Earlier this year, I had started on a display layout that was two levels, and just two simple loops of track. I wanted something to let trains do loops on, for the specific purpose of "spreading the gospel" of HOn30, by highlighting the ridiculously tight curves the small locomotives can handle, and to have a place to showcase some Marsh Creek designs and kits. I had dove right into the building of this thing, and I never really had a theme, or any solid ideas of what I wanted it to look like. There were some compromises made, and overall, I wasn't really happy with it. I stuck it up on a shelf, and it sat there for months. A few weeks ago, I dusted it off and cleaned the track, in order to run some locomotives that have sat idle since the early spring. Part of me wanted to finish it, and the other part wanted it to go into the round file, along with many of my other "failures".
I haven't round filed it yet. I say yet, because I want to give it some time, maybe I'll go back to it. Monkeys might also fly out of my butt....but I digress.
As the leaves are changing here in Pennsylvania, I got the itch again, to run trains, and this time with no compromises, so I went a' googling' and visited a site I haven't been to in a while for some inspiration. Laurie Green's website, www.lauriegreensweb.com is full of spectacular On30 designs, and I thought his Grizzly Flats Exhibition Layout would convert rather well to what I was looking to do in HOn30. I could have designed in a traverser, or some other type of hidden staging, but I was limited to the space I had available...a 16"x36" shelf. At 576 square inches, it qualifies for "Micro Layout" status, and I could shoehorn in the small dog bone that Mr. Green used for Grizzly Flats, squeeshed down to 1:87 scale, and a 6" minimum radius. Imitation may be a form of flattery, but in order to not be a copy cat, I decided to Mirror the plan, swapping the sides of where things lay. I can't possibly fit everything in my space the same way he did, so while the idea is blatantly stolen, it's certainly not the same.
Hey, I had a boss who used to say "I may not come up with many good ideas, but I know one when I see it.", and the running joke in Army staff circles is "plagiarism is policy". Thank you Laurie, for coming up with a good idea!
Construction started last weekend, and today I arrived home from work to a package from Fast Tracks with the remaining supplies I needed to get started laying track. Hopefully, I'll be able to run loops this weekend. While I was waiting for rail and ties, I downloaded the texture pack from Clever Models to build some snazzy mock up buildings. It could take a while for me to get all the structures built and detailed, so I'm adding the mock up step for this build. It's critical when working in cramped confines to have a really good plan of action for structures and scenery, and mock ups really help that along. Instead of plain versions, I wanted to have nice looking mock structures to really get a sense of how the scene is going to look, so the printed texture papers will help that a lot.
Go Build Something Awesome!