Went with my eight-year-old and his pal to a hobbyists' fair this afternoon. A whole gymnasium full of displays on model railroads, cars, airplanes, helicopters, boats. The exhibitors were largely retired gentlemen with a bachelorly air. Most looked like they might run very dusty used-book stores for a living. But there were hobbyist firms there too, and their exhibits of course looked a lot more professional. The visitors were largely parents with kids, mainly dads, and many with a non-urban, non-hip look. Subbacultcha.
The boys had a go at a huge slotcar set and some radio-controlled cars, and then we watched these really good RC people driving cars and piloting airplanes.
I felt a little sad for all the old guys wilting behind their folding tables. Kind of a dying breed, returning to now almost obsolete childhood hobbies after retirement. But the Swedish Model Airplane Association seemed a lot more more vigorous, with a larger display and more people of different ages & genders behind it. Their bimonthly journal is excellent. They also had a pretty cool recruitment drive, handing out simple rubber-band airplane kits for free to all kids who would write their names and adresses on a list.
Some pretty funny software was demonstrated: a model airplane simulator. Yes, you build model airplanes because you dream about flying, and then you get a computer program to simulate such a model airplane as it flies. Very meta.
[More blog entries about hobby, modelrailroads, modelairplanes, slotcars; hobbymässan, modellflyg, modelljärnväg, bilbana.]