What would you change?

Mike Cougil contributes another thought provoking post.  He starts with….

If you had a blank slate to begin again in the craft, would you change anything? Would you switch scales, stick with the same theme, explore a different one or, do nothing different at all?

And goes on to list some of the things he might do differently.  I’ve summarised a few of them here….

It truly is a journey
My interests are not what they were twenty years ago when I returned to the craft.  The recent changes reflect a maturity that I didn’t have then. I’ve been active in this craft for a number of years now and have done most of the things I thought I wanted to do with it, though there are still  avenues I would enjoy exploring and pushing my own ideas of what a layout can be is one of them….

Size is not the only criteria
I’m very aware of the arguments and the bias against smaller layouts….  What I personally find so compelling is the discipline required to effectively design one.  You have to be disciplined in your choices and expectations and not everyone is willing to do that or understands how to exercise such restraint.  I think it’s better to frame the conversation around thoughtfully considered and well crafted design principles rather than square footage.

Everyone can have quality
What many of us really want is a layout that truly satisfies our vision.  This is a quality in which the actual square footage involved is irrelevant….  My route to a satisfying layout has been to eliminate the compromises that assumed or seldom used features usually require, such as the toy train character of my curve….  All of these ideas represent a relaxed approach to the craft that has brought me to a satisfying place.

I’ve never been happy with the lighting of my layouts over the years….   Properly lighting a small object like a model is an art form in its own right that few of us understand well.

Lighting commands our attention
In his comments on a recent post, reader Simon Dunkley offered an analogy from the theater of the lights dimming at the end of a scene.  I think that would be an interesting way to actually end an operating session.  With the ever growing number of options (including dimmable) now available for LEDs, poor lighting can be a thing of the past….

I’ve touched on this subject before and by presentation, I’m referring to the entirety of what one sees, from the actual modeling and how the layout itself is introduced and presented.  I have seen examples of exhibition layouts that would rival any museum display in their interpretation, signage and lighting….  I find this style of modeling very intriguing, because it speaks to the artistry and craft that I enjoy.  I also think there is a wonderful opportunity in layout presentation to help the public understand our craft beyond the stereotype of toy trains….

Read it all HERE.


About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Hints and tips, Inspiration, Layout design and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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