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Thread: Advice needed: Scrap and build again?

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    Default Advice needed: Scrap and build again?

    Good day. I am new to this site and not very tech savvy so please be patient. I am not new to N scale however: I have built, rebuilt and torn down 8 or so layouts in the last 25 years. I am again standing on the precipice, debating on what to do next. I love designing, planning, laying track and getting the trains running. I always run into problems after that. Not problems with the layout necessarily, I just want to design and build another! My wife has suggested that I might enjoy scenery if I kept a layout long enough to apply some.
    Anyway, my current layout has about 80% of the track work completed. Just some yard tracks and two staging loops need put in to be complete. I don't want to build anymore because I don't know what I want to do with the layout. I am really pleased with the design and I don't want to scrap it. I have other, newer plans though! Maybe even something in HO (I know, I cringe too)?
    I have learned some lessons in all the building and rebuilding. This layout is comprised of 4 sections that are easily separated. Two of the sections are mostly a large yard. One of the others is mostly a 4-turn helix with staging. My thought the last time was that I could perhaps reuse a section or two and not have to start over completely. I don't think any of the sections will work for me again though, not with any current plans for the future. My first thought is to just store them but I really don't have space. And I already have sections from another previous layout stored!
    Ideally, I think, I would like to sell the layout in whole or part to someone who hates track laying but loves scenery. I know my superhero nemesis is out there somewhere. Not even really at a profit, just to clear the space and allow for some benchwork supply purchasing.
    So that's it in a nutshell. I am happy for any advice or wisdom. Thank you.
    I will try to post some photos here if I can figure out how. The Site may not let me since I am new.

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    Welcome to the site. There is a wealth of knowledge and resources here. Once you have posted some more you will be able to post photos. You’ll get lots of input once we can see what you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcewuen27 View Post
    The Site may not let me since I am new.
    Yes, there is certain amount of posts needed to have pics posted.


    There is a lot to be said about defining what exactly we are trying to get out of this hobby. Some folks are driven and have a definitive goal. Others discover it more after multiple failed attempts.
    I share your enthusiasm for planning and designing, scale modeling, etc. But found less of a desire to actively "run" a railroad although there is interest in learning more.
    What I have learned from many here and from DKS, is that refining what we want will help define what we want to do.
    They often talk about our list of "druthers" and what we'd like to see when finished. My "pipe dream" of a monster basement empire has been replaced by a series of more manageable concepts, and more and more, a desire to be part of a modular club where I can create, design and model multiple interests and have them part of larger operating layout. (I just need to find a club a bit closer than they are)

    I would sit and go through some model railroad sources and take notes about what really excites you and perhaps a more motivating concept comes out of it.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler - Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life - Web-Folio
    Blog: American Revolutionary War Diorama:https://www.nscale.net/forums/entry....onment-Diorama
    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Quote Originally Posted by mcewuen27 View Post
    I am really pleased with the design and I don't want to scrap it.
    Because you said that, my recommendation is to at least try some scenery and structures before you decide to scrap it and start over. If you like it, great, keep going. If not, then at least you tried... scrap it and start over with the part you really enjoy. Not everybody really wants to finish a layout (gasp, the blasphemy!), some just like building them.

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    Welcome,

    My suggestion is to take a step back from the basement empire and try building one-two-three modules to delay the decision - laying track, wiring, ballasting, scenery. Depending on where you are, go T-TRAK, n-trak, FreemoN (my personal favorite) or whatever has a reasonable group near you.

    It might help you with your decision and also give you time to try and sell the sections, if that's where you end up. If it's not for you, it'll be little money and time wasted and you'll be able to get rid of the modules pretty easily, I'd guess (I've always found modular groups to be happy to adopt and keep alive modules from others who left (this part of) the hobby or maybe this life.

    It will answer your wife's question re the scenery. And it may open up your modeling experience to sharing it with others and creating way more together than you can by and for yourself (also putting some pressure on to get things not just "almost working" but "done" - and many of us work better under a bit of stress...)

    Of course, 25 years into the hobby tells me you're not 18 anymore, so also put your age onto the scale and guesstimate how many good modeling years you'll still have and if it's worth spending (a part of) them dismantling and rebuilding rather than scenicing and running trains. That's a very personal decision, depending on what floats your boat, and there's no universal right way, just wanted to bring it up for consideration as well.

    Heiko

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    Thank you for responses and encouragement.
    I do actually WANT to get a layout to the scenery stage. The last scenicked layout I built was set in winter and had whole hillsides (really, serious acreage) of leafless trees made from various natural stems. It was very nice to look at. The only problem was that the tracks didn't make any sense and the trains didn't run very well. Consequently, I had lots of time to plant winter trees. My track planning and laying skills have improved significantly since then and now I have the opposite problem. First world problems, mind.
    I rejoined a local RR club this past winter with the intention of squashing the "rebuild it" urge. Ironically it worked the other way. I did take over the track laying there which has taken the edge off.
    Man, I am going to have to find photos of those winter hills now that I have thought about them again.

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    If designing and laying track is your thing then just sell this one, build another, sell it and so on? I'm sure someone would love to start where you leave off. Perhaps someone who loves scenery but hates laying track?

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    In my experience having scenery dramatically changes the train operation experience. Even something as simple as rolling down a ballasted track makes a big difference. Perhaps try a small section and do the scenery (try not to rush it. Make the effort to do your best work) and maybe you will have a different kind of enjoyment that just the design and laying track stage.

    I look forward to seeing some pics.

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    OK. I took SS454's advice and decided to do a bit of scenery. Then I promptly didn't. However, the reason is because I had to move boxes containing train cars to get to the scenery material boxes. I got a bit carried away looking through the boxes filled with jewel cases and placed a BUNCH of new cars on the layout. Not quite the same as scenery, but they made an impact. Until I couldn't keep a string of BLMA spine cars on the track. That's a different issue though.

