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jtrain
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The forum has been a little slow so far this winter so I thought I'd toss out something I've been meaning to start a thread on. Who has inspired you for modeling?

For me, all of the regulars in freerails have given me inspiration at one time or another, but a few that I really take note of are Herb, Dave, Woody, Paladin, On2rails (Joey).

I also draw inspiration from modelers such as Pelle Soeborg who has contributed a lot of expert articles for Model Railroader Magazine, Rod Stewart, and George Sellios.

For those that don't know, Rod Stewart is not only a great musician, but also a very fine model railroader in my opinion. And of course, George Sellios with his Franklin and South Manchester Railroad has been inspiring people for many years.

Realistically, I can never be as great as these fine gentlemen at modeling, but I still take notes when they share info.

So then, any other names you take inspiration from?

--James:java:

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Add Bob Hayden,Dave Frary, John Allen, Frank Ellison, Whitney K Towers and John Armstrong (old age is showing up!). Jose.

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Ah yes Jose, can't forget those folks, especially the two Johns as I call them.

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My recent inspirational modellers are "Glen of Footscray" and "Dan D Sparks". Looking back to some of the true greats of tramway modeling I like the works of Geoff Swift, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up0ge24mj9I
Richard Youll, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM0_L91fpa8
and Eric Thornton, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojei7BWH6bc. When Eric's Number came up on the final roster he had his coffin in the shape of a tram, a very fitting way to get to the Terminus.

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I'm an "oldster" too! For me, it was John Allen with his great photos for Varney on the rear cover of Model Railroader. I also enjoyed stuff by Ellison, Towers, and Armstrong. But it was John Allen with his abilities and wit that captured me as a child.

Of course my father was a model builder for an architecture firm at the time and member of the local model railroad club who was also an inspiration and taught me a lot at a very young age.

I'm still inspired by today's model railroaders, but will never have their talent. When you stop learning new things, it's time to die.

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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Joey, Woodie, Dave, Ray, Bernd, Matin, Franke, Dallas.... I know I'm forgetting a bunch of guys. The list could go on and on. This place easily has the best collection of modelers on the net. What's more, they are all approachable too.

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For myself, there are quite a few--but three stand out--in the order that their skills impressed me.

First, John Allen--A superb modeler, and even better photographer, The photos that Stumpy mentioned were the first that I was aware of, that looked like the real thing. Had to look at how many ties had spikes missing to realize (to my young eyes) that the scene wasn't real. Artist that he was, John always tried to cast a shadow to hide the non prototype Baker couplers that he used.

Second. Bill Hoffman-- About the time that I became aware of his work, my visits to the old Philadelphia Model Railroad club's annual open house, which featured a massive O scale layout in the old B&O station
 convinced me to give up on HO and go to O and in particular--O Traction (trams to the civilized world). About the same time there was an article in MR about Hoffman's prolific and very accurate modeling. He built a model of nearly every car in the Sacromento & Northern's roster, Being able to crank out a car body per day in his favorite material, basswood--which he even scribed himself (this was back when Northeastern was just starting out) his efforts made me drool Bill worked in 17/64''= 1' --to make the 1 1/4'' O track gauge work out to 4' 8 1/2'' A concept that started out before the second World War--but which died out, except for a few stalwarts--as bill was-- by the late '50's.

Third--And I think that the person that most influenced my early modeling-- was Bill Schopp. Bill wrote traction articles in the old Model Craftsman. His modeling was about average (a little crude by todays standards) but it looked attainable to a teen age kid--VS the first two gentlemen. Visits to Bills home to see his work re-enforced this impression. Bill was always willing to take time to answer questions, and I traded some of my HO equipment with him for O scale stuff--when I made the change. Bill wrote in Craftsman for many years, later-after the name change to Railroad Model craftsman- writing nearly all the articles in some issues. To avoid the appearance of this, he used various pen names besides his own--Layout Doctor, and John Kemp, were the most common, besides his real name. Bill had been a teacher in the Philadelphia school system--but for some strange reason, I didn't hold that against him

I realize that the names of the second and third gentlemen will be unknown to most--and John Allen's to only a few-- but you have to remember that i used to ride a dinosaur to High School (uphill--both ways!)

Herb, aka Gronk

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Here are a couple of pics I took 20+ years ago of dioramas by Ruth Neumann in Caracas Venezuela:


Scale is 1:100. Jose.

jtrain
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Thanks guys, we're starting to get a pretty big list together.

