Other Factors

Here are a few random hobby-related thoughts rolling around in my head – just so you get to know me a bit better and perhaps to give you an idea or two.

As much time as I want

Patience was not one of my virtues when I was younger. I was always anticipating the next task(s). That was an asset in a fast-paced production environment – I was always thinking, planning, and moving – usually quickly. People relied on me to keep track of lots of stuff and to keep projects moving forward.

I never got into a hobby like model railroading because I didn't have much free time, and I didn't have much space. (I'm very fortunate that I now have a generous supply of both.) Another thing that might sound funny is that I was never comfortable starting a project over the weekend that I couldn't complete by Sunday night, leaving a mess in the garage or my office for the entire week. (I lived in a smaller house back then.)

Things are different now. Oh, I still make "to-do" lists almost daily like I have for decades, but no time frame is attached – I don't care how long a project takes.

And since I rarely slowed down back then, when I started this hobby, I promised myself that I would never rush. I'd take time to play, experiment, test, and follow other diorama ideas. My days of making and following strict schedules were over.

Creative Juices

I've found that the more time I spend being creative, the more creative I feel. It's something I've experienced since being in this hobby.

Eastside Sketch
My sketched plan of
the Eastside.

For instance, I've never been very artistic as far as drawing scenery. And I've certainly tried. But by following a technique I saw in one of my how-to books (and with a little practice) I was able to create these basic designs for the Eastside layout.

I think this was an example of "getting my creative juices flowing." Somewhat of a cliché, but not inaccurate.

In fact, you will be able to tell if you really get into it; you'll start to see dioramas everywhere! ;)


Like working, only better – a lot better

There's an old saying that the difference between "work" and "play" is attitude. I can vouch for that.

I've been one of the luckiest guys around, having truly enjoyed some wonderful and interesting jobs mostly in computers and publishing. Of course, I can't say every aspect of working was pleasant. (I could have lived without corporate politics or those meetings in Human Resources.)

But I've found that my hobby consists of many technical and managerial tasks that I loved doing in my professions. I design and engineer my layout and its components, and take an idea from concept to testing and production. I'm able to use my organization skills (inventory control, purchasing and so forth). And with no boss, no employees, no schedules and an open budget (oops...don't tell Mrs. Pauley I said that) I'm living a hobby fantasy.

And it's a bonus to build something tangible – a real piece of art. While we hopefully have fun doing it all, it's always nice when someone else appreciates it, eh?

It's all a puzzle

Another random thought I had is that as modelers, every diorama, scene and component we make, no matter how simple or complex, is essentially a puzzle.

Not only do we imagine it, but we design it, create or assemble the pieces, and then put it all together.

I'm not sure what the point is, but I'll bet most modelers would agree that it's a neat process, isn't it? It sure is one of the things I love about the hobby. How about you?


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