A new layout - aka Project SOT aka Tcbatcbe Siding

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A new layout - aka Project SOT aka Tcbatcbe Siding

Postby 0Z42 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:36 pm

Although Treoch is no doubt destined to become the legendary 'layout that never got finished', it was a tremendously valuable experience in that I learned so, so much. I learned woodwork and modelling techniques, I learned that I hadn't forgotten any of the electrical and soldering skills that I'd last used in about 1890 and also a massive deal about myself and the relative importance of different things to me when planning and building a train set (oops, model railway! :P )

One thing Treoch taught me that it was way overcomplicated for the time I have available and am prepared to devote to the hobby. I kind of aimed a little too high - the research, planning and warping of history side were tremendously enjoyable but when it came to the hands on stuff, by Christ there was a lot of work! I also learned the hard way that I do not have the space in my house for a nine metre long, U shaped, end-to-end, permanently set up layout!

I believe that making mistakes is fine, as long as you learn from them and don't repeat them. Thus Project SOT will be a very different beast compared to what Treoch was intended to be. I was determined to follow the KISS principle this time - Keep It SImple, Stupid.

1.It's going to be a roundy-roundy, watch-the-trains-go-by type layout.
2. It's going to be able to be put away after each running session.
3. Scenic elements are going to be at an absolute minimum.
4. It will be - very deliberately - non-region-specific. While the timescale will still be fluid (between 1950 and the beginning of full yellow ends on diesels), I'm afraid the forthcoming advent of Heljan's Kestrel, the Bachmann 4CEP, the Hattjan Class 14 and the Bachmann A2 means that any pretence at a specific location - however real or fictional - has gone completely out of the window. (It's my train set, etc...)

Think vaguely along the lines of 'Stoke Summit' on a much smaller (and less well modelled) scale and you'll be getting somewhere towards my vision of the layout. The 'scenic side' of the layout will portray a main line with good loops, the loop on the 'outer' side having extended headshunts to form a siding each end, one probably featuring some kind of small loading/unloading facility. The inner loop will have shorer headshunts, just enough for a loco to lay over or a short 'cripple siding'. A crossover between the main lines will allow for operational interest (shunting between the loading facility and the loop on the opposite side of the main lines, etc).

Working Eckon 1960s-style colour light signals, a signal box and a few details like a fogman's hut, etc, will complete the picture. The rest of the layout will not be ballasted or decorated. although I'm yet to work out what to use as scenic breaks.

The name of 'Project SOT' will be Tcbatcbe Siding. Sounds like a bit of a mouthful at first, but there's good reason for it. Given the very deliberate non-region-specific approach, I thought that an acronym of This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere) - a song by the Dead Kennedys - was both different enough and appropriate.

Well it was that or Holiday In Cambodia... :D
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Re: A new layout - aka Project SOT

Postby Simon Hargraves » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:19 pm

0Z42 wrote:This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere) - a song by the Dead Kennedys - was both different enough and appropriate.

Well it was that or Holiday In Cambodia... :D

Dunno mate, always preferred "Too Drunk To Procreate"meself........(what do you mean "story of his life" :oops: )
PS good luck anyway!
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Re: A new layout - aka Project SOT

Postby 0Z42 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:02 am

Personally, my favourite DK's song is 'We've Got A Bigger Problem Now' - which will no doubt be an appropriate theme song for building the thing... :)
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Re: A new layout - aka Project SOT aka Tcbatcbe Siding

Postby 0Z42 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:25 am

Puds rather plaintive wail in the Messroom part of this 'ere forum that not enough people are posting their modelling work here did strike something of a mildly guilty chord, hereabouts.

My main problem is that, thankfully, I am incredibly busy with work and am indeed going that extra few hundred yards than I might in boom times, just to try and make myself as indispensible as possible to my clients. Being self-employed isn't the easy ride that many in PAYE seem to believe - there is absolutely no security (not to mention no paid redundancy, no paid sick days and no paid holiday!) and I could lose all my work at the drop of a hat. The fact that my wife (also self-employed) abruptly lost much of her work recently, as a client decided to take everything 'in house', only served to pile a bit more pressure on the shoulders of yours truly.

At times like these, railway modelling seems rather unimportant in the big scheme of things. Frankly, many evenings I'm so knackered after yet another 12 hour day (regularly more) that the thought of doing the baseboard dowels and track laying I have to do for the layout is plain depressing. Rather than engage in yet more brain and fingers work, I just want to switch off - so I'd rather sit and read a book, go down the pub, play fetch with the cat, watch telly, play a game on my iPhone and so on. Having time to just chill is important and laying track ain't chillin' - well, not to me it isn't!

The fact that I really need to lay the baseboards out on the garage floor to do the first phase of tracklaying is also making it less than appealing to do it on winter evenings. I'd rather do my hobby in a degree of comfort, not freezing my knackers off just to keep Pudley happy! ;)

But I am determined to make some progress and make an assault on the trackwork over Christmas. First job is to make a list of what I need, second job is to get it and the third job is to get on with it...
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Re: A new layout - aka Project SOT aka Tcbatcbe Siding

Postby 0Z42 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:40 pm

Sometimes, in order to go forward, you have to go backwards (at least that's what I tell myself).

I use the analogy of a wall - you've walked up to it, it proves too high to scramble or jump up, so you have to consider your options to get past the obstacle. All involve taking a few paces back first, which will then lead to you either (a) taking a run up at it, (b) finding a way round it or (c) going off to fetch a ball & chain.

One of these walls has been bugging me for several months now. Although the will and inspiration has been there and I did make a certain amount of progress in scrambling up it a few feet, after hanging on for a while I eventually had to admit to myself that this was not the way I was going to get over the wall.

In other words, despite having built new baseboards and various other bits and pieces, there was a fundamental flaw in the plan for the new layout. I just didn't have the right space to accommodate what I wanted to do. The more I did on it, the more I felt I was proceeding with it for the sake of it, almost as if felt I had something to prove. Which is, of course, poppycock - my train set should make me happy, not anybody else. And deep down I knew the idea was flawed.

So I have dropped off and walked back to look at the wall from further back, to find a different way of approaching it. One of two things needs to change - the design of the layout or to find a different space in which to accommodate the original idea (or something fairly close to it).

Back to the drawing board...
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