Time to Refocus

It’s certainly been a while since my last post. Why?

When I saw him in Chilliwack this summer, Andrew Hutchinson noted that I seem to be doing more painting than modeling these days. That’s certainly part of it. In 2007 I resolved to make a painting a week, and this pushed the model trains even further into stolen minutes instead of dedicated hours. Painting, I find, doesn’t lend itself to those stolen moments. Progress on the caboose, while it continued, got painfully slow.

But progress did continue, and the caboose has come a long way since I posted the shot of the steps in (gulp) January. One change that happened is the photo studio went away when my modelling desk had to move to make way for the new baby. At about the same time, we got a digital SLR, which really wants a macro lens to take good photos up close, and so, photography became much more complicated, and posts even regarding painfully slow progress, have evaporated.

“Painfully slow” doesn’t sound like much fun, now that I reflect on it. “Slow” seems, to be a hallmark of my modelling: everything takes much longer than I hope. Because I’m modeling the Canada Atlantic, everything is scratchbuilt, starting from the trucks on up. Now, I like as much instant gratification as the next guy, and this is not instant by any stretch of the imagination. I would truly love to be able to shake the box and have a finely detailed model pop out at the other end.

To be honest, I’ve thought about changing hobbies in the past months. But I’ve finally decided that it is not this hobby that’s the problem, but the duel between hobbies. Which one should I choose? The painting gets loads of recognition among my non-rail friends, but really, I’m never going to be a great painter, and I may as well admit that now. The trains on the other hand, are appreciated by nobody, but I really enjoy the problem-solving aspects of building them.

So, I’ve put away the paints for now. There will be a day when I can afford time to spend on two past-times, but for today, with two young children at home, I should stick to one — one that fits into stolen minutes.

To combat the scratchbuilding blues, I’ve shaken a couple of boxes recently to run on a friend’s layout. I’m doing these in strict contravention to my usual rule to focus on one model at a time. I’ve got to admit, it’s loads of fun to make such quick progress on a model for once; they’re not Proto:87, but I’ll post a couple of photos here when they’re done all the same. They’ve successfully broken me out of my funk, and I’m more jazzed about the hobby than I have been in ages.

The caboose should be finished in a few weeks, and I’ll post some updated photos soon. Look for more in the weeks and months ahead. I’m back!

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