Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pages of Glossy Goodness

I'm religious about my Model Railroader magazine. There is no greater joy than checking my mailbox to find this month's issue within. I'll curl up on the couch as the pages take me to the homes of hardcore modelers trying to relive the memories and railroads of their youth. I especially like the grand steam engines from the heyday of railroading. I've had the good fortune of riding behind one of those mechanical beasts as a birthday present in my childhood. The chuff chuff of the engine as seen on old newsreels still excites me to this day. Today, on the couch, I curled up amidst that familiar ritual as I turned the pages and drank my coffee. I read an article about an American themed layout in Australia. The modeler had captured the detail of the American Southwest down to the tumbleweeds on the highways. I realized I was looking at contemporary art.

George always chided me about my trains and the love I had for them. "Go play with your little model toys," he would say in between beers, playfully. I would huff in protest and exclaim that it was as legitimate a hobby as any. Just like Annabel likes to make Rosaries, I like to assemble kits, paint them, and weather them as if they have been in service on a railroad for decades. My grand dreams of transforming a room in my home into a miniature rendition of the Chattahoochee Valley Railway live on undaunted. George's words would make me want to sneer when his hobby was consuming Milwaukee's Best Ice beer as he drove around and dodged the police.

HO scale. O scale. N scale. Big Boys. Reticulated. Union Pacific. Santa Fe. Roundhouse. I could go on and on with words that excite me and stir the dreams within. And that is the most fun part of model railroading to me, the grand dreams I have upstairs in my head of railroads to be and projects to complete. I think I am starting to feel better after a blah, missing Rosa, morning. Extravagant and artistic magazines seem to help. Excuse me while I escape to my workbench to weather with my airbrush that hopper car that has been sitting neglected for over a week after a coat of paint.

10 comments:

jane said...

my husband loves trains too - we have tons of german n gauge trains - he lived there for fifteen years and collected them! they're so cool!

anyone who collects trains is cool!

impromptublogger said...

Ahhh - so you're a closet train geek who's finally come out! lol

Reminds me of the comic strip "For Better or Worse". John the Dad is a big model railroader too.

It's a great way to escape the "real world" for a while.

justLacey said...

My son loves trains, we have a huge box up in the attic that he doesn't even know about. A friend gave them to us, but I hate to think of all that mess! Annabel's rosaries are gorgeous, what an interesting hobby.

wstaple said...

I got back into N scale trains a couple of years ago after a 20 year absence. I've got a small layout (about 3' x 5')with two tracks around a small town and neighborhood. The middle track is a trolley track. All of the houses and buildings are have lights. Whatever you do, stay away from the Bachmann e-z track. Great concept, but it's a pain in the rear to work with. I'd suggest Atlas track. In fact I'm thinking of starting all over with my track and just working around the buildings, houses and pond. Good luck!

Eric said...

I had a principal in high school who was a model train lover. He set up a small track around one of the rooms in the school and had a single train going most of the day. When we went on a scholastic competition trip, he made sure we stopped a large model train store so we could all bask in his hobby. I found it fascinating, esp. all the trimmings, the towns, mountains , tunnels, etc.

Summer said...

I love trains. I used to ride the great Southern Railway to my grandmother's house every summer. I still have my own train that Santa brought me when I was a little girl. I often think of setting it up and making a little town around it... Summerland. That's where I want to live.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

ahhhhhhh George..
wonder what he's up to..
Dumpster Dan?
I hope they're safe.
Always,
Crusty~

"Wolfgang" said...

I'm a model railroader and railfan. Just armchair right now, as I had to disassemble the layout i was building when I moved 3 years ago. Haven't got around to cleaning out the garage to rebuild. Soon...

I'm HO, early 70's UP.

My wife used to make fun of me for using all these state-of-the-art expensive tools to work on little plastic models instead of building furniture or something. Oh well...

A model railroad is a world I can create and control.

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