Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Curse and the Wonder of Modelling on the Internet

The internet has opened up a lot of things to a lot of people.

A really great thing has been its ability to bring together kindred spirits who can exchange ideas and information about the shared interests. From the earliest days of e-mail groups all sorts of fantastic information has been shared and people's hobbies greatly enhanced. The flip side has been the rise of egotists who have taken to the authority which can be none too pleasant to see. It can also lead to things like this, which a forum administrator, who's an employee of Warner's Group (who publish British Railway Modelling) overseeing the day to day running and development of RMweb, thought it perfectly acceptable to post on his employer's website.

And this is a shame as it taints the whole forum and all its members. However many very established members have now moved on, which is a real shame.


  1. Understand your blogpost James and the frustration and disappointment of some people towards RMweb and it's admin over this issue. I feel i must point out that there is a fundamental difference between the ethos of RMweb as a whole, and the thoughts and actions of the members of MU.

    What we do on MU may well not suit a proportion of typical RMweb members, so there is plenty of room in the world of electrons for both forums to happily exist.

  2. that link is dead :(

    It's a shame about RMWeb, but as a relative newcomer to the forum, I'm not really aware of the people that have moved on

  3. The link appears to have too many "/"s in it. It should read http://modellersunited.com which will take you to the MU forum.

    As for James's comments regarding York and the way he runs RMweb, I totally agree. The man is a liability to Warners Group (as they are probably finding out for themselves). Searching for Warners Group Publications will find contact details on their website if anyone wants to get in touch with them directly.

    1. Interesting blog post James.

      Of course people need to make up their own minds about Mr York's comments about the manufacturers of much of our model railway equipment. It should be understood though that the members of MU founded the forum for a slightly different market to that of RMweb. The founders of MU do not believe in an "open door" policy for anyone wishing to join MU, but encourage anyone who genuinely wishes to make and build stuff, rather than open boxes and froth.

  4. Hi lnrmodels

    It used to be very different, a lot of the high end modellers used to be there and there was some superp articles and info available. Sadly now it's hard to find anything of value among the sea of mediocrity and frothing over rtr announcements.

    Even those used to have honest reviews to help the modeller improve thier models but now you get frowned on for daring to suggest that the rtr stuff isn't perfect. Even when, as on one thread, it doesn't even meet the basic sales of goods act and yet still the mindless appologists make excuses for them.

    Note how 13 people liked the racist comment James linked to? It's such a shame that there are so many people so proud of thier own stupidity and willing to show it.

  5. What you have to realise about York is that everything is about him. If you hold an opinion that's inconvenient to him, it'll be inferred that you're holding it purely to irritate him.

    Sad thing is, some of those who posted as that thread developed did actually know better, and (shock horror) were trying to advise him.

    I've been in that position myself, and it's galling to be demonised just for trying to see the bigger picture. You mention people moving on - the distasteful trait that I've just described is what's been behind many of those moves.

  6. I think I'm going to stay where I am and watch the apocalyptic end of RMweb from afar.

  7. It won't pop, it will just fade away. Ironically all the dissatisfaction with it is keeping it in the modelling publics mind, there's little other reason for any interest in it these days. It's like TOWIE or big brother, people only bother with it in the hope something kicks off. Look at how many views a arguementative thread gets and yet the (few) good modelling threads hardly get a comment.

  8. That's a shocker, I hadn't been aware of that post. Goes without saying that I condemn that kind of thing in the strongest terms.

    I can only say that I've found a lot of inspiration and support on RMWeb and that it's members and the handfull of fellow professional modelmakers on there have been very welcoming and friendly. As you say, the internet has been a great thing, but as we should all know, it is a double-edged sword. I am waiting for the inevitable attack from the modelling fascists, perhaps my two months on RMWeb has been a honeymoon period?

  9. Like Iain, I wasn't aware of the post in question. I came to RMWeb, having initially found Jim's excellent Birmingham New Street, and all it's only in the last few months that I've been actively taking part in threads etc. To be honest I don't look at the reviews sections, my only interest is following a few layout build threads and a few structures and scenic modelling help threads. I was aware of the likes of Jim S-W and Andy C leaving, having followed their blogs for a while, but didnt fully understand why. I can only say that my experience of RMWeb has been wholly enjoyable, informative, encouraging, and at times entertaining, especially with the banter between Iain Robinson and Allan Downes.
    The good thing about the internet is that if you don't like something, there's always something else. The downside, is there are also only so many hours in the day to keep up with all the fora, blogs etc. For all the RMWeb exiles here, I enjoy your work immensely and will continue to follow your progress in which ever form it takes.

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  11. I would like to apologise for saying that andy deleted my layout from the showreel in an attempt to run down my efforts. And for saying that he had involvement in the perceived doctoring of layout viewing figures or implying that he could potentially manipulate the membership of RMweb

  12. Oh dear, it looks like someone been 'Got At'. York will stop at nothing, even risking breaking the law!

  13. Dave, the silly thing is that had the 'names' not been mentioned, Andy York's post may have been fine.

    I trained as an engineer and have friends who remained in engineering of various kinds. The cultural differences between 'east and west' can cause problems; culture and language can provide barriers between neighbouring nations but when you have your products made on the other side of the world it can be a real hurdle.

    The arrangement which many model companies have where they are sub-contracting work to factories reduces the amount of control the companies have throughout the process, even allowing for staff outbased on site.

    Saadly the way it was presented wasn't appropriate.

  14. I think some of us, who are ethnic Chinese, may wish to play the race card on this one and see what Warners' position is....

  15. Like Wikipedia, RMWEB and other sources of information on the Internet suffer from being able to publish material without being accountable to anyone. It's a very powerful place to be.

    I don't say for one minute that editors of these sites set out to be high-handed or unreasonable, but until the 'Net has some form of 'code of conduct' that everyone has to adhere to, thoughtlessness and bias is likely to remain the order of the day.

    Just keep doing what you're doing chaps - set up your own sites, encourage good quality posts and an ethical approach to others. Keep up the good work, one and all and thank you for the great blogs.