Sunday, 27 April 2014

A Clean Layout is a Happy Layout!!!....or Something Like That!


Two long weekends in a row should be cause to celebrate when looking for opportunities to spend some quality layout time.  Unfortunately in my business the week leading up to any long weekend seems to bring out the customers with the urgent jobs that just have to be done...And so it was that I found myself working over the Easter Break.  While I am very fortunate to have a business that seems to be busy most times, I was looking forward to the double break due to the fact that we worked right through Christmas. Indeed in the weeks leading up to Easter I was contemplating going "AWOL" for the three weekdays that linked the two weekends and make a welter of it... Ah well... To forego the Easter leg of the break probably ended up being fortuitous in a way, as it also allowed me to complete and file the due BAS statement as well.

I did however take some time off on Easter Monday to welcome some visitors returning home through the big "G" from a weekend "steam tripping" in Canberra.  Col Hussey and his wife were very welcome company for a couple of hours and after a cuppa, the girls huddled into an "arts and crafts" discussion while Col and I set about solving the world's problems as we usually do on our regular telephone chats and then we took in the sights of the layout room.  From a housekeeping perspective, Col's visit could not have happened at a worse time as the layout room and adjacent shed were certainly showing distinct signs of being unloved.  Easter was also going to provide an opportunity for me to bring in the "annual skip bin" and have the spring clean ( yes I know it is Autumn ).  This yearly activity is known around here as the "Festivus for the Restofus" due in part to me being as religious as a house brick while still being able to celebrate the "resurrection" of the layout room!. As it turned out no skips were available for that weekend anyway... so I guess everything was conspiring against a hobby type weekend.  Roll the clock forward a week and with most outstanding activities now complete, and an ample supply of skip bins, a start was made on the thorough clean up and there is only one way to do ruthless! 

A blank canvas always gives you a different perspective of the layout and a clear mind to decide the next course of action. It is also a time where tools and materials etc. are gathered from the far flung places they end up and are made organised and ready again.  As I have touched on before, my focus is now on completing the scenery around the Fish River station area and the cuttings leading to the tunnels at the "Up" end of that location.  I am at the same time also trying to allocate time to complete the modelling room which is adjacent to the layout room.  The completion of the modelling room is quite possibly the most practical activity to be achieved as this will give me a proper space and environment to complete the required structures for the layout and also provide a work area for rolling stock painting, weathering and preparation for service... I guess in essence a service area for the layout.

So for the remainder of the weekend a start will be made on the tunnel approach cuttings and a chance to reacquaint myself with the old bag of plaster and plaster bandage material that seems to hiss at me whenever I walk past.  I have also been assembling a forest of trees in the last month or so and these should soon also find a home.

I have included a couple of shots of the almost tidied layout room and the areas of focus for the next few weeks...

The layout room looks almost ready for progress...I have found a permanent home for the computer workstation that is now an integral part of programming locos, loco sound and other such chores...It is just visible located between the two panels that control operations in the Fish River Yard. 

Close up of the previous shot...

Almost a side elevation of the run off the bridges and approaches to the tunnel portals that will be the focus of scenery building over the next week or so.  The challenge will be to provide side by side cuttings that naturally transition while not unduly hiding the portals as a feature.

         A seen before angle...but nonetheless describes the landscape between Fish River and the portals that take both the main and branch "off scene" and out of the layout room proper...As can be seen, scenery is slowly advancing on the down side of the River toward the station area as well...

I have to also make a decision as to the final methodology of  the back scenes that will be incorporated as well.  Any delay in this decision will begin to impede on scenery progress. I feel that a trial of landscape photos, digitally printed and backed onto acrylic sheet will most likely give me the desired result...a posting will centre around this subject as soon as I find the locations for the shots.

In closing I hope that everyone has had a safe Easter and an equally safe and enjoyable Anzac day long weekend...


1 comment:

  1. Rod

    Looking good!

    After recent events here you will have to make it up and see mine one day ;-)

    Ray P