Saturday, September 08, 2012

No Man is an Island

DB postulates:They say that money can't buy happiness.

But isn't it hard to stay motivated in a hobby when you are a team of one?

So last Tuesday night I visited what seems to be the only model railroad club on Long Island that isn't full of smelly, drooling, shify-looking, unshaven, overweight, balding, Lionel-train-loving freaks wearing conductors overalls and striped hats festooned with badges (I am of course excluding myself from the count here). There were of a few of that tribe there, but at least it wasn't full of them so you could walk around without picking up too much dribble or other bodily fluids on the soles of your shoes.

N at left (4 BNSF locos are pulling an 80 car coal train), HO at right
I had been to this place many years ago so I knew it had big HO and N scale bowl of spaghetti layouts, and it's pretty much on the way home from work, but the relatively astronomical monthly membership fees put me off.

Let me explain why. This is not a Manhattan or Mairangi Bay demographic, it's more like Mangare. Yet these guys rent a 20x70 foot unit in an industrial block.

HO brass scratchbuilt liftbridge

It's secure, air conditioned and moderately spacious. The big permanent HO and N scale layouts are wireless DCC equipped, with nicely laid and wired Atlas code 55 track (on the N scale layout), the baseboards aren't all cardboard and staples, and some of the scenery isn't awful either although in the tradition of many US layouts, they are a little "urban and busy" for my personal liking.

Interlopers from south of the border

You can say what you want about the quality and philosophy of the layouts, and it does feel a bit weird walking down the model railroading equivalent of a red-light district and contemplating paying for one's model train company, but hey. No man is an island.

Video of the N scale layout. I ripped up that lower line in Tuesday...

1 comment:

beaka said...

good to hear from you DB. I must admit to having shared your problem of keeping motivated in the past.However at present i am flat out work wise doing 7 day weeks, but i still manage to find a couple of hrs most nights (10-midnight) to tinker in my bl..dy cold shed.while i am so motivated, i am going with the flow and not wasting any of the spare time i have.being involved with a club is certainly helpful as you usually can find someone to bounce ideas off or garner info or advice from.Presently with our club, i seem to be the one offering info and help to other members.strange as i don't consider myself a great modeller.i have also found motivation from reading the infrequent posts online on here and NZ120 org, and also e-mails with photos from fellow modellers . i also suffer from MD's complaint of thinking about modelling most of the time.still it beats thinking about the other subject men are guilty of 24/7, and i don't mean food!!