Saturday 9 December 2017

Saturday Ramble

A couple of linked points drew together this week. The first was probably the recollection of something I've read recently online (Paul Marshall-Potter) about the distinction of players and builders. For a split second I was confused by the word 'players', but the break is this: There are those who like to build stuff and those who like to operate. I think I fall into the builder bracket. Michael Campbell (blog to your right) has jibed 'it's unusual to see you behind your layout at a show'. He's not wrong - I'm happy to chat and build, but less keen to operate the thing. This means I'm not a player. The exhibition is a reason to build, but is not the end game. That falls to  the process itself.
The second point is the bounce from my rather tongue-in-cheek comment about jumping on the AotC. which has generated an amount of reaction here and via email. I wasn't literally going to jump on it, but the challenge was to build it as close as possible to the 1978 plan and in the spirit of late 70s early 80s modelling. That is now done - end of challenge, bell rings, all change chairs. In a nutshell: now it's built, I'm bored and want to make something else. See there, it's happened again, builder, not player. I'm not alone here; there are some who regard their layout as the final act, but probably more who enjoy the process of making something just as worthwhile. I'd probably be better off building layouts for other people to take to shows, than layouts for me.
Right, all that said, I'm off to make a noise with Chesney Hawkes.


  1. Although I enjoy both building and playing to an extent, tend to be disorganised and easily distracted and so rarely get a layout anywhere near fact I often struggle to get much more than a wagon done without getting bored, which is probably why I have so many wagons.
    Perhaps, where layouts are concerned, there's a third category, which I fall into...if I plan a layout beyond a certain level of detail, I don't bother building it because I already know what it's going to look like.

  2. If I am the one and only present, I'm not interested in playing trains. Even then I prefer to chat to the public. Dave Rowe had the right idea with automatic layouts.

  3. Hmm. Very interesting. I guess I'm a player AND a builder. I don't start out to build exhibition layouts but it seems the showman in me just wants to get it out and share it. I do enjoy the interaction with the visiting public but I also enjoy operating. I don't tend to have a layout set up at home but if I did I don't think I'd get as much enjoyment. I think it's the challenge of trying to get things operating smoothly in front of an audience. Must be the performer in me. The same reason I give talks, I suppose. Although I get paid well I sometimes have an audience over over 100 and like to feel I'm keeping them entertained.