So I'm coming to realise that this P87 malarkey is quite the lonely field to be in. I've posted my P87 intentions on a few message boards and for the most part have been met with silence. Perhaps I just picked the wrong message boards.
Just my luck.
I have though, managed to find out that there is one more P87 modeller in the great state of Minnesota. Though I do have hopes for one more. You might also notice that the links section to your right is growing slowly too. This is all down to the members of the Yahoo! P87 group. So if you're interested in P87 I guess the only place to be is there.
This has to be contrasted with the adoption of more "proto" standards (EM, P4) in England. There, the interest is staggering by comparison. There healthy societies manufacture a huge range of bits and pieces for the aspiring finescale modeller. It is no exaggeration to say that when a new Ready to Run diesel locomotive is released that within a matter of perhaps weeks Ultrascale will have the P4/EM conversion kit for it released.
So why is this such a lonely furrow to plough? Why is it that so relatively few modellers in the US adopt "Proto" standards?
It can't be that they don't appreciate the details. US modellers are renowned the world over for their attention to detail in their locomotives, rolling stock and scenery. Then why on earth don't they adopt that same standard in their trackwork?
The arguments for changing from H0 to P87 are exactly the same as if you were to change from 00 to EM/P4. (Cost, time, yada, yada, yada...) I've heard them all before and I bet they are plastered all over the internet too. Of course there is no reply to the "I just don't care" argument. You can't beat that and that's fine by me.
But there's no two ways about it though if you desire a truly "realistic" model railroad then your trackwork has to be to proto standards. You can have a high level of realism in your models without them being realistic.
I think that deep down a lot of modellers realise this too. How many times have you marveled at a picture of a great model in a magazine only to realize the train is photographed so that you can't see the wheels and it is covering up the turnouts so you can't see "the Grand Canyon of crossing flangeways"?
You know I'm right...
But we're still not answering the question 'Why are there so few P87 modellers out there?"
It must be that most people are ignorant of what it takes to be a P87 modeller.
That's fine. So am I. I'm less ignorant than on Sunday December 6th when I started this blog. But I still have astounding levels of ignorance about P87-ing. However I figure that with my enthusiasm and the small band of P87 modellers out there I can solve the problems that come my way.
Perhaps you think P87 is deadly serious and that I'm being too flippant about it. Perhaps Proto modelling is perceived as a deadly serious branch of the hobby. Maybe I can help put that straight for when it comes down to it this is only a hobby and hobbies are about having fun. If as a result some more of you come over to the world of P87 that will be a bonus.