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Steven B

How do you know if you're made it as a railway modeller?

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I sort of felt like I'd made it a bit, or at any rate I felt a bit warm and fuzzy, the first time somebody on this forum thanked me for something I'd suggested.  It's nice at my age to still be of some use...

Don't worry Johnster, we'll still follow you! Where's the pub?

 

Ian.

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Just up the road, Ian.  Mine's a Brain's Bitter Smooth..

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To me, making it as a modeller means looking at a layout and saying “yep. That’s done. There is nothing more I can add”. Who cares about getting your picture in a magazine? That’s not what the hobby is about. It’s about making scale models of railways that are good TO YOU.

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Oh, no.  A layout cannot possibly be ever complete; there is always something to add or improve.  But I know what you mean; Cwmdimbath is substantially complete with all the track laid/painted/ballasted, wired, scenery, signals, and buildings, within the time scale I had thought would be necessary to get it to this state and despite the odd setback.  I have chalked up up as a success story, positive reinforcement, and am pleased with it and myself.  

 

Much more to do though.  Fencing, replacement of mountain at the back which I'm not happy with, and some buildings, dummy point rodding, lighting,and even a vague idea about ripping the track up and replacing it with code 75 bullhead.  Goods depot needs a better crane, and a load of other stuff I haven't thought about yet.  I intend it to be my last layout, to last me the rest of my life, hopefully about 20-30 years before I become too ga ga to bother, and it should provide me with sufficient operating potential and further loco and stock modelling to keep me occupied.  I will, I hope and fully intend to, be finished before it is!

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I "made it" when I figured out what it is that I enjoy about the hobby and what compromises I'm happy to accept (yes, I'm a box opener, recreating authentic operation is much more my thing).

 

Doubt I'll ever get much praise for the photorealism of my constructions, but I'm not after anyone else's approval.

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Just up the road, Ian.  Mine's a Brain's Bitter Smooth..

Sorry Johnster. I put one up for you, but you didn't show. I had to drink it myself. I didn't enjoy the salt & vinegar crisps, or the pork scratchings. I guess I need a Strongbow or 3, to take the taste away. Hic!

 

Cheers,

 

Ian.

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Don't worry, Ian, I've had a beer to make up the shortfall anyway, and am glad you enjoyed drinking mine for me;  I am sort of banned cider, there is a very good reason for this which I would rather not talk about, so I had a beer for you as well as one for me.  Then, because it's a hot day and nobody was there to stop me, I had another one.  

 

My local does a very acceptable slow cooked belly pork in ho sin sauce, with triple cooked chips, much better than crisps or pork scratchings...

 

It's all going very well so far.

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I have been a railway modeller for all of my life, lets call it 40 years of 'active' modelling. For 38 of those years I have pursued my hobby in total isolation. For about 30 years (or whenever it started) I have quietly collected most editions of MRJ, cherished them and stacked them neatly on a shelf, reading and re-reading over the years; wishing that maybe one day I could achieve something vaguely similar to the works of art contained therein. The 38 years of lonely modelling 'activity' amounted to a 7mm 0-6-0 tank loco that has never run very well and a handful of wagons - no layout and a yard of Peco flexi-track. The last 2 years have flown in a whirl - I have started my home layout, started posting on here, entered the MRJ Cameo Competition, had two articles printed in MRJ and made it onto the cover with my first article (a photo of a horse!!), and possibly another article in the pipeline.

Do I think I've 'made it'? Heaven forbid such self-inflating attention-seeking! Do I now get infinitely more satisfaction now than when I was a solitary bloke with a 'marginal'. geeky pastime that I was always slightly embarrassed to own up to? Yes most definitely! I can't really see a)how 'arriving' can be quantified or defined and b) if I ever will, as work I first posted on here about 15 months ago I would do differently or better now. One thing is for certain, feeling part of a community of like-minded artists/engineers/experts that us railway modellers are spurs me on immensely - knowing there are guys on here and out there more knowledgeable and far better than me also spurs me on. A 'well done' from someone on here is great, and helping others to achieve better themselves is even greater.Onward and upward!

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  I intend it to be my last layout, to last me the rest of my life,

 

I thought that about my last layout, but it just didn't 'fit the bill', so I'm building another - huh, such is life !! :sungum:  

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You buy a wagon kit. (No, that's not enough).

You build the superstructure.

The you see that for the period you're modelling, the kit wheelbase is wrong.

So you have a choice. a) Chuck it all in the bin, or b) try to remedy the wheelbase.

Choose b), you're on the way to being a railway modeller.

You remedy the wheelbase but then find, of course, that the brake assembly is all wrong.

So you have a choice. a) Chuck it all in the bin, or b) correct the brake assembly.

Choose b), you're on the way to being a railway modeller.

You rummage through your box of bits to see if you've got any suitable brake assemblies from spare ones in previous kits.  You haven't.

So you have a choice. a) Chuck it all in the bin, or b) scratchbuild a new brake assembly.

Choose b), you're on the way to being a railway modeller.

So you scratch build a new brake assemble and fit it.

