A call to arms

For the first time in a long time this morning I logged into RMweb to see if anything new had occurred. Almost instantly I found myself fists clenched and teeth gritted, I have no idea why I do it to myself. I think RMweb, and forums in general, are a great idea and resource. The problem mainly seems to lie in the people who use them. 

As the arguments and petty squabbles per quality modelling thread on RMweb worsens, it’s worth looking into it a bit more.

It doesn’t take long on any online forum to find the culprits who are at the centre of most of the rage inducing posts and low blow comments. These people also rarely seem to do any modelling, in fact some of the most prolific keyboard warriors have very little to show for all their talked of knowledge.

 We hear the same excuses; money, time, space etc

I’m sorry but it’s rubbish, for somebody who also has none of the above and probably even less I still find time to do some modelling.

I don’t have a layout, but that does not mean you cannot model, I have two shoe boxes under the stairs that contain my tools, and a shoe box full of models requiring attention. My dining room table is my workbench. Modelling isn’t about building expensive brass kits, a parkside dundas kit can be brought for sub £9, or detail up an older model. Modelling doesn’t always mean money, or space.

And as for time, what on earth are people doing with their days? By the time the computer is loaded up, the internet connected to and your first post typed out you could of easily stuck some brake shoes down on a Dundas chassis.

So this is a call to arms. Stop typing, find those old models, take 10 minutes out of the day, cut a bit off, stick something on. Modelling is our hobby. Please try it, you don’t know what you’re missing.



6 thoughts on “A call to arms

  1. It’s amazing how many people are scared to pick up a knife or a paint brush. Working in a Model shop I see this frequently. I admire your call out and the way you work, People tend to feel the peer pressure of forum’s because they are too busy nit picking or thinking someone is going to tear it apart on a forum. I’m currently still at University and live at home so I’m limited on space and spraying in the house is a no but when I am home alone out comes the spray booth and airbrush!
    I often think is it going to be cheaper to make it myself and have a go which is one of the main reasons I do model railways is do make stuff and play trains! 😀 I am no expert, neither I’m a professional model maker but doesn’t stop me making and having ago. Its good to see more “younger” people having ago and making things the proper way instead of just buying stuff of the shelf and plonking it on a layout. Keep up the great blog!


  2. bawdsey

    Wholeheartedly agree to both the above. In two days of modelling or internet ‘time’ I’ve laid all the track (four points), for a small demonstration layout, including the underlay and fitted point motors. I know which option out of the two above gave me more satisfaction and was more worthwhile.

  3. Thanks for the replies guys. I wasn’t expecting the response to be quite so huge! It’s nice to see people on Twitter, Facebook and the blog agreeing. It seems these keyboard warriors are reassuringly in the minority, however the amount of noise they make can all to readily be heard.

    There is a lot of decent railway blogs out there with a rich seam of inspiration, it’s harder to find some but they are all worth digging out. Modellers United is a forum trying to take Model Train’s online presence into another direction with a firmer tilt toward actual modelling and a firmer hand on the armchair modellers. I think there is an under current occurring where have-a-go modellers are now using the internet in different ways to share their skills and experience, I think it’s great. We’ll continue to find and link awesome modelling from this blog.

    Now, in what shoe box have I left that Parkside Dundas LNER CCT kit?


  4. “I think there is an under current occurring where have-a-go modellers are now using the internet in different ways to share their skills and experience, I think it’s great”

    Things are certainly evolving. I don’t necessarily see theoretical debate and discussion as a bad thing per se; there’s a place for it even on MU – although there, it does tend to be conducted by folk who can back up their views from their experiences and skill.

    The real problems occur IMHO when a forum tries to be all things to all men (whether that be for commercial reasons or not is a moot point, of course…) – such an environment is bound to facilitate misunderstandings, regardless of any amount of instruction to ‘play nicely’. And that, combined with intolerance and a desire to ‘have one’s say’ is where the flashpoints occur.

    Feeling quite the philosopher today… 😉

  5. I agree, what’s the point of bad mouthing someone or just being plain old negative all of the time? For those of us who are starting out, it can be off putting. Then there are those who can’t quite remember that, at some point in their lives, they themselves didn’t know everything there is to know about the the world of railways and modelling! There are ways of inputting into a conversation or correcting someone on a thread without being abrupt, pushy and at the end of the day rude!

  6. Oly,

    I quite agree; there is far too much of this going on on both RMweb and some of the other forums even though they purport to have left such behaviour behind. Whilst some of it is the talkers rather than the doers, there are a fair few doers that like a good stir too!

    If you walked into a pub and chatted to someone you didn’t know previously, if you had quite a personal criticism to make you would do it very gently or not at all. Why is it when we are hidden down the medium of the internet we suddenly throw such sensitivity away and feel it is acceptable to be blunt or even downright rude in offering our opinions?

    Equally, we all know that what and how we chose to portray is not to everybody’s tastes so not everyone out there is going to love our particular thing. Thus, we do need to chill out a bit when someone indicates “that is not really for me”.

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