That old adage that a model railroad is never finished seems to be true, and has come true for this modeler. Even for a small layout such as mine, there are always things on the layout to be fixed, changed, or improved, or all of the above. There always seems to be new products coming out that enhance and improve those layouts as well.
In checking out the layout and running trains this past week, I noticed some ballast in places that needed to be redone. Done! Then, I noticed a few areas on my puffball trees were shedding the ground foam. So, out came the tools and supplies to fix this. Standing back and looking at the layout, I began to look at some other areas, such as the switch stands, and ground foam varieties I used for weeds and thick ground cover.
With the switch stands, it came to mind I’d like to replace the oversized stands one day with tortoise machines and Rapido stands. This of course to make the layout look even more realistic. With the ground foam, I’d like to someday as well rework some or most of it with static grass, again to improve realism.
There are other areas on the layout that need attention as well. With the latest addition from Woodland Scenics of their entire lighting system, I’ve thought about street lights and building lights, if only lights on the outside of the buildings themselves, such as my Hitop mine. I even looked at a small detail such as my road signs, thinking of a recent modeling article about adding aluminum foil to the backs of the signs, again, to increase realism. Another area I looked at were some of my plastic trees. Not very realistic. I saw an area up on the branch that would be perfect for some scale wood trees by Scenic Express that would be perfect.
Of course then as I stepped back to look at the layout, I thought about the plans once again to enlarge the layout, which is still a dream of mine, and hopefully a workable plan someday. Starting with the left hand corner as stated before, I recently saw two track plans that may look promising. Of course all this has to be budgeted and approved by the CFO. In this expansion plan, I’d like to enlarge the chemical plant, put in a grocery distributor, bakery, and scrap yard. As I told the CFO, otherwise known as my wife, I think most modelers perhaps grow a bit bored with an original layout after some years, and need that challenge and work to keep that spark alive and well, resulting in more train space and more fun. My layout it’s hard to believe has been up and running for almost five years! Of course any expansion would take advantage of newer materials and products that I either did not use on the original layout, or were not available at the time. I already have several of these newer products on hand.
As I also looked at my layout during the operating sessions, I came to realize that a lot of my cars or rolling stock are not weathered completely, especially the trucks and wheels. A situation that I am already starting to remedy, starting with my coal hopper fleet. As newer, more detailed cars become available, and funds become available, I’m trying to replace older and less detailed cars with these, a plan that’s already up and running. Of course, by starting to really get involved in weathering was a way not only to improve my fleet, but hopefully also to bring in extra income to fund some of these plans.
So, in conclusion, you can see my dreams, schemes, and plans. How much will ever be completed or started? Hard to tell. But again, that old adage it’s never finished has hit home.