15 years ago I put fingers to keyboard and tapped out my first attempt at blogging. The rest is history witth bonus poor spelling. Looking back on the number of posts per year, things went down hill after we brought a house (and I have a stack of beams to clean up and varnish this weekend) and have never recovered. The wargaming doesn't help.
The scale has certainly come on in this time. Gone are the home cast resin models of our youth, replaced with 3d printing. I don't think its a bad thing. Casting your own models required the skills to make a master (assume you are good enough to do that), find and then mix and pour the rubber(after working out just how your masters and models were going to come out of the mold), then finally mixing and casting the resin.
|Pouring|| || || |
I don't seem to have a resining picture anywhere
And don't forget that those mixing steps involve toxic chemicals which even the experts "glove up" for. Oh and for most of the process you are outside the house even if you have an understanding family. Those that talk glowingly of the old days and how much better off we were when craftsmen took pride in their work often forget or neglect to mention just how dificult, laborious and downright miserable some of the work was. However we did what we could with what we had. Etching and laser cutting had some time in the sun, but I feel that they were in the end cul-de sacs which we went down, turned around and came back from. they still have there place, but as support for the main events rather than the be all and end all.
Contrast this with sitting at a comfortable desk with a cuppa and a stack of reference materials to hand while you potter away with the 3D CAD program bending it to your darkest desires. Surfaces that would defeat the most cunning of master makers are but a trifle. Then press a button (or 4-5 and then swear at yourself for not setting the print bed right again) and wander off to peruse Facebook for a bit while the magic elves do whatever it is they do. Far more civilised and far less labor intensive. There will be some that point out (and rightly so) that some of the chemicals involved are also a bit on the toxic side, but they would not be selling them and advertising the process if it was that dangerous. Remember they do it in the US where personal harm lawyers roam the streets look for lawsuits..
So where will we be in 5 years. I'm not in a position to make any guesses or predicitions. Is the scale locally big enough to support its own wheelsets, or do we carry on as we always have, at the whims of larger markets and their fickel model production cycles (now, if I won lotto it would be a no brainer to solve thsi issue but....). Will we see more layouts in the press or online (theres remakably little out there to see tahts not buried behind the Facebook wall) and could we see a slide towards operation rather than roundy-roundy.
I'll finish up with a photo of the only models I still have from the Dunedin days more than 30 years gone. Cast resin and soldered brass. I doubt we will see their like again.
|I wish I still had the mold|