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Imagine, being so rich that you could hire people to do your hobby for you!!
 

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Imagine, being so rich that you could hire people to do your hobby for you!!
If someone builds the whole thing for you, what's the point? Where's the fun in that? It's a great-looking layout, but I would much rather build one myself, than just hire somebody to build a layout for me, even if I could afford it. That seems to me like "swimming" by watching someone else swim.

Traction Fan :cautious:
 

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I agree. You haven't learned anything, and how are you going to fix any problems that may develop? There's not much satisfaction in saying, "Yep, I bought it myself", instead of "Yep, I built it myself".
 

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Well, if you can afford to pay people to built it, you can afford to pay people to fix it.....just sayin’.....

Besides, maybe the owner’s thing isn’t building a layout, but only to run trains? We’re always saying “your railroad, your rules”, so why diss the guy in this case?
 

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If someone builds the whole thing for you, what's the point? Where's the fun in that? It's a great-looking layout, but I would much rather build one myself, than just hire somebody to build a layout for me, even if I could afford it. That seems to me like "swimming" by watching someone else swim.
That's a slippery slope of judgement. Maybe the person mostly enjoys collecting and running?

Wargamers sometimes buy painted miniatures, classic car aficionados often buy cars someone else has restored, etc.

Not an approach I'd favor, but then lots of folks buy prebuilt benchwork and buildings, and most rolling stock does not arrive as an unpainted kit....
 

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Well, if you can afford to pay people to built it, you can afford to pay people to fix it.....just sayin’.....

Besides, maybe the owner’s thing isn’t building a layout, but only to run trains? We’re always saying “your railroad, your rules”, so why diss the guy in this case?
Old Hobo & Eliff;

I wasn't attempting to "diss" anybody, or contend that somehow it was not the owner's right to buy, instead of build.
What I was doing was expressing my opinion that, at least for me, building is an extremely important part of Model Railroading. In fact, to me, building your model railroad, to the best of your ability, is the very essence of "Model Railroading" as opposed to "shopping" or "contracting."

In the hobby context, (as opposed to human fashion models) the very word "model" strongly implies something that you assemble.
If someone wants to have a railroad built for him, certainly he has every right to do so. However, in my opinion, he is missing out on a lot of the fun, sense of accomplishment, learning opportunity, and yes the challenge too, involved in building your own railroad.

My grandson and I are building his model railroad together. I could have built the whole thing for him, and just handed over the finished product. After all, he's only five years old, and kids that young are not usually expected to build something as complex as a model railroad. There were some things I had to do for him. I'm not about to turn a 5-year old loose with a power saw, or even an X-acto knife! But there are a surprising number of things he can do, as long as "Papa" shows him how (Once! The kid's mind is a thirsty sponge!) and then watches him do it safely.
He is beside himself with joy working on the railroad. He would certainly enjoy a finished railroad as a present. But nowhere near as much as he enjoys building parts of it himself.

I remember Erector sets, building blocks, Lincoln Logs, and plastic models as some of my most favorite toys. Those things, and model trains, were early lessons in understanding how things go together, & how they work, which led to how to get broken things to work again. That knowledge helped me earn my living for four decades, and gave me a hobby that has lasted a lifetime. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

In my opinion, too many kids today spend too much of their childhood staring into screens. They're great at video games, texting, and looking stuff up on their smartphones, but I wonder how much they can actually figure out for themselves. When do they go outside ad actually DO something? I'm very glad to see that Hudson does both.

Traction Fan 😕
 

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Well, again, to each his own.....in the “Ballastng is fun” thread, there are many comments that indicate modellers would rather die than ballast, or at least have someone else do it....so maybe the owner of this layout is not that much different than many in the hobby.....IMO as well......
 

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I'd be happy to pay someone to come finish wiring my turnouts and signals... Just saying... Seriously....PM me!

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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I am one of those dubious model train enthusiasts who had a layout professionally built. In my time I have built and taken apart over 40 layouts so I knew what I was capable of and the amount of time things take for me to build. My decision was obvious, the only way I could have what I wanted was to have it professionally built. Plus I wanted it NOW, not 8 years from now. My wife also supported the decision because she had places for us to go and did not want me in the layout room building for four to six hours/day. I have had the layout for four years now and operate trains on it almost every day.
When something is professionally constructed using only the best parts things do not fail often. So far two Lionel LCS ASC2's have failed and one PSX-AR-AC Reverse loop controller board has failed. They were trivial for me to replace from my spares inventory. Some of the handlaid turnout points have failed, the solder joint holding the rail to the copper clad throwbar broke. These have been repaired by the layout builder under warranty.
The layout included a 100+ page tech manual with all the details so diagnosing any issues and repairing them is simple. All wiring is color coded and tagged, all components labeled and numbered to the diagrams in the Manual. I have space for a second layout, around 80 square feet in my home office so I am still building my own layouts even with the larger permanent layout. The smaller layout is traditional American Flyer, the professional layout is highly detailed S scale. I have posted pictures of my layouts over in the Photo Of The Day Thread in the S Scale forum.
This hobby has all kinds of people who enjoy it. I am currently advising two gentlemen on the intricacies of contracting with a layout builder. They have been collecting Lionel and memorabilia for decades and want a dramatic layout to display and operate pieces out of their collection. They live just north of me here in SoCal. The first thing they did was buy a "Train House" about 400 yards from their residence. They are now gutting and remodeling the interior to house two professionally built interconnected layouts, each of which will be larger than my measly 17'x21' layout.
 

