Sunday, 7 September 2014

Satisfied or satisfaction in the hobby. OR The procrastinators delight.

A modeller in our group who is in his 90's had a nice layout, U. S based & while there were some problems at times, with short circuits, & in a couple of unseen sections of the layout, it was a generally pleasing layout to visit & operate on.  Earlier in the year we all arrived to find the layout bar the main benchwork all gone, ripped up & he was ready to start building a new layout.  Start a new layout at his age??  WHY, surelly the bugs could be eradicated & the like but a full new layout, sheesh many have not even got their layouts to operating condition at a much younger age.

Seems this was not an unusual thing for him as he has done it, well so I am told around 4 times or more before.  Seems the reason is simple, he gets bored with what he has & wants something different.  He also gets a lot of satisfaction in the actual building of the layout & planning in what he does.

Looking at the old layout, detail was good, but like many other layouts, there was a lot of it & very U.S styled with buildings mainly from plastic kits & the like, most trains were as they were out of the box, including locomotives & R/S.  Its been some months now since visiting the layout, but I cannot reccolect the models being weathered of other detail done to them, thus a build & run aspect was/is primary to his interest in Model Railways.

In 2004, AMRM editor of the time Bob Gallagher did interviews over a few editions regarding the "NEW AGE" of model railways, with expansion into China of RTR locomotives as well as other items.  The first interview was with the then head of TOR Phil Gibson, & the add for the new 44cl. A later interview was with John Eassie of Austrains, & the new Eureka proprietor Ron Cunningham.

10 years since that 44cl & the other announcements, a lot has happened over that time, many models have come, TOR has changed ownership, & John Eassie is openly saying he is withdrawing, & no more new models will be produced, also the business will be sold if a buyer comes up with the money.

10 years, ago I was restarting in the hobby, enthused at all the promises that were made & looking forward to what the various sooth sayers were promising & had in the future's or crystal ball sightings. At that time with the promises I divested myself of a lot of the old models, an original Dockyard garratt was sold but that provided an earlier airfare to China to capture the last country with heavy steam working, something that drew me back 4 more times in that decade.

With our move here to the central coast & the layout going ahead, another operation just past, to mount 5 operations in 6 years, with a couple to come, I still look to how many of those promises have come to fruition. Not all the fault of the proprietors, but still dissapointing I guess.  However, on reflection, these delays & non fulfilment of the promises has provided me & I know many others who have said the same thing, & that is we have all found other areas in the hobby as much, & in many ways more fulfilling & providing satisfaction than opening a box & sharing in the new wonder term of the MR hobby, being a Plonker.

At the moment, 99.9% of my track is in place, just an abatoirs link is to be built, I have enough loco's & R/S to run trains to my satisfcation or needs.  I do need to finish off some passenger carriages & other R/S items, but they are boxed away, & will, or at least intended to get finished on day. But!. I have to say that the actual running of those models or trains no longer has the depth of interest to me, sure there are some locomotives I will still be getting, if they ever get here, & some R/S items I would like, if they ever get here, but! (again) I have to say that I too am getting a lot more satisfaction out of the construction aspects of the layout.

So much so, that I was looking at one part of the layout that I thought was finished, but it was one part that annoyed me the more I looked at it.  Its really only a small thing that annoyed but enough to rip up the section in question at what I called Coxes Crossing.
The photo shows how it was originally, & what was annoying to me was the way the creek turned out after reading & hearing of the way to use clear varnish to layer water for a layout.  I had spent time detailing the shallow area & took some time in layering the varnish ensuring completely dried prior to the next layer, along with edge painting.  When finished it looked reasonable but last summer with hot days, the smell from the varnish started to get overpowering, also the whole lot became soft on days when the temperature exceeded 30degrees.  I started to get concerned with the vapor & potential for it to cause a fire. Paranoid maybe, but still the more I looked & thought the worse it has gotten. 

Thus it got the bettter of me, when I started to work a bridge crossing in place, & out came a chisel & I took to it in a small section, the overall softness of the varnish, supposedly clear was quite amazing when it says it sets hard, only the top layer of around 1mm was anywhere close to being hard, but certainly not as hard as I expected. A good afternoon had the primary area removed, & a new bottom area prepared, a tin of Casting resin from Bunnings will now form the basis of the water feature along with other redesign of the area around the stock yards & goods shed.

In the fill in times, a station building for Moblayne takes shape as does the station itself, the deck for the goods shed also nears finishing, more areas of scenic work has really provided a good amount of satisfaction, & not a train has run since the last meeting here.

What this level of satisfaction also does is to allow me time to get the items done that provides the delight for the ultimate procrastinator, if the spellings wrong, well that also goes or fits in well with being satisfied with the hobby in a new way.  Essence, is essentially coming together, & in a way I wonder if I ever will finish it, maybe knowing that, is the ultimate in satisfaction, unless I think ripping the whole layout up & starting again is the way to go.


  1. Colin

    Nicely put, to me the enjoyment I get from our hobby is the journey not the destination.

    Ray P

    1. Ray

      Old saying & apt I think. Perhaps its something that may well be something that needs to be explained out in other arena's.


  2. Col,

    Thanks for your post. I'm just catching up with a number of blog posts after being away from the internet for a week plus.

    I suspect that we all derive satisfaction from this multi-faceted hobby in different ways. Sometimes the differences are small and frequently they are complementary but overall, it's a hobby and when we stop enjoying it, it is probably time to move on to something else or perhaps start again in a different direction even if one is over 90.

    cheers Phil

    1. Phil

      The aspect in all of this is how do we keep the interest levels up that leads to the satisfaction levels, or in a previous post when I spoke of fun or enjoyment.

      To many the simple fact of getting the new u boot model out of its box, put on the track & run it is their ultimate, the other areas often do not matter as that is all they are after, its not a problem for them at all, & that is one area of the hobby.

      Another area is that of those who want it all to be just this way or that, no compromise, that includes the items such as all detail, scale dimenisons etc. Again that is their area where they gain their enjoyment & levels of satisfaction.

      There are also those who build layouts & run for a while, then rebuild it as I have said with one modeller, then there are those who have to change detail, or add it, nothing out of the box ends up being a long term out of the box, certainly the list goes on.

      I believe we all change as time goes on, preferences & ideas for what we are doing in the hobby are almost always on the mind, & a striving towards the next project again the list goes on.

      In a sense, if we ask ourselves the question of "do I really want to finish the layout? Perhaps deep down the answer would be no, or not really as what is left to do, in order to maintain the same level of satisfaction that each steps gives us?