The sight of lightweight jointed rail brings to mind an image of some little teakettle bobbing along with a handful of cars to some long forgotten spot on the map. We picture an unhurried, freely accessible, railroading of our dreams, something we can wrap our imagination around rather than examine and understand the reality we’re looking at.

The more I study and learn about full-size railroading, the less interest I have in model railroading. The expert mentality and rigid mindset of the mainstream doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I find all that chatter more of a burden than anything.

It’s left me torn with regard to this blog. Clearly, I want to go in a direction that few are interested in. As you know, I believe that the craft is what you make of it. However, the values that I appreciate have seldom if ever been part of the larger culture. If I’m not providing genuine value for you, then I should move on and let you do the same.

So, for now, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve said everything I wanted to say about the craft and summed up my views in the volume about Mill Road. I’m not saying this is the final post but it will be the last one for a while as I need to take a break and evaluate what might come next. I appreciate the gift of your time in reading and commenting over the years of this blog and don’t take that gift lightly. Stay safe and well during the holidays and enjoy the craft however you choose to practice it.



  1. Peter Hopcroft

    You’ve taken me for a great journey and I look forward to seeing where it goes to next.

  2. Matthew Markham

    Mike, it has been a pleasure sharing your journey and the amazing insights that you have / have had. We all bring something different to this hobby in all of it’s different flavours. The emphasis on detail and the artistry has been most welcome, and I’m looking forward to when you return to share with us again.

  3. Rene Gourley

    Being the voice in the wilderness is certainly hard, Mike. Thanks for all the inspiring posts over the years. I believe, while you may not feel it yourself, you have had an influence on the hobby. Look at the current move to simplification, to layouts that fill a life rather than a basement, to treating track as a subject of modelling. I hope you will come back when you’ve had a bit of a break. We need people like you to challenge us.

  4. Chris Graham

    Mike, I don’t normally make comments on forums like this but thank you for your blog. I for one enjoyed your approach, style and thinking. I will miss this.

    Hopefully it will return at a future date in one form or another. In the interim enjoy the break.

  5. Chris Roy

    Thanks for all the posts you’ve made over the years. You’ve definitely inspired me within the hobby and beyond. The transition away from the mainstream really reflects your comments regarding treating this medium less as a hobby and more as an artistic pursuit. Cheers!

  6. Dan Placzek

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts all these years, Mike. You bring a refreshing view to modeling. I enjoy looking at modeling through your viewpoint and use many of your posts as reference material.

    Good luck to you.

    I’ll continue to check back in case you are inspired to post again.

    Dan Placzek

  7. mike

    Thank you everyone for the kind words.They mean a great deal to me.

    Rene, I appreciate that you and Chris have taken the conversation about technology and choice to a greater level. There is great wisdom in the idea of choosing how or if a technology or technique may fit our vision of what we want to accomplish. That such choices are now available to anyone who wants to make them, requires a different conversation as Chris suggests. It is not necessary to denigrate the past in order to embrace the future. The blacksmith and the 3D CAD technician both bring a valuable set of skills and points of view that will appeal to different personalities and temperaments. Going forward, it is less a question of how-to and more a question of what and why that an individual must answer for him or her self. Thanks to each of your efforts, that conversation is getting started.


  8. Gerard J. Fitzgerald

    Your modeling and approach to the hobby have meant a great deal to me and I am saddened you are stepping away from your blog. That said, I can appreciate and understand your position of having reached a point where you feel you have said all you have to say while also wondering about the overall impact of your contributions within the greater world of model railroading. For myself, I have always found your philosophical and aesthetic approach to the concept of craft in the hobby to be amazingly perceptive, unique, and extremely helpful. Not only as a theoretician but also as an active modeler. Through various projects over the years you have brought a great deal of insight into what works and sometimes what does not work. The latter approach used to be a part of model publishing but seemed to have been thrown overboard years ago. I can also understand that what you write probably goes over the heads of many in the hobby… -which is too bad and not really surprising- but I think in the end it is better to have a small devoted following than a larger one that is not fully engaged. I have enjoyed all of your projects and learned a great deal and become a much better modeler.

    Thank you for the all great work and I will keep checking into your blog in the future to see what you are up to. I would be intrigued to see your eye turned toward the prototype world. I find myself track side with my camera much more than at the workbench these days and I would be intrigued to see your writing on current events in the “real” world of full-scale railroading. Have a happy holiday season and thanks again!!

  9. Brian Stokes


    The fact that you are not of the mainstream mindset makes your voice all the more important and inspirational. Thank you and I do hope to see you writing again soon.


  1. Spoiled for choice – Pembroke:87 - […] that’s not quite true, is it, and I think Mike’s (hopefully temporary) break from the hobby underscores this well.…