I have not had an operating layout for quite some time. I beleive I've mentioned it somewhere here in the past, given my interest in larger scaled models and living in townhouses, I've been forced to choose between work area or a layout, and the workroom always wins.
With my more recent activities within our local NMRA chapter, the itch to have somewhere to run trains has become more pronounced of late. I'm developing a plan where I have offered to repaint the entire house next spring, in exchange for taking our spare bedroom/mini-office and converting that to a full office with an around the walls shelf type O scale layout. I suspect the Mrs may have gotten the better of the deal here, but as long as everyone has what they want, good deal.
Anyways, all of that is a bit down the road, and the need to re-sharpen those layout skills makes sense before committing to a bigger layout. With that in mind, I noticed in one of the more recent NMRA newsletters mention of the Golden Spike Award.
In essence, the Golden Spike Award is designed to promote building and completing a layout, with some specific modeling prerequisites.
The qualifications for the Award are as follows :
Rolling Stock (Motive power/cars) Display six (6) units of rolling stock, scratchbuilt, craftsman, or detailed commercial kit
Model Railroad Setting (Structures & Scenery) Construct a minimum 8 square feet of layout, and construct five (5) structures, again scratchbuilt, craftsman, or detailed commercial kit
Engineering (Civil & Electrical) Three (3) types of trackage required (turnout, crossing, etc) All must be properly ballasted and installed on proper roadbed. All installed trackage must be properly wired so that two trains can be operated simultaneously. Provide one additional electric feature such as powered turnout, signaling, turnout indicator, lighted building, etc
Seems very doable, and I have set for myself a goal of designing and building and (hopefully) accomplishing this award, within one year (12/10/2010). What I have in mind at present is a small (6 foot x 18" inch) ON30 layout. The concept will be based at least for the start on an older Narrow Gauge Gazette article. (more on that later)
So,,, I'll hit Publish Post and start the clock ticking,,, as if I didn't have enough other projects
Did I mention back-dating 4 Ken Kidder brass Shaker Hts 300 series cars back to original AE&FRE 300 series, including details, custom paint and decals,, that's my Christmas project !
More to come