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Young Modelers DO Exist in This Hobby!

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Young Modelers DO Exist in This Hobby!
Posted by Trainman440 on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 8:58 AM

This a reply to the "MRR costs an arm and a leg" topic.

Its sort of branches off from the thread so I figured Id make it a seperate post. I admit I didnt read through all 245 replies so what I say might have already been repeated. Forgive me. 

----------------------------

We young modelers do exist. Yes, there aren't a ton of us out here, but I've actually met a surprising number of fellow serious young modelers.

No, we don't have the huge income (some) people seem to believe. We cant afford all the new RTR engines and cars just like everyone else in this hobby. 

We rely on other methods such a 3d printing and (attempt to) kitbashing to build our stuff. Or search tirelessly through ebay and shows for deals. 

I myself have a pretty large collection. It was entirely funded by doing restoration repair work and from reselling (and other hustles). I dont have a magical money vault.

There are some young YTbers who buy and fix "junk", rarely ever doing any serious work. I personally dont like to associate with them (SMT mainline comes to mind). There are many of us who are serious about this hobby too. We do fairly complex repair and restoration work. Repower & remotoring, striving for accuracy and detail, etc. 

The problem is, we don't share our work too much on forums or sites like this. I and many others use instagram a lot, and post all my work there (link is down below lol). I realize most modelers don't have an instagram account, some dont even know what it is. That's why the young modeler community is often forgotten and unseen by the older folk for the most part. The sites we use are not the same as the sites you use. I currently use my facebook account for the sole purpose of joining some of the model train community groups. 

Another issue is that it often feels like some older modelers appear very unfriendly to us. Ive gotten used to it at this point, but the amount of condescending sellers at train shows is ridiculous. People who say "do you even know what brass is?" or "oh you model PRR? well take a look at this junker life-like 0-4-0 here", etc. Modelers who aren't friendly to new/young modelers, yet complain about why the hobby is dying just baffle me. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Of course I dont want to overgeneralize. Ive met numerous very nice experienced modelers who were extremely helpful. but I can say that meeting intimidating snobby modeler puts a bad taste in my mouth and could be a deterrent for many new comers from this hobby. 

To clarify, I cant represent the entire young adult community, but rather just my personal experience and the experience of a few of my friends. 

Still, we are a minority. An often underrepresented and forgotten minority. Just wanted to say that we do exist though! If you see one of us at a train show, understand that we really are trying our best to enjoy the hobby, even when we're overpaying for a new engine, or buying some old junkers to mess around with. 

Food for thought!

Charles

PS the goal of this post was not to criticize anyone, nor to provide suggestions in finding a solution. Rather, it was written to hopefully provide insight from an alternative prospective, and reasoning for why things might be the way they are. 

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Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 9:20 AM

Judging by the number of younger modelers I see at train shows I have no doubt the hobby is in good hands. I really enjoy interacting with kids and find myself answering a lot of questions they seem to have. 

I was heading into town early one morning and the kid down the road was on his bike heading out, so as always I stopped and picked him up and threw his bike in the back of the truck as it is nine miles to town. Turns out he got a job at Mcdonald's at $22.00 an hour. He works 10 hours Saturday and 10 hours Sunday and pulls in $600.00 every weekend. He is not a train guy but if he was $600.00 a week would cover a lot of MRR stuff.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 

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Posted by MJ4562 on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 9:46 AM

Trainman440

We young modelers do exist. Yes, there aren't a ton of us out here, but I've actually met a surprising number of fellow serious young modelers.

No, we don't have the huge income people seem to believe. We cant afford all the new RTR engines and cars just like everyone else in this hobby. 

The problem is, we don't share our work too much on forums or sites like this. I and many others use instagram a lot, and post all my work there (link is down below lol). I realize most modelers don't have an instagram account, some dont even know what it is. That's why the young modeler community is forgotten and unseen by the older folk for the most part. And its kind of a problem...we each use different sources of media with little overlap. 

Another issue is that it often feels like some older modelers appear very unfriendly to us. Ive gotten used to it at this point, but the amount of condescending sellers at train shows is ridiculous. People who say "do you even know what brass is?" or "oh you model PRR? well take a look at this junker life-like 0-4-0 here", etc. Modelers who aren't friendly to new/young modelers, yet complain about why the hobby is dying just baffle me. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Of course I dont want to overgeneralize. Ive met numerous very nice experienced modelers who were extremely helpful. but I can say that meeting some experienced snobby modeler puts a bad taste in my mouth and may deter many new comers from this hobby. 

