Author Topic: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?  (Read 10438 times)

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Virginia Atlantic

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2009, 10:00:03 AM »
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Actually, there can be something wrong with that. When someone with great skill looks at your work and pronounces it worthless, that's even more discouraging than when some loudmouth jerk does it.

What if, for example, Tom Mann told you that your weathering sucked, and that if you can't get it right you really shouldn't bother trying? Or if you showed John Armstrong your layout plan and he glanced at it, handed it back, and broke out laughing? (No, I don't think either of these people would really act that way.)

I know there are complaints here about other boards, where any bit of tripe gets praised to the heavens. But there's got to be some room between "you r0xx0r" and "your efforts are not worthy of my gaze" for constructive criticism to sneak in.

I absolutely agree with this.  This becomes especially true if the person involved is sensative to criticism of his peers. 

By the way, I'm glad to see this topic was enjoyable.  I must say, ONE thing I've missed in my time out of the hobby was hearing from some of the friends I made in the hobby.  Guess that explains why Railwire is still Bookmarked many years after my last paintbrush dried out and my last railcar boxes away.

Yall may not have missed me, but I missed some of you. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 10:02:10 AM by Warfish »
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Wlal13again

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2009, 10:34:00 AM »
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 I have never had the urge to leave the hobby at all, Even when I was in the Army in the mid 80`s, I didnt have a layout, or even a piece of rollng stock within 2000 miles I still looked forward to Model Railroader, Trains and RMC every month to keep up with the hobby. The one thing that did turn me off was the 2 years I spent in a club. It seemed that my duty in the club was to pay them my monthly dues, (keep them in money) with little in return. I resigned and put my efforts (and cash) into my own layout.

The one thing I enjoy is the wide range of disciplines that model trains has to offer. I do some scenery, if I get bored with that I weather some freight cars, or build a structure kit. Or go trackside to see the real thing.

I really think the lack of instant gratification is hard on this hobby, plus the fact with the internet you are now bombarded with images of great work, and that can be a little discouraging. I look at it as a challenge to get better and maybe pick up a few ideas.
You`ll never find a Philly cheese steak on a menu in Philadelphia. It`s called a cheesesteak and we all know where it`s from...

inkaneer

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2009, 10:44:14 AM »
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I think people leave the hobby because they die from frustration waiting for a certain product to be released after 4 or 5 release dates have come and gone.

ryourstone

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2009, 11:42:50 PM »
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I know there are complaints here about other boards, where any bit of tripe gets praised to the heavens. But there's got to be some room between "you r0xx0r" and "your efforts are not worthy of my gaze" for constructive criticism to sneak in.

If you want constructive criticism I think it's best to ask someone specifically for it. The people who can give the best criticism usually aren't going to automatically, maybe because of the boogeyman stereotype or they don't want to waste time on someone just trolling for attaboys - Not that there's anything wrong with that, I do it too :)

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #64 on: March 30, 2009, 12:00:27 AM »
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Oh, so THAT is what you've been doing for for the past 5 years, Rich :D

sizemore

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #65 on: March 30, 2009, 07:58:44 AM »
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...maybe because of the boogeyman stereotype or they don't want to waste time on someone just trolling for attaboys

Maybe it was the King that might come after you!

Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin' to the top
The sheik he drove his Cadillac
He went a' cruisnin' down the ville
The muezzin was a' standing
On the radiator grille

...

The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 08:02:20 AM by sizemore »

asciibaron

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2009, 11:57:32 AM »
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i admit i am very much into prototype fidelity yet i have no problem with someone doing what they want - i don't understand the roundy round, but i'm not going to make fun of them for having fun, that's just stupid.  run your own race, hike your own hike, have your own fun.

i went on a layout tour some time ago and hit up an N scale layout.  my first impression was "this is a toy" because the scenery was poorly done and unitrack was everywhere.  since i had driven quite a long way to get to the layout, i spent more time there than i might have and talked to the layout owner.  after about 10 minutes of talking, i understood why things were the way they were and that the layout could support complex operations with multiple trains.

had i simply dismissed the layout, i would have missed the hidden gem.  the layout was put together to operate and not to look like a museum show piece.  the owner's interest was in moving freight and passengers - he wanted to get to that point quickly and used the easiest methods to achieve that goal.  for him, operations were way more important that the class of boxcar carrying the load.  he was an older gentleman and my guess is he didn't buy green bananas so why waste time on the "backdrop"

typically, the jerks aren't rivet counters, they are guys who are looking to bolster their ego because they don't have a layout or can't do any better.  i feel sorry for those guys, and i have known quite a few of them over the years.  most of them are lonely, can't imagine why...

