G1mra Renewal Time

Discussion in 'G1/32' started by ceejaydee, 18 October 2011.

  1. ceejaydee

    ceejaydee Western Thunderer

    So my first year of being a member of the G1MRA is coming to an end and I now have to ask myself if I should renew?
    From a personal perspective so many things have changed or reappeared in my (modelling) life this year that at this particular moment I can't make an easy decision on this.

    The newsletter is excellent if a little too biased towards grand running days and steam locomotive construction and operation.
    I've been to a few meets, a local area group and a couple of garden open days and the seemingly constant bickering over scale and hostility I've experienced for my interests from some members is completely offset by the good reaction and openess that I've had from others especially being a relative youngster in their ranks at a mere 41 years of age.
    I had almost written it off earlier in the year but a personal invite by telephone to a local meet by the host who had noticed that I was a new member showed that there are still some good guys in the crowd - the fact that this guy has a layout that would encircle the close of 15 houses in which I live complete with gardens and parking area is another thing!

    If I stay I'll probably wonder why the next time someone turns their nose up at my electrically powered 1/32 scale models but if I leave then I'll not be able to be a part of what I hope will be some critical years within G1MRA and witness a shift in their perspective.

    The latest newsletter shows page after page of the usual bunch of grey haired folks enjoying their expensive toys on extensive layouts yet there is also hope for the future within those pages in the form of a teenage year old lad who having inherited his late Grandfather's workshop has embarked on building a loco of his own at the age of 15.
    This teenager may be an exception but maybe the increased interest in G1 can eliminate the elite attitude that some have and make the scale more accessible to modellers of all types rather than being the preserve of model engineer types and those that have the money to buy their wares?

    I do understand that my views here are based on my own personal experience and may not represent that of the majority but I am increasingly worried that so many of our long established hobby organisations are running out of time but are equally unwilling to change the way they view things which prevents younger modellers from swelling the ranks.

    I have very high hopes for the forthcoming Accucraft LSWR B4 loco and hope that this can be the success it should be and turns out to be an attractive introduction into the 1/32 scale live steam world getting a broader spectrum of people into G1.

    So having 'sounded it all out' here I daresay that I will give it another year to see what happens and then make a decision from there but whatever happens I won't stop tinkering in 1/32 as it is such a pleasant scale to work in.

    Speech over :rolleyes:
  2. John D

    John D Western Thunderer

    Hi Christopher,
    I gave up on G1MRA 3 years back having been a member.......nice people but unable to grasp that when the present aging membership shuffle off this mortal coil there's nobody following on as they refuse to open their events to the general public........it's like a cosy gentleman's club. To give an example ....I organised a one day G1 show at Barrow-on Soar,Leics.. a few years back (a reasonably successful do as it turned out) and I sent off details for it to be put in the 'Diary' section of the G1MRA Journal.......they replied that they wouldn't because it 'was not an official G1MRA event' .......shock horror! and here's me trying to promote G1 which is what they should be doing.....

    I'd think twice before renewing , it'll only be another year of the happy smiling faces of the chosen few in somebody's (very large) back garden........there IS life after G1MRA :)
  3. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I was a member of G1MRA in the 1970s/80s and I do remember Stan and Ella Roberts quickly moderating any discussion of 3/8" scale in the Newsletter because of the problems that might develop. In what was a very friendly society, it was the one problem I had with it since I chose to model in 3/8" scale (I also modelled in S and was more used to working in all imperial scales) . I visited many get-togethers during the 80s and they were excellent days out but I learned not to mention 3/8" scale in case I got an adverse reaction. I thought that with the passing of years and with the apparent increasing popularity of 1:32 scale, that attitudes might have changed - apparently not. That's a pity.

  4. ceejaydee

    ceejaydee Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the response Gents.

    It seems that I am not alone in my experiences regarding either G1MRA or the electric/ 1/32 scale reaction.
    In fact I was effectively removed from a well known track during one running session because despite being well within my 30 min slot I was asked if my loco would go any faster "Doesn't it go any quicker?" - I'm not old enough to remember mainline steam but know that a J94 was not an express engine.
    When I mentioned that I liked running my locos at realistic speeds it was met with a surprised reaction of incomprehension and the hurried preparation of a large steam outline R/C battery loco to take over from me.
    I think 2 rail pick-up grates with the majority too and when combined with 1/32 it really become unpalatable for them.

    There is a member survey with the latest newsletter but will the results make any difference or because of the general apathy towards change is the current membership dominated by those that stick with 10mm scale and steam as the primary motive power?
    What struck a real chord with me was when I read in the AGM & Chairman's report that - 'The Company's principal activity is to promote railway modelling in any scale which will involve a rail gauge of approximately 45 millimetres'

    Now I'd not noticed that particular statement before but it doesn't seem to hold true with my experience of the membership so is there or should there be a second sub-statement saying that if it isn't 10mm scale then don't bother?

