Only men like model railroad?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by acshrpe, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. acshrpe

    acshrpe Member

    I am just wondering. Is it only men out there who like model railroads? Or are there some women. Don't worry I'm not a sicko or anything, just wondering. Why are you wondering now -- Because both my husband and myself are N-guage fans! HaHa got all of you going!
  2. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Oh brother (or sister, as the case may be)... Don't get Debbie going on this. She knows more about model railroading than I'll ever know in a lifetime. She'll put up 20 or more paragraphs on this one...:D


    Quick, everybody, keep her busy and maybe she won't see this...:p
  3. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member


    The Woman has an interest in 1800s N-scale steam. She hasn't bothered to build her layout, but we have the track design complete.

    She is waiting on the tax return to get the track and benchwork going. A few more months to go.

  4. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Actually, I have never understood the general lack of interest in modeling (not clothes... :) by women. There is certainly a wealth of talent out there. Modeling is basically sculpture in miniature, with a "real world" theme. I have a female friend who is a genius at doing large scale metal sculptures. She taught me how to use a gas welder (and it ain't easy, even though she makes it look like it is...):eek: After she slings around big chunks of metal and welds 'em together all day, she goes inside and works on her "cute" little ceramic cat collection...:rolleyes:
    Likewise, I have a few female friends and acquaintances in the theater world that build incredible props and scenery. I have asked them if they ever had an interest in building small versions of the scenery and they only see this as a tool to then build the full size version (like an architect). They could easily build realistic small model buildings that would make most of us green with envy. One of them makes incredible little shadow boxes, but has no interest in miniature landscapes, even though she designs big ones for theater.:confused:
    I don't get it. Is it cultural programming or are most women not interested in this type of "art?" They certainly have an equal talent for it.
    I mean, cute little ceramic kitties? C'mon Shannon (the metal sculptor), scratchbuild a bloody Shay in quarter scale and then I'll REALLY respect you!...:D

    Tom F
  5. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member


    You make a good point, and I think some of it IS born into them during their childhood.

    This is why I praise TomPM for allowing his daughter to have an interest in trains. Maybe he will have a female engineer in his family in the not-too-distant future.

    Hey, I would rather have females driving trains, than having them drive cars! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    <ducks to avoid the flying debris from females all over the world>

    Good thing the Woman is in bed, I would get HELL for this little reply. Hehehehehe...

  6. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hey Wolv,
    I hope you were kidding about Tom ALLOWING his daughter. My wife is almost as crazy about trains as I am and knows more about trains and modeling than alot of guys we know and have met. Unfortunately there are alot of pigheaded guys who think since she is a woman she doesn't know anything. She is a pro at scenery (especially mountains) and has done repairs on engines too. We have a friend that has a modest layout and her husband isn't into trains at all. Our good friends have a layout that they take to shows with us. All the scenery was designed and done bythe Mrs. and her husband just does the wiring. We also know several other husband and wife teams that model railroad together.
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    My better half is into model railroading. As long as she'e not doing the work(She's at work...I can say that now!)Well....She did do some Woodland Sceneics tree kits once.
  8. Wolv33

    Wolv33 Member

    Crackey! Where's my bloody head at!!

    No, that was actually supposed to say "encouraging" not ALLOWING.

    Okay guys, I think I NEED more TEA!!

    Tom buys the pink covered hoppers because of his daughter. In fact, Tom tries to get his whole family into the action. And that is really cool!

    Tom usually posts in the two RR-Line threads, but I am sure you guys have seen him around in other threads. He's a cool guy.

    Maybe Tom will come down to this thread and tell you all about he and his daughter.

    That is great to see more females into this great hobby!

    I met some at the Galesburg show this summer, and I was very impressed at their knowledge and their layouts! Females seem to be more articulate in their skills.

  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    My Girlfriend is a model railroader.She got into the hobby by helping her 2 sons when they lived at home.She is also a member of the club I go to as well as her 2 sons. We have husbands and wives as members at the club also.My late wife was also into model railroading as a helper,she never did help operate the layout but did everything else including typing the waybills and car cards.
  10. msh

    msh Member

    Hey Pcentral - like the sports nut whose wife insists on watching Sportscenter by his side, you're in Heaven from a spousal support angle. Wow.

    My wife? Her eyes just glaze over and roll back into her head if the train subject comes up.

    Congratulations to the Ladies (and gents) of Model Railroading! Now we have nurturing on our side!
  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    There's an older lady here in my town (in her late 70's) that's a fantastic model railroader and she didn't take it up until she retired.:)
  12. Two "high profile" names come to mind almost immediately. Mary Miller holds a Master Model Railroader certificate (as does her husband, Bill). Linda Sand is a well known layout designer.

    Personally, I'd like to see more women and girls become involved in the hobby.
  13. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    My better half loves Trains, she goes to all the shows, helps with the layout and purchases me Loco's for presents.
  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I've always wondered too, at the lopsided ratio of men & women in the hobby...
    I guess part of it is tradition...little boys get train sets for presents, little girls don't.
    I've broken this tradition myself, having 4 daughters...Brio, Thomas The Tank, & now Harry Potter... there are lots of trains around my house.
    No serious model railroaders though...(yet ;) )
    My wife too, has such an artistic flair...she makes handmade jewelry, & is a wiz at many other craft projects, & we even did a stint together once building doll houses...I would do the rough construction, & she would finish them, & do these incredibly beautiful interiors.
    But as far as model railroading, while she is very accepting, & encouraging of my interest in it, & even likes to go to train shows with me, for some reason, she has never been interested in becoming directly involved in the hobby.

