advice required

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
User avatar
Michaelaface
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:51 am

advice required

Postby Michaelaface » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:09 pm

anyone got any tips on how I can consistently talk myself out of giving up on my layout and starting again?

I'm forever building the damn thing and I always seem to get stuck at the same things

- could I have done the last thing better - if so, does it it matter? or should I start over again?

and then I get stuck with

- what if I do more work and up back in that loop?

I've been trying to follow that thing where "a person who makes no mistakes doesn't make anything at all" or whatever it is

I love this hobby but it doesnt half test my patience

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 12924
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: advice required

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:50 pm

I don't know how big, complex, small or simple the layout you started was going to be. Try starting a very small layout, just a tiny station running out to a dead end, no more than 3 points about four feet long and a foot wide. Take it step by step and don't move on until you are perfectly happy with what you have just done, don't settle for it'll do.
Keeping it small avoids meeting up with endless looking jobs that you rush to finish (Like ballasting!)
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
Peterm
Posts: 1684
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:26 pm
Location: Bribie Island. Australia

Re: advice required

Postby Peterm » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:59 pm

I'm on only my second layout and it's still more a train set than a layout. In my case I'll make the best of it because of age... don't want to die before I'm more satisfied with it. I see some really great layouts, some are modelled on a real place, others freelance. Don't get disheartened, just enjoy what you've made.

Ps: What I'm getting at is the fact that we can't all be great at this.
Pete.

heda
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am
Location: Wimborne

Re: advice required

Postby heda » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:25 am

Post your progress on here. If your unsure or not happy about something ask peoples opinion, generally you will get good constructive advice. If there's a better way of doing it someone will know and tell you.
As peterm said 'don't get disheartened, just enjoy what you've made.
Dave

Bigmet
Posts: 8370
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: advice required

Postby Bigmet » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:38 am

Michaelaface wrote:...I love this hobby but it doesn't half test my patience

Been there, and the moment when I worked out what the problem was is now approaching fifty years ago, so I'll describe it in case it is helpful.
I am only interested in certain aspects of this hobby: what I enjoy is the locos and stock well representing the area I model, running realistically on a reliable track layout, operating as the railway did to a timetabled service sequence, with extras and exceptions inserted as appropriate.

Scenic treatment, not interested, total waste of my time so I don't do it.
I like the superior appearance of EM and P4, but it delays getting the trains operating, so forget that, use OO.
I don't really want to run the loco, carriage and wagon works either: I did this out of necessity in the past when there were very few good RTR models to be had: on returning to the hobby twenty-some years ago I would have used North American HO for my layout, except that Bachmann popped up just at that moment with RTR OO easily matching the standard of my kitbuilding, woo-hoo!

That's my story, yours will undoubtedly be different. Various folks have made like discoveries, other examples of 'what I want to do':
Build replicas of a type of rolling stock.
Paint backscenes.
Create layouts with forced perspective.
Build layout to a high standard, run a train or three, scrap it and start again on a new layout.
Devise concealed mechanisms for really unusual steam locos.
Encourage people to build steam locos from kits (he has a superb layout and I read recently hadn't operated it for near six months).

So there's my advice; do what you enjoy, abandon what frustrates, this is a hobby and nothing is compulsory.

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 4838
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: advice required

Postby Mountain » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:14 am

Michaelaface wrote:anyone got any tips on how I can consistently talk myself out of giving up on my layout and starting again?

I'm forever building the damn thing and I always seem to get stuck at the same things

- could I have done the last thing better - if so, does it it matter? or should I start over again?

and then I get stuck with

- what if I do more work and up back in that loop?

I've been trying to follow that thing where "a person who makes no mistakes doesn't make anything at all" or whatever it is

I love this hobby but it doesnt half test my patience


I have been there and done that. I enjoy the creating bit. For me the major change happened by a series of circumstances where I had no, or very little money, and also I wanted a simple approach rather then a complicated one to suit my needs.

I was frustrated with two things. The first was that I could not reach perfection and the second was that I could not afford perfection either. The models were becoming finer and finer in detail, and DCC was also part of this modern package in obtaining the ultimate miniature sense of prefectionialism that I was chasing.

Yet it was an unobtainable goal as no matter how much money I threw into the hobby, I still lacked that "Something", and I did not know what it was.
Also, I never completed a layout as I would keep changing things in my search for perfection.