    Yet all are happy to run their 1/32 scale Aster locos albeit with 10mm scale stock - I don't understand.
    I'm not one to force my own choice of scale or propulsion on others but equally don't want to be censored because it doesn't gel with the current majority of members.

    By the same token my some of my 16mm and G scale stock should be welcome as it has the appropriate 45mm track gauge!

    So assuming that there are other members who feel the same way as I (we) do is it worth remaining a member to try and change things or am I merely following a well trodden path that leads nowhere within G1MRA at the present time and do I pursue my G1 interests outside G1MRA?
  5. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I have not bothered joining, I cant see what would be in it for me. whilst running live steam in a garden on warm summers day is jolly good fun, it is not were im going :) there are sufficient resources outside the G1mRA for anyone modelling 1/32 (dare I use the word finescale?) to make membership less than essential.

    This might sound like awkward but I do wonder where all these societys are headed in these days of the internet forums and groups, the only one I have renewed subs for is the GOG, and I have zero interest in the politics and running of that. Sorry drifing OT here :oops:
  6. ceejaydee

    ceejaydee Western Thunderer

    I think you are right Guv on both points and certainly not OT.
    Membership of G1MRA is not essential as there are no real hard to source parts that are only available through the association.
    The closed nature of so many G1MRA events really does speak volumes about the way they perceive the general modelling fraternity.
    Like you I also question the validity of some societies that seek to rule their membership rather than support it whereas I'd almost say that GOG is to a normal member away from the politics and actual running an ideal organisation to be a part of.
    Regrettably I've done no actual modelling in 7mm scale for over a year (endless planning though!) but will be renewing GOG membership as it offers so much especially now mac users have access to the technical data online.
    The main shows and certainly Guildex are fantastic events where you can source so many parts under one roof regardless of which scale you model.

    I hope that you feel this discussion is valid and not too controversial :rolleyes:
  7. Old Buffer

    Old Buffer Western Thunderer

    Sorry to move away from the actual thread, but Cynric is right, cast your mind back to the early days of GOG, the mention of scale7 brought a whole load of adverse criticism and flak, a few of the older members are still "anti scale7" but the majority accept it.
    Overall I think a lot of it is the fact that a good many people have been modelling their standards (in whatever gauge, n, oo, 0, g1, etc) for such a long time they don't want to see the improvement that true scale can add to the modelling.
  8. John D

    John D Western Thunderer

    Strangely they seem to keep quiet about the 1:32 bit....... I mean the whole World models in 1:32 scale in G1 but here in good old Blighty, thanks to Henry Greenly, we're saddled with 10mm scale.

    Ah!....they so love it when the engine's puffing round in circles at a scale 60mph and the wheels are going round at a scale 110mph!!

    You've probably guessed by now that I'm not totally enamored with G1MRA....as said, nice blokes but strange ideas:rolleyes:
  9. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I think it is very valid, membership isnt cheap and it is right to question the its value.

    There is no question that mentioning finer standards does seem to ruffle a few feathers, and I dont know why they become so defensive (well I do actually, but ill leave it for now :)) ) about their standards. Before anybody takes offence, I dont believe that finer standards equal better layouts.
    But getting back to societys, modern technology, calls into question the need for newsletters, the cornerstone of any such organisation. Without that what are you really getting? I dont see the need for specialist stores as it is easy enough to source parts these days. The social aspect? no thank you. Generally the sort of people who like to form committees, rules and regulations etc are not my cup of tea, so it doesnt leave much reason for membership :)
    Personally I prefer a loose affiliation of like minded souls... I really must unfurl Neils pirate flag one of these days:))
  10. Buckjumper

    Buckjumper Flying Squad

    I was a member of G1MRA for a year but it was an easy decision not to continue membership as I couldn't correlate the abundance of bright sparkly, well-engineered toys in 10mm littering the pages of the Newsletter/Journal with the down-at-heel realism I wanted to portray in 1/32 (with ScaleOne32 wheel standards). Although the shunting plank was put on the backburner not long after, I still harbour high hopes for it to make an appearance one day, but I won't be rejoining G1MRA when it does.
  11. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    People seem to want their newsletters and see it as one of the main reasons for membership. From looking at a good few newsletters from several model railway societies, it's obvious that the societies consider that it is worth producing a good quality newsletter on a regular basis.

