I live in what is considered Northern Minnesota; but, is in actuality central MN, as anything north of the twin cities is considered to be "UP North"! I was born in 1950, so come from a period of time when every kid in my neighborhood built models. Now, I model in HO Standard gauge. However, I started in model railroading with an American Flyer S gauge train set that we got for Christmas with my brother in the mid 1950s and got into HO in 1959-60. I have built Model Airplanes and currently also build and fly R/C airplanes. I have built hundreds maybe even thousands of plastic models: Cars, Ships, Planes, Trains, Military Models, etc. I have one of the original HO locomotives, a Varney Docksider, which still runs very well. I started my current layout in 1988. It is loosely based on the Mountainous West in 1953. It started out as in the 1930s-40s; but, finally fell in love with first generation diesels, so had to move the layout ahead.
I love building my rolling stock from kits and have more than 125 freight and passenger cars, of which 3-4 are RTR. Generally, if it didn't come from a kit, I don't have much interest in having the car on my layout! I have built several wood car kits and have to say these are my favorites. I also love to kit bash steam engines where I can find one that can be converted to a Northern Pacific Steamer.
I am a strong proponent of building models and would like to invite you to give it a try and will be more than happy to give you tips and help, should you need it. PM me and I will give you my email.