Great news! I completed the requirements for my AP Cars Certificate. The paperwork is turned in and now I am just waiting on the certificate to make it official. If you’ve been following along with this column you know I’ve been having fun. I’ve done some research for the cars I wanted to build, some were kits and others scratch built, and built in a couple different scales. I’m happy with how the cars all turned out and have some good models to show for it. I’ve had a fun time with this hobby of model railroading and am one step closer to being a Master Model Railroader.
I’ve seen a lot of layouts in this area that have talented modelers. Most are quite humble and so may say they don’t want to participate in the AP because they just want to have fun and not be recognized. A few months back I got to spend a couple of hours with Jim Harper who is a MMR in St George. He is very humble about his accomplishments but made the statement that he was doing all that work anyway so why not be recognized? I totally agree. There is a statement on the forms when you sign saying you have done the work required for that certificate that you agree to help others who are or will be working in that same area. If you want to be a “lone wolf” modeler that is fine (I was one for years) but how much more fun is it to share what you’ve done with others?
I have said, and will continue to say, that working on the AP has helped me be a better modeler. I have found so many good people who are interested in trains and model railroads. When I can share my experiences with them it gives me a good feeling and I’ve seen it in others when they do the same. I don’t know all there is to know about modeling train cars but I do know more now than I did even just six months ago. If someone asks me a question and I know the answer, of course I’m going to try to help.
I have a few other certificates started. I have found myself thinking, when I have some time in the “train room,” does this help towards one of the certificates? There is so much one can spend time on in this wonderful hobby. For me, the AP helps me focus. The other night I was in my “train room” (I’ve taken over different areas of our unfinished basement) and thought I didn’t have much to show for the last ten plus years living in this house. Then I remembered the other spot I’ve been working on that isn’t officially part of my train room down there. I can run two trains at once and do some switching. It’s a fun little layout. It’s not sceniced yet but it has helped me get most of the way towards my civic and electrical certificates. Plus it needs some buildings so I’ve started my structure certificate too.
Like I said, there’s so much one can do in this hobby and the AP is helping me have a cool little layout that otherwise I might not have built. It’s helping me have fun and learn. It’s helping me to have focus and it’s also helping me share what I’m doing with others when I might not otherwise. I have fun building cars and structures without acknowledgement but have learned that by sharing you can help inspire others. Don’t be afraid to try the AP, if not for yourself, then for others. It is by sharing what we have done and viewing what others have done that truly we can enjoy the journey together.