Friday, 6 June 2014


In my professional life I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about motivation. Not, or at least not always, in the very American sense of Motivational Speaking but more in terms of why organisations and people aren't motivated to do things differently when that would ultimately benefit them.

Part of my personal motivation is to create a  believable but attractive representation of a scene I would have enjoyed seeing if I'f been there for real at a specific location and vague time. I'm also motivated because modelling is a way of relaxing, or at least experiencing another kind of stress.  But it is a dynamic. Sometimes my motivation takes me down different  roads and leads to my focus being on other hobbies and distractions like work.  I accept that as part of the ebb and flow of life. It is probably a healthy thing because, like family life, it stops me getting too obsessive.

Conventional wisdom has it that people lose interest in the hobby when they don't see rapid progress. I'm not sure that isn't a viewpoint that doesn't need challenging, or at the very least re-examining. The argument goes that new modellers want to see trains running ASAP and that will then spur them on to finish the rest of the layout.

I'm not sure I buy it.

Apart from anything else I know many people who have put track down and are then content to play trains with no real attempt at building the rest of the layout.

I don't dispute that new modellers want to see progress, what I question is what form that progress need to take to keep people engaged for both the short and long term.

I'm not building a layout to play trains on it. If I want to play trains I'll open one of the train simulators on my PC. My sense of progress comes from seeing a scene slowly become alive and  believable.It also comes from a sense of achievement and of learning.

So something that has motivated me recently has been reading  David Smith's "GWR Switch and Crossing Practice"  Not perhaps the most thrilling read, but it has made me think about what I can do to make my track work look  more believable.

I've also been thinking about the buildings for Upwold. Instead of my beloved corrugated iron Upwold will mostly feature brickwork, so I've been experimenting with some left over sections of an Lcut model. This is the first pass, using Humbrol acrylics for the woodwork and mortar, and sepia, venetian red, burnt sienna and copper beach Derwent drawing pencils.

A lot of tidying up still to do, these larger than life size photos are both cruel and useful.


  1. I think the progress point is true, it's just that "progress" means different things to different people.

    Some need to see a train thrashing around the layout. Others are happy to have added another line of chads to brickwork.

    Whatever, I think you lose interest if you don't think you are getting somewhere with the project. The steps may be tiny but being prevented from making them is frsutration.

  2. Phil, yes, exactly. And what that progress consists of can even change for an individual from time to time. The journey cana slo be as importnat as the destination.