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It's Been Quiet ...

Started by finescalerr, June 09, 2023, 12:37:12 PM

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One big issue I have with FaceBook groups is finding a thread that had interesting items in it. No way to search on a specific item. Plus FaceBook seems to change how things work occasionally. I have found interesting items and saved them but have not posted much to any groups I follow.

One of the other reasons Russ I think things are slow is that there is a larger majority modeling in HO and N scale. The modeling industry has supported those scales more than others. Plus, today's modeler has a bigger choice of products for those scale, were as the larger scales as presented here on this forum, the modeler needs to build his item. Meaning it's easier to buy than make for most modelers. There are some excellent projects going on here that requires using machine tools. Something not every modeler has ever been exposed to. I've discovered that on other forums when I present something made on my lathe or CNC mill.

That's my rant for now. More to come.  ???

New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds


As things continue to change, maybe we should think of hobbies differently.

Our hobby is model design and construction, regardless of subject. This forum is for model builders because those who scratchbuild anything have more in common with one another than those for whom building consists of assembling a kit out of necessity. Many hobbyists fail to realize that because many people seem to stress differences more than similarities. They would have no interest in this forum.

Another hobby is operating a model, whether a train, plane, boat, or r/c vehicle. That hobby seems to overlap a little with the hobby of collecting things. Most of us don't spend much time operating models.

As time passes, I think the model building hobby may be very small but, overall, more healthy than hobbies relying on manufacturers. As society and economics continue to evolve (or degenerate), I also think far fewer people will build large model railroads.

Those changes already have begun. They are the main reason I decided to stop publishing.



Oooh, philosophy :-).

There's quite a few possible reasons why large scale model railroading may be on the decline.

For starters it takes a lot of space and much of the world never had the classic N.American basement, and I suspect it's increasingly rare in N.America. 

I think the amount of 'details' you can build in a lifetime is fixed (but will vary from person to person).  So you either spread those details over something large, or concentrate them on something small.  While layouts may be getting smaller, they are also often getting more detailed.

Some years ago I visited San Diego and saw the model of Tehachapi loop there.  It's huge, impressive and even so I don't know how much compression was applied.  But viewing it is akin to flying over the country in a helicopter.  Enjoyable, but remote.  Smaller layouts are often far more immersive, and you feel like you are lineside.  Personally, I prefer that. Pendon museum probably manages both expansive and immersive, but that is a large collaborative effort. Any urge I may have had for a large layout has faded, and these days I hanker for something more akin to an animated diorama.  Rewanui will still be 5m or so long, but there is not a lot of railway involved.

Lawrence in NZ



I've come to realize after several years now that not everybody enjoys the model railroad hobby the same. Some are kit builders and enjoy that aspect of the hobby, others enjoy operations, and still others pursue the prototype to a tee. I've come to the point of using machine tools in my hobby and animation.

New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds



 A space for large N. American layouts is still possible. Basements are still pretty popular here in the Northeastern part, New York to be exact. It also depends on how close other modelers are to you. You'll usually find, if that's true, a larger layout than if there were no modelers in the close proximity.

I designed my own house and then had an architect do plans to build the house. It was ruffed in and when the windows, roof and gutters were done I did the finishing. Still working on the finishing 20 years later.

New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds


Back to the original post by RUSS:

He has a machine that no longer does what it's supposed to do. He's experiencing that solving the problem isn't really easy when the manufacturer is almost on the other side of the world. Even if the manufacturer is helpful and their technician assists, there's no guarantee that things will progress. That's how I understood the situation. Here are my thoughts:

RUSS has no obligation to explain to us why there's a time delay in his projects. He will have his reasons. Period.

Running a small company is not easy. I can assess that, as we ourselves have 3-5 employees. A minor technical issue with a customer consumes our own innovative energy and disrupts time management completely. We approach it similarly to the NZ company, helping the customer without bureaucratic procedures and gaining feedback regarding our own quality (which is more valuable to us than a few transportation costs).

The dealer in other country lacks sufficient knowledge and often hides behind the warranty period. They haven't received/distributed enough information from the manufacturer internally. This creates an uncomfortable/uncertain feeling, and the end customer also senses this.

Conclusion so far: (1) Establishing a strong distribution network is nearly impossible for a small company.
(2) If the manufacturer has recognized this, they can embrace new technologies and take a digital approach. (3) Whether the customer is then bold enough to make a direct purchase from 15,000 km away remains to be proven.

Another conclusion: (1) I can understand the manufacturer. (2) I can understand the customer (RUSS). (3) Today, I finally delivered my firmware and can (hopefully at least for a few days) dive into my hobby (and this site).

What could be more beautiful?

Uwe P.


I guess I should report that I told the American distributor to jump in a lake and contacted the laser manufacturer in Australia directly. The owner has integrity, sent me some replacement parts, and asked his tech support guy to help me via e-mail. I wasted all of April debating with the American distributor and it took three weeks of e-mails in May to get my laser running properly again. I have resumed work, have cut roof panels and shingles, and hope to complete the project and shoot photos within a few more weeks.

At the time I bought my laser it was the only reasonable choice, both because of its (barely) acceptable price and especially because of its safety features. I am lucky the owner is honest and has some compassion for his customers. Although I continue to build models and realize many here raise that to an art form, I've long considered what I do a trivial pursuit and often question my sanity.


shropshire lad

I thought the question on your sanity had been answered years ago .



Nick, go stand in the corner. Yet again. And this time, no peeking! -- Russ