Food for thought.

Cheers,

Charles

Sounds like not much has changed in 40 years. Much as I remember it from childhood/adolescence.  

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 9:54 AM

Trainman440

Another issue is that it often feels like some older modelers appear very unfriendly to us. Ive gotten used to it at this point, but the amount of condescending sellers at train shows is ridiculous. People who say "do you even know what brass is?" or "oh you model PRR? well take a look at this junker life-like 0-4-0 here", etc. Modelers who aren't friendly to new/young modelers, yet complain about why the hobby is dying just baffle me. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Of course I dont want to overgeneralize. Ive met numerous very nice experienced modelers who were extremely helpful. but I can say that meeting some experienced snobby modeler puts a bad taste in my mouth and may deter many new comers from this hobby. 

This particular point stands out in my mind. I am getting up there in years myself, but it always amazes me at how stuffy and crabby some older modelers can be.

The members of this forum don't seem to be that way, but when several local hobby shops were still open in my area, the owners and employees were fine, but there were always small groups of "old timers" sitting along the window sills, silently intimidating the rest of us shoppers by their presence. Just hanging around, talking loudly, complaining, whatever. The train shows were even worse, so I stopped going to them.

I think that experiences like that lend to the thought that model railroading is an old man's hobby.

Rich

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 12:00 PM

I do see young modelers doing serious and excellent work at train shows and elsewhere, and it is also my experience that it is young and "younger" modelers who are leading the way in what 3D printing can do for the hobby, some to the extent of becoming manufacturers.

I also agree with Rich that some grouchy geezers are just the worst advertising for model railroading as a hobby.  

There is no particular reason to think the generational issues in the hobby will be all that much different than generational divides in music and entertainment.   But I do feel sorry for young model railroaders because of the costs of the hobby, and how those costs are reflected in available goods. 

There was a progression to an earlier era of model railroad materials that isn't there any more.  Plastic kits were cheap, but Plasticville was cheaper and at least a few Plasticville items (signal bridge, ranch house, home under construction) were credible models.  Balsa, not the greatest material maybe but look what E.L. Moore could do with it: balsa used to be dirt cheap, and plentiful at the LHS.  If you wanted to try your hand at detailing or modifying a locomotive or freight car, maybe those beautiful Kemtron or Cal-Scale lost wax brass castings were outside your price range, but the Selley line of white metal castings was really inexpensive, and with careful work you'd get good results and learn a few things about working with tools, materials and adhesives to boot. 

Consider the Kurtz-Kraft boxcar kits: separately applied details, accurate, a genuine challenge but no special tools or cements needed that a teen who built plastic autos or airplanes didn't already have.  And they cost less than a buck, plus you'd need trucks and couplers.  Build a few of those and you were ready for the next level, perhaps Pacific HO or the Ambroid kits.

That is what is different about today.  There might not even BE a next level but if there is, both it and the lower level really do not encourage someone just trying to get their feet wet with a skill or with the hobby at large.  It isn't just the costs are high.  It's that the high costs are too often seemingly unrelated to what you get. 

Try pricing "pre-built" Plasticville at a train show (assuming you can even wrap your mind around the whole concept of pre-built Plasticville).  Don't tell me about tooling costs.  The cost of that tooling was fully amortized around, oh, 1958.  I rest my case.     

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 8:42 PM

Bravo Charles!

As a young (47) model train person, I can attest to much of what you said.  We are a minority but a strong one.  We are the folks who understand a lot of how to use technology to showcase our efforts, seek advice, and remain attuned to relevant developments.

You bring up a lot of other soild points and commend you for taking the discussion in a different direction.  It seems that a few (very few) forget that their negative comments can scare away folks from trying this hobby.  Whether intentional or not is not for me to judge, but I hope they understand that they too started somewhere. 

