Friday, November 19, 2021

Ten Year Anniversary

As I was putting together (well, really, updating) a presentation on Modeling the Valley Local that I'll be doing tomorrow for the NMRA's NCR Division 2 (way out in Michigan! Thank goodness for Zoom...), I came across the following slide:

And I realized with everything going on last month, I'd totally blown past the 10 year anniversary of starting this layout(!)

So, albeit a little belated, here are a few fun photos from the early(est) days . . .

October 29, 2011
With Randy's help, I'd developed a rough trackplan, but most of the final planning was done with full size mockups on the floor like this. This will be Middletown, with a "typical" Valley Local for scale.

Looking back toward the peninsula, with Wethersfield roughed in on the far side.

November 16, 2011
To be fair, October-December 2011 saw the final planning & mocking up. This is Essex, being roughed-in in the other room. I wouldn't start laying the first track until January, 2012 - and I wouldn't get to Essex until two years later.

Another view of the Wethersfield/Rocky Hill peninsula, with Rocky Hill being mocked-up.

November 25
First benchwork going up - so maybe I'm actually 6 days early for a 10 yr anniversary? :^)

November 26
View toward Middletown, with Rosie supervising.

November 28
Looking toward Rocky Hill & the peninsula.

December 17, 2011
Overall view of the main (Middletown/Cromwell/Rocky Hill/Wethersfield) room.

I moved the craft paper & turnout template mockups from the floor to rest on the benchwork. Then, using more mockups of buildings & such, I finalized the track layout. This is Wethersfield, looking back toward the "north" end of Middletown in the far corner.

Using all this info, I drew outlines around the track and proposed building footprints to determine the subroadbed/plywood cuts. This is Dividend looking toward the Goff Brook/Wethersfield end/side of the peninsula.

Then it was "just" a matter of cutting up the paper and arranging the cutouts on plywood in cookie-cutter fashion . . .

. . . then lay it on the benchwork. This is looking toward the "neck" of the peninsula - Rocky Hill on the left and Wethersfield on the right.

New Year's Eve - December 31, 2011
This was an ill-fated experiment in raising the layout to eye level. As you can see, given the benchwork/girder height, it would have required really long risers!
I'm glad I rethought this idea.

January 3, 2012
Speaking of risers, with the coming of the new year - and all the subroadbed cut for the layout in the "main" room - it was time to set up a "riser construction workstation." For that, I needed a chop saw, wood glue, clamps, and LOTS of 1x2 & 1x1 material.

Risers galore!

Going into the archives for these early construction photos, I realize that while it was 10 years ago last month that I started documenting my layout progress, the "groundbreaking" (finishing planning/beginning benchwork) really happened this whole autumn season, 10 years ago.

Wow - time really flies. And the layout is nowhere near being done. Guess I'd better get back to it!

Hope you've enjoyed this little trip to the beginnings of the Valley Line as much as I have - and are as motivated as I am to make some more progress!

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