Now that the pressure is off, I’ve thought that the time may be ripe to make a start on my decades-long delayed model railway plan. Above is a magazine layout from about five years ago that I particularly like. It’s in British OO scale (4mm – 1ft).
I’m redrawing it in N gauge (2mm – 1ft), and as I have more space available, I’m extending it in both directions.
This is the unfinished result of about a week’s work in a CAD program called AnyRail. It’s a bloody marvellous piece of software from Holland. It has complete libraries of all the track pieces available from any given maker, in this case Peco. You just drag a piece (eg a 914mm long straight of flexible track) onto the drawing and bend it any way you want to form the shapes shown above. Place the points (turnouts) and you’ve got your switch yards.
It took a bit of learning how to use it, but I’m impressed and pleased for my $57.
Each leg of the L shaped baseboard is 2x 1200x 2400 = 4800mm long. I’ll be using standard 1200x2400mm sheets of ply, so each section will be separable for carrying or storage. Although cutting across all that trackwork above will be very very difficult. Impossible, in fact, so I’ll have to make each baseboard as light as possible.
It’s not cheap, this model railway stuff. There’s 53m of flexible track there so far, about A$235 worth, and I’m nowhere near finished. There are 11 switches at about A$18 ea = $198. Again, there will be many more added. The software produces a list of items used – this is just a part of the list so far:
SL-302F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-302F. Flex 914.4mm. (concrete) 10 SL-302F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-302F. Flex 914.5mm. (concrete) 1 SL-E387F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E387F. Left curved turnout 10º (conductive frog) 2 SL-E388F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E388F. Right turnout 164mm. (conductive frog) 3 SL-E389F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E389F. Left turnout 164mm. (conductive frog) 4 SL-E392F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E392F. Left turnout 123mm. (conductive frog) 2 SL-E397F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E397F. Wye turnout 10º (conductive frog) 1 501, Symbols square 501. Left turnout. 1 Track lengths 501, Symbols square 501. Left turnout. 0 m SL-302F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-302F. Flex 914.4mm. (concrete) 50 m SL-E387F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E387F. Left curved turnout 10º 0.6 m SL-E388F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E388F. Right turnout 164mm. 1 m SL-E389F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E389F. Left turnout 164mm. 1.3 m SL-E392F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E392F. Left turnout 123mm. 0.5 m SL-E397F, N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E397F. Wye turnout 10º 0.2 m Total track length: 53.6 m
Then each locomotive is about $100, and carriages are an average of say, $20 ea., so a five carriage train is $200. Just one train! It would not be unreasonable to have five trains. Then the controller/power supply is about $600. Even a basic layout is going to cost a minimum of $2,000. This will be at least a two year project.
And where am I going to put it? At first I thought – garage. But, dust and dirt! No, I think I’m going to put it in the lounge room. No women around here to put up their silly objections. No worries.
I’m reading John Cleese’s new autobiography, “So, anyway …”. Good book. Almost can’t put it down. He’s just married Connie Booth, who’s an American he met in NY – I didn’t realise. Just reaching the beginnings of the Python era.
He wrote a book years ago called Families and How to Survive Them. I didn’t realise that he had a bad relationship with his mother, which blighted his life. I know the feeling.
I used to have a family, but they’re not around any more. I didn’t just survive them, I rose above their level. They’re all dead and gone now as far as I’m concerned. They were very poor quality people, so good riddance. Not to be trusted, liars, cheats, double-crossers.
I also have a surviving nephew and niece, but even though they know I’ve had health problems and they know where I live, I haven’t heard a word from them in over two years. So much for being their uncle. Very, very disappointing. I thought better of them, but they’ve been infected by their toxic mother.
I’ve been told by a doctor that I need to get my blood sugar readings down further (avg. 10 at the moment), and to do it by cutting carbohydrates and building up on protein. I admit, I’m addicted to carbs, and if I can do this, it’ll be a good move. It fits with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet of a few years ago.
If I stick to it, I seem to lose about 1Kg/week. The trouble is sticking to it. Bread is everywhere. I’ve stopped buying bread (mostly), but it still appears on any restaurant meal I have. It’s not easy, but then again, it’s not too hard either. Press on. I’ve also stopped the beer! For some reason, perhaps due to some medication I’m taking, it just doesn’t taste good any more. I have one (large) glass of wine a night and that’s all.
But considering that I used to drink four stubbies a night, plus nibbles, and half a bottle of wine, and that’s virtually all stopped, how is it that more weight isn’t disappearing? Very discouraging. As the cardiologist told me years ago. “If you go onto insulin, you’ll never be able to lose weight.” I think he’s right.