 

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Posted by Enzoamps on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 8:57 PM

I am a crusty old so and so.  I am not hostile, heck I am downright friendly.  But do stay off my lawn.  Actually it isn't my lawn, I live in an old folks home.  I think the internet changed things.  Especially impressions.  These days an interest group gathers online in some format or other.  You get 100 people active in such a group and that is huge participation, a very active group.   When I was a young fellow 60-70 years ago, if there were 100 like minded guys around the country, I would have no way of knowing any of them.  I might find one or two as "pen pals".  SO what may seem vibrant now would not have been a few generations ago.

I often see references to 3D printing and train show surfing for cheap goods, but to me that implies a more advanced "young person".  No one starts out with a 3D printer and enough knowledge to find train shows and shop at them wisely.  How many 12 year olds have that going?  I know many have income, but many don't.  I had a paper route.  I don't know that they even HAVE paper routes anymore, at least not for 12 year old boys.

My first layout was Lionel on an old bedroom door.  The raised parts between panels of the door became streets.  Dad extended one side of the door for more room.  That was 70 yeats ago, and I loved my Plasticville.  Also had a "tunnel", a plastic thing about a foot long, but it was a tunnel.  No less realistic than three rail track.  Today it gets pooh poohed, but the stuff Menards sells is a modern day equivalent.  I like them.  Realistic?  No, but fun.  I can set up a ring of track on a 4x8, and add a power plant, a depot, a fast food joint, even a flying saucer landing.  When I was 9 that would have been exciting.  Remember the lionel cattle car, with the vibrating part that made the cattle shuffle into the car?

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Posted by Engi1487 on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 9:08 PM

I am guessing at 28 I am considered young in this group ypur referring to as a minority. I am afraid I have not gotten around to many of the project ideas I have thought about doing and have asked about on this forum due to lack of experaince as because I need to improve my job and income situation first, as well as gain experiance modelling slowly. I hope to get around to my project ideas as I owe those of you who have helped me with advice on them.

I'm concerned that the cost of living, inflation, stagnent wages and the rising prices of the housing market here in Canada, and everywhere else inthe world is delaying interets, dreams and ambitions in this hobby for us and other older folk as well. With the cost of buying a home rising beyond the ability to save for, having a starter home, or even a home with enough space for that layout you wish to build over time isnt becoming possible.

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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 10:46 PM

We have seen a great increase in the number of younger modelers in our club (Danville VA model railroad club) over the past couple of years. We have a good mix some teens and others in their 20s and 30s a few like myself middle aged (although I refuse to admit that and grow up Big Smile ) and some guys that rib one another about what general they were under in the Civil War...... That is what keeps a club healthy. I got involved as a teenager in a club with a similar mix. I was encouraged by both the older guys and the middle aged ones. That's the way to go. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, June 9, 2022 6:13 AM

Trainman440

This a reply to the "MRR costs an arm and a leg" topic.

Its sort of branches off from the thread so I figured Id make it a seperate post. I admit I didnt read through all 245 replies so what I say might have already been repeated. Forgive me. 

----------------------------

We young modelers do exist. Yes, there aren't a ton of us out here, but I've actually met a surprising number of fellow serious young modelers.

No, we don't have the huge income (some) people seem to believe. We cant afford all the new RTR engines and cars just like everyone else in this hobby. 

We rely on other methods such a 3d printing and (attempt to) kitbashing to build our stuff. Or search tirelessly through ebay and shows for deals. 

I myself have a pretty large collection. It was entirely funded by doing restoration repair work and from reselling (and other hustles). I dont have a magical money vault.

There are some young YTbers who buy and fix "junk", rarely ever doing any serious work. I personally dont like to associate with them (SMT mainline comes to mind). There are many of us who are serious about this hobby too. We do fairly complex repair and restoration work. Repower & remotoring, striving for accuracy and detail, etc. 

The problem is, we don't share our work too much on forums or sites like this. I and many others use instagram a lot, and post all my work there (link is down below lol). I realize most modelers don't have an instagram account, some dont even know what it is. That's why the young modeler community is often forgotten and unseen by the older folk for the most part. The sites we use are not the same as the sites you use. I currently use my facebook account for the sole purpose of joining some of the model train community groups. 

