Much taken with Steve Flint's editorial in this issue which steps into new territory looking at the implications that real world events may have on the hobby. Boiled down to basics it looks at the impact that raising the state pension age, young adults being unable to get on the property ladder and the insecure tennancies for those renting has for the hobby. Steve's prose is better than my brutal precis and should be read in full. Traditionally the world of the Railway Modeller has seemed to be a cosy, inward looking one where the only difficulties experienced are those of working out layout wiring or dealing with the tedium of ballasting. It's good to see an acknowledgement that some face challenges other than those presented by model making.
September 2017 RM
Posted 11 August 2017 - 21:49
One reason I am now a firm supporter of RM, is that Steve is prepared to stray into non traditional railway modelling territory.
It is not just the effect on hobbies like ours, but also any institution based on volunteers(especially fit retired ones). What effect does it have on getting volunteers for preserved railways.
Then again maybe it is Steve saying he will be in the editorial job for a few more years!
Good issue this month, I just wish some would actually start to think about issues raised. Considering we are partaking in a creative hobby, it is amazing just how uncreative some are and how difficult t is to get some to realise some things have to change(just think carefully about the issues referred to in the letters page about mobility scooters).Maybe someone will be a able to start a sensible discussion on practical layout height at exhibitions. Wobbly legs(?) and crashes with mobility scooters might be on the increase.
Love the boxfile layout, pity the concept of gauge and scale is muddled. At least it has prompted me to look at my own ideas for a Gauge One (1/32 on 45mm gauge track) layout on lids of 3 box files. I plan to have one point(already got), and 3 working wagon turntables. Won't say more as I would like to do some more on the idea.
Edited by rue_d_etropal, 11 August 2017 - 21:50 .
Posted 11 August 2017 - 21:59
I have some wartime and post war model railway publications and the most fascinating thing from back then is the desire, enthusiasm and creativity in building models from the most basic household materials in an environment where any sort of specialist product was non-existent or in very short supply. Given that between then and now is littered with 70 odd years of RTR 'stuff' as far as I can see even if the hobby becomes a niche one and RTR stopped tomorrow it would survive!
Like everything else, things change. The generation spanning the years 1950-2020 grew up with a society that one way or another has provided their needs from cradle to grave - as children they had Tri-ang and Hornby Dublo; now they have Bachmann and Hornby super detail. I suspect when they are gone that era will pass too - but as long as people want to model, it will go on in some form.
Posted 11 August 2017 - 22:30
I just wish some would actually start to think about issues raised. Considering we are partaking in a creative hobby, it is amazing just how uncreative some are and how difficult t is to get some to realise some things have to change(just think carefully about the issues referred to in the letters page about mobility scooters).Maybe someone will be a able to start a sensible discussion on practical layout height at exhibitions.
I'd imagine that more than just some already think about the issues raised concerning the hobby in editorials and in threads on this forum. I'm not sure how it would be possible, without some research with individuals, to tell that people aren't thinking about them.
Creativity, in terms of modelling, would be a different issue. There is a perception that there is a declining number of modellers assembling kits and scratch building but with RTR in ascendancy as an alternative. However, I'm sure many realise things are changing such as the improvement in quality of RTR and new alternative modelling techniques and materials.
It's probably not a good idea to raise the issue of layout height again after the mention in a recent RM issue thread. However, I note a photo of small children enjoying a scene on the Pendon layout that they look
up to see the train higher than their heads without any apparent problem.
Edited by grahame, 11 August 2017 - 22:33 .
Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:14
Sometimes it is worth while looking at other, similar hobbies.
From what I have noticed military modelling seems to still be very popular, and wargaming seems to have gained more support, judging by the large number of laser cut kits now available, and increasing. I think people are prepared to build, adapt and scatchbuild, and don't think that is as big a problem as some think with model railways. If there is a drift towards mainly r2r and r2p, then we are moving away from model railways and more into just trainsets. I don't want to see that, but am worried it might be going that way.
Some will blame computers and computer games, but there has actually been a big return to real wargaming models, judging by what one of my own sons has been saying, and he is also well into computer games as well. I am personally not interested in wargaming, but have found some of the models very useful for the various scales and gauges I model in.
It really needs analysing, looking at all the data, and then maybe some theories can be debunked and some practices actually changed. Just because some are so stuck in their ways, does not mean some subjects should not be discussed, and RM has opened that door slightly ajar.
One thing I do know is that it is very difficult to prove a negative(reduced interest in the hobby), but if you change something and it results is more people taking up the hobby, then you can find out why, simply by asking those taking up the hobby. The reasons might actually shock some, but until it happens I can not be sure what would actually get more into the hobby.