I’m writing this post in support of Jim Gore and all the others who have gone through this. If you had not heard Jim Gore, who is a professor of Biology at the University of Tampa and models the Denver & Rio Grande Sante Fe division, had his layout featured in the December issue of Model Railroader. This should have been the highlight of his modeling career ( I know it would have been for me – maybe someday ) I’ve seen the article and his layout and his work is beautiful. However there were several people ( kind word inserted there as I would have preferred to use something else ) didn’t think so.
Jim has modeled a fictional branch of the railroad, one that had been rumored to have been contemplated but never built. He had modeled it using On30 equipment. Side note: standard gauge is 56 1/2″ between railheads, the Denver & Rio Grande was a narrow gauge at 36″ between railheads and On30 is 30″ between railheads. I sure Jim was using On30 because of the wealth of equipment at a reasonable cost put out by Bachmann trains and others. He also had come up with a plausible story as to why he used this gauge.
These trolls had decided that he had gone to far and let him know that what he had done was wrong ( again that was putting it politely ). Now there are always going to modelers out there that don’t agree with something that you’ve done and they usually will politely ( and I truly mean politely ) disagree with you. But these idiots went as far as to contact Jim by e-mail and call him. They totally stepped over the line.
I know to some extent what Jim is going through. Let me explain.
When I was much younger, my father had a friend over who was a “SERIOUS” model railroader. My father invited him down to see they layout. I was playing around with it at the time. Now at that time I enjoyed building things for the layout and running trains, thus a modeler who liked to run trains and not a model railroader. He quickly informed me that I was doing it all wrong. I felt pretty stupid. On the plus side it did make me want to learn more about how things worked on a railroad so that I was “doing it right”. However 40 years later I am still reluctant to join a club because then I would have to have people over who would look at what I have done and would be judging the layout. This blog has been a big step forward to getting past that. Who knows, someday I may join that club.
But getting back to Jim. He was very gracious about all the criticism and kindly replied to it by saying that it was his layout, his reality and that this is only a hobby. He is a better man then I am. I probably would have lashed out at them, making matters worse.
So to Jim, hang in there, a majority of modelers support you and what you have done. I will offer to you the same sage advice that I offer to my grandson when he takes a tumble – ” shake it off buddy “. And remember this, those that can – Do, those that can’t – criticize the others.