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Deterrant for newcomers

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Deterrant for newcomers
Posted by Kelly Shaw on Friday, December 5, 2003 9:18 AM
Deterrant for newcomers
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Posted by vsmith on Friday, December 5, 2003 9:54 AM
I'm kinda split on this.

I want to say COST, but then I realized that there are low cost options to getting started like Bachmann sets or just getting a HLW Mack (a great little engine) for less than $50 and a couple of cars, a small basic oval of track and your good to go.

The COST factor becomes an issue when its time to start making a larger layout, then things can get VERY pricey, like $50 for an LGB 16000 switch and thats at a discount supplier. A regular hobby shop can ask up to $90 big ones for that. Total up how much your trackwork cost and then think about a newby realizing his trackwork will cost him $500. Not to mention powerpacks, controls, wiring, etc. Thats alot of green for most people and might just switch them to another scale.That alone may discourage many people from trying.

Also the LABOR factor has probably ended a few layouts before they ever got finished. Building one of these outdoor layouts is a hell of a lotta work when you think about it -vs- nailing some track down to a sheet of plywood in HO. We end up putting a lot of sweat into our layouts. Most of us never probably thought of it as TOIL, but a lot might.

And finally the lack of SPACE is a deterrant to many. Lets face it...

GARDEN RRs TAKE UP A HELL OF A LOTTA SPACE. PERIOD.

Lets just accept that as fact. Most yards, my own included, did not allow me to plan using anything larger than a 5' diameter curve. There just wasn't the space where I had planned to put it. Out here on the west coast new houses are getting bigger but the yards are getting way smaller, some ony 10' deep. The trouble is that th LS makers are moving more and more toward engines and cars that REQUIRE wide radius turns, often 8' diameter. This in itself might limit those who can accomodate the wide turns in thier yards, not all of us live on an acre of land.

Its is do-able to make a good layout using R1 curves in a tight space ( my own is 8' x 20' indoors) but its not going to have the "sweep" or "vista" of a larger layout.

Theres alot of information to building an outdoor layout save on thing...

WIRING...Why is there no ( I repeat NONE) book, pamphlet, outside of LGB or DCC on ways of wiring and controling an outdoor layout? I am thinking particularly about newbies or poorbies who cant afford DCC or R/C.

We are left to our own devices when it come to ways of running power to our tracks, switches, etc. This is kinda dangerous to me. The books out there are minimal at best when it comes to ways of hooking up power to the tracks, controlling blocks, etc, and I have seen nothing outside of LGB's multi-train system (VERY $$$) or DCC (also $$$) or R/C to deal with this for newcomers who might want to make something more than a basic oval but less cant afford these other options.

Just some thoughts from the Old-Aliigator-Mouth

Later, Vic

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by bman36 on Friday, December 5, 2003 12:26 PM
Hi there,
From the kinda' toys I have seen sold at my local hobby shop, cost is not a huge issue. Yes some items are VERY pricey but others as Vic mentioned are not. City dwellers will always be limited with the space issue. I have a large lot but many do not when a garage is added or play area for the kids. Some people may just be plain afraid to dig up their yard! I think Large Scale is a wonderful for size for detail. Smaller scales do not compare when you look at the overall picture. Our buildings in Large Scale are awesome but do require a lot of space. I think the deterrant will be different in everyones' case. In my own case I simply could not afford Large Scale until a few years ago. Life can be expensive. Glad I made the switch to the big stuff. Later eh...Brian.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 5, 2003 3:29 PM
Well, I agree with vsmith that all these factors are deterants to our scale. I voted that the scale/gauge mess is the biggest deterant because I have seen many people very confused. This poll is very similar to the "greatest enemy" poll a few months ago. The fact that there are probably 5 or more different scales reffered to and the fact that most of use Gauge 1 track and not gauge 0 is very confusing at first. To most people looking into Large Scale from the smaller scales, there is a definate scale that the trains are run in and both narrowgauge track andstandard gauge track. Because the average railroader runs narrow gauge and standard on the same track is very confusing.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 7, 2003 9:11 AM
When I decided to dabble into the hobby of G scale railroading the cost of rolling stock and locos was not a big issue. However as I began to plan my layout the cost of track soon became a real issue. I am now in my third year on the GreenCrow Garden Railway and by adding 50 feet or so of new track each year the cost is not that prohibitive. I planned my layout keeping in mind where I would go next year. I now have over 200 feet of track and plans for much more expansion in the future. Dara
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 7, 2003 2:02 PM
Scale and gauge confusion - The scale issue is kind of funny!! Who cares!!.

Cost - The first thing that scared me was the price. Compared to other model RR stuff it is higher priced. Compared to other hobbies it is not to bad. RC planes are expensive, helicopters even more.

No yard/area to build - I have a garden RR because I can't afford any room inside for an HO or N set up. People who live in apartments or condos don't have access to land, thats where clubs come in to play. If you have no club, well ??