-steve

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lock4244

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #67 on: March 30, 2009, 02:31:20 PM »
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I bounce between modeling (well, armchair modeling) and railway photography. My situation is such that I can dream about building a model RR, or I can head trackside andd actually accomplish something I enjoy, so photography wins. I'm in a condo with no room for a more than a small switching layout (not about to have one around the walls of the living room), so all I do is buy stuff and wait for the day I buy a house. Feels like I've been waiting for a long time (I have), and I'll be waiting for a few more years.

Never has the thought of walking away from model trains entered my thoughts. My interests outside of the model railroad world include railfanning, collecting and reading railroad literature, and dreaming about trains... I'm a lifer!

Rowan

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #68 on: March 30, 2009, 10:54:29 PM »
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Well I think it has to be fun.

 :)

Virginia Atlantic

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #69 on: March 30, 2009, 11:24:24 PM »
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If you want constructive criticism I think it's best to ask someone specifically for it. The people who can give the best criticism usually aren't going to automatically, maybe because of the boogeyman stereotype or they don't want to waste time on someone just trolling for attaboys - Not that there's anything wrong with that, I do it too :)


You know, this is going to sound horrible, but please know id advance that I don't mean it in a horrible way at all (disclaimer over).

But in all honesty, seeing your work was one of the single most demotivating events for me before I quit.  Looking at what you did, the absolutely stunning artistry of your work, the brilliance, I realized that no matter how hard I might choose to work at the hobby, to work on the VARR, I could never even scratch the surface of what you were capable of when you weren't even trying that hard.  It took away that feeling that if I tried hard enough, devoted enough time and effort, that I too could be one of the guys whose work people look at and go "ahhhh, special".  But after seeing your work, I lost that feeling completely.  I just couldn't compete, and if I couldn't compete.....why bother at all?  Being great and getting that kind of positive reinforcement fromthe community was a tring part of the drive for me at the time.

In hindsight, I know thats a horrible attitude to take.  But there it is (or was, to be more accurate).  I still have some of your images saved to my harddrive, and I'm still stunned at their beauty.
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ryourstone

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #70 on: March 31, 2009, 02:35:11 AM »
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But that didn't happen overnight, I've been at this off and on for over 30 years. And things didn't start really coming together until around 5-6 years ago. Even 10 or maybe even 20 years in, my custom paint jobs were no where near as good as yours!

I'm still in the same boat looking at Victor Roseman's work. Especially his stuff from the early 80's when he really began pushing the boundaries of the hobby. Eventually I started getting some feedback online from him that was a huge help in composing photos.Maybe the influence isn't too obvious yet, but it's always been where to set the bar. So you can blame Victor, not me :)

asciibaron

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #71 on: March 31, 2009, 07:15:27 AM »
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it's interesting that one person sees the work of another and feels they can't measure up and the person they are measuring against feels they are just getting to the point of doing great work.  it takes time to achieve excellence, and i fear that concept has been lost in our youth.  the instant world runs counter to the notion of learning over time by doing and slow improvement.  the fact the Rich has been in the hobby for a long time and feels that he only recently is coming into results that he feels are top shelf speaks exactly to the truth of the learning by doing process. 

i also find it telling that Rich is looking at the person who is measuring up to him and feels his own painting isn't up to that level yet.  we all have strengths and those will be the things that stand out - for some it is weathering, others it might be super detailed models, and for yet others, it might be fine tuned operating plans that capture a specific location, date, and time perfectly.  play to your strengths and have fun, it's a hobby after all.  if you enjoy what you are doing i don't see why you should quit.

