own HST, which featured the "Watkinson Patent Fetherlight Travelling Bog" as one of the many weight saving designs offered so yours could go faster than BR's. A rare glimmer of humour indeed.

So, on to the web. Hello, what's this? Ready-To-Run 0 gauge! Blimey. Vast numbers of 00 products, and the range of N products is trully astounding compared to 25 years ago. It all looks very, very active compared to times gone by. And most of the names of old are still trading (maybe under new ownership, but that's ok). I had rather assumed that the hobby would have shrunk rather than, apparently, grown.

Ok - so I've decided what I'm going to. Not having built track before, I discover Templot. Now we're rocking - I can have realistic track formations, something I'd always hankered after. I'm not just saying that to make Martin happy, buying Templot really got my interest going. So I decided to start visiting a few exhibitions, join forums on the web and look through club web sites and private layouts seeking inspiration.

Now I'm going to make myself unpopular. The web. Ye Gods! It's like looking in on a old fashioned Gentlemans Club. The web forums all seem to be populated with old men (and the occasional woman), in spirit if not fact. Any new, or different, ideas from posters
are either ignored, or brushed aside as being irrelevant. I have this vision of a room full of men (mostly old), either with dinner jackets and over-large cigars, or cloth caps and pipes - about as welcoming to a youngster as something rather unwelcoming. "I'm sorry, we just do it that way" from the cigars, and "Look lad, we're the experts bacuse we've been doing it for years" from the pipes. Any attempts at lightening the groups is met with a stern silence, or even sarcastic "I don't understand" type comments. The in jokes are the same ones that were around 30 years ago! Suggestions as to alternative ways of doing things deeply frowned on. Having actually worked for the real thing also seems to immediately get a lot of backs up - if I read one more photo caption that describes a train list as a "consist" I'm going to commit murder! (If its' on the back of an engine, it's a train, if its on paper its a train list.)
Which brings me to the "cleverness". Even on computer groups, where the noisy contributors have ego's that require wharehouses to store them, newcommers will be helped along, if a little abruptly sometimes, so they can join in. Can you imagine a 10 or 12 year old's reaction to the cigars or pipes? I can - it would not be positive! Little Damien doesn't to know how many rivets are on a tender, but he might need to know that the Scroggins 9f won't go round 1st radius curves. As an experienced modeller I got a bit hot under the collar when I describe a method of ballasting track I've used for many, many
years with great success was denounced as rubbish, and I was told how to do it "his way" like it was the only way. Not encouraging.

Ok - exhibitions. I well remember going to the annual model railway exhibition in Weymouth for many years. There were always many types of layout there, but in those days it was unusual for them to not be tail-chasers - and it was (and still is, mostly, at exhibitions) what I like to see. It's what got me motivated to do something with my circle of Triang track and little 0-4-0 diesel aged 4. An express passenger train should do just that - express. So what if it's not prototypical speed! Kids see an HST or Flying Scotsman screaming by and want one - "Maybe next year, son", but the seed is planted. An amazingly detailed Hall crawling along at what seems like 10mph just isn't going to attract their attention. And waiting for some "realistic" time interval for the next train isn't going to keep their attention (or mine) - they want the next one, and they want it now. They couldn't care less if the same one goes round two or three, or more times. It's lovely to look at, and admire, the workmanship that has gone into some terminus-to-fiddleyard layout, but to the future recruits that's dead boring Grandad stuff. One layout at Hazel Grove last weekend had the splendind idea of having a row of buttons (at child height) to activate a bloke on road drill, the fire engine lights, and similar things. That's the stuff! They had a permenant collection of youngsters (of all ages) waiting for a go. Not exactly Pendon, but it was *popular*. Running to timetables, at "realistic" speeds is all well and good at home, or on the club night if you must, but it isn't interesting except to the operators (though at Telford a lot of them looked like they'd rather be somewhere else). If the 100 wagon train (see, I still remember that after 30 years from a show in Manchester) goes down well send, it round again! Play to the crowd.