Another issue is that it often feels like some older modelers appear very unfriendly to us. Ive gotten used to it at this point, but the amount of condescending sellers at train shows is ridiculous. People who say "do you even know what brass is?" or "oh you model PRR? well take a look at this junker life-like 0-4-0 here", etc. Modelers who aren't friendly to new/young modelers, yet complain about why the hobby is dying just baffle me. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Of course I dont want to overgeneralize. Ive met numerous very nice experienced modelers who were extremely helpful. but I can say that meeting intimidating snobby modeler puts a bad taste in my mouth and could be a deterrent for many new comers from this hobby. 

To clarify, I cant represent the entire young adult community, but rather just my personal experience and the experience of a few of my friends. 

Still, we are a minority. An often underrepresented and forgotten minority. Just wanted to say that we do exist though! If you see one of us at a train show, understand that we really are trying our best to enjoy the hobby, even when we're overpaying for a new engine, or buying some old junkers to mess around with. 

Food for thought!

Charles

PS the goal of this post was not to criticize anyone, nor to provide suggestions in finding a solution. Rather, it was written to hopefully provide insight from an alternative prospective, and reasoning for why things might be the way they are. 

 

Charles, thanks for your thoughts. 

I have only one comment, regarding Instagram and Facebook, I belong to several model train groups on facebook, I do not have an Instagram account.

I dislike both of those platforms for one simple reason, the "here today - gone tomorrow" nature of them. The hit and miss, maybe you see it, maybe you don't, approach has me loosing interest in Facebook already in less than a year of light activity on there.

Of course my interest in this platform has deminished as well for other reasons, but be it model trains or GRAVELY tractors I just don't like or understand these platforms and their "soundbite" approach to the world.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, June 9, 2022 7:46 AM

I decided to go back and re-read the OP's initial post.

The main premise seems to be that younger modelers are an often underrepresented and forgotten minority. I can neither agree nor disagree with this premise because my only contact with fellow modelers is through this forum, and I have no idea how old or young anyone is except for Mel and Harrison who make it clear that they are old and young, respectively.

As far as the old farts at train shows that are rude and crabby, I have already expressed my opinion on them in a previous post. But, in the few train shows that I have attended everyone, young and old alike, seemed to be treated in the same way - - either rudely or outright ignored. So, it is not a young person's problem. Any inexperienced modeler will be treated condescendingly at a train show in my experience.

The OP makes the assertion that younger modelers don't share their work on forums like this one and that is the reason that the young modeling community is often forgotten and unseen by the older folk. Speaking for myself, I don't think of modelers as young or old, so what's to forget? I only care about asking questions to those modelers with experience, answering questions for those modelers with less experience and generally reading about others layouts and experience. I suspect that many, many others on this forum feel the same way as I do.

The OP goes on to say that younger modelers don't have the huge income (some) people seem to believe. I am not at all sure that that statement can be supported because I know of no one who thinks that young modelers are wealthy. In fact, it seems clear that most members of this forum, young and old, are not wealthy from the statements that they post. And, most of us are sensitive to this budget concern.

The OP also points out that there are many younger modelers who are serious about this hobby too. I have no doubt that they are. Again, I suspect that most of the members of this forum feel the same way. Any member who is posting or even lurking, is likely to be serious about model railroading.

In conclusion, I would say that younger modelers are not generally stereotyped in any manner. Model railroading is a hobby and its participants are part of a niche community. Usually when the topic of younger modelers comes up on this forum, it deals with the reality that there are fewer young modelers today than there used to be, say in the 1950s. 

Just my thoughts on the subject of younger modelers.

Rich 

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Posted by gregc on Thursday, June 9, 2022 7:49 AM

i'm curious what defines young.

i got started in junior high school when my father put a couple pieces of plywood together for a layout.   but my paper route didn't give me much money for modeling.   can't imagine how someone that age today could afford much

but at the club, two member just graduated high school and became full members.  unfortunately, college will now be a significant distraction.   getting married becomes an even greater distraction.   one club member's father is a member of the club and significantly into the hobby.

so young could be junior high school with and without some adult mentoring, college and young parenthood.

at what age does desire meet reality

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, June 9, 2022 7:53 AM

richhotrain

 

Trainman440

Another issue is that it often feels like some older modelers appear very unfriendly to us. Ive gotten used to it at this point, but the amount of condescending sellers at train shows is ridiculous. People who say "do you even know what brass is?" or "oh you model PRR? well take a look at this junker life-like 0-4-0 here", etc. Modelers who aren't friendly to new/young modelers, yet complain about why the hobby is dying just baffle me. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Of course I dont want to overgeneralize. Ive met numerous very nice experienced modelers who were extremely helpful. but I can say that meeting some experienced snobby modeler puts a bad taste in my mouth and may deter many new comers from this hobby. 

