I've expended quite a bit of skull sweat in recent weeks, trying to sort out a few nagging issues and make some concrete plans for the future. The bottom line is that there are only so many hours in the day to pursue your interests; more numerous lines of inquiry means less time is available to spend on each one in turn.

Most of the work I've been involved with this year has centered around someone else's layout or models. This, in itself, is not a bad thing. However, it means that my own modelling progress would be considered glacial at best.

In an effort to make more headway, I've taken the advice of a fellow modeller and put a substantial number of items on the back burner indefinitely. Hopefully this action will permit me to focus more on my two primary areas of enjoyment; transition era S scale standard gauge and steam era On30 - both with modular groups in this region.

In the last week I've managed to clean all of the non-brass DCC installations off my workbench and make some small headway on the CAD work for a set of kit assembly instructions.

With generous help and browbeating, I've also made a great start on a set of module frames for the S scale project. These require some further tweaking and a great deal of terraforming but I'm very pleased with the progress.

In a fit of unexpected energy and determination, I even dug out the shell of a long set-aside diesel and began modifying all of the elements which had been bothering me about its overall appearance. Still more work to do...


vicarious railway

Progress towards any sort of model railway layout of my own is glacial at best. I am fulfilling some of my desires in the hobby by both working on and operating other people's layouts. A few benefits to this approach readily become apparent;

1) I don't have to pay for any of the materials,
2) I get to experiment with many different construction techniques,
3) I don't have to re-stage all of the trains at the end of a session, and
4) the mess is always at someone else's home :-).

There are too many fascinating aspects of the hobby to permit indulging in all of them in one person's lifetime. So far, however, the vicarious path is allowing me (or will shortly allow me) to participate in Maine-inspired 2', Swiss electric, turn-of-the-century branchline, modern unit train, large scale industrial, and several fallen-flag representations in varying degrees of accuracy and complexity.

This region seems to be particularly blessed with modellers of superior skill and widely ranging interests; sort of a railway cornucopia. I don't think I could have deliberately chosen a richer area in which to pursue the hobby.