Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Give me enough time... I'll change my mind."

I have chronic back issues which tend to be rather mischievous, appearing from time to time in various ways and in varying degrees... all typically without any real rhyme or reason. They range from the annoying, but relatively innocuous stiffness, to everybody's favorite, the painfully paralyzing spasms. If you suffer from any back ailments, you understand the following sentiments:

"When my back is feeling great, it's hard to imagine it ever feeling bad. But when it's feeling bad, it's impossible to imagine it ever feeling great again." - Me

It was with this in mind that I initially chose to build a single deck layout at an optimum height and with limited reach-in demands. But I couldn't leave well enough alone, could I? I listened to the devil, or at least to a bunch of operating-oriented modelers, and converted to a multi-deck. "It's all about the run!"

Once the upper level framework and lower level backdrop was completed, I began to cut and install the 1" thick Gator Board panels as a sub-roadbed. There will be much "hacking and stacking" for land forms with the biggest challenge being the river bed on the upper level. Fortunately, this  represents the western-most part of the area that I am modeling and where the Patapsco River tends to be pretty narrow and very shallow. Hooray!

I also installed the upper level fascia to get an idea of what dimensions may work best. This is at 3-1/2"  to allow for LED string lighting below and a little bit of contouring above. I also placed a piece of left over 6" valence to try to see what the final look may be.

Although coincidental, the painted valence and fascia are almost identical in color to the Gator Board which makes it difficult to really get a read on proportions for the valence and fascia, but that will resolve itself down the road one way or another.

But now I am facing a rather ambitious multi-deck layout and doing so bent over with the ongoing reminder that perhaps I took a few too many "for the team" during my many years of competitive sports. Combine these factors with a number of recent personal developments that suggest that our current home may not be our forever home, and I am bit dazed and confused. What to do?
We'll discuss some of these issues and the myriad of options I have absolutely settled on, depending upon which day of the week it is, in upcoming posts... and why it's rather tricky to get advice from some well-intentioned Jersey mates.

Fill in the blank: The author's excitement over his wife's increasing dialog about getting a beach home is understandable because...?

A) He loves the beach, except for the sun, sand and water parts.
B) His tanning cycle goes from snow-white to beet-red to snow-white.
C) The basement issue could be jeopardized by the whole 'stilts' thing.
D) He has yet to master the art of laying around doing nothing.
E) Everyone knows that Hurricane Sandy was just a fluke.


  1. Given that I am writing to you from our "other home" on southern France, I have some`sympathy with your decision and position. My advice? Do it (life is too short and/or frankly too long) but do have an exit strategy or at least a decision point somewhere down the road. I don't "model"when here but do use the here as a re-charger. ready fire aim.

    1. Roger - The south of France?... Mon Dieu!... I'd sign up for that in a New York minute... hell, I'd sign up for South Carolina, but I'm looking at south Jersey possibly!... we'll see... nothing is imminent, just much sooner than much later... but I do believe I could master that 'ready, fire, aim' action plan.

  2. Lay track quickly and get some operations going to prove out some ideas. Simple stuff like Atlas flextrack goes down fast with carpet tape and comes back up easily. Once you get a feel for what you can do or not do in the space and how that satisfies your goals, you'll have ambition to maybe start again if you do move.

    1. Rich - Sounds like you may have been to this rodeo before... I do have oodles of carpet tape for some reason... now I just need a back that will allow me to move and/or bend... I'm not asking for a lot... thank you for dropping in... good advice... we'll see what happens here.

  3. Jim,
    Too much railroad?
    Well, you know what my vote would be!

    1. Yes, Marty... I believe that I do... and perhaps if I had stuck with my original intentions based largely upon following your efforts, and agreeing with your reasoning, I wouldn't be in the mess that I'm in now... but since we're voting here, I cast two thumbs up for your expansion into your utility room to enhance staging and your signature scene... seems like there should be nothing to it from here!... good luck.