Crazy Idea From Childhood

November 16, 2017

I loved my childhood and as an adult I still kind of reminisce those times. One of which it brings me to my list of most expensive hobbies. When I was a child I loved trains… I had a train set and I used to lay the track down on the floor or table of the living room and run it around. I have found identical locomative and couple carriages I had on eBay and other auction websites. And it warmed my heart. The picture you see below it is the exact model I had as a child.

Marklin is the well known toy company which for making toy trains. Earlier toy trains operated on battery or with a wind up system, just like a wrist watch. The company started in 1859 with other toys cush as dolls, but now the main focus is railroads. When trains came to model form they were big and expensive. Also the toy trains were very limited. Today we have hobbyists who build them ib their basements.


I liked going to the train museum on many occasions and they had a train layout and it was very cool to see two or more in operation. And I thought it would be very cool to build one but the only problem was the cost and second you could not fit a layout in a small apartment. 
In Japan due to cramped living spaces, there are layouts that you can rent by the hour and run your train. There is even a hotel room decicated for that purpose.

After finding out a series of videos of Miniature Wonderland, I started to rekindle that idea. Model railroading is a nice quiet hobby where you can model any region of the world or create your own and let your imagination go wild. Miniature Wonderland is based in Hamburg and it was created two twin brothers, Frederik and Gerrit Braung. Both who loved playing together and coming up with crazy ideas. And one of them was their dream to create a model railray. I really want to visit that place.

It's fun to dream, but I always wanted to be train driver. But that dream died, when I released that it is a very hard job but always you can pretend with your train sets. And probably thats why I wanted to become one.

I have done a little research of my own and it's not expensive if you decide to build one. I am going to list things you need… With any kind of arts and crafts projects, artisans always improvise. I am a computer nerd in some ways and I tinker with graphics and I work with things I already have. 

Materials and tools are one thing… the cheapest train set costs under $200. And this does not include the the track. The more cars or scale the higher the cost. And it all depends on what you want…  I have a bunch of Model Railroader Magazine, and there was an article that you can build your railway on a small table for $500. In fact there are some people who can spend thousands. I don't know even where to start but it all depends on a brand, how big you want to and if you want permanent, semi-permanent or mobile lay outs. The most popular size of the train set is an HO gauge, this means that scale is 1:87. The smallest scale is Z, 1:220 the size. 


What is the most manageable scale to work with? For beginners the suggestive scale is HO according to train modeler hobbyists. 

Let me start of with trains. In a real world there are three types, steam, diesel and electric. In theory in model railroading there are just two. DC which is direct current and DCC which stand for digital command control. As a price is concerned DCC trains cost a little more because they have a computer chip that you can slide it in, in order to operate multiple trains at once. And the trains can be programed to do what you please. While DC sets can be operate with DCC, but it could be tricky to convert them, especially when it is a vintage toy.  

With various building options there are two kinds. Kits that you need to assemble and paint, or there are ready made kinds or pre made that you only snap together. This goes for trees as well. You can put up lighting inside windows and streets. WIring can be tricky if you don't know electricity.

To operating your rolling stock you have a controller plugged into a wall, or you can have a wireless kind.With an adventcement of smartphones and tablets… there's an app for that.
In summary all the trains, building, vehicles and people are modeled on a time period and setting. Your inagination can go wild and you are the creator of your world! Train set modeling is a neat and pieceful hobby for all ages.

As for me, I live in a small place, but hopefully I will live in a bigger house. But as for right now the most affordable alternative is a simulator game.

© E. P. Sendecki / EeroSendTheKey