Rod Stewart has somehow kept this tiny little secret under wraps for an incredible 26 years. The project is both small, yet sprawling and expansive at the same time, and it has commanded his attention for longer than most would expect.
So what is this big secret that Rod Stewart has kept? The legendary singer has a passion for railway modeling, and his huge, detailed and involved model is over 1,500 square feet and of exceptional quality.
In an interview with “Railway Modeler” Magazine (of course), Stewart explained how he got started with the hobby. “When I take on something creative like this, I have to give it 110%,” Stewart stated in the interview. “For me it’s addictive. I started, so I just had to finish. I’m lucky I had the room. If I’d have realized at the start it would have taken so long, I’d have probably said, ‘No! No! Nah!’”
According to Stewart, he made roughly ninety percent of the model himself. He has had some outside help with aspects of the electrical rigging of the model. The singer has stated that his favorite parts of the model aren’t actually the trains, at all, but are instead the buildings. “I find beauty in what everyone else sees as ugly – rugged skyscrapers, beaten-up warehouses, things that are very run down.”
Stewart’s model is based on classic 1940s-style American cities like New York and Chicago, though it depicts no real place. The highly-detailed model takes up a large amount of space in Stewart’s home, functioning as a constant source of distraction and focus for the singer.
“A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it’s a wonderful hobby,” Stewart told BBC Radio 2 in an interview following the magazine article that revealed his model set. The singer is correct, however, in that many assume modeling is a silly pursuit, more fit for children than adults.
However, the UK is home to many avid modeling enthusiasts, including railway modelers, historical wargamers and even modern wargamers who enjoy games like Warhammer and Infinity. These creative pursuits often involve painting, assembling and crafting both terrain and models, making them very involved hobbies.