Newsletter 1/16

Newsletter Column Index

January 2016



APLogo_V17It’s that time of year again where people make New Years Resolutions. If we look at the word resolution we see it is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” I actually like that it could go both ways! I’m not one to make New Years Resolutions. I would rather set a goal and go for it at whatever time deems appropriate. Having said that, it is a good time to reflect on how things are going and areas we can improve on. In my reflections I realized that as I am currently helping my son advance in the ranks towards his Eagle Scout, I am currently advancing in my “rank” towards Master Model Railroader. The earliest he could finish would be a year from now. As I look at what I have still to do, one year from now is a reasonable goal for me too. So here I am, “putting it out there.” One year from now I will have completed all that is needed for my MMR!

What can you do to further your own model railroading fun? For me, I’ve been wanting to scratch build a particular industry for a number of years after seeing an article in one of the magazines. Well, one of the goals I need to finish is to scratch build 3 more buildings for my Structures AP certificate. Now is the perfect time to work on that industry I’ve wanted to get done. As I began I realized there was a particular item I would need to make about 20. I remembered I just gave a clinic on casting parts! I may do a couple of versions but for at least one I am trying a different technique that I may share at a later time. As for what that industry is, you have to come to the Division Event to find out. Here is a sneak peak though.

What are some goals you have set for your model railroad? I read one guy set a goal to lay and ballast 18” of track every night. Some of us have more time than others to get their own little empire running. For me, if I don’t have a goal like “finish those 3 craftsmen kits I started and 3 more scratch built ones – one every other month (at least)” then I won’t get my Structures AP certificate done. Without certain goals, I tend to putter around and not accomplish much. Sometimes that is fine and I enjoy that but over the last couple of years it’s been great seeing buildings completed, railroad cars finished, trying my hand at different techniques and learning new skills that I’ve wanted to try actually happen!

I know all of those things can be done without working towards your MMR or any of the certificates but I’ve been able to raise my enjoyment of this hobby to a new level by getting things done and achieving certain goals. The good news is there is no time limit. One of my buildings I completed about 14 years ago but as I look at it now, there are a couple things I want to improve before having it evaluated. Let me know when you are ready to work on your Golden Spike or any of the certificates. I am here ready to help out so we can enjoy the journey together.

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