Sunday, 18 January 2009

Every complex project is really just a series of simple actions...

Browsing through the latest issue of MRJ I came across Chris Pendleton's article on modifying the Bachmann 'Deltic' into a fully sprung P4 model. My initial reaction, as is often the case with these sort of articles, was to just skip over it thinking "It all looks far too complicated for mere mortals!"

But as I was forming up the various bits of rail etc this morning ready to solder up some common crossings it occurred to me that actually even the most complex of modelling projects to the most exacting of standards is really only a series of relatively simple steps put together.

Of course, some things are more technically challenging than others to do and do require practise, skill and patience. I'm not denying the expertise of great modellers! On the other hand however, the majority of us probably need reminding not to give up on something just because it looks complicated.

The challenge has often more to do with figuring out the required steps and the order in which they go together than actually doing it. Therefore, careful planning, experimentation and practise, proper use of tools, care, patience and a systematic, methodical approach are all essential.

I guess the same principle could be applied in many more areas of life than railway modelling!

1 comment:

  1. I iknow just what you mean.

    Maybe it's because when things seem very involved and complicated it's easy to get dispondent and lose faith - a lot of work before you feel you have actually achieved something.

    I once went to a lecture given by Richard Gibbon who was in charge of Engineering at the NRM before he retired. He'd had an interest in model engineering from a young age which he had persued throughout his life. He had with him a 7¼" gauge GWR 14XX which was very impressive and looks like it would hugely complicated and involved to construct from scratch.

    However, he said, the way to overcome this was to treat each component as a project in itself. So when he needed to produce, for example, the chimney, he set himself the task of producing the best 14XX chimney he could - in our cases it may be producing a very good model of a 1 in 8 common crossing! By approaching it in this way he could maintain momentum on the project and feel like he had achieved something and as a result his enthusiasm for the project not only remained but would increase as more and more items were made. Not a bad philosophy!