BCMM Gathering -16 March, 2015
Observations - by Jim Picton
I enjoyed our get-together at Wayne's yesterday. It was one of the few times that I saw guys actually talking about our hobby. We had two tables with new models to play with, stick our fingers into, and turn switches on and off.
At least four of us had a go at trying to put the cords back onto the pulleys of the Railway Breakdown Crane that Grant brought with him. Frustrating, but entertaining for those of us watching the antics.
I was intrigued by Brian's Single Ball Roller. Simple, never missed a beat and it could run all day. An excellent show model. Brian decided to build this model after seeing several ball rollers on Spanner recently, plus the one that Wayne Hortensius has on our web-site
The Kalamazoo Train Derrick was something I never knew existed and to prove it, Brian had photos of the real thing to back it up.
James seemed to enjoy playing around with my Mini Cranes. I figure if they still worked after James was done they were safety and structurally approved.
Wayne is still tweaking out his Chain Gang gearing demo. An interesting model as it lends itself to any combination of modular items that can be added or replaced quickly and easily.
Fred brought a work-in-progress model of a WWI biplane. He is having a few problems with the mechanics and was looking for advice but came up dry so far.
Lots of advice was given (sometimes not too well received) about the models, and this is what we need to give us ideas that allow us to think out of the box. As we get older we tend to get in a rut as we have done the same things so many times over the years. Seeing others' models opens our eyes to the simplest things having more play value than a complex model that we spend months building to get working properly. We build, take apart, then rebuild several times before we are satisfied. In the end, in some cases once you have seen it, so what. This is why we need to enroll new younger people. New ideas, new ways of thinking. It's time for us seniors to advance, at least into the present.
If someone is having a problem with a model, by getting together we can suggest several ways to fix it. This does not mean we have the right answer but it gets the builder into thinking of his own solution. I don't know how many hours I have sat here staring at a model wondering how to do something so I'll take a break from building and call someone and mention the situation I'm in and before you know it I've got it figured out as we banter ideas back and forth.
No wonder today's kids are not interested in Meccano - I wouldn't be either if I was just starting out. They want to build something simple, smash it up, then get on to something else.
Well, before I knew it the afternoon was over, but I did come away with the feeling that I had learned something for a change.