Monday, January 2, 2012

Some endings, and some new beginings...

Today marks the official end to the Christmas Break and I'm back to work tomorrow.  It wasn't a good vacation, we had to deal with the death of Amy's Step Dad just a few days before Christmas and then his wake on Friday December 30th, and his funeral on New Years Eve.  The whole week was surreal and stressful, culminating in a sad goodbye to not only Uncle, but also 2011.

We kept ourselves busy during the week up until the funeral, and for the past few days after.  I tried to work on small things, mostly building the #6 turnouts I need, a few blog entries and on Wednesday I headed up to my friend Jim Fawcett's house to check out his layout space with some of the other guys in our group.

I managed to build 5 more Fast Tracks #6 turnouts during some of my down time this week.  Here is a #6 left hand turnout completed, with all the parts ready to be soldered for a right hand #6.

Wednesday night a group of us showed up at Jim Fawcett's house (invited of course:) to help him out with feedback and some ideas for his design.  Jim is building an HO version of the B&O's Old Main Line circa 1965. Craig Bisgeier, Dave Ramos, Henry Freeman, Ted Pamperin, Ralph Heiss and myself were in attendance and we helped Jim brainstorm to come up with ways to get his railroad built using the optimum amount of space, and as prototypical as possible.  It was especially good to see Henry there because Henry is one of the more authoritative people out there when it comes to modeling the B&O. 

Here Jim is explaining what he's looking to do.  Notice how Jim prepared for our visit by putting a proposed footprint of the layout on the floor with craft paper.

Here Ted Pamperin listens to Ralph Heiss giving his opinion on the design.  Ted has a nice glass of Morris Code Chardonnay and at this point all he's hearing is "blah blah blah..blah blah.." ;)

Jim's layout space is 15' x 21'.  Being the good friends and advice givers that we are, we proceeded to check out the spaces beyond the boundaries of the designated room to see where we could expand "his" layout to.  Ted is checking out the wine cellar to see if it could be utilized, but it seems to be on the narrow side and maybe only good for some additional staging.  Ralph is still talking "blah blah blah.."

On the other side of one wall was a storage area that also contained all the mechanicals for the house.  We all agreed, including Jim, that staging could go along this wall and the helix would go into the far end. 
I think Jim survived the visit well and hopefully came away with some good ideas so he can get started on building what looks to be a very interesting layout.  I can't wait to help him get started. :)

It was nice to get out for a while Wednesday, and it was fun to get up to Jim's to see what he's doing.  It was one of the few bright spots in my week.

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