Developing Infrastructure

A recent promotion at work has led to some significant changes in the time I have available to devote to my modelling and the way this is spent. I’m living away from home on weeknights and being cut off from my modelling room has required some adjustments. While I wouldn’t describe myself as the most prolific modeller in the world, I am a fairly consistent one. It has been my habit over quite a few years to sit at my modelling desk for approximately an hour a night most nights of the week, in addition to grabbing any time I can over weekends and other breaks/holidays. I find this regularity suits my personality and that, while progress might be fairly slow, it is steady and I’m rewarded with seeing definite progress on my projects. This is combined with a fairly simple but disciplined approach to my modelling in that I very rarely start something new until the current project is complete. I tend to keep bothering at a problem until I come up with a solution that allows me to progress. I find that starting something new when you strike a problem is a sure way to end up with half a dozen unfinished projects!

I know I’ve said this a couple of times already but I really haven’t had much to report recently, hence the scarcity of posts. On one level I’ve made some rather dramatic changes to the layout over the last month or so, in addition to making steady progress on the station building scribing an endless sea of tiny bricks, but most of the work has been fairly repetitive and slightly boring and so has hardly been worth commenting on.

Perhaps the biggest change has been the addition of the photo backdrop to the whole layout. As I’ve mentioned before, the end result has been very pleasing and has dramatically lifted the look of the scenic portion of the layout. Installing the new backdrop led me to retrieve the third scenic module from the trailer, where it had been living for about 12 months, and connect it up to the rest of the layout. While I can set all three sections of the layout up together in my workroom, it’s a tight squeeze and can restrict things a little so I tend to shove one of the sections in the trailer to give myself a bit more room. However the old adage of “out of sight out of mind” does appear to apply to layout building because after applying the backdrop I was rather shocked to see how far behind the other sections of the layout this third section had fallen. So most of the last month or so has been spent putting in some work on the basic infrastructure on this part of the layout and bringing all three scenic sections up to a similar standard of completion. All three sections are now wired up, have a photo backdrop installed and this last weekend I completed the lighting rig on the last module.

I’ve managed to progress far enough that I’ve now started constructing the fiddle yard for the layout that will provide off scene storage and act as the “rest of the world”. I could probably write an entire post (and no doubt I will) on the development of the method of train storage and handling I intend to employ on this section of the layout, but at the moment I’m just finalising the materials needed and settling on the finer points of the design. The module’s frame is now complete and can be connected to the third scenic module. I intend to incorporate a train turntable into this fiddle yard module that will allow me to turn complete trains (4 complete trains in fact). This will be done manually and will allow me to quickly turn trains ready for reuse, no small consideration on a fiddle yard to terminus design. There should be no need for any stock to be handled outside of placing the models on the layout at the start of the day and storing them away at the end of the day. More on this later. For now I’ll post a couple of shots of the layout with the lights installed and the fiddle yard connected up to the third scenic module where the trains exit the scenic portion of the layout.

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