And so to clubs. Now I have to say it is highly unlikely I'd ever join a model railway club again. I simply cannot stand a club that has 20 members having a "committee" of three or four that make all the descisions on everyone else's behalf. Why bother, every one should make the choices by consensus if at all feasible. And on club nights I'd want to get on with doing something and have a play. Maybe that's what clubs do, but the outward impression I get is
that I'd be treated as some sort of learner until I had learned the chorus and *all* the verses of the club song. That would be very annoying. I've been modelling for years (I still made the odd kit during my years off) and I've played trains with the 12" to the foot system. I can break things just a well as the next man. One club I did join years ago had a poxy layout for the younger members, and they had to somehow pass-out before they were allowed to play with the main layout. Why? I, like some freinds, simply left the club and went out built our own layouts. Had we been allowed to use the main layout (under supervision), we'd have stayed. 

So to answer Martin's implied question - does the model railway have a future? Well, I believe the answer is yes. But it will be driven by the likes of Hornby (it's very popular to slag them off every opportunity these days it seems, but they have stayed in business when all their competetors in the UK market have failed) making it fun, not by the "experts" and "enthusiasts" worrying about colour of the point rodding at Ilfracome at about tea-time on Saturday 12th June 1910 [1].

Richard

[1] I just know someones going to look that date up and say it wasn't a Saturday!



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from:
rodney_hills
United Kingdom

 

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BeamEnds wrote: For what it's worth, here's a viewpoint from a recent "returner" to the hobby after a gap of about 25 years.Richard,

After all that, did you decide to go for 0 gauge, then?

If you did, be aware that there are several 0 gauge track gauges to choose from in British 7mm/ft scale: (naming in Templot)

31.0mm gauge is 0-XF.
31.2mm gauge is 0-SF.
31.5mm gauge is 0-MF.
32mm gauge is G0G-F (and G0G-C).
33mm proto gauge is S7.

All have their pros & cons, as discussed on threads in this and other forums.

Are you considering building a layout suitable for exhibiting?

Regards,

Rodney Hills

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from:
BeamEnds
 

 

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Hi Rodney,
I have indeed gone for 0 gauge - 32mm too keep things simple - I'm still getting to grips with concept of wheels being "extras"! I've alreadt built 4 Parkside kits, a PGA brass kit, and the Class 42/43 Warship is ready to start building. Sadly my off-years brass kits have suffered too much to recover, but will feature parked up on Cripple Creek - the sidings for wagons waiting to go to Marcrofts from Soddingham-Under-Piddle, my space-time continum version of a Frome North "might-have-been". I have a fantasy history for the layout so that everything can be, cough, "justfied" (though my desire to build an EM2 requires some further thought...) - I'll put it on my "free" BT web space when I remember the password, with the Templot drawing etc.
I did have a fancy to make the layout exhibitable (it certainly will up to standard), but alas our ex-Glorious Leader took care of that what with me being a smoker.
I'm really, really pleased I took the descision to get back into modelling - as, doubtless are the neighbours - I haven't been doing my (bad) Jimmy Hendrix impressions for a few months now....
I'm going to have to start making track soon, but admit that the prospect of making point  blades is a bit daunting - but then that's the challenge. I think.

Cheers
Richard

PS. Does anyone know where I can get dawings of early 80's colout light signals from?

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Brian Lewis
United Kingdom

 

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BeamEnds wrote: I'm going to have to start making track soon, but admit that the prospect of making point  blades is a bit daunting - but then that's the challenge. I think......Err. If point blades, (switches), are bothering you Richard, then you can always purchase them ready finished. (Whisper it softly, but even 'great' track builders like Norman Solomon purchase them from us). As a companion piece, we also have ready to lay common crossings. (Apologies for the blatant advertising Martin).

