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When do you generally do your modelling and/or undertake an operating session?


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When do you generally do your modelling and/or undertake an operating session?

Essentially, how does your hobby fit into your everyday life i.e family/work/other routines and commitments? For instance;

  • If you have a family/partner do you try and fit your hobby around them maybe engaging in modelling or the layout when other members of the family/partner are/is out of the house, asleep or doing their personal and sometimes privatised activities such as watching the TV/gardening/reading etc?
  • Is your modelling/operating session a seasonal activity? Talking with modellers so far this seems fairly common for a variety of reasons. For instance for one person who was also a motorbike enthusiast he biked with his club alot at weekends during the summer (motorbike rally season) and spent the weekends in winter in the ‘railway room’. Another example has been that a workshop was too expensive to heat during the winter.

On a related note;

- Do you undertake a modelling session/operating session when you are in a certain mood, frame of mind? – maybe angry over something, frustrated by something or feeling sad, nostalgic, relaxed, excited?

- Has there ever been any confrontations either with yourself or others over time spent with models and modelling? In an ideal world would you like to do less or more than you currently do?

 

 

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My wife is very supportive of the hobby and encourages me to model more (even encouraging me to purchase more models, although I suspect that is so she can purchase more handbags and shoes). I tend to undertake my modelling activity either in the evenings for an hour or so or during the weekends when I undertake a list of little jobs. Some weekends are busier than others and as such I find it difficult to make progress as fast as I would like.

 

My modelling tends not to be as seasonal as it used to be. I used to find summer was better for getting more work done but I am finding that now it is generally evened out.

 

When I decide to have an operating session it is mainly to test the infrastructure but I have been having more operating sessions recently just because I want to. I tend to do it when I am relaxed and when I have new stock to play around with.

 

I have been lucky enough to never have any confrontations about the hobby with my wife. As I mentioned earlier she is extremely supportive for which I am very grateful.

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Mrs 10800 is very supportive, whether I'm taking time to do some modelling or to go away for a day/weekend for an exhibition. We do fit things in around each other and we have other things in common nothing to do with model railways which we do together. Basically she sees that the hobby is partly an antidote to the stresses of life and will sometimes encourage me to go and do something because it calms me down!

 

Having said that I don't have any set times when I prefer to do any modelling. Without a layout at home or a permanent work area (at the moment) I prefer to model in large chunks like a day at a time - an hour in the evening would not at present be productive as all the time would be spent setting up and clearing away. I am involved with several joint projects and modelling activity tends to increase exponentially when approaching a deadline such as an exhibition!

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My modelling is mostly a year round activity, but it has to be fitted in around other interests and social activities. I work from home so often do a bit of work after dinner, but I'm generally able to squeeze in 45 - 60 minutes in the layout room somewhere between 9.00 and 10.00pm. Any later than that, and I feel I'm spending time with the trains when I could be downstairs with my wife. Because I don't generally get in more than an hour's modelling an evening (and I'm sure that's a lot by some standards) I do tend to be pretty focused when I go in, with a clear idea of what I'm going to work on. Last night, for instance, my wife and I were out at the local art society, so I got in later. After we'd had a cup of tea and fed the dogs, I went upstairs and partially wired in a turnout. That's about an evening's work for me. If I've had a busy, stressful day and no clear idea of what layout task to take care of, I'll happily run some trains and maybe potter around with a small job like changing couplers or touching in some damaged paintwork.

 

I suspect most of us can draw up a list of layout jobs that need to be done but often it's also a case of clearing the work area in readiness, assembling the components and tools, being in the right frame of mind etc. Simply knowing something needs to be done doesn't always mean you're able or ready to do it.

 

I have a few other interests beyond the hobby but they fit in well enough. I'm interested in astronomy but the weather is the main enemy there, so I don't get as much done as I'd like. I try to spend 30 - 45 minutes a day on guitar practise but I find I can easily fit that in around the trains.

 

I've learned the hard way that the hobby can be a vital pressure valve during times of work and general life unpleasantness such as bereavements but it's important not to expect too much, or take on high-risk jobs that stand a chance of going wrong. A few weeks ago, during a period of hard work and stress, I had a run of bad luck during my modelling sessions - breaking things, blowing up decoders, even melting a loco! My wife gently reminded me that perhaps the thing to do was work on those little jobs that aren't very likely to go wrong, such as painting a lamp hut, adding some grass etc.