Herb, I guess the paleontologists will have to ask you what color the dinosaurs were?

--James:java:

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Whilst I am aware of John Allen, thanks, recently to my old chum Rich Redfern on Florida, my influences are all, naturally, English.

As an 8 year old, I bought my first copy of Railway Modeller, unknown to my parents and in it was an article called "Does your railway live?". I didn't know for many years that the pictures were of anything other than the real thing. The modelmaker and author of such memorable lines as "He looked across the harbour from whence he had come", was George Iliffe Stokes, the finest architectural modelmaker who ever lived and my main inspiration for to this day. I still ask myself if what I've just made would be acceptable to George.

Then there was Jack Nelson, an inspiration and a personal mentor, whose love and knowledge of the London & North Western Railway, The "Premier Line" and whose knowledge of scale, perspective and most importantly real scratchbuilding from absolute raw materials informed and encouraged my modelmaking to this day. Jack bought me my first sheet of nickel silver and a Skinley drawing of an LNER V1 tank loco.

Finally, John H. Ahern, whose trio of Model......Construction books I have to this day by my chair....Locomotive, Building and Landscape. You need no other.

These days, being of a certain age, I find nothing to inspire, as it's all been done before, but with more soul.

Martin

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John Allen, Bill Schopp, Keith Pashina, Duane Ericson...and several more (including old bud Herbert Kephart) are the ones who inspire me. Many greats have gone upstairs to run trains for eternity, God bless them all.

Woodie

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So I am wondering what it is about those who inspire us that gives the inspiration? Yes their skills obviously but there are a hell of a lot of modelers with incredible skill that do not inspire. For me the inspiration comes from the lateral thinkers and experimenters and those who push the boundaries. I find those who are the "perfectionist dogmatists" least inspiring. The true inspirationists for me are chaps like IK Brunell, Watt, Stephenson, JC Bradfield alas they are no longer with us and all produced models of their works to test them as we would test them on a computer today.

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I think the inspiration comes from their writings, allied to a certain homely photography (B&W, naturally) and models of a quality which leave your jaw dropped and all at a certain time in your life. In my case between 8 and 12.
The writings make you think you can do it, too. The B&W photos make you feel great and the models keep you busy looking at the pics for hours.
But the models and the writings HAVE to be good. There is nothing wrong with perfectionism as a lifelong driver. In fact I can't see the point of anything less, unless you're a toy collector. If you claim inspiration by these people, it would be odd if all they ever inspired you to was a repainted off the shelfer!

Martin

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We get motivated from the "see how I did this" type. The "see what I did" are usually not very helpful. Jose.

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Troels Kirk, Josef Brandl..all showing how they do it..

Tim H
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Is this thread a carry over from this earlier thread click here ?

It seemed to fizzle out after forty-odd attempts to define 'what inspires' however is there any deviation in the two threads after all the first thread did start with the words "Its about time we put in 1 place links to those who inspire us." and that was just over a month ago.

Maybe it is an indicator of the malaise of the darker months when the dinosaurs are hibernating, whilst others just get with some modelling?

Tim 

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Tim,

Ya know what, I think I remember adding to that thread a year or two back.

BUT, the big difference between that thread and this one is the purpose. I never said we need a list of websites, I just stated, 'who inspires you?' And hence we've gotten a growing list of names, not websites. In addition to that, I never said anything bout master modelers. Any modeler can inspire. However, I do see your point and I can see the similarities.

Besides that though, the forum needs to have a pulse. If we only had one thread for every subject in modeling, I'm sure we'd be running out of ideas by now for a new topic.

Think of this not as a rerun, but as CPR.;)

As long as you took the time to comment Tim, who inspires you?

--James:java:

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jtrain wrote:
If we only had one thread for every subject in modeling, I'm sure we'd be running out of ideas by now for a new topic

--James:java:


Which is what has happened here?

If you wish to discover my inspiration, then I suggest that you read my original submission on the first thread.

