Re: end of kits

Dave Nelson

The Hobby is changing. It's always changing.

IMO a fair number of people do not understand one big way it is changing: a
lot of model railroads have given up on physical models and have migrated to
virtual models in simulators. Now I know a lot of you are inclined to say
"well that's semi-interesting Dave, but that's not my hobby" but guys, it
is; it's just a different scale, it uses different tools, but the rail
knowledge and basic tasks are the same. We have all the same interests in
railroad technology and history as anyone on this board. We buy the same
books. We strive to learn the same arcane knowledge. We talk about the
same railroads, equipment, and history. We just don't buy and use the same

As an example, I own an internet forum for people interested in train sims,
with an emphasis on content creation -- 3d cad and art for locomotives &
freight equipment. I have almost 2000 members from about 60 countries.
Roughly 175 people stop by every day and about 100 messages are posted each
day. I'm running a poll right now: How old are you? So far 29% had said
under 30. IMO what they're likely to have in common is a small budget and
no space. Once active in what we call V-Scale, is the appeal of physical
model railroading ever going to be greater than the burden of money spent
and space used? Considering that V-Scale is virtually free and measured in a
few square inches, I have great doubts it will. A few quotes from
comments appended to the poll:

"I still admired and aspired to have a layout someday...[but]... virtual
simming has given me EVERYTHING I ever wanted."
"... once I discovered virtual RRing, I've never looked back..."
" Sure, I was over 50 when I found the sim and there is nothing that I could
think of that would cause me to go back to physical model railroading
" At the age of 52, I discovered MSTS and learned to reskin in 2005 and I
never looked back."
" Not far into the effort I realized [train sims] had no space
constraints... w/ [train sims] I could have it all."

My point in describing this is simply to point out that, in the ever
evolving form of Model Railroading, there is yet another splinter group
which results in yet again fewer potential customers for existing product
manufacturers. IMO it has to have an effect of some sort on either prices
or product availability... and there is, again IMO, no reason to think
things will revert to the way it used to be.

As they say, you can choose your opinions but you cannot choose your facts:
some model railroaders get their "fix" to a very satisfactory degree w/
V-Scale... and they are not buying kits or RTR... or anything else for that
matter. IMO that has to count for something in these sorts of "our world
is ending" debates and pretending it's of no concern to... say how many
scale freight cars in my scale are in the market today), again IMO, "just
whistling past the graveyard".

Dave Nelson

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of

I consider this subject to be a subset of the "The End of the hobby in near"
argument. I've been hearing variations of that since I started doing
serious modeling in the early 70s.

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