OST Publications: Inspire me

After forty plus years of model building, I’m not a beginner but, I’m not an expert either. Like many others, I simply want to learn from examples of inspiring work. I started OST Publications to focus on railroad modeling as a craft that you can pursue for a lifetime of discovery. The books cover modeling techniques and craft skills with a strong emphasis on growing as a modeler. Scroll down to learn more or, when you’re ready, I invite you to check out the titles at the OST Store.

Regards, Mike Cougill

The Missing Conversation ebook series

Thinking It Through
“Our thinking is largely shaped by what we are exposed to and allow as influences. I remember pouring over construction articles by Jack Work, Ben King and other icons of an earlier era. These were comprehensive treatments that included full text, scale drawings, assembly illustrations and photos. The extensive text provided a clear sense of the process required to successfully complete a model to the standard shown. Reading the multiple steps involved gave one an understanding of the work and techniques but also allowed the reader to follow the thinking of the craftsman, which is as important as the techniques used. Indeed, I contend it is more important because problem solving is as much a part of scratchbuilding as any fabrication technique. If you want to grow as a craftsman, it is an essential skill to develop.” (The Missing Conversation Vol.12, page 6.) 


As a writer, I want to do work that helps readers to see the potential this craft has to offer. The Missing Conversation ebook series takes an in-depth approach to a single modeling subject. Each volume is fully illustrated with large format photos and an easy to read text.  

Mike Cougill

Modeling: inspired by the prototype.

“This is a book about modeling track for the pure joy of it. Most modelers see their track as a means to an end: something to simply run their trains on. For many folks, sectional track and turnouts, flextrack or even basic handlaid track will do just fine, as long as the trains run without derailing. …Which is fine. There is no one-size-fits-all answer or way to do things in model railroading.” (Detailing Track, page 6)

Yes, I approach track modeling like I would any other subject, because I don’t know any other way to do it. As you see, quarter-inch scale allows for a high level of satisfying detail. I won’t kid you though, modeling track like this is a lot of work, as I outlined in my book Detailing Track. However, I believe the results speaks volumes. You don’t model track to this degree to fill a basement. You do it because the process itself is satisfying. You do it as a choice and because not doing it feels worse.

As the owner of OST Publications and a writer, I want to do work I can look back on with pride and maybe know that the work helped readers to see the potential this craft has to offer.

Regards, Mike Cougill