 

My wife has never given me a hard time about the time invested in the hobby but the flipside is that I try not to be too selfish about it. I am well aware that I create a lot of clutter around the house with my modelling projects, piles of mags etc but I try to keep it under control. Basically my wife supports my hobby and encourages me to enjoy it - in fact she's always the one saying we railway modellers shouldn't be so ashamed of our interest.

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Usually I am on the layout when my partner is otherwise engaged in something she enjoys. Can include her entertaining the adults mostly, me entertaining the 'kids' with the layout.

 

Year round, though the balance of modelling and operation changes. I probably do more modelling in colder weather indoors; more operation on the layout in summer, and what modelling I then do at an outdoor table whenever possible.

 

When it is convenient is the ground rule. When I have done something that I find fatiguing like committee work, than an hours' operation soothes it all away.

 

No problems or general friction, we both make sure there is a relaxation element in every day as far as possible. There is an understanding that if she wants something constructed for the house or the garden then that takes priority over layout building. Conversely she well appreciates that the skills and tools are available because I have a practical interest.

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I will often do an hours modelling early in the morning prior to going to work. I used to have to travel round the M25 so had to be up at 5am to leave about 6am to beat the worst of the traffic.

 

Now that I catch a train I can have an hours modelling from 5am to 6am if not earlier such today when I got up at 4am andfilled in various show invites.

 

At weekends I get up early aswell unless had a really late night and beer.

 

its amazing how much can be done in that hour or so in the mornings as its a good time to glue or paint soemthing. Its often dry by the evning so work can continue on the same area.

 

In the weekday evenings will often get in and start modelling while my other half cooks the dinner - we have a small kitchen so she doesnt like me being in there trying to help!

 

I can work on a layout in the attached garage or in the conservatory where I now have a decent magnifying lamp. The house is very much open plan so I am never too far away from the other half - shes noramlly quite happy watching TV.

 

I dont get a lot of time at weekends as we are either doing shows or out somewhere.

 

When we have one day shows then the Sunday is often a modelling day. She will go and do the supermarket shopping by herself anyway as she says I rush her!!

 

I tend to build a new layout about every two years, and normally have a deadline of its first show, so that often focusses the mind into planning the workload and that can rerally help in taking the mind off work outside working hours.

 

This year there hasn't been a new layout as theres been various family illnesses / issues along with trying to add further detailing to the layouts already built. I suspect there may be no new one next year either but we shall see.

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My wife is very understanding of my modelling interests and, as I want to ensure it stays that way, I try to ensure her continued support by balancing time spent on the layout with other activities. Usually a modelling session doesn't last much more than an hour, although if my wife is out they can go on for much longer, and I try to do larger jobs such as baseboard construction on those days to make best use of the available time. Modelling sessions are much more frequent during the winter months when there isn't the benefit of light evenings and decent weather. I find modelling relaxes me after a stressful day at work and it's much more fulfilling than sitting in front of the television (although it inveitably brings its own little frustrations!). For these reasons, I tend to do modelling on weeknights. I have a lot of ideas for future projects and at the current rate of progress I won't live long enough to see half of them through to fruition, so I'd love to spend more time modelling, but I can't see that being practical with other commitments.

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No conflict, I have complete control over modelling time. As a daytime modeller with SWMBO in full day time employment modelling life is easy. I also have some household duties to perform during the day (cleaning, shopping, cooking, DIY) and the odd hour or two sleep, but generally from 9:00am through to 22:00 my time is at my own disposal. Of course there are occasions that we meet up but hardly ever in front of TV as our viewing interests are as poles apart as our hobbies. We usually keep Sundays free for common activities and some Saturdays so generally I model less at weekends.

 

With the layouts in a cold garage with poor heating and no insulation, layout activity just about comes to a standstill from November to April - just the odd half-an-hour or so to justify their real-estate and to actually run/test something. The workbench is in a nice thermostatically controlled room, heated by the PC and soldering iron it is cozy and comes well within the definition of a "man shed". I work nights on a rotating and variable shift as part of a team, others preferring days so when I get a night off I discipline myself to not do anything model related and dedicate the time to spouse, family and friends - well we all need a life outside railway modelling?