 

 

This particular point stands out in my mind. I am getting up there in years myself, but it always amazes me at how stuffy and crabby some older modelers can be.

 

The members of this forum don't seem to be that way, but when several local hobby shops were still open in my area, the owners and employees were fine, but there were always small groups of "old timers" sitting along the window sills, silently intimidating the rest of us shoppers by their presence. Just hanging around, talking loudly, complaining, whatever. The train shows were even worse, so I stopped going to them.

I think that experiences like that lend to the thought that model railroading is an old man's hobby.

Rich

 

One event stands out to me.  I was living in Indy and about 45 years old, examining an Atlas RS32 in NYC paint.  A regular in the LHS who probably never really bought much on any given trip to the LHS but somehow was never arrested for loitering, (an LHS Groupie) started (and didn't stop) talking to me about how the PRR was such a better railroad.  This was about the year 2005 and both NYC and PRR went away about 1970.  Those RRs were big in Indy and this guy was probably holding a grudge about something neither he or I had anything to with 35 years earlier. 

(Besides, I was looking at the NYC and a PRR loco to see how easy it would be to destroy the lettering and strip off any road specific details...I didn't even care what road name was on the loco) 

People with bad perceptions of their surroundings or understandings of the moment exist all over the world, but somehow those personalities who are also model railroaders can be pretty vocal and visible given the right situation.  Or else they just have really bad skills at starting a convo.

My advice to OP is to simply look up, smile and say hi, then walk away and remain focused on your task at hand.  Afterall, what can you say when greeted like that.

- Douglas

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, June 9, 2022 8:05 AM

Trainman440

Another issue is that it often feels like some older modelers appear very unfriendly to us. Ive gotten used to it at this point, but the amount of condescending sellers at train shows is ridiculous. People who say "do you even know what brass is?" or "oh you model PRR? well take a look at this junker life-like 0-4-0 here", etc. Modelers who aren't friendly to new/young modelers, yet complain about why the hobby is dying just baffle me. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Of course I dont want to overgeneralize. Ive met numerous very nice experienced modelers who were extremely helpful. but I can say that meeting intimidating snobby modeler puts a bad taste in my mouth and could be a deterrent for many new comers from this hobby. 

I am completely apathetic to whether young people want to get into the hobby. It makes no difference to me. I don't encourage them. If, they need to be prodded, they probably shouldn't get into it. The hobby requires a considerable investment of time and money. If I could go back 40 years and do it over again, I wouldn't have invested as much time and money into it that I have. It just hasn't been rewarding enough to me to justify everything I have put into it. Now I am too heavily invested in it to just walk away from it. But that doesn't mean I don't regret having put as much into it as I have. 

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Posted by Trainman440 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 8:06 AM

Thanks for the kind replies all! Some replies:

Sheldon - I agree I don't like having so many different accounts/forms of media. Its hard keeping track of them. All Im saying is ever since creating an instagram I learned about the HUGE train community on there, which I was previously unaware of. So I suspect much of these teens/20s modelers are likely on there instead of forums like this. 

Doughless

My advice to OP is to simply look up, smile and say hi, then walk away and remain focused on your task at hand.  Afterall, what can you say when greeted like that.

No yea that's exactly what I've been doing. And that's why Im still in this hobby. Im just trying to say for someone who's younger or less experienced and perhaps more shy or etc... having those sort of interactions might be a deterrent. 

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, June 9, 2022 8:18 AM

gregc

i'm curious what defines young.

i got started in junior high school when my father put a couple pieces of plywood together for a layout.   but my paper route didn't give me much money for modeling.   can't imagine how someone that age today could afford much

but at the club, two member just graduated high school and became full members.  unfortunately, college will now be a significant distraction.   getting married becomes an even greater distraction.   one club member's father is a member of the club and significantly into the hobby.

so young could be junior high school with and without some adult mentoring, college and young parenthood.

at what age does desire meet reality

 

Good point Greg.

