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- WEBSITES OF THE MASTERS -
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 Posted: Tue Nov 1st, 2016 04:00 pm
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W C Greene
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I'll tell you a little story. Years ago, a buddy & I attended an NMRA regional convention and went on a layout tour. We had all sorts of "badges & tags" hanging on our shirts-meaning that we knew how to behave. We went to "the best layout" in the state, one built by rocket scientists and engineers with lots of money thrown in to make it a "masterwork"...something we just had to see. We walked in the door and got confronted by a shriveled little dude who curtly said "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING" and walked away. We did just that, walked away, back to the car. Whatta bunch of jerks! We then went to visit a fellow who had a 5 by 10 On30 layout he was working on inside a screened-in porch. he had probably spent all the money he could on this and it was pretty cool. We stayed there three hours talking and looking at his scratchbuilt structures and RTR locos & cars. This guy was a "master" and didn't tell us he was. we had the best time at his place...it more than made up for the "masterwork" that we didn't see.
Who was the "master" then, the rich, educated dudes who built the best that money could buy or the blacksmith who spent a little and had fun making most of his layout by himself?
Update-The rich guys lost their "lease" and had to take down their toys, the other guy still has his layout and it is still 5 by 10 and runs on the porch.

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Nov 1st, 2016 06:45 pm
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Lee B
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W C Greene wrote:
I'll tell you a little story. Years ago, a buddy & I attended an NMRA regional convention and went on a layout tour. We had all sorts of "badges & tags" hanging on our shirts-meaning that we knew how to behave. We went to "the best layout" in the state, one built by rocket scientists and engineers with lots of money thrown in to make it a "masterwork"...something we just had to see. We walked in the door and got confronted by a shriveled little dude who curtly said "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING" and walked away. We did just that, walked away, back to the car. Whatta bunch of jerks! We then went to visit a fellow who had a 5 by 10 On30 layout he was working on inside a screened-in porch. he had probably spent all the money he could on this and it was pretty cool. We stayed there three hours talking and looking at his scratchbuilt structures and RTR locos & cars. This guy was a "master" and didn't tell us he was. we had the best time at his place...it more than made up for the "masterwork" that we didn't see.
Who was the "master" then, the rich, educated dudes who built the best that money could buy or the blacksmith who spent a little and had fun making most of his layout by himself?
Update-The rich guys lost their "lease" and had to take down their toys, the other guy still has his layout and it is still 5 by 10 and runs on the porch.

In all fairness, the 'rich guys' probably had people playing claw machine on their layout before. I've seen it on a NMRA tour in the past, where people you'd assume wouldn't touch stuff were as bad as children. Kind of like how gun accidents are often done by people who should know better (like cops and military people), I've seen some terrible behavior on layout tours from folks who you'd never expect.
But yeah, you never say you're a master at anything. People tell that OF YOU, it's not something you tell of yourself. That's why I disagree with the MMR program as it gives the title to people who jumped through the hoops. Some with the MMR designation simply aren't very good modelers.
As for the porch guy, you called it that he didn't toot his own horn but you thought his work was very good.
I've had a (very) few people visit my layout and try to flatter me with similar phrases, but I disagree with most of them. I don't see myself as a very good modeler because what I build hardly ever turns out like I'd envisioned originally.
But I bet porch guy had much more satisfaction from the hobby as the rich guys. I've known people with really good, massive layouts who just didn't enjoy the hobby all that much.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 1st, 2016 09:03 pm
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W C Greene
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Yep Lee, I understand about the damages to layouts on tour. It was just this guy walked up & said what he did instead of saying "nice to have ya'll here, have fun, and remember to not touch." Your layout looks to be a masterpiece in the making...just don't let it go to your head! LOL
(I really mean it about masterpiece)

Have fun & run a train today...
Woodie



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 Posted: Wed Nov 2nd, 2016 12:33 am
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Lee B
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W C Greene wrote:
Yep Lee, I understand about the damages to layouts on tour. It was just this guy walked up & said what he did instead of saying "nice to have ya'll here, have fun, and remember to not touch."
Fair enough, Woodie. I agree that was hardly the way to welcome someone to the layout.
People get so deep into a hobby, they forget why they're doing it. I think those guys sound exactly like the sort I mean...



