It is with great pleasure to announce to all our faithful blog followers that Rolling Boxcars is heading in a new direction. We are switch tracks and refocusing our attention solely on the greatest hobby of all time model railroading. It’s might be no surprise to some as our blog’s name has always had a railroad theme to it; some thought it was slang for rolling double sixes. The origins of our love for model railroading sprouted early on in our youths. It is what originally brought us to the hobby stores where we would purchase our first roleplaying boxsets.
So why did you not enter model railroading then?
Model railroading through perceived to be childlike is a very serious, space sensitive, and an expensive hobby to enter whereas roleplaying, equally as exciting, requires a lesser buy-in and was more mobile.
So why now?
Well, we here at Rolling Boxcars have reached a point in our lives where we now have homes with large basements, disposable incomes, children that are mostly independent, wives who already accept that we enjoy participating in perceived childlike hobbies, and the time needed to reshape our basements into prototypical railroad layouts.
How can I make the change too?
First off you’ll need cash and a lot of it. Though a starter HO starter set can be relatively inexpensive the quality of the product is usually poor which can deter a new hobbyist. To raise money for your new hobby if you don’t already have a disposable income to support it is to sell off your old hobby. We live in a time where roleplaying is more popular than ever. Roleplaying books once relegated to the clearance section are now commanding large figures. With a large enough collection of RPG books, which you will no longer need, you can easily fund your entry fee into model railroading. To get the best bang for your buck, try your local hobby store that sells both RPGs and model trains. Stephen was able to turn most of his RPG books and accessories into store credit which he was able to use for a collection of used Lionel Post-War O-Scale trains, tracks, and accessories.
What about the items I can’t sell-off like my dice, miniatures, zines or gaming table?
Don’t fret because all that can be used in your new hobby with a little modification. Dice make great, though not prototypical, loads for open gondola cars. D20s, D12s, and D10s make for great terrain features when painted as rocks. D4s in smaller scales can become bumpers at the ends of the tracks or rooftops for watchman’s towers. Miniatures figures with a little modification can dress up your layouts. True 28mm miniatures are the perfect size for S-Scale layouts. Dedicate gaming tables are perfect for conversation into beginning layouts that feature figure-eight configurations. If you’re unable to sell those magazines and zines, they won’t go to waste in your new hobby. You can easily use them for paper mache projects like tunnels and other terrain features.
Scared? Don’t worry Rolling Boxcars will be there for you every leg of the trip. Over the next few months, we will be stopping at all the stations dropping off tips and tricks to help you make the transition with us to the world of model railroading. We will continue to provide two reviews a month highlighting the newest products from Athearn Trains to Z-scale structures. Cindy’s monthly article will be retitled Beyond the Caboose and Dan is excitedly writing an in-depth article on his passion for the NYC subway system. We expect the transition to go as smoothly as converting a layout from DC to DCC (Digital Command Control not Dungeon Crawl Classics). That’s not to say there won’t be a few cows on the tracks but with our cow catcher firmly attached to our 2-8-2 USRA Light Mikado, we will plow through the windiest of curves, the darkest of tunnels, to make it on time to our destinations.
~ Stephen “Pennsy” Pennisi
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