I was interested at age 6.  Got my first train set at age 9 via Christmas present.  Began reading MR and RMC at about age 13, and began understanding the hobby.  Got my first Athearn blue box 40 ft boxcar kit around that time and it put all of my Tyco and Life Like rolling stock to shame, as did the Athearn BB F7 Super Geared in UP paint.  I had a paper route (remember those?), but my mom was nice to me and bought most of the stuff I had over time.  IIRC. Athearn BB kits were about $1.99, but that money mattered to my mom so I didn't get many freebies.

Then at age 16 I discovered cars, then girls, then beer, and then college and more girls and more beer; and my interest in the hobby waned until about age 30.  About age 35 it took hold and that's when I really started the quest for learning more.  That was 25 years ago.

So it seems that there could be many "young" people who do have an interest in the hobby, but we don't see that because they don't express that interest until the conditions are right for them, which may be a little later in life. 

 

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 8:27 AM

gregc
i'm curious what defines young.

If you wake up and nothing hurts, you are young.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Trainman440 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 8:30 AM
A personalized reply just to Rich. I appreciate your comment first off, and the time you took to make such a reply. Hopefully here I can help clarify some points. 
richhotrain
 
But, in the few train shows that I have attended everyone, young and old alike, seemed to be treated in the same way - - either rudely or outright ignored. So, it is not a young person's problem. Any inexperienced modeler will be treated condescendingly at a train show in my experience.
 
 
Id argue younger people tend to take this sort of behavior more personally than someone who’s been in this hobby for years and is used to it. Just because sellers treat everyone like sh*t doesn't make it any easier for young modelers want to be a part of this hobby.
 
Also it is usually assumed by sellers (and others) that I am inexperienced. Its not like these guys are completely unbiased initially and only become condescending once it is clear to them that the buyer is inexperienced after conversing with them for a while. No, they will make assumptions right from the start. 
 
I look young, I also am a minority race. Saying that, Im not trying to complain about my experience or equality or whatever lol, but I can tell you from first hand experience that I've been treated differently from others. It doesnt happen often, and when it does I just ignore it, but dont try telling me that everyone gets treated the same. 
 
richhotrain
The OP makes the assertion that younger modelers don't share their work on forums like this one and that is the reason that the young modeling community is often forgotten and unseen by the older folk. Speaking for myself, I don't think of modelers as young or old, so what's to forget? I only care about asking questions to those modelers with experience, answering questions for those modelers with less experience and generally reading about others layouts and experience. I suspect that many, many others on this forum feel the same way as I do.
 
I agree, I was more referring to in person interactions. Online forums like these, we are all just profile pictures in little squares, so its harder to introduce bias, since much of the info on the modeler is unknown. And experience level is mostly determined (or can be assumed) by the level of detail/specificity in the question asked in the post.
 
richhotrain
The OP goes on to say that younger modelers don't have the huge income (some) people seem to believe. I am not at all sure that that statement can be supported because I know of no one who thinks that young modelers are wealthy.
 
This was mentioned moreso in reply to the few comments from the original thread:
 
PC101
Young people will buy into the hobby. They will spend more money per detailed piece of rolling stock and engines and I'd think collect less pieces then us ''old'' guys growing up on Athearn BB and MDC/Roundhouse.
Attuvian1
1) I'm amazed how some young folks can generate money.  And not always by means of their parents or plastic.
2) I'm just as amazed at how much they are willing to spend for what they want.
Also while I don’t like making stereotypes, Im sure we are all aware of atleast ONE kid who parents will buy any train they want. Just wanted to say that these guys are very much in the minority. Most of us find income for trains via hustles and other means.
richhotrain
Model railroading is a hobby and its participants are part of a niche community. Usually when the topic of younger modelers comes up on this forum, it deals with the reality that there are fewer young modelers today than there used to be, say in the 1950s. 
 
The question my post was trying to answer is, WHY are there less new modelers out there. I felt like people always blame shifting trends and increasing prices*…when there definitely are other reasons why.
-------------------
I hope these sum up my points a little better. Im not trying to whine complain about “old people being mean”, but rather have a discussion on possible reasons why the new modeling community is as small as it is.
 
