having feelings about this hobby

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by HOtrainman, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. HOtrainman

    HOtrainman Member

    OK. i have made a railroad about a year and a half ago at my relative's house in Vermont. in the past I moved to texas, and my railroad is still up there. i have decided to build another model railroad now. i have spent somewhat of $$ on a train set, hot glue, and more. i have been making some of my own buildings, and i have the feeling it is a waste of time, but i still love trains. I feel i am wasting my $$ too. What to do?
  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    We all have this feeling before we either walk away from this hobby, or right before we plunge into the deserved greatness that IS model railroading. Sure we run trains, but it's not only that; NO OTHER HOBBY ENABLES YOU TO CREATE AN OPERABLE MINI-WORLD. You're creating a personal alternate reality to YOUR preferences. We can probably never have that much power to change things as you do with model railroading. This is the most enriching hobby out there, because it's not just about what the title suggests, it's so much MORE! :)

    Hope this helps.

    As far as wasting money, perhaps you're not prioritizing your hobby $$. Great model RR stuff with some luck can cost you very little (under $50 in most cases) and the enjoyment is grand! ;)
  3. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    not to mention, it sharpens many skills. Carpentry, wiring, creativity, troubleshooting, etc
  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    On the other hand, a hobby should make you feel happy. If you are not happy with model railroading at the moment, maybe you should put your efforts toward something else for awhile. Maybe the MR bug will bite you at a later date.

    As for "wasting money," I think that could be said of just about anything we spend money on short of the minimal neccesities of life. For me, I don't mind spending money on things that make me happy and keep me sane, as this benefits not only me, but my family as well! Hmmm... that's it! "Honey, I am actually buying this $100 loco for YOUR SAKE!"
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    A waste of money depends upon perspective.

    I can spend 25 bucks a month on this hobby and be happy. If I spent 200 a month i probably would be no happier. but, there are other things that extra 175 bucks need to be spent on. So for me, spending 200 a month I would consider a waste of money.

    or, I could go out to a bar and drink away 50 bucks tomorrow night. 50 bucks is a new locomotive. And to think I could drink that money away on one evening. Sure, I would have a good time, but it is unlikely that good time will last more than 24 hours. Every time I think about myself spending too much on the railroad, I think of all my peers who spend money on cheap thrills (take your pick). And they wonder how I have money to spend the day before payday.

  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    If you feel the need to pause for a while, that's perfectly normal. Redirect your energy and perhaps take up a fresh new challenge-- Take up a new sport, learn a new hobby, improve your career, join the Peace Corps, join the Marine Corps, whatever. If and when the bug bites you again, the trains will still be there. :thumb:
  7. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Ya gotta spend money for something! I look at a lot of guys here who have spent thier money on jets skis, doing em alot of good now that there is 12" to 18" of ice on the lakes. Or the guys with the 8 to 10 G sleds....no snow this year. At least I'm spending time doing something I enjoy. I'll slow down some in the spring when I can start diving again but it does give me something to do in the winter,

    Kevin, that $50 in the bar would make you happy about 12 hours....then the hangover would kick in....sign1

  8. lunatic

    lunatic New Member

    99% of hobbies are a waste of money. As Gary S mentioned, so long as it makes you happy, then who cares how much money you're wasting!

    I have a multitude of cash inducing hobbies and they all make me happy. I would like to cull one or 2 of them though :) Now i'm interested in model trains too - oh god!

    I find that a break for a month or so always rekindles interest in hobbies. Sometimes achieving certain goals grows tiresome and you get bored. Take a break........eventually you'll miss it ;)

    Mick - who's spent over $100k modifying cars over the last 6 years.......never to see the money again LOL
  9. HOtrainman

    HOtrainman Member

    well. i just quite paintball, well, didnt really quit, just not into it anymore. It was costing me too much.

    and for the wasting money part- it is that i am afraid that later after building my layout, i will stop and then will either sell the stuff, or pack it.

    i think once i get to start on my table/layout details, i will get into it deeply. just like on my first layout when i would spend the whole day working on it.:thumb:
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    LOL we do paintball too. We go our own fill station for CO2 to keep the cost down! I can't play too much unless I'm sitting in a hide but it's still fun. I'd hate to have to guess how much I've got into my tackle box, rods and reels...it's a bunch, or into my black powder stuff, or firearms in general.

