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What is meant when reference is made to the "average modeller"?

It is often said that products are aimed at the "average modeller".

Peco used to say that Railway Modeller was for the average modeller however the layouts featured always seemed above average to me!


Is the "average modeller" a user of proprietory track who runs things straight out of the box and who powers track only with no baseboard wiring and who sets up a layout on a 6ft x 4ft board and uses kit built or ready made buildings and scenery?


And if there is an "average modeller" how do you tell if you are below average or above average?


Or now that the products offered are well above the average of even 10 years ago are we all now above average modellers?


Or is it simply the case that 80% of modellers by number fall into the catagory of "average"?


The reason for my thinking here is that I was going to suggest that Hornby Magazine was for the "average modeller" and then it occured to me that nobody actually knows who the average modeller is and it may be an expression that is now considered redundant anyway.

A good guide would be if a magazine featured a layout that is considered to be an average layout that 80% or more of modellers could reproduce fairly easily with little need to pick up specific skills.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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For me its a phrase that has been coined describe all modelers in between those that put track on the kitchen table one Sunday a month and those that are into scratching building/kit bashing locos (and def the EM P4 group) Not long ago I would have added DCC to this lot, but not anymore!....Probably is in and around the 80% mark...
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 23 Mar 2007, 10:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What is meant when reference is made to the "average modeller"?
Probably the same thing that is meant when people say "the average person" - it's a sort of vague and very flexible notion that means something different to each person who reads/hears it. It's perfect for salesmen and politicians to use because it's totally subjective and therefore meaningless when applied generally. (And is therefore a key component of media sound bites...) When politicians talk of "hard working families" just who are they refering to? Is the Home Office "fit for purpose"? Who knows...certainly not the Home Office!


I would define the average modeller as someone who has an incomplete layout, plans for a much larger/better/cooler/five-dimensional one that will never get built, and finds the hobby in general to be relaxing and not addictive.

Upon reflection, that's a meaningless definition!
It works!

Goedel
 

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In this context, "average" is completely meaningless and can therefore be argued ad nauseam, to 'mean' whatever anyone decides they want it to mean and for whatever purpose.

The classic reductio ad absurdum for 'average' is the organisation consisting of one boss and a hundred workers.
Boss is paid £1,000,000 per annum and the workers £10,000 per annum.
Total wage bill = £2,000,000.00
Total personnel = 101
AVERAGE pay = £19,801.98
That average figure is nowhere near what anyone is actually paid.
It is patently absurd.


There are even greater problems with defining 'modeller'.
In fact, it is so problematic that it can't be done satisfactorily and is therefore guaranteed to cause argument.

Some people are of the opinion that simply buying a toy train makes them a 'railway modeller'.
Others would require a 'modeller' to construct or significantly alter at least one item themselves.
Yet others would say they don't give a flying one either way and just get on with enjoying their hobby however best pleases them, leaving the rest to gratify themselves in beating the **** out of each other!
 

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Rail rider has it perfectly - it's a meaninless phrase averages change all the time. prehaps a better phrase would be "basically competent modeller"..........................

Regards

John
 

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I would guess that it could be defined as a modeller who is capable of building a layout to his or her satisfaction to the best of their ability. My biggest problem is I can't solder to save my life. but I can lay track, make buildings and build scenery, I think that makes me a "basically competent modeller.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 23 Mar 2007, 16:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My biggest problem is I can't solder to save my life. but I can lay track, make buildings and build scenery, I think that makes me a "basically competent modeller.

Regards

John

Ok John, but if there's at least one thing you can't do, does that condemn you to being "average"
 

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nobody is "average" we are all individual each having a differant level of skills aspirations and level of involvement in the hobby the term "average modeller" is therefore MEANINGLESS DRIVEL and should be filed in room 101 along with other blanket terms like "modern image"
 

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This has over the years become a sort-of 'catchphrase' in the modelling press?

In my view, the use of the term 'average modeller' is perhaps an attempt to disipate any likelyhood of readers actually feeling intimidated......certainly by the sight of the products of the many highly expert modellers out there.

Many was the time I sat in awe at the sight of hand-crafted models by the likes of Beeson, Downes, Pendon, et al.

the thought that I might be considered an 'average' modeller, like so many others, was comforting, since though I found the experts' work amazing, I also found it slightly intimidating ...especially as I knew I could never attain such perfection?
 

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>In this context, "average" is completely meaningless and can therefore be argued ad nauseam, to 'mean' whatever anyone decides they want it to mean and for whatever purpose.

I beg to differ. For the statistical analysis of populations, bell shaped curves are normally used. The levels at which an individual is deemed to be significantly removed from the average is usually set at either the 5% or 2.5% mark at each end meaning that 90% or 95% of the population are considered to be "normal".

So, depending on where you place your significance level, the "average" modeler is 90% or 95% of the modeling population.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 24 Mar 2007, 07:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>>In this context, "average" is completely meaningless and can therefore be argued ad nauseam, to 'mean' whatever anyone decides they want it to mean and for whatever purpose.

I beg to differ. For the statistical analysis of populations, bell shaped curves are normally used. The levels at which an individual is deemed to be significantly removed from the average is usually set at either the 5% or 2.5% mark at each end meaning that 90% or 95% of the population are considered to be "normal".

So, depending on where you place your significance level, the "average" modeler is 90% or 95% of the modeling population.

David
Could we use standard deviation to establish a stereo typical average modeler. I suppose we could also use skewness and kurtosis to establish further meaningless bollox which sound good in a dissertation but have no significance what so ever in the real world. Statistics were probably the thing I hated most at university. Maybe they should use regular or concerned instead of average if they need a word to qualify modeller on the front of their magazine.
 

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>Maybe they should use regular or concerned instead of average if they need a word to qualify modeller on the front of their magazine.
Maybe it's about time they thought up a new strap line?

David
 

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QUOTE 90% or 95% of the population are considered to be "normal".
Aaargh! Now you've complicated this beyond belief by introducing the word "normal"!

Somewhere, I believe there is a statistic indicating that 90% or 95% of the population think that 100% of railway modellers are actually abnormal. Even worse, some of that 90% or 95% are themselves railway modellers!
 

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>Aaargh! Now you've complicated this beyond belief by introducing the word "normal"!
Ah but in this case this is "normal" as in "normal distribution curve".


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Would somebody who has a busy layout like this be an average modeller?



Happy modelling
Gary
 

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> Would somebody who has a busy layout like this be an average modeller?
You are James May and I claim my five pounds! After all who else would collect all that valuable Triang kit and then dare to actually use it?

David
 

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To avoid confusion its not my kit and I am not yet James May.

The layout in the picture is rather better than James May's so would James May count as an average modeller?

The picture is offered as an example of the type of busy layout often seen in the Hornby Club magazine.

Strangely the Bachmann Club magazine is devoid of such busy layouts.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS the layout is the Triang Railways showcase layout from 1963 however there are definitely bods out there who have reproduced it at home! There are collectors whose hobby is to recreate exactly every published official Triang photograph! And be in no doubt that in 40 years time it will be the 2007 Hornby catalogue that collectors attempt to recreate!
 
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