Why would you model track like this? Seriously, why would you choose this route over, say, commercial track that you could slap down in a fraction of the time and call it done?
A lot of people tell me they would love to have track like this but it’s too much work. They want the product without the process involved in producing it. This is the new culture of our hobby.
This track didn’t just magically appear. The elves didn’t come in overnight and do it, nor did the tooth fairy. It’s the end result of a multi-step process that was practiced for many years. A process that saw false starts and outright failures, and yet was repeated over time until I could produce the track seen in the photo as a result of learning and staying with that process.
That statement should be self-evident, but apparently it isn’t to a growing number of people who now believe the hobby is all about an end result (the product) instead the process required to bring said result into the real world. Like I said, the distinction between the two should be obvious. Don’t you think?
My reasons for handlaying track to that degree of detail are the only ones I can speak about with any authority, and they revolve around my sense of personal satisfaction that is hinted at by the second question in the photo.
Since I’m largely preaching to the choir here, and since several of you have told me you’re tired of my harping on craftsmanship and such, I’ll simply leave you with the question instead of belaboring the point. However, it’s important to review and be reminded of certain principles in this craft. It’s very easy to let others do your thinking for you in this hobby and a solid grounding in what this craft actually is helps to internalize those principles to the point that they feel natural and become second nature.
All that said, for now I’ll just invite you to look at the track in the photo again and consider whether it’s a result you’d like to see on your layout and whether you’d like to learn the process involved in creating such track. If so my book, Detailing Track, covers it well.
If you’ve come to this blog for the first time, then let me welcome and encourage you to look around. But if you’re coming here with your mind already made up, if you only want easy answers and you don’t care about the opening question or think it makes any difference to your experience of the hobby, then this blog isn’t going to be a good fit for you. I don’t practice a commodity hobby or seek simplistic solutions. What I do here and in my books is encourage you to challenge your assumptions, think for yourself and fully understand the “why” behind the choices you’re making. I don’t mean to offend anyone. I just think it best to get that clear and out of the way so we aren’t wasting our irreplaceable time. This blog is about the process, not the product.