Lance Mindheim and the advanced beginner

Sometimes I read something and think to myself about how terrific it was, not because the author presented a truly unique and completely brand new idea but for the wisdom expressed when they describe a concept. I’ve just finished reading Lance Mindheim’s blog post titled Advanced Beginners. The Underserved, Invisible Modeling Class:

Advanced Beginners. The Underserved, Invisible Modeling Class

This is a real population within the hobby of model railroading and a market we could perhaps be aiming more media at. I felt like this was the modeller who is, as Lance describes,  deeply steeped in trains both real and model and is looking to get involved with creating something that reflects that relationship: a model railway that reminds the modeller of time spent trackside and inspires more time with trains.

The blog post is terrific and well worth the read. Check it out.


  1. You and I – and Lance and Mike C – are on the same page with this sort of thing. I wonder whether it’s worth the effort to try to encourage non-hobbyists to take up railway modelling by showing them “how easy it is”. Nobody takes up golf, or woodworking, or painting, or (insert rewarding occupation here) because it’s easy. We might better invest our time by encouraging and mentoring those who are already interested in the hobby to improve their skills in all areas – to move from buyers to builders, for example. Thanks for the heads-up on this – somehow I missed it.
    – Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

    1. Thanks, Trevor.

      What really struck a chord in Lance’s post was how he spoke to a population that have already paid to get in the door and but haven’t made their way to the bar yet. The traditional hobby press is polarized around either that first train set, that first 4×8 layout, etc. or at the complete opposite end of the spectrum showcasing the work of folks who have been doing it forever.

      Lance has published some really great posts over the years that are aimed at this population. We credit him for his approach to layout design but I’d sure like more attention to be paid to his advocacy for this “advanced” group.



  2. By the way, I’ve shared Lance’s blog post with the supper club I organize. Since most of the members are “advanced” modellers, I think it’ll generate some interesting discussion about how we can help those “advanced beginners” to, well, advance…
    – Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

    1. Thanks for sharing the idea, Trevor. I think Lance’s comments deserve to start a conversation and I’d love to be at dinner to be a part of the one you’ll start by sharing it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s