After quite a bit effort, and no small outlay of my hard-earned, my partner’s first comment on seeing the train room painted was “heck, it’s blue!” As she knew perfectly well that I was going to use the room to build a layout after the work was completed, I’m not sure what she was expecting: it had to be blue, that’s the colour of the sky! 🙂 A properly finished and lined room will probably have a positive impact on any future sale price of the house, so the outlay is not completely self-indulgent, but I doubt that I’d have had the work done if it hadn’t been for its use as a hobby room.
So to some key questions:
Why get the work done now?
Because the Aus7 ExpO is out-of-the-way is probably part of it but this is not 100% of the answer. Because of my work situation and accommodation requirements I was able to make some changes to what needed to be stored in the room. It was simply a matter of the space becoming available at about the same time as the ExpO being held. Another strand of the timing comes down to the fact that I think I’m ready for a home layout as opposed to a series of smaller portable layouts. It might be said that I’ve been building the layout that will fill part of this room for the last 10 years and have been hauling it all over NSW in that time.
Why finish the room at all? It looked pretty good the way it was.
And I’d agree, which is why I ummed and aaahed for so long about getting it done. Even though it’s only taken about 3 weeks to get the work carried out I’ve had the decision about whether I wanted to spend all that money kicking around in my head for the 4 1/2 years I’ve lived in the house. In the end it came down to a personal decision based on a balance of priorities. I had the money available to get the work done although what it’s cost would buy a lot of trains. On the other hand I’ve already got a cupboard full of unbuilt kits so this isn’t as big a consideration as it might first appear. Secondly, like every other modeller I’ve ever met, I’ve worked in cold, dark, cramped and baking rooms and sheds over the years. I know from experience that working in less than ideal circumstances tends to lead to less time spent doing the hobby and at my time of life I’ve come to the conclusion that, if anything, I want to spend more time doing it rather than less. I don’t fish, and I’m too old to take up caving, so this a “next phase of life” investment.
Did the trains have impact on what I had done?
Well yes and no. I’ve walked through plenty of houses looking for a place to buy and one of my personal turn offs are houses with what I loosely describe as “eccentric” inclusions and alterations. Things the owner has had done that obviously suit their “unique lifestyle” but I know will cost me a fortune to have fixed. The cost of this renovation can be justified on the grounds of my hobby needs alone, but I can’t justify altering the house in such a way that it impacts on its resale value. I’ve essentially added a neat, self-contained unit to the house (or an extra bedroom). The unit could be rented as a self-contained “flat” but I have no intention of wasting such a wonderful space on anything as useless as a university student! 🙂 Two things I’ve had done that were guided by the trains were placing one of the light switches about 350mm higher than normal and having a power outlet installed that hangs from the ceiling in the centre of the room. Having the light switch so high is to ensure it is above the backdrop of Queens Wharf when that part of the layout comes to be set up in front of that particular switch and the ceiling outlet is explained by my need to put the workbenches in the middle of the room. I don’t want to have power leads running permanently across the floor. If you look carefully you’ll probably spot these small things in the photo I post with this text.
At the moment the room is still a bit of a mess but it’s come up better than I could have hoped. Blue walls aside, I have a fairly strong feeling that I may never want to go up into the house once I get things set up properly. The new door into the room is a fully fledged, solid core, exterior grade door. I can lock that door and no one will get in short of using a chain saw on it! Bliss When I think about the things I have planned for that space I come over all warm and fuzzy 🙂