The change for me was to step back and view things from a different perspective. Instead of being swayed by both commercializm and the perfection that others could achieve, I started looking at what I, myself can achieve and I also realized that what I do is not consistant with the manufacturers standards (Which cost a lot of money to keep up with) or the excellence that others can achieve.
I realized that the lack of consistency between new models and older models was noticeable, and also the lack of consistency between what I made and other models stood out...
So when I had already made the change to model in 7mm narrow gauge, I happened to make a kit or two (Easy to build resin kits) and scratchbuild a few waggons, and they looked rather nice. But I bought a pair of ready painted Peco coaches and these really made my efforts look bad... So I was thinking what to do about it.
I was thinking "How can I paint my models to those standards?" But I quickly reasoned that why am I trying to make things to standards I can not achieve?
I had a re-think and I had the answer. I repainted the Peco coaches so that they were noticeably my standards, and they all blemded in perfectly!

I realized another thing. An artist paints a picture. It is his or her interpretation of a scene. It is not a photograph. It is a painting. It is different and very personal to the artist.
I realized how good narrow gauge is for this. Instead of recreating actual copies of real prototypes, if instead I took to freelance modelling, I could achieve something as it was all built to my own style and adapted or designed by me. I became the three dimentional artist.

So instead of trying to re-create a photograph, I am creating my own 3D painting... And it works on soo many levels.
I am a creator. I am a designer. I am an owner of a miniature railway company... A managing director. I set the rules! And I build and create to my own ability, and it works!

And what is good about it, is I can use as many or as few commercial products as I decide, as long as I paint them all, they end up consistent.

But most of all what I make is personal. I have an attachment to what I make in a way that I do not get with a commercially built product. There is love involves in what I make, and that is the difference.
Last edited by Mountain on Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:36 am, edited 3 times in total.

Ex-Pat
Posts: 2104
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:51 pm
Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: advice required

Postby Ex-Pat » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:19 am

There are a few Rule 1's there Bigmet! (I have a few too!)

Back to Michaelaface - I've followed your layouts with great interest and was surprised when you ripped up your last one. I'm even more surprised that you are contemplating the same with your current one.

If you still love the hobby then that's more than half the battle won in my opinion.

What things in particular are you stuck on?

User avatar
glencairn
Posts: 4362
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:09 pm
Location: Both sides of the Border

Re: advice required

Postby glencairn » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:45 pm

Michaelaface wrote:
I'm forever building the damn thing and I always seem to get stuck at the same things


I love this hobby but it doesnt half test my patience


Why give up on a layout to start again when the challenge is always at the same place?

Perhaps if you mention the challenge to us, someone most probably will have the answer.

Do you have a basic idea/plan of what you want to achieve?

It is okay to alter or change a building to improve a scene.

It is funny how I have done that in several places and now the layout is completely different to when I started. Yet I do not class it as taking the layout apart and rebuilding it.

Your last sentence affects most of us, (if not all of us). :) :lol:

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.
I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought

Dad-1
Posts: 6529
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: advice required

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:42 pm

I may be wrong, but perhaps it's simply wanting something too big ?
That involves endless work before you can sit and just enjoy. I see Bigmet drops the scenery, which can be
a devourer of time. Dropped for a sensible reason, once having found what it is in the hobby that HE likes.

So I think understanding WHAT YOU like best may well be the key.

So there is your and almost everyone else's dilemma. Simply knowing what you want.
I wanted to see realistic length trains being able to stop in a suitable length station. This of course means BIG
and as I suggested big means space, time, and money. It's easy to run out of enthusiasm before such a project
is completed, even if that isn't the case, I found that the large layout is too big to set-up and run at home and
requires a hired van to take anywhere. In addition to that it takes many hours to set-up and needs a group to
run it and that wasn't what I wanted.
My favoured layout type is now a shunting puzzle, I much prefer freight to passenger services, that only found
after a few try's of other layouts. These should be quite small, allowing time to develop scenic elements. The
real interest is in using ones mind. You draw out a card and have to achieve the required placement of stock.
It takes some thought and planning, in so doing gives a reason for driving your trains. I switch on and drive the
occasional puzzle, then get on with other jobs, suitably de-stressed. I think that's what you should look for, it
should be relaxing and fun because 'If it 'aint fun don't do it'

