As many of you may know if you follow me on other channels such as YouTube or Social Media, I have been struggling a bit to find my way as a full time creator. I have tried several avenues, such as writing a book (Building Realistic Model Railroad Scenery), being a YouTuber (whatever that is) but the truth is, when I took this plunge, lockdown hit at the same time and a few of the projects I had planned dried up leaving me with very little income!
I have also talked a lot about a new job and that did finally come off but it was a lot of overseas travel and I had run my first Kickstarter by the time it happened so I declined it…
So What about Model Railways?
Where has that left me? After 3 years of doing whatever this is full time, I have learnt a lot about what I love doing and video editing is not on the list and neither is writing books. What I do love more than anything else is designing stuff. I love copying real places and creating exact miniature copies and I came from model railways so that seems the natural thing to do, doesn’t it?
Except, model railways are a very split market and they require everything to be spot on exact to the rivet. The biggest markets are in the US but I live in the UK. Buildings are very regional and my market would therefore also be regional to wherever I chose. That limits what I can do and how much I can sell.
My first love is scenery, big scenes, entire worlds and creativity, trying new things. Railways just don’t suit that very much.
What does suit me is sci fi.
I can create anything, within reason, and no one can say it is wrong… I can try new worlds, such as lava, ice and snow or even just a grassland. However, when I look at a marketplace for it, dioramas just don’t sell well enough but you know what does sell?
But what is it? Simply put, it is the buildings, rocks, plants, barricades, clutter, ie the scenery, that allows you to play a miniatures game using it. Each game is different in what suits it and what scale it needs. I personally play Star Wars Legion and Shatterpoint which are on the bigger size.
I have done the weekly YouTube grind and know that I do not want that kind of pressure as a one man band so a monthly Patreon-style sales channel isn’t for me. There is one marketplace for 3D prints that has great sales on terrain (known as scenery to modellers) and that is Kickstarter.
I decided to do one test run with a Modular Sci Fi Landing Pads Kickstarter and it did well for a first go – it certainly made more money than my other endeavours! It allows me to design and model still as well as getting me into the world of tabletop gaming, which it turns out is great fun too.
And that is why I am doing tabletop terrain on Kickstarter for a living now!
What does this mean?
The content on my YouTube and Website will start to pivot more and more to the sci fi side (which it has been doing for years now) and there will be less model railway content going forward. You will still get regular videos and how-tos but I need my social media to be more focussed on my terrain work.
This email list will start to give more frequent updates on how the Kickstarters and design work are going.
I have really enjoyed the journey so far but I realise my new direction is not for all of my subscribers so if you want to bow out then I understand. Thank you for all your support so far but I do hope you will stay with me for the next exciting instalment of my creative life.