Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Serious Learning

I know I haven't yet revealed what went wrong with my point building exercise. I'm waiting until it is finished and I can report on all my mistakes en masse.

But that, after all, was the point of the exercise - to make mistakes and learn from them, and, to a lesser degree, to learn what worked and use that to build confidence.

Looking back on Apa Valley it was primarily an exercise in getting my confidence back,getting my modelling back to where it was in my OO9 days. As it happened I tried out a few things that were new to me, but that was never the main purpose.

I'm very aware though that the next project, and the things I'm trying out on my test board as well, is about moving into new territory. That means I'm going to have to get used to making more mistakes as I get out of my comfort zone. Some of those will be mistakes of execution, some of design, and some the result of failing to observe and research the prototype properly.   That probably means progress will be slow even by my usual snail's pace, and also thinking the design through so that I can replace anything that doesn't work.  If at the end anything is reusable then that will be a bonus.

In total contrast to Apa the focus is going to have to be at track level and on operation. That means getting to grips with Templot and settling on a workflow for turnout construction that suits me. I'm suffering from a surfeit of advice and techniques at the moment and whilst all of it is very useful I need to settle on what works both for my simple mind and in the context of how I'm building the layout. I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time peering at photographs looking for things that I'm sure would jump out at other people. Examples: The interlacing of sleepers, the joggling, the use of  concrete blocks and tie bars, the point rodding runs....all the things that if I build one way I know will be proven wrong by a photo I've had all along. That though is the whole point.

Then there is the operational side, the regauging of stock to EM, the building of a least one decent chassis and the changeover to S&W couplings. Not to mention settling on a reliable way of operating finescale turnouts and a an appropriate approach to building the baseboards

All of which should keep me busy in 2014



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