Dealing with getting old in the Hobby

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


TrucTrain55

Well-Known Member
Guys maybe a little off topic but I'm 48yrs old I've been modeling in HO for about 20yrs and last year I walked away from HO scale due to my eyes are getting bad and the arthritis in my hands hurts to hold those little parts anymore so I built a O scale layout and bought some nice stuff but my heart is not there so this winter I went back to HO and been trying to build that little stuff again but struggling I use my glasses now and build on days I'm not hurting as much and not tired from work. I see a lot of older guys in this hobby and wonder how they do it. Can any you older gentmen please give me some advice how you build and do this hobby in the not so golden years? Thanks and thanks for a nice forum very laid back
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I'm 62, my eyes can no longer focus on anything closer than 30" away, and my hands sometimes shake uncontrollably. Also I'm taking a number of prescription meds that often make me feel tired.

In spite of this, I've managed to build a layout that fills a 25'x25' garage, paint and weather some ~35 HO locomotives, and scratchbuild an exact replica of a B&O caboose. How, your asking? Well, for starters I've learned to always keep a pair of reading glasses in my pocket and at various places where I spend a lot of time (computer, trainroom, workbench etc.). And since the shaking of my hands occurs when I'm either feeling rushed, staying up way too late, or really stressed out about some situation, I make sure that I'm well-rested and relaxed before working on a mrr project. And I run on a treadmill 3 days a week to help keep my blood pressure under control, this also has the pleasant side effect of generally raising my energy level.

Like certain other things in life, if my interest in model railroading is high enough, I'll find times and ways to enjoy it -
regardless of these annoying symptoms of having lived as long as I have.
 

TrucTrain55

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ken that's what I need I just found out last Fall I have High Blood Pressure I take meds for it and I walk around my place we have 5 acres in the country when it's not to cold or I'm not to tired it seems to help. Like you I do not attempt to work on anything when I'm tired or stressed I get to agitated with it and want to quit so this winter I told myself I'm going at it from a different approach and so far it's working and this forum has helped keep me interested also I found a place to share pics of my layout and see different ones also for encouragement. Thanks
 

Beady

Well-Known Member
I'm 67 and keep an assortment of magnifiers in my work area. Also, like you, I have a shaking in the hands; my solution is to do something on the computer until the shaking goes away; my computer desk sits at one end of my modelling table, I use the same office chair for them both, swiveling from one to the other.

Oh. I do N scale.



This signature is intended to irritate people.
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
I am very fortunate that I have no major health issues other than high blood pressure and belly bulge. At 65, I do need to use reading glasses as well as "Optivisors" when doing small details. I exercise regularly by both walking and working in the garden to help with the BP, and like Ken, I find that it raises my energy level. I step away from modeling when tired; if I am stressed, I just run trains. While I don't suffer from arthritis, sometimes when I am tired, one of my middle fingers locks up, but there isn't any pain, just annoyance.
I have needed the reading glasses since age 45, and have only recently gone from 1.5 to 1.75, so that's normal for most of us. I probably have at least six pairs of readers scattered about, train shed (2), computer desk, car, pair left over from work, and other places. Hated to admit that I needed them, but it was better than not being able to read! Ditto for the hearing aids!

Willie
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Guess that there are a bunch of us old farts in the hobby. Old.gif I am one of them. I turn 71 on Saturday and have been lucky to have not had any health problems. Eyesight is what is probably the biggest problem that I have. 30 some years ago I was into N scale, mainly because I was stuck in an apartment and room was the issue. When I finally got my house built,I expanded the N scale layout but the N scale locomotives in the 70's were junk compared to what is on the market today. I tore everything out an started building my HO scale layout.

Over the years I have really enjoyed the layout and am still working on it today, slowly. I really enjoy detailing buildings and mini scenes and also scratch building, but it is getting more difficult with the old eyeballs I have. I keep magnifiers at my work bench and down in the train room. Tasks that I totally took for granted years ago take a lot more time and patience today.

I just have to plan ahead when I pick a project to do and deal with it. It may take a little longer, but that is just part of getting older I guess.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Yep, I'm old at 67 and find myself slowing down. I actually was clinically dead for 6 minutes two years ago in February and had a long road to come back to where I am today. Intensive care 13 days, critical care for 30 days and home therapy for months. But, I'm here alive and kicking.

I just work a bit slower and still enjoy the hobby. I find this Forum keeps my mind active and working on the layout, albeit not too physical, helps keep my joints and muscles in some tone by bending, reaching and getting up from my low work chair that's on rollers to move around under the layout.

In high school and college I worked at a large 200 acre plus nursery and garden center and developed a relationship with the owner. I worked there for eight years before moving on. The owner started the business with a single trailer and over time established his business with the help of his son who was an expert in landscape design. The owner in the morning was the first at the office, took care of his customers' needs, carried his own lunch, pruned trees in a special plot and worked until dark. He did this until he passed away in his late 80's.

He taught me there are easy ways to do a job and there are hard ways. I applied his principles to guide me in my work, home life and hobbies as well.

In model railroading, I'll tackle a hard or difficult project first and then move on to easier ones, always remembering that model railroading is "FUN". I'll take my time, be in no hurray and do the best I can do. If I get tried, I'll run a train or clean locomotive wheels or just quit for the day.

