John Gray, owner of the Union Pacific Cheyenne Division model railroad mentioned to Allen Keller that he started out as a collector. Allen wonders if he considers himself more as a modeler or a collector. John thinks he is a bit of everything, both a collector and a modeler. There are various aspects of collecting that are challenging. One of the big problems is trying to find pieces, but more than that, it’s trying to encourage and get specific importers to produce particular models that they are interested in. Collectors spend a lot of time on getting plans, getting drawings, and gathering the materials necessary to produce a model. After this they must provide the materials to the importer who then passes it onto a manufacturer.
Beyond that, another difficult aspect of collecting is modifying existing models to make them fit specific prototypes to the specifications they desire. Examples of this can be seen on the layout. Another part of that is being able to create scenes that may have occurred that have very little documentation to pull from. By having specific prototypes, modelers have the ability to put together combinations that have potentially occurred, even without the photographic evidence behind it.