Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Model railroading

While looking on my bookshelf for some gaming books, my eyes were drawn to my old model railroading books, of which I only have a few. Model railroading is the great big ole hobby that I never had. Because it's one that takes a reasonably big commitment in terms of money, time and space, it's never really been a feasible hobby for me, so for the better part of 25 years, I've been at most an "armchair model railroader" who occasionally buys, reads and reviews books on the subject, and who mocked up some small scenic trials and weathered some rolling stock as a teenager.

Now, with my own house with several rooms, some of which will be vacated (probably sooner than I realize) as the kids start growing up, it occurred to me that it might be feasible in at least a few years after all that I could have a model railroad. Probably the modest 4x8 tabletop kind, maybe with an extension or so, but still... for me, that would be quite an accomplishment.

Why do I like model railroading? This sample picture that I found on the internet yesterday should highlight the allure. At its best, it's creating your own little world that, at least with good photography, is difficult to distinguish from the real world. The attention to detail, the little vignettes, the museum quality modeling... it's just a fascinating thing to me. Ironically, you'll notice that I don't actually mention trains in there as among the main attractions of the hobby. While I like trains well enough, trains are the excuse to engage in model railroading, at least to me, not the reason to do so.

Anyway, I don't intend to spend a lot of time talking about this hobby that I recently kinda rediscovered by reviewing some of my old books (most of which I bought at the same hobby stores where I'd buy my D&D stuff as a kid, by the way) but I do want to do a very smallish series of posts---two or three---where I talk about a subject or two related to model railroading. This won't interrupt my other series, it just gives me a chance to ramble on about another topic that I've always been interested in.

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