    The paintball and fishing is summer only for me. Firearms only for summer and hunting. At least the trains are a year around thing.

    But this is something for you to decide, not us.

    Good luck!

  11. stripes

    stripes Member

    You can never put a price on happyness! That is what a hobby can offer! It is a wonderful sense of contentment to sit back and and enjoy years looking at something you created with your own hands.
    I look at my first scratch built building and feel so proud. Have I learned from that building, YES, I have not made the same mistakes again. (more carefull planning)
    In 2003 I got out of the VA hospital after a 6 month stay for medical problems. When I went in I had never used a computer, having plenty of time on my hands (and ass) I took advantage of some classes and learned basics.
    So now to have a less stressfull life I have combined my love of the hobby, and have created a web business! It is not perfect, but I look at my site with a big smile!!! and say to myself, Self, look what you created!! LOL
    Take whatever enjoyment you can from your hobby and your life! Money should not be an issue!
    I do not know what era you model, but for example here are some great containers you can build for the cost of some paper and ink!


  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You have to have a budget and stick to it. One thing that has helped me tremendously, is to model a specific prototype in a specific time period. There is so much neat stuff coming out that you can go broke trying to buy one of everything. For instance, when LifeLike came out with that USRA 2-8-8-2 in p2k, I was able to resist getting one because I run Santa Fe in So. Cal. The Santa Fe had those only for 2 or 3 years and to my knowledge only on Raton Pass for helper service.

    Hobbies always cost money, it just depends on the budget. You buy a fishing license, and tackle to go fishing. Even if you don't buy a bass boat, any fish you catch will still cost more than you would spend if you just bought the fish at your local grocery store.

    The other thing that I highly reccomend is to join a club if there is one near by. I started to build a layout at my previous house, and was not really happy with the result. I just wasn't sure why or what I could do to make the layout what I wanted. I joined a modular club, and discovered that I didn't care to watch a train run aimlessly in circles no matter how big the circle. I found out I would much rather switch a local peddler freight on an industrial module than run on the mainline. My layout here at home now will be a switching layout rather than something designed for continuous running.
  13. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    As I grow older I find myself trying to streamline my hobbies and interests. I was into model railroading as a kid, but being a kid I had neither the skills nor the resources to create anything beyond a few pieces of track cobbled together on an old ping-pong table. As I find myself on the cusp of rediscovering the hobby as an adult, I have since spent some time pondering what I like about model railroading and why I want to get back into the hobby:

    1. Yes it can become expensive, but it does not require a large expenditure of cash all at one time; you can add on piecemeal a little at a time.
    2. It brings back fond memories of my childhood, especially Christmas time.
    3. You can enjoy the hobby year-round.
    4. You don't need to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy the hobby.
    5. It keeps both your mind and body occupied.
    6. When friends or relatives come over you can show-off your layout.
    7. There are no limits to what you can accomplish and build.
    8. No two layouts are the same.
    9. It's something you can do alone or with others.
    10. It's an ongoing hobby - you are never really done!

    Those are a few of my thoughts. I saw a reference made to paintball above... I played that for years. And it was fun. But looking back, that was a darn expensive hobby! And by the time I rounded up some friends that could get out and play, drove out to the paintball field, went through the orientation and got my gun firing properly (those things were always jamming up!), started a game and got shot within the first minute... for all the fuss and bother when it was all said and done I really only played for about an hour or two once a week! Anyway, I am too old for that now anyway...

