(just a heads up - this is a LONG post, but there are lots of pictures and I think you'll enjoy catching up, especially if you make it all the way to the end...)
I've often said it - when you have enough time to blog, you seldom have enough to blog about. And the corollary is even more true: when you have a TON you could blog about, you don't have the time to write!
Thankfully, I've been more in the latter camp than the former - though the posts here have suffered as a result. But I've tried to keep y'all up to date a bit with the "Wordless Wednesday"s - letting pictures do the work of thousands of words. And I tend to post small, very quick, items on the Valley Local FB group, But as Randy reminded me last night, sometimes it's not enough to just post pictures and a few words - sometimes you have to provide a bit more...
The skinny is - October has been a VERY busy month!
Right after my last ops session at the end of September, we started a MAJOR home improvement project . . .
If you've been following the blog regularly, you've seen the pics. If you haven't, click here. :^) Suffice it to say, this project was a bit scary (which is why I'd put it off for so long) since any mistake would risk totally screwing up the board I'd worked so hard on. Thankfully, it all came out alright - though inelegantly - at the end. . .
Even the prototype has to make such changes from time to time, so I'm just gonna accept how it looks.
I've also been efforting some engines - trying to make a DEY-3 and a DEY-5 out of a P2k S-2 and an Atlas S-2 - and finishing some freight cars (I've been sessions have been strangely short of cars since Bill needed his returned) . . .
Speaking of locomotives, my first-ever product review came out partway through the month:
|Model Railroad News, November, 2021|
Just a few days later, Pete and I attended the NMRA's annual Northeast Regional Convention in Lowell, MA:
Back to some model railroading though, I found some time to decal a freight car:
It's been since January that I started (re)working on the scenery in Dividend, including my first-ever rock cut. And now that my ops session electrical issues have (hopefully!) cleared up - and since I'm staring down ANOTHER ops session, this time with some first-timers - I thought it'd be good to have some actual progress to show...
Here's where I'd left off:
|A closeup of the area with Harford Rayon temporarily placed for the time being.|
|Closer view of the house & garage. The backdrop is actually only 2" away from the house (which is HO scale, despite how the camera makes it look).|
|I used a variety of chalks to color the road, which started out as a light gray. This end needs more work, but as you go up the hill you see where I'm headed color-wise.|
|Speaking of blending, I tried the same trick here I did over in East Berlin... had The Missus help me with color matching (remember I'm somewhat colorblind) and just kept working those different colors of chalks into the road until it matched the road on the photo backdrop. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge - I think it came out pretty nice (I've since patched, smoothed, and painted the gotchas on the masonite).|
I'm certainly no Tom Johnson or Marty McGuirk, and setting them as my standard more often frustrates me into doing nothing rather than make even incremental progress. All too often, my reach exceeds my grasp. But if there's one lesson I'm learning this month - and RElearning over and over again - it's that you have to at least do SOMETHING in order to get better at it. The road to skill & progress is paved with practice. And you'll never get to where you want to go if you don't get moving.
So that's what I've been doing this month - moving, though in a LOT of different directions at once. The house project continues, my locos are improving, I'm adding more freight cars to my fleet, and I'm even - surprisingly - making some progress with my scenery. I'm in one of those rare modes/moods where I'm seeing opportunities everywhere I look and have enough variety of things to do that I can Always Do Something.
Long-time readers know my natural bent is to work only linearly - one project at a time. And, unfortunately, like a malfunctioning Roomba, if I hit a wall, I'll just keep banging against that wall - trying to get through it, wasting time. Thankfully, I've discovered with all these project that I can always pivot to something different. If I hit a wall, I just take a step back and go at something else. Roombas work better that way, and model railroaders make more progress that way too.
But it certainly makes life busy - I'm always doing something rather than just sitting around. Right now though, after going over everything that's happened these past few weeks, I just want a nap. And if you've made it this far, you probably need one too.
Till next time...