This marks the 1,000th post I’ve made on this blog. Thank you, everybody, for reading along!
Rather than do a recap of favourite posts and so on (I tend to do that on the anniversary of starting this blog), I thought I’d look ahead and list some of the things I’d like to do in the future – things that (if all goes as planned) I’ll be writing about in the next 1,000 posts.
I have a number of projects that I’ve started (and written about on this blog) that have fallen off the radar. I also have a number of projects at the “dreaming and planning” stage. In no particular order, they include:
Consolidate my workshop:
Right now, I have a couple of work tables in my home office where I build things. Or, more accurately, where I used to build things: My home office doesn’t have a lot of storage space and as horizontal surfaces, the work tables have silted up pretty badly.
In addition, since my home office is two floors up from the layout, it’s a long haul back and forth when working on a project. So I tend to work on things at the kitchen table.
But, there’s hope: There’s a room adjacent to the layout space, and I can convert part of it into my hobby workshop. It needs to be cleared, and then I need to build work benches and storage space in it. But it can be done.
Set up the Sherline Mill:
I bought my Sherline Mill from a friend a couple of years ago, and since then it has been sitting under its dust cover on one of those tables in my home office. I intend to build a dedicated work space for it in the hobby workshop, so I can start learning to use it. I’ll plan for the future and make sure the work space is big enough to hold a small lathe, too.
My CNR 40-foot double-door boxcar:
I’m not sure why, but this boxcar has taken far too long. I’ve worked on other pieces of rolling stock – I’ve even built an Ambroid snow plow, for goodness sake! – while this boxcar has languished on the bench. I haven’t touched it in ages – and I just need to get on with it. Obviously, I’ll do that when I’m in the mood to build boxcars…
At the end of the Port Rowan peninsula, I have several structures to build – including a feed mill and the station. The good news is, I like doing structures. And I am working to a master plan for these – working on smaller structures first to hone my skills as I work up to the signature scene on the layout.
Rethinking St. Williams:
I’ve written about this before and I’m mostly happy with St. Williams as I’ve built it, so this is on the back burner. But since I’m doing such a faithful reproduction of Port Rowan, I continue to ponder whether I can rearrange elements to allow me to more accurately model St. Williams in my layout space.
I have added trees to the Lynn Valley and St. Williams. Port Rowan still needs more – a lot more. Trees are nice projects to do between more intensive modelling, such as working on structures. And they often need to be planned and planted in conjunction with the structures to create believable scenes. In addition to larger trees, I also want to boost the detail under the canopy with saplings, as well as ferns and other ground covers.
Details, details, details:
A layout can never have too many details and mine is still pretty spare. I have ideas for vignettes I want to build – stories I want to tell – and since I’m working in S scale I’ll be creating many of the details needed for these projects from scratch. Even when detail parts are available, there’s always work to do to turn them into believable scenes. I also have more figures to place, and a lot of work do to on some of the “finished” buildings to really bring the scenes to life.
Patterns for rolling stock:
There are a couple of S scale freight cars that I’d love to see on this layout – and since it’s unlikely a manufacturer will create them for me, I’ll have to build my own. I’ve never built freight cars from scratch, although I have friends in the hobby who have so I have resources upon which to draw.
If I’m going to build my own rolling stock, I’ll consider doing them as patterns for resin casting, rather than as one-offs. I’m sure others will be interested in the cars – especially since in S scale, the advanced hobbyists tend to find any excuse they can to buy a kit and support a manufacturer. I know I do, which is why Port Rowan sees a lot of visitors from southeastern US roads. Doing my cars with an eye to offering kits represents an opportunity to give back to the hobby.
Beyond Port Rowan:
There are so many great ways to enjoy this hobby that I find it hard to constrain myself to just one scale, gauge, era and location. While my layout may be based on the branch to Port Rowan, I have lots of other projects in my “someday” file, including my interest in garden-scale live steam.
In addition, there’s my work with TrainMasters TV… articles for various hobby publications… my interest in layout design issues… The Model Railway Show podcast, which I would love to bring out of hiatus at some point… and training my border collies to work sheep (including a new puppy, on the way).
Whether directly or indirectly, all of these activities and interests influence my approach to the hobby and to modelling Port Rowan in 1:64, so I’ll continue to write about them here.
I hope you’ll continue to read.