    On the matter of bits and pieces, it is not easy if you model in a less popular scale. A lot of manufacturers won't talk to you if it's only you that's asking, but they might talk to a society where they might perceive a larger sales opportunity. And the costs for some essential items are probably way outside the reach of the average modeller. Getting a new track system developed and produced for the S scale society cost several thousand pounds and I suspect that the 2mm Association spent similar amounts on their track systems

    Hey, I'm on the SSMRS committee. :)

  12. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    A really interesting question and thread, and I think I can say that in over ten years of pursuing Gauge One this is one of the most illuminating and reasoned "debates" around G1MRA that I have read.

    I am a member, and will renew, but recognise a lot of what has been said above. The current committee are making genuine efforts to move things on, I think, but whether much changes remains to be seen. As a matter of fact, I came off the phone to Andrew Pullen (the current G1MRA secretary) only this morning, after discussing a display of more "modelled" Gauge One that I and Derek Pollard have got sanction from the committee to mount at this years AGM at Stoneleigh. Chris Tolhurst is likely to be there and I am hoping that both John Dale here will be coming with a building and some stock and Steve Cook and too. So, there will be some seriously good (1/32) models on display and a group of like minded people to talk about them and enjoy themselves. Derek is particularly keen to get some competitions going, but the committee are nervous of this for one reason or another. I agree with Derek that it is a good idea and we intend to conduct some sort of poll or at least be canvassing members opinion regarding the idea of an annual G1MRA competition of some sort on the day.

    There are quite a lot of G1MRA members with sympathy to the foregoing here, but one often only hears the "opposing view" and sometimes it is expressed in a boorish and ignorant way. I hope this last isn't seen as being overly critical of G1MRA by G1MRA members who might read this. I genuinely hope and wish that it will become more inclusive and encouraging of "our" approach, if I can call it that, and am prepared to put myself out to help achieve this - hence this AGM's display idea with Derek. On the other hand I'm not prepared to "apologise" for being different and would really like to be a part of something that was more encouraging to what I want to achieve in Gauge One. (Which is where this place comes in very handy - thanks to both Cynric and everyone else here.)

    Lest anyone reading misinterprets this, there are a hell of a lot of really good people in G1MRA, but equally I think it deludes itself on a corporate level when it says it is friendlier than any other society or group. Which is not to say that it is unfriendly either......

    Gawd my bum hurts sitting on this pigging fence:))
  13. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Newsletter quality can be highly variable though as it relies on people being willing to contribute (the SSMRS might be different in this respect) certainly the G1mra newsletters I have seen had very little relevance to me.
    I can see your point on track, presumably it does have to break even, or is it a loss leader to encourage membership?

    If I meet you I will look for the clipboard and rule book :)) seriously, I know committees are an essential part of running an organisation and organising exhibitions etc, but they are just not my thing, I find the process slow and dull, which probably says a lot about me.....
  14. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Simon, I think you are a brave man trying to change an organisation from the inside, you have more patience and political skill than me.
    You see I do have a bit in common with Regan :cool:
  15. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Which neatly sums up something that has been rattling around inside my head.

    Mindful of Christopher's question and Cynric's assessment of membership benefits, might it be time to form a new (whisper it quietly) Gauge One association.

    ScaleOne Society anyone?

    I don't suggest this is any "opposition" to G1MRA, but more in relation to Jim's point above.

    In Gauge One we now have (scale) code 180 rail due to the great generosity of spirit and open mindedness of Cliff Barker. This was a huge barrier to scale modelling until Cliff got it produced, having never before been produced by anyone. (I'm talking about British practice bullhead here.)

    Although I have a lathe (natch) I haven't learned to make more than swarf and feel really hampered by a lack of ScaleOne32 wagon wheelsets.

    Last year, I got a quote from a supplier to make some. Insulated steel 3-hole, all quite do-able, needs £2 grand for a sensible batch. Steve Cook and I have thought about it, but just at the moment it's too much (comittment/risk/stuff).

    Perhaps, if a greater number of people got together, it might be more do-able, one way or another?

    On this sort of basis, and with what now appear to be a core of interested 1/32 modellers in the frame, I'd be interested in taking the idea forward to at least a sensible discussion of the possibilities if others were interested too.

    As I said, this is NOT a criticism of G1MRA but in all honesty I do wonder quite what it is that membership gives me, and yes I've tried giving back to it Mr Kennedy:p


    Who badly wants scale wheels for his wagons, lots of them.....
  16. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    More like (gently?) deluded I suspect.

