Modelers have a different sense of time than the population at large. One of the remarks that comes up almost immediately when a civilian looks at a fine scale model railroad is “That must have taken a great deal of time”. What is the psychological basis for this question if the civilian’s being unable to visualize him self spending that amount of time on a model. To do so would cut deeply into such fundamental activities such as shopping, watching football all weekend, and friending 1000 people on his Facebook page.
Rather what rings the bells for the modeler is being into the zone of creativity and hands on productivity. Satisfaction derived from this process, and, to a lesser extent, the result, is one of the true and fundamental joys of life. The modeler seeks to carve out blocks of time from unavoidable distractions to get back into the zone. Having the results admired and viewed by others is perhaps 2% of the overall satisfaction involved.
Another question always asked is “When will it be finished?” What is completely outside the psychology of the civilian is the perception that the modeler strives to complete a thing, when what does it for the modeler, is not the completion, but the process of creativity.
Van Gogh didn’t sit and admire his first painting upon completion. Instead, he at first opportunity created another, and another, ad infinitum…
And so, for a modeler, “The journey is its own reward”.
Charred Dogs & Brats
We have a BBQ joint ten miles north in a box car, now, four miles south in a caboose. Check their sign pictured below for the local delacacy:
Augut 15, 2008
The Art of Modeling
Webster's definition of art: 1. Human ability to make things; creativity of man as distinguished from the world of nature. 2. Skill; Craftsmanship 3. Any specific skill or its application. Also, creative work, making things that display form, beauty, and unusual perception.
Dismissed by many as an eccentric realm of introverted geeks with one foot firmly in child hood, we who are modelers are as much artists as painters or sculptors. Ours is a realm of many media, with the advantage to those that can excel in a wide variety of endeavors. We create a sensory experience of pleasure involving many realms including sound, motion, color, texture, and a calming nostalgia for a realm where life is dialed back to a world where the basic values of fairness, honesty, and an honest day's labor. Modelers depict churches, bars, farms, retail enterprise, repair and manufacturing concerns. But all but absent are police stations, prisons, hospitals, and extended care facilities.
What is depicted represents a harmonious realm where the preferred values are the norm, and we don't hold champagne receptions to tell the world of our self-importance.
Tom and Julie Andersen
Ranchos de Taos San Francisco de Asis HO Scale Kit $69 O Scale Kit $99 Available for Christmas 2008AD
Andersen Model Kits was concieved when Julie and Myself were unable to locate aspen trees to our liking for our fledgling HOn3 layout. We were so pleased with what we created that we began Julie's Organic Aspens, ran an ad in the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette, and sold a few trees. Our subsequent kits are likewise inspired.
In July of 2008 we added evergreens to our line of Julie's Organic Trees. We use real wooden trunks, and the trees are individually hand crafted with that shaggy craggy woodsy look to add vivid realism to your layout. Priced the same as the aspens, they are not only as fine a tree as you will find in modeling, but compare very well in price with other trees being offered.
Andersen Model Kits take some time. Board by board construction trumps laser cut and sheet goods. It harkens back to when crafstmanship won out over expediency. Certainly a fiberglass hull is far easier to construct than a planked and caulked sailboat. Even William F. Buckley Jr. with all his wealth & resources eventually came to a fiberglass boat.
But in modeling, we are not about the expense and time involved constructing a 48' sailboat, nor the expense of maintaining it. In fact, maintenance in modeling is almost nonexistent, save occasionally dealing with some dust. So the comparison is the modeler's time.
Our philosophy is this: we'd rather be modeling than almost anything else, so employing time saving techniques is counter-intuitive. (What would one do if one's layout was 100% complete??) The bang for the buck is in the aesthetic of the model. When considered as a whole, the extra time it takes to build up a framework from individual beams or plank a wall is a small fraction of the overall effort.
So it comes down to a fundamental of one's life philosophy; Are we about getting quickly to the end result, or are we about enjoying the journey?
One of the best things about the DCC systems for locomotives is the slowed down speed steps such that they can proceed with dignity, their cadence in sinc with a slowly chiming bell...a train moving at slow speed not only gives the viewer time to take in the modeling detail in the rolling stock, but the scenery through which it is passing.
We have a few irons in the fire...we seem to have more branding irons than cattle! We travelled to Laws California recently to measure out the Armstrong Gallows Turntable to offer as a kit to complement our roundhouse. We are working on the coal tower that exists in Chama New Mexico. We will eventually offer these in several scales. (Everything we offer is first available in HOn3 as that is our layout scale. The root of our "Built by Modelers for Modelers" slogan is that the creation that precedes the kit exists on our layout)
Please send along your comments, and certainly your pictures, we love to see where our kits end up!