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    Hi. So I have managed to move some photos from my phone to computer to this page. This is an accomplishment for me. Please look. Ask questions. See if it should be scrapped, sold or finished.IMG_1215.jpgIMG_1218.jpgIMG_1219.jpgIMG_1220.jpgIMG_1224.jpgIMG_1229.jpgIMG_1232.jpgIMG_1237.jpg

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    all that work just to scrap t my oh my. i say just keep going with that one......there is a lot of work there to be scrapping it.....my 2 cents

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    Wow! Makes me dizzy! But I could sure have fun scenicking that.

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    Wow, you have a lot more there than I realized. That's quite a layout.

    If you do sell or scrap it and start over, what is it about this one that makes it less appealing at this point? If you have some idea of that, maybe you can avoid it next time (or even fix it this time).

    Did you have any era or location in mind to model with this layout? Having that often helps maintain interest and gives us a "reason" as well as a sense of direction to continue on with the scenery.

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    I would be interested to see the layout on paper. Great job on this layout. It would have be have fun to operate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcewuen27 View Post
    So I have managed to move some photos from my phone to computer to this page
    Wow! Yes, a lot more here than I was expecting as well....

    Quite a bit of work there. I'd think long and hard about what "I" wanted when I built it, what has changed since and seriously why I would want to restart? Really, we can't determine the best outcome for you on this. You might consider having some chats with fellow modelers who are further along with more completed layouts. Find out what sparks them and how they overcame similar issues. Is there a club or shop nearby you can meet up with modelers? Many here would be able to weigh in.
    Do you have a plan/drawing? Posting that might help the experienced modelers here critique it for ways to help improve it. Especially if you were considering operations. Checking out a live operations night at another modelers layout may give you insight as to whether this is a direction you might pursue.
    If is truly an issue with scenery, there are ways to simplify that or perhaps it is time to take a deeper dive into this area of the hobby.

    IMHO, this is such a personal dilemma that only you can arrive at the answer. But we will all throw in some thoughts for fodder...
    Probably more than a few that would love to have that much bench and trackwork completed.

    All the best. Good Luck.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler - Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life - Web-Folio
    Blog: American Revolutionary War Diorama:https://www.nscale.net/forums/entry....onment-Diorama
    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    If is truly an issue with scenery, there are ways to simplify that or perhaps it is time to take a deeper dive into this area of the hobby.

    IMHO, this is such a personal dilemma that only you can arrive at the answer. But we will all throw in some thoughts for fodder...
    Probably more than a few that would love to have that much bench and trackwork completed.
    ^^^^ Danged good summary.

    When I first read your post, I wondered what it is you have that you'd be willing to give up. When I then saw your photos, I was totally gobsmacked. That's a heck of a lot of work to give up on. And anyone who would consider "buying" it would have to have some almost identical space to be able to use it.

    Re: scenery: I built my layout 30+ years ago, and all I did, back then, for scenery was to build a mountain and a few low hills after I ballasted the main line (I didn't ballast the yard until earlier this year!!!). Point being that my layout makes it FUN to operate, regardless of the basic lack of scenery. So are you yet in a position to actually operate your"railroad" or are there major links of track you have to finish before you can do so? I enjoy simply running trains and can do so without scenery. (I do plan to get to work on scenery this winter.)

    In any event, good luck with your thinkin'.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFan View Post
    If you do sell or scrap it and start over, what is it about this one that makes it less appealing at this point? If you have some idea of that, maybe you can avoid it next time (or even fix it this time).
    That sums it up nicely. My first thought was: "What the heck did you think when you planned this?" - and that's probably because I personally don't think that amount of track is going to do anything for me, and that amount of landscaping ahead of me would throw me so far off track I might say hi to the moon...

    But then once more, that's just me and you probably have other wishes you are trying to fulfill with that railroad. Just, as OTFan said, I'd suggest you find out what those wishes ("givens and druthers" is the common term) are for you before deciding to scrap or landscape that thing.

    Heiko

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    My $0.02,

    I am assuming you can run a train around your layout? If not, get one route operational.

    Run a train whether it be freight or passengers or a mix on one route - store them at one end of the layout ie. perhaps the helix. Run a different train around the layout - perform a meet with the other train and run it back to the yard. Take the first train and run it back to the yard. Take a third train (or one of the others) and run it continuously over the routes - call it the express, and then get a way-freight and pretend it has a lower priority than the express and then switch the way-freight from the yard, dropping off and picking up cars from industries (you can just place a box as a marker for a future industry) taking care of clearing the main for the express until you arrive back in the yard. Take notes as to the issues (stickies will do for track/electrical issues fix them asap). Congratulations you have run an operating session. Vary the operations. Run 6 to 10 operating sessions or however many you want over a minimum of 3 months.

    Ask yourself do you like switching? do you like mainline operations? do you like engine changes (although I didn't see an engine house?)

    What can be changed in terms of your track-plan? What works operationally?

    I would suggest that would give you enough information to make decision as to what changes you want (even if it is scrapping the layout)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    that amount of landscaping ahead of me would throw me so far off track I might say hi to the moon...
    Ain't that the truth.


    My Layout Thread

    Support This Site!

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    HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way more than I thought! THAT has SPECTACULAR written ALL OVER IT! WOW! That could be AMAZING! For fun, since it is already there, take the section circled in red on the left side and NOTHING MORE and finish that. I would make that a rock wall cliff. I would stat with a piece of foam as the wall structure and one for a ground base. (or even shaper sheet if you want to make it super easy) and either do plaster rocks or foam carved ones. Give them some foam paint, ballast just that section, put some grass down and you are there!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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