Monday, 8 August 2016

Tramways and trolling, ha!...

Because I share some interests with friends I thought I would join a Facebook page on Tramway Modelling.  Ye Gods, what a bunch of stiffs!  I got approval today and left it today!  Some turd reported me for trolling!  I asked the perfectly reasonable question, "why don't trams get modelled to the correct gauge?".  I get a torrent of modellers' abuse for wanting things to be right and the old saw about we do it for fun.  Well hey, misery-guts, so do I.  I just like it to be right, all down the line.  If you can't tell the difference between 16.5mm and 18.8mm, you should maybe take up golf.  I ain't saying that you're wrong to do it your way, just that the way you do it is wrong, as in inaccurate. That is beyond discussion.  It's a fact. You may chose to live with the error, but don't try ignoring it or defending it in my company or I too will get all defensive...and I WILL defend doing it right, whether you think that's trolling or not.  Whatever trolling is.  I guess because their little enclave of shit modellers hadn't heard of me they assumed I'd come from nowhere to "troll" them.  As if I had the spare time to do that.  I asked a question...they chose to be offended by it...tough titty, tram fiddlers. That's the attitude that has ensured smaller scale tramway models have been absolute garbage for decades and still don't improve.  Unscale gauges, jerky motion on poorly laid commercial track, overspeed mechanisms that are bought in and not made, all set in an urban background that looks like it was cobbled up for the sake of having something there, rather than nothing.  All the problems of model railways in the '50s, 60 years later!

Needless to say, I left the page to save the poor dears the trouble of kicking me off!

16 comments:

  1. Martin, You missed a bit of a dust up there a couple of weeks ago when Mark Casson, whose Grime St might not be the right gauge but otherwise is quite impressive, was attacked because his models were discouraging to people whose ideas of tramway modelling resembled what my father was doing in '63.

    ReplyDelete
  2. After today's nonsense that wouldn't surprise me, but frankly I thought Grime Street about as low as standards should be permitted to go for a show layout. Poor scenery, roads unrealistic, tram motion almost comical, etc., etc. No, I'm not remotely impressed with model trams, James. Never forget what George Stokes was doing in the 50s. OK his track wasn't great, but everything else was so good. Trams are still WAY behind that. In fact, frankly, I think they're a joke having looked through that page of mediocrity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The challenge is always to do it better yourself. Personally I'm a big fan of Grime St, and it certainly grabs attention at exhibitions. Mark is also always trying to improve it. I've long suspected that both physics and visual perception count against small scale trams.

      Delete
  3. In the case of tram models that's hardly a challenge. If that's as good as they get, there's a basic lack of any grasp on the realities of showmanship! But then I thought that about Hursley. All bought in with a bit of weathering. Not worth waiting to see. But somehow he is flavour of the decade and can do no wrong. If trams can't reach say, Chris Nevard's standards or those of Llangunlo, there is little point in my view, of even beginning. of course, what people do at home is entirely their business, but what you offer for show or publication has to be the best and what I've seen isn't even good. The bigger scales are more model engineering and are lovely, but cannot be part of a system, which requires accurate roads and good buildings and in 1/16th scale that ain't ever gonna happen. In 7mm scale it should be second nature to turnout something of the quality of the Gravetts, but I see nothing even close. Why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a) A neglect of the need for good mechanical underpinnings b) a reliance on outdated manufacturing techniques for small run models c) a lack of inspirational layouts that model a specific place and time.


      Delete
    2. The challenge is out there of course to build a 4mm tram layout with the wow factor - perhaps one of the more interurban lines would be a good starting place, Kinver for instance

      Delete
  4. Ah now Kinver had occurred to me. Its sheer oddness appeals greatly.
    And it's a wonderful area. We went to a chippy in Kinver once when cruising on the canals in the region.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd agree that model tramways are about 30 years behind model railways in modelling and presentation and have been for years. They have more in commong with model busses whose "dioramas" are normally little more than a dumping ground for over-shiny toys. Grime street looks better than most because it's owner has discovered matt paint.

    I think part of the trouble is the amount of work required to build a detailed street scene. Most tramways simple roll out some cardboard building kits for their motorised diecasts to run past.

    Having said this, physics is a problem. Making the overhead work on Hellingly was a nightmare. One change of temperature would adjust the wire enough to see the trolley wheel de-wiring all the time. Those who can use pantographs have a definte advantage in this respect.

    James is right, there hasn't been a really inspiring tramway model made but then this might be because the prototype was often a parade of seemingly identical cars, and railway modellers get boared and want to see another big loco.

    I'd take issue with the "what you offer for show or publication has to be the best" because if that is the case there would be no books, magazines or exhibitions as someone will always decree that the particular "best" isn't good enough. If you are going to say that no-one should show a model that isn't perfect, well you've killed the hobby as climbing the learning curve can only happen in private. Government policy might be to move everyone to spending thier non-work time sat in front of a big telly drinking cheap lager, but you'll have to excuse me if I prefer to persuade a few people that making something is a better use of thier time, even if it's a long way from perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Of course we should encourage people to make stuff, but once they've learned, they can show the best they've done, not the dross while they're learning. UNLESS, there is a super example to prove how good it CAN be, so that the less wonderful can be seen as a learner's efforts. To show only the lesser efforts (and seems to be tramways summed up) is not good enough where you're taking someone's money and supposedly showing off what the hobby can be all about. It would be the lack of the Gravetts' level of workmanship and easy interaction with the public that killed the hobby, not the lack of the crap, which should remain at home until it could be considered worthy of public exhibition. I think we all know when something is "best" and no mistake. It's a natural feeling that makes Stokes, Ahern, Denny, Dyer, Epsom and Ewell, Jenkinson and of course, the Gravetts memorable across the generations. We all knew they were the best.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Perhaps you should RMWeb, they're power-hungry ignorant arseholes just like you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wasn't aware RMWeb was a verb, Mr. Anonymous! And I was thrown off there a long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Now that doesn't surprise me!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was surprised it took them so long!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Odds

    I detect a certain sociopathic tendency in your commentary or perhaps just sour grapes. My impression is that having been thrown off of RM in the past, that you are a serial offender. Can we see your modelling excellence in it's ample form maybe?Or perhaps you haven't actually created anything at all?I myself make models in 7mm to the correct gauge but who really cares? I admire Mark's work and he has taken the hobby in 4mm to new levels, despite what you think. The phrase Pommy Whinger springs to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sociopath? Certainly, which is why I comment without a care about who might object.
    You want to know what I've done? Read the blog. I have been a professional modelmaker most of my working life, so I have no need to justify myself to anyone, including you, whoever you are. Clearly I have scratched the surface of model trams and caught a few blood vessels. Good! Now you lot might actually turn out layouts worth the entrance money to see. Now, I think we can all move on, so no other comments from your neck of the modelmaking woods will be published. But hey! You go on and waste your time. 'Tis all the same to me! The phrase Aussie arse-ache springs to mind

    ReplyDelete