With a lifting fog, thanks to Photoshop, it’s easy to look at an image like this and think there is some magic secret to it, or that the modeling is so far beyond your skills, there is no point in trying.
What you don’t see in photos like this are the countless plywood pacific layouts made with brass snap track, or that horrible fiber tie flex track of the same era.
You don’t see the miles of crude handlaid track that was so out of gauge and rough that nothing would stay on the rails for long.
You don’t see the first handlaid turnouts where the points and frog would derail anything I was foolish enough to send through them.
You don’t see the unpainted rails, the oversized lumps of solder and gigantic feeder wires in plain sight.
You don’t see the frustration from being stuck. From wanting to do better but not knowing how or where to learn. You don’t see the waffling indecisiveness between using commercial and handlaid.
None of that shows up in the photo above.
We’ve so divorced outcomes from the process that people no longer believe they can do such work.
It’s good to consider that if someone learned how to do something, odds are you can learn it too. You may not want to put in the time and effort, but that choice is on you and doesn’t excuse the fact that the process is still learnable.