    So that's my two cents on the matter.
  14. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    To me its a matter of how you put your hours to work for you. It seems for me that I can just get online for only a few minutes and wham, I am online for several hours.
    I know of a lot of ppl who have imaginary layouts, thats right, all of their equipment is still in their boxes just waiting for that perfect time for everything to be set up. Their perfect "train" world is in their heads all built up and running super, as big as their imaginations will allow.
    As to whether or not this hobby is a waste of time, to many it is not, but then to most of us, Perhaps collecting dolls or stamp collecting is a waste of time. Its up to each mind and imagination as to what is a waste or not,
  15. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Stepping away from the layout, or the workbench. I think we've all done it one time or another. But then we see a new loco being advertized, see something interesting we want to scratchbuild and we're at it again.
    Like mentioned above, the expense of our hobby doesn't come all at once, like the aftfomentioned paint ball, or even radio controlled anything. Even stamp and coin collecting can rack up the bucks real fast.
    Model railroading a waste of time and money. Thats a matter of personel opinion. But when I see the smiles on the faces of the grandkids as I run my trains....I know I didn't waste a thing.
  16. CRed

    CRed Member

    Love fishing Rick!

    I have tons of money in tackle,rods and reels,G-Loomis rods don't come cheap you know.

    A few summers ago I dropped a Gold G-Loomis rod and Diawa reel,a $400+ combo into the water and watched as it sank to the bottom of the lake never to see it again.I still have nightmares about it!:curse:

    I actually haven't done a whole lot of fishing the past few years,but I never felt like I wasted my money on it,I got alot of enjoyment out of it.I think I'll start taking the kids down to the St. Louis this summer for some fishing since I live only a couple of blocks away.

    I sympathize with you though,I just started too and have spent alot of money so far and I don't even have a layout yet.It's taken longer and is more expensive then I thought it would and have wondered to myself why?I think that once I have a layout and me and my son can actually do something with the stuff I'll be happier.In fact seeing the joy on my sons face will probably make it all worthwhile.

  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Building a layout gradually

    All of this is good advice but I really like how Christopher62 summarized it. I really like point #1, that you can build the layout very gradually over time. This also helps to reduce the amount of money that model railroading requires -- or, at least it can help you to budget your expenses.

    I started my 4x6' layout exactly two years ago and it's still not done. For several months, it simply was a sheet of plywood with track pinned down onto a cork roadbed. Then I painted the board green several months later, then started on the scenery and ballasting. Later, I added some buildings and other details (a hiking path, hills, roads). You can easily add to it in small increments and still enjoy operating it.

    I'm anticipating that I will now "finish" mine sometime NEXT winter. And even then I expect to keep tweaking it and adding new elements to it. This helps to hold my interest & keeps the creative juices flowing, while at the same time I can still operate my trains.

    Now, when people visit, they are really impressed that I actually built this layout. But I rightly tell them, Yes I did, but over a long period of time.

  18. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Here is my own philosophy:

    1. This is MY hobby, no one else's.

    2. I build it and/or operate it to meet my expectations and needs. If it isn't meeting your needs, consider therapy.

    3. Ditto for landscaping and buildings.

    4. It doesn't have to look like an existing railroad, or any other railroad for that matter. If this raises any questions, see # 1 for clarification.

    5. Finishing it will take as long as it takes. It may never be finished. Since I don't work for you and you aren't paying for it, I don't see that we have a problem with any timetable you may have thought you had.

    6. I do this to have fun. If I wanted to be constantly held to some arbitarily high standard, I would join the priesthood.

    7. I will value your opinion of my work to the same extent that you value my opinion of yours..

    The moment these rules no longer apply or are ignored by others, it is no longer my hobby and I am no longer interested. At my age, I have lived too long and survived too many things to live the rest of my life by anyone else's rules.
  19. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That won't always help. For example, Penn Central owned around 80 models of diesel, most at the same time. Try and resist every new model coming out then!
  20. 2680

    2680 Member

    i look at these hobbies as a way to keep sane. that is worth a lot of money. i run two businesses, have a house, wife, kids, employees, etc..... i need something to get away from all that and just have fun.

    but i also cycle through hobbies. when i was a kid i had trains with my dad (80's), in HS i was into paintball (early 90's), in college it was RC cars (late 90's), now i am almost 30 and actually do all my hobbies that i have accumulated over the years. i have groups of friends that do each, and when we get together, that is what we do.

    i also agree with some of the previous posts about what others spend money on. i have friends with motorcycles, speed boats, ATV's etc.... i can promise you they spend WAY more money on "toys" than i do......

Share This Page