Welcome to the Model Railway FOCUS FORUM.
We welcome new members irrespective of experience. You can learn, relax and enjoy the hobby here...
We encourage discussion and we do expect the odd robust exchange between serious modellers, because hobbies generate enthusiasm… but we are committed to remaining a positive place for you to visit, so expect “good housekeeping” by our moderation team, keeping this a pleasant place to be.
A model railway related forum has to be a place to enjoy... so:
- While DCCconcepts sponsor the forum and will offer customer service advice in a separate area, we DO understand that intrusion is annoying, so FOCUS moderators will move any branded threads to an appropriate area and keep the forum areas as non-partisan space as much as possible.
- The FOCUS FORUM as a whole is guaranteed to remain totally AD FREE…
- Images are easy: It can be frustrating when it is hard to post images or links, so we let you do this easily by placing them directly into your posts.
- We also want you to share images of your modelling without complication or restriction - so we are pleased to offer you unlimited space for your model railway and thread-related images.
- Additionally, we want to encourage the sharing of skills and techniques, but we also recognise the need for those who share things of value to be able to manage how it happens... so SELF Moderation is available - ie: more experienced members or those who create projects and layouts selected to be part of our “Inspirational layouts” or projects” areas will also be invited to moderate their own threads.
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Please join us… we hope to see you back often.
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Forum Terms & Rules
The standard stuff:
Please remember that we are not responsible for any message posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this forum. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary.
You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise volatile of any law. You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this forum.
The MODERATORS point of view:
What the FOCUS forum wants to offer.
Most importantly, consistency.
FOCUS modelling will not be distracted or be allowed to wander into mediocrity.
FOCUS will remain the way it is being planned – as a place to FOCUS on the modelling.
- We will offer a generous gallery space for all members without cost.
- We will at our discretion, offer a larger gallery space to those who actively contribute to the layout and knowledge-based threads. The only price for this larger space will be positive contribution to the forum.
- Self-management and moderation of specific personal threads will be available to significant contributors
- Future sponsoring members (potentially magazines and DCCconcepts direct dealer network members) will have unlimited archive space for documents, images and instruction manuals.
- Participation in pre-planned group-builds will, we hope, be available to all members without costs other than for required “course related” materials and specific equipment that may be offered or needed.
- Adding of Images, PDF files and safe format documents within threads will be simple and direct.
- We will NOT allow advertisements or similar invasive pop-ups at any time. Members may however be able to choose to receive exclusive or limited offers from time to time from Sponsoring members.
- We will offer a place to share the hobby that actively values commitment to the hobby. We value the finer scale approach and understand that it takes time to get there – we value new ideas and approaches as much as we also value the skills and input of experienced finer scale modellers and deplore those that trot out the “Rivet counter” or “it doesn’t matter” response and applaud mediocrity.
- We understand that with commitment comes passion and that this may lead to vigorous debate… and welcome it because we DO understand the difference between argument and heart felt beliefs.
- But: We will not welcome the few “Serial Stirrers” that infest every forum… or bad attitudes.
Which brings us to attitudes:
The attitude of moderators is at the root of all forum management.
No matter who manages them… Forums are not a virtual “Hyde Park” where any soap box speech, attitude (or rudeness) must be tolerated… they are benevolently managed areas with the standards of the owners as their ten commandments.
So… in a more pragmatic sense, we will also try hard to offer you the following.
- A pleasant place to feel truly involved in the hobby. FOCUS is intended as a place for people with common interests, who want to share and learn or with a passion for the hobby.
- We will offer absolute, up front but almost invisible moderation: Moderation will be, for want of a better phrase. “Hand of God”. We’ll impose a similar set of rules to football… with virtual “yellow and red cards” …with the same intent.
- Rudeness will simply disappear, argument will be deleted, and serial offenders will be judged, warned and if needed, executed without discussion.
- While rules will not be negotiable, we have seen what happens when such things are suppressed… and we are not foolish enough to think that we will always get it right, so moderation issues will have their “Senate” where discussion can be carried out between core forum members… Where others can be temporarily invited to discuss specific things.
- We also understand that commitment to a serious modelling thread needs effort and some form of comfort that efforts will be managed to keep things on track. Nobody understands a detailed modelling thread better than its creator, so, in a couple of areas, we will also offer consistent contributors a large degree of “self-moderation”…. Letting the thread owner control its content and limit distraction.
- FOCUS will offer a free modelling “gallery space” for all members and this will include an unlimited permanent free space to those who actively contribute to the hobby and forum in layout and knowledge-based threads. The only price for this larger space will be a good attitude to helping and a positive contribution to the forum.
