Monday, May 16, 2016
The occupants of La Casa Dandruff have been on holiday down south. Oddly enough a visit to Dunedin coincided with a local train show. Despite the wrong dates being published in the journal (and I guessed that a train show would probably not be on a Monday and Tuesday) I managed to turn up on the right day.
While most of the layouts were of the non-prototype sort, one that did catch my eye was Arauatu from Invercargill. This has been featured in the journal but I had not sen it in the flesh before.
As the following pictures show, it is a nicely observed layout with some nice scenes,
Apparently the back scenes are painted by one of the modelers wives who is an artist.
As I don't tend to have a lot of contact with your average S scale modeler and I'm not on the gated community, I struck up a conversation with the layouts occupants. One question that i did ask was how they found the availability of S scale kits. 'Trademe" was the reply.
Now this throws up a few red flags for me. If the average NZR modeler can't get kits from a manufacturer and instead relies on an auction site and estate sales, then its very hard to attract new modelers to the scale. NZ120 was in this position when I started modeling in the scale 25 years ago, and it was scratch build almost everything, which is not much fun for new modelers.
This lead me down a rather dark path with arrived at the stop "Is NZR S scale dying?"
Now I'll be happy to admit that the fine scale boys seem to be doing fine which is all well and dandy, but there does not seem to be the incoming base to support that indefinitely.
Now I'm expecting to see in the comments that the scale has never been stronger etc, but I'd like to see it backed up with some hard data.
Update; A check on the links from the Guild website revells that John gardeners website is defunct (so no direct order of steam loco kits ) and the owner of Southdock/Railmaster is reduced to an E-mail address. Good luck with the estate sales......