Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

"LONE WOLF MODELER"

6545 views
74 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2014
  • 13 posts
Posted by Mirobro on Monday, October 3, 2016 11:04 PM
I have often thought about joining a local club, but my work/travel schedule makes attending any regular meetings or work sessions hard. Second, hobby dollars are finite, If I join a club the money towards dues and such is money that I cannot spend on my home layout. And lastly, the last thing I want is some rivet counter over to my house telling me that I'm doing it wrong. That's not to say when things settle down and I reach a level of completion with my layout that I have the money to divert towards a club, that at that point I would consider joining a club. I'm sure the things I could learn from others would help with my own layout and the things that I've learned could help others.
Modeling the Continental Northern Railroad @ michaelbromander.com
  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,003 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, October 3, 2016 9:50 PM

csxns

 

 
Zandoz
with a lot of armchair experience

 

The Cherryville model RR club will love to have you wish you were close.

 

 

Cherryville, as in North Carolina, the one time home to Carolina Freight, once the largest motor freight company east of the Mississippi?

How cool that Cherryville has a model railroad club.

My father was the Baltimore terminal manager for Carolina Freight from 1968 until 1979.

How is Cherryville these days?

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,003 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, October 3, 2016 9:35 PM

BigDaddy

I went to a well known local MR club.  Six guys were standing around drinkning beer and talking about a bunch of stuff including railroading. They were all nice enough and I have no objections to beer. 

Two guys were running trains.  I thought they might have been only in their 30's.  They were also very nice and we talked about DCC, tho' the club was DC.  I expected there would be way bills and train orders but these guys were just going round and round.  They had electrical pickup issues in a tunnel.  They seem surprised about it, but it left me wondering about track maintenance.

It was not what I was expecting.  I honestly didn't know whether a formal, waybill operating session would appeal to me.   I still don't.  The scenery and structures far surpassed my meager abilities, so I cannot say I have higher standards, but I did not see a reason to go back.

 

 

The thing about clubs is, not every club is a fit for every modeler.......

Generally, people find roles to fill at a club, or they don't stay around long.

But every club I have ever experianced had a few key players who set the tone and standards to be followed.

The one club I belonged to for many years, had a seperate meeting night for serious/time table operation. Their "regular" meeting night was always casual "run what you brung".

The round robin group I was once active in nearly always had planned operating sessions, but not everyone in attendance would always want a "job".

All depends on your goals, in the case of the round robin, each layout owner had their own waybill/train order or CTC system of operation. There are lots of different approaches.......

Maybe you could have become established in that group, found a few others interested in operations, been the leader of such a movement......if you have the social temprament for it.

For me all such social ambition is used up......at least for now......

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Alexandria KY
  • 470 posts
Posted by Zandoz on Monday, October 3, 2016 8:25 PM

csxns
Zandoz
with a lot of armchair experience

The Cherryville model RR club will love to have you wish you were close.

I do appreciate that, and I'd be glad to help out.  I've been into model railroading as an adult since the mid 80s.  I've lost count of the number of layouts I've started, but each time life intervenes.  Sigh

Reality...an interesting concept with no successful applications, that should always be accompanied by a "Do not try this at home" warning.

Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction.

"Oooh...ahhhh...that's how this all starts...but then there's running...and screaming..."

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 7,694 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, October 3, 2016 8:06 PM

I went to a well known local MR club.  Six guys were standing around drinkning beer and talking about a bunch of stuff including railroading. They were all nice enough and I have no objections to beer. 

Two guys were running trains.  I thought they might have been only in their 30's.  They were also very nice and we talked about DCC, tho' the club was DC.  I expected there would be way bills and train orders but these guys were just going round and round.  They had electrical pickup issues in a tunnel.  They seem surprised about it, but it left me wondering about track maintenance.

It was not what I was expecting.  I honestly didn't know whether a formal, waybill operating session would appeal to me.   I still don't.  The scenery and structures far surpassed my meager abilities, so I cannot say I have higher standards, but I did not see a reason to go back.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,003 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, October 3, 2016 7:35 PM

One more thought, a "Lone Wolf", on an internet forum, is the perfect situation for someone who wants to control and limit the amount of time/contact with other modelers.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 1,713 posts
Posted by angelob6660 on Monday, October 3, 2016 6:56 PM

I know I'm a lone wolf.  I don't have friends that are interested in railroading. I have a few family members that listens but not supported. Unless it's up and running for operating.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,003 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, October 3, 2016 5:47 PM

CGW121

I really wonder if a true lone wolf would read this post much less reply to it.