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And there you have it.....this hobby is for everyone, all tastes, all opinions.....(y)
 

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Old Hobo & Eliff;

I wasn't attempting to "diss" anybody, or contend that somehow it was not the owner's right to buy, instead of build.
What I was doing was expressing my opinion that, at least for me, building is an extremely important part of Model Railroading. In fact, to me, building your model railroad, to the best of your ability, is the very essence of "Model Railroading" as opposed to "shopping" or "contracting."

In the hobby context, (as opposed to human fashion models) the very word "model" strongly implies something that you assemble.
If someone wants to have a railroad built for him, certainly he has every right to do so. However, in my opinion, he is missing out on a lot of the fun, sense of accomplishment, learning opportunity, and yes the challenge too, involved in building your own railroad.

My grandson and I are building his model railroad together. I could have built the whole thing for him, and just handed over the finished product. After all, he's only five years old, and kids that young are not usually expected to build something as complex as a model railroad. There were some things I had to do for him. I'm not about to turn a 5-year old loose with a power saw, or even an X-acto knife! But there are a surprising number of things he can do, as long as "Papa" shows him how (Once! The kid's mind is a thirsty sponge!) and then watches him do it safely.
He is beside himself with joy working on the railroad. He would certainly enjoy a finished railroad as a present. But nowhere near as much as he enjoys building parts of it himself.

I remember Erector sets, building blocks, Lincoln Logs, and plastic models as some of my most favorite toys. Those things, and model trains, were early lessons in understanding how things go together, & how they work, which led to how to get broken things to work again. That knowledge helped me earn my living for four decades, and gave me a hobby that has lasted a lifetime. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

In my opinion, too many kids today spend too much of their childhood staring into screens. They're great at video games, texting, and looking stuff up on their smartphones, but I wonder how much they can actually figure out for themselves. When do they go outside ad actually DO something? I'm very glad to see that Hudson does both.

Traction Fan 😕
I think I agree with you on nearly all points (screens, enjoyment of building, etc). I maybe shoudn't have used the word "judgement".

I find satisfaction in hands-on construction hobbies as well. I was just thinking about how there are so many ways to approach so many hobbies, which @AmFlyer has fleshed out so well.

I also think about how much more hands-on the hobby was in the days when what we now call "craftsman" was the hobby. I'm building my own layout, but periodically fiddling with a Silver-Streak boxcar kit (which actually havs printed sides) has convinced me that I've got no real desire to pick up a box of balsa bits and fittings and start building.
 

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Well, again, to each his own.....in the “Ballastng is fun” thread, there are many comments that indicate modellers would rather die than ballast, or at least have someone else do it....so maybe the owner of this layout is not that much different than many in the hobby.....IMO as well......
I agree, to each his own. Mine is building, others may choose to buy. There are advantages and disadvantages either way. The buyer gets his finished layout sooner,and possibly better, but he pays two prices. One is the obvious financial cost, the other is not learning by doing.

On the other hand, the builder is going to spend years/decades "workin on the railroad" Hopefully most of that "work" will be fun for him/her, but inevitably some of it will indeed be work, and often difficult, frustrating, and/or boring work at that. While that part can be unpleasant, it's also part of the learning advantage inherent in building rather than buying.

Traction Fan
 

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I think I agree with you on nearly all points (screens, enjoyment of building, etc). I maybe shoudn't have used the word "judgement".

I find satisfaction in hands-on construction hobbies as well. I was just thinking about how there are so many ways to approach so many hobbies, which @AmFlyer has fleshed out so well.

I also think about how much more hands-on the hobby was in the days when what we now call "craftsman" was the hobby. I'm building my own layout, but periodically fiddling with a Silver-Streak boxcar kit (which actually havs printed sides) has convinced me that I've got no real desire to pick up a box of balsa bits and fittings and start building.
Eillif;

It sounds like you're ready for scratchbuilding. It really is fun to start out with basic materials, simple tools, and a plan & turn them into your own creation. You may want to start with something simple like the water tower in the first photo. Or if your creative instincts are beyond that, you could try something more challenging, like the wooden truss bridge. With some practice, you'll soon be knocking out models as complex as the train station. You can sell them to people who prefer to buy, instead of build. :D

Traction Fan 😊
 

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It may also be that he realizes his desire for the end starter did not match his available time and/or skill. Perhaps he works on it with them as much as he can. I'd love a scam model of the Corvette museum in my layout, but my skill and time are not up to the task, so it will wait until someone makes one out I sure the time to develope the skill

I've taken on projects where I had to seek professional assistance, even though DIY was party of my goal.