OK, so it's not brilliant, some bits are a bit squint, the brakes bind, the brake lever wobbles a bit and it derails on its first outing, but what the hell, you're made it as a railway modeller!

 

DT

(who as you've probably guessed has just gone through all this!)

Edited by Torper
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Back in my day, I reckoned the rite of passage to be the contruction of a Ratio coach or wagon kit, especially if it was a GW 4 wheeled coach and you painted it with full lining.  The other thing that made you a 'proper' modeller was the ownership of a part constructed or poor running but incomplete K's loco kit.

 

Neither of these achievements qualified you to have 'made it' as a modeller, of course, and I am still awaiting this accolade (and not holding my breath).

Edited by The Johnster
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1. (essential) Being happy with what you have done / are doing

2. (Nice) having even just one person like what you have done. Although looking for praise is a bad thing as you might not be as admired as you think.

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Ive always found if you have good "eye" for detail or good at "arty" stuff painting,drawing ect.

Model railway building comes along prity easy...

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I have recently been accused of being a rivet counter, which may qualify as having ‘made it’ to some folk (but not me!). 

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In my youth, I had a few minor commissions for the model shop I worked at, then one saturday  A 'real' modeller who had done a big commission for us dropped it off at the shop. He carefully unwrapped some of the finest PO wagons & tank wagons I have ever seen,  The liveries were fantastic, I politely enquired whos transfers he had used to do them, thinking HMRS, Woodhead etc, to which he told me he had hand lettered them. That was the day I knew I had met a modeller 'who had made it', and also knew I never would!

 

I also recall an 0 gauge model he did where certain parts were bolted together using 20 Ba nuts and bolts, as 'Nothing else looked quite right'

 

Met him a few more times while I worked there. He was a lovely guy, to whom it all came so easily to, never seem to have a problem with any of his models. I hated him!:D

 

Neil

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Personally I would say completing a layout and having an article about it published in a magazine. I haven't achieved it yet, so I definitely haven't made it yet (or let's be frank got anywhere near! :laugh_mini:). One day.......

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7 hours ago, south_tyne said:

Personally I would say completing a layout and having an article about it published in a magazine. I haven't achieved it yet, so I definitely haven't made it yet (or let's be frank got anywhere near! :laugh_mini:). One day.......

 I would add and exhibiting it but would forget publishing in a magazine. More fun in building and exhibiting IMHO!

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It's great when an exhibition manager sees your your layout and invites you to his exhibition. It's also great when a magazine asks you for an article. You can of course have made it without either of these things but they kind of indicate you have done some work which is of interest to others .

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11 minutes ago, tanatvalley said:

 I would add and exhibiting it but would forget publishing in a magazine. More fun in building and exhibiting IMHO!

 

You're probably right. Well at least I have ticked that box! 

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24 minutes ago, Chris M said:

It's great when an exhibition manager sees your your layout and invites you to his exhibition. It's also great when a magazine asks you for an article. You can of course have made it without either of these things but they kind of indicate you have done some work which is of interest to others .

And dispiriting when you don't get any invites after the layout has appeared in magazines and at major  exhibitions.

 

On reflection though, you realise that your layout is too large, too specialist or too expensive for some show managers. And you also learn that some shows attract the sort of visitor who doesn't appreciate what you have created.

 

Back to the OP. I know I've made it as a railway modeller when I finished making it and added it to the layout. :jester:

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....probably being asked to do a mag' article or being asked to show your layout or models at a show, or being asked to make stuff for others. :pardon:

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9 hours ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

And dispiriting when you don't get any invites after the layout has appeared in magazines and at major  exhibitions.

 

On reflection though, you realise that your layout is too large, too specialist or too expensive for some show managers. And you also learn that some shows attract the sort of visitor who doesn't appreciate what you have created.

 

Back to the OP. I know I've made it as a railway modeller when I finished making it and added it to the layout. :jester:

 

I find I get more invites to shows when I attend medium size exhibitions than I do at large exhibitions. You can go to the NEC and get no invites at all and then somewhere like Exeter and get a couple - well that's what happened to me. Not getting invited to shows just means that the exhibition managers who could use a layout like yours weren't at the show you were at.  Its fair to say that large layouts will be harder to accommodate at many shows. It can also be that exhibition managers have a glut of certain types of layout and can't invite any more of that type because they have a waiting list. So its nice to get invites but not getting invites doesn't necessarily mean that a layout isn't worthy of being invited to shows or that the builder hasn't made it as a railway modeller. 

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I will never "make it" as a modeller. I build the layout to my own feeble standard for me and I get immense pleasure from it. However, I do get a warm glow when friends & family who are not modellers come and see my layout running and just stand there saying "wow".

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1 hour ago, JST said:

I will never "make it" as a modeller. I build the layout to my own feeble standard for me and I get immense pleasure from it. However, I do get a warm glow when friends & family who are not modellers come and see my layout running and just stand there saying "wow".

Not sure how to break this to you.....but.....you have not only made it as a modeller, but you have made it to the highest level.

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