Thinking about the hobby

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nachoman, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    A few years back I remember seeing my first issue of Model Railroader. It was the late 1980s, and they ran an article about a club layout that I thought was the most realistic looking mineature train I had ever seen. Looking back, that layout really was nothing special, but it was more than enough for me to realize there was such thing as a model train, which was curiously different than setting up some track on a sheet of plywood. I am not sure what about the photographs in that article clicked for me. It could have been the overall size, the fact that the photos did not show the "real" world beyond the layout's edge, the big picture with the trains and scenery, or perhaps the depiction of a real working railroad, but in mineature. Whatever it was, my view of the hobby changed.

    Back then, there was no DCC. Big layouts had something called "cab control" and a few layouts used something called "command control" that was basically unstandardized DCC. Sound was available in HO, but crude and not widely used. Some of these sound systems were nothing more than stereo systems with speakers positioned around the layout piping in a recording of generic train sounds. Ready to Run was almost exclusively for train sets, as higher end locomotives and cars required some assembly. The now almost nonexistant horn-hook coupler was standard. Kitbashing was almost the rule in getting the locomotive type you wanted. Nearly every month MR would run an article about converting one type of diesel into another, or converting a phase whatever GP38 into another phase GP38 - and of course the Athearn 38 was about all there was to start with. And using foam for a layout base was nearly unheard of.

    The hobby has come a long way, and I have come a long way. I'm now working in a scale rare enough that I have to kitbash or scratchbuild nearly everything that rolls down my rails. The boxcabs in this photo were a kit, but this was a kit that required much more than a screwdriver and X-acto knife to put together.


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  2. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Dec 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    That's a very...

    ...bad photo and I appreciate your comments.:)