Lack of information/resources - All the information you want is on the internet.

Having said all this the only deterrant to newcomers is not wanting it bad enough. Once you get rid of the butterflies you will be an expert like the rest of us!!!

Peter
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Posted by mkblk on Sunday, December 7, 2003 4:18 PM
I voted for Scale and Gauge Confusion [?] .

It seems that the other options are applicable to any hobby, but the one thing that caused me to question how badly I wanted to get involved in Garden Railroading was the scale issue. The first piece of rolling stock I purchased was a Bachmann 1:20.3 scale combine. Boy, was I surprised [:0] at the size of that sucker! My plan was to buy a live steam Ruby 1:20.3 (which I eventually did [:D] ) and the combine was to be the passenger portion of the railroad (obviously I'm thinking small). I then purchased a caboose and a gondola, both in 1:20.3. Meanwhile, since the sickness [:p] is taking hold, I believe Santa is bringing an Aristo-craft snowplow [8D] gondola. Now this particular piece of rolling stock is 1:24 (somewhat smaller than my other rolling stock items). Back to this later...

In the meantime, I subsribed to Garden Railways [:)] magazine, surfed the net to learn as much as possible about G "scale" and read, read, read. There is a wealth of information available, much of it free. And, model railroaders, being who they are, love nothing more than sharing their infinite knowledge with any one that asks (actually, you often don't even have to ask! [:)] ). If you're reading this, you know how true this is (just check out any of the dozens of forums in Trains.com and other sites).

Well, being I'll soon have an undersized gondola, will I be upset over it? Naw, it'll only be about an inch shorter and really won't be noticeable. But, if I mixed 1:20 and 1:32 rolling stock, that (to me) would be sacrilege. The difference is just too noticeable. In other gauges, 0, HO, N, even Z scale is pretty much well established, with few exceptions. Tinplate is a big exception... I won't go there (I love them too!).

What would help? I think all manufacturer's of G scale equipment should clearly identify their products with the actual scale. Some products, such as structures can be used regardless of their actual scale by proper placement in the layout. This can actually be advantageous to provide a sense depth or distance. But, rolling stock, as when coupling a 1:20 to a 1:32, just doesn't look right. Remember, most 1:32 scale running on #1 gauge track is running on "standard" gauge, while most 1:20 scale stuff running on the same #1 gauge track is running on "narrow" gauge. At least one manufacturer, Aristo-craft, offers their track in both configurations (by adjusting tie spacing).

Finally, just to further confuse the issue, I think that selective compression can be a good thing! Remember, some of us are very limited in the amount of space available, others have acres to play in. Mostly, have fun! [:)] This is a great hobby no matter what your persuasion!

Martin Kern
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Posted by cacole on Sunday, December 7, 2003 4:44 PM
I voted for COST, but feel that another category could be added, and that is Lack of Models and/or Supplies. I've been waiting for over 6 months to receive an AirWire 900 DCC system from CVP Products, and still don't know when it might actually be available. Their original target date was August 2003, but has slipped to January 2004, and will probably slip again by then. I also have an Aristo Craft locomotive on back-order, and have heard nothing from them about when I can expect delivery. This problem is not unique to G-scale, either. I also model in HO scale, and I have noticed a definite trend for companies to announce a product nearly a year before actual delivery. It seems that a lot of them are seeing how many advance orders they receive before placing the items into production, and perhaps even not producing the item at all if sufficient interest is not generated. Since all items come from China nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that every company is using this tactic.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 7, 2003 8:43 PM
I just thought I would pipe up on this subject again to try and keep it on track.

The one thing that we all were at one time in this hobby was a beginner, a new comer. With all the past experience that some of us might have with other types of model RRing, once we stepped up to the plate and took a swing at large scale we learned that knuckle balls are the course of the day. With an occasional fastball, which we crush, if we are ready for it. The more at-bats, the better we will become. The better the hobby will become.

I don't know if things will change with the scale issue, anyone who tosses the knuckle ball isn't going to give it up. It can be hit, you just have to be ready for it. All the scales are going to be available, forever, none are going to go away, which one are we going to swing at?! Knuckle balls are hard to hit, all the pitches we swing at look good for a split second. But swing we do and we must accept that, its going to be a strike or a hit.!

The longer you have been around this end of the hobby the more you become familiar with the price of things. Getting a good deal on ebay or at the retail store is fulfilling and you can really feel good about holding out for the right pitch to send over the wall. Crushing the fastball is always fun.

The cost and scale issues really seem to put people on edge. The longer we stay in the hobby and the longer we make it a main stream aspect of model railroading will make the newcomer alot more comfortable to join us. Hopefully the work we do today will make the newcomers problems of today a thing of the past.

Got 2 feet of snow this weekend. Thats about 48 feet of scale snow if your in 1:24 or .........there it is again, darn knuckle ball!!

