SER Webinar: The Pursuit of Realism

Starting right now (7:30 p.m. Eastern):

71x100 The Pursuit of Realism

SER Education Chair Owen Maddux’s second webinar is “The Pursuit of Realism,” presented by Lance Mindheim, the owner of The Shelf Layouts Company, a full time custom model railroad building and design company. Lance is the author of seven books, has been published in all of the major hobby magazines, and was a clinician at the 2019 SER convention.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 7:30pm EST and 6:30pm CST

The webinar will be on Zoom:

Meeting ID: 720 2318 9081
Passcode: KzE351

Everyone welcome

well well well …
I shouldn’t be surprised, should I?
The personal shopper does the shopping and selecting, the hired layout builder does the modeling, there are companies to deliver restaurant food to your door (not speaking pizza or other fast food). I wonder if there are companies to look after SWMBO as well …


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! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I just remembered that at a train show several years ago, a husband and SWMBO told me how hard they worked running errands and housework, so they could spend several hours a week enjoying their layout together. It might have been Ray and Renee Grosser but I think it was another couple. :thinking:

Wouldn’t we all love to be able to make a living out of our hobby lol ? I certainly would but I have to be realistic. I remember many years ago when I was subscribing to Model Railroad magazine, I started seeing ads for professional layout companies and I was floored ! Didn’t know that was a career field- how awesome. I do miss it but can’t do both armor modeling and railroading, time and money don’t permit. I still have all my railroad books though…

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Painfully, I can sympathize. I continue to wrestle with what subject to cease modeling. But if I ever get the space for a layout, model railroading will be my focus.

I thought maybe when I retire I’d build a layout. That won’t be for 6 years and I’ll be 60, we plan on moving to South Carolina in about 8, maybe when we get into the new house?? Not sure if I’ll be able to do anything at that point lol !