Next fall or late summer I'm planning a freight yard expansion to the layout. A project I am looking forward to completing. I've been retired for almost five years and before retirement purchased kits to keep me busy. I have yet to work on one!!!

Slowing down a bit is better than the alternative.

Thanks.

Greg
 

Beady

Well-Known Member
Guess that there are a bunch of us old farts in the hobby. View attachment 61278 I am one of them. I turn 71 on Saturday and have been lucky to have not had any health problems. Eyesight is what is probably the biggest problem that I have. 30 some years ago I was into N scale, mainly because I was stuck in an apartment and room was the issue. When I finally got my house built,I expanded the N scale layout but the N scale locomotives in the 70's were junk compared to what is on the market today. I tore everything out an started building my HO scale layout.

Over the years I have really enjoyed the layout and am still working on it today, slowly. I really enjoy detailing buildings and mini scenes and also scratch building, but it is getting more difficult with the old eyeballs I have. I keep magnifiers at my work bench and down in the train room. Tasks that I totally took for granted years ago take a lot more time and patience today.

I just have to plan ahead when I pick a project to do and deal with it. It may take a little longer, but that is just part of getting older I guess.


This signature is intended to irritate people.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
Optivisor or similar magnifier for the eyes and Aleve for the arthritis! I'm 62 and I feel your pain. Well mine actually but it sounds like yours! There is also On30, or Sn3.
 

Deane

New Member
I'm 82 and returned to the model railroad hobby a year or so ago while still running my business full time. Yes, it gets tiring, and I don't spend as much time at the model bench as I'd like to. I know better than to do so in the evening when I'm tired.

While I have no health issues to speak of, age has taken it toll. Eyesight isn't bad, but not only do I wear no-lines bifocals, I have two opti-visors at my bench. They are awesome in saving the day. I sometimes think I do better small detail work now with the greater magnification than I did years ago with my normal eyesight.

Gripping small parts, or even not so small, has slipped a lot. I continually drop things on the bench (or floor). I don't think there is a remedy for this other than just taking it slow and careful.

Probably the most negative thing affecting my work is a severe allergy to solvent based paint, CA glue, and styrene cement. This problem is forcing me make changes in what I work with. I'm getting some great guidance in that regard from the "old timers" on this forum.

Since aging is inevitable, I think you just have to add the devices and modifications that allow you to continue as long as possible. No matter how you feel physically, there's no substitute for spending time on something you love to be involved with.
 

TrucTrain55

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys I feel like a teenager among you this is up lifting and I use glasses I hate to give in to it but I did. I been taking Aleve for several years but not every day only on the very BAD days. I'm glad I started this thread it is a chance to hear how you guys deal with getting old I'm taking your advice and running with it. I appreciate you guys input and I have to realize I can't knock out 5-10 model freight cars or vehicles a month and go at a slower pace and make it fun. I hope I made some friends here I have a lot of ideas and project to share with you guys I'm old school so I should fit in. I'm amazed how many of you are older than me. Keep on posting this is very up lifting and giving me a new direction for HO scale Thanks again. Lee
 

Beady

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys I feel like a teenager among you this is up lifting and I use glasses I hate to give in to it but I did. I been taking Aleve for several years but not every day only on the very BAD days. I'm glad I started this thread it is a chance to hear how you guys deal with getting old I'm taking your advice and running with it. I appreciate you guys input and I have to realize I can't knock out 5-10 model freight cars or vehicles a month and go at a slower pace and make it fun. I hope I made some friends here I have a lot of ideas and project to share with you guys I'm old school so I should fit in. I'm amazed how many of you are older than me. Keep on posting this is very up lifting and giving me a new direction for HO scale Thanks again. Lee
Sure I'll be your friend. What's it worth to you?

This signature is intended to irritate people.
 

TrucTrain55

Well-Known Member
Beady that's great but in finding out the older you get your friends are worth there weight in gold but will you take a check? Lol
 

Beady

Well-Known Member
Beady that's great but in finding out the older you get your friends are worth there weight in gold but will you take a check? Lol
Yup. As long as you have three forms of government-issued photo ID, a notarized copy of a land deed in the Lower 48, and can leave an 18-year-old Swedish cheerleader on deposit.

This signature is intended to irritate people.
 

TrucTrain55

Well-Known Member
Yup. As long as you have three forms of government-issued photo ID, a notarized copy of a land deed in the Lower 48, and can leave an 18-year-old Swedish cheerleader on deposit.

This signature is intended to irritate people.
I got you covered all but the cheerleader I have to get back with you on that.
 

Gdelmoro

Member
well, I'm 64 and have MS plus the regular stuff(eyes, blood pressure and the expanding belly problem). I have an HO layout and it takes me 10 x as long to do anything that requires standing so I alternate between weathering, working on the layout and working on projects (buildings, rolling stock, servicing locomotives). I love the hobby and will likely find a way to continue till the day I depart.
 

TrucTrain55

Well-Known Member
Thanks to all you guys for the replys

Gdelmoro thanks very encouraging I'm now look at doing HO in a different perspective Thanks
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top