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Editorial Editorial....
This page is full of my opinions and views on the hobby.

Model Railroaders come in six main categories.  See if you fit into one or maybe even two of them.

First there are the DREAMERS.  Dreamers plan and plan and plan.  But their biggest problem is they never actually do anything about it.  These guys tend to have several dozen track plans that they are more than proud to show everyone, but they don't have a single inch of benchwork or track built.  Dreamers get bogged down at the earliest stages.  Dreamers really are a dime a dozen.  It is quite easy to be a dreamer, but sometimes it is hard to actually put aside the dreams and work towards completing the project.  Do you know a dreamer?

Second there are the COLLECTORS.  Collectors are the sort of modelers who buy all the kits they can get their hands on with the intention of building a fabulous model railroad.  Unfortunately, they have better planning then execution skills and tend to end up with shelves full of kits, but no railroad.  Soon they have so many kits that if they sat down and built cars for a month straight their collection would barely have a dent in it.  This seems to be a growing section of the hobby as more and more manufacturers do limited runs, forcing modelers to "stock up now".  I would guess most of us model railroaders do fall (or have fallen) into this category.  If you are a kit collector, try to stop buying kits for a while and just work on the ones you have.  I used to be a kit collector but got out of it when I had 50+ kits on my shelf and realized how ridiculously large my collecting was getting.  It was very hard for me to pass on all the new kits showing up on the market, but I did it by not going to the hobby store for months on end.  I now have only 12 kits on my shelf and will not buy any more kits until that number drops to about 5.  Do you know a collector?

Third there are the RIVET COUNTERS.  Rivet counters are the sort of modelers who start building kits for their railroad only to find out the kits are not prototypically correct.  They then get immersed in building better and better kits, but never get around to building a model railroad to run their perfect models on.  A model railroader once told me that becoming a rivet counter was the inevitable evolution of a model railroader and that it could not be avoided as you progressed in the hobby.  I don't believe that one bit.  My 80% rule is what keeps me out of this category.  I could easily see myself getting drawn into correcting every little defect in a car.  But remember, the goal of building a model railroad is to have a decent representation of the real thing.  Creating a perfect copy is impossible and the earlier modelers realize this, the quicker they can get on to running trains.  Do you know a rivet counter?

Fourth there are the WORK IN PROGRESSERS.  Work in progressers have started building kits, benchworks, and scenery under a grandiose plan, only to get bogged down and lose focus.  These modelers normally have a basement full of supplies working on projects in all different stages of completeness.  Their main problem is that they can't see a project through to completion.  Eventually, work stalls all together and unfinished layouts end up sitting for years between work sessions.  What I have found is that by building a model railroad in parts makes the task much more doable.  I can't imagine building a basement sized layout at one time.  I would become a work in progresser if I tried.  But, by building the East End in parts of 10 ft sections I can achieve short term goals and keep tracking towards the goal of a finished railroad.  Do you know a work in progresser?

Fifth there are the OPERATORS.  Operators could really care less about scenery, weathering, super detailing, etc.  They just want to get the trains running.  These modelers tend to work furiously towards getting the wiring and track work done and spend years running trains on bare plywood or Homasote.  These modelers are fun to be around, since they don't get mired in the details.  But, frankly seeing trains run across plywood pales in comparison to scenery.  Operators need to dedicate some of their train running time each week into building some scenery if they want to keep working towards the goal of a truly finished model railroad.  Do you know an operator?

Sixth there are the DRIVEN MODELERS.  Driven modelers are the rarest amongst us.  They are driven enough to work through the "not so fun" parts of building a model railroad, for the purpose of completing a operating scenic railroad.  For some this means tolerating doing wiring so they can concentrate on scenery.  For others this means tolerating doing some benchwork construction so they can get to laying track.  These driven modelers are really what we should all strive to be.  We need to have more people finish their projects, so younger modelers can see that completing a model railroad is possible and enjoyable.  Do you know a driven modeler?

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