Geoff T
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

User avatar
Michaelaface
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:51 am

Re: advice required

Postby Michaelaface » Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:56 pm

I think one of my main sources of frustration is the room in which the layout is, now I know I am lucky to be able to utilise such a space, albeit the only space I have to utilise, I've tried to get the most out of it, really pushing the limits as to what is possible in there

The room is a loft in a 1930s semi, and it is fairly horrible, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, and the floor is shaped like the inside of a spoon, all the walls are crooked and I'm not very tall but there are only a few parts of the room I can stand up straight

and because of all that I have a very hard time trying to get the benchwork nice and level, and quite often I find myself having to "bodge" sections in order to get things to work, which is not what I want to do, but what I want to do, really just isn't possible in that space

so its a constant battle between 'I've done the best I can with what's available' and 'I could do this all so much better if I had the space'

I spent a few hours today going over all my trackwork making sure its as level as I can get it (for the 500th time) and then just sat watching trains run for a while, problem solving as issues arrive, very much at the trackwork testing stage of my layout, and so far it works 90% of the time, and I'm confident enough to actually leave the loft and come downstairs to type this out while the layout is running itself, which has alleviated my frustration somewhat

Dad-1 wrote:I may be wrong, but perhaps it's simply wanting something too big ?
...
I wanted to see realistic length trains being able to stop in a suitable length station. This of course means BIG
and as I suggested big means space, time, and money...
Geoff T


admittedly watching a youtube video of a 10 coach train snake around the latest Everard junction prompted my latest rebuild

but honestly recently I've found that I think I prefer watching shorter trains, theres not much a long train can really do unless I'm modelling Birmingham new street or something, so my longer trains just loop round without stopping, I have much more enjoyment watching the smaller commuter trains, push pulls and dmu's shuttling about the layout, to the point where I'm probably going to cut down on larger trains to have more shorter ones

I should really get to updating my layout thread to show all this

Bigmet
Posts: 8370
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: advice required

Postby Bigmet » Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:20 pm

Michaelaface wrote:...The room is a loft in a 1930s semi, and it is fairly horrible, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, and the floor is shaped like the inside of a spoon, all the walls are crooked ...

You have my sympathy,and that of many others here I suspect. That was the only space for a decent size layout in my parent's home in my teens, and I only got it by first helping my Pa put in separate floor joists so I didn't crack the ceilings, then packing what would become the underfloor space with itchy glass fibre insulation, and then flooring it. (Fortunately we did this over a relatively cool Easter holiday so didn't get fried, and the timing was outstanding as the next winter was cold; and this time the bedrooms weren't like iceboxes in the morning, as they had been during the winter of 62/63...)

User avatar
glencairn
Posts: 4362
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:09 pm
Location: Both sides of the Border

Re: advice required

Postby glencairn » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:47 pm

Just a thought ---------------

Looking at your trackplan. It looks complicated (to me). You say you cannot stand up most of the time. Are you the only operator? Is it easy to operate; especially being on your knees? When things go wrong are they easy to correct, or mainly difficult?

Perhaps where it is difficult to get to just have simple trackwork. Just scenery and no points. By keeping things simple does help.

I agree with you regarding two coach trains and DMUs (to me) have a certain charm that is relaxing.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.
I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought

User avatar
Michaelaface
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:51 am

Re: advice required

Postby Michaelaface » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:53 pm

glencairn wrote:Just a thought ---------------

Looking at your trackplan. It looks complicated (to me). You say you cannot stand up most of the time. Are you the only operator? Is it easy to operate; especially being on your knees? When things go wrong are they easy to correct, or mainly difficult?

Perhaps where it is difficult to get to just have simple trackwork. Just scenery and no points. By keeping things simple does help.

I agree with you regarding two coach trains and DMUs (to me) have a certain charm that is relaxing.

Glencairn


so I solved my operational problems by not operating it at all, everything is automated via rocrail on my pc, and I simply press start and I can sit back and watch the trains going about their business, atm this is the best way to enjoy my layout, as I never really know what is going to happen, and I'm getting to the point where it rarely goes wrong, aside from a few bizarre accidents and 30 mins where I added in a new detection block, the layout has been operating continuously for nearly 9 hours today


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests