Sunday, September 04, 2016


One of the regular comments we receive about Melbridge Dock is that people like the way everything is weathered and fits in with everything else. 

While the layout might not be the greatest model in the world, no single part stands out as either really good or really bad, and that's what gives the best overall effect. 

I'm inclined to suggest this is the same for all the best layouts. Yes, there will be brilliant modelling but the key is all the modelling will be brilliant. The modeller has developed and standard and stuck to it. If they don't then the model won't (IMHO) look as good because the good/bad bits will stand out and catch the eye. 

Which makes me wonder about modern RTR models. While the keyboard warriors howl for ever greater detail, you wonder if the layouts the models run on are to the same standard. If they are then there are some seriously impressive models out there. 

I suspect not though. Most stock will run past crudely assembled card kit buildings through faded flock-covered hills along track ballasted with rocks. 

On one hand this is fine - it's their model after all - but as the demand is for perfection, are the "builders" realising this? In turn does this drive the "I can't build stuff good enough myself so I'll just buy everything" mentality? 

Was the "golden age" of models sometime in the 1990s before RTR quality soared to levels that most of us can't hope to match? 

(Photo: Andy York. From the 2016 BRM layout special)


Huw Griffiths said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head there, Phil.

Your talk of "keyboard warriors" "howling" is also interesting - in some cases, I can't help wondering if some of this "howling" might be more like the howling of mad dogs.

Not everyone has a layout - I know I don't. However, I often see mention of "display models" and "layout models" - with models for display often being built to higher standards of detail.

Meanwhile, if models are expected to run on layouts, the detailing only needs to be to an acceptable standard - the real priority is more likely to be that they run well and that they're robust enough to continue running well.

As for the keyboard warriors, some of them might have layouts - some might not - but I wonder how many of them would buy the museum standard models a number of them seem to crave, even if they could get the things in their local corner shop, at the sort of bargain basement prices some of them seem to want.

At this point, I could imagine some people wondering where I fit into this analysis - well I'm a realist - I'm realistic about stuff like this - and my aspirations are just as realistic.

I keep to a budget - I know what I can afford to spend (often not very much) - and I don't exceed it. If I don't like what I see, I don't spend anything at all.

Whisper it quietly, but I might even get round to building something myself - preferably from a kit or by modifying a cheap secondhand RTR item.

Of course, time might be a constraint here - after all, this is supposed to be a hobby.

What I don't do is come up with some rabid rant about how "unreasonable" the manufacturers / trade are, or otherwise go off the rails. I leave that nonsense to the keyboard warriors - and some members of certain disreputable (but unnamed) forum sites, who hide behind anonymous sounding pen (and ink) names.

Evan_NZ said...

Hi Phil,

Always read your stuff, and this is absolutely spot on.

The best description I have heard recently that describes one of these keyboard warriors is "By always being dissatisfied, he absolves himself of ever having to complete anything". Its definitely given me something to think about as to why some of my projects never get completed.

Evan. :-)