- We will make occasional offers exclusively for FOCUS members. These will usually involve the products designed, made or distributed by DCCconcepts or FOCUS modelling supporters from the press or retail sectors.
- FOCUS will NOT support third party advertising, pop ups or other intrusions.
We have chosen a well-respected well-maintained software base that has the versatility to evolve to be whatever members wish over time… Initially, FOCUS will have several primary spaces, appropriately laid out and managed:
- Public – the FOCUS forum area. (Including galleries, thread areas, general member services)
- Public – the Magazine and Sponsoring dealer areas. Magazine specials, features and upcoming events will feature here… as will news and special announcements from some of the best hobby dealers in the country. Hopefully they will remain active AND build a proactive and interesting news-and-views section full of special offers and interesting things. Please note that we will NOT charge for use of this area, so we can keep full control of our “No gratuitous advertising” policy
- Public – A DCCconcepts product support area. General threads will remain in the FOCUS area while under discussion, but once the subject is closed, the questions answered or the problem resolved, we will take these threads and pin them within the DCCconcepts support area, creating a growing and interactive form of “real world” FAQ to assist modellers everywhere… with examples based on real modellers and their experiences.
- Private – A moderators only area. We do want to keep moderation as consistent as possible, and the moderators will not all be DCCconcepts people, so we need somewhere to talk. We will meet here often and work hard to keep the forum clean, clear and full of positive things.
- Private - A DCCconcepts press and trade support area. This area will have secure password only access to all in the trade, deeper access for DCCconcepts reseller clients
How not to act on FOCUS Modelling…
Honesty in relation to modelling is encouraged, but personal comments are not. We really don’t much care about political correctness but keep discussions FOCUSsed on the models, and not the modellers.
This hobby is full of diversity. Other members may be either be behind you in your experience or skills, equivalent, or even ahead of you. Think about responses, because what is something in definite need of improvement to you may well be something the poster is proud of.
Advice is always welcome in general terms but occasionally causes offense. Never praise things that do not deserve it but DO try to find something positive as an offset if criticism is offered. Sometimes, if you cannot say something encouraging, it may well be better to just remain silent.
Basically… Just avoid gratuitous negatives – it’s a good idea to balance things a bit!
It is OK to be grumpy, happy or whatever – as long as you are not yelling at people J.
Riding your pet hobbyhorse is fine too… Ride it if you wish - but state your point once and reinforce it if you must, without just dominating the conversation… and don’t expect others to just ride along.
Others have their own approach within the hobby – and their wishes are at least equal in their eyes. Stay frostyJ.
The basics – just common sense really.
Ownership matters: Outside materials such as images should be appropriately credited or used with permission. Ideas should be appropriately credited to their creator if known.
Commercial issues occasionally need some self-restraint in the general forum.
By all means, make valid praise or criticisms of models, services or the like, but remember that there are rules. The web is global but not above the law. If we feel threatened by the way a commercially oriented thread is developing, we may well censor it.
Show respect. When you write, do it in the clear.
Talk in black and white, honestly, with nothing between the lines. Praise honestly or not at all. Criticise carefully and constructively. Don’t bite and you will not be bitten J.
And things you should know…
Not all disagreements are arguments. Modellers who really care can become passionate about their subject.
Don’t bother moderators because of heated discussions providing that they aren’t personal or rude or offensive.
Remember - sometimes two people can be right at the same time too… providing it stays on subject and adds the odd bit of useful information as it progresses, a vigorous debate is just fine with us.
We love our hobby, and love without passion isn’t much fun!
here are some phrases that REALLY annoy most modellers who care about what they do. Avoid them please. Here are a few of them… there are more.
It’s just a train set. Hmm… Some modellers use it in a self-deprecating way with a smile and that’s OK, but it is more often used as a negative or to deprecate the posting of others. Let’s face it, we love our hobby, so in reality, to most, it’s about as much “just a train set” as your first ever girlfriend was just any girl… Use it wisely – or not at all please.
Rivet counter. It is used so often as an intended “dismissive insult” that it’s a no-no. One of those strange phrases that a modeller can call himself, but nobody can call him without giving offense. (Anyway to us, a real modeller doesn’t ever count rivets – he just knows when they are missing).
It’s your Model railway, just run / do what you want. Very true of course, but when it is said as an answer when a specific question has been asked about specific issues, then it is ignoring the question or just being dismissive of the skills, wants and needs of others. It annoys many who DO care about the detail - Just don’t go there.
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