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 Posted: Wed Nov 2nd, 2016 12:47 pm
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Steven B
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Having "facilitated" NMRA visits for Nationals, I have to tell you some of these "guys" are the worst at touching/breaking. I was amazed. The layout was quite a ways away and it was a bus tour. Suddenly 40 guys exploded on the scene and some (just a few) created bedlam. Most visitors were courteous, but the two or three really made it a tough hour. I could understand the fellow's curtness if he were putting up with this for 3-4 hours. But, at the same time, I wouldn't do it that way, I tend to try to be friendly before I become cranky. I think that I would have been put off too.

I have visited/operated many layouts and can tell you that for me, some of the most fun layouts to operate are not always the "master" layout. For me, the challenge is having an engaging operation vs. scenery. That said, some folks are jazzed by incredible scenery and are not much into operations. I like a balance of both, and love eye candy scenery, but if I am to stay for any length of time, give me some challenging operations.

So, for me, a true "master" combines both. I was once approached by a coordinator to become an MMR when the program first started and I thought the same thing. Hmmm, am I better than others? Nope, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. So let's just enjoy what each of us brings to the table. I guess that was what drew me to RPM meets so long ago. It was peer review.

I can't wait to get my layout room up to speed so that I can share my fun with everyone, 'cause I certainly enjoy everyone else's here!. I only have room for painting figures right now.

I will take this moment to plug the Great Divide Narrow Gauge Meet in Roanoke, VA April 1, 2017! Hint, hint - Tweetsie! We get some great modelers from VA/NC. I would call some "masters."



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 Posted: Wed Nov 2nd, 2016 06:45 pm
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Lee B
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Steven B wrote:
I have visited/operated many layouts and can tell you that for me, some of the most fun layouts to operate are not always the "master" layout. For me, the challenge is having an engaging operation vs. scenery. That said, some folks are jazzed by incredible scenery and are not much into operations. I like a balance of both, and love eye candy scenery, but if I am to stay for any length of time, give me some challenging operations.Yep, so many people get hung up with ONE aspect of the hobby, they fail to account for the others. Frankly, good operations (and track than works well) is primary for me, but I also want something 'cool' to look at.
Most modelers have a 'Meh' mindset to their own layouts because it NEVER turns out like you hope it will. Anyone who's too impressed with their own work is usually someone I don't have the time to deal with.
Steven B wrote:

I can't wait to get my layout room up to speed so that I can share my fun with everyone, 'cause I certainly enjoy everyone else's here!. I only have room for painting figures right now.
Yep, I never thought I'd have this layout, as I have a room to myself in my house, but it had several tall book cases and other things I didn't think I could move. My wife allowed me to move a large structure into another room. Once that happened, I could then move the book cases into one part of the room next to the door. And once I realized I could move the layout into the center of the room, that changed everything! I was off and running once I got a decent grip on the track plan (my own website has more detail on this).
Steven B wrote:
I will take this moment to plug the Great Divide Narrow Gauge Meet in Roanoke, VA April 1, 2017! Hint, hint - Tweetsie! We get some great modelers from VA/NC. I would call some "masters."I'd love to go, but I live on the opposite coast. Just like the ET&WNC historical society annual meets, I can't justify a trip to this as it's almost impossible for me to get time off from work and I have two elderly parents who get really ticked if I come to the East coast and don't come to spend equal time with them...



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 Posted: Sat Nov 5th, 2016 01:12 am
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Steven B
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Sorry Lee, thought for sure a Tweetsie modeler would be near here. Went through Elizabethton a few weeks back and thought, I gotta ride that trail. I work outside of Damascus, VA near where the Hassinger Konnarock mill was. I can see why someone would want to model this area.



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