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New guy on the forum

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 6 posts
New guy on the forum
Posted by Sea-n-Tow on Sunday, October 13, 2019 5:37 PM

Hi All,

 

I'm Sean from Indiana. I've been reading the forum for a little while and decided to create an account. I've been in and out of the hobby over the years and finally have a spot to build a small layout. I grew up with the C&O in my home town in Northern Kentucky in the 1970s and 80s. That has been the main focus of my model railroading activities in HO scale. I've already learned a lot by reading forum member comments and insights. Looking forward to participating in the forum. 

Thanks all!

Sea-n-Tow

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 3,291 posts
Posted by Doughless on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:32 AM

Welcome.  I lived in Indiana for a long time until moving to GA about three years ago. 

Looking forward to reading your comments here.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Sparsely populated Nebraska
  • 729 posts
Posted by York1 on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:50 AM

Sea-n-Tow
I'm Sean from Indiana. I've been reading the forum for a little while and decided to create an account.

 

Welcome to the forum!  We all become one big family after a while.  Don't worry if your first posts don't show up right away.  The forum is moderated and your first posts may take a while to appear.

Keep us informed how your layout comes along.  If you ever have a question, there are some real experts on here in just about every part of model railroading who will answer.

Saints Fan John

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

  • Member since
    April 2019
  • From: Pacific Northwest
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, October 14, 2019 12:30 PM

Welcome

I too started out reading posts! I do hope you stick around and gain as much enjoyment out of these forums as I do!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 6,081 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Monday, October 14, 2019 12:54 PM

Welcome Sean from Indiana. I too lurked for a while before joining, then I figured these good people couldn't answer my questions if I didn't ask them so I joined up.Laugh

I have a C & O 2-10-4 pullin for the CPR on my layout and it is a juggernaut and a favourite. How it ended up working in Canada? Well, the story makes sense to those that know history.Laugh

 

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, October 14, 2019 7:49 PM

Hi Sean!   

Welcome to the forums!!           Welcome

Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. There are a bunch of people here who can help.

Dave

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • 587 posts
Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Monday, October 14, 2019 8:20 PM

SPSOT fan

Welcome

I too started out reading posts! I do hope you stick around and gain as much enjoyment out of these forums as I do!

 

That makes two of us!Big SmileSmile, Wink & Grin

I'm beginning to realize that Windows 10 and sound decoders have a lot in common. There are so many things you have to change in order to get them to work the way you want.

  • Member since
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Posted by Sea-n-Tow on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:17 PM

Thanks all for the warm welcome! I’m currently trying to decide where to start. I have approximately 14x18 feet of space in a room in my basement, but not confident with building a layout that big at the moment. The track plans on MRR have been a great resource. Ultimately, I would like to build something small to start running trains this winter and add on sections later. 

I’ll be spending time researching and there are plenty of model railroader shows in the area this fall! 

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 7,016 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:47 AM

Welcome.  I lived between Kokomo and Peru Indiana at Bunker Hill AFB as a kid for 4 years in the 60's and in Bloomington during college years 1983/84 and 1989-1994 (Grad school).

Welcome.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    April 2019
  • From: Pacific Northwest
  • 663 posts
Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:54 AM

Sea-n-Tow

Thanks all for the warm welcome! I’m currently trying to decide where to start. I have approximately 14x18 feet of space in a room in my basement, but not confident with building a layout that big at the moment. The track plans on MRR have been a great resource. Ultimately, I would like to build something small to start running trains this winter and add on sections later. 

I think it’s a great idea to build in small bits! I honestly am beginning to prefer small layouts over big ones. You see people who have huge layouts that they’ve been working on for years and still have bare plywood in places and limited scenery, and then you have folks who do a small layout and put a lot of work into it and add all sorts of nice details! The smaller layout usually ends up more complete and looks better.

Personally I build a tabletop for a 4x8, but at the moment (and likely throughout the whole existpence of my current layout) I only use about half of it for railroad. The other half is my workbench and storage (read piles of junk!).

When looking at MR trackplans don’t be afraid to change stuff to better suit your needs! People on the forums are usually pretty go at helping people design layouts, so if you want feel free to talk about your idea here!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 1,272 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:15 PM

Welcome to the forums!  I too agree that starting small and leaving room for growth is a sound idea.  My 2nd (current) layout is far larger and more enjoyable than the 1st. 

The forums here are a fantastic resource, but you can also benefit from finding a local NMRA group or hobby shop.  Having that face-to-face contact is invaluable.  You can learn so much from a mentor; I have enjoyed a few and they provide such invaluable help. 

One reason that many leave the hobby is they get overwhelmed with everything and get sticker shocked from the expenses.  Going slow and not over-buying is a sound approach.  While you pay more in shipping than buying many things at once, I find feeling overwhelmed is frustrating.  Hobbies are fun, so make the most of it!

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 4,019 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Saturday, October 19, 2019 12:58 AM

First off Welcome! We were ALL the new kids on the forum. I've learned a lot from ideas that have been presented here, as I'm sure you will, too.

