|Finished Model posed on the Aquia Line layout|
I finished the model of the sub chaser. Alicia and I delivered it to the Lyceum Museum this evening. We did a test to ensure it would fit in the vitrine. While we were there Jim Mackay, the Director, showed us a sneak peek of some of the other items planned for the special exhibit. They have collected some really interesting artifacts. It is going to be a great exhibit of Alexandria's part in WWI.
As I was building this model I thought about model building as an art form. I had recently finished reading a book called "Ship Diorama: Bringing Your Models to Life," by David Grifffin In that book Griffin focuses on small scale water line models. As I read the book and looked at the photos of the models in it, I realized that the dioramas that were most successful were those that had a strong story to tell. Usually, that meant having people in the diorama. But he had a few examples where the ship itself was the story. The story contributes to the art.
While building the sub chaser was a treat, it was mostly an exercise in model building skills. And even though it is destined for public display, it really didn't feel like art to me.
In contrast, designing a model railroad layout feels a lot more like art. There is more space for interpretation and story telling. Selective compression, scene composition, backdrop integration, and historical narrative are all aspects of a model railroad design and build that contribute to the art. Furthermore, operations on a model railroad add a whole new level of appreciation and interpretation.
This static model has a much harder time telling the story, but it will be augmented with textual materials and photos to help in that aspect.
I enjoy ship modeling. However, I like setting them in place in a diorama or layout to really bring them to life. So I am psyched to move forward build the ships for the Aquia Line and the PoLA expansion.
But, first I am headed to St Louis for the Railroad Prototype Meet in Collinsville, IL. I will be presenting a talk on Friday morning. Perhaps I will see you there.
|Jim Mackay and I checking the vitrine for the sub chaser model|