 

Again, it depends on your definition............I choose to have a small social aspect to my modeling, I really consider the social aspect of the hobby completely secondary.......I think that makes me a lone wolf.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: About 20 minutes from IRM
  • 430 posts
Posted by CGW121 on Monday, October 3, 2016 5:34 PM

I really wonder if a true lone wolf would read this post much less reply to it.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,003 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, October 3, 2016 5:07 PM

Well, I am definately in the camp that does not want others to help me build my layout, I want it to be my work. And, I am fussy, that's why my construction clients hire me to work on their 120 year old houses......

As for the social side, I was once a member of a club, no real interest in that any more. I prefer people in small doses, one on one is best. I was very active in a local round robin group for many years, helped others build their layouts, worked open houses, etc.

But I have to say I have lost interest in most of that. More interested in spending my time working on my own stuff. 

Never had much desire to go to meets or conventions, same with train shows, I can scout one for stuff I want and be on my way without spending much time talking to anyone. Don't like noise, crowds, etc.

I do have a few modeler friends in the round robin that I try to keep in touch with individually, but I don't go to the weekly meeting much anymore - too much BS, not enough modeling in my areas of interest. Too many people just buying expensive stuff with sound and DCC, not enough people building anything - or learning anything about railroads............

So for me, the Lone Wolf thing is about purposely limiting the social aspects and giving more of my time to the modeling aspects.....

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Utica, OH
  • 4,000 posts
Posted by jecorbett on Monday, October 3, 2016 4:51 PM

With me it's not a choice. I moved out in the country when I retired and live a long way from my friends in the city. I have one friend who has a large Lionel layout whereas I model HO. I have another friend who is a railroad buff but not a modeler. I haven't met anyone where I live now who is into MR. It would be nice to be part of a regular operating group but it's just not an option for me.

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • From: North Carolina
  • 1,792 posts
Posted by csxns on Monday, October 3, 2016 4:36 PM

Zandoz
with a lot of armchair experience

The Cherryville model RR club will love to have you wish you were close.

Russell

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: west of Portland Oreg.( the city of Roses
  • 530 posts
Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Monday, October 3, 2016 4:02 PM

Medina1128, you are spot on, that's my position also, there's two club layouts that I like to visit, and I get great ideas from them also, and oh yes from MR magazine!!

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: west of Portland Oreg.( the city of Roses
  • 530 posts
Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Monday, October 3, 2016 3:59 PM

Now that I have the heard fro the community, I feel that it's okay to be a Lone Wolf at times, I'm just so proud of our hobby (and my layout) that I just want ot share it with my family, friends and fellow modelers,  I know that when we do have visitors, mostly kids,I find myself kind of nervey, the Mom's would tell the kids, " now look don't touch" I would just smile, and tell them to be careful, I have to remember that this is a hobby, not a contest on who can get there layout done the quickest!!! all will be well, the layout will progress, and when I really need the help, I know I can get it from here on the forums as well as my Hobby shops,  please keep the comments coming!!Big Smile

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 4,171 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Monday, October 3, 2016 3:53 PM

I, too, am a lone wolf. But, there's a model railroad club not too far. I like to make it there from time to time, if for no other reason than to pick up on ideas. Layout pics in MR are great and I've gotten great ideas from them, but they can't cover an entire layout, whereas, seeing a club layout, you can see the little details.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Chamberlain, ME
  • 4,978 posts
Posted by G Paine on Monday, October 3, 2016 3:22 PM

I am a bit of each. At home, I do it all myself, so a lone wolf. I also volunteer at Boothbay Raiway Village to work on the layout there and bring projects home to work on. We have a core group of 5 to 7 who work on various layout projects.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 618 posts
Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Monday, October 3, 2016 3:13 PM

I am a lone wolf modeler. I don't like other people working or touching my layout. They can look and comment but no touch. 

I have been this way for 40 plus years and not about to change now.

I do have freinds in the hobby and I enjoy going to shows. I'm having fun.

