Sunday, December 15, 2013

RTR layout nightmare

RTR layout

Spotted at Warley this year, I think this might be my nightmare. An almost ready to run layout. Just add track and throw some buildings at it and the job is done.

How long before the moulded board has these on it as well?

Then, where is the hobby?

OK, I'm a bit of a puritan and see railway modelling as a craft based hobby. There's an interesting letter in Practical Classics this month by someone berating them for banging on about prices rather than restorations. To the writer, the fun of a classic car is in restoring it, not owning the thing.

I'm like this about train sets. As mentioned in the past, operating doesn't really float my boat. Nor do I desire ownership of a large collection of railway models. For me, it's all about making things.

Which is why the era of RTR layouts, though surely coming, sounds like a nightmare.


Andy_in_Germany said...

I'm guessing that is one of the German sets that have been on sale here for many years: they were well established when I arrived in 2000. Hopefully they won't take root in the UK as well. In Germany model railways are the "rich man's hobby" because the only way most people see to make them is by spending large amounts of money on ready made sets and models.

Unknown said...

Totally agree with you. For the same reason I was never happy with finished layouts I "inheritated" from friends.

Matt Dawson said...

I feel I should point out these are designed for kids rather than adults.

I remember having an old Roco or Flieschmann catalogue with a similar concept, with the layout surrounded by what looked like 10 year olds.

Luke said...

Don't worry Phil. These have been round the European scene for ages. They don't match British track geometry and the recommended buildings couldn't be less British if they tried. Didn't Hornby try something similar many years ago? Turned up in their catalogue once and then disappeared.

Phil Parker said...

I know these have been kicking around abroad (relative to me) for years. Reading verious discussions about people who have paid for their entire layout to be built, I wonder how many UK modellers would like the same thing? Quite a lot I suspect. Fortunatly a lot more than would be willing to stick their hands in their pockets and buy one.

Huw Griffiths said...

This is one of those "Noch" things they had in W&H, 20+ years ago - an old idea - and the prices haven't changed much, either.

OK for those with loads of money - not much time - and no imagination.

No use for those who want anything other than a display - so they can sit & watch trains go by.

Also no use if you want to learn how to do things for yourself.

I think I'll give them a miss.

James Finister said...

But haven't there always been people who just wanted to "play trains" in whatever golden age of railway modelling we want to look back on? Whilst Iliffe Stokes was carefully de-laminating card the majority of railway modelers were running three rail models at speeds close to escape velocity.

Phil Parker said...

True, and I suppose I'm being a bit po-faced as playing trains IS fun. It just worries me that the hobby is heading toward buying rather than building and this layout (I know they have been around for many years) kind of sums it up.

It will be many years before RTR layouts are common but how many? We used to think that you'd not see high quality RTR buildings and now the shops are full of 'em.

Likewise, how many wierd locos are now avaiable RTR when they used to be the preserve of kit bashers.

There's nothing wrong with any of this really but I just wonder if this is the direction we are heading. I don't mind most of the time but every so often, some twerp at a show laughs at me for making something I could buy. Then Grrr......