Charles
 
*these are obviously true too, and definitely are big reasons, but they are not the ONLY reasons.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, June 9, 2022 9:21 AM

Another interesting thread I find.

Here in the U.K.  model railways is alive and well.   

I know there are many times we see no other modellers, because of online shopping and not going to model stores.   At shows though,  there is a good mix of modellers in all age groups.

The way some people are treat is another matter.   As a small example,  I often take my (now 6 year old) younger granddaughter to local shows.  Many exhibitors take time and talk to her.  Some know her as the 'train nut'  she is  and I get left out of the conversations.

Then we come across the (shall we say)  'I know it all and you know nothing'  exhibitor.   Why they are there  is a mystery.  

 

David

  

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 9:36 AM

NorthBrit
Then we come across the (shall we say)  'I know it all and you know nothing'  exhibitor.

When these people are speaking to me, they are correct, but I end the conversation.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, June 9, 2022 10:04 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
NorthBrit
Then we come across the (shall we say)  'I know it all and you know nothing'  exhibitor.

 

When these people are speaking to me, they are correct, but I end the conversation.

-Kevin

 

 

Laugh

 

We are the same.

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, June 9, 2022 4:34 PM

Trainman440
richhotrain
Model railroading is a hobby and its participants are part of a niche community. Usually when the topic of younger modelers comes up on this forum, it deals with the reality that there are fewer young modelers today than there used to be, say in the 1950s.  
The question my post was trying to answer is, WHY are there less new modelers out there. I felt like people always blame shifting trends and increasing prices*…when there definitely are other reasons why.

As you say, there are other reasons why. But, I do think that a major  reason is circumstantial.

What I mean by that is the fact that older modelers today were often introduced to model railroading with an American Flyer or Lionel train set under the Christmas tree somewhere between, say, 1945 and 1955. At that time, they were generally in the 5 to 12 age bracket. Those kids are somewhere between 72 and 89 today. In many cases, their younger brothers took over the hobby as their older brothers moved on to dating, high school and college, fast cars, etc.

Boys born after 1955 were less likely to receive a train set at Christmas and certainly less likely for boys born after 1965. So, the pool of 5 to 12 year olds picking up the hobby began to diminish as their Christmas presents were less likely to include a train set.

That's my belief, and I am sticking to it. Stick out tongue

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, June 9, 2022 4:47 PM

richhotrain

 

 
Trainman440
richhotrain
Model railroading is a hobby and its participants are part of a niche community. Usually when the topic of younger modelers comes up on this forum, it deals with the reality that there are fewer young modelers today than there used to be, say in the 1950s.  
The question my post was trying to answer is, WHY are there less new modelers out there. I felt like people always blame shifting trends and increasing prices*…when there definitely are other reasons why.

 

 

As you say, there are other reasons why. But, I do think that a major  reason is circumstantial.

 

What I mean by that is the fact that older modelers today were often introduced to model railroading with an American Flyer or Lionel train set under the Christmas tree somewhere between, say, 1945 and 1955. At that time, they were generally in the 5 to 12 age bracket. Those kids are somewhere between 72 and 89 today. In many cases, their younger brothers took over the hobby as their older brothers moved on to dating, high school and college, fast cars, etc.

Boys born after 1955 were less likely to receive a train set at Christmas and certainly less likely for boys born after 1965. So, the pool of 5 to 12 year olds picking up the hobby began to diminish as their Christmas presents were less likely to include a train set.

That's my belief, and I am sticking to it. Stick out tongue

Rich

 

That's my thinking too. Those who grew up in the 1950s were far more likely to get a trainset for Christmas or their birthday. I had both a Lionel and American Flyer set when I was very young. In the early 1960s, I graduated to HO and came back to it in the late 1970s. Slot cars and building model cars, planes, and ships seemed to be prominent in the 1960s than trains. I have no idea what the popular hobbies were with kids in the 1970s and 1980s. Radio controlled cars became popular and now kids have drones to play with. Who knows why interests change but they do. That's neither good nor bad. It's just different. 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, June 9, 2022 5:27 PM

Hello All,

If you have any doubts click over to Harrisons' latest endeavor...

I Built A Layout in a Suitcase (M&M Sub)

And my experience at the Denver Youth In Model Railroading Club.

