Monday, September 18, 2017

The Hobby Blahs


Eric Hansmann's blog (Notes on Designing, Building, and Operating Model Railroads) recently had a post dealing with the model railroading "Hobby Blahs".  As most of you know,this is when we just don't feel like working on the layout or individual model railroad projects.


He comments that we all go through this and asks, "What do you do to fire up your interests again? How do you get that mojo workin’?" He received several comments and I posted those below.


So what do you do to escape the Hobby Blahs and get back to the layout or projects in general?


Bob Chaparro



John Huey says:     


I hear you, burnout, even if only temporary, comes hand in hand with almost any form of creativity. I love railroading and railfanning, but these days there is nothing to see trackside which holds my interest, so I railfan in HO scale now.


Sometimes that too becomes “tedious” and a break is needed. In the past I’ve gone so far as to sell everything off, or just taken a break for an indefinite period. Lately though, rather than the drastic moves of my youth, I just change tracks, or in this case lanes. I have taken to modeling trucks for the upcoming layout changes. All sorts of semi’s that would have operated in and around my railroads base of operations are getting built. Kits I’ve had for upwards of 40 years are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with some finishing touches. I’m even planning a truck stop, albeit a not too large one. Fuel pumps, no-tell motel, and a greasy spoon, all along a lonely stretch of sun bleached asphalt where there are no scales. Since I model southeast Arizona, right near the Mexican border, the variety is quite interesting back in the mid 1970’s.


Variety? It really is the spice of life. One tends to take less “drastic” actions if one remains entertained. So in your case, build things for your next layout in your new home. That is my advice to you. Enjoy your trains…


Jerry says:    


Those Accurail 36ft cars got my juices flowing too. Planning to do some serious upgrading, I did the artwork and had decals produced for the ones I intend to model.


Paul Woods says:   


I got my mojo back last January while lying in hospital following a repair to a heart valve – I realized then that, not only had I achieved very little to date, but I would also be right royally cheesed off if I kicked the bucket before getting some semblance of a working layout built. There’s nothing like getting acquainted with one’s mortality to light a fire under one’s behind!


Jeremy Dummler says:      


When I get the “hobby blahs” the best thing is to find a project and get it finished. That sense of accomplishment that comes from getting something done usually gets me headed in the right direction. Sometimes its harder than just that, and it takes something inspiring, like a visit to a layout to operate or a hobby event. Hopefully the three boxcars above are the catalysts to get you going again!"


Alan says:    


We all get the “blahs.” That’s why I have several different hobbies. Right now I’m in the process of rebuilding the transmission of our 1930 Model A Ford cabriolet convertible/ (Actually, I’m rebuilding it because the 87-year-old roller bearings gave up the ghost.)


Jared Harper says:  


Like Paul Woods said, “I would be royally Cheesed off if I kicked the bucket before getting some semblance of a working layout built.” However, I go a little bit further when I tell my wife, “I will really be pissed if I croak before I finish my model railroad.” It really got me moving when Jim Six spoke at one of his seminars in Indiana. He reminded all the attendees that they are not getting any younger and if they are going to build a model railroad NOW is the time. After that meet I pledged to average at least an hour a day on building my railroad and I have. Last night I was having a heck of a kidney stone attack; I took a hydrocodon and went to the basement and worked an hour. There are occasional days I do not work on it like when I am attending an RPM meet but I always make up that time. Once I get up the gumption and start I can keep going.


Dave Bott says:       


A deadline helps. I don’t like to establish too many deadlines because it is a hobby, not a profession. However, promising something to someone else adds a nice social aspect and requires action. Part of the problem is just getting to the workbench or layout. Once there, success breeds energy and builds upon itself. But getting there, when distracted by familial duties, even a minor illness, or by the start of college football season, can be more than half the battle. At least the darkness and weather of winter will be here soon, and I’ll be pushed that much closer to my workbench. Your move northward should help you a little in the coming months!


Galen Gallimore says:        


I clean the workbench. Even if I’m midway through a project, clearing off the detritus that accumulates around a model, including the tools, paints, glues, etc. goes a long way to reigniting the pilot light, so to speak.


Brian Sopke says:   


Great topic. I get the blahs from time to time too. Usually I can get inspiration from an article in one of the model railroad magazines, or from a friend’s suggestion for a project and that will relight the fire.


Bill Welch says:       


I like Galen’s approach and wish I had his discipline. Here are some things that keep me motivated and fresh.


1.) Pushing the limits—for example I have recently started replacing styrene ladder rungs with 0.010 styrene rod.

 2.) In addition to freight cars I have several 1st Gen. diesels in process and at various stages so always something to do. Next challenge here will be DCC, sound and lighting installs myself or hiring someone or combination.

 3.) I am about midway in making patterns for a new resin kit. I have done 4 or 5 of these and given the problem solving and research needed, starting and stopping is the norm.

 4.) I also usually have freight car kits at various stages so it is easy to stop working on something and shift to painting and decaling something for a change of pace.

 5.) Weather something or experiment with a weathering technique.




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