popular , although model trains is a close second ,” says Swaddling , considering his sales at Action Hobbies Kingsville . “ However , for online sales outside of the local region , model trains are by far the most popular .”
Just like anything else , hobbies come in and out of popularity . “ The biggest shift in any individual hobby has been in RC ( radio controlled ) flying . Drones have quickly taken over the public ' s interest ,” notes Swaddling . “ Generally people now want to learn to fly in order to learn the flying skills necessary to be able to fly a more complex drone with a camera .”
Foy finds that taking up one hobby seems to lead to another . “ I use a wood burning tool in my pumpkin carving . Now that I work at Lee Valley , that ' s inspired me to try out wood burning since I ' m already familiar with the tool ,” she says . Foy recently learned wood planing , and tried her hand at creating Christmas decorations from burning on small wooden balls .
Most hobbies are a multi-generational experience . Family groups , friend groups , or the ages 18-85 gang over at WMRC - age is nothing but a number . Parents are often thrilled to see younger children engaging in something that has a hidden educational element to it .
“ Parents are happy to see their kids having fun running a remote control car , but also happy to see them learning to repair it and maintain it ,” says Swaddling . “ Remote control cars are fun as they can do things that regular cars never could , but you also learn quickly that while it might be fun to see your car smash into the sidewalk curb , it ' s up to you to make the repairs .”
At WMRC , it ’ s about teamwork . “ We have experts , and we have rookies . The rookies learn from the experts , and then everyone feels a sense of accomplishment ,” says Naismith . The model train world involves a little bit of everything - from construction and electronics to computer programming and art .
“ There are so many different parts of the hobby , that ’ s what keeps it interesting ,” thinks Naismith . “ Work on landscape , scenery , the electronics , the construction for the frames ... you can jump from thing to thing and always have something different to work on .”
Not everyone knows everything - or wants to know everything . Some members are just into model trains for the electronic work , some for the precision design . It takes everyone to put together the massive and elaborate displays you ’ ll find in their space .
“ We have a couple guys who lead the effort in the build , and solicit help from everyone else ,” says Bechard . “ We ’ ve had numerous Saturday morning meetings where we all sit down and talk it out .”