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Young Modelers DO Exist in This Hobby!

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  • Member since
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Posted by wrench567 on Friday, June 10, 2022 8:35 AM

  No doubt that there are younger modelers. When I was doing shows with the module group, a major portion of the interest of the modules was from the youngsters. There was a nice polite young man that would attend every show. He would carry around his own step stool just to see the trains on the modules. When he got tall enough, he still had that stool but didn't use it as often. It was. Excuse me sir? Is that a new hopper? Or Excuse me sir, I like your new module.

  Kind of funny looking back to when I joined my first club. I was 55 and was called the kid. At 55 being the youngest gave me the perspective of seeing the grumpy old guys and the welcoming grandpa type and being 55 gave me the patience to deal with each type. Change is what most of us old guys fear the most. Growing up so many years with DC as the major control to some youngster introducing DCC. The first impression would be, oh another fad that will die off. Then the anger knowing DCC is better but all my engines are not worth converting. Heck, getting older myself, I just don't have the patience I used to have. Even a minor thing can bring out a snap and can ruin a whole day.

  Welcome to the hobby one and all young or old, short or tall.

      Pete.

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Friday, June 10, 2022 10:57 AM

In my mid 30's and I've felt intimidated to join clubs.  I think people need to realize we're not train experts, but enthusiasts.   Been to a few clubs during open sessions for visitors and asked questions in an effort to strike up conversation but was brushed off.  While I don't know all the terminology and prototypical details of train operations, I consider myself experienced with laying and wiring track, landscaping and I've built and detailed over 150 structures. I'd really like to help a club continue to develop a layout and help with maintenance and pay for membership but it all feels more comfortable just working in my basement with a few friends helping out.   Maybe I'll start my own as I've been scouting out industrial space to set up in Chicago.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, June 10, 2022 2:26 PM

There was a story on the local news this week about a 19 year old from Cuba that is running the repair shop at HR Trains in Pinellas Park, Florida.

-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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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, June 10, 2022 4:44 PM

NorthsideChi

In my mid 30's and I've felt intimidated to join clubs.  I think people need to realize we're not train experts, but enthusiasts.   Been to a few clubs during open sessions for visitors and asked questions in an effort to strike up conversation but was brushed off.  While I don't know all the terminology and prototypical details of train operations, I consider myself experienced with laying and wiring track, landscaping and I've built and detailed over 150 structures.

When I got into HO scale modeling in early 2004 after a 45 year hiatus from playing with my old American Flyer stuff, I visited a local hobby shop just to check things out. The owner quickly intercepted me and offered to help me find for whatever I was looking for. I told him that I wanted to duplicate one of my favorite American Flyer trains of my youth, a green and yellow C&NW train. He frowned and then said, "Oh, you mean locomotive, not train".

That started a friendly but contentious period of time as the owner took me under his wing and taught me how to talk scale model railroading. I needed some "switches". No, you mean turnouts. I needed a "transformer". No, you need a DCC command station. And on and on it went. But, I wouldn't be where I am today without that store owner's help and guidance.

NorthsideChi
I'd really like to help a club continue to develop a layout and help with maintenance and pay for membership but it all feels more comfortable just working in my basement with a few friends helping out.   Maybe I'll start my own as I've been scouting out industrial space to set up in Chicago.  

Geez, you dream like me. I have often thought in a most ambitious way that if I owned or rented a 100' x 100' warehouse, I could replicate all six downtown Chicago passenger stations with minimal compression.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, June 10, 2022 5:12 PM
Gidday Charles, I don’t wish to belittle your experiences but rest assured that those curmudgeonly types (read Idiots) don’t just go out of their way to be rude to “youngsters” like yourself. It does leave a bad taste, especially as I suspect that you were bought up like myself to “show respect for your elders”! But then I learnt when I started working, that “respect has to be earned” and especially now as an old grump, I find that such comments, while completely unnecessary and indeed counterproductive, can be dismissed with the contempt those comments, richly deserve!
 
I should also stress that similar curmudgeonly types are found in other hobbies. I just don’t understand what satisfaction, they get from their behaviour, and the hobby, if any?
 
That said, and I don’t hold it against them, there are plenty of model railroaders, even on this Forum, who model for their own satisfaction and don’t see that they have to promote the hobby. Fair enough I suppose, just don’t start moaning about the “Dying Hobby”! (It’s not so much as dying, as just resting!)
 
I do think that there are way more things to attract a young persons interest these days, not that I begrudge them. Just one example, no such thing as “Play Station” or “Xbox” when I was young.
 
As for a definition for “Young”. Hmm Hmmm, I’m a believer that while I have to grow old, I don’t have to grow up!
 
Have Fun and Keep posting!!
Cheers, the Bear.Smile
 
Edit.Geez, you dream like me.
Isn’t that half the fun, Rich?LaughLaugh

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, June 10, 2022 6:04 PM

As for a definition for “Young”. Hmm Hmmm, I’m a believer that while I have to grow old, I don’t have to grow up!
 
Edit.Geez, you dream like me.
Isn’t that half the fun,  Rich?LaughLaugh

It sure is, Bear! Yes

And, like you, I accept growing old, but I can never accept growing up. No

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Enzoamps on Saturday, June 11, 2022 10:15 PM

Here at "the home" you have to be 55 or older to even live here.  At 75 I am in the middle.  We have them from just 55 up to mid 90s.  So you can be 55 and still "young".

I worked for decades in electronics, and ran a retail warranty/repair station for many major manufacturers of gear in my industry.  I would have "young" people (20s-30s) come in and ask me questions.  I could tell the ones who really wanted to learn something, and who just wanted to save a buck.  I supported those interested folks.  I answered their questions and did critique of their projects.  I do correct their terminology, but not in a condescending way.  One fellow would build larger and larger projects of increasing sophistication, show me his work and ask for my analysis.  He improived his products.  He built guitar amps.  Then he ;earned to do quality woodworking to build the cabinets they are housed in.  Not only is he now a close friend, but he also sells his line of amps at a major retailer.  All that from a "did I do this right?" years ago.

If I wanted to join a club and got some pushback or intimidation, you know, I could tell them how good I was or write a resume, but what if I just showed them an example of my work and ask how I could improve it.

And it isn't just clubs or hobby stores, there are jerks in absolutely every aspect of life.  As they say, "Illegitimi non carborundum."

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Posted by GN24 on Thursday, June 16, 2022 10:36 AM

well they should exist because I happen to be one of them. I began with my first set in first grade it was a bachmann pacific flyer. right now I am in high school and I am still verry devoted to the hobby.

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Saturday, June 18, 2022 6:57 PM

I was only a teenager when I joined the forum and started posting my projects pretty quickly.  Most treated me friendly enough even though I had some admittedly dumb questions or comments now and then (wait, I still have those!).  I have other hobbies too, and one thing I've found is that there are know-it-all never-can-be-wrong elitist types everywhere.

It's not always an easy hobby to get into when you're a teenager and can't afford much, but those who stick with it will usually find that it's worth the time!

_________________________________________________________________

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Posted by wrench567 on Sunday, June 19, 2022 9:29 AM

  Darth.

 Take it from an old (sometimes grumpy) guy. You do some fantastic work. Love your steam engine builds. Thank you.

    Pete.

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Posted by csxns on Sunday, June 19, 2022 9:59 AM

Darth Santa Fe
It's not always an easy hobby to get into when you're a teenager and can't afford much, but those who stick with it will usually find that it's worth the time!

You said that right back in the days Birthdays Christmas and grass cutting was the only time I got MR stuff now buying trains is a lot better I now have so much stuff sometimes I forget what I have.

Russell

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