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 6 posts
Posted by Sea-n-Tow on Sunday, October 20, 2019 3:11 PM

I appreciate all the advice! I just mailed in my rail pass application to tryout the NMRA!
I've reviewed what feels like hundreds of layout options and currently feel a little overwhelmed by it all. In an effort to simplify and make some actionable progress, I’m seriously considering building a version of John Olson’s HO scale Jerome & Southwestern.
I was a kid in the 80s when I first read his articles and I still have a copy of his project book, Building an HO Model Railroad with Personality.
I feel like a could change the setting from the southwest to Appalachian coal country and use some of my current rolling stock and structures. I have also read several articles about the MRR series focusing on the HO scale The Virginian, but don’t like the layout as much.
I have no experience with prototype operation and mostly enjoy the modeling aspects of the hobby. I feel I could grow into more operation as I gain a more thorough understanding, but for now I just want to run something in a circle! As I look through Olson’s book, I see several areas where I could add variations (terrain, structures, rolling stock) while still following proven guidelines in areas where I don’t have any experience (overall track plan and benchwork construction).
Any thoughts are welcome.
  • Member since
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Posted by Quincy47 on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 10:10 PM

I wouldn’t worry too much about operations and track plans right now. Pick out something simple and build it. There are plenty of “how to “ books on bench work and everything else you need to know. Consider this your ”learning layout “  This is where you learn the many skills you‘ll need later on when you build the layout you always wanted. Don’t pick a plan where you do too much of one thing. Believe me, you don’t want to ballast more than 20 or 30 feet of track in your attempt at it! Choose structures in a variety of materials

I started with a 60 sq.ft. layout and after various reconstructions I somehow ended up with 600 sq.ft. layout with nothing but a few structures from the original. (Which really look like they were learning kits)

Where you are now in the hobby is not where you will be years from now.

Just have fun with it

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Sparsely populated Nebraska
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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 10:15 PM

Sea-n-Tow
I have no experience with prototype operation and mostly enjoy the modeling aspects of the hobby. I feel I could grow into more operation as I gain a more thorough understanding, but for now I just want to run something in a circle!

 

Agreed.  I just started last year, and it was an encouraging event when I finally got a train running around the track.  I changed things and I added a lot, but that first small loop with a train running on it made a world of excitement.

Saints Fan John

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 6 posts
Posted by Sea-n-Tow on Monday, November 11, 2019 4:04 PM

After looking at what seems like every track plan in the MRR database as well as combing through my personal collection of books and magazines, I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea what kind of layout I want long-term. I am working in a large, unfinished basement and am in the middle of a remodeling project that will eventually create a 17x18 finished room that the layout will reside in.

 
So, as I must balance my need to get some trains up in running with the needs of my wife to see some progress on the basement becoming a finished space, I set off in the direction of a temporary solution that I can incorporate into an, as yet to be determined, final layout design.
I previously considered John Olsen’s 4x8 Jerome and Southwestern as the starting point. I liked the simplicity of the track plan, the detailed steps for benchwork and the overall nostalgia generated remembering my model railroading experience as a kid growing up in the 80s.
That said, I find myself being pulled toward the designs in the MRR database and want the freedom to explore a combination of these ideas, vs following a set path from beginning to end. As a result of these ideas bouncing around in my head, I spent some time this past weekend building benchwork that can serve as a flexible foundation as the plan evolves over time.
 
The starting point is an L girder design in 5x12. I am still playing around with the track plan, but am thinking a little more than half of this could eventually be incorporated as a peninsula in whatever my long-term layout ends up being. For now, it will give me the ability to create a loop, experiment with elevations and scenery. It’s 5’ wide to allow for a broad sweeping curve at the end and I can narrow the middle section to around 40”.
I like the idea of making that broad sweeping curve a trestle in coal country with mountain scenery that can also serve as a visual break to allow for modeling other scenes in the middle of the layout.
I have not attempted anything like this and the more I read about others’ efforts, I just want to jump in and try. So that is what I’m doing.
I appreciate all the encouragement shared and have been inspired by the amazing work of forum members. I expect to make some mistakes and will chalk it all up to learning as I go.

Benchwork

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
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Posted by Medina1128 on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:02 AM

Doughless

Welcome.  I lived in Indiana for a long time until moving to GA about three years ago. 

Looking forward to reading your comments here.

 

Sean, we were all new kids on the block at some time or another. keep these tips in mind.

  • The only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked.
  • Think about your forum title. The more accurate the title of the heading of your thread, the more responses you'll receive.
  • Be polite. No one wants to deal with trouble-makers.

The hobby is only as fun as you want to make it.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 5,490 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:47 AM

Sea-n-Tow
The starting point is an L girder design in 5x12. I am still playing around with the track plan, but am thinking a little more than half of this could eventually be incorporated as a peninsula in whatever my long-term layout ends up being. For now, it will give me the ability to create a loop, experiment with elevations and scenery.

.

That all sounds like a great place to start. I did not realize it at the time, but all my early layouts were experimentations and an experience of learning things as I went along.

.

I always encourage people to just keep building. 

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    February 2008
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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:09 AM

Welcome aboard.  To avoid the common pitfall of getting overwhemed, I suggest buidling up a suitable library.  Most any books from Jeff Wilson provide digestable information to build a layout.

Another great resource is joining an NMRA club.  I'm a big believer in having a mentor. Getting sage advice saves a ton of time, money, and frustration.  You cannot go wrong with a helpful mentor. 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • 6 posts
Posted by Sea-n-Tow on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:15 PM

Thanks again all! I’ll post more as I make progress.

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