First, the housekeeping. Things were getting a little messy around here so I spent some time this morning cleaning up the blog. Also, a week or so ago I noticed all my Blog List content had somehow disappeared. So as I sat here sipping my coffee I (re)established the various links.
This also gave me a chance to look at each of the blogs I follow, which naturally led me to their "Blogs I'm Following" list - sending me down yet another (always interesting) rabbit hole.
Great fun. You can now (hopefully) click directly on the links on the right hand side of this page.
While I find most of the model inspiration I find nowadays comes from blogs, there's still some interesting things to be found on forums. One forum I've followed for years is The Railwire. If you've never heard of it then it's likely you've never done any serious N scale model building.
One of the most interesting current threads (click here) is Max Magliaro's ongoing build of a SP&S 0-6-0.
This is not a "kit bash" or even a modification of an imported brass locomotive of a similar prototype.
Here's the "strategic vision" for this project, in Max's own words:
"Right from the outset, I want to make it clear that a major building requirement, (a "promise to myself") is that I want to make as much of this by myself, from scratch. So use of commercial parts, castings, 3rd party casting or etching services, will be kept to an absolute minimum, if not zero.
I plan on using a commercial motor, gears, and electrical components, and screws, but hopefully not much else from outside sources."
Perhaps I need to apply such "goal statements" to some of my own modeling. It's become way too expedient to take the easy way out and go with something "close enough" in the supposed interest of saving time. Ninety percent of the time it's not about saving time, it's about avoiding the challenge. Max has obviously faced that head-on.
Will he succeed? The only way to really know is to tune in and find out. But indications thus far indicate he will. Max has built several other N scale steam locomotives I'm aware of, detailing one of them in a series of articles in RMC a few years ago. He's also learned how to use the tools and techniques to actually achieve his goals.
If you review the build thread (and I strongly encourage you to do so), you'll notice this is not a "here's how to do it to get perfect results the first time." While the project is progressing nicely and Max's results to date are quite good, he's taking a "diary" approach to the build thread. Sometimes a technique works, sometimes not so much.
It's really quite interesting to watch.