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And Another One Bites the Dust

Joe Hayter announced his retirement and closing of Weaver Models, a major player in O-scale model railroading, and producer of Scalecoat Paint.

While I generally prefer other paints for plastic models, Scalecoat is my preferred paint for brass models. It’s a traditional solvent based paint that works very well. Some other paints are finer, and don’t block up details quite as much (although Scalecoat is still very good in this regard), but they are more finicky, especially with regard to humidity, and humidity is a big deal here in tropical Northeast Florida. Scalecoat isn’t negatively effected by our humidity. It’s a wonderful backup plan. Rather, was a wonderful backup plan.

However, the announcement has hit me very hard, and gotten me to think.

What’s the point?

I’m a model builder. I don’t have a layout to run my trains, although some day I’d like to have one. I have plans of building an out-buildingĀ  on my property following Southern Pacific Common Standard plans for a trackside maintenance building, and building a layout that will depict the Southern Pacific Coast Line between San Luis Obispo and Santa Margarita inside. I keep putting those plans off every year.

There’s a local club, but they only have a modular layout, and don’t maintain the layout so that fine scale models can be operated. I was a member for a few years, but became frustrated when my models wouldn’t tolerate the misaligned joints between modules. Of course, this is my problem, and not theirs, as their equipment with oversize couplers and oversize wheels didn’t exhibit any problems.

So with no place to run my models, the hobby has become one of simply building models for that future layout I keep putting off. The problem is, it’s getting harder and harder to build models anymore.

While we have a plethora of models today – more than I’d ever imagined – they are, for the most part, all “ready to run.” The number of kits available to build has shrunk dramatically. It’s getting harder and harder to find things to build, and even harder to find detail parts, paint, and decals to work with.

The hobby is going in one direction, while I’ve been forced in the opposite. If this were a marriage, divorce would be on the table for discussion. Unfortunately, the manufacturers who supply this hobby aren’t listening. They’re arguing, and for the most part, they’re right. Most model railroaders embrace ready to run models as both “good enough,” and a way to spend more of their hobby time on other activities, such as building layouts or running trains.

As with my local model railroad club, the problem isn’t them – it’s me.

So, what now? I think I’m going to retire (from the hobby), too.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Arved Grass › Two Updates on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 16:44

    […] Facebook Page that it has bought the Scalecoat paint line from Weaver Models. As I reported in my last blog, Joe Hayter announced his retirement and closing of Weaver ModelsĀ earlier this month. This would […]

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