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Old 02-10-2020, 10:04 PM   #31
telltale
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ONE MORE !:

The way I, me, myself sees it (not insisting you must also) is that the term 'model railroader' was born way way back when all the 'instant plug and play' products we have now, didn't yet exist. This was the mid to late 1940's thru about, say, 1970-75..So, in this time period, serious realism-seeking miniature-train buffs had to scratch build structures and even locos and cars, and is why it took on the term 'model railroader'. All the other train collectors, then, were more like toy-train buffs; not into modeling, but just interested in seeing gleaming trains going around sharp curves and thru very acute switches (TOs) on a flat board..
And that's cool as well. I was one myself in the 50s.
So, it seems to me the folks who want this same sort of quick/quicker plug and play track are not actual modelers, but closer to wanting toy, non-serious participation in the hobby.
And that's cool too ! I just don't quite see it as 'model' railroading.
I think the term 'model railroader' has become a broad stroke for the entire miniature train world, to scale or not to scale.
And so what's occurring today is that we have, under the same roof (online forums), sort of, 1st graders in the same classroom as HS and college students; the older, experienced trying to clarify things for the grade schoolers.
Nothing wrong with that either.
It's only that the plug and play gang are not yet 'model rails'. They're just beginning to learn the terms/nomenclature, most not having modeled anything yet, which in turn tends to give birth to these long-winded, how-to/explanation posts..
In the old days we had to buy a magazine/s in order to learn. The diff is, today the asker gets instant answers due to the net, in turn enabling multiples of answers from the modelers, in turn causing a magazine article to become a tome... M
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:19 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telltale View Post
ONE MORE !:

The way I, me, myself sees it (not insisting you must also) is that the term 'model railroader' was born way way back when all the 'instant plug and play' products we have now, didn't yet exist. This was the mid to late 1940's thru about, say, 1970-75..So, in this time period, serious realism-seeking miniature-train buffs had to scratch build structures and even locos and cars, and is why it took on the term 'model railroader'. All the other train collectors, then, were more like toy-train buffs; not into modeling, but just interested in seeing gleaming trains going around sharp curves and thru very acute switches (TOs) on a flat board..
And that's cool as well. I was one myself in the 50s.
So, it seems to me the folks who want this same sort of quick/quicker plug and play track are not actual modelers, but closer to wanting toy, non-serious participation in the hobby.
And that's cool too ! I just don't quite see it as 'model' railroading.
I think the term 'model railroader' has become a broad stroke for the entire miniature train world, to scale or not to scale.
And so what's occurring today is that we have, under the same roof (online forums), sort of, 1st graders in the same classroom as HS and college students; the older, experienced trying to clarify things for the grade schoolers.
Nothing wrong with that either.
It's only that the plug and play gang are not yet 'model rails'. They're just beginning to learn the terms/nomenclature, most not having modeled anything yet, which in turn tends to give birth to these long-winded, how-to/explanation posts..
In the old days we had to buy a magazine/s in order to learn. The diff is, today the asker gets instant answers due to the net, in turn enabling multiples of answers from the modelers, in turn causing a magazine article to become a tome...[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.modeltrainforum.com/images/smilies/sly.gif[/IMG] M
Not to go off on a tangent here and/or take away from the original post, but a model is something built as a scaled down version of the original. Usually a miniature representation of something. Nowhere in the definition does it state that everything has to built by hand and or super detailed. I have been in the hobby for 40 plus years,never as a kid or do I now have the skill set to scratch build everything I use on my layout. I am not good with fine detail stuff or painting tiny things. I have a145 IQ I cut tractor trailers in half and build other vehicles out of them. I am a certified welder and fabricator. I have built heavy duty wreckers dump trucks, and custom built trucks of all kinds. The fact that I can’t do fine detail stuff and use prebuilt buildings and track doesn’t mean I only have toy trains. I have a model railroad just the same as anybody that has super highly detailed mountains and rivers or extravagant scenes. Yes my layout is flat because I tried many times to do the detailed mountains and stuff and I’m not happy with my less than stellar results. I’m limited to stay within my skill set. I really don’t feel that those of us that buy prebuilt or have flat layouts are less model railroaders than people that are gifted enough to be able to have all that highly detailed terrain, nor do I feel like a first grader among high school or college kids. As far as just being non-serious I take the hobby very seriously just don’t have all the skills some other people have. Just my option on the model vs toy train subject. Just for the record all trains started out intended to be children’s toys. I am truly sorry if my opinion or flat layout with sharp turns and acute “switches” offend the college kids!! Just my opinion and the way I see it feel free to feel otherwise.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:35 AM   #33
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I think it is a matter of how much realism you are satisfied with. Not from where or how the parts and pieces are acquired.

I scratch build nothing except scenery because that cannot be bought as a custom product for the layout or space that you have. Unless of course you hire someone to come in and do it for you.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:48 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by MichaelE View Post
I think it is a matter of how much realism you are satisfied with. Not from where or how the parts and pieces are acquired.