-steve
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How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

wendell camp

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #72 on: March 31, 2009, 08:32:25 AM »
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I did know model railroading was a competed sport ;D ;D I  am enjoy what I am doing I know I would never win a NMRA contest with my modeling :o. Modeling is a learning process the longer you do it the better you will get  As your skills increase you can go back and change your layout to meet your improved skills And remember the only one you have to please is your self.Also there will be always some one who skill are better.( After all we all can't paint a Mona Lisa ::) :P) Wendell
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Pomperaugrr

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #73 on: March 31, 2009, 09:05:50 AM »
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it's interesting that one person sees the work of another and feels they can't measure up and the person they are measuring against feels they are just getting to the point of doing great work.  it takes time to achieve excellence, and i fear that concept has been lost in our youth.  the instant world runs counter to the notion of learning over time by doing and slow improvement.  the fact the Rich has been in the hobby for a long time and feels that he only recently is coming into results that he feels are top shelf speaks exactly to the truth of the learning by doing process. 

i also find it telling that Rich is looking at the person who is measuring up to him and feels his own painting isn't up to that level yet.  we all have strengths and those will be the things that stand out - for some it is weathering, others it might be super detailed models, and for yet others, it might be fine tuned operating plans that capture a specific location, date, and time perfectly.  play to your strengths and have fun, it's a hobby after all.  if you enjoy what you are doing i don't see why you should quit.

-steve

I like the way Steve said that.  In all honesty, I have seen outstanding examples of people's modeling work for years now.  One thing that strikes me is that no one individual has all the skills to make the perfect model railroad.  Some do tremendous custom paint jobs, some amazing weathering, some can whip out an incredible track plan that captures the prototype perfectly, others do top notch handlaying of track and turnouts, some scenery, others scratchbuilding, etc. 

Having forums like this allow us to share techniques, brag a bit and also offer help to others whose skill sets may be better in other areas of the hobby.  I don't post a lot here, since I am still in the planning and construction phase (again).  I don't expect to do weathering like Rich or Tom, Custom painting like Alex, or to achieve the levels of success that all the other members (too numerous to list) have achieved.  If I pick up some hints and learn from honest criticism, that can only help me improve upon my modeling ability.  I am building a model railroad for myself.  Unfortunately, being in Connecticut, I can't make the get togethers and operating sessions many of you are able to enjoy.  Checking out the forum on a regular basis does give me inspiration to keep making progress.

In the end, I have to be happy with my model railroad.  I welcome constructive criticism, but I don't take it as a personal insult if the contributor of that criticism doesn't get what I am doing or has a different point of emphasis in the hobby.  Learn what you can and contribute what you can.  I'm not interested in getting or especially giving gratuitous "atta' boys."  I will offer encouragement when someone makes progress, whether or not I think I could have done better myself, or know that I could never achieve that level of craftsmanship.  The day this hobby ceases to be fun, will be the day things get packed up and sold off to free up time and funds for more interesting pursuits.  Thankfully that day has not arrived in the 44 years I've been around, including the 37 of those years that I've enjoyed model trains. 

Eric
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 09:13:33 AM by Pomperaugrr »

wm3798

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Re: Why Do You Think People Quit Model Railroading?
« Reply #74 on: March 31, 2009, 10:02:01 AM »
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I keep a gallery of old layouts and projects just to keep my feet on the ground.  I don't consider myself in a league with Rich or Tom or Chris, but people do compliment me on my work, and I confess that I like that.  But those old pictures of the LifeLike foam layout and the Bachmann diesels are always there, reminding me that while I have come pretty far, I still have work to do to get better.



The work that's showcased here at times intimidates, but for the most part it inspires.  There's always a new trick to learn, or a new way to look at things.  I don't view problems as obstacles, just opportunities to find work-arounds.  I remember one of Alex's stumbling blocks was spray paint because he lived in an apartment.  Heck, when I lived in an apartment, I'd go out on the balcony with a cardboard box and a spray can... Instant paint booth!  I can't say the results then were the results I get now, but they helped me build on that skill set.



And that's why I don't regard model railroading as something that's quit-able.  It's a process, a continually ascending arc. 

30 years ago, I envisioned myself building a finished looking layout.
25 years ago, I started messing with code-55 track. 
20 years ago I built my first operations oriented layout. 
15 years ago, I finally caved in and converted everything to Micro Trains couplers. 
10 years ago I got confident enough to start painting my own engines, and started experimenting with DCC. 
5 years ago I started installing my own decoders, and started experimenting with digital photography.
Last year I started monkeying around with steam locomotives.
Last weekend, I built my first real spray booth.

What's next?  Working signals, decoder controlled turnouts, maybe a tear-down and complete rebuild.  Who knows?  But there will be something that I learn, or want to try... I'll practice and ask questions, I'll question my ability to follow it through, but in the end, I'll press on.

Lee
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 10:25:41 AM by wm3798 »
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