Re: State of the RPM hobby (was Pre-orders, pro or con)
For a year, I operated a partnership with two friends called Keyser Car Shops
to produce custom lettered B&O freight equipment.... While we tire-kickers are
fed up with sold-out preordered releases, the economic realities for the
producers are stark. Jim_Mischke
I got one of those Time Saver box cars. Wonderful kits!
Last night I took part in a local Massachusetts tradition called
"Rail Run" which is where people who love to operate spend time on
private layouts in the area, round-robin fashion.
The layout was large, densely scenic'ed, great fun to operate, and
almost totally unprototypical (except for the operation itself, which
was conducted more or less realistically). The locomotives were almost
all Chinese RTR steam imports from BLI, P2K and Bachmann. The rolling
stock was hilariously bad for the most part, stuff from the 1950's to
the 1980's -- about 97% in the "toy trains" category. The condition of
the cars, trucks, couplers etc ranged from acceptable to horrible, with
an amazing number of derailments and mishaps while I conducted my local
freight switching routine.
Anyway, it just underscored to me how rare RPM'ing really is. The great
majority of people really do just want to have fun with the hobby, and
realistic and prototypical rolling stock seems to be WAY DOWN on the
scale of importance to most people.
Since the RTR models themselves are becoming more and more RPM-ish, and
more expensive, I do wonder if that general trend is just pushing away
ordinary, fun loving hobbyists -- The kind we were as kids, buying our
blue box Athearns and then fixing them up to look less like toys.