What have you done lately in your model railroad world? If you have been following my column you might have noticed that I jump around a bit on the actual topic but always bring it back around to the Achievement Program. That is a bit like my modeling. I often jump around from model to model depending on other things demanding my time as well as what is of interest on my mind. Another reason is waiting for parts. Even when scratch building you might find a great part you just want to add. (I’ll come back to that in a minute.)
Take as an example, my sawmill. You may recall I entered it into the contest last summer at our Regional Convention. I started it more than 10 years ago! I would get side tracked (pun intended) by other projects or interests and once I had lost some detail pieces at a time I was dedicated to finishing it! The manufacturer gladly replaced them for me for which I was surprised and extremely grateful for. Even though they came relatively quickly I was already on to the next project. It was another year or two before I got back to it making sure I kept those replaced pieces where I was sure to find them when I was ready.
You don’t have to wait for a convention to get a model judged (or verified) for the AP. For me though, I had this monster of a model that I was ready to mark off the list in my head as FINISHED! Having the date of the convention helped motivate me to finish it. Whatever your reasons, I’m sure you have some models that are “mostly done” and even if you don’t need them judged, you can use the monthly Division Events to set a goal to finish and bring them for show and tell. We all love seeing the work of others. Those times I have brought something I have enjoyed the feedback I’ve gotten. Even when I brought something to be judged, it was a low stress environment compared to entering it in a contest.
Many of you know I was working on some On30 cars and I am using those for my scratch built cars required for my AP Cars certificate. They have been mostly done for awhile but I am waiting on trucks and brake gear I ordered. This was a project I knew I could work through fairly quickly and had a lot of excitement for but now it’s like the brakes went on hard. I’m looking forward to when I finally do get those parts in and I hope I can switch gears from whatever project I’m on back to that one.
Another example is that besides the four scratch built cars I needed one more car of my choice for the Cars certificate. I looked at projects I had on hand that were either started or close to completion. I found another project that I kept forgetting about that had been about 90% done for about ten years! It was perfect because I wanted to represent HOn3 in the list of cars too and wouldn’t take too long to complete. It was a scratch built load using disconnects from a brass etched and white metal kit. Finishing that project was another way to keep working on my Cars certificate while waiting on the parts for the other cars. I’m very pleased with how it turned out and it is great finally having it finished.
To sum up my ramblings, things may come up in our life that may distract or take us away from model railroading for a time. The good news is, those models and trains will be waiting patiently for us when we are ready to return to them. Also, you don’t have to be working towards your AP to share your models with others. Set goals to complete certain tasks and that can help you achieve a certain level you may be desiring. Push yourself to do more and you can get great enjoyment from this hobby. Sometimes it’s nice though to just sit back and enjoy what you’ve done without feeling stressed to get a project completed.
When it comes down to it, this is your hobby and it is also my hobby. We can all get enjoyment in many different ways. That is one reason this hobby is so great! One of the ways we can help each other is by giving positive feedback even if it’s in an area of the hobby that is not one we are currently interested in. No matter how you look at it, getting to know each other better and sharing with each other is the best way we can enjoy the journey together!