Friday, 31 October 2014

Deja Vu...With A Difference...


The following post recently appeared on my Facebook Page...

Start Of A New Era...
As of Monday...Vanessa will commence and take over the reigns of our business!
It has taken a while to snaffle her...but as she has the BAs in Business and Management...It is only fitting ( and the right direction for the business) that she becomes the boss and I revert to "Piss Boy"...
Apart from having many more letters after her name than me...she has a vast wealth of abilities, supreme people skills and the right "touch" to take us to the next level...
I can't wait to see her shine, grow in confidence and steer Harlow into the next 20 years...

So what has this all got to do with the blog and indeed railway modelling?....Well plenty!.

Over the last few years our signage and engraving business ( AKA My Day Job)  has grown steadily and has now reached a point where my wife has been recruited to take the reigns and allow the business growth and associated pains to be shared.

Like any major decision...there are the up sides and also down sides.  The largest negative of all is that after many late night chats and considering the many options, is that the layout will have to go and the space turned over to the business.  The shed that presently houses the layout is around 12metes x 8metres in total and with the majority of it now insulated and is an obvious place to re-establish the signmaking/writing and sign construction part of the total business which in essence will physically separate the signs from the engraving arm...which for some time has logistically been a largely ignored requirement.

It must be said that the shed was originally built to house the business and the layout came about following a suggestion from my wife that in the interim it could be used for a layout.  In the back of my mind I knew this day would most likely come, albeit not so soon... and now here we are!.  Of course the suggestion was made that the area could be shared...but in reality, working within (and surrounded) by such a mouth watering distraction, is not conducive to me remaining productive on a day to day basis.  Like most, earning a living has to remain the priority in the medium term, and the reality is that I absolutely love my chosen career and still jump out of bed each morning inspired to do what I the decision, while disappointing...does have some positives.

So what will this mean to my modelling?.  If the truth be known, I have for some time had inspirational issues with the actual layout, much preferring to construct buildings and mini dioramas.  For some reason ( maybe it happens to us all) my source of enjoyment from the hobby has gone through many phases and for now I would like to concentrate any spare time to the myriad of structures that bounce around my mind on a day to day basis.  Surprisingly, my foray into OO9 many years ago still has an unexplained attraction and I may well dabble in that as well. 

Possibly the main positive to come from all of this is that the Laser Rail Bits range will certainly have much more time and resources available and this part of the business has probably caused me the greatest internal angst, as the projects/kits just never seem to receive the focus they so richly deserve.  After nearly 10 years of production of present range of kits...we may have missed the boat to some degree as in the intervening years there has been a plethora of Laser Etched and Cut manufacturers that have entered the market.  For me I will just continue on the path of producing ( what we believe to be ) high fidelity kits that include premium raw materials and as close to scale as is humanly possible, rich in detail.   The Laser Rail Bits mantra has and always will be...NO MDF!!!, NO TONGUE AND SLOT COMPONENTS AND NO COMPROMISES!!!.  Whether this vision is past it's use by date...only time will tell....?

With regards to the Blog???  Well in all honesty, a review of the blog history has revealed, to me anyway, that my inspiration has certainly changed over the years and it is the structure, scenic, diorama and weathering aspects of the hobby that give me the most joy.  In reality I can't see my blog input changing all that much. I will continue to work on Australian "HO" structures of any variety and quite possibly will also look at some "O"  structures as well.

In the washup...the layout, even in it's far from complete state, has given me a great canvas to work with and in particular I have been able to hone my skills in scenery, wiring and DCC installation, to name but a couple of areas that only a few short years ago seemed far too challenging for this "little black duck" and have given me confidence to move on and attempt more challenges.

Now the real work begins and much of my HO stuff will be dissolved and or liquidated as the need to clear the area and minimise "stuff" that requires storage has commenced in earnest...  I am not sure just what to do with the completed river section of the layout and the related bridges...hopefully a method of detaching the associated benchwork in a painless fashion can be achieved and a new home for this section would also provide a living memory of  "what once was"...This may well form the basis of a future blog post...

And towards the future we go.......   




  1. Rod

    Sad but not surprising news, but one thing I believe we are not losing you entirely & your skils will still be there but more importantly the freindship.

    Once Vanessa takes over, maybe the business will thrive that much more that you may become superflour or redundant, so you may actually require a real shed for a layout, not a fitted out penthouse come home theatre, come layout room,


    1. Col,

      Thanks for your sentiments...certainly nothing will change my involvement in this great hobby! In regards to the business...we have already discussed a redundancy payment should I not be required "moving forward" as they say these days...

      I am excited about the Laser Rail Bits aspect as this will allow long term achievements to be reached rather than the band aid approach that has dogged me for some time...I truly love what the range allows me to do from a personal aspect and the future is now looking a lot clearer now we have repopulated the "real business"...

      I will ring you in the coming days and look forward to our next "solving the world's problems" chats...In reality we solve very little...but have a heap of fun trying!



  2. Rod,
    Best wishes with the new corporate direction and good luck separating the river section. Presumably, you'll take the benchwork supporting it as one entity.

    cheers Phil

    1. Phil,

      Thanks for your comments...

      Yes it is probably wishful thinking in regards the river scene... Just seems an awful waste to take it out with a sledgehammer...

      Anyway I will do my best to "extract" it in one piece and see if a new home for it can be found...



  3. I don't know what to say really Rod, I'm extremely pleased that your business is so successful but sorry to learn about you losing the railway room. At least you will still be modelling so that is something that we can all look forward to.

    Perhaps Vanessa will make you redundant so you can take early retirement and lead a life of leisure:-)

    Good luck to you both.

    1. Geoff,

      Yes it is a watershed moment...but there are just as many positives as there are negatives. I think you and the "others" from over that way have inspired me to explore the structure building and take it to another level and for that I am certainly grateful. As said before... it is a hobby with many facets and I certainly have a bucket list of "stuff" that I want to experience. So the position we find ourselves in is to be viewed as a glass half full!!!


  4. Exciting times, Rod...and I wish you all the best for the future, which looks bright.I am glad you are continuing to model and I had detected a feeling that structures were becoming a dominant interest. It does free you up to model anything you fancy and there's enough complexity and historical interest to keep even your lively mind busy. As for the business, I can understand the need for expansion and new blood,The Laser Rail side will benefit hugely from more attention too. So...congratulations on your decision and I wish you both every success. Just don't stop blogging, please!!

  5. Rod

    After our discussion a while back about your interest in the structures and dioramas it doesn't come as a surprise. You do realise the best part I hope....
    there is nothing like planning for and eventually starting another layout, no matter how far into the future it is.

    We must chat again soon.

    Give Vanessa, Chris and my best wishes for her new venture.

    Ray p