Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pennsy it is...

I don't know how many people out there are actually reading this and following along this journey of ours, but we sure get a lot of hits so if you are reading this, Hello and thanks!

Anyways, Just wanted to update the blog with the latest news. We will be starting a new Pennsylvania RR HO layout this Fall. At least I'm calling it a Pennsy layout. It won't necesarrily have every single stucture or signal derived from a Pennsy prototype, but I am doing research and considering adding certain PRR LDEs (Layout Design Elements) that I hope will give a flavor of the PRR.

First up will be to start work on the engine servicing facility, which will be more generic in nature using the Walthers kits that you see below. My intent is to build these kits first before starting on the benchwork. That way when I do finish the benchwork these structures will be ready to drop into place. That should keep me busy well into the winter (or longer?).

Starting next month, Broadway Limited will begin releasing several PRR steam engines with their Paragon 2 system. I've made the decision to grab as many of these as possible to fill out our steam roster before moving on to PRR diesels. I will post reviews as they come in. The M1 Mountains should be first in about a month from now. If you haven't seen them yet you can link to them HERE.

Here are the kits that will make up the bulk of the main engine facility:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Future HO Layout

After much deliberation and discussion with myself, my wife, my son, and my trusted friend, I may have been able to decide what shape and form my HO scale layout will take. Even though it may be a few years before construction begins I think I may have a winner here.

I have always wanted to have a large linear shelf layout, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that may not be the best decision. I realize that I am a Railfan at heart and 80% of the time will be spent watching trains run through scenery. Also given that I like to sit and watch my trains and I don't necessarily want to walk around the whole time kind of puts a crimp on the linear shelf idea.

The other issue that I had to be brutally honest with was how big was too big? At what point would it become too much construction/wiring/maintenance for 1 man and his (now) 5 year old son? I've always dreamed of a big layout like you see in the magazines, but if I'm being honest many of them are just too big for a one man show. Add in the fact that my favorite part is scenery, and I absolutely HATE unfinished, bare scenes and it became apparent that it would need to be kept a reasonable size to have a realistic shot of being finished.

So for all those reasons and my Givens and Druthers list, I am really leaning towards something very close to the Wawbeek & Sunmount plan from "101 More Track plans" by Model Railroader magazine shown below.

If anyone has another layout of simillar size that you think I should take a look at, feel free to let me know. I wouldn't mind an island style with a center scenic divider either. I have plenty of time to plan :) In the mean time we'll be working on the O gauge Hi-rail layout.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Branch line

This section is getting close to being done. I would do some things differently next time, but I am pretty pleased overall. Not bad for a months worth of free time.

Testing the MTH HO Mikado