Regards

Brian Lewis

Carrs -- C+L Finescale
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Brian Lewis wrote: Apologies for the blatant advertising MartinNo apologies needed. There are no rules here. Unlike so many forums we are not over-run with moderators itching to interfere and making lists of do's and don'ts. I prefer to leave matters entirely to the good sense of members. It seems to have worked so far. :)

Martin.
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from:
BeamEnds
 

 

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Brian Lewis wrote:
BeamEnds wrote:
I'm going to have to start making track soon, but admit that the prospect of making point blades is a bit daunting - but then that's the challenge. I think......Err. If point blades, (switches), are bothering you Richard, then you can always purchase them ready finished. (Whisper it softly, but even 'great' track builders like Norman Solomon purchase them from us). As a companion piece, we also have ready to lay common crossings. (Apologies for the blatant advertising Martin).

Regards

Brian Lewis

Carrs -- C+L Finescale
Correct me if I'm wrong ( I rather hope I am) - you don't do flat bottom ones as far as I can see - I'll certainly buy bullhead ones for the supposed recycled track in the sidings when the time is right. I rather fancy having a stab (probably literally) at the V's myself - but then I'm always having bright ideas.......

Cheers

Richard
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from:
rodney_hills
United Kingdom

 

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BeamEnds wrote: I have indeed gone for 0 gauge - 32mm too keep things simple - I'm still getting to grips with concept of wheels being "extras"!Richard,

'Simplicity' can be an illusion.

The idea of these "reduced gauges" like 31.0, 31.2, 31.5 in '0' and 16.2 in '00' is to build track that's a closer match to the actual dimensions of wheelsets that are sold for the nominal 32 or 16.5 mm gauges.

That way, you can make pointwork wherethrough these 'off-the-shelf' wheels run better than through pointwork constructed to the wider nominal gauge. The pointwork also looks much closer to scale.

Plain track can still be to the nominal gauge, and tapered into pointwork, if you want to use ready-made plain track.

There was an article re 31.0mm gauge in Model Railway Journal issue 99 (1997). It discusses inconsistencies in the 32mm gauge standards.

31.0mm apparently fits well with Slater's wheels. 31.2mm accomodates a wider range of off-the-shelf wheelsets. I've yet to find out the exact rationale for 31.5mm. (see other threads)

If you are going to build your own pointwork, and especially if you have Templot available, it's well worth looking into this matter at an early stage in your permanent way construction programme.

Regards,

Rodney
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Bumping this topic 10 years (and 2 days) after starting it.

How are we doing?

Martin.

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from:
rodney_hills
United Kingdom

 

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Martin,

'Tis always "interesting" to reread something one wrote ten years ago : - )

Its also ten and a bit years since I started a Yahoo Group to act as a focal point for exchange of information about adjusting some dimensions in "00 gauge" trackwork for better appearance and maybe running as well.
Over that 10+ years there have been 1241 posts. Current summary at end of this post.
This has partly stimulated sustantial discussion/arguments/criticism/nay-even-censorship elsewhere on Sir Tim's wwww (wonderful world wide web).

Best Regards to you Martin, from Rodney
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Nigel Brown
 

 

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Doing pretty well, I think. Found I'd contributed to this discussion 10 years ago, and if I may say so, ahem, I don't think I'd change much.

The hobby is changing, not declining, and in many ways for the better. And new possibilities open up; a couple of years ago or so I got into etching, over this winter I hope to get stuck into 3D modelling, and I can now contemplate things I couldn't before. On the commercial side the standard of models now available is astonishing, so people can be selective over what they buy and what they make; the 2mm Association hasn't been slow to make drop in-wheelsets for commercial diesels, and rightly so.

It will always be an "older person's hobby" predominently, because they're more likely to have time and other resources necessary to get stuck in. But as some of us hit the buffers there will be others  graduating into that group. Trains, real and model, are as popular as ever. The future is bright.

There may be some slight areas of difficulty. It takes time and effort particularly in the minority scales to support the supply of vital parts, for example. But as yet I don't think it's critical.

Nigel
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DerekStuart
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Given the amount of new releases over the past few years, someone somewhere has confidence for the future; that applies not just to the big two but also several of the cottage suppliers.

What I have noticed since returning some 3 years ago is that in days gone by it used to be a hobby for both kids AND adults; now it is almost exclusively adults of 45yrs plus.

But people are always getting older- people return or take up new hobbies as kids leave home. Ignore the doom.
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