Summertime modelling

When the weather is lovely – as it is today where I live – I prefer to not spend all my free time in the train room. Or, really, any of it. I know a lot of people who agree, and put their hobby on hold for the summer.

But, I find working on a project really helps when I’m thinking about a work assignment. It uses a different part of the brain than the part that worries about work, I guess, and that helps the work worrying centres to unwind enough that useful work eventually gets done.

Recently, I’ve been sharing reports via the blog on two smaller structures that I’ve been working on for the layout – the barn beside the Port Rowan team track, and the Port Rowan section house:
Port Rowan sheds photo Shed-SectHse-01_zps3bbc1728.jpg

Port Rowan sheds photo Shed-SectHse-02_zps78b2f9d3.jpg

Sharp-eyed readers will note that I’ve added the louvred vents to the team track barn (although they need more weathering). I’ve also added handcar set offs in front of the section house, and built an MoW trailer with parts from a Wiseman Model Services kit. (More on that in a future post.)

What I haven’t shared previously is where I’ve done all this work – namely, on a second-floor deck off my home office:
Summertime Modelling photo SummertimeModelling_zpsea66f50a.jpg

That’s one of my two border collies peeking through the antique folding rocker. The two tiled side tables live outdoors year-round, and give me the requisite two square feet of workbench. My toolbox and materials sit on the floor. The gaps in the boards are great for sweeping away little bits of wood and styrene. They’ll also swallow tools or materials if I’m not careful – so I do my best to be careful. So far, that hasn’t been a problem – not too often, anyway…

With my office right next door, I can also nip in to make notes on work projects as the inspiration hits.

8 thoughts on “Summertime modelling

  1. I love sitting out on the deck and modelbuilidng. I find it a great pleasure, though it’s sometimes necessary to put up an umbrella to keep from catching too many rays! I have a small toolbox that I use to store my set of spare modelling tools for travelling that is very useful here.

    Having objects that can be used to weigh down papers is an asset, as well as a weighted box to store materials in to keep them from being blown away. Paint fumes no longer are much of an issue.

  2. While I haven’t done much (or any) modelbuilding outdoors, I always take a box of a do-able project up to our summer cabin where I have a workbench/desk for working into the evenings. Working outdoors, do you find colour an issue? Hopefully the layout lighting won’t make work done under sunlight (or indirect sun) look too, too different.

    • Great question David: I check colours under layout lighting before heading outdoors. Then I don’t worry about what they look like in the sun. As an extreme example, CN Red #11 could look purple, green, or polka-dotted in the light of day – but I know it’s the right colour for my CNR boxcars.
      Cheers!

  3. Years ago I built a Magnuson O scale resin multi story building while at the beach with the family. I sprayed the backs of the walls with black paint to block interior light leakage. Left the parts on the table on the deck while we went down to the ocean. The parts were well warped by the time we came back up to the house. Painted the front of the parts with my basic brick red and let them soak in the sun some more. Parts got mostly straight so 1/4″ basswood bracing finished it.

    The joys of outdoor modeling!

  4. “But, I find working on a project really helps when I’m thinking about a work assignment. It uses a different part of the brain than the part that worries about work, I guess, and that helps the work worrying centres to unwind enough that useful work eventually gets done.”

    Man! That is probably the most profound, succinct reason for doing this hobby that I’ve ever read. I’ll be committing this quote to memory. Thanks Trevor!

    • My pleasure, Chris. I know this also applies to my other interests, too.

      For example, when I work my border collies on sheep, I can’t think about anything other than the work we’re doing. I’m trying to read what the sheep want to do versus what I want them to do, whether the dog is holding his head together and taking my commands, whether I’m giving him commands that conflict with his read on the sheep, etc. With all of that going on, there’s no time to think about work assignments – and I find my best ideas for an assignment come to me on the drive home from a herding lesson.

      Or, after I’ve stained a batch of wood for a section house, say.

      Glad you enjoyed the thought and that it resonates with you. I’d only add that I should’ve said “model railroading or any other hobby”…

      Cheers!

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