    Hmmmm...maybe a lot of women choose to stay out of the hobby 'cause they don't wanna make us look bad...?! :D
  15. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member


    I think I can speak for the several modelers of the 1800's here on The gauge, if I say we'd like to hear more about your lady's interest in 1800's N scale.

    Bill S
  16. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi all

    Thought I'd better jump all over this thread. I am that seemingly rare beast - a female model railroader.

    Now then, I should state for the record that I do not actually have a working layout yet. :rolleyes: I just got into the hobby this past year, and have been busy with only one aspect of it, which is building a 3' x 4' diorama. It does have track though (2 for trains at the back, 2 for trolleys at the front) with the provision to hook it up as a module to other modules yet to come. I hope to make it operational some day - if I ever learn the Ancient Mysteries of Wiring! :D :D :D :D

    I started the layout for 2 reasons. The first is that I have always been fascinated with miniatures, especially architectural, and would have loved to build same for a living, if only that had been an acceptable choice for a woman when I got into the workforce (back when the earth was still cooling!). It wasn't though, so instead I gravitated towards graphic design.

    The second reason was that I was quitting smoking and desperately needed something to do with my hands - and my money!

    Oh, I just remembered a third reason - it's totally fun!!!!!!

    As to the thornier matter of why there are so few women in model RR-ing, here's my take on it. Apparently there is something about playing with building blocks at an early age that teaches us spatial perception, forms certain pathways in the brain necessary to thinking in 3-D space. (apologies for the wordiness of this :rolleyes: ) Playing with dolls and toy kitchens and the like teaches something else entirely. I was lucky enough to have parents that, for the early 1950's, were pretty ahead of their time, and I not only had wooden blocks as a toddler, but also Lego when I was a little older. And when my dad occasionally brought home Revell model planes or cars for my 2 brothers and I, we each got one. No exclusions.

    Another reason there are few women in model RR-ing is because there are a lot of men (present company excepted of course :D :D :D ) that don't *want* us there. Donning my flame-retardent orange coverall, I would venture to say that getting together with the guys is a time-honoured tradition, and having a woman around defeats the whole purpose. We, both men and women, behave entirely differently in the presence of the opposite sex -- there's a certain atmosphere when it's "just us". It's a bonding-thing. And believe me, things can get pretty raunchy when my friends and I have one of our "chick weekends" sans kids and partners. With them around, it wouldn't be the same.

    Having said that, I'm happy to report that the hobby as a whole has become a lot more open to the idea of females in the ranks. In fact, just the other day I walked into a hobby shop where they don't know me, and no one even asked who I was buying the stuff for! ;) ;)

    Anyway - that's my 2 cents. Happy modelling!

  17. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Since Wolv drug me in here I guess I better speak up.

    In my family we have tried to make model railroading open to everyone. My son who is now five is the reason I got back into model railroading after a 10-year hiatus. He first got interested in Thomas then the real thing all of which got me back into the hobby. He is four and is now beginning to help with the layout. He picks the locomotives and cars for various trains. As his motor skills improve his invovlement will also grow.

    My wife doesn’t model but she does something important. She supports me. There are no remarks or put downs, even though she doesn’t understand why most boxcars come in brown. Many of my birthday and Christmas gifts are centered on model railroading. She is responsible for the purchase of half the structures currently on the layout. She is good at the guilt trip thing usually right after I have bought something expensive for the layout.:eek: This of course results in me buying her some nice trinket or jewelry.:D

    Her hobbies include painting and gardening. I have asked her that once I get the back drops built if she would paint the sky and additional scenery that will be needed. Her gardening may actually lead her into model railroading. We have been in our house for 11 years and the gardens have pretty much stabilized. Her only job now is with maintenance. As a result we have been discussing building a garden railroad. I of course will have to do the construction but the planning will be a joint effort and she will have an opportunity to figure out the plantings that go with it.

    My daughter, who just turned seven, is a direct participant. She enjoys running the trains. She actually likes to do switching moves, which is leading me to redesigning the layout. She has her pink covered hoppers that she picked out. She has help paint the hard shell. She helps with dipping the paper towels in the plaster mix for the hard shell. She has also built two Atheran bluebox kits. She actually will ask if we can run the trains. For her seventh birthday she asked for and got three things: Barbie as Rapunzal, unicorns, and Lincoln Logs.
  18. RI541

    RI541 Member

    My wife thinks trains are cool, She likes the shows, long trips to the stores and going out to eat after.

    But her thing is needle piont or cross stich or something like that.:) :)
  19. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    This Might Be Boring

    Spitfire has come real close on the reasons of more men than women in model railroading but there is one other thing to consider.

    We who were kids in the 50's and maybe the 60's had a different world that we "played in". During those times and previous play was for the most part an imitation of work. Boys imitated their dads and girls imitated their moms. Girls had teasets and dolls and etc. and boys had electric trains and chemistry sets and etc. Each gender imitated in their play what they saw going on in the real world. Toys imitated the tools of real life and we imitated the real people that used them. Now days toys only seem to imitate some fantasy world generated on TV or the computer. In our time we would have probably given "a big thumbs down" to Pokemon or The Power Rangers!!!

    So a lot can be said for the spatial perception theory.... we all are in a way a product of our childhood enviroment....Unless you were poor and ugly like me and only the family dog would play with you.:D :eek:
  20. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Ok,lets hear some ideas to get more of the ladies interested.Anybody got any thoughts on this?:confused:

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