Friday, August 30, 2013

Milestones time

Well, it's the 1300th post here. I've got rather ho hum about these milestones. The first hundred was exciting, as was the 500th (I think) and the 1000th too. After that, I'll look forward to the 2000th maybe, but that's still quite a few months off.

More interestingly we have just hit 200,000 page views. Now apparently this is quite something on the Wibbly Wobbly Woo, especially for a small blog on an obscure topic read by a handful of people a day. I can only assume that our several regular readers have short memories and keep hitting refresh every 2 minutes.

I guess looking back over the last 5 years the blog has changed. It started mostly as modeling, history and a bit of rabble rousing. We merrily commented on anything and everything, from the Journal to the latest Kiwirail news. We have merrily tilted an windmills and targeted a few sacred cows.
However sometimes I feel its gone from an L'enfant terrible to middle age conservative (with improved spelling along the way). In some ways, I think this is a good thing. The scale has gone from the brink of extinction to a viable option for modeling NZR. This renaissance has been lead by several local manufacturers, one of whom took a huge punt on the scale several years ago.

How is the scale regarded by other NZR modelers? Certainly I feel that some self appointed experts tend to look down their nose at us. Others look on with mild amusement. I still think we tend to share more with the 9mm scale guys (and more than just a common number measurement). I also think its interesting that these 2 scales seem to be more 'go ahead' currently than the middle scale, which seems to be in somwhat of a holding pattern.

So, where to from here? N scale is changing with continuously available loco models giving way to shorter production runs, with repeat runs separated by several years. As an example of this, it's now hard to find Bachmann 4-8-2's in US shops. In the UK, spares of all sorts (both loco and wagons) are far harder to find. The scale needs freely available wagon wheel sets on 13.5 length alxes, ideally from on shore. I'd like to see some accurate steam loco mechs available to initially run under the current range of 3D printed tops.

To finish up I keep going back to the first post back in 2008. This whole blog was inspired by John Rappard. He started me in the scale 25 years ago. I'm just paying it forward to the rest of you.


sxytrain said...

The new 'breath' for nz modelling has been lead, I believe, in Peter, and several other computer drawing clever guys, developing 3D printed models. This has greatly increased both the interest and respect for nz120 scale. I'm now fielding inquiries and orders from 3/16th modelers going to nz120.
And great to have a few layouts and displays at public shows now, as well!

Motorised Dandruff said...

I agree taht 3D CAD has given the scale a boost in the last 12 months.

An old friend and I were out in the Man-sion tonight, And among other discussions we had was the 'Isn't 3/16th an odd scale for modeling'. We agreed its neither fish nor fowl really, being too big for a layout and too small for a model.
Having just typed this I'm now hulking down and waiting for the flamethrowers...

NZ120 said...

NZ120 is certainly gaining pace! My nutty ambition of a complete loco roster & income from shapeways enabling new designs has become rather addictive!

Anonymous said...

Odd comment from Mot Dan there - 3/16th is a very natural scale for modelling - it's imperial for a start like the prototypes were and sits nicely between 7 and 4mm. Perhaps that's a UK view of it but it is an ideal scale to have some heft whilst still being able to build a layout.