I recently came across the game of Transport Fever 2 and was piqued at the level of detail and game play. The game in question I came across on YouTube was based on a Swiss map, so how could I not like it! Now added into that I found out that the developers are bringing it to the Mac platform and suddenly my indifference to the recent announcements from Cupertino needed to be reevaluated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to rush out and blow a grand on a new Apple but if my current 2011 dinosaur of a MacBook would run it I am definitely in.
Looking at the new M1 macs, and by the reviews they have been getting they would certainly be up to the task. However I am very much an iPad convert now and wouldn’t give up my pencil for anything. I know there’s a plan to be able to run apps from each platform on either but the reality is usually much different from than the promise.
But watching the trains trundling around the lakes and mountain passes made me think about commanding my own state owned railway in Helvetia..
Since I decided to part with a jewel in the modelshop stock room as I need to finance some upcoming projects they have now found a good home, I am assuming, and will wend there way to Cumbria on Monday. FSMR unfortunately never passed the three issue count due to the untimely death of Bob Barlow. I had always admired his work and was excited to find out that there was going to be another fine-scale mag on the scene. Along side the journal (MRJ) it was soon to become a very firm favourite, much like the Railway Modeller of my youth which I couldn’t wait to collect from our local newsagents once a month. I remember the chores and later weekend work endured to wait with anticipation for the next magazine. Had I known of the existence of MRJ back in the 80s I would have happily sold my grand mother..
Again like the journal, not every thing was to my taste. But that did not stop me enjoying it and learning from many accomplished modellers. But the spread of topics was a good mixture of old and new and the more in-depth look at topics helps focus ones mind on the subject. I have relatively recently come round to the idea of using techniques from other modelling scales and genres. There is a lot to be gained from understanding how others approach common issues that we all face such as weathering and land forms amongst others. I have recently been on a bit of a spree watching military, marine and air craft modellers. All of which have unique takes on tasks we carry out on the railway. This is a bit of a digression from the Review but there I leant of S is for Small and white metal soldering..
I really liked the more in-depth format that covered subjects usually glanced at by popular press and Bob Barlow and team certainly had the direction of the magazine mapped out from the beginning. I would have grown into a firm favourite had it continued. I’m a little bit sorry to be passing these on but I think building something out of them and making memories is a big part of why I started getting rid of the hoard before it was too late. Better to build now than browse tomorrow.. or something like that.
It’s been a bit of an up-and-down week with technology. But as you can see from the picture that hasn’t stopped real-time modelling. Easing myself back into sitting down at the modelling table after a seven-month break probably was never going to be that easy. Procrastination is the thief of time and also my biggest Demon. But as this project has grown over time and I feel it has really helped me get back into the swing of things. The fact that it is so basic means that there isn’t much that can go wrong! Well not much really. Being a perfectionist, it’s very much a barrier to quick and simple modelling as I always find the imperfection. The best way around this is to employ the adage that age that “done is better than perfect”. I can see many inconsistencies and errors that normally would drive me to redo, in all honesty probably the whole thing. But in this case, I am pushing forward to see how the final item turns out.
The fact that I am going to build a multiple of these buildings will allow me to learn from each of the mistakes I made previously, and so improving each next version. I’m also having to focus myself to not get distracted into the idea of building this basic model into multiple gauges to see how they look. I particularly like the idea of building these to non-standard gauges to give me ideas about how practical it would be to build another scales, most likely the largest scales. But that is a whole different ball game.
I so at the moment I am on a 3 out of 7 success rate, and as my school reports used to say, “could do better“. But it is a start, and probably more successful in the last week and I have been in the last year. It amazes me how much effort I can put into avoiding doing something that I really enjoy and love doing, two things that really have no benefit to one’s life i.e. browsing around YouTube. I think that picking this basic building has allowed for the juices to flow and the Mojo to return to the point where I’m looking forward to returning to the modelling table.
I have a bunch of other projects coming up that require my attention but for the moment time concentrating on this one little shed. One of these projects is for a family friend who I have been promising for probably about two years. In some ways, it is a lot harder than what I’m doing mainly because it is employing techniques I have never used before, but in another way, it is easy and should be relatively easy to complete.
Like many things in life, practice makes perfect, or other such cliches. But the truth in these for me is very true of the moment. I look at others who achieve any consistent level of modelling and see the growth in their ability and artistry and think to myself I just need to do that. So although this post is a long ramble about not doing I think it’s important to state the importance of consistency in modelling and the benefits it brings. So I will leave you with a picture of a messy modelling table where I am creating these miniature structures with fun.
Just a short messive from the 15minute modelling headquarters. Attempting to help other departments the authorities have decreed that funds must be found and in looking through the draughty back room store house my collection of Finescale Railway Modelling Review magazines peeked out of a pile. Now normally I would in the good family traditions not think twice about relinquishing some thing from the hoard, specially not something so seemingly valuable. But needs must when the devil rides and so it has come to pass that I am going to pass on these excellent three issues and short lived production run to another soul.
