What is your favorite part of model railroading? Do you like wiring or do you prefer creating scenery? Do you like hand laying track or building freight cars? There are so many aspects of and different subjects in this hobby that it’s no wonder it’s called The World’s Greatest Hobby! One thing I really like is to combine photography and model railroading. To get really good photographs however one must have good models to start with, or at least decent ones. I’ve seen some decent models that when really well photographed look awesome! I’ve also seen some really good modeling with not so good photography so it goes both ways. While there is no AP Certificate or Merit Award for photography, learning how to take good photographs can add another dimension to the hobby. You don’t have to learn all the technical aspects of photography, although knowing them can be helpful. Some of the basics like having enough light is important, getting low angles (like many cell phones can), cropping the photo, etc. There are a lot of little things one can do without getting too technical. Both of the photos shown were taken with my iPhone on layouts that are “not yet finished” but have some excellent work done on them! Don’t be afraid to show off your layout or work even if you think it might not be ready for “prime time.” We want to see what you have done.
My point with both examples above is that if you do not care to do certain things there may be others who would like to help you. Come join in the fun with the layout under construction at Discovery Gateway and get to know others at the Division Events. You can learn new skills by doing not just watching and those can translate to your own layout. In addition, you may have not even tried something yet so “giving it a go” could broaden your horizon. I never thought I would like to hand build turnouts but love doing it! I estimate I’ve built over 600 pieces of special track and turnouts for myself and others. With the AP you don’t have to try everything if you don’t want to. You can still earn Merit Awards and AP Certificates without trying to get your Master Model Railroader. For me though it broadened my skills and made me a better modeler. Eventually, after “trying your hand” at several new things you might come to find you have done enough to be a MMR. For me, I really enjoyed the experience and interaction with others and in that way truly we can enjoy the journey together!