Yes, no kidding, is would be great to earn a living with one’s hobby. I’ve never searched for how many professional model railroad builders and designers there are out there but I have seen several advertising. At the 2005 NMRA National Convention, one of the scenery vendors told me that an undisclosed big name client was paying him the equivalent of three years of his product sales to build scenery for a huge indoor G scale layout Once I priced what it would cost to have the basic benchwork and track built for a layout I was working on…if I had that excess money laying around I would go back to recreational flying.
Occasionally modelers spar over whether hiring someone is ‘cheating’ or not. I don’t think so so long as one does not try to take credit for the pro’s work. Years ago a couple of friends who were award winners at IPMS shows and MasterCons started selling their winners (and also-rans) on eBay. That seemed like heresy to me. Now my thought is that it depends whether one is a hobbyist or someone who wants a dependable choo choo to play with. I no longer enjoy building benchwork, laying track, and wiring, so I’d love to have my track plan refined by a been-there done-that expert, so I can concentrate on building, detailing, painting and running my trains. I see it as similar to the Z scale briefcase layouts people have to get their fix of model railroad enjoyment and relaxation.
I hope you tuned in. He never did pitch his business other than to tell people where to write with questions about the subjects presented, and the presentation was very good. I learned a couple of things and had other personal concepts validated - and challenged.
And for SWMBO? Already exist - household personal assistant!