Just in case you fancied a peek you can find them here
When I sat down to write this post I was looking back at the previous post and realise that this blog is much like my modelling at best sporadic and at worst, well, non-existent. It’s a constant theme and something that I have struggled with for a very long time. I look at others and try and learn from them and hell even the name of the blog and my modelling is 15-minute modeller. At this moment in time, it couldn’t be further away from that and I am minded of the picture taken from Voyager 1 all that time ago and think am I like it head off out of our solar system, never to be seen again or can I turn this craft around and grab hold of that tiny thread of light. Maybe it’s a bit dramatic but sometimes it feels that way and in order to do this, it just needs small actions that can grow into bigger progress.
Well at this point after seven months of inactivity and a global lock dow that many took advantage of in there modelling endeavours, I have very little to show. I raise this as others I know suffer from the same malaise and that in some way gives me strength that I am not the one procrastinating to a full stop. Life in general to me seems somewhat unclear and with all the other “stuff” going on, one’s mind is yanked in all directions, unable to find solid ground.
But an organised mind can somewhat combat those feelings and to this end, I have decided to try and breakdown my modelling project into small pieces. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with the entirety, if I just think about the next thing until that ie checked off then there will be progress. Yes, I know that all the productivity and getting things done turns off a lot of people but for me it allows me space to not get too distracted. As you will know from reading this blog, if you keep up with it, the common theme of that lack of focus evidenced by the sporadic posting has been there from the beginning. Some might say why bother writing about failure, or not doing something but for me it is an important reminder to try and do better each time I post here. I do go back and read previous posts if nothing else to make sure I don’t repeat myself post to post.
So here in the lock-down 2.0, I am getting myself back to the modelling table and attempting to restart 1st Layout Build Project. If I’m honest I rather lost the mojo for the foam board, but I am going to push through just in order to be able to say I built it and am learning many valuable lessons from this project. But for the time I will leave you with the image of the Yard Office that I am scratch building out of materials I have lying around from food packaging and if you haven’t seen it there’s a vid up about it over on youtube.
Continuing the Swiss theme I just love the Swiss meter gauge lines and the diversity of these lines in the modern age where the motor vehicle seems to be king. The compactness of the locations and the street running fascinate. I particularly like the autumnal? tints in the video and the unusual time of year that’s no often captured.
But in this day and age we should all have more meter gauge lines in our lives..
I came across this video the other day and what a great find for behind the scenes of the RhB freight movements. I’ve always been drawn to freight operations more so than passenger traffic and one of the reasons I love the RhB is that there is thriving freight. It is also replaceable, without having to model huge block trains or fall back on the bucolic branch line.
In this video, we get to see a lot of the infrastructure that is not usually in front of the camera. It is long but I feel it’s worth the effort of it for the value it gives. When I was going about my normal (railway hobby) life I thought that I often missed the peripheral information. It’s not just about the train, Loco in front of us and this just proves the point.
I guess I am a sucker for the small scale modern freight train.
Looking back at my last post I am somewhat cheered that it isn’t my usual yearly contribution. It is fascinating to look back over the last few post and see the change from going to a model railway show at the beginning of the year up until now when we are living in a post covid19 world. So much has changed in our daily lives, things that we took for granted, even in our modelling lives where our physical communities, meets, and exhibitions have been put on hold. So much of the joy of our hobby is the connections we make via many routes that have temporarily been denied us. Many more will have said similar things but I have found the isolation difficult not just because I live in a more remote location but also as I do thrive on community. But, amazingly, we live in an age where we can keep in touch with various friends and communities via the medium of video calls and although it doesn’t replace real contact it does keep one’s spirits higher at this time of isolation.
So the point of this post is to refocus my efforts as I rather went the opposite way to the received wisdom of creators. In that, as backroom/bedroom modellers were cranking out entertainment for us I was retreating under the duvet, watching these people rather than bodging away on my workbench. I’ve always been a bit contrary, like going out hiking more in winter, but this often has a downside in that I lost out on valuable modelling time. Whilst many around me were being productive I mamas battling the mojo. It seems an inherent struggle between the plans and then progress. Many plans have been made but few have been progressed beyond that. So once again I am attempting to harness the power of the productivity gurus around habit stacking and living up to my name of the fifteen minute modeller and do that very thing. In order to under-promise and over achieve I have set myself the goal to set down and this modelling desk twice a week and produce no less than fifteen minutes of the modelling effort. One of the systems I have come across that resonates is the Habit Stacking method. I.e. after supper go and sit down at the desk and do 15mins of modelling. There is also the 2-minute rule, sit down for 2 mins. If you can get yourself there your more likely to do an activity. But enough of all the woo woo stuff and back to practical steps.
But back to modelling. My plan for modelling is to build a yard shed or workman’s hut from scratch using materials around me. Cereal packet card and clear plastic from food container etc as doesn’t matter if I bodge it, I can keep churning them out if I’m not happy with the outcome. The process of iteration is interesting, one learns the pluses and pitfalls that are universal. Then to build it again using some better quality materials like the card stock. But for the moment it is an easy project to get started on and get the juices flowing again and I do also like making buildings.
I also have a load of other side projects that I need to get on with for other people and one has taken an interesting turn after one of those zoom calls, which produced a whole new way of looking at building something and a very kind donation of materials. More on this as I progress with this.