Cade’s Green

As guest editor for Model Railway Journal No. 250, Iain Rice profiled his own home layout, Cade’s Green.  Now, Iain’s is one of the few voices that somehow avoids the stultifying muffle of the American press, even when writing for Kalmbach. So, left to his own devices, his feature article absolutely sings with his rich moustachioed tone. Some readers will need an interpreter. 

It’s an entertaining read, for sure, but what makes it significant is not that there are whole pages of text, or that it is a highly personal account.  No, Cade’s Green is a significant story because it lives up to its subtitle – “Iain Rice offers the penitent confessions of a finescale heretic.”  And much as we all apologize for the state of our home layouts when guests visit, Iain critically points out all the flaws and false starts.  

But this is Iain Flippin’ Rice!  There are few model rail enthusiasts with more international renown.  He has been pushing the finescale program on both sides of the Atlantic for decades.  

To hear that he too is slightly embarrassed by his creation gives us all permission to fail.  So what if the first attempt stutters?  Who cares if the opus is unfinished when our final disease takes us?  It doesn’t matter if the lumber comes from a skip or a dumpster, and the space is stolen from the dining room.  Make a start!  Do something!

The perfect is the enemy of the good.  Too many model railroaders spend their lives waiting for the final detail to fall into place, or wishing they had a full basement in which to realize their dreams.  It is a hobby of armchair enthusiasts and collectors, but we would all be richer if they just got on with it.  

7 thoughts on “Cade’s Green

  1. It sounds like a fascinating read: “Iain critically points out all the flaws and false starts.” I’m a fan of Iain’s writing and think I’d enjoy reading his take on his own work. I don’t imagine it to be overly self-deprecating but a more academic review of his work and something that he’ll use to guide his future work.

    Your closing thoughts are superb advice. It’s a doing hobby. A thought I’m reminded of constantly from my corner of the dining room.


  2. Great observations. I have the issue (I’m a subscriber) and I read the article, but I must’ve been busy with other things because I didn’t retain it. I’ll need to go back for a re-read – thanks for the reminder.
    – Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64, warts and all)

    1. My first reaction was, “how sad,” but maybe it’s an optimistic point of view. Starts are always full of hope, so I’ve landed on optimism. Looking forward to the last great project!

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