How Much is a Good Idea Worth?

How much would you pay for an idea that made a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your layout?  Five dollars?  Twenty? Forty?  The latter number, forty, corresponds to the ballpark subscription cost of a hobby magazine.  I hear it all the time, “I stopped subscribing to magazine X” because: it wasn’t inspirational, it didn’t cover my area of interest, etc., etc.  Understandable, but this attitude loses site of the fact that no periodical can hit your area of interest every issue, every quarter, or even every six months.  Taken as a group however, read over time, the steady drip, drip, drip will ultimately serve up enough ideas to steadily move your skills forward.     You can’t model in a vacuum and print (or ezine) media is one of the most efficient ways of acquiring knowledge.  For this reason I encourage modelers to subscribe to the big three of MR, MRH, and RMC.  Take the long view and set aside the attitude of cancelling a subscription every time you hit a six month run where you don’t see anything that moves the needle for you.

What sparked this week’s topic was an exceptional two part article in RMC by Dan Lewis on modeling a Milwaukee Road passenger station.  The model really jumps off the page at you so obviously he did something different.  Sure enough, he used brick paper laminated on the surface instead of painting it.  Wow!  I’ve literally gone a year of reading RMC and most issues get a quick scan and dump.  This article alone made it worth being patient.

Subscribe to all of them and stick it out.  Long term it will be worth it.