not see the advent of high level RTR “Checkbook” cars as being detrimental
in any way to the Hobby."
escalating cost and retail prices as a huge detriment to our hobby.
There is a point when the bubble breaks and the committed modeler says
he's done. Even the "Checkbook' modelers have some
sense. There are quite a few new offerings that I just have said
no to, I can make do without. If I never bought another freight car kit
or RTR "Checkbook model" today I could find enough to do and
never finish them all, the my Grandsons would lots of kits to build. If I
need thirty to forty PRR X29s for starters and I had to pay 30+ dollars for
each "checkbook kit' do the math, I will certainly blend the fleet
with some of the old TMI/WKW X29s. My, my...
[DHN:] This is why I switched to
computer simulated “model railroading”. It makes use of all of same
the knowledge I have accumulated over the years about railroads, operations,
and equipment… it requires “painting, albeit with light, it requires
modeling, albeit in 3d Cad. Aside from the expense of a fairly
powerful PC, which I probably would own anyway, annual expenses for me over
the last ten years is on the order of $40-50.
have a dozen routes --think layouts-- I can operate on (most folks have 2 or
3 times that number), dozens of locomotives, hundreds of freight
Speaking of freight cars, sims can
broaden your interest into areas not found in traditional physical MR… I was
asking Guy Wilber about coupler tests because my freight car files do have
data for coupler strength and there are break-in-twos. There is also
data for rolling resistance the train air line and car brake equipment
too. And so it’s not enough to just put the model on the tracks… you
have to know something about real world physics too (and that’s even more
true for locomotives).
know many of the criticism of train sims and on the whole most are true –
there are indeed a lot of poorly crafted models, but there are also many
very finely done models available if you look for them (including some very
nice X29’s). Ten years of improving quality does make a difference. And a
lot of people complain that operating on a full 110 mile division can be
boring when you’re doing it a 12 inches to the foot, which can be true, but
OTOH there are also a variety of shortline routes that serve very well by
the virtue of their small size (my current project is the Milwaukee Road’s
Division St yard on Goose Island, Chicago, ca 1950. It’s about 4 miles
Perhaps the biggest complaint is you
just can’t pick up your models. True enough. But I can have my
entire collection of “layouts and equipment in a space no larger than my PC
and for my $400-500 of spending over 10 years I have the equivalent of what
would probably cost $50,000, or more. So my checkbook is considerably fatter
than had I staid in physical model railroading.
not lookin’ back.