Heh, I fixed one issue and caused another. Standard Operating Procedure in the hobby, right? :)
I only wanted to have one track for the mainline. Space wise and cost wise, I thought it would be the better way to go. However, I was faced with my Kato Uniplate section having an unused and unconnected spot where the Kato Unitrack main connected with it. It was making me a bit crazy in that OCD sort of way.
"But....:::twitch:::....the track just....ends? That...:::twitch:::....that doesn't make sense. I mean...the train would just run off onto the deck...." heheheh
But, something came to mind when I was putting my daughter to bed. I often have hobby related tasks and issues running through my head, letting my brain process things while driving or sitting in the dark patting my daughters head in the dark as she falls asleep. Things roll through and solutions and ideas often get worked out.
I thought of just connecting track and having it's story be that it's going off to other cities and towns in the area. To make things even better, I checked the Under The Layout Storehouse and they had the Station Malcolm Ordered and Forgot About in stock! :) I was able to use the station on the long length of track that now runs in front of the Shizuka side. Once I get my backdrop wall up, it will show the tracks leading off into the distance on the other side of the track. Worked like a charm.
However, when I switched the Main over from the outside Uniplate to the inside one, other issues came up and I had to super clean and refit parts of the plates to get the tram to run through. As it stands now, it's still not 100%. I need to go back in and...do something.
All in all, I'm super happy with things as they stand now. I like the complexity of the Shizuka section and the density the structures are providing currently. Adding the additional structures I have to build and some of the smaller details will make Shizuka as visually rich as I had hopped for.
The Soyokaze side is shaping up as well. The space is less dense which will allow for some nice scenery. I also have ideas in place for the roadway that will lead over the hill to the harbor area. The water element of the harbor is something I'm working on now. The cracked and leaking mess of the shelf layout has me rethinking my process for water in such a large area.
I'm also working out the transition from the Unitram plates to the plywood deck. However the addition of the station areas is making this seem like less of an issue.
Wow...the "Bright and Shiny Future" I used to talk about is here. It's rather exciting. Sadly, my Father is not here to be a part of it. I think that's something that has been on my mind of late. Life pressures have been flowing for the last few months (I won't bore you with details - nothing major) and I think about what this experience would have been like if my Father would have been around to help me with this layout and be part of the enjoyment. He had a love of trains as well and built me my first layout when I was 10, so doing this with him from time to time would have been a hoot. I plan on hanging a picture of him up by the layout. :)
He wrote this in one of the emails that I received from him before his passing on November 27,
2011 when I had sent him a link to progress on my old Soyokaze layout:
Your layout is wonderful. I had not seen all your improvements. (I
attempted to leave a comment on your blog but it kept asking me for a
profile.) It would not accept my comment.
I basically said that my dad
would have been proud of you for your attention to detail. I think I told
you that he made most of the strucures that we had by hand. He even made
some of our rolling stock.
I wish that we had made pictures of his handy work. It was a different time and space then.
As I sit with my daughters - one of which is just interested because she wants to grab the tram as it runs by so she can taste it in classic, eight month old style! :) - I remember how much fun I had hanging out with my Father as he built my old HO layout on a door back in the day. Nothing can replace the feeling of sharing something you love with someone you love.
Ok....mushy stuff is over! :)
Happy Hobby Times, All!