I'm interested in getting the Woodland Scenics Grand Valley layout kit. I'd like to build a layout, but I really don't have the talent to build anything from scratch. I would appreciate your opinions and comments on this kit.
I've seen a partially completed Woodland Scenics layout kit in a local franchise hobby outlet. It basically is a big box with instructions and all the scenery materials required for the layout. You still have to do the same cutting, gluing, plaster cloth application, painting and turf application you would do if you purchased all the supplies separately. I haven't compared the price of the kit to the price of the separately purchased supplies though.
Everyone has talent; most haven't brought it out yet. Start with simple projects, go slowly at first, and watch your skills grow. There truly are people with more aptitude than others - but anybody who can pick up his name and sign his credit-card receipts can, with practice, and enough time, develop enough skill for nearly any modeling project. Don't take "no" for an answer, most of all from yourself.
I've never put this kit together; my first layout was just snap-track nailed to a
4x4 sheet of 3/8" plywood with no frame :) but I can tell you general stuff. Patience is what you most need. If you feel intimidated by lack of experience, don't think of the project as a whole. Think of the current step. Think, "I need to spread glue on this riser, then place it on this baseboard and let it dry." That's not so hard, right? Think of the current step, not the next. Don't think, "I need to cut this and glue it down and..." Think instead, "I'm going to cut this piece exactly 12" long, and make the end square". Instead of rushing through things, enjoy the lesser intoxication of working slowly and with care. I can't emphasize enough how important patience is when you are starting out in a new craft. Work only fifteen minutes a day on the project if that helps you. You will find that you learn more this way, and your work will quickly improve.
Cordially yours: Gerard P. President, a box of track and some plans.
It's like learning to play the violin. Read, practice, learn, practice, talk to the experts, practice. If you're not happy with the results, rip it out and try again. I think the designing and building gives more hours of enjoyment than watching the trains go round. Most experts weren't born that way, they just got into doing what they enjoyed, and were happy putting in the years and getting better every day.