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Alexandria KY
  • 470 posts
Posted by Zandoz on Monday, October 3, 2016 2:50 PM
Functionally I'm a lone wolf, but I wish I had friends in the hobby to exchange ideas and generally share the hobby with. I'd love to be part of a club, but it would have to be a club that is accepting of someone with a lot of armchair experience, but not much doing experience beyond benchwork building. And of course it would have to be a handicap friendly group. When it comes to having help with building my layout (if it were big enough to warrant help), I'm on the fence. I like doing things my way, in my time, to my standards. I tend to be overly perfectionist. If I go the lone wolf route, I have no one to be frustrated with but myself. On the other hand, past efforts at building the benchwork for room size layouts have demonstrated that having helping hands would make things go much faster.

Reality...an interesting concept with no successful applications, that should always be accompanied by a "Do not try this at home" warning.

Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction.

"Oooh...ahhhh...that's how this all starts...but then there's running...and screaming..."

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 4,321 posts
Posted by cuyama on Monday, October 3, 2016 2:13 PM

TrainsRMe1
I would like to have a operation session, or a contruction session, fellowshiping with fellow modlerailoders, sharing ideas, stories, tricks to the hobby, how would one get this idea off the ground???

A good first step would be to join the NMRA. Railpass trial membership is $9.95 for six months. During that time, take advantage of local meetings to meet some folks. You may choose not to continue NMRA membership after the trial (although I would), but it would be a way to start to make connections.

For Operations, the Operations SIG has a callboard program and a members list that can connect OpSIG members with local operating layouts. Ten bucks per year with on-line magazine delivery.

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,260 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, October 3, 2016 12:57 PM

carl425
To paraphrase George Thorogood: Ya know when I model alone, I prefer to be by myself.

As far as my own modelling and layout-building, I'm definitely in agreement with Carl on this one.


However, I do socialise with other local modellers, several of whom are good friends, and have worked with some of them on their layouts when they asked for assistance.
I've also made a great many friends through on-line train forums and met many of them in person, too, so I'm definitely not anti-social.

I do attend a few train shows and participate (as a spectator only) in layout tours held locally or nearby.  My wife, like Chuck's, isn't keen on strangers visiting, especially those nutty train people. Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Forums such as this are especially useful for those of us who are less comfortable, for whatever reasons, in face-to-face social settings, and provide a good place to exchange knowledge and display our work.
It also affords us lone wolf types of all sorts to control contact and exposure to whatever degree best suits each individual, in much the same manner as most of us control the modelled reality on our layouts....my world my way, your world yours. Wink

Wayne

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 774 posts
Posted by davidmurray on Monday, October 3, 2016 12:12 PM

When it comes to working on my layout, by choice I do it.  However if starting over at my age, I would need help building benchwork.

For operating, I have fellow modelrailroaders come in on Monday evenings.  Suggestions are sometimes made, and may be acted on, or not.

I was in a club of twenty years, some good people, some learning done, some things to be desired.

Dave

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,739 posts
Posted by dknelson on Monday, October 3, 2016 12:04 PM

I always took the phrase "lone wolf" modeler to mean a guy who did not associate with other modelers.  I think lots of guys prefer to work on their layouts by themselves but nonetheless go to meets, clinics, layout tours, trains shows, and so on, and pal around with modelers and railfans.  

I work on my layout by myself but hardly regard myself as a lone wolf modeler since I go to just about any rail or model rail event or show that I can, give as many clinics as I can find NMRA divisions who want me, and most of my closest friends are fellow modelers.  

I know one guy who in my estimation really is a lone wolf.  It was by pure happenstance that I even learned he was a model railroader.  He never goes to shows, or meets, slide evenings, or layout tours.  He has never seen another person's home layout evidently.  He does not subscribe to any model railroad magazine (and obviously is not an NMRA member or member of any rail historical society, even though he models the Rio Grande in N). He buys by mail and never goes to any of the local shops.

I have offered him back issues of NMRA magazines or the loan of some of my model railroad books and magazines and catalogs and he refuses.  Not rudely.  I asked to see his layout and he flatly refused, again not rudely, but firmly.  I socialize with him in another context (both retired from the same employer, as is his wife whom I have met) and he is very sociable and funny, and no hermit.  But clearly he does not regard model railroading as an interest to be shared with anybody, anywhere, anytime.   Music yes.  Golf yes.  Model railroading no.

Now THAT is a lone wolf.  

Dave Nelson 

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,914 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Monday, October 3, 2016 12:00 PM

Due to my choices, prototype and methods, I am the ultimate lone wolf.  Health problems (including recent surgery on a cancerous colon) and my wife's distrust of strangers limits visitors to family members, none of whom are model railroaders.