I scratch build nothing except scenery because that cannot be bought as a custom product for the layout or space that you have. Unless of course you hire someone to come in and do it for you.
I would love more realism don’t get me wrong and sometimes I look at my layout and wish I had those skills!! Sometimes I am really disappointed in myself and hate that I have to settle. The sad truth is that I just don’t have the skills but I feel to pay somebody to do it for me kinda takes away from the result. I’m sure many don’t feel that way. I look at the pictures some guys post in here and I’m in total awe!! You guys have beautifully build masterpieces! That being said I don’t feel that I’m less of a modeler or a first grader as was stated. I’m very Serious about the hobby and put everything I have into it. I just have to stay within my skill set. I really don’t see my layout as toy trains due to my lack of skill either.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:24 AM   #35
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OP wrote:
"Thanks to all! Wow, so much information based on one newbie question. I believe I'm going to with the Kato Unitrak."

Here's a thread you should check out (my tips for Unitrack):
https://www.modeltrainforum.com/show...light=unitrack
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:25 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telltale View Post
ONE MORE !:

The way I, me, myself sees it (not insisting you must also) is that the term 'model railroader' was born way way back when all the 'instant plug and play' products we have now, didn't yet exist. This was the mid to late 1940's thru about, say, 1970-75..So, in this time period, serious realism-seeking miniature-train buffs had to scratch build structures and even locos and cars, and is why it took on the term 'model railroader'. All the other train collectors, then, were more like toy-train buffs; not into modeling, but just interested in seeing gleaming trains going around sharp curves and thru very acute switches (TOs) on a flat board..
And that's cool as well. I was one myself in the 50s.
So, it seems to me the folks who want this same sort of quick/quicker plug and play track are not actual modelers, but closer to wanting toy, non-serious participation in the hobby....
And that's cool too ! I just don't quite see it as 'model' railroading....

...It's only that the plug and play gang are not yet 'model rails'...
I don't see much value in trying to narrowly define what a very general term like "Model railroader" is. Certainly not by applying standards from 60 years ago to a hobby that has changed much in the intervening decades. Far better to use specific words like "Scratchbuilder" or "Prototype model railroader". Perhaps even something like "Advanced model railroader". Pretentious perhaps but is it any moreso than trying to specify a limited scope of what "Model Railroader should mean?

Of course there are those who would reject the term of "model railroader" and prefer "toy train collector" or some other term, but I digress...

A kid with a Snap-Fit X-wing and a fellow stretching the cloth over the wooden frame of a 1/12 Supermarine Spitfire are both participating in the hobby of "Scale model building" and I don't see why model railroaders should be any different.

So, I say keep the tent -and the term- of "Model Railroading" broad and welcoming and let folks under that umbrella specialize and specify to their hearts content.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Eilif View Post
I don't see much value in trying to narrowly define what a very general term like "Model railroader" is. Certainly not by applying standards from 60 years ago to a hobby that has changed much in the intervening decades. Far better to use specific words like "Scratchbuilder" or "Prototype model railroader". Perhaps even something like "Advanced model railroader". Pretentious perhaps but is it any moreso than trying to specify a limited scope of what "Model Railroader should mean?

Of course there are those who would reject the term of "model railroader" and prefer "toy train collector" or some other term, but I digress...

A kid with a Snap-Fit X-wing and a fellow stretching the cloth over the wooden frame of a 1/12 Supermarine Spitfire are both participating in the hobby of "Scale model building" and I don't see why model railroaders should be any different.

So, I say keep the tent -and the term- of "Model Railroading" broad and welcoming and let folks under that umbrella specialize and specify to their hearts content.
I think there's another important issue here, too. The greater availability of "plug and play" items also reduces the amount of time that a modeler needs to spend on things he doesn't enjoy. If you don't enjoy building structures from plans and a box of sticks, what should you have to? I think the changes in the hobby are liberating -- more fun and less drudgery. Now if someone would only invent flex track that ballasts itself....
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:10 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by CTValleyRR View Post
I think there's another important issue here, too. The greater availability of "plug and play" items also reduces the amount of time that a modeler needs to spend on things he doesn't enjoy. If you don't enjoy building structures from plans and a box of sticks, what should you have to? I think the changes in the hobby are liberating -- more fun and less drudgery. Now if someone would only invent flex track that ballasts itself....
Please! Someone!
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:08 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by bobbalinks View Post
I'm newbie and want to use the prebuilt track with ballast. I've seen mostly Bachmann and have heard of Atlas. My question is, what is the most reliable and easiest to use of these things.
the more joints, less reliability, 3 ft section are better
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:10 PM   #40
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I think there's another important issue here, too. The greater availability of "plug and play" items also reduces the amount of time that a modeler needs to spend on things he doesn't enjoy. If you don't enjoy building structures from plans and a box of sticks, what should you have to? I think the changes in the hobby are liberating -- more fun and less drudgery. Now if someone would only invent flex track that ballasts itself....
i think it is called unitrack or E-Z track...
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