I feel compelled to comment on this thread/topic, because there has
been so many responses to this subject-matter.
I have been building models for about the last 40 years. I have
built trains, planes, ships, army tanks, ad infinitum,...but, mostly
railroad models & layouts.
I first started building in the railroad circa of authors/craftsmen
such as John Allen, Mel Thornburg, Gib Kennedy, Jack Work, Paul
Larson, and many other fine builders. I found their work most
inspiring and instructional. I wanted to be like them.
I grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and used to go frequently to the
Museum of Science and Industry there, and see the magnificent Santa
Fe layout and all of the ship models, etc., that were there. I was
always awe-inspired by what I'd seen others do.
It took me a few years to hone my skills in model-building &
painting & weathering, but I learned from all that I'd admirably
Currently I am building a "Square-rigger" sailing ship of large
scale. It includes every pulley and line that a ship would have.
I want to build a model of a Sherman Tank again, with all of the
weathering and detail that I can muster.
I want to build (again!!) at PT-17 biplane in large scale.(US Navy
I would imagine/presume, that most of us in this group have done
likewise over the years, but that our final recourse is always back
to the trains again.
I consider model railroading to be, "3 dimensional, animated art",
and truly the finest of all hobbys. It covers every tool, wood-
working, electrical, painting, etc., (as we all know), much moreso
than about any other "hobby".
When I have ventured out onto these others "limbs" of model-
building, I always revert back to railroads as my really
true "love". But, I do not foresake the other fine sources of model-
building by others that I've seen.
As far as running "tin-plate" goes, I know I got my start in model-
trains watching our Lionel & Marx trains run under the Christmas
tree, as probably most of us have. Every time I see them today, it
reminds me of those finer times of my youth.
I think that "attitude" will produce the skills, with time. I know
it did with me. But, any aspect of model-railroading is fine with
me. I though too, prefer the "fine-art" of model-railroading, &
model-building, whatever that finally is??