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A.W.N.U.T.S.

There used to be a social group that promoted model train building that was more whimsical than realistic. It used the acronym AWNUTS as an identity. Its meaning is Always Whimsical, Not Usually To Scale. It was model trains on a non-scale whimsical theme. It was all about having fun with imaginative model trains, with nothing sacred or necessarily realistic.

Google “awnuts model trains” and the remnants of the group can be discovered. A bunch of old pictures are published on Pinterest.

On Christmas day 2016, in conversation with my son’s father-in-law, I discovered he is a builder of such model train equipment. He had never heard of AWNUTS but he would be a perfect fit into the category. I told him I remembered this group and it perked his interest.

His current project is designing and building a rail car that will have animated bear (figures) geared to the truck axles that will be separately painting an object on the car as the car moves.

We were contemplating if 3D printing of train components would be feasible.

I did some research and have discovered the group using the AWNUTS has fallen apart. I am certain the people involved must still be active (I am hoping) but as a magazine or website, it appears to be a gonner. The URL domain, awnuts.com is being offered for sale. Far more than I would ever pay, but it looks like someone is trying to recover some invested interest.

Hobby publications are notoriously hard to turn into a profitable enterprise. Especially when they are far from mainstream hobby activities. I am wondering if it could be revived as just a co-operative web site with no money making ambitions. A new acronym could be used to avoid confusion with the old school.

WINGNUTS for example. Wildly Imaginative, Never Genuine, Not Usually To Scale. Yeah, a far reach, but you should get the idea. Who wants to be the first charter member? Ha!

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