I think of scratchbuilding as a gift you give to yourself. A journey from I can’t to Yes, I can. 



Much of our focus is on the nuts and bolts of how-to. What size is that? How do I do this? Where do I find those? All important questions. But hardly the entire story.

We all have a philosophy of modeling, whether we’re conscious of it or not. For some, it’s a pragmatic whatever works mentality, while others will lovingly attend to the finest details. Your philosophy will impact how you model as well as what you model. The degree of craftsmanship a you bring to your work is a personal decision and your mindset plays a huge role in the choices you’ll make in this craft.

What happens when you can’t find critical information? How do you move forward, how do you make choices? When is it time to move on from a failed effort?

Volume 11 is the story of my first serious attempt at scratchbuilding a boxcar. This isn’t the typical step-by-step set of how-to instructions. Volume 11 shares the real process: the ups and downs, the discoveries and setbacks and, most important, the lessons you’ll learn about yourself as a modeler.

I hope you’ll find it encouraging in tackling your own projects.