Wednesday, March 30, 2016

AH HA! moments on my yard redesign

Latest video:

I spent some more time staring at my layout yesterday. Literally standing over it and staring. I was looking over the yard area this time due to a random thought that went through my head around 3am one morning.  ( Ah...insomnia...)  I thought that the yard was fine and that it would work, but that there might be a few tweaks I could make - small, simple things - that might make it better.

 I had this going and it was working out fine for the most part.

I had the high speed rail spur for parking (toward the middle in the image above), some random storage tracks and engine house, a line going "out" and off, an area for shipping, and a run around area. However something still bothered me.

I played with the shipping area a bit (top center in image below) and it was better, but still not what I wanted.
Then it came to me.  Give things some space. I had the room and now was the time to use it. So, The space I set aside for a hillside with trees was pushed back and I ran a Kiwamura Factory track out from the runaround.  This is a Factory track only and it was just what was needed. More space to do factory work!


I also made more room for shipping with the track change. A little spur to load and unload items. 

Should make for a fun area to scenic. Lots of action like the setup in the harbor area. 

I'm also seeing things take shape around the layout. Areas are slowly slipping back into existence after the re-design blow up and it's fun to see it happening. I'm feeling good about the layout again. 

A bus section at the station to pick up passengers. 

The Soyokaze Temple parking area and crossing grades fixed.

Things coming together in Soyokaze Village and Town areas.

A solid plan for Shizuka with some height variation.

And the town on Soyokaze slowly coming together the way I'd like. Though, I still need to get the streets a bit tighter. :)

So, again, taking time to work things out properly is paying off. It's not a race. I keep reminding myself of that daily. hehehehe  The changes that came out of the re-design are grand and they are making me very happy. 

I took some of the buildings that were packed away out and started placing them in areas to map out where things were going. So far, so good. I had this feeling that I'd have less space and that I'd have to keep some of the buildings off the layout. However, this was totally wrong - I have tons of room. 

It's been a fun process! 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 14th video: Broke through the analysis paralysis!

((Cursing YouTube.....Not sure why my video image isn't uploading...))


Well, I finally got through my over-processing and started working on my layout again. I found that I got wrapped up in the "what if" and "is this REALLY right" nature of the redesign planning and the analysis paralysis gripped me in it's cold claws and stopped me from moving forward for a while.

In moderation, this could be a good thing, but when it stops you from moving on anything, it can be a real drag. Waiting on a few things did allow for thinking through what it was I was trying to achieve, so that was grand. It also allowed me some wiggle room on items that I had in place that really should not ave been there.

The redesign is working well for me and I'm much happier having everything in one space. Now that I'm actually making some progress forward into the realm of scenery, I'm even happier. That's what I really enjoy taking on.

Progress video:

I love it when you're shooting a video and want to show off the trains running around and they just FAIL before making it one time around! hehehe  Same thing happens when people visit the layout. Gremlins slip through and stop things from working properly! :)

I'm very happy with my latest progress on the layout. I've been addressing some issues that had always bothered me and I'm excited about it. The crossing below, for instance. Before, it wasn't really working properly. The street angles and elevations were too much for "real world" buses. They didn't look like they made sense. Same with the Naze Bridge - the on and off areas were far too steep. So, I've gone in and addressed the issues and it's looking way better now. I just need to paint and detail the area now.

Improved intersection area
I'm going to raise the existing Naze Bridge roadway on one side to make it work without redoing the whole bridge. I'll adjust the other side as well to make the slope more realistic. This bugged me from DAY ONE of the final bridge production. I was just trying to make it work with the space that was there.

The other big item is looking at the yard and factory track area to see if it's going to work for me long term. The switching aspect seems like it's going to work, but I would like it a bit more if it had a longer run, I think. Something looping the layout area. However, the way things stand now, I'd have to do some major changes to get this to work and I'm not sure if it's worth it. I plan to sit with it for a few days to see if anything grabs me. I have a small holiday coming up where I've wedged a hobby day in, so I'd like to get it resolved before then so I can get some good work in.