 

One last comment regarding traveling to clubs. I don't. it is a long time since I was a member of one and disliked the pettiness and constant arguing over football. Also finding a club with interest enough to warant spending time there and yet local enough to be able to get to - and open during the day - is a tall order.

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My model railway time is very spaced out - it could be days, or even weeks, between doing things. I'm not counting time here, of course, which is a daily occurrence.

 

The problem is time, and also my enthusiasm - in a positive sense. For example, up in the loft (where everything is kept out of the way of an in-to-everything 2-year old) I have several projects underway, and I seem to keep adding to the pile too. If I were to be strict enough to concentrate on one project before moving on to another I would have something more to show for my efforts. Recently, while my partner was away for the week, I went up to fetch my wagons I'm building so I could work in the warmth downstairs. However, once up there I started on working on something else entirely. I wasn't until I nearly tripped up on the wagon boxes that I suddenly remembered the reason for me being there in the first place. That happens a lot. Too much!

 

After completing the stage I wanted to reach before everyone came back, the wagons are now back in the loft. It may be a few days before I can get back up there to prepare parts for the next bout of soldering - something else I've just learnt to do.

 

My partner is reasonably keen for me to be occupied with my hobby, as long as it doesn't interfere with family time, which it doesn't unless there's a show on. I went to Reading recently and she was not impressed, especially as she and the littleman had just got back from a week away. There was a lot of making up to do.

 

I joined a club earlier in the year so once a month on a Sunday (again, a bad point scorer...) I go off there for most of the day.

 

Generally, I fit things in when I can, which doesn't seem to be very often at the moment. However, being in my early forties, I don't feel like I'm in any rush to achieve anything to a deadline but my own, which is one of a few reasons why I haven't started a workbench here yet.

 

Good luck with the research.

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Being unemployed, any time between 9-3 weekdays, evenings from 9. Anytime kids don't need me. Weekends, not so much for same reason.

Not seasonal , I'll model all year but more demands on my time in summer.

Unsupportive wife prefers me to be in the shed, than near her. Which suits me fine as she's a right moo..

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I do 2% of my modelling at home – where SWMBO, my 5 yr old, the garden and the house take up the rest of my time.

 

I do 99.9% of my modelling when I am working away from home. Programming, designing circuit boards or integrating previous efforts. (This is a vain attempt at keeping me out of the hotel bar!)

 

(The above figures are correct with a +/-10% margin error - hic!)

 

 

Kev.

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hi Rob,

 

In response to your qs:

  • If you have a family/partner do you try and fit your hobby around them maybe engaging in modelling or the layout when other members of the family/partner are/is out of the house, asleep or doing their personal and sometimes privatised activities such as watching the TV/gardening/reading etc?

Yes, if I go into the loft with the children around downstairs (say at a weekend) I get a shout that they want to come up too - which is ok but (a) they get bored quickly, and (B) they want to 'race' the trains, so actual modelling, as opposed to operating, is somewhat limited to times when the family are out or occupied, which is rarely the case when I am at home myself. I spent a fair bit of last year in the winter working on a plank project in downstairs in my lounge and that was good as it was a small layout that could fit on the dining room table, and in the evening my wife read/watched TV etc while I worked on my layout - but that too had to go into the loft earlier this year as our lounge is too small. Since then it's seen less action!

  • Is your modelling/operating session a seasonal activity? Talking with modellers so far this seems fairly common for a variety of reasons. For instance for one person who was also a motorbike enthusiast he biked with his club alot at weekends during the summer (motorbike rally season) and spent the weekends in winter in the ‘railway room’. Another example has been that a workshop was too expensive to heat during the winter.

I certainly do more on my layouts in the winter, whether that's weathering the odd wagon in front of the TV in the lounge in the evenings, or building a kit and painting it, running a few trains, or going to exhibitions. Christmas hols are a good time particularly, as my work closes down for two weeks and I can avoid emails and evening work. However, my hobby is year-round in the sense that I spend a lot of my time (evening usually) on RM Web, reading magazines and books, and planning the big project!

