5 reasons to stop and 5 reasons to start modelling

Modelling is a hobby and we all enjoy it in our own ways. I have had a lot of barren times over the last year and I thought I would sum up why it is ok not to model and why you need to start again some time.

5 Reasons to Stop Modelling

1. Time

It’s ok not to have enough time to model. I have had real trouble carving out time in my daily routine to sit down and model. My day to day work has meant that I don’t get home early enough to model in an evening and other chores and pleasures sneak in. That leaves me with weekends to model and they have other commitments.

I have tried, with mixed success, to have little jobs that I can fit into the small gaps I do have. It is amazing what you can do in 10 minutes but you do need to be organised in buying all the requirements for a job before you want to do something or the 10 minutes soon fritters away.

This is ok because modelling is a hobby and life will get in the way!

Life seems so busy
Life seems so busy

2. Motivation

I have up and down times where I am either raring to go or just too tired to be bothered. After a stressful working day, I often can’t be bothered to sit down and concentrate on modelling. After my MMR (Master Model Railroader Certificate from the NMRA), I had just pushed myself to do too much too quickly and I stopped. I just couldn’t face doing anything else.

That’s ok! Life is full of seasons and the time to model will come along again.

Autumn becomes winter becomes spring
Autumn becomes winter becomes spring

3. Burn out

Modelling is a hobby but if you have an exhibition coming up or are trying to finish something for visitors, you can really push yourself. If you just do too much, you need a break.

That’s ok, modelling is a hobby and it’s there to make your life better, not to add to the stress of modern life.

Life is busy
Everything can become crammed in

4. Lack of inspiration

We all have those days when the layout looks rubbish, it’s a mess and you just don’t know what you want to do. That’s normal. I find that reading forums, magazines and visiting friends’ layouts is the perfect antidote but you can’t force art!

Just sit back, enjoy the break and look for something you really find inspiring. It may be a building you drive past every day, something you see on a movie, an article or photo. Once the inspiration hits, you’ll be back at it in no time.

There's life at the end of the tracks
There’s life at the end of the tracks

5. It’s all too much!

I often get stuck on a project, my layout becomes a mess (I am not the tidiest!) and it all becomes too much. I walk away because I can’t face tidying or getting on with anything. Sometimes I leave it a few hours, sometimes a few days, this time a year but the layout or model is still there waiting. It’s patient and will be just as happy when you pick it back up again.

After a break, you do need to pick yourself back up and get into modelling again. I find that my hand eye coordination has suffered but my enthusiasm is back up there.

My layout often becomes so messy I can't face it...
My layout often becomes so messy I can’t face it…

5 Reasons to Start Modelling

1. Visitors are coming

Having our layouts seen by someone else is a powerful motivator. In my mind’s eye, I ignore the clutter and mess and see the future vision. Visitors don’t! After a break, those things you overlook become more apparent and it’s a great time to look afresh at your layout and decide what stays, what goes and what goes in the bin. I have just taken everything off my layout so that I can tidy it up, clean the track and start modelling again. It’s cathartic and I feel so much better now I can walk into my layout room without falling over a box and some loose tools (well, several boxes and most of my tools in a pile).

When the visitors do come, they may not notice all that you have done but at least you can be proud of where you are!


Friends visiting is a real encouragement
Friends visiting is a real encouragement

2. Friendship

I recently upgraded to Lightroom CC and it has face recognition. Going through tagging my 70,000+ photos for faces made me realise how many people I have met through modelling in places as diverse as the US, UK, Sweden and Denmark. I have been to countless exhibitions and shows and met some amazing people. Every year I man the NMRA stand at Warley and meet countless more people. This hobby is such a friendly one and you don’t even need to build a layout to enjoy the benefits!

Some of my NMRA friends tagged on Lightroom
Some of my NMRA friends tagged on Lightroom

3. Escapism

When work is stressful or life is getting too much, having something to plan and think about is an escape. Planning Optimus Prime’s LEDs in his eyes or working out how you are going to fit metres of track into a small room are all challenges, small and large, which can distract you from the trials and tribulations of the rest of life.

Coming home after a busy day solving everyone else’s problems to something that only needs your hands and artistic skills, such as throwing around static grass, or coming home after a mind numbing day of tedium to a complex project involving much problem solving, is the perfect antidote!

I've got to get an LED, battery and switch in here...
I’ve got to get an LED, battery and switch in here…

4. I did that

Sometimes, it’s hard to point at what you have created in life but with a model, there is a solid creation that you can touch, run or just look at. It gives us all something to strive for and a sense of achievement when we get there. I love learning new things and seeing the results, mostly successful, sometimes not but always worth trying.

I did that!
I did that!

5. Pure enjoyment

Modelling is a hobby and we all do it for different reasons. The best reason to model is because you love it and it makes you smile!

Operating at Joe Kaspar's layout
Operating at Joe Kaspar’s layout

2 thoughts on “5 reasons to stop and 5 reasons to start modelling”

  1. Well that all makes sense to me Kathy. The sheer joy of completing some part of the pike is just without peer for me.

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