The Hidden Blessing of Constraints (thanks, Lance!)

Lance Mindheim has written a terrific post called The Hidden Blessing of Constraints. I wish everybody in the hobby would read it, and heed it.

Lance concludes the post with several pieces of advice. To this, I would add two points (related to each other):

Select a prototype to model: Learning to model what is there will force you to challenge your abilities in a way that freelancing might not, because when freelancing it’s always possible to adapt one’s vision to one’s skills or available product.

Pick a manageable piece of railway to build, so that as you tackle the various skills required you see real progress on your layout.

There are plenty of examples on this blog that satisfy both of these points. If you’re new to this blog, I encourage you to go exploring…

2 thoughts on “The Hidden Blessing of Constraints (thanks, Lance!)

  1. That post really spoke to me as well, as someone without space or money I had started coming around to the idea that what I needed was more scratch building (a.k.a. modeling) to be successful.

    One thing I’d add is you have to make some progress, even if you end up not liking it and doing it over do something. I myself have found myself paralyzed unable to go forward because I didn’t know how to do the next thing or was afraid I’d messed it up. Sometimes I end up scraping it off, sometimes I end up liking it, but every time progress gets me more motivated to continue than sitting around and being afraid to mess things up

  2. I had a good friend who had plenty of money, built a huge layout room and bought whatever trains he liked. His layout was one of those ‘everyone west’ things with Pennsy added to the GN, BN, UP, and CB&Q.

    One day he showed me a nice model he thought i might want to buy and I replied it didn’t fit my era or area. His response was, “I wish I had your discipline” to which I replied, “If I had you budget, I wouldn’t have my discipline” and he silently nodded.

    Constraints are a major blessing (but I sure wish I had a foot more width and an extra grand for three units worth of S-CAB set ups (and the repowering those locos need).

    Bob Coourtney

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