I’ve been thinking in recent weeks about ‘why’ I actually model railways. What do I really enjoy about model railways? And conversely, what frustrates me when I don’t seem to find the time to get anything done (as at present). But as I was getting to put ‘keyboard to screen’ this week, I came across an post and a couple of responses to said post that put it all down better than I could. (Not that I agreed with all of it, but it made me think).
So the next four posts will be re-blogs of the original article and two responses, plus my rather derivative thoughts. I might sneak in a cheerful post somewhere along the line about a couple of recent train crashes, provided by Allan.
I’ll start with Mike Cougill’s OST Blog. I know I’ve mentioned Mike before, as his small O-fine layout and modelling is inspirational, and his ideas often helpful and challenging (as characterised by the Missing Conversation series of e-books). Here’s his article, reproduced in full I’m afraid, as it’s difficult just to quote from it. (But slightly reformatted – sorry, the report writer in me took over). For the full post and comments, go to here.
Premise: Model Railroading is not fun.
- Is model railroading frustrating?
- Why do people find aspects of it so frustrating?
- Why is fun a prerequisite for a hobby?
- What constitutes fun?
- When is model railroading fun?
- Is model railroading always fun (that is, people automatically have fun when doing it), or is it fun because people find meaningful ways to pursue it?
- Are there assumptions about fun and this hobby?
- What assumptions?
- What assumptions do we bring?
- Why do we bring any assumptions to it?
- Where or how do such assumptions begin?
- Are assumptions hurting the hobby?
- Why don’t we challenge assumptions about the hobby?
- Are people afraid to challenge their assumptions about model railroading?
- What would happen if more people did?
- Would people still be having fun?
- Would that result in a better hobby?
Boiling it down to three questions:
- Are decades old assumptions hurting or helping model railroading?
- Why are people adverse to talking about all this?
- What would happen if we did?
The answers dear reader, should you choose to pursue them, are entirely up to you.
If all that’s a bit heavy for you, just go and run a train or hack some plastic or brass about! But it struck a few chords with me and next time I’ll genuinely repost a response from another blog. Happy modelling – even if it’s not much fun!