Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Plans for the New Year

Well, the layout hasn't been built yet...I'm about 80% done with preparing the basement for the new layout. In the meantime, I've built a few models as well. I'll be posting updates and pictures soon. Santa was very good to me (and my birthday is in November) so I'll have a number of updates over the next month on my modeling tools and techniques too.
But the primary focus will be on getting the layout built as soon as possible. My current goal is to complete the last necessary work in the basement this week. Then I'll be able to tear down the old layout, and if I'm lucky, build both decks by the end of the month. I'm hoping to build the lower deck in one weekend, and lay the staging tracks over the course of a week or two in the evenings. Once that's completed I can build the upper deck. Since I'll be handlaying that track on the upper deck it may take a bit longer to complete. I'm also not sure when I'll tackle the helices, particularly the Hartford-side since I'm still deciding how I will handle the Berlin branch staging.

The next goal is to have the layout operational (probably no scenicking at all, though, other than ballast and roads perhaps) by the New England Proto Meet, since it's less than a mile from my house. That way I can host a layout tour, although this year the 'tour' would focus on design and construction. Early test operating sessions can begin as soon as the trackwork is laid, although it probably won't be entirely New Haven because I'll have to borrow some equipment.
I also plan to have some completed models this year to take to the meet as well.
Updates (as I'm sure you've noticed) have been less frequent due to the fact that I'm now working a 5-day-a-week job. This could ultimately work to my advantage because it will force me to plan a little better and be more disciplined with my efforts. This includes updates to the site in addition to progress on the layout.

So, look for new content soon. There have been a few changes already. Mostly updating existing pages (which unfortunately I've found do not appear in the Recent Posts link, only new pages do). I'm working on one significant addition to the site, though, that I think will be very cool. I'm not ready to announce the specifics yet, but I think it will be a great addition.