Challenging composition

Some of the comments in Friday’s post lead the way to thinking about model railways as art, and it’s worth getting a book out of the library to refresh ourselves on the elements of composition. My favourite art book is Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing. It changed my dabbling with watercolour dramatically. One of the things I’ve learned is if you want to make a … Continue reading Challenging composition

Of Accuracy and Realism

Lance Mindheim’s piece last week about prototype modelling strikes a chord for me. You should read it yourself, but to précis, it is an argument for flexibility in prototype modelling to augment appearance. Embedded in the essay, Lance says, Its taken me decades to realize this but the two, appearance and accuracy are, in fact, often mutually exclusive. This realization echoes a theory I’ve been … Continue reading Of Accuracy and Realism

Conformity and the NMRA

From the first time I entered an NMRA model contest, back in 1994, I have had a challenge with the Conformity section.  How did a freelanced model earn full points while my prototype model did not?  It didn’t take long at that first convention to fall in with Richard Hendrickson and the Prototype Modeller crowd. The judging guidelines (you may have to log in to view … Continue reading Conformity and the NMRA

Lance Mindheim on Time

A great post on Lance Mindheim’s site caught my attention at lunch today.  Here is the critical idea, but you should read the whole post:  The hallmark of a good design?  It’s pretty basic when you step back and think about it.  A “successful design” is one that results in a model railroad that produces the maximum level of enjoyment given your own personal interests, … Continue reading Lance Mindheim on Time

Next order layout goals

I just read a thought-provoking post over on Tony Thompson’s excellent blog, modeling the SP.  Then I took the dog for a walk, which is an excellent time for thinking about something, if you’ve been so provoked. Tony identifies a spectrum between operations-oriented and prototype accuracy goals that I think resonates with many in the hobby establishment.  Like Tony, my own layout falls on this spectrum, … Continue reading Next order layout goals