On the FUN side of things, Soyokaze had a visit from THUNDERBIRD 2! :)

Cheers All!

Friday, March 11, 2016

March 6 Update: Bye Bye Bridges

Another airplane exhibit is in the works I am on March 11th and I still have not actually written the article after posting the photos on the 6th. hhehehe

I'm in a bit of "analysis paralysis" of late - sitting on making changes due to overthinking where I am and where I want to be.  It's a funny side effect to re-doing my layout space. I'm thinking through all the parts of it so I don't need to tear it all down right away. 

I look back on some of the work that was torn out and it hurts still. So, I think I'm dragging me feet about moving forward a bit.

I got a new engine and already had an interesting interaction on the MODEL RAIL RADIO Facebook group about it. I posted a small video of the blue Kato unit moving and remarked that I was happy about the crawl pace it was able to do. Someone said that it wasn't a crawl and that it was going about 20 MPH in N scale speed. (Not sure if that was correct, but...) I said that I was actually saying that in relation to some other engines I had that could not go as slow, not in relation to scale speed. My point was taken and the conversation was a success. :) We have a good group of folks on MMR for the most part. It seems like there are many respectful conversations that go on. Nice to see.

Loving this little Kato workhorse! :)

Kiwamura Station is coming along. I think I'll be able to make it work nicely. It's going to be a big improvement over what I had before. Again, one for the plus column for the remodel! :)

The Kiwamura bus situation is under control as well. heh

I'm looking at incorporating the level changes from bench work top to top of uniplates to add some subtle variation in heights. Create some visual interest like I did with adding straight foam core to the mix to break away from the squareness of the uniplates. I think it will be a good addition as well.

I'm doing the same thing with street and sidewalk elevations. It should add some visual interest as well.

I gave up on the bridges as well. I think it will work better without them. Their location made things...strange. I wanted to have a creek or river run under them, but it would be odd or flat if I didn't do major reworking of elements. So, I just pulled them out. They were neat, but they would have bugged me down the line. There will be a small pond of area of water in a few places in the future. Just need to sort out where.

This area leading into the Soyokaze Temple area is working well so far. I have space to complete the road, fix the steep incline of the Naze Bridge, and things are running well and looking like I wanted them to. A bit of terrain shaping and I'll be good to go.

The banked turn here in the top left (above image) is working wondrously. The roadway (bottom / white) is working well. commit and lock it down. :)

I think this little station will be a fun section to detail. Some potential there for sure.

And lastly, I got a new KATO Centram for the tram section of the layout. Ran really well...once the track was cleaned. I have to say, I would LOVE for deadrail to work itself out with an easy system I'd be able to sort out. Fingers crossed.

Which brings me to hobby time again. It's been an interesting time period. Work is ramping WAY up due to me working with a different group - now working with three groups at work instead of two. With the analysis paralysis tossed in, hobby time is down to a crawl. And then I got into playing an online game,  which so happens to be a lot of fun with no long term worries. So...hobby has been back burnered right along with bike rides. I have a feeling things are slowly moving forward. I even finished this post. (But, didn't proof  hehehe

Happy Hobby time, Folks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pinterest: Turns out it doesn't just kill time

For the longest time folks kept asking me, "Do you use Pinterest?  It's SO GOOD!" To which I said, "HELL NO! It's a total time sink!"  

Well, I actually have a great use for it now.  I use it to store up ideas and reference items and it's working like a charm.

I had things stored in folders on my laptop - reference photos and the like dropped into numerous folders and files all over the place. Now, If I see something I like, I can "pin it" and access it from wherever I happen to be at the time - laptop, desktop machine or iPhone. And...I love that. SO MUCH BETTER!

Keep it in mind if you don't use it already. Pretty grand.