Model steam engines have always been around. Ever since the modern era, there have constantly been people who collected scaled-down models of large locomotives. Model steam engines bring out the little boy in grown-up professionals or senior citizens. There is just something about this hobby that encourages and excites people enough to spend big bucks. Make no mistake about it, this is not a cheap hobby. Although there is an increasing number of products made overseas that are available in the market, by and large, this hobby can still take a chunk out of your finances.
Before acting impulsively, you might want to consider getting to the bottom of its appeal. Why does it attract the loyalty of a sizable number of mature Americans with a considerable budget? Here are just some of the reasons:
Get all those Stereotypes out of Your Head
The first thing that you need to do, is to get the stereotypes out of your head of some sort of freak who is into model steam engines. There is some old stereotype that people who have too much money, and a lot of time on their hands become interested in model steam engines. This is called the former eccentric stereotype. It is what it is. It is a stereotype. It does not really honestly and accurately reflect the range of people who get into this hobby. If you only want to get to the bottom of the cult appeal of model trains in general, you need to sweep those eccentric stereotypes out of your head.
Busy People Love Steam Engines
The first reason why a lot of people are getting into this hobby is because it is a very easy hobby to take up and engage in. It does not hog most of your time. In fact, you can spend a few minutes on it every day, feel gratified and excited, and then move on with the rest of your day. It is kind of mellow. It is low impact in that respect. Of course, you have to shell out the big bucks to get a layout going. Once you have the layout, you only need to flip the switch, have the model steam engines make the circuit, and then stop.
Need for Nostalgia
Another reason why these types of scale model items have a cult following is because many people have a need for nostalgia. When you look at the typical steam engine, it takes you to another time and another place. A lot of people might claim that this is a more innocent time. A lot of people might claim that this is a time where Western Europe was brimming over with a sense of adventure and discovery. Whatever the case may be, you are not dealing with the here and now. You are transported to somewhere else. You are transported to another time and place.
This is a very powerful sentiment because a lot of people feel stressed in the here and now. A lot of people are looking for an escape. A lot of people are looking for a nice, clean diversion outside of video games.
World Controller Dynamic
Another reason why people get into model steam engines is you feel like you are in control. There is nothing more empowering than moving these pieces around and playing around with the train. Make no mistake about it, with this hobby, you are in full control. You control the units on the tracks; you control the shape of the tracks; you control the length of the tracks; you also control the landscape. You control the whole look and feel, and this enables you to sculpt or put together a distinct experience that is very special to you.
This is a very powerful factor because, let us face it, we live in an extremely confusing world. In many cases, our world is too complicated and so confusing that we feel like we live in a world that we did not make. We feel like we live in a world that we really do not have a stake in and, as a result, we feel powerless. When you play with model steam engines and spend some time seeing those units go around you repeatedly, you feel grounded. You feel that at some point in time, at some place, you matter, and your voice counts for a lot.
You Do Not Just Invest in Units, You Invest in Landscapes
When you buy model steam engines, you get great modular pieces that involve landscapes. You invest in something that creates a new reality. This is a very intoxicating feeling because most people are not happy with their reality. They keep poking holes in their reality. They keep focusing on the flaws. Instead of concentrating on what is going right, they focus on how things messed up and how they are missing out.
You really cannot please everybody, but if that is the kind of mindset you have, you might want to consider investing in model steam engines because they can give you a tremendous amount of contentment and well-being. Many people claim it is a form of therapy. I would not go that far, but it definitely has a solid appeal in terms of emotional engagement.