Anyone who spends their time with model trains knows that it’s a magical hobby. To see a whole miniature town with its own railroad, and its own life, is truly a marvel. If it’s always been a dream to create your own railroad within your own home, or some other available space, it’s never too late to get started. It all begins in your mind.
If you are a model train enthusiast, you know that creating a landscape for your railroad is similar to writing a novel, or painting a landscape portrait. Like a painter, you ask yourself where your train is located geographically. What’s the climate? What’s the terrain? If you’re creating a small town you ask, who are the people that live there? What is their life like? Where does the railroad take them? All this creative work isn’t just plain engineering, it is Imagineering!
Hobbyists who base their creation off of their own imaginations, rather than historical fact, will find more opportunities to discover. Limitations of funding and space can sometimes be a great challenge and produce even more creative solutions.
It’s exciting to research the era in which your railroad runs. What were the buildings and costumes like? What industries are prominent? Even if your imaginary railroad is based on a fictitious location or time, fully imagine answers to all these questions.
Imagine a name for your railroad. Research historical names or create your own. Also create a history behind your railroad. Who founded it and why? What purpose does it serve? This in-depth, imagined history will add credibility and life to your railroad.
Once the specifics are fully imagined, begin to create the layout and scale drawings of the project. Tailor the plan to the space and finances available to you. If you’re new to the hobby, call upon other more experienced modelers to evaluate your plan and ask for advice. It’s not possible to over-plan or over-imagine.
It’s exciting to create the logo for your railroad, and also a color scheme. There are no rules here, so pick something that is meaningful to you; something that perhaps reminds you of your childhood, or a family member. This logo can then be transferred onto decals and placed on your trains.
There’s no limit to the Imagineering you can do. Many railroad hobbyists expand their creativity into the minutest details; train warrants, train orders, t-shirts, cloth patches, and all of this with special logos and color schemes.
Like all creative hobbies, Imagineering for model trains expands the imagination and brings to life all your mental faculties, which makes it particularly beneficial for seniors who have a desire to keep their wits keen and their imaginations open. Check your local directory to find a model train or hobby shop in your area. There will be plenty of enthusiasts to help you get started, or give advice on how to improve.
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