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I am one of those dubious model train enthusiasts who had a layout professionally built. In my time I have built and taken apart over 40 layouts so I knew what I was capable of and the amount of time things take for me to build. My decision was obvious, the only way I could have what I wanted was to have it professionally built. Plus I wanted it NOW, not 8 years from now. My wife also supported the decision because she had places for us to go and did not want me in the layout room building for four to six hours/day. I have had the layout for four years now and operate trains on it almost every day.
When something is professionally constructed using only the best parts things do not fail often. So far two Lionel LCS ASC2's have failed and one PSX-AR-AC Reverse loop controller board has failed. They were trivial for me to replace from my spares inventory. Some of the handlaid turnout points have failed, the solder joint holding the rail to the copper clad throwbar broke. These have been repaired by the layout builder under warranty.
The layout included a 100+ page tech manual with all the details so diagnosing any issues and repairing them is simple. All wiring is color coded and tagged, all components labeled and numbered to the diagrams in the Manual. I have space for a second layout, around 80 square feet in my home office so I am still building my own layouts even with the larger permanent layout. The smaller layout is traditional American Flyer, the professional layout is highly detailed S scale. I have posted pictures of my layouts over in the Photo Of The Day Thread in the S Scale forum.
This hobby has all kinds of people who enjoy it. I am currently advising two gentlemen on the intricacies of contracting with a layout builder. They have been collecting Lionel and memorabilia for decades and want a dramatic layout to display and operate pieces out of their collection. They live just north of me here in SoCal. The first thing they did was buy a "Train House" about 400 yards from their residence. They are now gutting and remodeling the interior to house two professionally built interconnected layouts, each of which will be larger than my measly 17'x21' layout.
AmFlyer;

There doesn't appear to be anything a bit "dubious" about your interest in model trains. You have contributed a lot to this forum.

It seems I kicked over a hornet's nest with my comment about building vs. buying. I really was only trying to say that I saw no fun in buying a finished layout, I'd much rather build my own.

The problem you had with the throwbar of a turnout coming loose from the point rail is one I've experienced many times. You said it's already been repaired by the builder, which is nice. If it ever becomes a repetitive problem then I have developed a technique for making a stronger throwbar by reinforcing the PC throwbar with brass. For me the problem wasn't the actual solder joint failing, but rather the copper cladding peeling away from the circuit board. I'm an N-scale modeler, so I don't have anything like as much surface area for the solder joint as you do in S-scale, that may be part of the problem.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Hi Traction Fan, I was merely attempting to be facetious and poke a little fun at myself. I still enjoy putting together layouts as long as they are not too large (up to 6'x12'.) I do know my limits plus I decided I wanted a layout way beyond what I was prepared to build. I am also not someone who enjoys detail scratchbuilding work. No ballasting for me either. Strangely I do not mind wiring at all.
It is actually more work to have a layout built than some would think. I spent about 300 hours reviewing plans, resolving detail questions, design of the city area and 4 trips across country for in person reviews of the layout progress. One of the reasons was there is so little available off the shelf in S scale. The builder had to custom make a lot of the structures on the layout that could have been purchased in HO or O scale and probably in N scale.
I have 45 turnouts on the layout, total of 90 points. Of these, 10 of the points have failed in 4 years of operation. We believe the cause was one of the techs soldering skills. None of the repaired points have failed a second time. I have three turnout points in need of repair, I will have the layout builder do the repairs next year. I cannot imagine the detail skills needed to do this in N gauge. In S gauge the copper foil is not the weak point.
 

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Hi Traction Fan, I was merely attempting to be facetious and poke a little fun at myself. I still enjoy putting together layouts as long as they are not too large (up to 6'x12'.) I do know my limits plus I decided I wanted a layout way beyond what I was prepared to build. I am also not someone who enjoys detail scratchbuilding work. No ballasting for me either. Strangely I do not mind wiring at all.
It is actually more work to have a layout built than some would think. I spent about 300 hours reviewing plans, resolving detail questions, design of the city area and 4 trips across country for in person reviews of the layout progress. One of the reasons was there is so little available off the shelf in S scale. The builder had to custom make a lot of the structures on the layout that could have been purchased in HO or O scale and probably in N scale.
I have 45 turnouts on the layout, total of 90 points. Of these, 10 of the points have failed in 4 years of operation. We believe the cause was one of the techs soldering skills. None of the repaired points have failed a second time. I have three turnout points in need of repair, I will have the layout builder do the repairs next year. I cannot imagine the detail skills needed to do this in N gauge. In S gauge the copper foil is not the weak point.
Amflyer;

Thanks for your response. It's great that your builder backs up his product so well. Not many companies, or individuals do that anymore.
As for making turnouts & crossings in N-scale, it can be done. See photos.

Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Impressive, thanks for posting the pictures. It has been a long time since I had an N scale layout.
 
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