Tim

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Sorry to have to do this but: Malcolm Furlow. He gets bashed a lot for not being a "real" model railroader, he is an artist, painter, photographer first.
It was precisely that he wasn't a real model railroader that inspired me. His book describing the building of the SJC got me thinking that if he could do it, I could do it too. He simply executed the techniques developed and popularized by others, he didn't invent anything. I liked that he didn't take it too seriously, he took liberties, did what looked good to him, that's what I do too.
OK, I have my helmut on, let the bashing begin :-)
Stan

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Inspires... Inspiration for this old coot (new at the model game) comes from those who willingly share what they do and have fun doing it. They don't count rivets or criticize unnecessarily. There are too many for me to list, but quite a few are listed above and are members here.
I thank all of you who DO share what you do and try to help those of us who may not have the experience or skills that you do. I know from my other (previous) hobbies how difficult it is to do both the work AND the documentation necessary for a good thread.

THANK YOU!!!

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NevadaBlue wrote:
Inspires... Inspiration for this old coot (new at the model game) comes from those who willingly share what they do and have fun doing it. They don't count rivets or criticize unnecessarily. There are too many for me to list, but quite a few are listed above and are members here.
I thank all of you who DO share what you do and try to help those of us who may not have the experience or skills that you do. I know from my other (previous) hobbies how difficult it is to do both the work AND the documentation necessary for a good thread.

THANK YOU!!!

I think this is where I was coming from. I have no problem with those who wish to count rivets but I do have a problem when said rivetcounter insists his is the only way to count them and then make personal criticisms of the would be rivet counters methods. I think its ok to criticize ideas but not persons and that comes to a fairly grey line at times.
But going thru here ( Freerails) I always read the "How I did this (with illustrations)" first, followed then by the "look at what I have done - but I'm too busy to tell you how I did it" posts....

Ray Dunakin
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My earliest inspiration was John Allen, for his marvelous scenery and life-like photography. There were others at the time but his still sticks in my mind to this day. I think what made his work stand out so much was that his approach to modeling, particularly scenery, was so ambitious (and I mean that in the best sense). He thought "outside the box" and created something unique and memorable.

In 1980 I "discovered" the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette, a veritable fountain of inspirational modeling. Here were people doing a type of modeling, and railroading, that really appealed to me -- lots of Western-style mines, mining towns, quaint little narrow gauge trains, or funky industrial trains. Lots of articles about scratchbuilding and weathering, to produce models that looked like they lived in the real world.

Some of the Gazette articles that had the biggest impact on me back then were by two guys who weren't even model railroaders -- Gary Nash and Mic Greenburg. They built things like a 1920 concrete mixer, and a boat repair yard, that were some of the finest models I'd ever seen, and they introduced techniques that were miles ahead of what most model railroaders were doing.

Another was the late Al Armitage, who drew hundreds of prototype plans and was also a pioneer of styrene modeling. When I started my outdoor layout, his work was what convinced me that rustic, weathered wooden buildings could be convincingly modeled using plastic.

Harry Brunk's long-running series "Up Clear Creek On The Narrow Gauge" was always inspirational, particularly the way he told not just how he did things, but why.

There were others too numerous to mention, some regular columnists, some one-time contributors.

In later years, after I returned to the hobby, I found particularly inspiring such modelers as Geoff Nott, Lane Stewart, Boone Morrison, and the late Paul Scoles.

Most recently I've found inspiration from many modelers online. In particular Chuck Doan, Gordon Birrell, and Marc Reusser, have had a big influence on my modeling.

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Then theres this bloke who's building take my breath away...

jtrain
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Like I said earlier, that's quite a list. And wouldn't you know it, forum drops into low activity and then bam! Back to normal activity.

--James:java:

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Count me in with Malcolm Furlow. I loved the skill mixed with whimsy. He made model railroading a fun thing for !

Mike

Si.
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" John H. Ahern, whose trio of Model......Construction books I have to this day by my chair....
Locomotive, Building and Landscape. You need no other."


Hi Martin :wave:


TOP TRIO !


:moose:


Si.


Sorry guys, nothing for you rocket-scientists in those I'm afraid.

No foam-board, microchips, sound-effects, D.C.C, L.E.D, L.C.D, etc.


:f:

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Jock Oliphant was a great inspiration.
Jack Work was a great model builder.
Gil Melle was great.
All three are known for structures.
I guess their work had meaning for me as that is what I really enjoy.
Roger Malinowski and Brian Nolan are among my favorites.
I have tried very hard to build great scenery like John Olson and Malcolm Furlow but have always failed.
I think if I could have two people live next door to me to learn from it would have to be John Olson and Malcolm Furlow.
For sheer entertainment value, I think Charlie Getz can't be beat.
Another Gazette author I have great respect for is Lane Stewart.
My friend Brian Block is a great model builder as well.
I think the efforts of Bob Brown in publishing the Gazette for all these years is owed a great big thanks.