Faith in the future generations of model railroaders

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, June 9, 2022 6:36 PM

richhotrain

 

 
Trainman440
richhotrain
Model railroading is a hobby and its participants are part of a niche community. Usually when the topic of younger modelers comes up on this forum, it deals with the reality that there are fewer young modelers today than there used to be, say in the 1950s.  
The question my post was trying to answer is, WHY are there less new modelers out there. I felt like people always blame shifting trends and increasing prices*…when there definitely are other reasons why.

 

 

As you say, there are other reasons why. But, I do think that a major  reason is circumstantial.

 

What I mean by that is the fact that older modelers today were often introduced to model railroading with an American Flyer or Lionel train set under the Christmas tree somewhere between, say, 1945 and 1955. At that time, they were generally in the 5 to 12 age bracket. Those kids are somewhere between 72 and 89 today. In many cases, their younger brothers took over the hobby as their older brothers moved on to dating, high school and college, fast cars, etc.

Boys born after 1955 were less likely to receive a train set at Christmas and certainly less likely for boys born after 1965. So, the pool of 5 to 12 year olds picking up the hobby began to diminish as their Christmas presents were less likely to include a train set.

That's my belief, and I am sticking to it. Stick out tongue

Rich

 

I was born in 1957. I never got a trainset for Christmas. I have never owned an O gauge or S gauge train (except for what I bought my own son).

Oh, that's right, my father set up a 5'x18' HO layout in the living room every year from November to February - until I was 10 and we had a basement - then he set it up, left it up, and gave it to me.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by MJ4562 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 6:47 PM

I think y'all are a little off on your timeline.  Model Trains were still very popular with kids in the 1970s and 1980s.   I don't think I could say if the hobby is any more or less popular with kids today.  I do see the hobby being more accessible to the public, including youngsters (<18 y/o), more than ever.  Clubs seem to have more open houses and N-trak draws lots of attention at malls and public venues.  I don't recall those events happening very often back in the last century or at least they weren't well promoted.  By its nature, Model Railroading is a very private hobby. Few people want strangers in their home so those public events are a great way to show off what we do and spark the imagination of potential new modellers.

@Trainman440.  Liked and subscribed! Yes

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Posted by thomas81z on Thursday, June 9, 2022 7:29 PM

funny thing is the local hobby shop , the train dept is being run by a 17 year old modeler .

his favorite road is  NEW HAVENCool

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, June 9, 2022 10:07 PM

thomas81z

funny thing is the local hobby shop , the train dept is being run by a 17 year old modeler .

his favorite road is  NEW HAVENCool

 

I was running a train department in a hobby shop at that age - in 1974.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by N Scale Train Boy on Thursday, June 9, 2022 10:54 PM

20 Year Old New Haven fan and president of the Rensselaer Model Railroad Society here! We young modelers are relatively few and far between, but in my experience, that makes us all the more important, especially to the older generation. When I go to operate on a layout, and make videos for them, I can always see the eyes of the older modelers and layout owners light up when I talk with them about my models and how much I appreciate theirs. We are the next generation, let our voices be heard!

Check out the Balfour and Colucci Creek Southern Railroad, my proto-freelanced N scale model railroad, at bccsrailroad.weebly.com or on Youtube on my channel, N Scale Train Boy.

-Dennis

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, June 10, 2022 6:19 AM

N Scale Train Boy

20 Year Old New Haven fan and president of the Rensselaer Model Railroad Society here! We young modelers are relatively few and far between, but in my experience, that makes us all the more important, especially to the older generation. When I go to operate on a layout, and make videos for them, I can always see the eyes of the older modelers and layout owners light up when I talk with them about my models and how much I appreciate theirs. We are the next generation, let our voices be heard! 

I think that the more young modelers try to set themselves apart, the more they set themselves apart.

Yes, there does seem to be fewer young modelers today, and for various reasons, and that is the only point that is constantly made on this forum. No one is trying to keep young people away from model railroading or to silence their voices. In fact, many express concern over the diminishing number of young modelers.

On a forum like this one, no one knows if a modeler is young or old, male or female, a minority or not, unless the modeler tells us so. And, quite frankly, no one cares. So, my advice to young modelers is to pursue your model railroading interests and quit raising the issue of youth. No one on this forum is holding that against you.

Rich

Alton Junction

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