TMC 02 Cover

Designing a layout must feel like climbing a sheer rock face without any hand holds or other means of support. No wonder it often feels so frustrating. A lot of layout design articles tend to skim over the mistakes and false starts the builder made, preferring to highlight the successful aspects. This can lead one to think that there is something mysterious or hidden about the process they just don’t get. Of course, this is utter nonsense.

In the new volume of The Missing Conversation, I share the false starts I made with the various layouts in two scales, that led up to the current Indiana & Whitewater. Part one of this article in Vol. 01 of TMC presented a lot of theory and yes, personal opinion. Part two puts theory into practice by getting down to the nuts and bolts of making decisions about what can be realistically done using a large scale in a modest space. Having thought about this for a long time, I’ve come to the conclusion that we have things backward. We start the design process with the amount of space available and let that drive every decision. I now feel that a careful study of the prototype is a better starting place. Learn to understand what you see at trackside and why it appeals to you. Then you’ll be in a much better position to translate those desired images into miniature form. In looking back at the journey I took, some things seem so obvious to me now that were anything but at the time. It’s all a part of the process of growing as a modeler. My hope is that others can learn from my mistakes.

Volume 02 runs 59 pages and is now on sale for $9.99

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