Happy Holidays to All!!
Peter
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Posted by vsmith on Monday, December 8, 2003 10:42 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by cacole

I voted for COST, but feel that another category could be added, and that is Lack of Models and/or Supplies. I've been waiting for over 6 months to receive an AirWire 900 DCC system from CVP Products, and still don't know when it might actually be available. Their original target date was August 2003, but has slipped to January 2004, and will probably slip again by then. I also have an Aristo Craft locomotive on back-order, and have heard nothing from them about when I can expect delivery. This problem is not unique to G-scale, either. I also model in HO scale, and I have noticed a definite trend for companies to announce a product nearly a year before actual delivery. It seems that a lot of them are seeing how many advance orders they receive before placing the items into production, and perhaps even not producing the item at all if sufficient interest is not generated. Since all items come from China nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that every company is using this tactic.



The Lack of Models issue is more for those of use that have been in the hobby for a while.

For beginners getting that Bachmann Christmas express train that we have visions of running in the backyard is a big deal,and enough theres enough to keep one busy just getting started.

But after a while once you get serious about what you want to run on your layout , then the serious lack of even basic models can be very frustrating. I'd been waiting for SOMEONE to make a narrow gauge 0-6-0 type mining or plantation engine when Bachmann anounced the 2-6-0 mining mogul last year and this year they released the revised 0-4-0 porter, another really nice engine. But aside from Bachmann no other makers have released much in large scale narrow gauge, the new product trend seams to be toward 1:32 standard guage.

That has me concerned enough to push myself doing kitbashing and scratchbuilding to try to fill the gaps that I see as inevitable if LS goes more standard guage.

I really believe we need to push for a clear designation difference when discussing scales. This needs to be clearly shown by manufacturers when they sell there product. This needs to be shown on the box, that its F scale or G scale or H scale and we need to educate beginners more so that they know the differences between F scale and H scale.

This will not be easy since they run on the same track but if they can do it with S scale and HO scale ( both on the same track just different scales) why not do the same with LS?

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by mkblk on Monday, December 8, 2003 5:48 PM
Peter,

I guess that new 1:24 snowplow of mine would have to concentrate on making tunnels through your 48 scale feet of snow. Of course, on MY 1:20 railroad, it would only be about 45 scale feet; but maybe I could trade up to a 1:32 scale rotary snow plow (but that would only punch smaller holes through that 60 scale feet of snow that the engine couldn't get through! I'm losing it!

Happy Holidays to All!

MK

P.S. My head hurts. Maybe someone with nothing else to do will calculate the actual height of that snow in each scale!
Martin Kern
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Posted by jtrost on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 9:31 AM
I'm not certain you can pin it down to any one thing, although cost has to be a big factor. I went aluminum rail and spiked it myself to lower the cost. Of course this meant going battery power to overcome the problems with aluminum. Conversion cost 2 to 3 times the cost of the loco (and that was a relatively expensive Spectrum series shay). Not so sure space is a critical factor. One local modeler dug out under his house and has an impressive layout in what was the crawl space. Yes, scale is a factor but I think most folks just go with what looks good and don't worry much about scale. Then there is $300 to $500 for a bridge, over $100 for a plastic water tower, and on-and-on.

Lack of info may be a factor. I, as a beginner, have occasionally been treated like a dummy by some of the "old timers". Some seem too impressed with themselves to help the new guy.

Unavailability of "stuff" drove me out of N Scale years ago. I have found a similar situation with G. Go to my best local hobby shop for some couplers only to find that they are out of the ones I need and getting them can take months. I have waited over 6 months for a couple of turnout kits. Very frustrating.

However, I still think model railroading is great and we shouldn't let these gripes deter us, or anyone with an interest from getting into the World's Greatest Hobby. (Someone should make that a slogan.)
WR&C Railroad
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 12:56 PM
the cost is getting a little high on buildings and rolling stock , so i make most of my own buildings, i just made a covered bridge for the train to go through and a water wheel for the pond ,the train goes around. ben
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Posted by RhB_HJ on Thursday, December 18, 2003 8:59 PM
Scale and Gauge: No sweat for those who "just want to run trains", a major annoyance to most who are model railroaders.

Cost: Like any other size of MRR, depends what you want and how much you can do yourself.

No space: Oh really...!? Anyone for a battery powered switching layout?

Lack of info: Anyone who's on the Net and can't find the info needs to brush up on "Search Engines 101".
Cheers HJ http://www.rhb-grischun.ca/ http://www.easternmountainmodels.com
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Posted by rcl1930 on Monday, December 22, 2003 3:09 PM
Getting started isn't that hard or costly. BUT, I think that once you move up from a basic RR, and space and cost can really get out of control unless you really can focus on what you really need. It is easy to wind up a collector as your interests change, and you run out of space.

Rich
Trenton, Nj
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Monday, December 22, 2003 10:23 PM
I voted ,No yard space, cause alot of folks who come through here say the space is limited and the neighbor kids would destroy it. Getting started is hard for most folks in GRY clubs. Alot of want to be's but braking ground is work.[;)]

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

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