5 Things I learned from the building summit

Whew! I have to tell you the Model Building Summit, March 27/28 was a wild ride and surpassed my expectations!

Before I get into what I learned you should know why I started this event. For years I’ve been reading blogs about budding entrepreneurs gathering in small groups led by experts to grow businesses, live the life they choose, and have the kind of support that is necessary to do the hard work of creating a business.

This is what I wanted to create. A place where guys that want a kick butt model can gather to learn and create. It pisses me off when a fellow that wants knowledge cannot get it. There is a secret society in the diecast world where the best tips and tricks are kept under lock and key. My goal was to strip away all the nonsense and provide real help to guys that want it. This was my motivation. Plus, I wanted to create a place where hands on experience is a first priority. We can all learn by videos and written tutorials but taking a truck apart or soldering with an experienced teacher makes a world of difference.

Here are five things I learned from the Rockin H Building Summit.

1. Generosity trumps secrets. At this point I have created 80 videos at www.rockinhtv.com to share my love of harvest and the models that go with it. By sharing what I love it has not hurt my business at all. Viewers and subscribers grow each month. This weekend is a reflection of that. Sure the guys that attend the summit may not be buyers as eventually they will not need to me to create models. That is perfect because their friends will ask where they got such cool models and Rockin H will be the place they got their start. Win win.

2. The teacher is the student. It never ceases to amaze me how much I don’t know. Layton came on the weekend and he was cutting styrene with a scissors. A SCISSORS! Why in the heck have I not been doing that all this time? For years I’ve been using an exacto knife and straight edge. Something as simple as a scissors I have overlooked all this time.  A teachable spirit is important in life to win at life.

3. Let people figure things out. At times it can be hard for me to not get in and just do difficult things for the guys on the weekend. But there is tremendous value in teaching, then standing back allowing the idea to sink in before the guys execute the project. Then, jump in when real struggle begins to show. Learning is born out of difficult tasks.

4. Everything is figureoutable. With enough time and creativity any project can be figured out. Layton and I struggled along creating California style livestock trailers. The expert that was to teach how to build those trailers took ill so it was up to me to help build these trailers. Talk about a struggle! But we stayed with it and sure enough we figured out how to do it and Layton went home with a California style cattle hauler. That was pretty cool.

5. Provide the place and people will teach each other. It was cool to watch the guys help each other. One fellow would be staring at his project when another would ask what was going on. A statement such as “I don’t know what to do here” would come up. One of the guys would say, “have you thought of doing it this way?” Low and behold an idea was born and the model took shape. One memorable moment was when Johnny Maupin of J and J customs stopped by while visiting family in Dodge City. He was watching a killer service truck come together and I could tell he was questioning what the builder was doing. He said something like “Layton, how about you try different fuel tanks on the truck to make it look proportional”. Johnny meant this comment to help Layton create something very cool. Not a criticism but another voice to help Layton make some thing freaking awesome. The value of a group of guys bouncing ideas off one another is priceless.

Overall the weekend was more rewarding for me than the guys that attended. It was interesting how my role changed as the time passed. At first it was more hands on. As we worked through Saturday my role was a bit more passive. These guys needed a place and a dedicated piece of time away from home and distractions. With plenty of tools and supplies to get their projects done. With an added bonus of being surrounded by others that also wanted to make their daydreams into reality in the form of 1/64 scale models. It was truly a remarkable experience for me and their feedback assured me this weekend is time well spent.

I definitely plan to offer this again. Although next year it is planned for the last weekend of February and will likely be a Saturday/Sunday event with a free Friday night option. The time of year may not work real well due to weather but these guys said field work is already beginning and earlier in the year is better. So be looking for that if you want to join in and begin saving up for it.

Big hats off to Justin Keckhaver and his wife for coming all the way from Arkansas. His expertise and contribution was invaluable. As well as his wife being on hand to capture the weekend in video and pictures. All pics and video will be uploaded to the website once available.

Thanks for reading and subscribing. Leave a comment or ask a question about the weekend in the comment box.

Catch you next time,

PS… Be looking for an early early early bird special to get in at a great savings.


  1. Richard De Baar on September 12, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Do you know where I can find 1/64 P.I.E. decals? I would like to purchase them from Rockin H Farm Toy. Sometimes it may take me a while to get back to you with communication because I had a stroke and my daughter helps me with communication. Thanks.

    • Eric Haselhorst on September 14, 2015 at 3:47 am

      Yes Richard, I think I can help you. I know a fellow in Canada that has been prolific in producing company decals. Email me at rockinhfarmtoys@gmail.com

      Thanks Eric