A little while ago, Mike Cougill asked:
What sacred cows are we clinging to that will soon be as antiquated as outside third rail power distribution?
The above is a paragraph quoted from his blog as part of a post titled It’s a Continuum. He’s asked an interesting question and one I hadn’t thought of quite in the terms he was asking. I strongly encourage you to take a moment and read the rest. Here’s a link out to it:
With my constant interest in the relationship we have with the hobby and how we represent that in our work, I wrote, in a comment on that post:
It’s certainly a fascinating time. Maybe it’s just me but the hobby feels old enough to have developed a history layer and we are at a time where we’re far enough “in” that we can start to gaze back and compare then to now. Conversations like this one certainly fit.
I wonder how the point of entry for the typical new modeller will change. In the mid-century period we had folks entering the hobby through train sets on Christmas morning. Today we have new modellers who arrive at the hobby as a modelmakers who might traditionally have gravitated more toward plastic models like tanks and like military vehicles.
I’m wagering that changes in the definition of where we call home will have an affect on the hobby. I guess, this is asking how much longer for the basement empire layout? How long until we just can’t have those any more and what will the new “serious” layout look like?
It’s that final paragraph. I wanted to ask how we would find a home for a model railway when the traditional locations weren’t available any more. It’s easy to respond that we’ll just create something small; change scales to use something smaller in size; just make some models; or build a module. It’s well-intended advice but it doesn’t address the question: What about when your fascination asks for a stage or actors bigger than the traditional four square foot micro can sustain?
I can’t find a conversation about a compromise. I can’t find it anywhere and given my obsession with design, I’ll never tire of looking for it. What happens when you have tried to be as critical as you can and all it did was help you more clearly understand that what you want is that miniature mainline. The conversation never seems to shift to trying to find ways to make that happen, even when it seems impossible, and I think I’d like to ask if it could? What if our only limit was the lack of available space? What could we do?
I have edited this post a couple of times since originally posting it last night. Once to tighten up the question at the end and again, this morning, to include a link out to Mike’s original post.
I’d like to expand this post across a span of several and will create a category to gather them all together as one. Clicking on More than Micro should return all the posts that work with this idea.