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SUSUKUMA: living the (N gauge) dream (?)


railsquid

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I think the SUSUKUMA Japanese Model Railroad Channel is fairly well known; I was interested to see this recent video:

 

 

where he gives a run-down of how he has ended up doing what he is doing, which is attempting to make a living from his Youtube channel after moving from Tokyo to a large house in some unspecified countryside location.

 

Short summary:

 

- was working as a train conductor in Tokyo

- was living in a house owned by a relative, but had to leave

- was concerned with increasing automation and the possibilty of his job disappearing at some point

- lacking other skills, he decided to concentrate on doing the Youtube thing

- decided to move to the countryside and buy a large house suitable for building a large model railway (which he expects to take 5 or 10 years).

 

This process started pre-Covid, which was not a factor in the underlying decision. Evidently his wife is on board with the whole thing.

 

Another video from March where he talks about his motiviations for leaving his job and doing the Youtube thing:

 

 

Interesting decision, hope it works out for him.

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disturbman

Thanks for the run down, I was unfortunately not able to understand him. Hope it works out for him, he gets a decent amount of views, but I don't know if it's enough to sustain him financially without a Patreon. Even more since model railroading is such an expensive hobby.

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6 hours ago, railsquid said:

was living in a house owned by a relative, but had to leave

I noticed the original videos he published had his layout encroaching on the kitchen area quite a bit. From this evidence, I also wouldn’t have had him down as married as the layout was dominating the apartment somewhat. Nice to find someone who fully understands your hobby. Living the dream!!

 

His last layout was a nice little loop and I do like his modelling. Certainly a channel I like to check in with from time to time. But agree with @disturbman that youtube won’t pay that much on just monetised viewing time, especially in such a niche area as railway modelling. I wish him luck though.

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3 hours ago, Kamome said:

I noticed the original videos he published had his layout encroaching on the kitchen area quite a bit. From this evidence, I also wouldn’t have had him down as married as the layout was dominating the apartment somewhat. Nice to find someone who fully understands your hobby. Living the dream!!

 

His last layout was a nice little loop and I do like his modelling. Certainly a channel I like to check in with from time to time. But agree with @disturbman that youtube won’t pay that much on just monetised viewing time, especially in such a niche area as railway modelling. I wish him luck though.

 

In the second video he doesn't name exact numbers, but alludes to the YT income stream being about JPY 50,000 per month.

 

He says the house was bought outright with no loan, and I think at some point he mentioned he'd need to be doing something else to earn money. Presumably his wife will also be doing something. If they can come up with say 20man a month (two people on 20 hours a week at 1,000 yen an hour could pull in most of that), with no regular housing costs, no children, and living in the boonies they'd certainly get by. There may be other resources (savings or an inheritance or something) we don't know about but which provide some sort of cushion.

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He may be able to do some sponsored videos.... and what's the market like for commissioned layouts for private people or shops?

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Thanks for sharing this! 

 

I think alot of people are facing this even before the COVID situation... The pandemic simply accelerated the pace... Gald that social media had became an alternative for income for many people facing issues in careers.... 

 

I sure am looking forward to his layout! No one knows all the railway signals better than a former train conducter!  🙂

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Das Steinkopf
On 9/25/2021 at 11:22 AM, railsquid said:

Evidently his wife is on board with the whole thing.

 

 I had a bit of a chuckle when I showed my wife, saying look how supportive his wife is when she was painting the backdrops as well as a number of other things like assisting him when he is mounting the shelving for the layout sections.

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Englehart

^^ i did it as well to my wife then i got smirk response instead 😅

 

i've subcribed to him as well sometime his videos have english CC which is very helpful

 

 

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Welshbloke

I know someone who has done this with car videos. Difference being that it was more gradual - he was an automotive journalist for years who made videos in his spare time, then became a full time YouTuber. I also follow a channel doing similar things with electronics and general techie stuff, the host started as an electrician specialising in theatre techie stuff and has found that a decent number of people enjoy seeing random gadgets dissected and explained (Hubnut and Big Clive respectively, go and have a look if you're intrigued).

 

The difficult part is the need to generate content (which costs money - you need things to make videos about) for at least a few years with minimal returns. That said, given the sheer size of the model train market in Japan (and how it has a large contingent of younger social media-using followers) it might not take as long for this to reach critical mass of subscribers. For example, when you get to 1k subscribers you're allowed to host live streams, at which point your subscriptions will go through the roof if you're any good at presenting.

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