Not a bad idea.....but in clear violation of self-isolation!
Specifically I am referring to what I have been up to projectwise. The current corona-lockdown in NJ means very little to me in terms of impact. My life has not significantly changed except in terms of shopping. But I am always busy. On sunny days I have been taking advantage of the warmer than usual Spring to get a LOT of yard work done.
But what about when it gets chilly and rains? Well, I have been working on a model railroad project. Now I don't have a permanent railroad set up, but I do put up an O-gauge rail line for my Dickens Village at Christmastime.
You can see the track bending through the port section of my Dickens Village.
So, here's what's going on. I have an 'as-close-as-can-economically-be done' train cruising around my Dickens set-up. It is certainly slightly anachronistic.
For the period, this train would be more correct......but this set is extremely expensive!
Instead, I have a trio of these "Overton" passenger cars, which are also clearly labelled as part of the Pennsylvania Railroad, not London, England.
The rail industry grew and developed quickly between 1830 and 1870. "A Christmas Carol" was written in 1840. But in just Dickens' lifetime the style of coaches changed dramatically. As such, I am willing to allow for inaccuracy. Still, as you can see, the passenger cars one buys come empty. The total absence of passengers, which can be easily noticed in the large, lighted cars seems depressingly eerie in an otherwise bustling city. So.....how does one fill those seats?
The simplest way is to buy model railroad people in the proper scale and period. However, I soon discovered that finding Victorian passengers in 1:48 scale is nearly impossible. And finding them economically? Clearly impossible. But, I did find a great lot of O-gauge plastic figures on e-Bay, with the only problem being their dress.
They were all 1940s-1950s era people.
So, I bought them anyway and when they arrived, got down to work. I used my customizing experience to cut, grind, glue, and mold in an effort to not only restyle their clothing, beards, and hairstyles, but alter their poses. All of the seated figures came in the same pose.......hardly realistic in a car-full of passengers. So, I angled arms, turned heads, added books and newspapers, gave some of them canes and walking sticks, and ultimately ended up with this:
These shots show the figures as W.I.P. You can see the improvised top hats made simply from cut plastic rods glued to brims made from hole-punched acetate, and Victorian bonnets made from craft paper.
The next step was the painting! This admittedly was the truly 'fun part' for me. I am not 100% finished because I am waiting for a can of primer to arrive from eBay since I ran out in mid-project. However, I did get all of the seated passengers done:
I am quite pleased with the results so far. I have a small amount of standing figures I made to resemble passengers, conductors, and rail workers.....including, of course, the engineer! Naturally I will post shots when everything is complete.
But.................there is more than one reason for me posting this. Readers here well know that I have consistently posted my projects in the past. Nothing new there. But many of us are now in mandated isolation or self-isolation. And the one lament I have heard over and over is the 'stir craziness' of people unused to being home. My advice to you all is: think out of the box! Don't just turn on the TV. Read if you want. But beyond that, try doing something. It doesn't have to be elaborate. It doesn't have to be something requiring skills you may not possess, but when was the last time you tried an endeavor outside of your established comfort zone? This is your chance. Try something new. Challenge yourself. You may learn something and you may learn even more about what talents you may have in latency just waiting to be aroused.
And please! If you don't have a blog of your own, send me a shot of what you did.....be it a project, or recipe, or whatever, and if appropriate, I will post it here! And remember, BE SAFE! Whatever you do, follow the five: