Sitting in the middle of a 12X14 train layout in my parents basement at age 4, watching the Varney PRR freight and Penn line passenger go in and out of tunnels instilled my lifelong passion for model railroading. Today some 47 years later I find myself in the middle of a sea of talent pushing the hobby to new boundaries.
Along this journey of nearly five decades, I always seemed to gravitate toward art. From formal training in school to trial and error, a realist at heart, I was lead to custom weathering of model trains. The accomplishment of duplicating what others view as natures thumbprint through dirt and rust or the blight of "vandals" tags of expression, it is the ultimate compliment when someone says "that looks just like the real thing"
I push myself to find and replicate complex graffiti, to hand paint on canvases made of plastic and metal. Mixing colors came easy to me which is real handy when the subject is faded by sun and / or impacted by weather. Researching the next "victim" through rail fanning or countless hours of scanning Internet photo listing, finding the crème de le crème ICH or eye popping mural sided car, is what keeps me going. Studying how to make it happen and then doing it in disbelief, ever striving for that perfect creation.
The best part of this hobby is the friends gained the sharing of techniques and the escape though art. Weather it is good or not is only a perception. I realize I will never achieve perfection only degrees of difficulty (and gain a few bragging rights along the way).