At 02:07 PM 1/13/2012 -0600, you wrote:
nature. If we do not help new modelers become skilled modelers, we willLike most of us, I've gone from having time and desire but no money, money
and desire but no time, or money and desire and time but not enough
knowledge or available material. I'm not surprised any more, in spite of
the unprecedented selection we have today (in HO scale at least) to pick up
a photo of a freight yard and see a dozen cars there are no models of, or
even anything close.
I've found that turning RTR guys into modelers is a hard sell. Even the
young guys (anyone younger than me) are aging and while there is a strong
group of local modelers here in Cincinnati that are 30s and under, very few
of them are model builders. I think at that age, life just has too many
other demands. I stayed very active in the hobby in my 20s and 30s, but it
was lonely out there. Model railroading is, and always has been, my
primary hobby but it's not my only hobby. #2 seems to be always changing -
photography, music, cars... at times these take some priority over model
building (or heaven forbid, layout building) but it's a temporary
condition. We've got a 6 month old Airedale who thinks he's a wolf or a
chihuahua on alternating minutes, and he's going to need some quality time
to become a good Airedale... I just bought a Hammond organ (unlike a
one-time local HO bigwig, I didn't sell my train stuff to pay for it).
I hang around with the young-uns here, we talk about all the latest and
greatest models, but their interest is in modular layouts, electronics, and
above all RTR stuff. Their demands for accuracy and detail may be as high
as mine, but they really want it off the shelf. At least right now.
But the only constant is change. I do hope to see some resurgence in
craftsmanship, or just seeing people under 40 play with something that
doesn't have a touch screen. I got my grandson a train set - he just
turned 6. He loves it, but I suspect it's in the back of the bus already,
while his Xbox and Wii stay in the driver's seat.