Looking Back

If writing this blog has achieved anything it’s got me making the effort to look back through some of the hundreds (if not thousands) of photos I’ve taken over the years after my purchase of a digital camera in 2003.

I take photos of pretty much everything I build: it’s become a bit of a habit really. It makes it easy to post a photo here but in a way it also acts as an historical record for me in evaluating how my modelling has developed over those years. It’s a personal resource and record and I’d recommend anyone who models to take a few photos, if for no other reason than it allows you to let others know what you’re up to.

The photo I’ve just posted of 4811 is an interesting case in point. I don’t actually think it’s that great a photo and the modelling is a good demonstration of how far I’ve come since 2003/4 when I built her. In spite of this I don’t think she holds up that badly and the photo allows me to visualise the effect of certain things and closeups are a cruel task master. Look at the silvering under the nose stripes. Yikes!

In spite of the flaws I can see in my work, I wouldn’t go back and upgrade 4811 to some higher standard of rivet counting excellence. She’s as much a reflection of me as a modeller at the time she was built as are the photos I have of my first couple of layouts. I’ve made some alterations to her over the years and I’ve re-glued a set of cooling pipes that stubbornly refuse to resist the temptation to be under my clumsy fingers when I pick her up, but overall she’s the same loco that rolled out of my workshop about 8 years ago. In fact I’ve come to appreciate some of her quirks and flaws, a bit like a favourite old chair.

In addition to this she’s attended every exhibition I’ve taken a 7mm layout to and she’s never let me down, although one year, just 2 weeks out from an appearance her sound decoder gave up the ghost and I had to quickly order in a replacement.

I have a “yet to be built” kit of the same class of loco sitting in my cupboard of “yet to be built” kits that I’m sure is far more accurate and detailed than 4811. In spite of this I have no plans to assemble this kit and I wonder whether I ever will. As I completed the construction of 1919 recently I re-learnt something that I sometimes need to be reminded of: I remembered just how enjoyable and satisfying it is to build a locomotive. I had such a good time building it!

The next one won’t have to wait another eight years…

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