Thursday, April 2, 2015

"I report to absolutely no one... Almost no one."

As the household's Director of Real Estate Acquisition and Development, I supersede all family members, including pets, with the exception of my wife, the Senior VP of Real Estate Distribution and Utilization. And while she has little interest in spending time in our lovely remodeled basement, the Senior VP still only deemed a 15' x 21' dedicated room as, "the place for the trains."

I considered various footprints through sketches, full-size brown paper templates and a 1" = 1'-0" study model. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel and with such givens as easy reach-in, ample aisles and maximum point-to-point run, I settled on the trusty around-the-walls-with-a-peninsula design in a single deck format. I would live with the annoying entry gate if final staging plans mandated it.

Building the study model actually helped me brush up on my eye-hand coordination for modeling purposes since it was about 35 years since I was actively involved in the hobby! The door on the back wall is the entry from the main basement area and is immediately adjacent to the stair. The door along the side wall goes to a 4' x 11' walk-in closet referred  to as the wine cellar. It holds everything but wine.

It should be noted that when six railroad friends visited to help with potential track arrangements, their undivided attention chaotically turned to the adjacent spaces. They scattered gleefully like pre-schoolers at an Easter egg hunt. Their identities shall remain confidential... for the time being.
The areas that caused such bedlam included a fully finished 8' x 21' laundry room, a semi-finished 8' x 24' utility room, a 4' x 11' walk-in-closet and the 15' x 35' man cave. That large area houses my home office, television lounge and modeling work area. But alas, these six models of decorum were no match for the Senior VP who naively showed little appreciation for either staging or dispatch. 
The dedicated room was fully finished including a dropped ceiling to minimize dust while still providing access to plumbing and electrical. Because the ceiling joists were only 6'-5" above the floor, the system grid was installed as tight as possible leaving a final clearance of 6'-3". Not great for some of my guests, but livable for me at 5'-11" and shrinking fast.

The room was neatly sheet rocked and prepped for the layout with a ledger strip located 42" high to help hold the bench work as I installed it. The temporary brown paper valence was positioned as I experimented with some lighting ideas. The hard porcelain tile floor only looks unforgiving for aging backs and knees.
That's it for now. More later this weekend on the Old Main Line's route across Maryland and the 20 mile portion that I'll be modeling. But tomorrow, we'll be bringing you something completely different. Stay tuned.
In truth, the author recognizes that the lovely Senior VP's decision is:
A) Very appropriate    B) Very wise    C) Very fair    D) All of the above


  1. Ha! I figured out how to post comments, Jim. Who puts backdrops on their study models? Sheesh! LOL!

    Your blog is looking good!


  2. Hooray!... my first comment... very pleased it came from you... but doesn't everyone put backdrops on their study models?... at least I didn't build mini-furniture like that Leone guy did in MRP '15.

  3. Cripes, your 3D model makes mine look 2D. Just pitiful. I'm not seeing the suspended ceiling in your model, though. Or the post.

  4. Suspended ceiling?... Duhhh, I had to remove it to photograph... I tried just removing the miniature panels, but the miniature grid still affected the photo too much... but a support column?... c'mon, that would be just plain crazy!