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Eric Stevens and his $1 cars. I blame him for starting to scratchbuild. And Alan Armitage for introducing me to styrene.
Jose.

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darrylhuffman wrote: ....
Jack Work was a great model builder...
i was wondering when JW would appear.

John Allen & Jack Work set my gears in motion so long ago.

and in my cousin's hand me down issues of HO Monthly - Eric La Nal

aka Dr Allen lake Rice if memory serves. made interesting modeling seem attainable for an eight year old with a 50 cent a week allowance.

southpier
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i've heard things to that effect before. what's the backstory in objective terms?

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Another great is Tom Yorke.
But, he, like Furlow, is not loved by all.
I let him use one of my vendor's tables at a Narrow Gauge Convention in Maine.
So I got to spend three whole days talking and watching him weather different items.
Among current favorites is Woodie Greene.

We all work with the same paint, brushes, plaster and wood, but there is something special about the work of Woodie Greene.
His work just breathes "atomosphere".
And like Furlow, he is someone I look forward to meeting someday.
Without tar and feathers, however.

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When we discuss people who inspire us, this does not mean we personally like or respect that person's personality.
In the case of this thread, inspiration is who or what motivates us to improve our modeling.

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Around my circle of train fans, "Going all Malcom Furlow" on something means you weathered it way past any reality would allow.
I never felt ‘inspired’ as such by John Allen as I always noted his whimsical stuff that didn’t do it for me. I thought the scenery was great, but that was about it.
Robert Hegge’s Crooked Mountain Lines was a great layout. Even though I have zero interest in a juice line, I have always held a soft spot for his work for some reason:

John Olson’s Jerome and Southwesterm series in MR was one I really liked, even though I don’t think I was ‘inspired’ as such.
Bruce Chubb’s Sunset Valley opened my eyes to interior details.
Allen McClelland’s V&O was a real inspiration, with really good scenery, detailed trains and good operations.
There’s probably more but these are all I can think of right now.
But the ones that inspired me the most are the good local layouts I’ve seen. Probably most of all is Chuck Rickett’s On30 layout: http://soundrail.org/layouts2.php?m=ricketts

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Malcom Furlow, started my interest in narr'r gauge.  His San Juan Central was so cool, and I never had been to Colorado.  John Olsen's Mescal Lines was pretty wild, I was too young for John Allen's influence.  
But then I too discovered the NG&SL Gazette.  It still is an incredible magazine.  Here these guys were doing incredible stuff with models and trains.  So many authors have been in that magazine.  It wasn't too long after following Harry Brunk's articles that I went to Colorado and started fanning the C&Sng.  Holy Smokes!  The CO bug bit me.  While all my friends were Rio Grande Southerning and Rio Granding, I was trapping bears.  
 But my heart wasn't really there, even though it was cool, I was and still am a Far Western guy, and I got to meet Boone Morrison who was modeling my back yard where I grew up.  Deal me in, his research and building of Marshal was just what I needed to fire me up.  I was still stuck in Nevada though, it has always been my mistress.  One scene on my new railroad will be Brown's Canyon Trestle outside of Occidental, CA where Boone and a few of us visited.  So it's not in Nevada, but it is a very cool scene. 
All of these guys got me to where I am today.
I still look at these guys and think, I sure hope that I can do what they did with what I love.  I must also confess that there are a number of guys on this forum that I look forward to new posts from.  There is quite a bit of artistic talent here and I am grateful that I found this forum!  Y'all keep posting and keep my imagination fed please!

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i keep going back to the few pictures i have of Dick Andrews' drafting table micro layout circa 1950 with the hopes of actually building it next winter.

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I would like to add Linn Westcott to the list.  He wrote several books for Kalmbach such as A Railroad That Grows and How To Build Model Railroad Benchwork.  He also wrote many an article for Model Railroader as well as being the editor for many years.

I would like to mention Woodie as being a great motivator in getting me off my butt and trying something new.  His Mogollon Railway just has the right feel to it.  And, 1/35 scale is much easier on the eyes to work with compared to HO or even O scale. 


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