 

On a related note;

- Do you undertake a modelling session/operating session when you are in a certain mood, frame of mind? – maybe angry over something, frustrated by something or feeling sad, nostalgic, relaxed, excited?

 

I find a session after work, watching the trains go past, to be quite theraputic - and I pull put different stock to run depending on what railway books I've been reading, so sometimes 1930s LNER, other times 1970s BR! The latter takes me back to my younger days as a spotter, so I guess that is quite a nostalgia fest.

 

 

- Has there ever been any confrontations either with yourself or others over time spent with models and modelling? In an ideal world would you like to do less or more than you currently do?

 

I would like to to more than I do, but confrontations? No, though I have to balance domestic life and work with my modelling (and general railway) interests - it's about compromise, but I guess that's the same for all hobbies.

 

cheers, and good luck with the research,

 

Keith
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I spend more time on this forum than on the layout!

 

Following redundancy for both of us me and my partner now both work locally part time,

so spending time with the layout is not normally an issue.

 

Once the layout had got to a stage of fairly basic scenery I now spend most time operating, very little modelling.

I probably spend more time operating in the winter, probably sunday afternoons the most likely time.

 

I have found a spell of shunting trucks to be therapeutic for half an hour or so when I have been a bit wound up.

Also, if my partners sister calls round for a cup of tea she sometimes brings her 6 year old son with her,

so I can entertain him for a while (Thomas the tank engine does the shunting) while they have a chat.

 

cheers

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Modelling tends to happen in the time between me coming home and my partner arriving home. At most this gives me an hour a day, though normally there is much less than this I as generally have other things to do. Why, personal choice on my behalf.

Modelling isn't seasonal for me as I tend to fit it in around other outdoor hobbies, these tend to be year round.

Mood does not tend to play a part with modelling for me but I do recognise that I won't start modelling if I am in a negative mind frame. Why? Too much concentration is required.

I have had more confrontations over the time I have spent doing other hobbies than this one, and comparatively modelling is cheap.

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Modelling is very much fitted in around other activities. My 7 year old daughter has got very interested in the building of things and so we sometimes sit down together if there's time and she'll work on a Metcalfe kit (with a little assistance) whilst I might do the same or something else that enables us to work togther. Running sessions are generally either in the early evenings or at weekends. If I go up later in evenings it tends to disturb the kids which is unfair to them. My wife prefers it if I do things when the children are around as they are both very interested. This is nice but can also be a bit limiting at times. My wife will usually indulge in her own hobbies when we're doing this.

 

The modelling isn't really seasonal it's whenever I can grab the time. Nor do I do it in a certain frame of mind though I suppose I do tend to get inspired when I've seen a good layout somewhere else or visited a good heritage railway.

 

There have never been any confrontations about time spent on my models - my wife is very supportive.

 

Gordon

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Most of my modelling is done on a Sunday as Mrs SM42's religious sensibilities see it as a day of rest so no DIY or other household chores, which is nice. Try it, I recommend it.

Having said that other things do eat into Sunday time, such as visiting family and friends and of course spending time with Mrs SM42 in general. On average Sunday time is around 2 - 3 hours or until I get bored / frustrated / feel guilty / tired / lose the will to carry on / high on glue and paint fumes (delete as appropriate).

 

At other times when I have the house to myself (I work shifts so this is quite often) I might dash into the modelling room for 10 minutes here or there between other less pleasurable tasks and maybe glue something together. Occasionally if I am engrossed in a TV program I waste the adverts doing some quick modelling, (clean up a kit part ready for gluing in next break; that sort of thing)

 

Confrontations are few and so minor that confrontation is not the right word. Mostly they involve me having to be co-erced into doing some modelling when I am not in the mood. Mind you I have had five interuptions whilst typing this and I am sometimes called (with impeccable timing) into action for some trivial task (that could wait 10 minutes but has to be done now) just at the most delicate part of an operation. This if anything is likely to spark something off along the lines of general grumbling and minor sulking. But I soon get over it.

 

On the whole I have it pretty good and Mrs SM42 is very supportive but I would like more time at it and then I might even get that layout I've been planning off the ground.

 

Andy

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