I sometimes ask myself the same question…
Why do you like Lego or your Warhammer warriors? (BTW, I used to like Lego too, when I was really young…)
My earliest recollection, long before your grandparents bought me my first train at age 14, was that of entering into a room in the Hudson’s Bay department store, with a very large train layout. I remember all the motion and all of the lights…. A miniaturized world, surreal yet artistic.
Why am I restarting it now? I guess I’ve been feeling somewhat unsettled in life – lots of professional stresses, lots of family stresses, especially your mother’s illness. I guess one might even say, feeling a bit lost within oneself. I guess this latest binge started out as an innocent trip to a local model shop. Seeing the familiar territory of modeling supplies and models were a source of comfort to me. I started to remember the many hours of contented distraction I had with the hobby when I was younger. I started to realize that I could now afford to do a lot more with the resources I had.
On the subject of the steam engine, I have to tell you that the realism of the motion, head-lights I could turn on and off, and especially, the realistic train sounds – bells, whistles, steam chuffing… I suddenly felt immersed in this little world once again, and realized that it didn’t feel so expensive a “toy” now to indulge in. I’m going to take another run at it. This time, I’d like to try “narrow gauge” rustic (still BC mountain like) modeling.