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How healthy is our hobby? (check the stuff that's healthy)

  • Locomotives

    Votes: 14 40.0%
  • Rolling stock

    Votes: 15 42.9%
  • Structures

    Votes: 9 25.7%
  • Track & Switches

    Votes: 11 31.4%
  • Electronics

    Votes: 20 57.1%
  • Manufacturing means

    Votes: 7 20.0%
  • Literature / info

    Votes: 12 34.3%
  • Community / communications

    Votes: 21 60.0%
  • Tools

    Votes: 16 45.7%
  • Materials

    Votes: 14 40.0%

Health of the Hobby

4674 Views 31 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Dan Pierce
What's your feelings about how our hobby is faring these days? Virile and vibrant? Or on the ropes? Just for fun, here's a poll, sliced into several subtopics.

It's a multiple choice poll, so click all the boxes you favor. And feel free to leave a comment.

(To give proper credit, this poll is inspired by the "golden era" thread that Zubi started).
1 - 1 of 32 Posts
I'm saddened by the loss of community hobby shops, and while I like the large selection and delivery of online, I really miss not being able to wander and browse inventory, and have conversation with a shopkeeper and others.
This is a problem for me, too. I'm interested in a lot of different stuff for my layout, but without seeing it in person I'm reluctant to put $500 into a locomotive. For instance, I am considering buying Piko's latest BR 24... but until I actually saw it at a train show, I wasn't going to buy it sight unseen. The same is true for rolling stock--some of it is very nice, some toy-like--and how can you tell without seeing it in person? And from a seller's point of view, I can say that every time I've visited the one G-scale-carrying shop nearest me, I've walked out with at least one thing I didn't know I needed :)
There's very interesting manufacturing developing, like 3D printing and laser cutting, that seem poised to greatly expand product offerings. I spoke with a manufacturer and examined a neat 450 ton, multi axle (sixteen, if I recall it right) depressed-center flat car at this years ECLSTS; bit too costly for me, but an appealing kitbash project.
Here's my take on this one: I've seen people offer "kits" that cost two or three times the cost of a RTR car. For some folks, that's not a issue--because the item is only available as a kit, because money is no object, or whatever. But I'm not interested in paying $300 for a rolling stock kit that I have to build, paint, and letter. Maybe it's just me, but I just can't see it. Especially since I like to run two or three of each car type.
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1 - 1 of 32 Posts
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