Postings have been less frequent haven’t they? With warm weather firmly in place, I’m spending less time in the basement modeling.

Like many of you, my enthusiasm tends to ebb and flow in cycles, with winter being a time when more modeling gets done. The summer time heat and Midwest humidity is another incentive to head below ground too. For now though, outdoor chores and a long overdue cleanup of our property take center stage.

I’ve been thinking about the direction of the blog and whether I’m wasting your time with it. Truthfully, regular readers know my stance about the hobby by now and lately, it feels like I’m simply repeating myself. I’ve considered a change in schedule from once a week to monthly with a single longer post. However, I don’t know what I’ll do at this point. Even though we’re beginning to put all the disruption behind us, this is still a crazy, off year in many ways. I have the sense that 2020 is going to be a watershed year as people rethink their priorities.

Another thing I’m struggling with is using every project as fodder for the blog or social media. I have a horrid record when it comes to completing things, as most of you know. Many times I reach a point where my curiosity is satisfied and I don’t feel like going further with a project. My idea of fun is just playing around at the workbench trying out ideas. In that light, I part company with those of you who are more driven or goal oriented than I am. Sometimes the outcomes are worth sharing but mostly they’re not.

I’m well aware that not everything needs to be posted online (nor should it be), yet digital media is a beast with an insatiable appetite. You always need to feed it something at least that’s how it feels to me. Attention spans are shorter than ever and there’s more online noise than ever. My stats tell me the covered hopper project bores the hell out of you, so I think I will move that one offstage and stop wasting your time with it until the build is farther along.

With regard to what’s next on the blog, I don’t know. I do know that I want to continue with it, yet I feel like it’s gotten stale. (More accurately, my writing has gotten stale.)

My interest level is low currently and I’m fine with that. It’s times like this that I appreciate the value of a small layout and modest involvement with the craft. I don’t feel any pressure or guilt from a huge project that’s isn’t making progress. To each their own however.

As for other projects, I’m working on the revised edition of Detailing Track, that I want to release later this year. The second edition will be an ebook only at this point and feature new material not covered in the original. In essence it’s a brand new book. I only have 150 or so copies of the first edition, so if you want one better grab it soon. Once that print run is gone, I won’t be doing another.

Whether you model all summer or enjoy a break, I hope the time is a blessing to you.

See you soon.


  1. Richard Anthony


    I want to speak up and say that I for one am NOT bored with your covered hopper project. Your examples of jigs inspired me to take on a similar project (not to the same degree of fine scale). I just wanted to rebuild in brass the end cages on some Weaver hoppers for a more prototypical appearance. Your posts have given me the push to jump in and try it. thanks! I DO look forward to the next report on the covered hopper project


  2. mike

    Thank you Richard. I appreciate hearing that.


  3. Jeremy Dummler

    Not bored at all with the project! Detailing, and seeing things go together, is great. Just seeing the time it takes is wonderful because it works the same on my workbench, and knowing that I’m not the only one who is putting in that time is inspiring.

  4. mike

    Thanks Jeremy. It does take time, especially when you’re figuring things out as you go. What you see in these posts is exactly that.


  5. Simon

    I love your postings, but you probably don’t need me to tell you that!

  6. mike

    No, but I appreciate it when you take time to do so.


  7. Chris Roy

    I’ll chime in to say that I love your blog and posts as well. I’ve been reading it for a few years and totally agree, though I haven’t commented as I’ve been keen to not be an “armchair modeler” that only comments online, since it’s been a while since I’ve done any actual modeling. I really need to become more active in both activities!

  8. mike

    Thank you Chris.