Over the years I have spent entirely too much time waiting for something to be produced. That time could have been applied to building the desired model. I used to make excuses that I lacked tools, expertise, plans and something else. It was probably the fear of diving in and tackling something new and challenging. Then there is analysis paralysis. I wonder how many of you out there suffer from the same condition.
Waiting for “it” has caused me to waste so much hoping for something to be produced. Over the years, I have taught myself to do a number of model building techniques. I am still learning today. The techniques have allowed me to step away from some of the waiting game and decide my modeling path. My initial efforts in scratch building were all over the place in terms of prototypes and quality. There wasn’t a single theme or direction. Ron Sebastian once told me that a person has only so many good models in them. In other words, don’t waste the energy on something that isn’t important. I am staring down seventy years of age and wondering how many more things can I accomplish before I can’t do it any more. It is a morbid thought but the aging process is not kind to model builders.
One of my ventures in model railroading was into S Scale. It seemed to have a great potential. I noticed that I was waiting and watching to see when a new decal sheet or a pair of trucks might appear. Brass locos appeared but the basics weren’t there. I suspect it has gotten better. I have seen some remarkable work being done in the scale by some talented builders. For me, it is a little to late.
The lesson for me out of all these words is that: don’t wait for something to happen. As the Nike commercial used to say: “Just Do It”. The biggest pain for me was the reliance on some supplier to key components like trucks, couplers and decals. The rest is just model building. There are a few bright lights in our small world of Proto48. The most important is Protocraft. Norm Buckhart has created a company that has filled many important voids in our hobby.
Protocraft decals have made me forget about names like Champ, Walthers and Microscale. There are only a few dedicated artists that take the time to search out the prototype data, photos and history. Protocraft is one of them. They don’t use stock lettering from the typesetting world like Champ and Walthers. With few exceptions, all of the Champ freight car dimension fonts are not traced or matched to prototype cars. Protocraft does the tracing directly from actual photos. There are some many new sets out and coming that I may have to expand my storage box. Hopefully, all these cars will make onto the bucket list.
Trucks have long been a challenge in Proto48. Between Protocraft and San Juan Car Company, many of the steam/diesel era trucks are available. Finally, important post war trucks like ASF A-3 Ride Control, Barber S-2 and the National B-1 are available. A new 50-ton Andrews will be arriving soon.
So it seems that most of my problems are solved. No! There are models that I want but have not been produced. I have held out hope for new tank car models and a few new urethane freight cars. Well, that problem is no longer a problem. I have a small layout and not a great need for rolling stock. I will build what I need and not wait around for a fickle supplier to “Just Do It”.
As for the rest of you, I will share my projects via this blog. It might show you a way to get what you want.