07 March 2011

A few more minutes in the library

I received the following email, apparently from a young person, so I won't reveal the name:
Hi im 14 and ive loved modeling since i was 10. I have 3 dioramas Railroads Cut, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania/ The Battle of the Hurtgen Forset, France/ and one that i made up and created when i was 11 Bloody Ridge, Kentucky. I am know working on the battle of waterloo and was wondering do you have any tips for me i have already painted 80 bristish and prussian and 15 French calvalry and am working on the french foot soldiers. I am hoping to get a large board than i have know but any terrain tips or details?

There are many sites on the internet where you can find such advice, but I have a different suggestion: Go to your local library and look for books on "military modeling", "model railroading", "Civil War history", and anything you can find by Sheperd Paine. Browsing those shelves of related hobbies can show you more in a few minutes than you will find in hours of Googling the internet, because library shelves aren't sorted by keywords. 

That doesn't mean you won't find the same information with your favorite search engine, but it's hard to search for ideas you don't know exist. Look in your library - because libraries are absolutely full of good ideas. You will be pleased with the results.

This is good advice for anyone who enjoys games, miniatures and modeling. DO NOT limit yourself to learning only from others within a narrow segment of your hobby. Reading some of the bulletin boards, you might get the impression that painting miniatures is nearly exclusive to just one or two games, and nothing could be further from the truth. Make a serious effort to study what others are doing, and bring back what you learn to make your own hobby work even better.
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