As for inviting others to assist in construction, almost everything I do is non-standard and some of my better tricks are counter-intuitive.  I would spend more time explaining what I want done than I spend doing it myself.

I have gone the club route.  In fact, I've held just about every elective office and several appointed offices.  What I took away from those experiences is that my way is always at an angle to the majority, that a lot of people like to argue for the sake of argument and that I don't suffer fools (or foolishness) gladly.  If this makes me an elitist, so be it.

OTOH, I am NOT anti-social.  Nor am I a hermit.  These forums provide a way to compensate for limited mobility, and have provided me with a source of information about materials and techniques that have improved my (admittedly mediocre) work.  They also provide an occasional smile, and opportunity to use my almost 79 years seniority as a model railroader to give others a helping hand.  Being able to do that is well worth the price of entry...

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - NYC before that, but no longer)

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • 1,178 posts
Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, October 3, 2016 11:56 AM

I am a lone wolf modeler.  That is not to say I wouldn't appreciate some help, but the very few people I know personally, who are into trains, are all pretty busy with their lives.  I've offered to help one friend when he gets to the layout stage, but he's not there yet.

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,016 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, October 3, 2016 11:38 AM

For home, lone wolf.  I live in an area where there is very little parking for visitors anyway.  But I do some modular club running occasionally too.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 15,652 posts
Posted by tstage on Monday, October 3, 2016 11:13 AM

I belonged to club one time.  I found the attention to detail when building just the benchwork was NOT the same among club members and building sessions ended up being more counter-productive than productive sometimes. Sigh

I set a pretty high standard for myself.  While I try to be patient and not foist that on others, it's hard when certain specifics end up affecting overall layout design and functionality.  For this reason I tend to be a lone wolf in that respect.  And, if something goes wrong, there's only ONE person to blame - me.

That said, I very much enjoy gleaning and dissiminating modeling information that proves to be beneficial to me, as well as to others.  So, maybe I'm more a 70%/30% lone wolf.  Otherwise, I wouldn't hang around this forum at all.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Saskatchewan
  • 2,201 posts
Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Monday, October 3, 2016 10:46 AM

Whistling

Johnboy is definatly a Lone Wolf, until hopefully, when my Grandson gets old enough to take a bigger part in building and operating.

I do love the Forums though and have gleaned much from the contributors on them.

Thanks again and always to our Hosts at Model Railroader for their Forums for us.

Johnboy out.....

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North.. 

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

Bis
  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: E Texas
  • 211 posts
Posted by Bis on Monday, October 3, 2016 10:31 AM

Living in a town of 292 and the nearest hobby store is 100 miles away, I am forced to be a lone wolf. I would love to have someone to talk to about trains. Thank goodness for the forum.

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • From: Pittsburgh, PA
  • 439 posts
Posted by ctyclsscs on Monday, October 3, 2016 9:57 AM

If I was building a layout, I'm not sure if I would want help with it. But, I have many local friends that I see all the time. We see each other at NMRA monthly meetings, train shows or just have lunch once in a while. I also can call them at anytime to discuss an idea or to ask for help with a problem. I met most of them at the local hobby shop or through the NMRA when I joined. I've been friends with some for about 35 years.

It's a lot more difficult to meet folks at hobby shops these days since most of them have closed around me, but I still meet new folks at NMRA events. It really only takes meeting or two people who can introduce you to others.

I don't want to turn this into a pros or cons of the NMRA, but it may be a way to meet a few people. It's also an easy way to observe folks to see who may have the same interests as you. I resisted joining for years until one older friend asked me to attend a local NMRA mini-meet with him. As it turns out, during dinner, I was seated across the table from a fellow who built a trolley layout I had been drooling over for years after seeing it in RMC. I had no idea he lived in the area and we've been friends ever since.

I don't think I would have enjoyed the hobby even a fraction of what I have if it wasn't for all of the friends I've made over the years.

Jim

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 5,781 posts
Posted by rrebell on Monday, October 3, 2016 9:39 AM

I'm a lone wolf but not by choise. My freinds that were in the hobby have mostly left the area or been forced to quit the hobby. All the local hobby shops are gone and so are the clubs. Clubs futher out always seem to have issues and little common sence and they always seem to turn a blind eye to the realitys of life, same problen of all the clubs that were close by, that is why they are gone now.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!