what do non railroaders think of your layout?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by eve_9d9, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. eve_9d9

    eve_9d9 Member

    Maybe its just my weird family and friends but everyone I show my railroad to that isnt into model railroading seems to be appalled that I would spend the kind of time I do on something like this........today an old friend of mine I hadnt seen in many years stopped by for a visit. I was in the train room (otherwise known as the basement) and my wife sent him down. When he got down there I was balanced on a stepladder one knee on top of my layout, with tweezers trying to build a rustic split rail fence around my little graveyard scene. (In N scale a split rail fence is very very tiny). When I looked up the look on his face was one of: what the hell are you doing? I kind of expect people to at least appreciate the detail and workmanship I put into my layout, even if they arent modelers themselves, but I seldom get that satisfaction.....even from the wife who regards my fascination as harmless but silly...do you guys get that too? or do my group of friends really just lack that much imagination?wall1
  2. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I never get negative reactions, but mos people LOVE watching trains on my layout and are excited for the scenery to come, but there is something for everyone on my train, heavy industry, country scenes, Great Lakes ore dock, river with fishermen, but most everybody loves watching the caboose:mrgreen: except my grandma who likes the 2-10-2 steam locomotive.

    My parents give me the reactions you get when I do very fine detail work like you though too, my feeling is that you are the most important, so as long as you like it its ok.
  3. jesso

    jesso Member

    My oldest daughter walks into the train room watches the trains for about thirty seconds, says "I'm bored" and promptly walks out of the room. Most people are nicer than that, they will at least act like they enjoy it. Some people come in and are really excited. Most just don't know what to expect, living in Southern Utah most of them rarely if ever think about trains, as the closest track visible on i-15 is about 220 miles north of here.
  4. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    eve_9d9, the people who don't "get" your model railroading probably spend most of their free time passively watching tv.

    Unfortunately, I think many - most? - people couldn't imagine taking time away from their tv shows for something like learning new skills, creating things, making art or music ... Their loss.

    Let's see your graveyard fence! :)
  5. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    I find myself not telling a lot of people I'm into MRRing. Most people seem to think it's a 'weird hobby'. But the funny thing is, in the last year that I've gotten back into trains, I have run into 2 of my regular customers and 1 vendor I do business with at my LHS! sign1 So I think there are more of us closet train weirdos out there than one might think!!!! :twisted:
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I've never had a negative reaction to the layout. Most guys think its pretty cool and want to ask about construction and modeling techniques. Women tend to focus on the little scenes with people or comment on the scenery. Kids just love to watch the trains go around. I think it helps that my track plan has hidden track and trains appear from unexpected places that surprise visitors.

    The downside of the layout when company comes over is that some people (kids especially) want to linger in the basement longer than others so I tend to hang out down there and miss part of the party.

  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    The only reaction I have gotten is "somebody has a hobby". Or "you play with trains ?". That one made me fell like a pervert or something. And then they walk away. Kind of disappointing.

  8. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    haha. I know plenty of people that are into watching "american idol" - and I think that is a weird waste of time :)

  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Well, we have people over who don't look at the trains, but most of them are the people who don't look at the paintings on the walls or my wife's little collections but just drop into a chair and talk (about themselves).
    Of course, I have the same problem when we visit people that want to watch a bunch of guys kick part of a pig around for the afternoon.
    I find that a lot of those who come over to work on the furnace or the wiring have a bit of interest, usually starting with "How long did that take?"
  10. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I've never really had a negative reaction from people who've seen my layout. Most are rather impressed, if I may say so. The kids all love it, even if they're only there a few minutes. I've even had clients who were model railroaders ask to see the layout. It must be all the Art Deco train posters on my office walls that tips them off.
    The only truly irritating person I've ever come across was a co-worker who referred to model railroading as "playing with choo-choo trains.":v8:
  11. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I get the reaction...

    "Layout, like in Playboy?"

    I dunno how layout refers to playboy yet.
  12. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Let's say they mean photo layout and leave it at that. :)
  13. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You know, I was at the LHS today, and I have never seen it so crowded - with people of all sorts. I think the stereotype "model railroader" as being an old guy with gray hair and thick glasses doesn't really fit. You really never know what visitor is going to be into the layout, and which one isn't.

  14. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    This post got me thinking that there must be some "secret" phase that we can use to identify other MR's without exposing our selves to the "you play with cho-chos" reaction. Lol...

    Any ideas?

  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    How about, "Are you on track?" :)
  16. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    My wife thinks its a bit odd the amount of time I spend on my RR'ing, however believes that its better then me being out trashing a bar and spending cash on booze. My daughters get a kick out of my trains and like to send a couple of spare trucks I have careening down the track work at unrealistic velocities when I'm not using the locos. My eldest daughter (7) was happier then a pig in snot when I handed her the cab one evening and let here drive the loco up and down the track with a caboose on the back. Mind you she probably didn't go over a scale 5 mph but I could tell she liked it.

    Speaking of stereotypes...I listen to way too much Heavy Metal, still enjoy a good mosh pit, and often cite the phrase "If its too loud you're too old!" when people don't agree with my taste in music. I also dress in black from head to toe, black leather trench coat, hoodie and all. So if you're ever in Toronto at George's trains one day on an early Saturday morning, and see a guy who looks like his going to rob the place blind that's me. Don't be afraid, I don't bite.

    In fact given my line of work, out of habit, I've probably sized up before you even walked in the door, watching you, making sure you don't try anything stupid. Heh! :twisted:
  17. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Ha! Josh's Layout comment reminded me to never say that you "Model" without mentioning trains. I get flabergasted looks and excitement out of people, then they ask some fashion question, and I say,"No! Model Railroading" and they roll their eyes and sigh.

    People seem to like my layout, I wish it could have more scenery on it, but I guess I'll have to do that myself, it won't grow on it's own! ;)

    Sound Locomotives REALLY add to the interest of non-modelers and relatives, they're consistently amazed by that.
  18. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    teeters: You, piqued my interest, are you in LE?

    Also, similar taste in music, mind you I don't go out to pits anymore, never really did, though I confess to instigating a few (former metal bass god/hair farmer/shoe gazer) Doing outdoor backyard shows in East LA naturally lent to some serious good/bad times.

    My only other little secret, besides playing with toy choo-choos is Black Sabbath.

    Go figure...

  19. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I usually get the "That's CUTE" remark. I don't mind though, I think watching American Idol (or is that idiot??) or one of the other host of sickening (alternate) "reality" shows is a waste of time and of course, we all have our opinions. To each his/her own. I did have my layout hosts new neighbor stop by last week as I had the garage door open so she could meet David and I. She's pretty hot and had just gotten off of work so she was all dressed up. Imagine Alicia's surprise when she went out into the garage and saw a classy looking business lady in heels and business suit bending over the layout looking at details while David and I tried not to look too obvious like we were checking *her* out! She did seem to really like the layout though, she smiled a lot and kept looking over at the layout (train was running) while David, Alicia and I talked to her. I hope this new neighbor stays a while! :twisted:
  20. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    "on track" might be mistaken for a popular addictive activity....

    I have found that all the folks, family or guests, are amazed at the "level" that "toy" trains can achieve, and that I would put so much effort into it.

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