Sunday, November 7, 2010

Too Much Planning, Not Enough Doing!

If there is one thing I am relatively good at, it is planning and scoping out a project. I'm not one to rush into things without giving them careful consideration, and try to make sure I have a reasonable plan and idea of the finished product before I begin. The down side of this, is that I can tend to spend way too much time planning and not actually get started!

The base boards for the spare room shelf layout are a classic example. About twelve months ago I started construction of the module framing that would make up the base for the track to go on top of. I had it all planned out in my mind, but each time I went to go a bit further, I just wasn't totally happy with the method. So for months and months I have been looking at various ways to get around the problem, until I finally realised that the way I thought would work just wasn't the best way to do it.

So this weekend, armed with a few bits of ply and some pieces of the framing timber I already have, I started cutting and screwing bits together, and before I knew it I had two parts basically done, sitting on the wall brackets ready for final adjustments and a method to securely attach them together so they are perfectly lined up.

These modules are on the long wall of the spare room which is about 3.94 metres long, and these two modules make up 3.08 metres of that length. The end module which is 1.28 metres long is an odd shape, basically to make sure I can use every single bit of room I have.

From the initial design of this layout where the base was only about 12cm wide, it's crept out to around 30cm wide, partly because a 30cm deep book case now resides below it on this wall, so I figured why not take up that same area above it?

The result being that this end module starts at the 30cm width, but tapers all the way down to 6cm where the layout ends behind the door. This allows the door to open most of the way and basically rests against the layout edge, and gives me that vital extra room on what is by most standards a reasonably small layout.

I'm not exactly sure what will go down this end, but it will basically be the end of the runaround, where brake vans can be shunted ready for the train to reverse direction and head back from where it came.

The pictures show the boards, and a short train made up of five four wheel wagons, a BWH and an MHG. This represents about 600mm in length, which will be a fairly typical length train I think. This should allow me to fit in a main line, a loop line and a couple of sidings. Basically operation will revolve around a mixed train coming in, wagons being spotted into various sidings, a new train made up and sent back around the room.

It's actually quite amazing how much enthusiasm you can get from having a base board, and placing a few random bits of track and rolling stock on it. Add a cardboard cylinder and suddenly you have a silo, and then the "imagineering" kicks in and you begin to see what will be there, not just some bits of pine and ply!

So if there is a point to this thread, it may well be try a little less planning, and get into it.

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