    I think there's a lot to be said for direct action, but equally I don't want to be "up before the beak" with the contents of this thread being slammed down on the table in front of me:))

    Which reminds me of my youth, the lorry drivers strike, a Bernard Levin look alike and a severe b*llocking, but that's a story for the pub:p
  17. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Simon, G1mra does what it does and it caters for the majority of its membership, which is fair enough, I have no problem with that, whether that is the future of modelling on 45mm gauge track is another thing altogether......
    I do wonder about putting 'new wine into old bottles' I honestly believe that it is easier to start from scratch, and that half a dozen motivated individuals could achieve far more, without playing politics with the 'fifth floor'.
    From my vaguest recollections the S7 lot went through all this years ago, and it has probably taken twenty years to get acceptance.
    Just never ask me to join a committee :))
  18. Some of the delay there was due to the, shall we say, "exuberance" of some (some? one particularly) of those wished to be seen as movers and shakers on the Scale7 "scene", rather than it developing quietly as it had been doing. (This was imparted to me by a past Chairman of the S7Group.) I do think that a bit more publicity would have helped, but you can only do that with models at the end of the day.

    I would say, Simon, that you do not need to form a "ScaleOne Society" as it is already there!
    • This board, and your own website and FS32SGRailways Yahoo Group have effectively created various forums for an unofficial society, which has been in existence for some time now: must be over 8 years?
    • You have published the ScaleOne32 track standards, and we know they work.
    • You are also free of agendas, both for meetings and of the "hidden" variety, and you can be of the people (literally, "political") without getting into any politics.
    Yes, some wheels are needed in an ideal world, and yes they will cost money, but you can have subscriptions to a fund for this specific purpose without needing to have a formal society behind it.
    What you might want to do, is to encourage a few more people to write some pieces for your website: if you had a formal Society, then there would need to be some form of Newsletter, and regular contributions would be required to support this, and then it needs printing and posting.
    As it stands, if you can get people to create a Word document, it can easily be turned into a pdf which is free to the whole world via your website; when you get a really good article, encourage the author to send it to MRJ for publication, to spread the word.

    As for G1MRA, it serves a niche, but most larger retailers of G1 products will tell you that 80% of their sales are to non-G1MRA members! The committee are not against "finescale" or indeed 1:32, they just won't do much about it themselves as they have too much 10mm scale stuff already running on the rather coarse "standard" with which they are lumbered for historical reasons. They are where they are, and if someone likes that, then it is for them. If they don't like it, then it is not for them!

    Having served on the SSMRS committee myself in the past, I would say that it is a somewhat different society than any others, if only for the simple reason that if you wish to model British outline in S and you are not a member, then you are making an even harder job of it! And constitutionally, SSMRS exists for the benefit of people interested in railway modelling to a scale of 1:64 - you don't have to be a modeller in S to be a member.

    Having known Jim since I was still at school (albeit sixth form - I was actually out of short trousers, Jim!) I can safely say that since it is SSMRS, he can be excused the usual stereotyping as (a) it really doesn't apply to him, and (b) it does not usually apply to SSMRS committee members - far less so than for other model railway organisations I have been a member of.

    Maybe S stands for "Special".
    Stop sniggering, Cook!
  19. ceejaydee

    ceejaydee Western Thunderer

    I am glad that my quandary has sparked what has turned into a quality discussion.

    So far I'm an 'Out of the box' man in 1/32 only because I have yet to decide exactly what I want from it but am rapidly going back to the idea of a more scale modelled approach leaving my live steam play to 16mm and G.
    I don't have a garden large enough for a continuous run in G1 and originally had the idea of a shunting test/layout indoors with a view to taking my locos and stock elsewhere to stretch their legs until I saw the frequency of crashes on most traditional outdoor G1 layouts.

    The indoor plank concept still interests me and having seen a number of excellent small indoor layouts on here I now see that it is possible albeit with much compromise.

    For the record I first became aware of the options in 1/32 as against 10mm scale through this site which may be familiar to some on here.
    At the present time I am not fully committed to any particular wheel standard in G1 but have chosen to use Cliff Barker's code 180 Finescale rail as a starting point for my excursion so see myself as Finescale as against G1 Standard.

    I agree with the comments about 'New wine in old bottles' and believe a fresh start may be the best way forward and I'd certainly be interested in discussions about a group committed to the support and promotion of 1/32 finescale modelling which could then happily exist alongside rather than attempt to replace G1MRA and cater for those who want something slightly different from their G1 interests than what is currently on offer.

    So maybe I need to renew for one more year and see what is happening in 1/32 scale at the AGM in December even if this ultimately leads me somewhere else more relevant & productive for my G1 excursion.
  20. ceejaydee

    ceejaydee Western Thunderer

    Good; as the three sites mentioned above brought me on this journey then it seems that I may already be a member :cool: